The work and the man

The failure of England in this year’s World Cup was the latest example of how product and personality can go hand-in-hand.

Before the squad of arrogant grannywhore-banging, lazy, boozing, diving, millionaire arseholes who piss in the street (actually, that’s just Wayne Rooney) popped over to South Africa I had already lost interest in how well they would do. This is because I find the behaviour of people like Gerrard, Terry, Cole etc. so unpleasant that I can’t take any pleasure in their success. They are a bunch of utter wankers, and I feel that supporting them is somehow endorsing or ignoring this fact.

So even if they had produced some great football (ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!), I’d still have found my enjoyment of it tempered by the fact that I would not like to spend even a minute in the company of any of them (by the way, this extends to my enjoyment of the Nike ad of this summer. It’s a great piece of film, but the celebration of Ronaldo, Rooney and Ribery sets the wrong example to children everywhere).

Maybe it’s just me, but I find it really difficult to dissociate the actions from the person, no matter what the field.

The fact that Michelangelo was a bit of a cunt makes me like his Pieta, David and Sistine Chapel a little less.

John Lennon was a nasty shitbag. Maybe that’s why I’ve never been inclined to explore his solo music.

I find I’ve enjoyed Roald Dahl’s books less since I found out what an incredible arsehole he was.

And Christian Bale’s non-stop wankerfication makes me dislike almost all his movies.

I’m not sure why I bind the artist and the art together so tightly. Perhaps it’s because I feel there should be consequences to people’s bad behaviour so that they and others might be discouraged from it. It feels somehow that some of the arseholes of this world are getting a big tick to just carry on as they are, receiving pats on the back or tons of cash as they fuck people over.

Then again, there’s the other side of the argument that says the negative sides of their personalities are inextricably intertwined with their brilliance, that one would not be possible without the other.

Well, I think that’s horseshit. Examples such as Bobby Moore, David Hockney, Alan Bennett, Thom Yorke, Michael Frayn etc. (why is this all about men?) show that you can be a good bloke and a genius.

Would Gerrard be a worse player if he never dived? Would Sean Connery’s acting have suffered if he hadn’t been a wife-beater? Would Tiger Woods be any less of a golfer without all those STD-packed nights with porn stars and hookers?

Somehow I doubt it.

The cast of The Hangover 2 recently rebelled against the decision to give the alcoholic racist Mel Gibson a cameo, ultimately causing him to be removed from the film. I was heartened by this until I read that he was being replaced by the lying adulterer Bill Clinton.

I give up.