Saturday, December 11, 2010

Art is in the Eyes of the Beholder: The following is a blog supporting the brilliant NYT editorialist Frank Rich who wrote the December 11, 2010 article "Gay Bashing at the Smithsonian." It is a cry against the hypocritical censorship of a piece of art which depicts one artist's feeling about AIDS which was killing him and killing so many artists two decades ago. It indicts societal institutions especially religious institutions and so called Christian believers who cast a blind eye to mostly homosexual suffering including the artist's own at that time suffering with AIDS. I link the piece below and I stated the following on the NYT blog.

When one is so enamored by our country's fundamental free speech value, it becomes so tiring throughout the decades to realize that the censorship of art -- especially religious art -- STILL must be fought even in our enlightened time. When will it ever end? The true irony is that The Family Research Council and the William Donahues of the Catholic League in our age are the true hypocrites as they make a mockery of Christ's true message of acceptance and love of all of nature's creation. Christ who, if he lived in our time, would RAGE against a church who stood deaf and blind to its scourge of hierarchical hypocrisy and the abuse of children no matter what the priests' sexual orientation. It matters not that all the reputable science in the world teaches sex abuse is NOT inherent in homosexuality and that most abusers are INDEED heterosexual but Mr. Donahue would not know truth if it hit him over the head in broad daylight.

Groups and people like them make me shiver with rage. Art often is the critical cultural expression of institutions which need critical analysis. It is questioning, it is damning and sometimes it is accepting of the vicissitudes of life which are ushered in by man's corrupt hypocritical nature and ones which are merely a declarative sentence of the way life is.

Whatever its purpose, art must be allowed total freedom as art is, indeed, in the eyes of the beholder. One man's art is another man's poison. I view Mel Gibson's \"The Passion\" not as art but as a violent film which serves only to attract through its violence inflammatory anti-Semitism perpetuating centuries of unjust and sickening anti Jewish hatred. Others, like Donahue will love that film because it is used to indict the Jew, a minority in all time, but indicted by a Christian majority throughout centuries culminating in the orgy of the Holocaust which Donahue does not mind depicting but, indeed, lauds the film. The Jew who during the Passover/Easter Passion season used to dread its coming especially in Europe because Jews knew Christian violence might be and often was perpetrated upon them for the fantasy and myths indicting Jews as Christ killers. Indeed, here are two different views of so called art.

Donahue and those vitriolic perpetrators of hate against homosexuals and other minorities find refuge in the new Republican Party with its narrow mindedness, stupidity, racism, homophobia, anti-rationalism and yes, in some corners, even anti-Semitism. These spewers of venom MUST be fought and established institutions such as the Smithsonian must NOT capitulate to their ultimate tyranny. If they do these purveyors of censorship and evil will, in fact, triumph as we more progressive questioners of the status quo fight this never ending sometimes losing and tiring battle for the expression to breathe free! Yet again, Frank Rich, with his Dickensian name speaks the richness of truth. It would do well for a society that calls itself free to listen!
For those of you who have doubts PLEASE read: This article by Colbert King in the Washington Post "Memo to the Left" (link below) convinced me. I have been recently coming more and more to a realization of exactly what he said and that is IF President Obama is challenged in any way in 2012 we are through as a Democratic party in many important elections both federal and state for decades as the Republicans will be circling the entrails and pick up the carcass.

Even though Barack Obama sometimes has not done all that I, a progressive, wanted he has done a LOT (enumerated in King's opinion) AND it is a truth, as the president said himself, he is governing a HUGE country. We are not the only ones. Look at the contention he has had to face coupled with horrendous racism. He could withstand a challenge BUT he would be weakened and the birds of prey, the Repbulicans, would be waiting to eat. His far left philosophical base is NOT enough to propel him into a second term IF he is weakened. The other parts of his base, African Americans men and most especially women as well as Hispanics (who will be increasing) in 2012 too are part of his base. They will NOT come out for anyone else like they did for Barack Obama as we evidenced by the horrible midterms. We ALL need to stick together and take advantage of the wonderful diversity that comprises the Democratic party.

King is, I think, correct as he enumerates ALL the president HAS done in two short years and what would NOT have gotten done if it were a McCain/Palin presidency. Please read it and pass it around to all you know. We CANNOT let what Mr. King so insightfully says will happen if the left (including me) sinks the rest of the party. We MUST see that compromise is the ONLY way and it is a way that appeals to the majority of the American people as well. If Barack Obama IS elected to a second term, who knows, we may get MUCH more of what we so desperately as progressives want since we will get a president who is much freer to act on his core beliefs and not risk losing another term.

Mr. King got a convert today -- ME! It is a wonderful article. Please read.