There’s this great part in The Savages where the old man picks the movie to be played at the nursing home and it’s The Jazz Singer so of course there’s this awkward moment where the black patients and especially staff are murmuring through this. I don’t know how realistic it is for them to get that far into the movie without knowing that there’s going to be Al Jolson in blackface, but anyway it brought up the old discussion of can appreciate an art form despite the wrong but accepted context of it’s time. This is something that comes up when discussing the work of H.P. Lovecraft and also, as anyone who sat through Whoopie Goldberg’s address on one of the DVD sets, Loonie Tunes. It’s a prickly pear, but I don’t avoid listening to Al Jolson because of that aspect of his act. I generally keep my art and politics separate and hope it doesn’t get me in trouble.