To the Editor:
The Mapplethorpe and 2 Live Crew decisions reflect very badly upon current American society. They are a clear indicator of decadence and decay, not one of growth and renewal.
It is a vast insult to compare these people to real artists such as Joyce, Lawrence or Miller. These were people who had a message of value. They showed the right along with the wrong.
Both Mapplethorpe and 2 Live Crew are guilty of pornography and child abuse. They have used the young of this country to satisfy a base and greedy desire. It is sad that there are those who would sanction this. When they do this, they do not seem to realize they are being manipulated by experts.
It would not be proper to ban material simply because one does not like the message. That is not the issue. We should be proud of having a culture with many points of view.
But for a culture or an individual to be spiritually healthy, there has to be some point at which enough is enough. If adults enjoy the kinds of pictures that Mapplethorpe took, then how can children learn to trust and respect those who are supposed to be watching out for them.
Keep the art, but throw out the trash. Don't be afraid to make a decision as to which is which. Not a decision which is based purely on personal likes or dislikes, but on whether it debases the human spirit. We should encourage art that shows us reality, but also offers compassion and hope.
The news we watch every evening is as full of violence as any movie. Blows to the body bring terror to the spirit. We become as used to seeing real people being hurt as we do fictional ones.
To ignore this would be to sanction it. To change the reality we need to hear a better message, that we can be compassionate and understanding, that we can overcome. We need art that shows a path out of the swamp of despair.
People such as 2 Live Crew do not appreciate tolerance of them. They just use that tolerance for their own benefit and profit and laugh at those who offer it.