Thursday, March 02, 2006

War, Art, Possibility and Subconscious Expressions

It’s not a good sign when George Will, the conservative’s conservative, is pissed and wary about the president and the war. I happen to love George Will—hear me out—because he is so fucking smart. I think he’s a pompous ass and I don’t agree with most of his politics, but I will take my hat off every single time for someone who can think and express himself as lucidly as he can. I have had this conflicted contradictory thing for George Will since high school. I feel like I am outing myself. This article is a prime example of how he sets his opinions in brilliant historical context and pulls no punches. He writes, “…the distinction drawn by the U.S. official in Iraq who, evidently looking on what he considers the bright side, told Eliot Cohen of Johns Hopkins, ‘This isn't a war. It's violent nation-building.’” Then he writes about the catch-22 of our soldiers who are “…blamed by an Iraqi population that is being infantilized by displacing all responsibilities onto the American occupation.”

George Will, Rhetoric of Unreality

Which leads me to art. I loved this piece because it shows what the seeds of all these “overprogrammed kids” might be sowing. Hmm, kids who are breaking right out of the gate into areas they want to work in! They asked one of the artists if she was concerned about having success this early in her career and she said she’s been taking art classes since she was 10. For olde Clydesdales like me, who are still struggling with the muse and trying to find a true place in life amid the unrelenting conflicts and demands on time and the tyranny of trying to manage the capitalist scheme, all the while staying true to some kind of artistic spirituality, this made me happy for the future generations. That maybe by being true to their talents and desires they won’t be caught in this never-ending vortex of partial dissatisfaction and unease known as this compromised adulthood.

Talk of the Town, The New Yorker

Then this made me sad. Sad to the core of my being because, I have often thought the scars of what has happened to us under this presidency will only come to us in art and in historical context. Because we are in the process of going through trauma and we don’t even realize it. Our whole nation is like a dreamer trying to scream in the night—mute, frustrated, unheard and not sure if we will ever be able to break through the illusion back into a world where things move when we touch them. This article is about how our collective subconscious is responding to the atrocities we are actively perpetrating overseas and about the daily internal strife we feel at this man who is leading our country into certain disaster while we all stand by, like the radiated victims of Hiroshima, unable to run fast enough or through the scrim hard enough to make the perceived fantastical illusion stop.

Red White and Bleak. The Whitney Biennial, By Blake Gopnik

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