Any F-----g Questions?

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Dream's End...

Postby robertdreed » Tue Nov 22, 2005 11:00 pm

"In response: <br><br>You talked more about the Soviet Union.<br><br>And said the left was a fucking cult."<br><br>That's a woefully misleading summation of my arguments, which appear in unabridged form in my messages above. <br><br>I don't have any interest in repeating myself. Third parties who are interested in the context and content of the debate are referred to what's already on the record, above. <br><br>In a weird way, it's been refreshing for me to encounter a group of Americans who evince more familiarity and readiness to recognize the crimes of the historical legacy of fascism than they do with the crimes of the historical legacy of Marxist-Leninism. But I find the viewpoint scarcely less unbalanced than the political scotoma of the Right Wing. Without the historical fact of the pre-existence of Soviet or Maoist gulag states, groups such as WACL would never have been supplied with a pretext to supply them with a veneer of legitimacy. <p></p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=http://p216.ezboard.com/brigorousintuition.showUserPublicProfile?gid=robertdreed>robertdreed</A> at: 11/22/05 8:51 pm<br></i>
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Re: Any F-----g Questions?

Postby Dreams End » Tue Nov 22, 2005 11:24 pm

Well, okay, our Cold Warrior is bowing out for a bit. Maybe we can get this thread back on target, which I think was this:<br><br><!--EZCODE QUOTE START--><blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>Indeed, for the CIA, the strategy of promoting the Non-Communist Left was to become 'the theoretical foundation of the Agency's political operations against Communism...'<hr></blockquote><!--EZCODE QUOTE END--><br><br><br>Despite rdr's desire to refight the cold war here, even someone opposed to the Soviet Union, might be a little spooked by "opposition groups" PROMOTED by the CIA. One can debate the EXTENT of this, but certainly not the ethics of it. So, a discussion of the EXTENT of it, then, is really the discussion indicated here. How far does it go?<br><br><br><br> <p></p><i></i>
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Re: Any F-----g Questions?

Postby robertdreed » Tue Nov 22, 2005 11:34 pm

Judging from the record, the Cold War-era CIA was pursuing a strategy of supporting everyone who wasn't explicitly opposed to their aims. <br><br>No wonder it worked. It's a brilliant strategy, from a practical standpoint. It's both more effective and more ethical than demanding that the only acceptable art be, say, explicit and overt ideological celebrations of the Protestant Ethic. <br><br>( <!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>Mutatis mutandis</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END-->, that approach was how the Soviets of the time went about "supporting the arts." )<br><br> <p></p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=http://p216.ezboard.com/brigorousintuition.showUserPublicProfile?gid=robertdreed>robertdreed</A> at: 11/22/05 8:43 pm<br></i>
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Re: Any F-----g Questions?

Postby robertdreed » Tue Nov 22, 2005 11:57 pm

"Surprised RDR hasn't been called an unmentionable yet. Because he has certainly done everything possible in this thread to deserve it. I think the thread would be better served if he took a significant hiatus from it. Come back at some point, RDR, but bug off for a while and let us sort these issues out without your interference."<br><br>LOL<br><br>Okay, fine. I'll "bug off for a while". You all can discuss the historical fallout from a policy that, from every indication supplied, appears to have ended at least 15 years ago. ( Probably more like 40 years ago. There hasn't been any evidence supplied for an era later than the early 1960s, as far as I can tell. )<br><br>But I'm not the one "re-fighting the Cold War" in this discussion. <p></p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=http://p216.ezboard.com/brigorousintuition.showUserPublicProfile?gid=robertdreed>robertdreed</A> at: 11/22/05 8:58 pm<br></i>
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This is so obvious...

Postby banned » Wed Nov 23, 2005 12:17 am

...I hesitate to post it, but what the hell:<br><br>One party in a conflict being wrong doesn't make the other party right.<br><br>It's entirely possible for BOTH to be wrong.<br><br>I don't like Communism any better than I do Fascism.<br><br>I don't like the Dumbocrats any more than the Rethuglicans.<br><br>Given a choice, I'd let them fight it out, let one destroy the other then, while it was still weak, destroy it, and start all over.<br><br>However, the winner might well emerge invincible.<br><br>Especially because there isn't a powerful third force/third party choice, is there? I mean, Switzerland stayed neutral...big deal, nobody wanted Switzerland anyway. And third parties in the US tend to be like farts in the bathtub--bubble up, pop, leave a bad smell behind.<br><br>Still, that doesn't make me like the Left, or the Dumbos, even when I am forced to side with them because I like the Right and the Rethugs less. Actually it makes me hate them more because they ought to be better than they are, and it makes me feel ashamed when I have to do something like, oh, vote for Gray Davis JUST because he has a (D) not an (R) after his name. <br><br>It was that kind of madness I'm sure that drove people in 2000 to vote for Nader. The best quote I read on that election was James Ellroy who said in the early fall after profiling Bore and Gush, "The worst thing about this election is, one of these men will win."<br><br>Fuckin-A-men. <p></p><i></i>
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Speaking of the US as the dark side...

Postby banned » Wed Nov 23, 2005 1:47 am

Excerpt from an article on Michelle Bachelet, who may be Chile's next President...hey Robert, how would YOU like to be tortured for 30 days for your political views? Not very much? Then why was it OK for the US to support assassinating Allende and torturing his supporters? Because they were SOCIALISTS????<br><br>Sheesh. Talk about defending the indefensible!<br><br>Oh--and I bet Michelle Bachelet knows the real meaning of RESISTANCE, and it ain't calling your Congressman.<br><br>Some people seriously need to grow up and be citizens of the real world that the US Government has forced other nations to live in and not of the fantasyland that Americans, at least well off white ones, have been allowed to inhabit for far, far, FAR too long.<br><br>Nothing like spitting out a few teeth to help someone make the transition, eh?<br><br>========<br>Story of Survival<br><br>That Bachelet is alive and able to run for office is a dramatic story of survival.<br><br>While socialist President Salvador Allende was in office, the U.S. government under Richard Nixon aided a military coup against him. After several attempts, the military took over on Sept. 11, 1973, and immediately began executing political and social activists.<br><br>In January 1975 Bachelet was arrested by a Chilean military squad. As a member of the outlawed Socialist Party, Bachelet was part of an underground resistance and one of thousands accused of being an enemy of the military government led by Army General Augusto Pinochet.<br><br>Bachelet found herself under surveillance and then the military sought to eliminate her.<br><br>But first the torture.<br><br>"It was horrifying," said Elizabeth Lira, a leading Chilean academic who has studied and researched human rights abuses in Chile. "You were arrested by 10 men, heavily armed. They smacked you, beat you, then half dressed in the middle of the night they threw you into a vehicle. Then you were packed into cells and trapped in a very small space."<br><br>"Our room had bars on the window," said Bachelet. "We had four or five bunks, and we were eight women. The beds were full, sometimes two women slept together, we didn't all fit . . . We were blindfolded all day, we took them off, but obviously when the guards arrived we lowered the blindfolds. If not, they beat us."<br>Father Accused of Helping Allende<br><br>The 1973-1990 Pinochet government killed approximately 3,000 Chileans. Many of them, including Bachelet's boyfriend, simply "disappeared" and their bodies have never been located.<br><br>Bachelet's father Alberto, a general in the Chilean Air Force, was accused of working with the socialist Allende government. He was tortured by his colleagues until his heart collapsed. He died in a public prison cell.<br><br>Bachelet's mother, Angela Jeria, was kidnapped together with her daughter and locked in a cage for five days without food. Their cellmates were raped by guards.<br>Activist Bachelet was dubbed an<br><br>"You can't just say that she was held for 30 days. It was 30 days of total fear," said Lira. "Rape was frequent. Plus the punches, sexual abuse, denigration. They had very long interrogations and the use of electric current was common. You had to listen to the others being tortured."<br><br>Thanks to their family connections to top military officials, Bachelet and her mother were spared death. Instead they were beaten, then exiled to Australia with orders not to re-enter Chile. Bachelet, ever the rebel, quickly helped organize Socialist Party resistance groups and secretly planned her return to Chile."<br><br>Rest of article at:<br><br><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href="http://www.womensenews.org/article.cfm/dyn/aid/2532/context/cover/">www.womensenews.org/artic...ext/cover/</a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--> <p></p><i></i>
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Living in a cultural void

Postby starroute » Wed Nov 23, 2005 2:21 am

robert dreed said:<br><!--EZCODE QUOTE START--><blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>You all can discuss the historical fallout from a policy that, from every indication supplied, appears to have ended at least 15 years ago. ( Probably more like 40 years ago. There hasn't been any evidence supplied for an era later than the early 1960s, as far as I can tell. )<hr></blockquote><!--EZCODE QUOTE END--><br><br>As with Sherlock Holmes and the dog that didn't back, sometimes it's the absence of evidence that provides the key to a crime.<br><br>There were a couple of basic assumptions in the 60's that we took for granted at the time, but that seem weirder and weirder to me as the years go by.<br><br>One was that there had been a sort of event horizon around 1945. Nothing before that was relevant -- all the struggles and aspirations and deadly animosities of the 30's had been swept away in the great conflagration of World War II, giving the entire planet a fresh start.<br><br>The other, which was a sort of corollary to the first, was that there was a Generation Gap, a vast and nearly unbridgeable abyss between those whose worldviews had been shaped by the now-irrelevant events of the Depression and World War II and those who had come to awareness after 1945 and were blessedly free of such anachronistic attitudes.<br><br>I've kept expecting that the same sort of historical turnover would happen again and that my kids would be as remote from me as I was from my parents. But guess what -- it's never happened. Last year, we went through a presidential campaign which was in large part dominated by events of 35 years ago. Could you for a moment imagine the Kennedy-Nixon contest of 1960 being dominated by arguments about what each of them had been up to in 1925? Inconceivable! <br><br>Artistically as well, there's never again been the sort of divide there was in the 60's. Our kids' tastes aren't precisely the same as ours, but neither are they so alien that we can't freely swap around music and dvds and graphic novels. Whereas back in the 60's, if a grownup said something nice about the Beatles, that was considered a minor miracle in itself.<br><br>But here's the really interesting part: Just as it's been coming to seem increasingly anomalous that all history before 1945 would have been spontaneously declared irrelevant, it's also been becoming clear that a certain class of people had a great deal to gain by burying the past. The Dulleses, for example. Averell Harriman. Prescott Bush. Robert E. Wood, Sid Richardson, and the rest of the America First gang. The Du Ponts and their fascist buddies.<br><br>I know that the history of the 30's was still considered relevant in the late 40's and very early 50's, because I've read some of the old books and magazines. But somehow by the middle 50's it was already slipping away. And that is exactly the period when even Reed acknowledges the CIA was most engaged in revising the national perceptual framework.<br><br>When it comes to the arts, the lines of influence are harder to follow than they are for history. But there I think the crucial factor is that we Boomers rejected about 95% of our parents' culture because we found it utterly and unredeemably lame. Only you know what? It really wasn't. I've discovered in recent years that large chunks of 30's and 40's pop music were totally awesome. Only . . . I never got to hear any of that when I was a kid. Nothing but the bleached-out, sanitized stuff they allowed on the airwaves.<br><br>(There are a couple of other questions that might be asked, like why so many 50's musicians felt a need to numb themselves out with heroin, but this post is already getting way too long.)<br><br>A lot of stuff broke loose in the 60's -- but by then, it was in many ways too late. The sanitizers had done their work. The 60's counterculture, although well-meaning, was far too often trivial, lacking in historical depth, socially unrooted, and prey to faddish hysterias. All it really knew was itself -- and its heirs are still largely lost in self-indulgent navel-gazing.<br><br>I don't think the CIA set out with precisely that effect in mind. I think that it and its corporate backers merely wanted to erase all memories of their own crimes and stamp out any possible sympathy for the radical left. (And no, Reed, the World Anti-Communist League did not base its appeals for support on the existence of Stalinist gulags, but rather on an over-the-top fear of any possible challenge to elite/American dominance. Think Dr. Strangelove and you've have the right tonality.) But by erasing history and erasing culture, they were far more successful over a far broader range than they could ever have dreamed.<br> <p></p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=http://p216.ezboard.com/brigorousintuition.showUserPublicProfile?gid=starroute>starroute</A> at: 11/22/05 11:24 pm<br></i>
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Two books you might find interesting, star...

Postby banned » Wed Nov 23, 2005 2:38 am

1. "The Air Conditioned Nightmare" by Henry Miller, his travels across America in 1945. One Amazon reviewer noted, "Americans are painted as greedy, self-indulgent, ignorant of history, bereft of morals, and devoid of honor and dignity." Dang, sounds like 2005!<br><br>2. "The Pursuit of Loneliness" by Philip Slater, 1970.<br><br>Also from an Amazon review (Roszak's book is worth reading too if you never have, though I think Slater's is better):<br><br>"One of the predominating characteristics of the counterculture was its sense of moral outrage at the ethics, policies, and blatant racism in the public domain. Slater details how and why the two cultures clashed, and what the likely results would be. Unlike his younger admirers, Slater understood the power of the dominant culture, and just how perilous the position of the counterculture was growing to be. In this sense, he anticipated the kinds of events like the shootings at Kent State and in the Deep South that began the reaction and denouement of the counterculture. To read this book is to take a step back into the maelstrom that whirled around us in the sixties, and to see the nature of contemporary society in an even clearer light than is possible without it. Remember, like Theodore Roszak's book 'The Making of a Counterculture', this book was written and published even as the struggle between the mainstream society and the rebellious college students and activists was raging. There are few books that give one so clear and realistic a look at the nature of the relationship and conflict that almost tore this society apart thirty years ago; this is one of them." <p></p><i></i>
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Contemporary pipers

Postby FourthBase » Wed Nov 23, 2005 5:07 am

First, I want to say how much I love the Rigorous Intuition Board.<br>It is a home, a sanctuary for my mind and political soul.<br>I am truly lucky to have found this site and encountered other people like me.<br>Knowing I am not alone and certainly not crazy has been an immense blessing.<br><br>Case in point: Star Route's posts above.<br><br><!--EZCODE QUOTE START--><blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>Okay, fine. I'll "bug off for a while". You all can discuss the historical fallout from a policy that, from every indication supplied, appears to have ended at least 15 years ago. ( Probably more like 40 years ago. There hasn't been any evidence supplied for an era later than the early 1960s, as far as I can tell. )<hr></blockquote><!--EZCODE QUOTE END--><br><br>Appears to have ended at least 15 years ago...maybe 40?<br><!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>With all of my being</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END-->, I doubt that.<br><br>I have a hunch the policy has just been streamlined, post-modernized, sublimated, even more institutionalized.<br><br>That is what I think some of us are especially curious about.<br>If the policy has stayed in effect to this day...<br>Which contemporary intellectuals and artists might be part-time or full-time pipers?<br>What are the cultural arenas that have stayed or become targets of co-option?<br>What are the parameters they are assigned/persuaded to endorse/enforce?<br><br>I know those questions have the potential to fuel a witchhunt.<br>But I think it is possible to ponder them politely, without condemnation.<br>In fact, I would prefer not to ponder them unless there is some kind of sympathy for the candidates, shown perhaps by relentlessly prefacing who's-a-piper-hypotheticals (which although backed by evidence and/or reasonable logic should <!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>not</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--> be accusations) with disclaimers that the suspects are presumed innocuous? Something like that. Granted, a lot of "lazy" critical devices will be used, like guilt by association, but that's the price of intuiting the truth, and the price is relatively low for everyone involved. Just making educated guesses...the cheapest form of intellectual currency - but helpful enough to be worth it to whoever is curious and somewhat rigorous.<br><br>Would internet message board accusations of being a piper injure anyone's reputation, anyway? They would have an infinitesimally small resonance compared with accusations of Communism in the 50's. No one except us would know what the hell we're talking about, no one would care, no one notices us - that we know of. If worse comes to worse we're just being "silly" - the accusations may as well be parody.<br><br>So what I propose is this:<br>Brainstorm a list of the likeliest pipers.<br>Some institutions that funded/propelled the pipers of yesterday are still around, no?<br>Who might they fund and publicize?<br><br>Any contemporary art or pop culture that hints of a pro-PTB agenda?<br>Any recent, suspiciously mediocre artists whose careers are now or becoming canonized?<br>Anyone who's uncomfortably chummy/connected with the PTB?<br>Flip side...Anyone whose radical/parapolitical art has been suppressed?<br><br>Star Route you mention the NY art scene.<br>Jenz mentioned the London art scene.<br><br>I am fairly familiar with both, so maybe we can have a breezy guessing session about them.<br><br>I'm willing to talk about painting, sculpture, installations...<br>...or poetry, music, TV, film, literature, scholarship...<br>Anything.<br><br>As an antidote, I think we should also list the likeliest purveyors and patrons of parapolitical truth. Who is demonstrably or quite possibly on our side?<br><br>I'm just trying to figure shit out.<br>If you're interested, let me know, and I'll even start a separate thread if need be.<br>If you're not interested, just ignore me.<br><br><!--EZCODE EMOTICON START 8o --><img src=http://www.ezboard.com/images/emoticons/nerd.gif ALT="8o"><!--EZCODE EMOTICON END--> <br><br>BTW, I'm totally reading those two books Banned recommended to Star Route. <p></p><i></i>
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There are American intellectuals?

Postby banned » Wed Nov 23, 2005 5:39 am

ROFL!<br><br>Anyway...<br><br>How about the 'left gatekeepers' like Chomsky?<br><br>Tom Wolfe. <br><br>You don't need to have 'pipers' in the visual arts because nobody outside of Manhattan gives a crap. <br><br>For that matter, you don't need to coopt the authors of literary fiction because hardly anybody reads it. "Serious literature" now includes dreck that would be called Danielle Steele-level soap opera if it wasn't set in some other historical period or some other culture. Take a melodramatic potboiler and make the characters from India or Iran or Bumfuckistan--great gimmick, bad literature.<br><br>Likewise the 20 pound tomes of manic narcissism and graduate school in jokes. Not many people care.<br><br>I'd venture to say that serious art and serious literature are dead. Can we thank the CIA for that, for starving out the genuine and funding the meretricious? Could be.<br><br>Film? Pretty much polices itself in terms of funding. The serious political commentary such as it is is coming from GEORGE CLOONEY. Not to knock George, but come on.<br><br>Music? I'm not qualified to say because the only musical artist of the last decade I'd waste space on my iPod for is Marshall Mathers. The rest of it ranges from meh to where-are-my-earplugs.<br><br>Current American 'culture' depresses me so much I can't bear to think about it--that's why when I read it's Dostoyevsky or Stendhal or T. S. Eliot, and why the number of films made since 1970 that I would save if the planet was about to explode is less than for some single years from the 30's through the '60s.<br><br>It's a fitting culture for a nation with an unelected retard for a president.<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br> <p></p><i></i>
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Re: There are American intellectuals?

Postby FourthBase » Wed Nov 23, 2005 5:43 am

No reason to restrict the conversation to Americans, right?<br>Pied-piping is probably more transnational these days. <p></p><i></i>
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picking up and limping with it

Postby jenz » Wed Nov 23, 2005 7:07 am

ok starr and 4thb, banned , can't get right on to defining who, because haven't got brain sorted yet. but, start with star's point about abstract expressionism. here is an art form which takes individualism (in isolationist sense) to extreme. the assumption is that the universals will somehow drip through the medium of the artist's unfettered gestures, and we will read them. interestingly, it also marks a fracture between public at large and fine art. (OK so plenty of rumpus over dada and cubsim, but the common man's outrage that something anyone could do is art, at high price hits big with a e ). skipping a mile, 2 other elements in visual arts which have been widely pontificated about and widely scorned by commmon man. there's the 'have you seen this one' kind of joke, a spin off from urinals elevated to art (how long ago that is!), and the statement through found object - also spin off from Duchamp and dada crowd. I'm floundering to find my way through this, but two things strike me. first iconaclism has become not just accepted but feted - that's why the young don't seem rebellious - rebellion, or pseudo rebellion, is AOK, in fact it is the new academicism. second, it does, still mock the viewer, as common man, it says, this sliced up cow is important because I sliced it up and put it there for you to see, and think about. its my idea, appreciate it. and though you can pay through taxes and museum entrance fees for it, it can never go on your humble wall. whenever I view, or read of, art works these days, it frequently strikes me that someone must have paid a lot of money just for this individual to do something fairly meaningless. (conceptual art, seemed to almost always require much verbage around it, that its fairly rudimentary concepts be appreciated - so why choose visual expression?) what is different about our era, from that of our parents? 'new' is assumed naturally to be good, and experience takes a back seat. people who grew up un the 20's and 30's will tell you that their childhoods were not child centred, we bulgers were made obsessive about our kids, weren't we? how many times has shampoo been revamped? even Labour is 'new'. it feels like there is an agenda to keep all of us who might get wise neurotically chasing novelty, and scared s***less that we might fall behind. In fine art sphere, being openly critical of something which is being pushed as the newest and brightest star in the firmament, is somehow to let the side down. no one can cry emporer is naked. <br>apologies for ramble, but really interested to hear views pro or con.<br><br><br><br> <p></p><i></i>
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Re: other nations

Postby israelirealities » Wed Nov 23, 2005 9:17 am

Since American art is calling the shots, the influence of any "tampering" with art would be worldwide. <br><br>Jewish visual art is a fairly new phenomenon, due to secularization of Jews about 150 years ago till now. Under Jewish religion painting and sculpting (sp?) is forbidden and considered "idolatry" (namely, the craft of making idols and little voodoo dolls). As a result photography entered the prohibition under strict orthodox laws which is why one can still see orthodox Jews running away from cameras. <br>Musical performing was a traditionally male privilege, as under Jewish law a woman's singing voice is tantamount to fornication/adultary. Art did happen, but only in ritual context, namely, there were artists engaged in designing ritual artifacts (ie wine cups, bowls for special dinners, closets, etc., certainly<!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong> not images</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--> of people from the bible, or any abstraction of God or beliefs, this is prohibitted) and houses of worship and prayer. Art, as a "in and of itself" pursuit is alien to judaic traditional culture and stil bears some "guilt" (sense of sinning) by those who practice it who DO want to maintain a Jewish tradition. <br>---------<br>I think, without substantiation though, that "recruited" art is therefore not alien to the culture, and in ZIonist secular Israel, it may have taken the form of "national art", mainly in literature, where novelists became apologists and inculcators of "state ideologies". Similar as in SOviet art, which now I find amusing, like watching those huge statutes of Lennin and the other guys, it is actually a "comment" on art, which becomes art, in the sense of one being able to almost witness the attempts of the commissioned artist to make a subversrive, individual mark without his or her "masters" seeing it. This is also art, sometimes good art.<br>I don't know if this line of inquiry is relevant at all, but perhaps one can also examine the Christian roots of art as control and how artists survived under the Church's eyes. In modern states, perhaps the nationalism and CIA's of sorts, usurped that role of the spiritual control through art, instead of through belief and dogma. There is a whole branch of investigation into the history of Icons, in Russian Orthodox church. I know someone who did such a research in NY. <br>Did the CHurch create "stars" to promote certain "images" that tightened its control ? don't know. I am not Christian so the whole idea of religious art (like the statutes and paintings of Jesus, the cross, and all the visual part of Christianity is not withint my frame of reference as a natural knowledge). <br>I am quite sure though, that being a Judeo Christian culture as we have it now (Western European), that very same tension between visuals and prohibition on visual artifacts in ritual and worship, is still there, only it has other names and concepts now.<br>I think that for those who are not JEwish here, it would be hard to imagine a Jewish tradition of NOT ALLOWING any illustration, statute, picture, symbols of the major religious scenes or people. There are modern ornaments, but they are not part of worship, one is not allowed to make visual or symbolic artifacts to serve in the worship (like the cross, Jesus on the cross, MAria and the baby etc.) The only kissing and bowing allowed, a bit is to scrolls (written texts) as honor. but not even to the Bible as an item. I am not sure I am explaining myself, but I think this is worth inquiry or elaboration by someone with better ENglish than mine.<br>Art "per se" i think is a (pagan and later intellectual, ROman and Greek tradition, and therefore presumably the Church had always been ambivalent about it. <br> <p></p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=http://p216.ezboard.com/brigorousintuition.showUserPublicProfile?gid=israelirealities@rigorousintuition>israelirealities</A> at: 11/23/05 6:32 am<br></i>
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Damien Hirst

Postby FourthBase » Wed Nov 23, 2005 3:24 pm

Jenz, you mentioned sliced cows, a reference to Hirst.<br><br>I saw the Hirst mini-exhibit at the MFA in Boston.<br>Here's the inventory of artwork in that exhibit:<br><br>- Giant, spinning paint-wheel parody of abstract expressionism. Made me also think of hypnosis-inducing spirals.<br><br>- Pharmacy shelf full of bottled/boxed medications.<br><br>- The lamb in formaldehyde. Made me think of Satanic animal sacrifices. Called "Away from the Flock"...creepy.<br><br>- Huge canvas with seemingly millions of dead black flies encrusted onto it. The smell was atrocious, the sight was awful. Called "Judgment Day". It looked like the void incarnate, and it reeked of death.<br><br>- A visually beautiful oval pattern made entirely of dead butterfly parts. Butterflies at the time made me think of the Monarch stuff I'd been reading here. It was a disquieting piece, but not much worse to me than the average pinned-butterfly case grotesqueries hanging in thousands of homes.<br><br>- The central exhibit: "The Collector". More butterflies, more connotations to me at the time of Monarch. I'll let the NYT describe it:<br><br><!--EZCODE QUOTE START--><blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>The show's biggest and most ambitious piece is "The Collector," a life-size tableau. Inside a large glass box, a mannequin in a laboratory outfit sits at a table peering into a microscope. Big potted plants grow around the figure, engulfing it in greenery. Meanwhile, live butterflies flutter about the space or hang upside down on the ceiling screen.<br><br>Unlike Mr. Hirst's other works, this one does not make its point readily obvious. The label quotes his saying that collecting butterflies is somehow sexy: "<!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>It seems like something to do with girls</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END-->." <br><br>Could this be a coy reference to the John Fowles novel "The Collector" (and the movie based on it) about a fellow who <!--EZCODE BOLD START--><strong>kidnaps, imprisons and kills a young woman</strong><!--EZCODE BOLD END--> he has fallen in love with? Collectors of butterflies kill the objects of their affections, too, and perhaps Mr. Hirst means to suggest the same of art collectors.<hr></blockquote><!--EZCODE QUOTE END--> <br><br>What this omits is that the mannequin is animatronic, pseudo-breathes, finger-twists the microscope dial back and forth, has a surgical mask on, is of indeterminate sexuality, and the exhibit case surrounding him is surrounded by a separate case acting as a buffer between the lookers and the art, with only sand at the bottom and some weird broken glass artifacts placed carefully in the corners, which I was convinced had some occult meaning.<br><br>Mind you, I love contemporary art, I love Fischli & Weiss, I love the Chapman Brothers (although they might also have some dubious motives), Bill Viola. I can understand the most insane postmodern art out there, and am jealous of some of the work that you might think is meaningless. When I walk through galleries in Chelsea and especially if I'm ever at the MOMA, which I hate, I make sure to loudly exclaim "This is shit!" when I see something that sucks.<br><br>But "The Collector" was a mystery, a forboding one at that.<br><br>My guess was that Hirst is hooked into the SRA/MC world.<br>Either as a former victim, or maybe a perp.<br><br>Anyway, in general the world of contemporary art is delving further and further into personal taboos, shattering the last remaining moral threshholds, and there might be a long-term agenda behind it. At best, the agenda would be spreading emotional nihilism. At worst, it could be promoting the evil habits of the PTB, setting the stage for later assimilation.<br><br>OTOH, you might be right Jenz, and the art ALL sucks, I've been a fool, and their purpose is to discredit art.<br><br>I don't even know at this point.<br><br><!--EZCODE EMOTICON START :( --><img src=http://www.ezboard.com/images/emoticons/frown.gif ALT=":("><!--EZCODE EMOTICON END--> <p></p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=http://p216.ezboard.com/brigorousintuition.showUserPublicProfile?gid=fourthbase>FourthBase</A> at: 11/23/05 12:26 pm<br></i>
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all shit

Postby jenz » Wed Nov 23, 2005 5:47 pm

not sure I meant that. plenty of sra imagery around, and uncertain if my negative reaction was in part to that <br>, or because the work was not saying much. I decide that I agree with you 4thbase that two tango partners are inseparable, the effect the cia funding may have had on art and its manipulative aspect, and I care about both, but art has seemed like the last refuge, so it hurts more.<br><br>I think I think sra has to be out there head on, not used as a source for shock imagery. I'm trying to think out why as i type, but I sense that if you use it any other way, then its like titillation, not comment, and not feeling, and then I see perp agenda coming through strong. perhaps that is the point, as you intimate. <br><br>(I have seen work by sra victims which is not of itself re-abusive, which may refer to experiences through imagery, and which is often haunting, so i don't mean that you can't use this source material. but , say, goya or picasso, used terrible imagery in an upfront kind of way, encapsulating emotion and comment. I'm not using these old examples <br> because I think art has to imitate forms found in past styles. but something beside the difference in form has changed)<br><br>I'm going to have to take time to think this out. IRs ideas, that there were formerly power structures in place which limited, circumscribed or defined art are valid. but it is this idea of a hidden agenda which is disturbing, the manipulation behind the scenes. Also the different status of the artist vis a vis his work. now if we are stepping back into a pre renaissance model for that, it has implications for how the art is viewed. again, are we being sold a pig in a poke, the cult of the individual (artist) screening the manipulators behind.<br><br> the difference between what was happening in the ussr and west, <br> was we all knew that art was under state control in russia, but the illusion of freedom - have we been sold this in art too?<br><br><br> random thought - would those who were hitching a ride on the gravy train, necessarily know it? wouldn't they think that their imagery was their own, that their success was their own? We'd have to look at the funding agencies and patrons, and try to figure out how much of the tune they call.<br><br> <p></p><i></i>
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