Cold Fury

Harshing your mellow since 9/01

Decivilization

It’s the culture, stupid: its art, its history, its philosophy. Mike Walsh is on it.

My thesis is simple: we can learn more about the nature and practice of politics from, say, The Oresteia or The Aeneid—to give just two examples more than two millennia old—than we can from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, and that the visit of Vladimir Horowitz to the Soviet Union in April 1986 (about which I wrote a cover story for Time magazine) did more to hasten the collapse of the USSR five years later than all the white papers and policy statements from the American talking-head establishment wonks of the day.

The new book is more prescriptive—a kind of how-to combat manual of cultural touchstones from which we as inheritors of the Greco-Roman enlightenment can recollect our strengths and moral authority, reject the false equivalences of multiculturalism, accept that Western syncretism (known disparagingly now as “cultural appropriation”) is something profoundly good and beneficial to all cultures, and from which we can draw a renewed vigor in our defense of ourselves.

In Monday’s speech in the beautiful new Visitor Center, I located a signal change in the Western education system that, at the time, looked like an advance: the American reaction to the launch of Sputnik in 1957. Suddenly, America felt it was losing its technological edge over the Soviets so American schoolchildren became acquainted en masse with the wonders and joys of the slide rule and the hard sciences. The effect was immediate: we quickly regained and maintained our advantage over our antagonists, but it came with a price: the downgrading of the importance of the arts as a civilizing and ennobling force in American public (and private) life.

So while the emphasis on tech eventually resulted in the creation of the personal computer and the iPhone, it also reduced the literary and plastic arts from essential elements of nationhood to “entertainments” for the wealthy; triggered the coarsening of society and, worst of all, cut both America and, shortly thereafter, the Western European nations from the wellsprings of their shared patrimony. This may not entirely have been by design, but it was seized upon by the nascent philosophy of the Frankfurt School, which by this time had been transplanted from pre-Nazi Germany to Columbia University in Manhattan and quickly spread throughout the American system of higher education.  

The result? To take just one example, the New York City public school system went from offering a model education in music and the arts to needing police officers in the schools—a reflection of the overall changes in demography, to be sure, but also of the decivilizing effect the loss of a democratized high culture entails. More Mozart, fewer metal detectors…

In The Fiery Angel, I am not arguing that the arts should be politicized—that way lies the corpse of the old Soviet Union (and this is treated at some length in the chapter entitled “The Raft of the Medusa”). Rather, I am saying that the arts both predict and comment upon historical-political developments in ways that no dispassionate analysis can manage. Try this sequence of events on for size:

Beaumarchais–Mozart–The French Revolution–Beethoven–Napoleon.  From Le Marriage de Figarothe play, to Le nozze di Figaro the opera, to the start of the French Revolution and fall of Louis XVI is a span of only five years, and yet in that time the royal edifice was first lampooned, then sexualized, and finally pulled down around the aristocrats’ ears. Those with sensitive antennae—among them Louis XVI himself, who initially forbade public performances of Beaumarchais’ play—could see what was coming. Most could not.

Our Progressivist-run government schools have thoroughly perverted and politicized the history curriculum, “balancing” any notion of American greatness, uniqueness, and benignity (when those notions aren’t excised altogether) with immaterial nonsense like “Washington owned slaves!” and other such irrelevancies, and that’s no accident. It’s resoundingly evident that any lasting reversal of the cultural enervation the Left has deliberately inflicted on us must begin with instilling a proper appreciation for Western civilization, its achievements, and the intellectual and artistic roots of its unprecedented success in young minds.

Continue reading “Decivilization”

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Miracle On 34th Street

So I had intended to do my next Christmas-themed post on another wonderful old classic movie, but damned if Eskiman didn’t beat me to it in the comments to the Wonderful Life post. Did a very good job of it too, thereby saving me a lot of labor, so I’m just gonna swipe it and bring it right on out here.

Another wonderful film from that era (1947) I just re-watched last night: Miracle on 34th Street with Maureen O’Hara and John Payne, Edmund Gwenn as Kris Kringle and a very young Natalie Wood as Susan. Do please watch it, but –SPOILERS– do follow!

It was delightful, and better by far than the much more modern version produced in 1994, though the newer one’s Richard Attenborough as Kris Kringle was excellent; in fact he was so good that the other actors’ performances appeared mediocre, which is as much as could be said. I saw this version the night before last, which is why I had to find the original; this new one left a bad taste in my mouth, which was dispelled by the beautiful Maureen O’Hara.

The original film, made in 1947, is in black & white, and reflected values of that time. Unlike It’s a Wonderful Life, it was actually bitterly cold when it was filmed; I understand that some of the cameras froze during the shoot! But the real reason it was remade wasn’t just because someone wanted to make the film in color- it was to “sanitize” it. The later version is much more PC: it has no black housekeepers and women are more than equal. For some reason I don’t know, even the department stores’ names had to be changed: the old version had Macy’s versus Gimble’s, but the new one had Coles versus Holiday Express (is there actually such a store?) The 1994 version toward the end has Fred and Doris getting married late at night in an empty church, for no particular reason. I was not impressed; the entire ending sucked in this version.

The original script was re-written, but not improved. Many changes seemed to be made just to make it different, but the changes didn’t make it better, and most made the newer film much worse. In the original, Kris Kringle’s cane was a simple wooden cane, not very heavy. Its replacement was a fancy silver-headed cane that looked like a club; someone could easily be killed with such a cane. This didn’t improve the plot, nor did other changes which made the original drunken Santa into a real bad guy and Holiday Express a viper’s den instead of honest competitors.

The original was much more light-hearted, made more sense, and the ending was much, much better: the unmarried (but very sweet on each other) couple were sent on a “short-cut” and Susan saw the house of her dreams when they arrived at a cul-de-sac; she was thrilled, and ran into the house, with Doris and Fred in hot pursuit; inside, it was just an empty house which was for sale- with a swing in the back yard! Susan knew who had arranged it all!

And Kris Kringle’s cane was propped against the fireplace.

I highly recommend the 1947 version of Miracle on 34th Street; accept no substitutes (because there really isn’t one.)

I couldn’t agree more; the original is another great movie of the Wonderful Life stripe, made to a standard that present-day Hollywood can’t even approach anymore and seems indifferent to at best anyway. More light-hearted than Wonderful Life (which is not necessarily to say frivolous), certainly; you won’t find much examination of weighty existential issues here, which is just fine, and shouldn’t really be scored against it.

One caveat, though: it aired on the teewee earlier today, and to my horror and disgust, it was *ULP* the colorized version. Gag me with a maggot. What a revoltin’ development.

Leaving his commie predilections and Jane Fonda out of our consideration, Ted Turner should have had his skinny ass kicked up between his shoulder blades twice daily in perpetuity for coming up with the wholly rotten idea of desecrating carefully-conceived and meticulously executed black and white films—which were framed, lit, and shot with black and white film in mind, remember—by painting over them with washed out, drab, sickly looking colors, supposedly to heighten their appeal to modern audiences anesthetized by color TV.

It kicked up quite the little controversy at the time, as I recollect, which Turner dismissed in his trademark high-handed, arrogantly ignorant fashion (“The last time I checked, I owned the films that we’re in the process of colorizing…I can do whatever I want with them, and if they’re going to be shown on television, they’re going to be in color“).

The filmmakers of the day did not consider black and white to be any sort of limitation or handicap. To the contrary: it was their palette, and the best among them were quite skilled at its use, thanks. To vandalize their purposeful art by the rough equivalent of scribbling over it with crayons is a perfect example of the sort of arrogant application of present-day standards to a long-gone era we see all over the place nowadays. Hey, given modern advances in the production of pigments, maybe somebody should go back and paint over all those Rembrandts too.

Thankfully, you don’t see those colorized obscenities nearly as much as you once did, which amounts to pretty righteous repudiation of Turner’s smug assertion that “once people start watching the colored version, they won’t bother with the original.” But having to endure Miracle On 34th Street sullied by the annoying, ugly travesty of colorization is reason enough to suspect there must have been a special place in Hell waiting for Turner upon his death all the same…and that the jerk had it coming, too.

Oh, and one more thing: if Donna Reed had any real competition as America’s loveliest woman, the magnificent Natalie Wood would have been it—with Maureen O’Hara making a credible bid herself.

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OhgodohgodohgodohGOD: DONNA REID!!

If y’all ain’t checking in on Dutoit regularly, let me tell you: you’re making a mistake.

Like many people, I suspect, I have become fascinated by the advancements made in robotics — not from a technological standpoint (because I’m a high-tech retard), but from a sociological one. I’m also not interested in robots which will perform brain functions: the arrival of spreadsheets and their macros in programs like VisiCalc and Lotus 1-2-3 foreshadowed all that, and considering that most of life is incredibly boring bureaucratic shit (e.g. legal documents), I have no problem with delegating the mundane tasks of life to the bots — as long as I still have final control over the output, that is.

No, I’m very interested in the effects that sexbots will have on our society. I’m completely ignoring the bleats of womyn who see, correctly, that female sexbots will eventually replace actual women in  terms of the male meat market, where schlubs who used to live in their parents’ house will now be able to score with a “woman” who won’t castrate him and/or pillage his wallet. Sure, sex with a bot isn’t going to be as good as with a live, breathing woman, at least until the technology improves anyway (although quite frankly I can think offhand of about half a dozen women in my experience who would make the most basic sexbots feel like porn stars, so indifferent were they to sexual activity).

If you’re wondering what the hell this has to do with the perfectly luscious paragon of feminine pulchritude that is the great Donna Reed as per my title, well, just go read it…and enjoy the purty pitchers, too. No need to thank me; this is what I DO, folks.

As you CF lifers will already know, I have always maintained that Donna Reed is the most gorgeous woman who ever lived, or ever will live, and that the way she looks at Jimmy Stewart in It’s A Wonderful Life—when he comes home at last on their wedding night (after the big bank run) to their ramshackle, leaky, “drafty old house”—is exactly the way every man in the world wants his woman to look at him.

And Kim, bless his heart, has a truly racy, erotic photo of her that even I never saw before—which is saying something, let me assure you. It’s hot and provocative in a way that all the too-explicit, grungy modern-day crap will never either approach nor apprehend. Nor properly appreciate, probably. Their loss, I say.

Donna. Fucking. REED. Sigh.

In fact, Kim has so much good old pinup, gun, vehicular conveyance, and other worthwhile stuff up now, he’s becoming one of the most vital daily stops in the blogosphere, as far as I’m concerned. I hate the circumstances that brought him back, of course. But he’s a genuine treasure; he always was, and we all ought to be damned glad to have him amongst us again. I know I am.

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Saved the best for last: merry Christmas!

The fairest of them all:




So very lovely it almost hurts to hear; as I said the other day, I don’t see how anyone could possibly be a serious musician—or hear something like this—and not believe in something greater, deeper, and more powerful than our mere selves. And no, I certainly do NOT mean the State.

But in any event, with that, may the joy and serenity of this most blessed of days find its way deep into the hearts of each and every one of you, in its and your own unique way.

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Groupthink comes in a box now!

Get yours while they last — because the stilted drones have banned it.




Philo says:

Art should challenge the status quo, the staid complacencies of the bourgeoisie; it should even shock. So goes a standard Leftist line. But when art actually DOES that, they do their best to suppress it. That helps to explain why the ideas of the avant garde have been the same for more than a century, and why, today, avant garde means defending the statist status quo.

Background:

You don’t have to be an art critic to see something tasteless going on at Pratt Institute. Since 1887, this venerable New York institution has been dedicated to educating “artists and creative professionals to be responsible contributors to society.” Yet teachers and administrators at Pratt have been nothing but irresponsible in their recent dealings with a fifth-year drawing student named Steve DeQuattro.

Mr. DeQuattro is a political artist. He uses his background in graphic design to illustrate the dominant political culture of his world. At Pratt, this means creating work that addresses, as he wrote to me, the “growing bureaucracy, higher tuition, new buildings for administration, new offices, and departments, and left-wing bias, all at the expense of the students.”

As part of his recent work, Mr. DeQuattro has designed a cereal-box-like sculpture that he calls, ironically, “Sustainable Liberalism in a Box” (the graphics are pictured above). He has developed a piece that takes the ubiquitous Apple iPod ad campaign to address abortion. He has designed a sobering five-foot-wide mural that tracks the Democratic Party’s record on race, from Jefferson’s slave-holding days up through the racially charged speeches of Senator Robert Byrd and Vice President Joe Biden.

As a senior in the school, Mr. DeQuattro has been working on this art in preparation for a group show for Pratt’s graduating students, which is scheduled to open on April 23. While his faculty advisor has been supporting him, his peers have not. Mr. DeQuattro says they recently wrote a letter to his professors, calling his work “offensive” and complaining about exhibiting alongside him. Last week, the chair of the fine arts department stepped in to prevent Mr. DeQuattro’s participation alongside the other students in the group show–an unprecedented move in the history of the department, says Mr. DeQuattro, despite the fact that none of his work is pornographic, libelous, or in violation of the laws of free speech. Mr. DeQuattro’s advisor did not return a request for comment.

Well, no, he wouldn’t. Being a liberal means never having to admit you’re a fascist, and the advisor, having supported DeQuattro, would be in line for severe punishment from the ancien regime. But whether you possess the intellectual honesty to admit it or not, you are just the same. Read all of it; it’s right on the money, right down the line. And remember, under liberal fascism, Transgressive is Good…as long as you’re not transgressing against the entrenched establishment, which simply can’t tolerate any dissent at all, lest their smarmy self-regard dissolve quicker than sugar in hot water.

(Via Insty)

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Posted in Art!   

First They Came For Hitler…

SEIG, HELL

Town Crier:

In the report presented to the Police Services Board on April 22, Nazi is listed as one of the 27 identified victim groups targeted in hate-motivated criminal acts in 2009.

Under the breakdown of occurrences by police division, “Nazi” is listed as the victim group for one mischief offence that was reported in 13 Division. The west-end division polices parts of Forest Hill, Davenport, Cedarvale and Dovercourt.

In the report’s executive summary, Nazi also appears under the listing of “new victim group” for 2009; these are the identifiable groups that have not appeared in the previous hate/bias crime reports.

Herr Steyn:

I personally am indifferent as to whether Nazis get beaten up on the streets of Toronto. But I don’t think the law should be. And that’s why Mr Farber’s soundbite is so revealing. Two years ago, when the cases against Maclean’s got underway, I wrote:

Justice is supposed to be, like Dean Steacy, blind. If you run a red light and you hit a pedestrian, it makes no difference in law whether the pedestrian’s Marc Lemire or Nelson Mandela. Or at least it shouldn’t.

This is one of the most repellent aspects of Canada’s “human rights” regime: Its contempt for one of the most basic principles of justice – equality before the law. At the “human rights” tribunal, your roles as victim or victimizer come pre-assigned: By definition, a woman is a victim of a man; a gay is a victim of a Christian; a Jew is a victim of a Nazi. This is mostly for the purposes of prosecuting “offensive” speech. My traffic accident comparison was intended to point out the difference between real law and “human rights” law. But, as Ezra says, Bernie Farber’s moral compass has been so corroded by the whole ugly “human rights” racket he now apparently thinks that its affronts to justice should be extended to real crimes, including crimes of violence. If you get beaten up, all that counts is what identity group you belong to.

And, of course, he’s too dull-witted to think that fashions in victim groups might change – indeed, are already changing. As I put it two years ago:

It’s foolish to assume the abuses of the CHRC will always be confined to folks you dislike.

Look at Farber’s line again:

‘A Nazi can never be a victim but only a victimizer.’

Doesn’t that sound awfully like the reductive claptrap you hear on any old campus during Israeli Apartheid Week (Canada’s gift to the world – thank you, Bernie Farber)? When it comes to “Palestinian occupation”, “an Israeli can never be a victim but only a victimizer.” At the University of Calgary, a prolifer can never be a victim but only a victimizer. This is where the kind of thought-crime regime promoted by Farber’s CJC always leads.

Mel Brooks had better think twice before opening his new play “Springtime for Hitler: Can’t We All Just Get Along?” in Toronto.

Does this mean we can have Nancy Pelosi and all those Democrats arrested for calling Tea Partiers ‘Nazis”? And are all those “Arizona=The Third Reich” “Papers, Please”-protestors now human rights abusers themselves? Maybe we could set up an international tribunal for them…in Nuremberg.

This is what happens when we abandon true Constitutional equality before the law in favor of identity politics, multiculturalism, professional victimhood, ThoughtCrime and state-sponsored pigment preferences. This is the logical outcome.

I often say “Don’t joke around liberals–they legislate the punch lines.”

Damn, Mel–it really is Springtime for Hitler.

(A big tip of Helmut’s helmet: Reason)

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Law & Order Now, and you’ll also receive these other fine shows as our bonus gift to you!

JUST ADD SHIPPING AND HANDLING

But wait, there’s more!

Just One Minute:

Law & Order has been canceled after twenty years, although yes, it seems like much longer.

In related news, let me just say that the revised “Law & Order – Criminal Intent”, with Jeff Goldblum replacing Vincent D’Onforio, is unwatchable. And I say that as a fan of Jeff Goldblum going back to the Big Chill.

In this incarnation Goldblum’s character is so low key that after I flip the show on at night I find myself wondering – did I decide to stay up for a bit of television, or am I already in bed, asleep, and having a tedious dream? Somewhat disorienting.

Kathy Shaidle at NewsRealBlog:

Law & Order promoted its storylines as “ripped from the headlines,” but the show’s hate-on towards social conservatives was actually sourced from liberal op-ed pages, where paranoid (and inaccurate) predictions about “Tea Party violence” and ever-looming “Christian theocracies” have enjoyed an equally long run. …

Frankly, my favorite episode had something to do with “crazed white supremacist militia” members (yawn), because (to the profound irritation of the lawyers and cops sworn to preserve and defend it) said “ignorant” militia members kept quoting bits of the Constitution at them. You know, the parts about overthrowing tyrannical governments, and owning guns and stuff. Those 44 minutes were the closest millions of liberal viewers got to hearing accurate citations of America’s founding documents on national television until Glenn Beck moved to Fox.

Clearly, what we need is a new spin-off of the spin-off of the spin-off to Law and Order.

Some suggestions for the next Law and Order:

Law and Order: Read the Bill!
Law and Order: The Tonsil Surgeon Gang
Law and Order: Either/Or
Law and Order: This Time, Starring JERI Thompson!
Law and Order: Must We? Really?
Law and Order: SUV–Sport Utility Unit
Law and Order: Trial by Times Headline
Law and Order: Life on the K-Street
Law and Order: The Charlie Rangel Files
Law and Order: Criminals in Tents
Law and Order: Loss, Angeles
Law and Order: Except for Arizona!
Law and Order: Arrest CSI: Miami Now!
Law and Order: What the Heck is an “S. Epatha”, Anyway?
Law and Order: Ripped from Today’s Seattle Post-Intelligencer Minneapolis Star Tribune San Francisco Chronicle Rocky Mountain News The Philadelphia Daily News The Miami Herald The Detroit News The Boston Globe Newsweek Headlines!
Genocide: Life Under Jan Brewer
Law and Order: If the ACLU Approves
Law and Order: Kennedys–The Next Generation
Law and Order: Sam Waterson, Energy Expert
Law and Order: Gitmo 4Ever
Law and Order: I Still Haven’t Read It!
Law and Order: The Vice, Bunco and Spitzer Squad
Law and Order: Check Page 2,738, Sect. 3, sub-paragraph (f).
Law and Order: Hawaii 5-7
Law and Order: Naked Gun .45–Quick, Find Grandma’s Robe!
Law and Order: “Is this because Dick Wolf is a lesbian?”
Law and Order: The al Qaeda Bar Association
Law and Order: Dean Kagan Bans ROTC, not CAIR
Law and Order: The Great Clinton Pardon Sale
Pesticide: Life With DDT
Law and Order: Even Bennett Knows 20 Years Are Enough

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“Isle say,” said the Professor, gingerly.

AND THAT’S THE PROBLEM WITH DEMOCRATS

The Democrat National Disgrace Congressional Campaign Committee has an interactive fund-raising game up, asking the question:

Who is Crazier–Palin or Bachmann?

Sorry–did I say “Democrat”? I meant “Metrosexual”.

Because all real Americans ask a completely different question:

“Who is cuter?”

And clearly, the winner is…

“Mary Ann”!

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Al Greenleaf Wordsworth Whittier Tennyson Silverstein Gore

ROBERT FROST WOULD BE FROSTED

Al Gore has written some poetry. And it’s pretty good–except for the endings. Let me show you what I mean:

One thin September soon
a floating continent disappears
In midnight sun

That’s a little too artsy, Al. Here, let me help:

One thin September soon
a floating continent disappears
In midnight sun
If you’re going to leave the lights on all night
you’ll have to buy some carbon credits

Of course, you’ll have to buy Al’s carbon credits even if you turn the lights off. That’s the beauty of carbon credits. And of poetry about carbon credits.

I fixed the rest of these, too:

Vapors rise as
Fever settles on an acid sea
Neptune’s bones dissolve
just like the other bones
in Tipper’s crawl space

Snow glides from the mountain
Ice fathers floods for a season
A hard rain comes quickly
Man, that Bill Ayers
sure can write

Then dirt is parched
Kindling is placed in the forest
For the lightning’s celebration
Did I mention
I invented lightning?

Unknown creatures
Take their leave, unmourned
Horsemen ready their stirrups
Too bad we banned horses:
non-native species

Passion seeks heroes and friends
The bell of the city
On the hill is rung
But no one could hear
a bell made from hemp

The shepherd cries
The hour of choosing has arrived
Here are your tools
That will be
$1.1 Trillion

Update:

And still the snowflakes fell
just as predicted
it must be “science”

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Posted in Art!   

Q: When is a bench not a bench?

I WAS TOLD THERE WOULD BE NO QUIZ

A: When the bench is a deck chair on Rock Star Lines’ HMS Titanic Moral Vanity.

Mike has the whole sorry story on the castaway’s ill-fated Three Hour Grandstanding for Gaia-Tour here. If not for the courage of the fearless crew, the minnow-sized moral moment would be lost.

Clearly, we’re in the wrong business, Mike. This Expedition About Nothing cost the British taxpayers £150,000, about a quarter-million US. You could dry clean the burkas of a London imam’s 5 welfare wives for a year with that kind of money.

Alert the orphans, Tiny Tim–all their problems are solved! Surely a country rich enough to indulge artistes building a bus-bench on an iceberg has solved all its real problems. And the fuel oil used to haul them there was no doubt made from carbon-capturing Unicorn waste!

I wouldn’t really care–but our own NEA looks to their European betters for guidance in how to extract pelf from the peons and waste it on ugly art and preening poseurs. Chesterton:

“Savages and modern artists are alike strangely driven to create something uglier than themselves. But the artists find it harder.”

How ’bout a federally-funded Bass-Fishing Tour instead?

Nah–they’d just end up taxing our singing bass’s off.

And we’d end up on a park bench on some iceberg somewhere.

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Art For Art Vandelay’s Sake

CAESAR SALAD DAYS

or “Orange Julius Glad You Asked?”

Joseph Abrams:

Maybe President Obama will win the Nobel Prize for Literature, too, now that the chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts has declared that “Barack Obama is the most powerful writer since Julius Caesar. That has to be good for American artists…”

Barack Obama is the most powerful check-writer since Julius Caesar, anyway.

I guess that makes Bill Ayers the most powerful ghostwriter since Great Caesar’s Ghost.

“Julius Caesar is historically the last person in the world that American presidents would want to be compared to,” said historian Richard Brookhiser, who has written widely on the Founding Fathers. “He tried to subvert the republic — that’s why he was killed. …The Founders insulted each other by calling each other Caesar.”

And they called Little Jimmy Madison “Czar” for short–he was the Limited Government Czar. Founders can be so cruel.

That embrace of the president has pricked some ears, particularly after the NEA’s previous director of communications, Yosi Sergant, was forced to resign for promoting the president’s political agenda on a conference call with artists he hoped to prod into backing Obama’s domestic policies.

It’s “The Circle of Life-long Funding”:

Politicians pay artists to support policies like paying artists to support politicians who pay artists to support policies like paying artists who…

Instead of “National Endowment for the Arts”, let’s call it “National Art for the Endowment”. Or maybe the “Julius and Ethel Caesar Rosenburg Fund”. But only because “The Human Fund” was already taken. By Art Vandelay.

Lee Rosenbaum interviews “Landmines” Landesman:

While he may think he’s gotten a bad rap, Mr. Landesman has no problem with bestowing funds on good rap. Near the start of our conversation, I asked him what new initiatives he was considering.

“There are new forms of music …and the NEA should be there. We should be reflecting the reality in our world these days, whether it’s hip-hop, or whatever. There’s a lot going on that the NEA traditionally has no comprehension about.”

“Do you think that hip-hop would be an appropriate area for NEA to fund?” I inquired.

“Absolutely. And mural painting and graffiti are art. There are popular aspects of all the arts that I think shouldn’t be ignored. […] I think there are probably some things where people will say, ‘Go ahead and do that, but not with my tax dollars.'”

No, there’s not. There is absolutely nothing that should not be funded by tax dollars.

I don’t want to hear another word about “The Great Recession” or “10% Fun-employment”. Obviously we’re filthy rich. We’ve got so much money, the government can pay kids to spray-paint graffiti on buildings–and then pay other kids to come scrub the graffiti off!

We’ll teach some kids how to and rhyme “‘ho” with “mo'” for cold, hard cash–and then we’ll pay schoolteachers to teach them proper English again!

Seriously; except for maybe nutty ideas like National Defense, can you name one area of life that is off-limits for government funding? They’ve already funded naked dance troupes with Stimulus money. [insert joke and dollar bill here.]

Hey–at least they’re finally supporting the troops!

I know the answer. And I’ll be happy to tell you.

As soon as my NEA Writer’s Grant gets here.

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“Let’s All Go to the Lobby, Let’s All Go to the Lobby…”

LET’S ALL GO TO THE LOBBY

to get ourselves a treat from the Capitalist Running-Dog Lackey Bourgeois Exploiter of the Masses running the concession stand.

Got any Junior Mints, there, Rockefeller?

Speaking of Exploiters of the Masses, Ann Althouse watched the new Micheal Moore movie so we don’t have to. Like we were going to.

“Capitalism and Wendy’s Triple Baconator. With Cheese: A Love Story”:

Amusingly, Barack Obama is presented — outright — as a socialist.

Already I like this movie. Obama would of course implement Full-Boat Socialism tomorrow if he could–but he’s also a Narcissist. If his Socialism conflicts with his Narcissism, his Narcissism wins. I have never been as profoundly grateful for Personality Disorders as I am at this moment. You love me. You really love me.

We see a roomful of people exulting over the election night announcement that Obama has won and, in context, we’re made to think that it’s the downtrodden people celebrating that socialism has arrived. I don’t think Obama really wants Michael Moore’s help.

The 22 Most Feared Words in the Kenyan Language: “I’m from the planetary system that revolves around the gravitational field emanating from Michael Moore’s massive ass…and I’m here to help!”

I was disgusted by the camera trained on the face of a boy who cried over the death of his young mother. The real villain there was asthma. It said nothing significant about capitalism, which made it grotesque exploitation to use that boy in the movie.

This is vintage Moore–“Orphan Noir”. Moore exploits two or three orphans before lunch every day…and the time is always “before lunch”.

My favorite thing in the movie was the trashing of young math and science graduates who, instead of applying their talents to the benefit of humanity, went to Wall Street to design the complicated derivative securities that almost destroyed the economy. The closeup on an incomprehensible math equation was, for me, the most shocking image in the movie.

I’m no fan of cattle futures of futures of futures of futures–but this reminds me of the Khmer Rouge breaking everyone’s eyeglasses to stamp out the Educated Bourgeois. Oh, wait–only right-wingers can be anti-intellectual. It’s the law. Just like All Death Squads are Right-Wing. Nevermind.

Moore wants a revolution. He kept advising the workers — and the evictees — of the world to unite and shake off their chains.

Until they show up at his mansions and start using his Oscar as a hammer to break up the furniture into firewood. Then he’ll be on the phone begging Dick Cheney for an airstrike.

‘Christianity requires socialism.’

Moore is saying “Christianity IS Socialism”. But the Bible condemns greed and materialism and endorses prosperity, honest work and private property. The early church did indeed adopt a socialist practice–but it was completely voluntary, not state-run. And the prerequisite was…to be in the Holy Spirit!

Until such time as we can legislate that, maybe we’d better stick to capitalism, which has provided better living standards for more people than any other system in history.

We receive long lectures about how capitalism is inconsistent with Christianity, followed a heavy-handed array of — it’s up to you to see that they are — Jewish villains. Am I wrong to see Moore as an anti-Semite?

I don’t know. And because I don’t, I’m not going to hurl the charge without evidence like the Left does. In other words, I’m not Michael Moore.

I do know that he’s anti-common sense, and that’s enough. I haven’t even mentioned the stunning and obvious hypocrisy yet, but Moore conducts every aspect of his life as a capitalist–except one. He hires, fires, buys, sells, promotes and invests like one–he only propagandizes like a socialist. It’s beyond hypocritical–it’s bizarre.

P.J. O’Rourke:

Wealth is, for most people, the only honest and likely path to liberty. With money comes power over the world. Men are freed from drudgery, women from exploitation. Businesses can be started, homes built, communities formed, religions practiced, educations pursued. But liberals aren’t very interested in such real and material freedoms. They have a more innocent–not to say toddlerlike–idea of freedom. Liberals want the freedom to put anything into their mouths, to say bad words and to expose their private parts in art museums. […]

In the difference between poverty and plenty, the problem is the poverty, not the difference. Wealth is good. You know this about your own wealth. If you got rich, it would be a great thing. You’d improve your life. You’d improve your family’s life. You’d purchase education, travel, knowledge about the world. You’d invest in worthwhile things. You’d give money to noble causes. You’d help your friends and neighbors. Your life would be better if you got rich. The lives of the people around you would be better. Your wealth is good. So why isn’t everyone else’s wealth good?

Because Michael Moore said so. From the French Riviera. Popcorn, mes amis?

UPDATE: Full Disclosure: Under ridiculous FTC blog-disclosure rules, this glowing movie review was purchased when Michael Moore promised me a cheeseburger. I never got the cheeseburger. I knew he was lying when his lips were moving.

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Children of the Corn Dog Carnival Barker

I WILL EDUCATE, NOT INDOCTRINATE. I WILL EDUCATE, NOT INDOCTRINATE. I WILL EDUCATE, NOT INDOCTRINATE. I WILL EDUCATE, NOT INDOCTRINATE. I WILL EDUCATE, NOT INDOCTRINATE. I WILL EDUCATE, NOT INDOCTRINATE. I WILL EDUCATE, NOT INDOCTRINATE…

The reason Leftist educators go after young children is not just to warp their minds from a young age. They profile and stalk the young because they can’t fight back. It’s a kind of bullying. They are violating their own bullying standards.

In the classic style of bullies everywhere, they won’t pick on someone their own size–or in LiberalSpeak, they “exploit the power imbalance”.

The film “The Story of Stuff” is being used in some classrooms even though it is a pure Green Party screed: we’re raping the earth, stealing from the Third World, the Government is all-caring except for the military which is evil, etc.

It is inflicted on young kids uncritically as fact. By people who pride themselves as “critical thinkers”.

The kids at Bernice Johnson Elementary were forced into child labor, singing Obama campaign chants at less than Davis/Bacon wages. Aren’t children in show business supposed to have tutors so they don’t miss out on their education? Sample lyric:

Mm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama

He sends his kids to private school
so they don’t have to sing this drool
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama

His Harvard thesis gone from view
Hey; the dog ate his homework, too!
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama

Okay, okay–I got it off the internet.

The principal at the school is upset they got caught, not mad that they did it. Although its refreshing in a sense to see the return of School Prayer, the lady who wrote these hymns, a Harvard classmate of the president’s, is now trying to say that the children wrote the lyrics. The lyrics include the word “doth”, as in “Thou doth be joking, lady.”

And for the record, “Mmm, mmm, mm!” is not a lyric; it’s the sound Sandy Berger makes in his pants at the National Archives.

UPDATE: Doc Zero:

Besides the understandable anger parents feel when their children are used as political props, the Bernice Young sing-along is grating because it’s another aspect of the Obama omnipresence. The guy is everywhere, all the time.

He’s not just “More Cowbell!”–he’s like a 25-minute Iron Butterfly “Inna-Gadda-da-Vida” album-cut drum solo consisting only of pure, sweet cowbell.

People who are intelligent enough to spend half the income of a vast country better than its citizens will naturally seem like fitting subjects for songs of praise, to their most dedicated admirers. Why shouldn’t your children be made to learn those songs?

For the same reason we shouldn’t criminalize neighbors watching neighbor’s kids without a Federal Permit: because the Jealous State has no business trying to crowd out all the other “little platoons” that make a society work, whether its your local school, your bowling league, your charities or your family.

And Personality Cults are for Loser Nations. We didn’t do it for truly great presidents like Washington, Lincoln and Reagan and we’re certainly not gonna do it for this poseur.

But the Doctor knew that.

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Blinded by Science-ish-Type-Stuff

THE OPPOSITE OF SCIENCE:

“Take my word for it.”

It’s been a long time, but I still remember being taught about the Scientific Method: you observe a phenomenon, you posit a hypothesis and prove or disprove it by conducting experiments that other scientists can duplicate, thus confirming your conclusion.

Ace:

Warwick Hughes, an Australian scientist …politely wrote Phil Jones in early 2005, asking for the original data. Jones’ response to a fellow scientist attempting to replicate his work was, “We have 25 years or so invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?”

Now since then, FOIA requests for the data have been filed, and an increasing number of scientists have been curious to see precisely what exactly the evidence is of the much-heralded 0.6 degree Centigrade rise in temperature this century we’ve heard so very much about.

The new answer?

We lost all the old data so we can’t provide it to you.

“The dog ate my Global homework…but she’ll vouch for me! Lassie, come here, girl; if the Hockey Stick is accurate, bark once!”
Arf!
“See–that proves it!”

The reason “why” you should “make the data available” is because BY DEFINITION, THAT’S WHAT SCIENCE IS!

Even making it available to skeptics. Especially to skeptics. If they get the same results, BAM!–you win.

Here’s the good news, though; because you say it’s rock-solid science…you should be able to duplicate the result again!

And not to rub it in, but if had shared your research, you would still have a copy today. Or you can always sift through Lassie’s stools. We’ll take your word for what it says. Again.

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National Art for the Endowment–Washington Calling!

THE MASTER’S VOICE

Good Morning, everyone. I’ve put together this conference call because as artists, you personally owe Barack Obama a favor. After all, he hasn’t nationalized your studios and given them to ACORN for their BrothelAmerica Outreach Program, has he?

And as creative people, you know that nothing really good is created unless the deft, lighter-than-air hand of government is there with its selfless and endlessly fertile imagination.

I just first of all want to thank everyone for being on the call and just a deep, deep appreciation for all the work you all put into the campaign for the 2-plus years we all worked together.

EVERYBODY: “Wh…What?”

Oh–didn’t you know? We’ve been using your art for years without your permission. Or paying royalties. Now let’s move on.

We won. I’m actually in the White House and working towards furthering this agenda, this very aggressive agenda. We’re going to come at you with some specific “asks” here. And by “ask”, I mean “tell”. I hope you guys are ready. Obviously a big area is health care. Second was energy and the environment.

Mr. Da Vinci; We like this “Mona Lisa”-but is there any reason Ms. Lisa can’t be wearing a campaign button? In fact, the Committee to Re-Elect the Prince Yerbouti (CREEPY) wants her to wear a 2008 button, a 2012 button and 2016 button–that’s when the president issues his Executive Order proclaiming a bonus 2-yr. presidential term extension. And the vice-president’s office wants a “Biden in 2018!” button.

Mr. Whistler, everyone here likes the portrait of your mother. However, we feel there is room for a thought balloon over her head. She could be thinking “I hope the President takes away my MedicarePlus policy…it’s just a big giveaway to insurance companies!”–something like that.

And Mr. Van Gogh; we’ll be using your “Self-Portrait with a Bandaged Ear” to illustrate the way the uninsured are clogging our emergency rooms. I’m sorry you object. But frankly, Vince, that’s the problem; when I talk to you, it goes in one ear and stays there.

Grandma Moses, your art is fine just the way it is. But could you change your name to “Grandma Ishtar” or something like that for diversity’s sake? Do it for Warren, hon. And Michelangelo; one our our corporate sponsors, Benetton, has paid us for the rights to put a sweater on your sculpture “David”. And Calvin Klein will be paying us handsomely not to put pants on it. Thanks for your cooperation, Mick.

Now, Mr. Cezanne, for our School Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Midnight Snack Program you will see that we’ve taken your masterpiece “Apples and Oranges” and painted in some green stuff which we now call “Apples and Oranges and Organic Free-Range Arugula”. And Rembrandt, we’ve taken the liberty of placing a giant “Look For the Union Label”-banner over your “Syndics of the Clothmakers’ Guild”. We knew you’d approve.

Mr. Leutze, your painting “Washington Crossing the Delaware” is just the sort of jingoistic propaganda we here in Washington disapprove of. A slave-holding militarist leading a boat full of bitter-clingers on their way to wreak inappropriate violence on their European betters–and without even sending an attorney ahead to warn them of their rights! But the rubes like it, so I suppose, with a few changes, it might work.

First, Green Jobs Czar Van Jones has asked that you give the boat a solar-powered Evinrude outboard. What’s that…fired? Yes, he was fired. But what does “fired” really mean, anyway? He’s a czar: he was never really hired in the first place.

I don’t think I like your attitude, Mr. Leutze. Let me remind you that Gov. Corzine and New Jersey Game and Fish says your boat was unregistered. And Port Authority says Gen. Washington has been operating an unlicensed ferry. They say you owe them 237 years of back fines–I don’t know how much longer I can hold them off if you don’t get with the program.

Next up is Mr. Warhol–but I see that our 15 minutes are up. Let me just say that it’s been a pleasure doing art with you all.

I’ve know you’ve enjoyed our little chat about the state of art…and the Art of the State! Or as Socrates put it in his immortal “Stuff Lincoln Said To Jefferson–George Jefferson”:

“so that Art of the Government, by the Government and for the Government shall not perish from the earth.”

Have a nice day! Say–does anybody know who designed that smiley-face thing

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Posted in Art!   

Should We Bail-Out the Arts?

ART CARNEY, MAYBE

The prez of the JFK Center for the Panhandling Arts:

We are losing the entertainment and inspiration we need more than ever during this terribly scary time.

Get a grip, man.

As we try to rebuild America’s image abroad, we are losing our most potent goodwill ambassadors.

It’s bad form to bash Bush and conservatives while demanding money from them, old chap.

As we reshape our economy, we are losing the organizations that teach our children to think creatively.

How ’bout some creative thinking about fund-raising instead of running to the government?

And as we celebrate the diversity of our nation, we are losing the voices that have traditionally helped change society’s thinking.

What if the change in thinking we need is the knee-jerk urge to go on the dole?

The arts in the United States provide 5.7 million jobs and account for $166 billion in economic activity annually. This sector is at serious risk.

He’s right in this regard; there is no principled reason to bailout some industries and not all of them.

But thousands of organizations, and the state of America’s arts ecology, are in danger.

“Ecology”? Is that like “Global Arts Warming”? It’s an “epidemic”!

We need an emergency grant for arts organizations in America, and we need legislation that allows unusual access to endowments. Washington must encourage foundations to increase their spending rates during this crisis, and we need immediate tax breaks for corporate giving.

As we print billions of dollars in bailout money, isn’t it time to ensure that we are saving our soul as well as our economy?

Jesus, not government, saves souls, and for free. While he’s right about printing money, he’s just another pirate who wants his cut.

Ol’ Mapplethorpe missed out. He could have gotten two federal bailouts today; one as an artist, the other as a buggy-whip manufacturer.

I supported the first half of the first bail-out–but once the banks stabilized, it should have stopped. I supported it because banks function as a public utility on which all other businesses depend–and because the Gummint helped melt them down by ordering them to produce the impossible, a Free Lunch.

Now we’ve evidently decided that the way out of this mess is not just the Free Lunch, but Free Breakfasts, Dinners, Brunches, Between Meal Snacks and Midnight Raids on the Treasury. Good luck with that new diet, fatso.

There is no Free Lunch and there are no free symphonies. And when everything is made into a government program, symphonies must compete with potholes, battleships, midnight basketball and that performance art-lady who pours chocolate on her body as she “changes the way society thinks” and “rebuilds America’s image abroad”. I don’t know about you, but I’m suddenly thirsty for a chocolate malted.

If you pay for it, that is.

Will Rogers used to ask “Stupidity got us into this mess–why can’t stupidity get us out?”

Unlimited Government got us into this mess–and Unlimited Government stupidity is going to keep us there until we either wise up or go down the drain.

After all, bailouts are only for sinking ships.

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Posted in Art!   

Beauty

Seems to be the subject du jour lately, if you’ll pardon the French, (which I don’t, personally, nasty lot, the French) so I thought I’d toss my two cents in.

I find more beauty in this simple design than in all the “Modern Art” displays in all the museums of the world.

Add your links in the comments.

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Posted in Art!   

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