Saturday, August 13, 2005

Persistence of Irony


Surrealism is not a defunct Art movement from the 1930’s and 40’s, it’s the esthetic and creative force behind the Bush Administration. Rene Magritte’s painting of a locomotive exiting a living room fireplace and Salvador Dali’s melting clocks were meant to illustrate the logic of dreams and so indeed do the works of Donald Rumsfeld.

Things that cannot have any logical connection, things that cannot coexist, things that are mutually contradictory: these are what the surrealist puts together in an irrational landscape. What do Country Music, al Qaeda, a walk in the park and the War in Iraq have to do with each other? You guessed it: nothing - it’s surrealism.

And so to commemorate the fourth anniversary of the September 11th attacks, Donald Rumsfeld will organize, according to a recent article in the New York Daily News, a march from the Pentagon to the Mall where a country music concert will be given. Apparently, the families of the victims and at least one veteran’s group, true philistines having no grasp of what the artist is trying to say here, are protesting. Of course Rumsfeld’s on again-off again insistence upon the connection between Al Qaeda and Iraq, even in the absence of Saddam, is self contradictory and absurd – that’s what surrealism is all about. To have some Nashville cowboy prancing about in sequined boots to commemorate the murders of New York and international business people by religious extremists is part of the logic of dreams and who can dream like Don Rumsfeld?

But this is where the Art Critic comes to our rescue. Speaking as a supporter of the administration’s exhibition, Rep. Pete King (R-L.I.) said in a stunning non-sequitur: “We are at war. It's essential that we support our troops" thus surrealistically implying that singing Stand by your Man was better support than sending reinforcements or adequate equipment.

He also said attacking Iraq was necessary after 9/11. "You do not defeat Al Qaeda until you stabilize the Middle East, and that's not possible as long as Saddam Hussein is in power."

Efforts by bystanders to inform him that Saddam is long since out of power and that the Middle East was far more stable before we attacked Iraq, only illustrate America’s lack of Art Appreciation. This isn’t about vulgar facts, it’s about Art, but you just can’t explain art to a philistine, can you?

5 comments:

d.K. said...

Your art analogy is wonderful; however, that almost imperceptible fine line between where art ends and pornography begins has just been even further blurred by Rumsfeld, King, et.al. Their reasoning is abstract in the extreme.

Crankyboy said...

I didn't even read this one but I'm sure it's good.

Crankyboy said...

I just read it. Bravo.

Petunia McGillicuddy said...

yeah, this my number one favorite so far.

phinky said...

Will Army recruiters be there as performance art too? If the crowd's patriotic fervor is whipped up, maybe some of them will enlist!?