This simple question kind of dumbfounded me and then set off a chain of thoughts and emotions that I wish to express: "How can you enjoy world music?"
I was confused by this and asked for further clarification, because to me, I don't see anything to question. It is music, and it makes me happy. So, I don't see any reason to question it any further than that. It just felt like just a silly question- like the idea of questioning the concept of joy itself.
The follow-up question asked of me was "what if the people who made that music did something bad?"
That made me uncomfortable, but I found some answers that helped me learn more about myself and what I value and think:
-I think that people are human. I do not think that people are "good" or "bad," but rather, I think that people make many decisions throughout their lives, some good, some bad, and any number of results in-between and more complex.
-I think that works (e.g. books, movies, music) can have a life independent of their creators.
-I believe in forgiving the messenger. I think that great ideas and wonderful messages can come from people who are human (and perhaps, dare I say), even people who have made much less than optimal decisions.
-I believe joy and happiness are important. I think there is more than enough things in this world to be upset and mad about that I find it worth my time to simply be naive and enjoy things for what they are: no more, no less. It is music, and it is nice. It is dark chocolate, and it is nice. I think it is okay to just simply enjoy something.
-I choose to not be angry as much as I can. I don't like feeling anger or hatred. I do not want to act out of retribution, vindictiveness, or "opposition." I think it is better to do good things and create good things, instead of going after others who might be making poor choices. I do not want to be judge, jury, and executioner.
So, that's about all I wanted to express. It was an interesting question, and I'm okay with choosing to just enjoy some things and to be consciously naive.
This reminds me of the "let people enjoy things" meme.
If you boycott something that brings you joy based on whether the creators act in line with your own values, I think you are just punishing yourself. I think it's rare that boycotting music would actually impact the creators anyway. I agree with your thoughts, Dave.
I do have trouble listening to lyrics that oppose some of my values in a harsh way or even that are just too sad. Finding out the lyrics of songs that aren't in my native language can either elevate the song or completely ruin it for me. So I prefer not to look up lyrics to songs I really like at the risk the meaning will change.
Admittedly, there have been times when an American pop song that gets on my nerves in a big way gets really popular and is played over and over by my friends who don't understand English. I ask them if they want to know the lyrics. Usually they are excited to learn at first and eventually ask me to stop translating and I don't hear the song again. I feel bad for ruining a song with a fun melody, but I offer plenty more fun songs with nice lyrics that they wouldn't hear on they radio...