When your Positive Past meets an Antipathetic Present
William McCrery

I used to stubbornly insist that you could appreciate an artists work without letting their personal stuff demean it. It just felt too heartbreakingly common for someone with brilliant talent to allow that brilliant talent to excuse them from being a human being.

I hated hearing that my favorite actors and actresses (and writers and musicians) were horrible people. So I decided I wouldn’t pay attention to them. I’d love the characters they played (or the stories they wrote or the songs they created), and appreciate the life they breathed into them.

But as I get older and — probably mostly — after becoming a parent, I am having a harder time seeing that line. I shudder to think who my kids’ Britteny Spears or Miley Cyrus will be…and what will I do when it blasts through the rooms of my house?

When I was blasting Billy Joel’s glorious love songs into my world as a teenager (yes, I was awesome), they felt so wonderfully real. “Don’t want clever conversation, never want to work that hard. Just want someone I can talk to. I love you just the way you are.” That song was SO important to me and my concept of what real love would finally feel like. Then I found out he had had 3 failed marriages. Did that mean the truth of the song suddenly became a lie?

Does one mistake have the power to define us forever?

I guess we should ask Judas…

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