Saturday, March 15, 2008

Trouble for Broch O'Bama

Musings on a Saturday morning of a more or less serious nature. As a Brach O'Bama supporter and fellow Irishman (it's about time we had another Irishman in the White House), and a member of the same denomination he is, The United Church of Christ (God is Still Speaking), I've had quite mixed feelings the last couple of days regarding Pastor Wright at Trinity UCC in Chicago. Mr. Wright should shut-up and listen to that Still Speaking God. If his angry tirades and rhetorical excesses prove the undoing of O'Bama's candidacy, I'll be pretty unhappy.

And while I think it is right that O'Bama has denounced, rejected, repudiated, abnegated, renounced, criticized, disclaimed, rebuffed, dismissed, spurned, abjured, disavowed, disacknowledged, rebutted, revoked, forsworn, disapproved, condemned, impugned, oppugned, discepted, and forfended the Reverend Wright's wrongs on CNN, FOX, ABC, NBC, CBS, his blog, his diary, his campaign literature, Air America, and Air everywhere else he could think of, it may well prove to be not enough.

The Wright Wing of the Democratic Party has shot its own foot once again. Ralph Nadir in 2000 and now this. The Wright Wing of the Democratic Party has provided on DVD to the entire world footage that the Rush Limbaugh's, Sean Hannity's, etc., etc., of the Right Wing of the Republican party will broadcast and rebroadcast ad infinitum and ad nauseum. I have about as much respect for the Wright Wing of the Democratic Party and its capacity for self-destruction than I do for the Right Wing of the Republican Party and its ability to destroy others.

Racism is alive and well in the USA and we are long overdue for some serious soul-searching about race and justice and economic opportunity and the growing chasms between the poor and the rich, and all my liberal causes, etc., etc., and I can't think of anyone better than Barack Obama to lead the discussion for the next eight years. And I can't think of anyone worse than Pastor Wright, except maybe Farrakhan or Rush Limbaugh or Geraldine Ferraro, or Fuzzy Zoeller, Marge Shotz, or a long list of stupid white people and their stupid white people remarks. All too often, one doesn't need to look very hard to find racism alive and well just under a well manicured veneer. We shouldn't so lightly dismiss our "crazy uncles."

Pastor Wright's apparent niche is to preach to the choir and he does it well. But the choir doesn't need converting. His angry rantings and ravings were well received by his enthusiatic cheering congregation. He appeared to be feeding his ego at the expense of opportunities of persuading anyone. But the country needs a leader who can speak to the other sides. We need bridges, not chasms. We need enlightment, not flame throwing, or fire bombs.

And a couple of comments on the substance of Wright Winger Wright's tirade: That America didn't bat an eye when we dropped two nuclear bombs on Japan to end Japan's war against America. I do indeed think there was considerable "batting of eyes" when we did it. There were those who realized the unleashing of the Nuclear Genii would have tremendous consequences in shaping the world in Post WWII decades. Truman's thinking that dropping the bombs would save American lives was, I believe, correct. My point is that justifiable homicide is a legitimate defense on this issue. Wright's over-simplification did no justice to the efforts and sacrifice Americans and its Allies made to end the atrocities of Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Imperial Japan, and the catastrophe of World War II. And his cheap shots at former President Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, were just that, cheap shots.

On his "chickens coming to roost in America" 9-11 remarks, I am attempting to counter this through my "Chickens for Peace" Program. On the other hand, we have tinkered and conspired through coups, assasinations, and other nefarious means in the "Meddle East" for a hundred years, created most of the countries over there in order to be able to pay someone for the cheap oil we wanted, armed the Taliban against the Soviet invasion, ignored Afghanistan during the rise of the Taliban, and watched the subsequent political repression and violence against women, Christians, Jews, and any and all dissent at the hands of our client states while we enriched those in power in unimaginable fashion. Most colonial powers have had unhappy endings to their exploitations of other country's resources. Don't get me wrong, when the Taliban sponsored Saudi terrorists to attack New York City, I fully supported the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, and wish we had done more work there in establishing stability before we got side-tracked and bogged down in Iraq.

I was going to blog on Elliot Spitzer, Bill Clinton, that Idaho Senator, the Congressional Page scandal of a couple of years ago, Jimmy Swagart, and all the other rich white politicians and religious leaders who get caught "in flagrante delecto." But I got side-tracked myself because my candidate is in trouble. I had this take off on the Horatio Alger, Jr., stories I was working on. Boys who overcome poverty, meager beginnings, and with the help of rich benefactors, achieve comfortable middle-class lives. Over the years, we have enhanced the "myth" to be the "rags to riches" story-line. But my punch line was going to be that Elliot Spitzer, that Idaho Senator, Bill Clinton, and all the other alpha males are part of a new American phenomenon that needs a new name: the Fellatio Alger myth. Damn, now I can't do it.

And, don't forget the Art Gallery Spring Opening Party Sunday, March 16, from 1 to 3 pm, at the Louisville Gallery, in beautiful downtown Louisville, Ne. About 10 miles south of I-80 on Highway 50.


Saturday, March 08, 2008

Chickens, Chickens, Chickens and Guernica

Here it is Saturday morning again and I'm sitting here sipping coffee, reviewing my week, planning for the next.

One of my lovely artist myspace friends asked what it was with me and my chickens that I've been posting there.

I've been working on a better answer to the question for a while that may involve some discussion of western culture's roots - Plato's discussion of the real v. the ideal, the development of city-states, the rise and fall of the Roman Empire, medieval concepts of God, Boethius' "Consolation of Philosophy," monarchical forms of government and the feudal period, the Black Plague, the Renaissance, Flemish art, the importance of Venice as a cultural/artistic hub, Galileo's gazing at the heavens, Homer's The Odyssey, advances in science during the Enlightenment period, including theories of perspective, three dimensionality, the replacement of one planar surface with three planar surfaces in art, and later with two, or multiple perspective points, Einstein's revolution of science that came wtih his theory of relativity, and quantum mechanics, the Great Wars of the 20th century, its wholesale mechanization and industrialization of the War Machine, with its fragmentation and its destructions of whole worlds, reflected in the development of "modern" abstracted art forms, from Braque and Picasso, culminating in Guernica, to the elimination of representational art entirely, replaced by the emotive content of Kandinsky's synaesthesic works and the abstract expressionists, to Klee's mathematical precision, and the suprematists, to the importance of the artist him/herself as portrayed by the work, to Pollack's work culminating in the "action" paintings for which he is so well known through the 1950's, in which the "action" of the painting process is the focus, to the emergence of the popular culture and television and consumerism, Andy Warhol "pop" art, to post-modern contextualism, deconstructionist pyschosis and the impossibility of communication, and a multiple generations of millions and billions of our fellow human beings who have suffered and are suffering unfathomable conditions in this current world condition of ethnic bigotry, and religious zealotry, terrorist psycho-frenzy, mass murders, "pre-emptive" wars, on-going traumatic stress syndromic Military/Industrial Complex world Eisenhowerr warned us about.

But for now let's just say that my working theory is with all the strife, hunger, violence, corruption, greed, and hypocrisy in the world, a few more chicken paintings might help!

At the very least, it can't hurt!

So today, I'm painting another chicken. Maybe I'll call it "Anti-Guernica."