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April 14, 2005

The Power, and the Absurdity, of Art

Some Columbian painter/idiot depicts the horrors of Abu Ghraib, using his trademark "chubby people" as those being abused.

I don't know. These guys look like they could spend a couple of days on a restricted-food "torture" session. They're in Cuba, they're not getting all the food they might want to eat... think of it like a spa.


On the topic of incitement -- artists can't claim they can both "change the world" and that their works are completely harmless when it is suggested they might inspire violence.

Sort of a contradiction, no?

AndrewF tips:

Eric Rudolph [the abortion clinic/Atlanta Olympics bomber] goes on and on in this article that he's not part of the Christian Identity movement, etc etc etc.

Note, however, what he says in the very first paragraph of this NYT article:

Declaring himself "bloodied but emphatically unbowed," Eric Robert Rudolph on Wednesday issued his first public explanation for a series of abortion clinic bombings and an attack at the 1996 Olympics.

Where have we heard this before? It's from William E. Henley's poem "Invictus".

And who else was obsessed with this poem?

I see this as a nod and a wink to his buddies and fellow travellers. He's trying to hold himself out to be some noble anti-abortion person, which would get him at least some sympathy from folks who agree with him but abhor his methods, but the reality is, he is a racist, paranoid anti-government freakshow.

Of course, the NYT doesn't remember or know about any of this. Such a strange, lyrical statement, but nobody thought to lexis-nexis it?

This is like a NYT dream-- this shows, possibly, a thread that connects conspirators, in their souls if not in actual knowledge.

And yet the NYT's famous multiple fact-checking and attention to the small details seems to have come up empty on it, yes-yes?

By the way, I'm not slagging the poem "Invictus" or anything, and neither is Andrew.

But if a fairly anondyne poem making the standard Heavy Metal point about "no retreat, no surrender" can inspire men to kill, I should think that t-shirts and shooting-targets actively and overtly inciting the assassination of a President just might, too.

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posted by Ace at 11:39 AM

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