Mudcat Café message #3475158 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #146443   Message #3475158
Posted By: GUEST,DDT
03-Feb-13 - 02:17 AM
Thread Name: Free the Pussy Riot Three
Subject: RE: Free the Pussy Riot Three
One of the ladies is in the hospital now from overwork. She says she doesn't expect the state to show leniency. In praise of her, I will post this along with the wish that she regain her health. This is the state people like Tony, CET and bonzo3legs are supporting. If you watch the video that Tony was so kind to post, you see that they really did nothing except climb the altar steps in balaclavas before church security was all over them. Now what kind of church has its own police force? That's the very thing the ladies were protesting--that church and state are too cozy in Russia under Putin who uses it as a smokescreen to hide his actions. But then it's so un-American to protest the joining of church and state, isn't it, guys?

bonzo3legs called them stupid because they protested fully knowing what the consequences are. Care to explain that bonzo? Stupid to me is protesting NOT knowing what the consequences are. On second thought, don't bother yourself. I don't want to trudge through anymore of your nonsense.

Artistic expression and politics go together even when that art is anti-political. Actually even more so in the latter case because when your art is anti-political, the state starts watching everything you do and wants to shut you up. Control the art and the state controls the people. Hitler and the Nazis knew this. That's why they cleared out the "degenerate art" from their galleries and threw the biggest violators in the camps--guys like Max Ernst.

What art did Hitler approve? Neo-classicist art that was a rehash of ancient Roman and Greek art except he wanted it to express the Nazi ideal of order and cleanliness as well as the proper role of male and female. The Nazis had no political vision to speak of. They had an aesthetic vision. Everything was about taste. Whatever did not fit their view of what is aesthetic, they got rid of--things like the mad, the retarded, the handicapped, the Jews, the Gypsies, the Slavs, the Poles, jazz music, race-mixing, modern art, etc. Read Speer's memoirs sometime, they are quite eye-opening.

And America wasn't immune to it either. By the 30s, there were two main forms of art in America--regionalism and social realism. Grant Wood was the foremost regional artist. Diego Riviera was the foremost social realist. Most Americans disliked social realism because it showed them how well off they weren't. Regionalism expressed something like the Nazi ideal only it was agrarian and showed the men out in the fields working and the women in the kitchen cooking dinner.

Wood's pamphlet, Revolt Against the City, published in Iowa City in 1935 laid the Regionalist claim to define American art by stating that American artists should not be looking to Paris for their inspiration (Paris was considered the world's art center at that time) but to their own hometowns — to present the descriptions of its natural features and phenomena, its industry, its way of thinking both psychologically and philosophically. It is the interplay and competition between these elements, said Wood, that defines
American culture. Cities, he said, quoting Jefferson, are "ulcers on the body politic," by which he meant a geographical area and associated government, i.e. America and its traditional government as envisioned by the Founding Fathers, the American Republic.
Cities with their crime, disease, poverty, pollution, wage slavery, corrupt politics and vice erase American culture rather than enhance it. Wood felt cities had lost their allure and the people would be indemnified by a return to the soil, the farm and the small town.

But if Regionalism preached a return to traditional values of earning an honest living through old-fashioned hard work, Social Realists criticized it as unrealistic. Cities would not lose their allure but that the family farm would fall by the wayside. Regionalism,
they said, preached values no longer acceptable—the man out plowing the fields while the wife cooks dinner. With the onset of World War II, men were conscripted in such numbers that women were needed to fill jobs back home once the domain exclusively of men. And the field hands in the rural areas are predominantly black or Mexican—where
are they in Regionalist art? Regionalism could not maintain its hold on the American psyche. The Great Depression now long behind, the comfort that Regionalism offered in that time was now forgotten. The Social Realists were right. The fields began to empty of hands that streamed to the cities for factory jobs. This was due in large part to the plantation owners who bought the reapers and tractors and combines and the harvesters made in the cities and field hands watched their jobs go away. The mass exodus to the cities was all but assured. Regionalism simply had no place in the modern world. But neither did Social Realism triumph. It was too political for the public's tastes. When World War II began to heat up, portraying America's inequalities and inner city squalor was seen as unpatriotic and subversive and began to be censored and quite heavily.

So you see that the McCarthy era didn't come out of nowhere, it was already in the air. Social realism went underground in an unusual way--abstract expressionism. Max Ernst had fled to the US after he left the camps and was arrested once again by the Gestapo from whom he escaped. He joined up with other surrealists and dadaists as Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp in New York (dada was explicitly antiwar). They founded abstract expressionism and social realism retreated to this bastion. Now its message was hidden in the random shapes and colors on the canvas. When McCarthy went after the communists he targeted Hollywood (once again, we see artistic expression is what the despots and tyrants go after) and left abstract expressionism alone because as a typical anti-intellectual, he didn't understand it and so it was therefore harmless.

Jackson Pollack, who like Wood wanted to overthrow Paris as the artistic capital of the world, painted the way he did precisely because other forms of artistic expression were suppressed. He had actually learned under a regionalist master named Thomas Hart Benton but greatly admired the works of Ernst. The innovations of the abstract expressionists caught fire in Europe and overthrew Paris as the artistic capital of the world and brought that title to New York City--the home of abstract expressionism.

What the state wants to stamp out is the truth. What art seeks to express is also the truth and so they are at odds. The state's solution is to ban certain art and replace it with state-approved art (or publish its own newspaper and call it "TRUTH"). And you see this in the Muslim countries as well.

So when you speak in favor the Russian govt clamping down on artistic expression, you speak in favor of every dictatorship and autocracy that wants to suppress the truth. You speak in favor of the Bush administration's successful attempts to block images of flag-draped coffins arriving daily from Iraq from being shown on the nightly news.    You speak in favor of the Obama administration's suppression of the second round of torture photos taken by soldiers in American-operated prisons (said to be far, far worse than the first round but I guess we'll never know and I also guess that that satisfies you). You speak in favor of the tobacco giants successful push to make publishing the full list of the poisons they sell to Americans in the form of cigarettes a felony punishable by major prison time.

And I have to say this: I VERY STRONGLY believe you have sided with the Russian govt against the women in Pussy Riot precisely because they are women. I don't believe for a second you would criticize them if they were men.