General Question

flo's avatar

Is your art harmful to a segment of the population?

Asked by flo (7370 points ) January 22nd, 2012

I saw an English language learning website where some of the letters in the heading of the name of the site are written like a dyslexic person wrote it.
Same thing on CD with the name of the band. That is not art is it? Being harmful to people with dyslexia. They have enough trouble. What else do you think is harmful “art”?
Between “unhelpful” and “harmful”, what is the word?

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24 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

Art can be mean. I don’t have a problem with that.

In this case, I don’t think it’s mean or harmful. I think you may be being very uncharitable. I think the meaning of this art has more to do with thoughts of the artists than with some political thing.

Even if you get testimony from the artists saying they want to insult people, I don’t care. It doesn’t mean that to me. And you can’t say anything that will make me think it isn’t art, either.

anartist's avatar

Aren’t we being a little oversensitive here @flo?

This question smacks of the PC police.
A creative culture cannot survive without a degree of pushing the envelope.
If you don’t like it, don’t look.

everephebe's avatar

What if the artist was a dyslexic person, did you ever think of that? I’m mildly dyslexic (& mildly an artist), and the idea of letters being out of order or backwards does not offend me. My art has yet to be called harmful. Intent is a big thing in art, what was the artist’s intent?

Neizvestnaya's avatar

It has and can be, sure. I miss designing and selling fine jewelry but metals and gem mining make me think about the is people doing the labor, land being destroyed and contaminated. Some of that is always in the back of my head when I wish to take up it and try to make a go of it again.

King_Pariah's avatar

I wouldn’t consider what you listed as harmful art. The english learning sounds like a decorative idea and the “calligraphy” on album covers and with band names is meant to sort of express the band. Anyway, I feel that art is meant to either deliver a message or express oneself. Can the message or feelings express be insulting or unhelpful to a particular group? Possibly. I mean with funny lettering with the English language learning site was probably meant to convey the sense of learning a different language is/can be fun, not to discriminate against a certain type of people. Hell, if art was regulated to be only “nice” and agreeable to all, the world would be a pretty boring place.

linguaphile's avatar

Sounds to me that the web site is identifying themselves as aware of dyslexia and trying to teach others how dyslexics see things.

Without seeing the web site and CD you’re referring to… here’s a question…
Is if offensive if the community who lives that life (dyslexia, little people, bipolars, etc) posts it about themselves??

Is it offensive to post dyslexic letters and writings, when it’s posted by someone who experiences dyslexia as a way of self-identifying? Offensive to whom? The outsider or the community? So… the dyslexics have to worry about how to majority view their dyslexia when expressed through their own perspective?? What a joke.

I see this over and over. It’s okay for outsiders to become offended by self-identification, but not for minority groups to express themselves honestly and truthfully.

lynfromnm's avatar

For all we know, the creator of said art is dyslexic. I don’t see how the examples you’ve given are offensive. There’s a huge difference between pointing out a reality and being offensive.

YARNLADY's avatar

I don’t see it as any different than the art that is made up of dots, where some people can see images and other people can’t. To me, it’s a form of optical illusion and nothing more.

saint's avatar

Art is not harmful. It is a concrete expression of the artist’s most abstract notion of reality.
Nobody has to pay attention to it, buy it, ar accept it as meaningful.

TexasDude's avatar

My edgy young adult writing hurts the feelings of easily offended soccer moms and aging Catholics, if that counts.

saint's avatar

@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard
Then they are fools for not ignoring it. Not that it merits being ignored.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Art is subjective…it can be harmful to one group. I don’t make art.

flo's avatar

Where do I say it is mean, and offensive? Between “Harmful” and “unhelpful” what is the word?—I added at the end there. The point is I don’t know if you saw one of the tags “visual memory”. Harmful on a practical level. They need all the help to help them memorize the way the letters are written. You see the mirror image of a letter and you copy that, and you call it art. Looks like running out of ideas to me.

KoleraHeliko's avatar

I have dysgraphia. It’s like dyslexia, but with less lexia.

Why would this be offensive? I can’t actually fathom anyone being annoyed by this. This is like saying “Look! This has colour on it! It’s offensive to colourblind people!”.

As a sidenote, I can actually write in mirror image about as well as I can write normally. I used to do that in school occasionally to confuse teachers.

flo's avatar

@KoleraHeliko, Please read my response just above.

KoleraHeliko's avatar

@flo I wasn’t responding specifically to you. More so to the people who mentioned offensiveness, didn’t address them specifically because it happened multiple times. Sorry about that.

The “I can’t actually fathom anyone being annoyed by this.” was, however, just a general comment.

linguaphile's avatar

I do not understand how someone who lives outside of dyslexia, or any other uniqueness (fibromyalgia, little people, autism, Amish, you name it) can possibly decide what is “hurtful” to dyslexic people especially if the art is created by a dyslexic person.

Let’s exchange dyslexia with African American or gay. A gay man makes artwork, and a straight person declares, “That’s unhelpful to gays.” Who are they to decide?? Or a Black woman writes a poem and a white person says, “That’s hurtful to Blacks.” What gives them that right to decide?? How about fibromyalgia—someone writes a story about their experience, and someone else says, “That’s wrong.” I just don’t get that mindset.

I would not ever dare to think that I have any qualification or justification whatsoever to decide what’s right or wrong for someone whose community or unique experience I do not share. What gives me the right to look into someone else’s expression of their own personal experience and judge it to be hurtful or helpful to a community they already live in??

If someone was making fun of dyslexics, that would be different, but if someone with dyslexia expresses himself in a way that’s unique to them and their community- leave them alone.

flo's avatar

@linguaphile just look at the tags and read the answers and then my response and then answer if you want. Such a good idea to read the response of the OPer.

There are people whose idea of fun is other people’s misery, just as an aside.

linguaphile's avatar

@flo I read this thread through several times before replying, took a while to think this through, and I said exactly what I felt about the topic. You don’t like my answer, that’s good and perfectly fine, too, but it’s still how I feel about the topic.

flo's avatar

Your answer is off topic @linquaphile whether I like your response or not. You can still address the ”...“visual memory”. Harmful on a practical level.” right?

linguaphile's avatar

@flo “That is not art is it? Being harmful to people with dyslexia.”

That’s the part of your question I answered.

flo's avatar

@linguaphile What is the effect of these graphics…? I was asking with the tags mainly, about how much teachers, parents, et al, have enough of a job to do helping people with dyslexia how to write the letters, without something interferring /undoing what they did.

flo's avatar

@linguaphile I am dying to know your input on that if it is not too much trouble.

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