You make a good point. I believe people are bringing up Wagner to illustrate an extreme, not to imply that they are equivalent.
Personally, I believe that people should not be judged purely on the basis of past mistakes. Those mistakes should not be ignored, obviously, but I feel it is important to take the present into account as well. Jick's behavior was reprehensible, but they've confirmed and acknowledged that. That hardly negates it, but I think they are making better choices now. Wagner can no longer be expected to change the future, so ideal behavior on his part is identical to the worst-possible behavior. Johnson is still alive, on the other hand, so that does not hold true for him.
When pondering whether to continue aiding Asymmetric Games, my advice is to imagine at least one hypothetical scenario, starting from the present onwards, that (either currently or eventually) leads to continued support. Conversely, imagine a scenario where you halt support. Let their actions determine which outcome is actualized. Even a serial killer should have the ability to serve their sentence, demonstrate rehabilitation, and eventually be accepted back into society. No one can be expected to change the past, but they should always have the responsibility to change the future.
I did mention Wagner and I appreciate the efforts not to name me by name, even though I am mature enough to not take that as personal. I brought Wagner up as an example where the artist's flaws did not necessarily remove all value from the art. That said, I agree that it was not the best example because Wagner is no longer in a position to profit from continued performances of his work.
I enjoy KoL and I enjoy supporting it via KoLmafia and scripting. I wish I could figure out a way to continue that enjoyment while simultaneously feeling that I am not enabling an abuser. In terms of the actions I can personally take I cannot figure out how to express my disapproval of what Jick and HotStuff did in any way that does not also make Asymmetric the target of my disapproval. Sometimes I am comfortable equating Asymmetric with Jick and HotStuff but sometimes, when I do, I realize that might be wrong. It is pretty clear that I am not going to get the neat, clean, well bounded answer that I desire.
I've been occasionally pondering all of this as I've been playing my turns. Veracity's posts have already echoed my thoughts fairly well on this issue, including the shock, the processing, and the reserving of judgement.
Despite being a longtime member of the KoLmafia community (which I view as distinct from the KoL community despite a lot of crossover), this probably affects me somewhat less emotionally than many of you. I don't really pay attention to who TPTB are, I don't know any of their personalities, wouldn't recognize their faces or voices. The KoL names that mean the most to me are those in this forum; people I've collaborated with or discussed scripting with. I tend to prefer solo games (I've never even tried PvP despite strong completionist tendencies) and this forum has been my only social connection re: KoL. I think I made a handful of posts over at the official forum but for whatever reasons didn't return.
So this seems somewhat distant to me, but that's not to say I'm unemotional about it. In fact, I'm angry. Pretty sure we all are. I'm angry that through no fault of almost everyone involved, this game that I have loved for over a decade has been emotionally tainted. I'm angry that I now have to make this stupid, hard choice. I'm angry that evidently someone was abused at the hands of people I've supported financially. I'm angry that if the momentum swings a certain way -- a logical and deserved way -- this could spell the end of one of my favorite hobbies.
This distance and this anger makes me initially want to view this as I'd view something like the CEO of Kraft being accused of human trafficking (not an actual news story, I'm inventing it for analogy). Let's say I really don't want to stop eating their products. I would want, even expect, justice through the proper channels. I would want this CEO to be demoted or fired (company response) and go to jail for a long time (law response), and then I would want the company to issue a statement expressing their regret (company intent), and then I would continue to buy Kraft singles with a clear conscience, since his crime was personal and does not affect the quality of the cheese, such as it is. However, if these steps were bypassed, for instance if the CEO simply got off with a fine and continued to hold his position, and the company did not release a statement explaining why on earth he was not punished, then I could not in good conscience buy Kraft singles anymore, as the company itself (and by extension, me) then appears to be tacitly supporting human trafficking.
In this case, too, justice through the proper channels has not happened, which is what is inspiring the movement to stop support of the company; in short, we're assuming responsibility for meting out punishment because no one else is, and we need there to be punishment so that we can continue to play the game with a clear conscience.
Now, I don't generally agree with this. I think we have civil law for a reason, and putting justice into the hands of a variously-informed mob is unwise. I want to say that the majority of the report about the fellow who almost shares my name was him being a huge asshole, not him committing crimes. I want to say that all of it, even the unforgivable crimes, was personal and not my business, and while I now view the accused as an asshole, it doesn't affect my enjoyment of the company's product since I don't even know any of these people. I want to point out that most of us don't actually check to make sure that every employee of every company we buy things from isn't an asshole. Because it isn't relevant. The product and the creator are separate.
I want to say all that, because I love this game and especially this application that lets me have so much fun playing this game, and I loathe the thought of all of the myriad efforts that have gone into making something so good to be for naught. And because it's the easy answer that lets me keep what I want.
But I can't. I can't completely separate them. I need to see a proper apology from the accused (so far the apology is 1/3 complete), a proper response from the company (also 1/3 complete), and proper consequences via the law for any crimes (too late for this but not too late for restitution), before I can continue to enjoy the product with a clear conscience. I love this game enough I think I would even settle for 2 out of 3. But 0 I don't have enough rationalizations for.
So my conclusion? My heart is struggling to accept the conclusion my mind has reached. At the moment, I still haven't canceled my subscription, and I continue to play my turns as if nothing has happened. But I am painfully, reluctantly reaching for the cancel button and unless the next steps taken (by the accused, or by the law, or by Asymmetric as a company) are in the right direction to clear our consciences, then the company by their tacit endorsement of these actions will not be getting more of my money. Thanks, I hate it.
As far as Mahler goes, you have to bear in mind that the world was a very different place in the 19th century. He was forced to convert to Catholicism in order to become the Hofoper director in Vienna, due to an anti-Semitic law on the books.
Why did he conduct Wagner? Conducting was how he made a living; if he wanted to continue doing so, he had to play what people wanted to listen to. And in that time and place, that was contemporary German music, to inspire nationalistic feelings.
(This is to say -- Veracity, while you might draw some parallels between yourself and Mahler, I think it's a fundamentally different dynamic, since for us this is a volunteer effort, and walking away tomorrow wouldn't jeopardize our careers.)
I agree. For Mahler, it was his career - although I think we’d agree that now a century later, we remember him for his composition, not his conducting.
For me, KoLmafia - and KoL - is a hobby, not a career.