It’s lonely on the soapbox. It’s tiring always being full of outrage, always trying to do the right thing. And while I won’t condone hurting others, it’s also not my place to judge everything and everyone always.
So I will start by watching ‘Fantastic Beasts 2: The Crimes of Grindelwald‘ and appreciating it for the fictional escape from reality that it is.
Growing up, as I was busy learning right from wrong, I loved Duran Duran. I can’t say I agreed with their lifestyle or identified with it, or even remotely ever considered partaking in any of their life choices. It’s hard to say if I would have swooned in their presence and made questionable life choices if given the opportunity because it was simply not within the realm of possibility. But back then, it didn’t matter. I liked their songs. And that was enough. I didn’t (and still, for the most part, don’t) have any idea what many of the songs mean, but that never bothered me. A snippet here, a phrase there, the tune, the beat, and Simon’s voice were all that mattered.
Somewhere along the line, we began to expect our icons to be perfect. For me, perhaps it corresponded with when I became a parent, and I was charged with the responsibility of ensuring the morality of my offspring. Then my fear of bad influences made outrage easy.
Humans suck. We make mistakes. We live in glass houses, each and every one of us, and yet we’re quick to throw stones at others, incapable of recognizing that the lens through which we look at the world is cracked.
I just watched a Facebook video of a toddler boy singing “You are my sunshine” to his baby sister, who watched him and cooed in pleasure. It was sweet. And then I read the comments (I know, I know, no good can come from reading internet comments), and someone pointed out the sordid history of the song, suggesting a dark subtext to the adorable scene. A little research showed that the dark secret is the authorship of the song, that the credited creator had actually purchased the song from someone else. That could have been sinister or it could have been accepted practice at the time. Either way, the truth behind the origins of the song should not have, in any way, marred the beauty of the scene of a little boy singing to his baby sister.
And that’s what I’m talking about. There is darkness everywhere. There is bound to be controversy related to every choice we make. Was Starbucks’s response sufficient? Can we shop there again? What does it say about me—how are the scales of justice tipped—if I knowingly or unknowingly shop somewhere that is on someone’s “no” list?
So I’m done with outrage. If I knew back as a child that a song could be enjoyed without factoring in moral compatibility with the artist, then why am I less able to accept such nuance as an adult? Sometimes, a song is just a song. Doing its job of entertaining, distracting, providing catharsis at just the right time.
So I will let myself enjoy a story without seeking out reasons why I shouldn’t. I’m not hanging up my hat, but I will pick my battles. That means I will leave Johnny Depp’s personal problems between him and his ex-wife (or estranged, or whatever their status may be, I refuse to seek that information out as it is none of my damn business), and simply appreciate that he is a very talented actor who sinks into his roles completely.
And so, when Fantastic Beasts 2: The Crimes of Grindelwald reaches theaters, I will be there.