Saturday, March 04, 2006

The Painted Turd

I am fortunate in my present job; I get to look at some of the most sublime images ever created by man. But I also have to sift through solicitations from the world's art dealers to buy less sublime objects. I don't mind minimalism, abstraction, spatter painting, primitivism et cetera -- as long as it's engaging. But some of the stuff we get is just plain ugly, stupid, pretentious crap. Yet dealers spend vast sums on slick brochures with lavish photo spreads and dense, jargon-filled paens to the works, the artist, the oeuvre. Never mind that the work is all too apparently crap, and its purveyors are charlatans or fools.

The verbiage projected onto these excresences comes from the same lobe that produces W's hagiography. W inspires this sort of rhetoric from the desperate (who knew how many there were, and how desperate?) precisely because there is nothing to him. He is a man without qualities, a human vanishing point. Nobody can point to anything W has accomplished, anything he excels at, any talent he has. He has been a useful idiot for Cheney, Ken Lay, the people at Halliburton, the neocons, and the snake oil peddlers of the "Christian" right; but by his own powers and lights he has done nothing -- his entire life. He is not merely wanting by statesman or presidential standards. He is one of the worst, most useless people our system has ever produced: a stupid, spoiled, mean-spirited brat, all need, ego and entitlement.

People are starting to wake up to the fact now. In the past few days there have been good pieces on this from Salon, Digby and Mark Kleiman. But I imagine it has been dismaying to millions of people for years that so many around them have been so blind. We need to issue $3 bills -- perfect for one small, latte. The only problem is do we put W's picture on it, or P. T. Barnum's?


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