Kenny Klein: Guilty on all charges

Kenny Klein: pagan celebrity musician and songwriter. Arrested and charged for possessing child pornography; today, found guilty on all counts.

Here’s the court docket.

Not that there was ever any serious reason to suppose the conclusion would be otherwise, beyond the pro-forma of court procedure.

Klein’s music was a big part of my life when I started out in the pagan world, some 25 years ago. I always looked forward to his shows at Wiccanfest. Now I feel like some of those happy memories are not quite so happy, seeing as I now know how the story ends. Friends of mine pointed out to me that I enjoyed playing his music during a time when I had no idea what was going on behind the curtain, so I shouldn’t worry about it much. I suppose that’s correct; still, for my part, I doubt that I’ll ever play his music again.

We could discuss whether we can separate the man from his art, and so enjoy his music without endorsing the man, or his colossally bad moral choices. And between us, we philosophers have been having this discussion for almost a century now, whenever we talk about Nietzsche or Heidegger.

But a more useful discussion would be: a discussion about how to write new and better songs. As well as new and better books, and poems, and stories. New relationships among ourselves with new songs to lead the way.

However terrible your old idols may turn out to be, however dysfunctional the community can often be, none of it can cover the spiritual epiphany you had when you were young, when the earth and sky revealed itself to you in beauty and showed you who you are. Whatever may be going on in your life, or in the world, the Immensity will always be there, and it will always gain a hearing.

The thing to do, therefore, is to reclaim that golden moment– but to do so intelligently. Without forced or false innocence, without pretentiousness, without illusion.

Then to carry the inspiration of that moment forward into your work, with new and better songs to lead the way: affirming the living, affirming the beautiful, affirming the good.

Affirming the just.

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