I Don’t Want to Know.

In my class about marketing the arts, we talk a lot about brand image in entertainment. We always get around to discussing individual artists as entertainment products, and my students always, always know personal details about their lives. And this information always, always colors their perception of the artist’s brand.

It’s the way of today’s Everything-is-on-the-Interwebs, constantly embedded, continually streaming information flow.


However, I prefer to actually know little to nothing about the artists themselves. It always ruins their work for me. I’ll give you an example: Kanye West is a brilliant musician. I love, love, love his music. I’m less enthusiastic on his fashion sense, but God bless him, he’s very ambitious and he wants to effect worldwide cultural change. His brand image tells me, consistently, that he wants to use his art to make the world a better place. I wish that was all I knew about him!! It’s so positive and uplifting! I wish I had no idea that he was married to a famewhore. I wish I didn’t know that the reason he looks so freaking glum in every photo is because he saw some eighteenth-century paintings once, and “they weren’t smiling” (That makes you look so uneducated, I don’t even have the time to explain it to you Kanye). I wish I had no idea about his arrogance and his ego, getting in the way of his talent. I would enjoy him so much more.

Case in point: Rihanna’s new song, FourFiveSeconds. It’s SO good. Paul McCartney and Rihanna and Kanye West? Come on. You could listen to Paul McCartney’s guitar as the only component of this song and be transfixed. You could listen to just Rihanna. I am reminded that Kanye West, when reined in, is a powerful musical force. I just… I wish I didn’t have to listen to Kanye and think, “But he’s such a douuuuuuuche.” Ruins it for me.

Which brings me to my main point: if you know anything illusion-busting– anything at all– about Chris Pratt or Jurassic World, please keep it to yourself. Do NOT ruin it for me. I’m too excited about the trained velociraptors.

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