This post will be irrelevant as the fifteen seconds of drama has long passed via internet / pop culture time, yet I still feel it needs to be said. When Amanda Palmer tweeted last month the story of Evelyn Evelyn, the reaction was positive. Unfortunately, when it was revealed that the conjoined twins were a fictional duo with a fictional backstory created by Amanda and Jason, everything exploded spectacularly.
Every fan had an opinion. Some raged it was heartless, thoughtless, and downright inhumane to exploit the conjoined twin community, as well as, abuse victims with their tragic story. It even went as far as to accuse Amanda of promoting “ableism”. Others would not accept an “I’m sorry if I have offended” from Amanda claiming she should just dump the three year long project all together. Yet there were quite a few, me included, who supported her right as an artist to create, to provoke, and to open our eyes. People being how people are, even fans started gnashing at each other claiming Amanda should apologize, while others firmly stood their ground declaring that she doesn’t have to.
For the record — she did. When one says, “I apologize,” it is a way to relate to the other person’s feelings, acknowledging it, but without taking on their issues as your responsibility. However, when one says, “I’m sorry,” you are taking on the hurt person’s issues as your fault. Amanda did this and for many, it wasn’t good enough. My opinion? That’s their problem, not hers.
Also for the record — many in the disabled community defended Amanda’s artistic view and were not offended in the least. They are actually looking forward to the CD and performances. If they are not offended, then why should I? I will not speak for them because they can speak for themselves.
Being an artist is tricky. You will never appease all your fans all the time. Some will be shocked or offended if you take your art into a new, shiny direction — a direction they are uncomfortable with. An artist is not one who cranks out the same muse every. single. time. If they did, then it’s NOT art. It’s regurgitated drek to appease consumers. For example: Duran Duran is without a doubt my most favorite and loved band of all time. I love their music and their personalities; however, not every CD they’ve put out has been fantastic. “Rio” and “Astronaut” is their best work, in my opinion. Yet when I didn’t like “Red Carpet Massacre”, I didn’t toss in the towel or demand they apologize for not meeting my fanatic standards. I simply shelved the CD with a “No iPod for you!” Simple as that.
Artists are human and they will not always hit a home run with their art and THAT SHOULD BE OKAY. No one should expect them to apologize just because a story of theirs didn’t merit, or a song wasn’t as melodious, or a painting was too intense. Art is not meant to be wrapped up in a safe, politicly correct bow for our protection. It is supposed to express, expose, and explode.
With that in mind, below is my response in Amanda Fucking Palmer’s blog.
I am not a fan, but I am an observer. Before a year ago, I didn’t even know who you were and since then I’ve followed your tweets, read a few bloggy posts, and was treated to be in the audience of one of your online parties. Through all that I can honestly say this — I don’t like your music, but you as an individual impresses the hell out me. Odd, eh? That I would come to appreciate and enjoy and respect an artist following her passion and bliss, yet not like the art she produces because it’s not my cuppa? LOL! Yeah, I’m weird that way. I see Hearts and yours is full, intelligent, messy, heavy, uplifting, cranky, explosive, and brassy. You are authentically YOU and there not many people in this world who can put that up on their fancy fireplace mantle. Sure, there are times you stumble, say “Oh FUCK!” *cough* the current Evelyn Evelyn fiasco *cough*, but you learn from it and move on. Naysayers can simply stay in the corner and grumble as you continue to bounce around with your paintbrush of vivid colours, creating the art you wish to express.
Regarding E.E., as you are new to me, I honestly thought the story was true. That was until I saw the photo and observed some details which made me go, “Aaaaaah, this is not was it appears to be”. I even listened to one of the tracks and thought, “Wow, puberty was tough on that one twin, her voice is SO LOW.” *insert tongue into cheek* 😉 I got it. I was not offended, but I admit I was a bit disappointed the conjoined twins did not exist. That they really are not getting their big break. That was a bummer.
But, I’m still here.
Love, Embrace, Frolic, and continue to Do What You Do, Amanda. I came over here from Mr. Gaiman’s camp and I don’t plan on running away screaming. I shall just sit back and continue to enjoy the person Who Is Amanda Palmer.