Editor's note: When word leaked last week that Derek Webb had "crossed the line" with his label, INO Records, partly over the apparent use of a four-letter word in one of his songs, we responded with a commentary by Todd Hertz on the topic—and readers have responded in droves. Some of your responses got Hertz to rethink his admitted pet peeve about artists who self-declare their work as important—and after further consideration, Todd says, "I jumped to some unfair conclusions when reading Webb's use of the word 'important,' and I apologize for that. I expect any artist to have passion for their work. If it is not important, why do it?"
Other reader responses brought great insight into complex issues that, frankly, we still don't know everything about. As Webb said in a follow-up e-mail to fans yesterday, "Make no mistake, our trouble with the label over content is very real, and not as simple as one word; we're backed into a corner." He is going to lay low for now, he says, but promises more details to come. And so, without further ado, we'd like to share some of those reader responses with you here:
I don't understand Todd Hertz's pet peeve about artists self-declaring their work as important. Don't we all want our work to be meaningful and important? I'm a public health nurse and I am passionate about the work I do. I am convinced it is important work that makes a difference in people's lives. Should artistic work be any different? Also, I know Derek Webb weighs each word he uses, sometimes obsessively. If he feels a word of profanity is necessary for the message of the song, I would like to hear his reasoning. He has always been willing to take risks and say what is sometimes hard to hear. I'll take that honesty ...1
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