A Photo-ganza




Ha. No. Just one. Mostly I wanted an excuse to change the song that I’m currently listening to, and talk about disappointment.

To say that I loved this song, among many others from the Japanese artist called Gackt is an understatement. I found his early work completely breathtaking. His voice, the images he painted, and the work he put into his projects were inspiring to me in a way that I rarely experienced. Music at its best is supposed to transport you. We all have our own transportation systems. (HA.) He was mine.

I haven’t been a devotee in awhile. We grew apart, as sometimes happens. Not grew up, though; there’s nothing childish about being in love with music. But you can part ways. The same thing happened with Tori Amos, who is one of those performers who is so extremely intimate and personal that it’s impossible to begrudge people who don’t get her. For awhile I got her. Up to Scarlet’s Walk, I’d say, and then our paths diverged. At the time it was mixed feelings.

And that’s what happened here, too. I went a different way. But the songs that moved me back then still held some power, in the way you can feel a storm’s wake.

So I haven’t paid close attention to his career in some time. He didn’t seem to be producing much music, and what I heard no longer moved me, and that’s okay. He was famous for being a slightly off-kilter celebrity but there are a lot of those in Japan. Once people reach a certain degree of fame and wealth they just float. It wasn’t long before people forgot — or never even knew — that he’d started in music at all.

But the tabloids have been having their way, and little scandals and hints and rumors are becoming a smoke=fire situation, and so I find myself listening to a problematic fav. Or ex-fav, in this case.

I’m willing to accept that he may not be a great person. Like I said, smoke=fire and there have always been little rumors, anyway, but you expect rumors and justify and ignore them when you’re still in the storm. Only the rumors now are less playboy and more sexual assault. And now I have to pry apart an artist from the music that still makes my heart ache.

And that’s hard. And I hope I can come to understand how other people do it.

I don’t buy or support his career financially, anymore. That ship has sailed. But some of my fondest memories are of his performances, shared with beloved friends. What about the currency of emotion that I still pay whenever I hear one of my favorite songs, or remember this or that moment?

I’m not angry that he wasn’t, after all, perfect. No one is. I’m angry because the bar for being a good person isn’t that high, and failing to clear it has implicated me. It’s made me complicit. It’s stolen cherished moments from me and tarnished them.

And that is painful. And part of fixing myself is understanding that.

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