Wednesday, June 29, 2011
a r t & POLITICS...
I've been ticked the last few days at the groundswell of nasty opposition aimed at Michele Bachmann, a relatively innocent person, and began one of my pouting conservative funks, eternally fueled by righteous indignation. She better brace herself, I thought to myself...
So, loving my persecution complex, I rewound the tape. All the way back to the nasty days of the final destruction of Anita Bryant. That was the first time I remember witnessing, albeit not so closely, the ruthless destruction of a completely admirable woman, because of her political and religious stance. Men had been grovelling in the cesspool of politics for centuries, but now women had stepped into the fray, and most folks had probably not envisioned what equal rights actually meant. Anita Bryant had her orange juice, vitamin C smile wiped right off of her face. Actually it was covered, smothered with a pie, thrown by someone who was sympathetic to the plight of homosexuals in their battle for Gay rights. These were rights Mrs. Bryant had fought hard to suppress. She stood up for the values that most Americans held at the time, and took the pie in the face for all of us. Forever redefined, she devolved from a former Miss America, TV celebrity, popular singer with hit records, to a pathetic, forsaken has-been, in about a week. You can still see the vitriol felt towards her on the Internet today. Anita Bryant became the target of hatred and relentless abuse. Regardless of her beliefs, which would have held sway then, and still would in many sectors today, this was no way to treat such a lady, except that she had dared... to stand on Christian teachings about homosexuality.
The next woman to set new standards for public loathing was Hillary Clinton when she became First Lady. Conservatives showed that they too could be real nasty and unfair, going after Hillary with all the zeal of Southern vigilantes. Forget that she is somebody's wife or mother, the First Lady for heavens sake, destroy her if you can, because we hate her ideas... and her husband. This was once the Country that relished in Jackie, even if we did not like her Party. But by 2008 many Democrats joined in the persecution when Hillary ran for the White House, fearing that she could not win after so many years of hatred pouring out towards her. But she ran, having grown alligator skin in her years as First Lady. This may have inspired a whole new artist's movement, as political cartoonists toiled tirelessly to out-do one another in perfecting the art of disrespect, the craft of sattire born of hate. The age of digital illustration had arrived, and now any mother's son could take his computer photo program and make a monkey out of anyone. And they did, with vicious skill and tasteless detail.
I have often remarked that our culture, the American culture, has entered into its Baroque period; a period of incredible technical prowess, and yet almost zero wisdom, where beauty has been traded in for shock and awe, and truthfulness for sensation. The Baroque period was about the final chapter during the Italian Renaissance, when everybody had done it all, seen it all, threw away the T shirt and ran around naked, and art went too far... it just could not stop itself, art became a sick reflection of the worst of man's nature. The bubble had to burst. Italy has never regained the place it once held as the center for the greatest art and home of the greatest artists in the world. Look at it today, it is hard to believe that it was once the center of morality and reason. But back to our own story...
I just want to make it clear, I have the ability to make those ugly things myself. But I gave my talent to God a long time ago, promising to use my skills to honor HIM. I watch my contempraries with amazement, as they compete in realms I choose not to go.
The pictures made of Sarah Palin, designed to insult, discredit, destroy her at any cost, no matter how far an artist must stoop, to make something base and disgusting we have not seen yet... so that they can prance around their studios like some conquering hero because they were the first to put Sarah Palin in a heretofore unimagined humiliation. And all the sick, weird kids on the Internet howl with approval like so many ghouls at Nero's slaughter. And they HATE her all the more. It's a bonding thing. The bond of HATE. It's fun to hate. It's fun to elect an enemy and join in the massacre, call names, make up things, sing mean songs of sattire and ridicule.
"Nixon, Nixon is our man, Kennedy belongs in the garbage can." Learned that when I was 6 years old. Never forgot it. As children, we just naturally hated our enemies. Catholics, Democrats, Yankees, Japs, Germans, Mexicans. The hatred had to be bred out of us. Our parents did not teach us to hate, but their fights were so passionate, their struggles so fierce that all we could do was hate their enemies for them. I'll never forget my coming out, when JFK was killed in Dallas. At all of 9 years of age I was a staunch Republican. To me, the President's death was no loss. Just another killing like one on Bonanza. He got what he deserved after that fiasco of the Bay of Pigs. I did not know what that was, but I knew nobody else in the Boy's Bathroom at Park Place Elementary, who were standing around me with their fists clinched, knew either. Still, they taught me some respect for the President of the United States that unforgetable day.
It seems just as I was learning the concept, a whole nation has steadily sunk to irrational, mean-spirited love of character assassination, a madness borne of moral depravity, where we let the most corrupt of mankind, comedians, shape our National conscience. The Gays that hated Anita have evolved into an activist Liberal Media that has no professional limits. Look at these pictures. This is what freedoms of the press and speech mean today.
These are the new generation of graphic artists portraying some of the finest women in our Country. Since decency and fairness and respect are no longer attributes for social acceptance, I'm pretty sure this bunch's free speech is not worth dying for. We should ask where all this restless, technolgically superior hatred is headed.
It is noteworthy, that today's artists are most indebted to female politicians, who provide them the most heinous opportunities. The wicked manipulation of an innocent female, once the standard for purity, dragged through the political mire for all the world to see, and every decent man helpless to come to her aid... now that's a worthy spectacle. And now all too common.
"This land is your land, this land is my land..." Brace yourself Michele Bachmann, because you are thrusting yourself into a hellhole of impossible dialogue with our new America, the Baroquian Children of Hate.
By the way... the next great social movement to prevail after all the nonsense of the Baroque... was Communism. And it was bloody.