December 2, 2010

"Norman Rockwell would get the boot... if I believed in pulling everything that I'm offended by: I can't stand the view of America that he presents..."

"... which I feel insults a huge number of us non-mainstream folks. But I didn't call for the Smithsonian American Art Museum to pull the Rockwell show that runs through Jan. 2, just down the hall from 'Hide/Seek.' Rockwell and his admirers got to have their say, and his detractors, including me, got to rant about how much they hated his art. Censorship would have prevented that discussion, and that's why we don't allow it."

Writes Blake Gopnik about the ants-on-Jesus to-do.

Rush Limbaugh reacted:
Now, what is there to hate about Norman Rockwell? Very simply answered question: pro-America. Classic Americana. If you hate Norman Rockwell, you hate the flag. If you hate Norman Rockwell, you hate biscuits and gravy. If you hate Norman Rockwell, you hate breakfast. If you hate Norman Rockwell, you hate farms. If you hate Norman Rockwell, you hate grandmother. If you hate Norman Rockwell, you hate the family. What in the world is there to hate about Norman Rockwell?
Ha. I remember when everyone hated Norman Rockwell... and not just because he was regarded as an excessively literal illustrator and not a real artist.

(And by "everyone," I mean that in the sense that everyone voted against Nixon.)

182 comments:

Triangle Man said...

Rush can do better than a bunch of straw-men.

MadisonMan said...

I'm not a fan of Norman Rockwell. That's not to say I hate him. But I don't particularly get much from his paintings.

Andrew Wyeth -- now there's a painter.

Michael said...

But of course they allow censorship of art. Try the ant thing with the prophet and see how little wall space you will get. you will get none wall space.

Schorsch said...

In this we have the thread of a standard: Rockwell paints an affirmative view of a lifestyle this guy doesn't like. Could/should be allowed in our national art museums. Tom of Finland or Mapplethorpe depict a lifestyle many don't like in an exuberantly affirmative style. Also great!

AJ Lynch said...

I voted against Nixon in 1972 but have always liked Rockwell. I was at the Wyeth Museum last year. It was OK but he is no Rockwell IMO. One of Wyeth's nieces led the museum tour and she was smoking hawt!

AllenS said...

I remember when everyone hated Norman Rockwell... and not just because he was regarded as an excessively literal illustrator and not a real artist.

(And by "everyone," I mean that in the sense that everyone voted against Nixon.)


I suppose you mean college professors and Obama voters.

FloridaSteve said...

Hate takes up energy. So why would you spend energy to hate Norman Rockwell? If you don't like an artist's work(such as the artist who put ant's on Jesus) all you have to do is dismiss him and move on. Big whoop. It's a collective opinion thing. If enough people dismiss it then it will quickly fade from the collective view. I don't get why this is so hard for people.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... which I feel insults a huge number of us non-mainstream folks.

I'm curous how he feels Rockwell's depiction of America 'insults' him. If you pride yourself as being in the 'non-mainstream' of society I find it difficult to understand how you get offended.

Lincolntf said...

I have a print of Norman Rockwell's The Rookie hanging behind me as I type. It's a smallish matted print, and my Art Historian wife probably wouldn't have chosen it herself, but it gives my little nook a character I like.

Joe said...

(The Crypto Jew)



For me the problem isn’t so much the “ant covered Jesus”, but Hey I’M A JEW-mayhap-but rather the limited transgressive attitude of the cultural élite.
Bill: “Hey, let’s be all edgy an’ stuff”
Frank: “Kewllllll…how about a scene depicting Mohamed deflowering Aisha at 12?”
Bill: “WHAT, are you crazeeee! Do you even know how much Sh!te that will bring down on us?!?! No way, let’s get some stuff together that’ P!ss Off the Christians.”

Do what you want, but:
1) At least insult EVERYONE would you; or
2) Accept that the Majority of Voters/Taxpayers are going to be grumpy and threaten your funding.

traditionalguy said...

They should not censor the ants on Jesus' body. It is a take off from the ultimate suffering of Jesus on the cross. And that is the center of Christianity. Three facts make up Christianity: 1)Jesus suffered punishment due to us on the cross, and 2) Jesus was dead and buried, and 3)Jesus was raised again from the dead on the third day to show that God the Father accepted His final, eternal sacrifice and also accepted everyone for whom it was suffered. So why not let a little religion be shown over at Smithson's place.

jr565 said...

Why is being a technically literal illustrator a sign that one is not an artist. Rockwell's illustrations, from a technical standpoint, blow most "artists" out of the water.

remember when everyone hated Norman Rockwell... and not just because he was regarded as an excessively literal illustrator and not a real artist.
I'm sure all the 'real" artists, routinely schooled by Rockwell's technical abilities had to say something to justify how their "art" which was in fact art and not "crap that could have been done by a 12 year old".



"(And by "everyone," I mean that in the sense that everyone voted against Nixon.)"

Kind of like Pauline Kael saying noone she knows voted for Nixon. Maybe Pauline should have gotten out of her circle of liberalism, considering a whole lot of people voted for Nixon.

edutcher said...

Ann makes an interesting point about Rockwell's being an illustrator.

A century ago, Howard Pyle, Maxfield Parrish, Frederic Remington were looked down on by "artists", and still are in many quarters, for the same offense of being pro-American. This, of course, is because illustrators are, as Ann notes, literal - they paint what it looked like. The artists, OTOH, paint people with six arms and call it art.

As they say, there's no such thing as modern art.

WV "turnm" What the Virginian said to Trampas when the herd stampeded.

AJ Lynch said...

Really, what do you hate and why do you hate Rockwell's work Mr. Gopnik?

Wilson said...

It's interesting to me how having just one sacred cow -- namely, Mohammed -- completely unravels the concept of freedom of speech. Because the fact that the Smithsonian would never be transgressive enough to even depict Mohammed (much less to depict him covered in ants or elephant dung) opens the door for other religions to accuse them of a blatant double standard.

jr565 said...

Traditionalguy wrote:
traditionalguy said...
They should not censor the ants on Jesus' body. It is a take off from the ultimate suffering of Jesus on the cross. And that is the center of Christianity.


I have no problem with artists making art that is critical of Christianity, except that most artists are cowards about their religious bashing. They think its brave to go after christianity, yet most wouldn't touch Islam with a ten foot pole. And in the case where some cartoonists make benign cartoons about Islam, the same people talking about artistic expression are either silent or talk about the need for respecting religion. And the same people talking about how we can't impose christian morality and how christians are a bunch of bigoted troglodytes, jump to the defense of Islam when it's pointed out that it's a pretty violent and murderous religion.
So, if artists only go after easy targets, then their art is crap and they are hacks.
And, most of these "artists' in addition to being hacks, also can't actually draw or paint. Meanwhile, they will poo pooh a Normal Rockwell as not a real artist. Laughable.

shoutingthomas said...

Mr. Glop Nuts is a very silly man with too much time on his hands.

I suspect he really doesn't know how to do anything.

Marshal said...

Rush's comments are nonsensical (unless said in jest), plus he misses the interesting point:

"I can't stand the view of America that he presents...which I feel insults a huge number of us non-mainstream folks."

Hmmm. This guy thinks an artistic representation is insulting to anyone not represented? So all art has to include everything? Since almost none does how can any art not be insulting? This is idiotic thinking.

And the artistic community thinks enough of this guy that he has a job as an art critic? This must be the most worthless pool of talent in the history of mankind.

And while this reasoning is idiotic it also reveals something about leftist thought. Learning how to take offense on behalf of protected groups even where there is nothing to be offended about is a core requirement to the left. This is how you turn every disagreement into an accusation of racism / sexism / homophobia. Here we see an example of how such leftist indocrination effects the recipient's ability to reason.

Mark O said...

All along I thought it was Mormon Rockwell. That would bring some order to today's posts.

MrBuddwing said...

Kind of like Pauline Kael saying noone she knows voted for Nixon.

This myth again? I say "myth" because although "everybody knows" Kael said it, nobody can seem to prove it.

Chapter, verse, and link, please.

Word verification: wampt. (Which I believe is what happened to Andrew Sarris' Americanization of the auteur theory once Kael got through with it.)

Mitch H. said...

MadisonMan: that's right, the only acceptable content of "folk" representational art is bleak, nihilistic, and anti-affirmational.

Can't have artists confirming the social order, let alone celebrating it!

I marvel that we've survived as long as we have...

On the subject of illustrators being minor artists... that was a "status-seeking" attitude back when the plains thundered to the hooves of the magazine illustrator. Nowadays, illustrative art isn't in demand; you barely see it except in an ironic or parody context.

I don't think we'll see a return of the Saturday Evening Post illustrator, if only because there's no market for it. Cheap magazine photography killed the illustrator long, long before the internet was even a gleam in a hipster's eye.

reader_iam said...

11 seconds of a 4-minute excerpt, itself an excerpt of a 30-minute video.

11 seconds.

reader_iam said...

The video is from 1987. The person who made it died in 1992.

Paddy O said...

Norman Rockwell, like him or not, has the benefit of being a genuinely American painter of significant influence over the course of decades. His work, like it or not, is genuinely iconic in a way that describes and recognizes a particular American life. He's a recognized figure whose work can and should be criticized, but it can't be simply dismissed as irrelevant -- or equal with an obscure, supposedly shocking artist -- simply because tastes in politics, urbanity, and art have changed over the decades.

Dave said...

Norman Rockwell didn't intend to cause offense, whether you like his work or not. Whoever the "artist" was that made "ant-
Jesus" video likely intended to cause offense. It's really just another juvenile anti-Christian insult masquerading as "art". This kind of thing highlights the emptiness of modern/post-modern "art".

Granted objective criteria are hard to establish, but evidence of skill and originality are basic and discernible standards. If the curator was really interested in fine art he'd have screened this out for it's childishness.

tim maguire said...

Whether or not you like Rockwell is beside the point. The point(s) include, but may not be limited to, the following:

(1) the right of the people to object to their tax dollars being spent on art that insults them (or just that they don't like).

(2) Norman Rockwell IS Americana, regardless of your own preference for things American. It's popularity and public interest pre-dated the showing and will post-date it as well (two things that distinguish it from "ant Jesus", which as art is boring, conventional and forgettable). From an objective standpoint, the Simthsonian would be remiss in its presentation of American art if it did not include Rockwell.

(3) Song long as it gets public funding, the Smithsonian is beholden to the tastes of the public.

tim maguire said...

I guess (3) is kind of the same as (1). Oh well, so make that two points.

The Crack Emcee said...

If you hate Norman Rockwell, you hate the flag. If you hate Norman Rockwell, you hate biscuits and gravy.

That's where I blew my coffee out of my mouth.

Look, if you're a kid with artistic talent and you need to learn, well, everything, whose work are you going to turn to? Picasso or Rockwell (who even worked a Picasso into his work)? It's no contest. You have to master Rockwell (or anyone else who's literal) in order to know how to intelligently break the rules. Anyone can do decent sketches but, if you're going to learn to do a true drawing/painting/whatever - featuring characterization, lighting, and drafting, etc., on a large scale - you have to look to Rockwell if you're American: he was the king.

Was it cheesy? Sure, but so are we as a people. If that bothers you, then leave and go somewhere with war as a major influence on it's history, landscape, and people, and your cynical ass can be too fucking cool for school, hating on us with our "Have A Nice Day" and all that shit. Go. We'll be happy to see you leave. We've got it good - better than anybody else - because that ain't us, not as our core. We're Rockwell's people.

If you don't like Rockwell there's something wrong with you, something withered about your character.

Paddy O said...

Plus, I suspect the writer does believe in pulling everything he is offended by. He just knows he doesn't have the power to do that, so he deploys his rhetoric as he can to judge, dismiss, and make unfashionable his dislikes, while making sure museums increasingly contain contributions whose message he agrees with.

That's the whole role of the art critic, from what I can tell. Making sure his "likes" become fashionable and present, while "dislikes" are dismissed as kitsch.

Paddy O said...

"Was it cheesy? Sure, but so are we as a people."

Well said!

Clyde said...

If you rearrange the letters in Blake Gopnik, you get Pink Bog Lake. Just sayin'.

AllenS said...

I think I just figured it out. Norman Rockwell didn't make any pro homosexual works of art.

Suburbanbanshee said...

The reason illustrators were hated was not their pro-American attitude. (Maxfield Parrish drew Greek temples and half-nekkid peoples! Pulp artists drew violent scenes of crime and decadence!)

Illustrators and comic book artists made fairly consistent money. Some had a job or got commissions. Some made sales of illustrations fairly often. They were able to develop styles and a body of work, and some people even knew who they were. They sacrificed some freedom to the whims of art directors, but they gained a lot.

Meanwhile, Real Artistes usually never even got into a gallery, much less sold anything. Only a fairly famous artist made any good amount of cash from all the work.

shoutingthomas said...

What does Glop Nuts have to say about pictures of Mohammed?

Anybody know?

Marshal said...

reader_iam said...
11 seconds of a 4-minute excerpt, itself an excerpt of a 30-minute video.

11 seconds.
______________________

The discussion is the attack on Norman Rockwell, not the ant video.

JAL said...

Um.

So ants-on-Jesus is the view of ... what ... that appeals to you?

(Counting.)

HDHouse said...

Oh good. The Rush seal of approval. Let's all be the same and like the same thing.

Only homogenized milk is pure white. Homogenized society isn't.

Darcy said...

If you don't like Rockwell there's something wrong with you, something withered about your character.

I like that conclusion! I would amend it a little, to say "If you hate..", maybe.

Synova said...

Not liking something is far different from being offended by it. There is a whole lot of art I don't *like*.

How does a portrayal of something *insult* those who don't see themselves portrayed in it?

I suspect that what *insults* this fellow is that other people like it and he doesn't think they should.

Well, boo-hoo.

And REALLY... we can have a discussion about how *artistic* it is to go for the transgressive when the transgressors demand that the Smithsonian include "art" that transgresses something other than Christianity.

Heck, it doesn't even have to be Islam... do it with Scientology or New Age. Paint pictures of dead, rotted, upper-class white people in a Native American sweat lodge while the "guru" is droning on over their dead bodies.

That would be social commentary worth seeing.

Synova said...

So... is the "draw Mo" lady still in hiding?

Is Theo Van Gogh still dead?

Darcy said...

Oh, and I don't care about the ant-covered Jesus "art". It is true that if that were a depiction of Mohammed, well...we all know what would happen.

Yay! Censorship. And all of the people kicking about censorship of the ant-covered Jesus would disappear.

Hoosier Daddy said...

the right of the people to object to their tax dollars being spent on art that insults them (or just that they don't like)

The better question is why are tax dollars funding art at all?

anon2 said...

I've never understood why the public funding of religious speech is deemed constitutional in the context of art exhibits but not in the context of say court house monuments.

Synova said...

House... I realize you're missing the point on purpose but it doesn't have to be *all* or nothing. Any artwork is less than comprehensive of every human experience.

So why HATE and why find INSULTING any artwork less than comprehensive of every human experience?

Rockwell likely doesn't "do anything" for a whole lot of people. At what point does that become an *insult* to an adult person as Gopnik describes?

The ants-on-Jesus isn't insulting because of what it fails to portray.

Fernandinande said...

This is funny - Gopnik speaks:
Can we all agree that in the long run, art is pretty much as important as anything else a society produces or does? If that's the case, maybe it's too important to leave in private hands, where the choices of a few rich funders determine what works are preserved and displayed for the rest of us.

The fact that people don't voluntarily pay for the nonsense that he calls "art" proves that it's not important.

HDHouse said...

On a more serious note there is a huge distinction between Rockwell and the artists at the center of the stir.

The distintion is pretty basic to our society. An example would be:

My living room needs a painting.

1. You are an interesting artist with an unusual view of things, go do your thing and if I like it I'll buy it. If not? Not.

2. I see you are an accmplished artist. I would like a portrait of my kids measuring 24 x 36, in a nice frame with lots of blues to match the decor. Here is $10,000. I need it Friday.

There is no dispute that artist #2 will give me exactly what I want and meet my specifications and his take on my kids will show his particular style but the example demonstrates vastly different artistic ethics - neither bad - just different.

The "ants" work that has everyone in such a tizzy was created to create a tizzy. Art for arts sake does that sometimes.

Some of use don't really get our minds going over a tiger on black velvet.

.....Sunday in the Park.......

Titus said...

I went to The Norman Rockwell Museum--it is in either Stockbridge or Sturbridge, MASS!!!

Can you believe the most pro family painter of our time was from or lived and worked in the most anti-family state in the union.

How weird.

Chip Ahoy said...

He makes a point there. And now having made it, he can just piss right along. I like this bit better where he shows again his art critic cred by animadversion to Rockwell.

Stringozzi, from Umbria in Italy, is to ordinary linguine or spaghetti what Edward Hopper is to Norman Rockwell.

The WP article accompanied by an impressive photograph of rough-textured linguini that is close to my heart. Now, that's art!

TMink said...

The country is so broke it is in hock.

We have no money for art. And it is a waste of money when we do have it.

I sell and buy art at times. I have tons of art up in my home. I love art! But my government has no business buying or supporting art. This is not Soviet Russia.

Trey

LordSomber said...

I have a framed print of Rockwell's "Missed!" painting in my lavatory. Next to a poster of Jar Jar Binks from Rolling Stone magazine.

Alex said...

Just when I think Althouse is about to "get it", she goes back to the warm embrace of the nasty, crazy left. Sorry professor, but you just don't have what it takes.

HDHouse said...

Titus said...
"Can you believe the most pro family painter of our time ..."

Rockwell illustrated by specifications, size, colors, orientation, time of year and created within a commissioned work environment. That rubs some artists the wrong way - those that come from a more idealistic artistic side (arts for arts sake).

Wondering how long it will take for that to sink in....

Alex said...

The better question is why are tax dollars funding art at all?

Because mocking & offending Christians is the #1 priority of the left.

Hoosier Daddy said...

The "ants" work that has everyone in such a tizzy was created to create a tizzy. Art for arts sake does that sometimes

I don't think anyone disagrees with that at all. Its just quite telling that Christianity is the only religion so called 'artists' deem acceptable for mockery or 'tizzery' if you will.

I personally don't care myself but it would be refreshing if the 'artistic community' would stop patting themselves on the back for thier 'edginess' and 'provacative work' when it really is just boring.

Alex said...

Rockwell illustrated by specifications, size, colors, orientation, time of year and created within a commissioned work environment.

Horrible, just horrible. Never mind that Michaelangelo was a commissioned artist. $$$$$ is EVIL in art, except when Bono is a millionaire. Then it's ok, because he's for "saving the Earth".

Synova said...

"Some of use don't really get our minds going over a tiger on black velvet."

Really? That's you're equivalency here?

BTW, my mom is an accomplished artist and while most of the family portraits she has done are of interest only to the family, I have one that some stranger actually asked her if it was for sale because it has something more to it.

That's the difference, House. The difference is not portraiture or black velvet or else being transgressive because that counts as "art for art's sake". The Mona Lisa and any number of fabulous classic artworks are *portraits* of people that are interesting to non-family members.

One of the last shows I was at included an artist that was doing portraits nearly exclusively and they were absolutely "art for the sake of art".

A second artist at the same show tended toward the shocking, the melted faces and contorted bodies and I was less impressed because *that* to me, seemed easy. Paint something disturbing and it's like a cheap way to evoke emotion in the person viewing the art.

It takes less skill than doing so with a portrait or "illustration."

HDHouse said...

TMink said...
"We have no money for art."

Egad. The amount of forced public support for the new Yankee Stadium in NYC exceeds all the money spent by all governmental entities on art in the United States in a year. The city of Vienna spends more on the support of the arts than the US does.

The waste fraud and abuse in the Pentagon ..well you can fill in the rest.

I would opine that some folks have different priorities.

Alex said...

HDHouse - so because it's wrong to give money to stadii, we should fund transgressive art? Obviously you do not hold the "no funding" position.

garage mahal said...

The better question is why are tax dollars funding art at all?

No tax dollars funded the Ants on Jesus exhibition. The money was all from private sources.

HDHouse said...

@synova...please read all that was written for a change.

gads.

Synova said...

"Wondering how long it will take for that to sink in...."

That you've identified the proper way of thinking about "real" art and are staking out that territory? That doesn't take long to sink in at all.

How long will it take to sink in that doing something magnificent during the execution of something mundane and "to order" is far more impressive *art* and a far more impressive *artist* than the "pure" fellow who simply manages a cheap titillation with the lazy violation of social norms.

shoutingthomas said...

Let's be blunt about what this Glop Nuts hate:

MIddle class white Christians.

Any questions?

This overt bigotry is good, bearing the seal of approval by the left. It's really just a matter of taste, according to the left. Middle class white Christians are in bad taste.

You know, like Sarah Palin.

Bigotry the left doesn't approve of is punishable by... you name it.

Hating any other group is the most damnable sin a human can commit, according to the left.

Synova said...

Do me a favor House and just don't read my comments.

shoutingthomas said...

And, let's be even blunter.

Our artistic establishment pays for and endorses crap like this display at the Smithsonian.

This crap could never earn a penny from a commercial audience.

Let's name this crap for what it is: the American bureaucratic version of Soviet realism.

Transgressive, my ass. This shit is the propaganda of the ruling class.

Richard Dolan said...

"I remember when ..."

Yes, exactly right. it's an artifact of a bye-gone time.

The 'illustrator is not an artist' theme was quite common in the '60s and '70s. But folks like Gopnik who are dumping on Rockwell were at the forefront of a relentless attack on the concept of a 'canon' or of a heirarchy in matters of aesthetics. The results are all around us today, and feature prominently in any college catalog of courses. Having reduced it all to a matter of taste, there is no use pretending that issues like this can be resolved by a high art/low art distinction. Time for a fanfare for the common man, anyone?

The censorship claim is also a bit off the mark. Where a public institution is concerned, the issue is, ultimately, whose criteria of taste will govern what the museum displays. Usually, no one other than museum curators really cares. Until, of course, they do something like this, and then the curators are reminded, sometimes quite forcefully, that it is best not to annoy the folks who pay the bills. At a public institution, that's the taxpayers through their elected reps.

It's not censorship since no one forced the museum to take down the 'ant Jesus' thingy. That the curators concluded that it was in their best interest to do so is not the same thing.

AJ Lynch said...

Garage:
You can't have an art show in a venue supported by big bucks from tax dollars and claim no tax dollars went to the art show.

traditionalguy said...

JR565...Art will live by its own appeal or die by a lack of appeal. Mozart was once widely hated for making different art than people were used to hearing. Rush is creating a lynch mob mentality. He is too angry these days.Anger makes one use arguments like this one that we must exclude parodies of the Christ since Muslims are insane and get away with it. We can chose sanity. This art work is a weak tea compared to Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ film. The writer is attempting to argue that if we say we hate this crucifix art, then he can as easily say he hates the Saturday Evening Post's artist. That is clearly rhetoric only. This hatred for artists who see things differently from us is a snipe hunt, and Rush needs to find some better air time material than that. Maybe he can go after NPR instead.

shoutingthomas said...

Apparently, Norman Rockwell is more transgressive than these jackasses at the Smithsonian.

He was an illustrator who worked to sells things: his own illustrations and other people's products.

Our liberal masters don't much care for this expression of free market enterprise, do they?

They would rather we were forced to pay for what we don't want.

jayne_cobb said...

Regarding Kael:

-I live in a rather special world. I only know one person who voted for Nixon. Where they are I don't know. They're outside my ken. But sometimes when I'm in a theater I can feel them.

-Quoted by Israel Shenker, "Critics Here Focus on Films As Language Conference Opens," The New York Times (1972-12-28)

-Often quoted as "How could Nixon have won? Nobody I know voted for him"; referring to George McGovern's loss to Richard Nixon in in the 1972 presidential election


See she wasn't saying that she didn't know anyone who voted for Nixon she was saying that she knows one person in her "special world"

murgatroyd666 said...

Feh. Norman Rockwell isn't art.

This is art.

When can I expect to see a retrospective at the Smithsonian?

Hoosier Daddy said...

No tax dollars funded the Ants on Jesus exhibition. The money was all from private sources

My comment stands regardless. Tax money should not be uses to subsidize art.

shoutingthomas said...

No tax dollars funded the Ants on Jesus exhibition. The money was all from private sources.

The Smithsonian Museum is paid for with tax dollars.

Unless the Smithsonian is prepared to apply its "transgressions" equally to Islam, I suggest they fuck off.

jr565 said...

There's a school of art known as Rococo, which is poo poohed as ornate, and not real art. Or not significant art. Because it's playful, and depicts royal couples on swings as opposed to peasants in fields.
There is a lot of snobbery concerning Rococo artists, it's trivial, it's not important, the art doesn't speak to the common man's plight (as if that was the only perspective that would make art significant) like say Fragonard, yet if you look at the actual paintings, they are technically brilliant and artists like Fragonard are masters of their craft.
Norman Rockwell falls into that kind of snobbery. He's just not cool to like, He's cornball, his paintings aren't asaults on sacred cows or society gone wrong. It's just (extremely) well drawn art that celebrates rather than cuts down. As such, Mailer is guilty of depicting an offensive America, to critics who view America as offensive because his paintings don't make America the villain.

shoutingthomas said...

Really, how can the liberals on this board continue this sham?

Liberals have accorded Islam special status. They have literally agreed to tolerate blasphemy laws backed by the threat of murder.

So, really, doesn't this render this entire discussion a farce?

Huh?

Every time this capitulation to Islamic blasphemy laws is mentioned, the horse shit reply is: "Yeah, but not all Muslims are terrorists!"

HenHouse, answer the real question. Do you agree to play the dhimmi to Islamic blasphemy laws?

Quasimodo said...

I'm curous how he feels Rockwell's depiction of America 'insults' him. If you pride yourself as being in the 'non-mainstream' of society I find it difficult to understand how you get offended.

The man suffers from "reformers blindness." Many reformers look on a situation or time of history and see a problem (say, inequality or even slavery) and that issue blinds them to the possibility that there are many good things as well, things worth preserving, present. Unfortunately this disease also keeps them from seeing the right solution to the problems, too.

traditionalguy said...

JR 565...Let me add that as a traditionalist, I have always loved Norman Rockwell. In the 1980's we spent large prices to buy a collection of figurines made from Rockwell's famous paintings. I bet he could do a decent painting of Sarah Palin and her family out fishing for a large catch.

HDHouse said...

Synova said...
"... Paint pictures of dead, rotted, upper-class white people in a Native American sweat lodge while the "guru" is droning on over their dead bodies...."

as opposed to a pure white family ready to carve up some poor animal while scrunched around a table, fat oozing from their bodies, green bean and mushrooms...

perhaps you can remind me of the non-white subjects in Rockwell's perfect capture of American life...I'm sure there are some but I can't point to them off hand...

MadisonMan said...

that's right, the only acceptable content of "folk" representational art is bleak, nihilistic, and anti-affirmational.

This is my favorite painting.

I'm not sure what is bleak and nihilistic about it, however.

franglo said...

You all are behind the times. Norman Rockwell has an exhibition up at the uber-prgressive Brooklyn Museum, right next to the radical feminist art. He is accepted by the contemporary art world as slyly subversive. See "the Problem we all live with" or his portrait of the tatooed sailor. I realize this blog wouldn't have any material if it didn't constantly resort to "some guy said something... so all "liberals" believe it. Discuss" but it's pretty moronic.

Censorship of art is a purely family-values republican sham to drum up outrage and support. From morons.

ricpic said...

Just as the artists who Gopnick promotes have made the decision to epater le bourgeoisie and think of themselves as daring for doing so, no matter how old hat that "avant garde" gesture has become, so Rockwell made the conscious decision to celebrate le bourgeoisie, which of course is his apostasy and for which there can be no forgiveness. But really, Rockwell's art, in its refusal of any dark tones, is as limited and finally false as the unremittingly dark view of the withit moderns.

his-regard said...

Rush missed a golden opportunity. "I can't stand the view of America that he [Rockwell] presents"? If I understand that correctly, Gopnik just came down foursquare against: the government protecting the rights of black children to have equal access to education ("Problems We All Live With"), the common man having just as worthy a voice as the rich ("Freedom of Speech"), self-defense for women ("The Winner (Shiner)"), children's healthcare ("Before the Shot"), neighborhood diversity ("New Kids in the Neighborhood ( Moving Day"), education in geneal ("Teacher's Birthday"), and tolerance ("The Golden Rule").

Take away all that, and one has to wonder, what's left that is Gopnik for?

LordSomber said...

It's 2010. Teasing the bourgeoisie is bourgeois.

See: BoBos

Delayna said...

Rockwell is hated by all the "right" people because he is popular. His art depicts familiar everyday things, a little idealized but not unbelievably so.

A modern-day artist knows that his mission is to shock people. It has nothing to do with finding something beautiful and showing it to the world, or seeing below the surface and bringing it out into the light. Gosh, that would be corny.

Sorry, no. Real artists get paid for their work by people who can choose not to pay. Unlike this twerp.

Delayna said...

...and Lord Somber said it better than me, and with fewer words.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

HDHouse said...

perhaps you can remind me of the non-white subjects in Rockwell's perfect capture of American life...I'm sure there are some but I can't point to them off hand...

Perhaps you could try a simple Bing image search for Norman Rockwell.

This page was third in the list.

This page was third. It links to this page.

This page was seventh.

It's just possible that the reason you don't see things sometimes is because you don't look for them.

ricpic said...

I have no problem with MM's admiration for Wyeth, but couldn't AW have put just a little bit of color into his paintings? Even a grey day isn't as utterly leached of color as Wyeth paints it.

P.S. His dad had a good color sense and so does his son. So it's not a family curse.

Delayna said...

um, Franglo? If "censorship" means not making taxpayers buy artwork they wouldn't piss on if it was on fire, then count me as in favor of "censorship".

Wake me when someone actually recommends, you know, forbidding someone to produce or publish things on their own dime.

jr565 said...

HdHouse wrote:

perhaps you can remind me of the non-white subjects in Rockwell's perfect capture of American life...I'm sure there are some but I can't point to them off hand...




Here ya go:
http://dcartnews.blogspot.com/2010/07/so-predictable-so-predictable.html

Quasimodo said...

It was Rockwell's wife that encouraged him toward more socially aware works

David S. Lott said...

Find something in Rockwell's work that reflects hate of large (or small) groups of Americans. You can't. Rockwell was about emphasizing the good. Sure, some of it was mythic, and he emphasized certain groups and themes over others. But so what? Mapplethorp liked gays. Did he hate straights? Rubens painted women. Did he hate men? Monet = haystacks. Did he hate rice and people from the Far East?

Furthermore, there is a mainsteam. We mainstreamers may be dull, lifeless, unimaginative drones, but we pay a shitload of taxes in the aggregate. This gives us a certain influence, in the aggregate. Deal with it, sucker.

traditionalguy said...

Normen Rockwell's painting celebrate normal 1950s life. That was before the drug use plague altered minds until hardly anyone wanted a safe and sane life in a loving family anymore. BUT, we are back to the future in the 1950's again economically...and don't the materialists say that will control our culture?

stevenehrbar said...

Épater le bourgeois in your own museum, not one funded by taxes on le bourgeois.

Or, as far as the "right" of curators to do anything: Take the king's shilling, you're the king's man.

former law student said...

In terms of accurate depiction, Norman Rockwell was merely the forerunner of the Photorealists.

I see others have led hdhouse to The Problem We All Live With.

One thing I miss from the newspapers these days (along with paper) is the rich pen and ink illustration that department store ads used to consist of. What are illustrators doing these days?

HDHouse said...

@shouting thomas...you eyes are so brown you must be full of it right up to them.

.....Is this Oklahoma?.......

Bob_R said...

When a private individual chooses one work of are over another it is an act of discretion, taste, discrimination. The same choice made by a government official is ALWAYS an act of censorship. Get the government out of the art biz. There are lots of private galleries in DC and Gopnik and his buddies can have their little circle jerks around videos of ant covered crucifixes any day of the week.

HDHouse said...

Synova said...
Do me a favor House and just don't read my comments."

soooo easy to overlook them....

Michael said...

HD House: Could you possibly spare us the lectures on diversity? It appears to me that you live on the east end of Long Island, one of the most white and rich places in America. No one is going to invite you to a party based on your tired and stupid observations on Morman Rockwell that are held by every single solitary person living within twenty miles of you. How less edgy can you get? How unhip are you?

shoutingthomas said...

HenHouse:

@shouting thomas...you eyes are so brown you must be full of it right up to them.

What a crock!

You've directed me to your own post about the perils of censorship at the hands of Christians.

Christians are killing blasphemers. Muslims are.

You enjoy your wry humor at the cost of Christians because Christians aren't threatening to kill you.

You're a coward HenHouse.

Let's see you apply that fabulous wry sense of humor by mocking the Islamic blasphemy law that is now de factor law in the West.

You won't because you're a coward.

former law student said...

Get the government out of the art biz. There are lots of private galleries in DC and Gopnik and his buddies can have their little circle jerks around videos of ant covered crucifixes any day of the week.

Where are the free speech fans now? It's not all about letting shadowy groups spend millions running ads attacking Democrats. Government cannot practice viewpoint discrimination in a forum it designates for public speech. Closing a museum intended to capture the faces of Americans, that has been open since 1968, because of the "background" of one "portrait," would be a blatant act of censorship.

shoutingthomas said...

That should read:

Christians aren't killing blasphemers. Muslims are.

You know this, HenHouse.

That's why you've chosen the safe target, coward.

You're a smirking, self-satisfied coward, too.

shoutingthomas said...

Where are the free speech fans now? It's not all about letting shadowy groups spend millions running ads attacking Democrats. Government cannot practice viewpoint discrimination in a forum it designates for public speech. Closing a museum intended to capture the faces of Americans, that has been open since 1968, because of the "background" of one "portrait," would be a blatant act of censorship.

OK, asshole, stand up to the Islamic blasphemy laws.

Another fucking asshole pretending to course, when he's really kissing the Jihadis' asses.

Who do you think you're kidding?

TMink said...

HDH wrote: "The amount of forced public support for the new Yankee Stadium in NYC exceeds all the money spent by all governmental entities on art in the United States in a year."

You will be happy to know I am agin that as well. 8)

Think of all the art you will buy yourself (strictly to your taste) once we trim 1/3 of the fed spending and taxes.

Trey

shoutingthomas said...

C'mon Henhouse. I'm waiting for your defiance in the face of de facto Islamic blasphemy laws.

Quit playing the suave cosmopolitan standing up to the Christians. That's cheap grandstanding. The Christians won't kill you for blasphemy.

But, you're the moron who wrote: "Muslims are the new Jews."

You're really completely terrified by the de facto Islamic blasphemy laws. They've got you scared shitless.

So much so that you're carrying the Jihadis' water in the hope that you will go unnoticed.

You're such a tough guy, HenHouse. So courageous. Standing up to the horrible Christians! I'm in awe!

Marshal said...

" former law student said...
Get the government out of the art biz. There are lots of private galleries in DC and Gopnik and his buddies can have their little circle jerks around videos of ant covered crucifixes any day of the week.

Where are the free speech fans now?"

Getting the government out of the art business is clearly a viewpoint neutral stance within the legal framework. It's hard to believe anyone writing this could even be a former law student.

Must have dropped out after orientation.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@HD House

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruby_Bridges

Regarding art. Beauty or art is in the eye of the beholder.

Personally, there are many things I don't consider art. Performance art is one of them. Ants on Jesus, crumpled up pieces of paper, garbage shellacked (sp?) and arranged is not to my mind's eye art.

As such I don't want to be forced through taxes to subsidize what I think of as ugly, tasteless, talentless garbage.

If you or some others, on the other hand, appreciate that type of 'art' then you should be perfectly free to fund it yourself and not force others to pay.

This is also my position on NPR and Public Television that is government/taxpayer subsidized. With the exception of a few programs, (Nova, Antiques Road Show and a couple of locally produced historical shows) I don't want to pay for or subsidize NPR or Public Television because it has an agenda that INSULTS me.

HDHouse said...

shoutingthomas said...
"That's why you've chosen the safe target, coward."

I admit you are a target and very very safe.

"You're a smirking, self-satisfied coward, too.'

I'm rolling my eyes and smirking in my self satisfaction.

you seem all worked up.

stevenehrbar said...

Government cannot practice viewpoint discrimination in a forum it designates for public speech.

And the government should own no fora so designated. Displays in the National Portrait Gallery should be government speech, not public speech.

HDHouse said...

Dust Bunny Queen said...
" I don't want to pay for or subsidize NPR or Public Television because it has an agenda that INSULTS me."

next time Car Talk comes on the air I promise to switch it off in supportive protest of your right to what? a closed mind?

I guess you weren't in class the day your art teacher said that it was all fine and dandy to paint pretty pictures but art is here to inspire and provoke, to imagine to and escape to or from...

some people choose to imagine while others don't. why do you want to penalize those who take a different path.

Synova said...

Failure to subsidize != penalize.

But everyone who is going to read this, already knew that.

shoutingthomas said...

OK, HenHouse, I've got it.

You bow before the de facto blasphemy laws imposed by the Jihadis.

You're an incredibly witty, courageous fellow who mocks Christians at will. There is, of course, no penalty for this.

And you'll even kiss the Jihadis' asses. Just to make sure.

What more do you need to say?

I'm not worked up. I'm just assessing the reality behind your "sophistication."

You're a cheesy coward. You admit it.

shoutingthomas said...

And, HenHouse.

The rhetorical tactic you use, which is feigned indifference to everything, is not proof of anything.

Well, except that you're an asshole.

The cocktail party attitude is BS, HenHouse. It's not an argument.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

HDHouse said...

you seem all worked up.

His handle is "shoutingthomas". What about this surprises you?

Saint Croix said...

What a moronic complaint. All kinds of "art" is "censored," if by censored we mean that the people paying for it don't want to pay for this shit. The Smithsonian turns down "art" every day.

Norman Rockwell made his living in the free market. These "artists" know how to fill out a grant application, and how to suck up to elitist opinion. It's not so much piss on Christ as piss on middle America.

HDHouse said...

@Martin L.

Yes. You are right. Pour me one please, Bombay Saphire, straight up and dirty, ooops pretend we are talking...here he comes again..

Why ShoutingThomas...splendid you could make our gathering...did you taste the brie?

Jay said...

next time Car Talk comes on the air I promise to switch it off in supportive protest of your right to what? a closed mind?


The idea that "Car Talk" leads to an "open mind" tells us all we need to know about you.

Jay said...

Closing a museum intended to capture the faces of Americans, that has been open since 1968, because of the "background" of one "portrait," would be a blatant act of censorship.


Your definition of "censorship" is imbecilic.

The museum is publicly funded.

You can't grasp such a basic point.

Fr Martin Fox said...

This shows the bankruptcy of relativism and the idea that a society and culture can thrive without a core of values that are more than happy thoughts.

We see the bankruptcy of the "art is whatever you say it is" school of thought.

What is art? Great question; but it's not just any ole thing. It isn't necessarily just what someone will pay for (Precious Moments? Thomas Kincade? Chia Pets?)

I'll suggest two things art is.

Art ennobles, not just the viewer but all involved. Society cultivates art because it needs beauty and truth and goodness; it needs to be lifted up.

Art stands the test of time.

I don't know if Norman Rockwell will stand the test of time, but we all know art that has; we can make a list of art that represents a patrimony for us all.

Will "Ants on Jesus" make it? No one knows. But all the stuff that gets trotted out--so predictably--like this, sure isn't going to make it.

Maybe the "Ants on Jesus" creator is a sincere person. But really, anyone with a modicum of common sense can see the tiresomeness of the umpti-umpth "edgy" "groundbreaking" "work of art" that always manages to be edgy in such predictable ways.

When NBC comes out with "Law and Order: Traffic Control" who calls this edgy? It's milking a franchise to death. Same here.

Question: for those who want to defend this as truly "edgy art" (rather than deserving of mockery), when will you say this stuff has jumped the shark? I contend that it can't--there is no "jumping the shark" with this whole thing. That's the joke.

How about we get back to having real art? Real beauty? That requires having a real culture; and that requires having positive values in common--things we believe in--rather than merely negative values: we believe in believing in things, and leave me alone.

Maguro said...

Stop the presses, an avant-garde artist is being oppressed by not getting to feed at the public trough. This sob story's more derivative and cliched than a Thomas Kinkade painting. Yawn.

Mitch H. said...

This is my favorite painting.

I'm not sure what is bleak and nihilistic about it, however.


Is that supposed to be irony? It's a grey-brown painting of a field full of dead grass through a grey and battered windowsill, with not a single human figure in the composition. It *screams* "late November seasonal affective disorder depression". It could be a still from the deadly film-within-a-film of the Ring.

Michael said...

HD House: I would like to raise the capital for a 24/7 classical music station in my market. I can't, because the local NPR station plays classical for about 4 hours a day and my investors are not interested in competing with the government.

So. 24 hours versus 4 hours with 20 hours of bullshit tossed in for free.

Synova said...

Being edgy and provocative is Lady Gaga in a meat suit.

We don't call that "fine art" as music goes.

Why does the visual art version get called "art for art's sake."

traditionalguy said...

Fr Fox...You put your finger on it...artists today are usually creating displays that nothing is worth believing in anymore. yet the blessed folks have discovered that life is only worth living because God is around us and is willing to live in peace with us because of the Crucifiction Sacrifice by Jesus. So edgy here is definitely in the mind of the beholder.

Quaestor said...

"A great museum is a laboratory where ideas get tested, not a mausoleum full of dead thoughts and bromides."

I wonder if Blake Gopnik is aware of the bromide-like character of his own pontifications?

Ideas tested in a museum? Who does the testing? Does Gopnik get to pick the judges? If a museum is a place of idea testing, maybe "A Fire in My Belly" just failed the test?

"Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) has said that taxpayer-funded museums should uphold "common standards of decency." But such "standards" don't exist, and shouldn't, in a pluralist society. My decency is your disgust, and one point of museums, and of contemporary art in general, is to test where lines get drawn and how we might want to rethink them... In America no one group - and certainly no single religion - gets to declare what the rest of us should see and hear and think about. Aren't those kinds of declarations just what extremist imams get up to, in countries with less freedom?"

Sounds like an good argument against the proposition that the government should be in the museum business.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

next time Car Talk comes on the air I promise to switch it off in supportive protest of your right to what? a closed mind?


If you want to support and pay for Car Talk (which I also enjoy) then that is your choice. Why should other people be forced to PAY for a discretionary entertainment that you and I enjoy, when they may not want to support it at all or may even object to polluting cars that are killing the planet (snark).

I guess you weren't in class the day your art teacher said that it was all fine and dandy to paint pretty pictures but art is here to inspire and provoke, to imagine to and escape to or from...

I guess you skipped economics 101 the day they explained that in a free market place people are free to buy/purchase/support the products of their choice.

Whether you find a certain piece of art...artistic, provocative, or whether I find the same piece of 'art' a steaming pile of crap is immaterial.

The point is why should I be forced to subisdize/pay for art that I find objectionable. Why should you either.

Art should stand on its own merits in the public marketplace OR be funded by private foundations/charity or patrons as has been done for thousands of years.

Artists should be free to create what ever elements of art that they want.

I should be free to decide if I want to subisdize or not subsidize such art.

This is the BIG problem with liberals. They want to chose FOR us.

former law student said...

Getting the government out of the art business is clearly a viewpoint neutral stance within the legal framework. It's hard to believe anyone writing this could even be a former law student.

The museum has existed without controversy for over four decades -- it's only when materials considered offensive are exhibited there that there is an outcry to close it down. Eliminating a public forum for the purpose of suppressing unwelcome speech is censorship even if tolerated speech is suppressed as well -- throwing the baby out with the bathwater does not make it constitutional.

Now if there were another reason for shutting the Portrait Gallery down -- say it was to become the National Slavery Remembrance Museum, or a gift shop -- then closing it would not be an act of censorship.

former law student said...

I should be free to decide if I want to subisdize or not subsidize such art.

dbq, as far as I have been able to find out, no tax money was used to produce the late David Wojnarowicz's A Fire in My Belly. The original film is owned by New York University.

AJ Lynch said...

There is absolutely nothing special about what NPR offers. I have been listening to it for the last three hours and it's nothing but liberals stroking fellow liberals and spouting the liberal dogma.

NPR, for the most part, blows.

former law student said...

Your definition of "censorship" is imbecilic.

The museum is publicly funded.


Dude, the First Amendment allows me to stand on a milk crate in a public park and expound my views. The city cannot shut the park down to prevent my speaking there.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Now if there were another reason for shutting the Portrait Gallery down -- say it was to become the National Slavery Remembrance Museum, or a gift shop -- then closing it would not be an act of censorship.

If it were a private museum then I would say that they should be allowed to showcase whatever they want, however distasteful it is to others. Even a Slavery Remeberance Museum. The goverment shutting this down would be censorship of private speech.

The government should have no position on the contents of the museum and objections to it could/should be addressed in the private arena through lawsuits or other legal action.

However, when you are using MY money and the money of other taxpayers that has been involuntarily taken from me to fund a Slavery Museum or to highlight a Cow Shit Mary or Christ covered in ants....then you can be assured that the public HAS a right to object to the contents of the museuym.

Whether YOU like it or not....this is the result of using public money.

Take the public funding out of the art business....problem solved.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Dude, the First Amendment allows me to stand on a milk crate in a public park and expound my views. The city cannot shut the park down to prevent my speaking there.

True, but don't expect that the city should build and maintain a special park for YOU, so you can spout off at the expense of tax payers.

The city cannot prevent me from standing next to you in the park and shouting even louder.

The Museums and Art Galleries DO exclude, pick and chose who gets to be in the show.....at public expense.

If the Gallery would allow any and ALL art representations, even paintings of Mohamed or other objectionable art, it would be a different story.

They don't.

LordSomber said...

Johnny Gutts, on Bad Art:

The Triumph of Gesture over actual meaning...reduces the spectacle to two dimensions [the ontic end-all Self, and the content-less dada Act].

The Heroics of Self are fêted as mere obnoxiousness is touted as a Courageous Act.

Maguro said...

Dude, the First Amendment allows me to stand on a milk crate in a public park and expound my views. The city cannot shut the park down to prevent my speaking there.

Please, your comparison is laughable. Are you saying that anyone can walk up to the Smithsonian and have his art displayed there? The museum already "censors" art its curators don't like. Now it censors art that the public doesn't like as well. I can't see anything wrong with that, considering that the public pays the bills.

former law student said...

Are you saying that anyone can walk up to the Smithsonian and have his art displayed there?

You'd have to be an artist.

Maguro said...

Any artist?

Maguro said...

So if I ask the Smithsonian to display my painting of dogs playing poker and they refuse, it's censorship?

Kirk Parker said...

"Take away all that, and one has to wonder, what's left that is Gopnik for?"

Being transgressive for it's own sake. Can there be any higher calling in life than this?

"It's just possible that the reason you don't see things sometimes is because you don't look for them."

An even greater possibility is that HD doesn't want to look for them.

dick said...

HDHOUSE,

rockwell might have painted to contract but then so did Michaelangelo. Why do you think he got the contracts for his ceilings?

Are you going to complain about Michaelangelo's art?

AJ Lynch said...

What's that old saying about having two options?

..Keep your mouth shut or open it and eliminate all doubt that you are stoopid. Around here, the liberals choose option #2 everyday.

Synova said...

"I'm for real expression that's not paid for. This guy is paid for,...

Priceless, too, is the complaint that the artist didn't come to the exhibit wearing the correct clothes... And the demand that the day-to-day reality of war be presented, but that someone who actually experienced that reality was automatically disqualified from letting us know what it is. Just precious.

The substance of the protest, however, was pretty obviously upset at having what was considered a "safe" space invaded by ideas that made people uncomfortable.

Various sorts of marketing research have shown that people start with self-image and then allow that to actually dictate their preferences... rather than the other way around. And "self-image" for the "cultured" set is just that. Recall someone scolding Meade for having the gall to enjoy scenic nature trails around Madison. Think of all of the iterations of "liberals are smarter than conservatives" that we see or all of the times that HDHouse pulls out the old saw and accuses people of "not reading."

Libraries, NPR, museums, the theater... those things are signifiers that people seem to think belong to them on account of their self-image and political orientation. It's garbage, because conservatives love art and music and nature and go to the museum and theater... though if they do it's probably not to make an impression, because I think I do agree that those places are not *their* space.

Which is yet another reason why it's obscene to use public money for it, for any of it.

If a museum is a "safe" place for people with a particular outlook it's sincerely wrong to coerce anyone else into paying for it.

anon2 said...

Former Law Student,
If I wanted to put up a granite monument paying homage to the ten commandments on public property (say a park or in front of a court house), would that be permissible? What if a I commissioned a famous artist to carve the monument?

I've never understood the distinction between constitutionality of publicly funded (displayed) religious statements in art museums and court houses (for example). Wasn't there a recent issue about a cross in a national park. Were the people upset about this "establishment of religion" also upset about religious art in galleries?

I'm not a lawyer (much less an expert on the first amendment), so I would be really interested in hearing what the legal distinction is.

Synova said...

It's only censorship when someone who has no official capacity tries to make choices about what is shown in a museum or shelved in a library.

In other words, said the librarian, it's only censorship when someone else does it.

Kirk Parker said...

DBQ,

"With the exception of a few programs... I don't want to pay for or subsidize NPR or Public Television because it has an agenda that INSULTS me."

Oh no, don't go there. As soon as you have exceptions to government financing of the arts and media, you're no longer arguing any higher principle than "Y'all pay for the stuff I like."

Dust Bunny Queen said...

DBQ "With the exception of a few programs... I don't want to pay for or subsidize NPR or Public Television because it has an agenda that INSULTS me."

Kurt Oh no, don't go there. As soon as you have exceptions to government financing of the arts and media, you're no longer arguing any higher principle than "Y'all pay for the stuff I like."


Actually, what I was getting at is that I WOULD donate, subisdize, pay a premium directly to those shows that I want to watch. Kind of like I do now with my Dish Satellite system. Or like we all do when we watch a show that is paid for by commercial advertising.

What I don't want to do is have my tax dollars go to NPR or Public Television to promote ideas and political agendas that I disagree with. ( I know. Don't end a sentence with a preposition)

This is what is happening now. Government money, which is really OUR money is being used to support ideas that I do NOT support.

This isn't the government's place: to be a propaganda arm of the leftists political agenda, using tax dollars from the public, be it in public broadcasting or government subisdized museums.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

Kirk Parker said...

Oh no, don't go there. As soon as you have exceptions to government financing of the arts and media, you're no longer arguing any higher principle than "Y'all pay for the stuff I like."

If you read more carefully, she's saying, "Y'all stop paying for anything. Let us keep our own money and decide for ourselves."

Marshal said...

FLS says "The museum has existed without controversy for over four decades -- it's only when materials considered offensive are exhibited there that there is an outcry to close it down. "


Go back and re-read what you quoted. The statement wasn't to close the Smithsonian. It was to end government funding of the arts. Unless you're brain dead (which means I'm not really writing for you) you know that this preference has existed in conservative and libertarian policy for decades. So your silly strawman that all this is because of a video just shows how unserious you are.

Supporting your positions is easier when you review the evidence, THEN form your conclusion. You get lost too easy when you reverse the order. You should try it.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Kind of like I do now with my Dish Satellite system

I take it back. I was wrong. The Dish Satellite system IS just like the Government.

I have to pay a flat fee for a whole bunch of channels that I never ever watch in order to get the ones that I do watch. So that I AM subsidizing crap that I don't want or don't need. Just like the government system.

A fairer system would be to allow each of us a cafeteria type of system so I can pick and choose the channels I want and eliminate those that I don't want.

The free market system would then dictate that each channel compete for the viewer's attention and viewing time by putting on better programing. Those that are unable to compete....go off the air. Probably many of the programs that I like would be axed, but that would be the fair market system working properly.

garage mahal said...

This is what is happening now. Government money, which is really OUR money is being used to support ideas that I do NOT support.

I don't support paying for Rush Limbaugh's Viagra. You can say "well garage I think he can easily pay for his own Viagra". Great, then we need to borrow 700 billion for tax cuts for people him then. And you could say " well garage I think he can still afford his Viagra even if taxes did go up". And I say, great again!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I don't support paying for Rush Limbaugh's Viagra.

Stupid analogy. Rush Limbagh is not supported by tax payer money.

In our marketplace of talk show radio, Rush is supported by the John Deere dealership, the State Farm Insurance Agent, a popular Sporting Goods store, local Feed Store, a few restaurants and of course Carbonite and Sleep Number Matresses.

All who are advertisers that pay the radio station to support the show.

Great, then we need to borrow 700 billion for tax cuts for people

They don't HAVE to borrow for tax cuts. Just quit fucking spending so much money.

garage mahal said...


They don't HAVE to borrow for tax cuts. Just quit fucking spending so much money.


You can say we "shouldn't have to", but it's with 100% certainty that we will have to borrow it. Republicans can't show it's paid for.

AJ Lynch said...

The total ten year cost of keeping the Bush tax cuts is $4.2 Trillion and $3.5 Trillion of that goes to people who make less than $250K.

Are you worried about us borrowing the $3.5 Trillion Garage?

Henry said...

I once went to a lecture by the New Yorker's great art critic Peter Schjeldahl. In the Q&A I asked him why so many art critics only write positive reviews. Why don't they take on the crap and label it for what it is. Schjeldahl responded with two points. First, he likes art. He really isn't interested in looking at bad art just to write a scathing review. Second, any publicity is good publicity.

Schjeldahl had once written of a particular artist: "he gives bad art a bad name." Some months or years later he bumped into the fellow who thanked him for the review. It totally made the jamoke's reputation in Europe.

You could say of Rockwell that he makes the trite trivial. He turns cliches into cliches. The Norman Rockwell museum in Stockbridge, MA, is perhaps the dreariest and most uninspiring museums I've ever visited. Only the secondary show of his contemporary illustrators salvaged the experience.

Jay said...

Dude, the First Amendment allows me to stand on a milk crate in a public park and expound my views. The city cannot shut the park down to prevent my speaking there.

You're an idiot.

The city doesn't have to fund a park.

What if the city you lived in didn't have any parks?

Again, you're an idiot.

Jay said...

the First Amendment allows me to stand on a milk crate in a public park and expound my views. The city cannot shut the park down to prevent my speaking there.

Note that you think "free speech" means that the government must subsidize a forum for your views.

Again, you're an idiot.

former law student said...

The city doesn't have to fund a park.

What if the city you lived in didn't have any parks?


Too late. The park is there.

former law student said...

A fairer system would be to allow each of us a cafeteria type of system so I can pick and choose the channels I want and eliminate those that I don't want.

Charlie Ergun doesn't want you to be able to do that. That was possible with the big dish -- you could subscribe to a single channel if you liked, or just HBO. But Charlie runs Dish Network to suit himself.

former law student said...

It was to end government funding of the arts.

The government didn't fund the Wojnarowicz movie. The government doesn't own the Wojnarowicz movie. The government is (was) merely putting (part of) the Wojnarowicz movie on display for a few months. So the relevant discussion is on the government's providing space to display existing art owned by third parties.

William said...

The critics can say that Rockwell presents a nostalgia for an America that never really existed, but I think Rockwell presents a nostalgia for an America that we all wish to exist. In a sense it is pro-American propaganda, but its American qualities celebrate kindness, good nature, and humor. OK, it's sentimental and patriotic, but it's the right kind of sentiment and patriotism....Compare Rockwell with George Grosz. Grosz drew some very ugly caricatures of the Weimar bourgeoise. His pictures are appreciated by those who despise Rockwell. The disgust of Grosz for the society in which he lived may have been merited, but so is Rockwell's patriotism.....Thanks to artists like Grosz, no one in the Weimar Republic thought that bourgeoise democracy was worth preserving. Thanks to illustrators like Rockwell several generations of Americans tried to live up to the ideals of America, and many went to foreign lands to die for the preservation of those ideals.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Republicans can't show it's paid for.

What part of stop the fucking spending is it that you don't get?

We don't have to show it is paid for. We have to stop hemoraging money.

If your income drops or if your expenses start out pacing your income, do you just contine spending and even increase your spending. Do you continue to eat steak or do you eat hamburger.

It seems that you would rather keep eating steak, keep spending and force all of your kids and grandkids into sweat shop labor jobs for the rest of their lives, just so YOU don't have to pare back.

Nice.

garage mahal said...

What part of stop the fucking spending is it that you don't get?

You're asking the wrong guy! Ask Republicans that.

No spending cuts = borrowing.

Are you worried about us borrowing the $3.5 Trillion Garage?

Yes. I say let all the tax cuts expire.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

So the relevant discussion is on the government's providing space to display existing art owned by third parties

Yes. That IS the relevant discussion.

We say NO.

The government shouldn't be financing, subisdising, paying for, choosing the art, discriminating in favor of or against certain artist or genres...... or in any other way be involved in what should be a privately funded enterprise.

How many ways do we have to say it?

No no no no no.

Foundations, charities, private funding, fund raising by the organization, all acceptable means of getting into the arts. Ways that have done for thousands of years. Thousands.

Just keep the tax payer's dollars out of it.

NO!!!!!

Clear?

Jay said...

Yes. I say let all the tax cuts expire.


You won't see any additional revenue.

And then what?

Jay said...

Too late. The park is there.

And?

If the city decided not to fund the park and the park closed, that is not censorship.

You have no point.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

No spending cuts = borrowing.

Gah!!

It is like trying to reason with a two year old who just wants to have his cookie and can't see anything else.

No spending cuts = bankrupt country and crashing the economy into a deep depression.

FIRST....cut spending.

Jay said...

The city cannot shut the park down to prevent my speaking there.

Actually, it can.

The city can defund and close the park.

The fact you can't grasp this is quite shocking.

Jay said...

Great, then we need to borrow 700 billion for tax cuts for people

You can't provide a singular example of the CBO projections (or liberal assertions) being correct when I comes to tax policy.

Not one.

Your "700 billion" hysteria is absurd.

anon2 said...

So the relevant discussion is on the government's providing space to display existing art owned by third parties.

A private organization paid to erect a cross in a national park to memorialize soldiers in WWI. Four Supreme Court justices said this was an illegal endorsement of religion. Why is this religious speech problematic, but artistic religious speech in a museum is not? It seems like pretty obvious grounds for conservatives to attack such speech (such as "Piss Christ"). From what I understand, this hasn't been the case. What's the difference? Are civil liberty organizations generally opposed to publicly displayed art with a religious message? What about art funded in part by the NEA that has a religious message?

Ralph L said...

Only homogenized milk is pure white. Homogenized society isn't
I'm thinking red would predominate.

MadisonMan said...

Mitch, I said Bleak AND nihilistic. How does that painting show that human existence has no meaning?

I see that picture and imagine staying at a grandparent's beach cottage during a scorching summer day after weeks of drought. The cicadas are whirring in the background, and you are sweltering in the room. Suddenly, the wind rushes in from the ocean. Aaahhhhh.

My Mom really likes Christina's World. I look at that painting and just wonder: How did she get in the middle of the field?

somefeller said...

Norman Rockwell was a New Dealer and his "The Problem We All Live With" piece has been mentioned above. Gopnik doesn't have a clue here, but neither does Limbaugh.

former law student said...

Why is this religious speech problematic, but artistic religious speech in a museum is not?

Context.

The cross on the mountaintop (which I support btw) is the only visible structure of any type for miles. Imagine a 20 foot crucifix on top of the Washington Monument for a comparable impact.

Compare that to just one of thousands of pieces of artworks in a museum, only one out of a dozen or twenty or so in a typical exhibition hall. You look at the art, you squint at the info card, you may read the story -- the impact of the art fades into the background before you hit the next room.

Roux said...

Why must they continue to try and offend Christians? Is it an attempt to see if we will rise up and cut their heads off?

FWIW It won't work. You cannot shake our faith no matter how ugly you get. We will probably just shrug our shoulders and maybe even pray for you.

reader_iam said...

I'm failing to see the necessity, much less an imperative, here for making a one-or-the-other choice.

wv: fledg

Add an -ing and you might find a new approach in there, somewhere.

reader_iam said...

-ling, that is.

reader_iam said...

Since when is conservatism, even libertarianism, against local parks [in the sense of as a totem of small government]?

I think people get carried away sometimes--or, at least, that's the best face I can put upon certain confusions and the mixing of apples and oranges.

reader_iam said...

I look at that painting and just wonder: How did she get in the middle of the field?

MM: The story is that Wyeth, gazing through a window, saw Christina (who had at an earlier time contracted polio and thus was living with the consequences) crawl through the field and that this experience was the inspiration for the painting.

reader_iam said...

Somefeller: Yes, there's a whole lot of jumping to conclusions w/r/t Rockwell and not a whole lot else.

former law student said...

Why must they continue to try and offend Christians?

Today I got to read the bio of the artist, David Wojnarowicz. Reading about his childhood shakes one's belief in an all-loving God.

reader_iam said...

Big fan, here, of illustrators, among other things. Viva!

Marshal said...

"Blogger former law student said...

It was to end government funding of the arts.

The government didn't fund the Wojnarowicz movie."

Correct, the government didn't fund the movie. Of course this is irrelevant to the quote you referenced. The person you quoted was making a different point larger than this particular controversy.

Apparently your irrational need to attack everything anyone says has blinded you to this simple fact. You are free to have your own discussions about what you feel relevant. When you pretend others must discuss exactly what best fits your moral preening we'll just recognize you for the jackass you are.

Fred4Pres said...

Rockwell will be considered a master many years from now.

jr565 said...

Lets be honest. As an illustrator Rockwell is a fine artist. I'm not sure if I like Americana as art. But he knows how to paint realistically.
When you see what passes for art these days, you appreciate someone who is so fine a craftsman

jr565 said...

garage mahal wrote:
No spending cuts = borrowing.

Yes, so the point about the spending too much stands.