Re: "...need not be moral"
I don’t really think it’s ever about getting ‘hung up’ on morality — I mean, you can get ‘hung up’ on anything. This seems to imply that there are too many people getting ‘hung up’ on morality & i don’t really think that’s precisely the issue….
Being a critic doesn’t (just) mean sternly judging a work for it’s moral failings, although it does mean observing & noting those failings if they seem material to a criticism of the work. Many of the posts covering OddFuture seemed to graze over the content as if it wasn’t there. This isn’t even (necessarily) a problem of failing to live up to some moral standard; it’s failing to describe the music accurately, because obviously the shock content was central to the group’s appeal. People who say things like “if only they didn’t have all those rape jokes” might as well be saying “if only they weren’t rapping.” It’s that central to the what the group is ‘about’.
Whether or not that ‘appeal’ is dangerous, or funny, or defensible, is up to the reviewer to critique & discuss. But ignoring it altogether was simply bad criticism. & I think easy dismissals — like quoting that line as if it explains away doing your job as a critic — are just a way of avoiding trying to get a handle on what works & what doesn’t work for the artists. You shouldn’t feel trapped between empty hand-wringing over moralizing, and ignoring away problematic issues. The third way is writing honestly & thinking critically about the work in front of you in the first place.
This is reasonable, and I rather agree with it.