Marla turned me onto this article, and she is usually the one that I have these kinds of conversations with, because she is very articulate, and very astute, too.
I have wrestled with this, as a fan of old movies (Holiday Inn), old books (Robert E. Howard), old records (Al Jolson), and old comics (anything where they draw “female” superheroes), many of which are outrightly sexist, racist, or what-have-you. (Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tiki Culture, and The Angry Samoans all come to mind as Problematic Culture that I really, really love.)
I try to question when things are not appropriate, and make sure my privilege as a white guy isn’t, “Well, actually…”ing the younger generations to death with my insistence that The Who are great (when they’re really just a bunch of old White Guys who demean women and wish they were teenagers). Robert Crumb is hard to really like, because of these reasons, but I love reading his comics anyway. Sometimes, BECAUSE they portray points of view I find hard to reconcile.
I think this is a great article that tackles this notion head on. I don’t want to say, “Let’s promote racist things because we can discuss them intellectually and that makes racism okay,” but rather, “I think we can all learn from the imperfections of humanity, ourselves included, and maybe our own privilege can offer us a chance to discuss these things intellectually, and see what we can gain from our narrow points of view.”
I just want to be up front about the fact that the things I like are not for everyone, and that I hope that doesn’t paint me as awful as the things I love. I just hope I’m honest with myself about how these things aren’t always acceptable by modern standards.
Anyway: this was a good read. I recommend it.