Art Haboob Abhors the Vacuous
It is disheartening to see ancient buildings, all over Libya, Mali, and Syria, being destroyed. The importance of historical sites may only become apparent after they are razed to the ground. Hopefully. At least. Maybe then they’ll be worth more as art objects. It will certainly be easier to sell the broken antiques to the Louvre, to give them sanctuary, visibility, and flood the market with art and artifacts. It’s not like they have a lot of paintings hanging around; so they can sell the broken pieces and make a few bucks. But really, it is far better to keep these places intact. It’s the difference between watching an entire movie, and only seeing stills, and maybe the trailer.
Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone agreed to take care of art rather than destroy it? During heated battles, time-outs would be called to avoid damaging historical buildings. Artwork would be respected and appreciated, even rescued on special art stretchers, carried by brave art lovers. Battlefields would be just that: fields full of flowers where they have battles of the bands. IED’s would become IAD’s. Improvised artistic devices. These would be placed alongside thoroughfares to delight, entertain, and enlighten innocent passersby. The world’s first, Art/Craft Carrier would be built. This artship would provide complete, mobile, artistic autonomy, travel the globe, guard against forces Philistine, and defend art theory and presentation. It would go anywhere, while sowing the seeds of art everywhere, and protecting the sanctity of artistic expression for everyone. The war department would become the art department. The art department would conduct all operations on paper, then frame and sell them to our enemies, or other art collectors, so they can get our perspective.
The line in the sand was drawn centuries ago. There was an embargo on art supplies. No problem. All an artist needed was a stick and a sand dune. The line is still there, somewhere, covered in oil and blood. There are also many more lines now, and more dunes than you can shake a stick at. It is time to end the art supply embargo.
Whether one agrees with this sentiment, a certain, deliberate pause should always be taken to appreciate our amazing diversity. Art is everywhere, in everything. But even Nature, the greatest artistic achievement ever, created by the greatest Artist of all, is being harmed, perhaps irreparably, by all of us. Sorry.
Kill each other if you must. Please don’t! But, at least quit busting up the art. Stop behaving like drunken teenagers. This behavior is so 20th century. Drag your knuckles up off the ground and be cool, man. It is understandable that there are grievances and grudges, but the pen is still mightier than the sword. Try it.
Smaller Government Means YOU Probably Won’t Be Part of It
We need to get creative with our immigration policy, and the way government treats its own citizens. A more thoughtful administration could devise a simple, make-work policy to address the decline, and deterioration of our infrastructure. A domestic upgrade could provide opportunity for people to work, and learn new skills. During the depression the government tried to work for everyone. Anyone could work for the government. They had an incredible notion, something about a nation pulling together. All for one. One for all. United we stand. Divided we fall. And jobs are whatever we say they are, not so narrowly defined, and they may even be fun. The government was there to thoughtfully provide a basic subsistence for its citizens. This, after the private sector completely fell apart, leaving only the government as the go to entity for survival. FDR stepped up and initiated an almost utopian dream, which included anyone in the country who wanted to work. The jobs his administration came up with include everything from artists to machinists, librarians to zookeepers. The possibilities were limitless. Yet this was too good to be true; so most of these these programs were eliminated by subsequent administrations, except for social security. If our government had kept these programs, the immigrant issue would have at least one answer. Think of all the work that could have been done but was lost, because the focus is on deporting workers and their families. What a waste. If someone wants to come here to work, welcome to America, amigo! Eh?
This country has regressed since the 1930′s. That was when programs such as Federal One, Public Works of Art, and the Farm Security Administration, were created to give work to artist-types, and others not suited for “real jobs”. It was a renaissance for the arts here in the US, too early for its time, and all but forgotten now. Here it is eighty years later, same country, but with a one-eighty on the arts. It had always had detractors, and by 1944, the FSA finally closed. This program had hired photographers and writers to document the Depression and the recovery. There were guidelines given for the art, which is to be expected for the times. Striving against all odds was one. Better living conditions can improve quality of life, is another. Not exactly frothing at the mouth propaganda. It was a society filled with hope, having survived the war, and with government offering jobs, the American Optimist was born. And not just jobs. Careers. Passions. Dreams. Instinctively it offered a great variety of work which covered the entire kinetic spectrum, and no doubt soothed the national psyche. It was a far cry from today’s universal bleats of manufacturing jobs, manufacturing jobs, manufuckingfacturing jobs. Why don’t they just reopen the plantations and the workhouses?
Contemporary administrations are reluctant to encourage artistic observation. They will get their money’s worth. And they already get enough crap from John Stewart and Bill O’Reilly.
How terrible is it when a government encourages its artists to be creative and productive? Limitation or control over content is obviously a bad thing. But this is 2012. We survived 1984; and now everyone has a cellphone with a camera. We are all familiar with nutjobs obsessed with media control. They are everywhere. Although, we as a nation may have bad taste, we also suffer fools, live under rocks, and are never exactly sure where Waldo is. But we love a good barbeque. And you can set your watch by that. We understand that there’s no accounting for taste. Agree to disagree. And art, unlike war, is good for absolutely everything. Say it again.
Be Kind and Support Local Art