Monday, February 20, 2006

Censorship--In One Form Or Another

(All emphases by Always On Watch)

Recently, Mark Alexander, the author of The Dawning of a New Dark Age: A Collection of Essays On Islam, had some images removed from his blog. [Mr. Alexander has recounted these events in some detail here and here; scroll toward the end of each of those posts to read the chronology and his reactions at the time]

Shortly after the images were removed, Mr. Alexander wrote a summary for Infidel Bloggers Alliance. Excerpt:
Is America still the Land of the Free?

"My weblog, A New Dark Age Is Dawning has recently been censored twice because I had the cartoons of prophet Muhammad displayed.

"The first time, I was censored by Photobucket; the second time, by Pic Tiger.

"I was shocked enough when Photobucket censored me. They replaced the images of the prophet they found offensive with their banners, stating that their terms had been violated. But it was not only the cartoons of the prophet that were removed, one picture depicting an angry Muslim in a London demonstration calling for the beheading of any infidel who disrespected Islam had also been removed for having fallen foul of their terms!

"I'm sure you can imagine that I was even more shocked to find that within two days of finding a new hosting company, PicTiger, that they, too, had censored me. They also replaced the two cartoons of the prophet with their own banners.

"I was dumbfounded!..."
As was I! Considering the climate of political correctness, I am not completely surprised by the removal of the bomb-in-the-turban caricature. But I am truly distressed that a news photo was also removed. Orwell's 1984 arrived? Also, the blogosphere is a free-flowing medium. On my blog rounds, I often see articles and images which I don't like. What do I do? I move on.

Of course, I recognize that what PhotoBucket and PicTiger did to Mr. Alexander's site is perfectly legal, according to those companies' terms of service. Nevertheless, the implications are alarming. Just how does one define "offensive"? What is offensive to one is not offensive to another, especially as applied to ideological concepts.

Let's have a look at what Flemming Rose, culture editor of the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, has to say in "Why I Published Those Cartoons" in the February 19, 2006 edition of the Washington Post:
"Childish. Irresponsible. Hate speech. A provocation just for the sake of provocation. A PR stunt. Critics of 12 cartoons of the prophet Muhammad I decided to publish in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten have not minced their words. They say that freedom of expression does not imply an endorsement of insulting people's religious feelings, and besides, they add, the media censor themselves every day. So, please do not teach us a lesson about limitless freedom of speech.

"I agree that the freedom to publish things doesn't mean you publish everything. Jyllands-Posten would not publish pornographic images or graphic details of dead bodies; swear words rarely make it into our pages. So we are not fundamentalists in our support for freedom of expression.

"But the cartoon story is different.

"Those examples have to do with exercising restraint because of ethical standards and taste; call it editing. By contrast, I commissioned the cartoons in response to several incidents of self-censorship in Europe caused by widening fears and feelings of intimidation in dealing with issues related to Islam. And I still believe that this is a topic that we Europeans must confront, challenging moderate Muslims to speak out. The idea wasn't to provoke gratuitously -- and we certainly didn't intend to trigger violent demonstrations throughout the Muslim world. Our goal was simply to push back self-imposed limits on expression that seemed to be closing in tighter.

"At the end of September, a Danish standup comedian said in an interview with Jyllands-Posten that he had no problem urinating on the Bible in front of a camera, but he dared not do the same thing with the Koran.

"This was the culmination of a series of disturbing instances of self-censorship. Last September, a Danish children's writer had trouble finding an illustrator for a book about the life of Muhammad. Three people turned down the job for fear of consequences. The person who finally accepted insisted on anonymity, which in my book is a form of self-censorship. European translators of a critical book about Islam also did not want their names to appear on the book cover beside the name of the author, a Somalia-born Dutch politician who has herself been in hiding.

"Around the same time, the Tate gallery in London withdrew an installation by the avant-garde artist John Latham depicting the Koran, Bible and Talmud torn to pieces. The museum explained that it did not want to stir things up after the London bombings. (A few months earlier, to avoid offending Muslims, a museum in Goteborg, Sweden, had removed a painting with a sexual motif and a quotation from the Koran.)

"Finally, at the end of September, Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen met with a group of imams, one of whom called on the prime minister to interfere with the press in order to get more positive coverage of Islam.

"So, over two weeks we witnessed a half-dozen cases of self-censorship, pitting freedom of speech against the fear of confronting issues about Islam. This was a legitimate news story to cover, and Jyllands-Posten decided to do it by adopting the well-known journalistic principle: Show, don't tell....

"We have a tradition of satire when dealing with the royal family and other public figures, and that was reflected in the cartoons. The cartoonists treated Islam the same way they treat Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism and other religions....

"One cartoon -- depicting the prophet with a bomb in his turban -- has drawn the harshest criticism. Angry voices claim the cartoon is saying that the prophet is a terrorist or that every Muslim is a terrorist. I read it differently: Some individuals have taken the religion of Islam hostage by committing terrorist acts in the name of the prophet. They are the ones who have given the religion a bad name. The cartoon also plays into the fairy tale about Aladdin and the orange that fell into his turban and made his fortune. This suggests that the bomb comes from the outside world and is not an inherent characteristic of the prophet.

"On occasion, Jyllands-Posten has refused to print satirical cartoons of Jesus, but not because it applies a double standard. In fact, the same cartoonist who drew the image of Muhammed with a bomb in his turban drew a cartoon with Jesus on the cross having dollar notes in his eyes and another with the star of David attached to a bomb fuse. There were, however, no embassy burnings or death threats when we published those.

"Has Jyllands-Posten insulted and disrespected Islam? It certainly didn't intend to. But what does respect mean? When I visit a mosque, I show my respect by taking off my shoes. I follow the customs, just as I do in a church, synagogue or other holy place. But if a believer demands that I, as a nonbeliever, observe his taboos in the public domain, he is not asking for my respect, but for my submission. And that is incompatible with a secular democracy.

"This is exactly why Karl Popper, in his seminal work The Open Society and Its Enemies, insisted that one should not be tolerant with the intolerant. Nowhere do so many religions coexist peacefully as in a democracy where freedom of expression is a fundamental right. In Saudi Arabia, you can get arrested for wearing a cross or having a Bible in your suitcase, while Muslims in secular Denmark can have their own mosques, cemeteries, schools, TV and radio stations.

"I acknowledge that some people have been offended by the publication of the cartoons, and Jyllands-Posten has apologized for that. But we cannot apologize for our right to publish material, even offensive material. You cannot edit a newspaper if you are paralyzed by worries about every possible insult.

"I am offended by things in the paper every day: transcripts of speeches by Osama bin Laden, photos from Abu Ghraib, people insisting that Israel should be erased from the face of the Earth, people saying the Holocaust never happened. But that does not mean that I would refrain from printing them as long as they fell within the limits of the law and of the newspaper's ethical code. That other editors would make different choices is the essence of pluralism.

As a former correspondent in the Soviet Union, I am sensitive about calls for censorship on the grounds of insult. This is a popular trick of totalitarian movements: Label any critique or call for debate as an insult and punish the offenders. That is what happened to human rights activists and writers such as Andrei Sakharov, Vladimir Bukovsky, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Natan Sharansky, Boris Pasternak. The regime accused them of anti-Soviet propaganda, just as some Muslims are labeling 12 cartoons in a Danish newspaper anti-Islamic.

"The lesson from the Cold War is: If you give in to totalitarian impulses once, new demands follow. The West prevailed in the Cold War because we stood by our fundamental values and did not appease totalitarian tyrants...."
Later in his commentary, Mr. Rose points out that the controversy about the cartoons can serve to accelerate needed reform of Islam. He doesn't use the word "reform," but I think that reform is what he's talking about:
"Since the Sept. 30 publication of the cartoons, we have had a constructive debate in Denmark and Europe about freedom of expression, freedom of religion and respect for immigrants and people's beliefs. Never before have so many Danish Muslims participated in a public dialogue -- in town hall meetings, letters to editors, opinion columns and debates on radio and TV. We have had no anti-Muslim riots, no Muslims fleeing the country and no Muslims committing violence. The radical imams who misinformed their counterparts in the Middle East about the situation for Muslims in Denmark have been marginalized. They no longer speak for the Muslim community in Denmark because moderate Muslims have had the courage to speak out against them....

"A network of moderate Muslims committed to the constitution has been established, and the anti-immigration People's Party called on its members to differentiate between radical and moderate Muslims, i.e. between Muslims propagating sharia law and Muslims accepting the rule of secular law. The Muslim face of Denmark has changed, and it is becoming clear that this is not a debate between 'them' and 'us,' but between those committed to democracy in Denmark and those who are not.

"This is the sort of debate that Jyllands-Posten had hoped to generate when it chose to test the limits of self-censorship by calling on cartoonists to challenge a Muslim taboo...."
But Mr. Rose also adds this caveat:
"Did we achieve our purpose? Yes and no. Some of the spirited defenses of our freedom of expression have been inspiring. But tragic demonstrations throughout the Middle East and Asia were not what we anticipated, much less desired. Moreover, the newspaper has received 104 registered threats, 10 people have been arrested, cartoonists have been forced into hiding because of threats against their lives and Jyllands-Posten's headquarters have been evacuated several times due to bomb threats. This is hardly a climate for easing self-censorship."
Jyllands-Posten finds itself the target of terrorism. Mr. Alexander found his web site censored. Most newspapers in the United States continue to refuse to print the cartoons because they are "offensive," although the case can be made that newspapers are refusing to publish the cartoons out of fear. The second form of self-censorship, yielding to fear, is even worse!

Right now, certain images are being censored in one way or another, for one reason or another. Tomorrow, words?

114 Comments:

At 2/20/2006 8:50 PM, Blogger Lone Pony said...

This was my favorite part:
But what does respect mean? When I visit a mosque, I show my respect by taking off my shoes. I follow the customs, just as I do in a church, synagogue or other holy place. But if a believer demands that I, as a nonbeliever, observe his taboos in the public domain, he is not asking for my respect, but for my submission. And that is incompatible with a secular democracy.
Amen!

 
At 2/20/2006 9:38 PM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

I say we take some [censored], and bend them over so their {censored] sticks up in the {censored] and start shoving {censored] into their {censored] until they [censored] their [censored] [censored] [censored]!!!

That'll teach the [censored] [censored] to [censored] with us.

 
At 2/20/2006 9:50 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Beamish,
My husband understood every word! Hehehe.

"Beamish in '08!" he says.

PS: I think I understand too. LOL.

 
At 2/20/2006 9:51 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Lone Pony,
Yes, there is a huge difference between respect and submission. The lines should never cross!

 
At 2/20/2006 10:51 PM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

AOW,

If your husband works on cars, he's as fluent in Profanitese as I am.

 
At 2/21/2006 1:09 AM, Blogger kevin said...

Next words?
Words are already censored by most of the news agencies, the word terrorist has basicly been banned by Rueters, ap etc... but if you want a cartoon of Mohhamed, just draw your own. That's what I did;
http://amboytimes.blogspot.com/2006/02/more-cartoon-news.html

 
At 2/21/2006 6:21 AM, Anonymous Don said...

Dammit Beamish I had a mouth full of coffee when I read that. Now I have to clean the screen.

 
At 2/21/2006 6:35 AM, Blogger beakerkin said...

Always

I want to tell you when I took my shoes off in a Mosque I cleared house . I stood in the back because the beak kneels to nobody.

Nobody censors the Beak but I am not surprised . In the UK someone told me that Norman Finklestein's Holocaust Industry is Okay but claiming there is no such ethnicity as Pseudostinians is hate speech.

I purchased a copy of Alexander's book. Now I wonder if we can get Mr Beamish to write an Artbook. Mr Beamish improves the classics.

If I ever install photoshop the Beakerkin logo would be Beaker of the Muppets head on Rambos body.
I have been searching the web for the ulimate act of vengence. A picture of the Muslims bowing in Mecca to the familiar Mr Beamish icon.

Warren already has an Icon at Bad Eagle so he can be placed in the picture.

I have not found the right picture yet. No doubt the placement of the familiar Mr Beamish logo in Mecca would be an improvement.

 
At 2/21/2006 7:04 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Beamish,
If your husband works on cars, he's as fluent in Profanitese as I am.

LOL. A bystander can tell how difficult the repair job is by the the number and strength of the profanities.

BTW, my father was also a mechanic, but none of us ever heard a profanity from him. A marvel, that--and remarkable self-control, IMO.

 
At 2/21/2006 7:06 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Don,
Have you seen any of Beamish's recent art? Put down all food and beverages before you look. Hehehe.

 
At 2/21/2006 7:07 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Kevin,
Good point about how the media will do all sorts of verbal gymnastics to avoid the word "terrorist."

I'll take a look at your art.

 
At 2/21/2006 7:21 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Beak,
I want to tell you when I took my shoes off in a Mosque I cleared house

My husband won't go anywhere near a mosque, but the same would happen, I'm sure. He also won't eat in a Japanese restaurant.

Now I wonder if we can get Mr Beamish to write an Artbook. Mr Beamish improves the classics.

Maybe a special web page?

No doubt the placement of the familiar Mr Beamish logo in Mecca would be an improvement.

I can see it now! LOL.

Boo hoo! I don't know how to do any computer art. I'm not even sure how to upload an image to my site. --sigh--

Mark Alexander's book doesn't whitewash anything. The essays are not long--short and to the point!

 
At 2/21/2006 8:21 AM, Blogger beakerkin said...

I am still searching for a picture of Muslims Bowing . A well placed Mr Beamish logo at the center would be the key.

 
At 2/21/2006 9:05 AM, Blogger Bassizzzt said...

"tis funny, I just found a pic of me in a mosque in Karachi, Pakistan, taken back in 1991.

My, how the times have changed.

 
At 2/21/2006 9:33 AM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

Full funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.

Piss Christ in every classroom.

"The Last Temptation of Christ" on all High School film curricula.

etc. etc.

Amazing how folks are coming out against censorship. Might even call it hypocritical.

 
At 2/21/2006 9:54 AM, Blogger Iran Watch said...

AOW..when do you think that the citizens of Western nations will realize that their freedoms are being taken away from them?
I thought these cartoons would wake up those who still don't understand the threat Islam poses on Western values and freedoms but instead it seems the West keeps backing away from confrontation.

 
At 2/21/2006 9:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds. --Ralph Waldo Emerson

Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it. --Henry David Thoreau

Politeness, n: The most acceptable hypocrisy.--Ambrose Bierce

Hypocrisy is not generally a social sin, but a virtue. --Judith Martin

With people of limited ability modesty is merely honesty. But with those who possess great talent it is hypocrisy. --Arthur Schopenhauer

In England the only homage which they pay to Virtue - is hypocrisy. --Lord Byron

Hypocrisy is the homage vice pays to virtue. --Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Hypocrisy is a value that I think has been embraced by the Republican Party. We get lectured by people all day long about moral values by people who have their own moral shortcomings. --Howard Dean

A Conservative Government is an organized hypocrisy. --Benjamin Disraeli

-FJ

 
At 2/21/2006 10:01 AM, Blogger American Crusader said...

" Amazing how folks are coming out against censorship. Might even call it hypocritical."
Ducky...you've made a good point even though I believe most of the argument with The National Endowment of the Arts and the pictures of Christ with piss was more about funding then free speech.
But let's take a a look at the reaction of those who were offended. How many churches burned or people killed?
How many embassies burnt down and attacked?
Surely you must see the difference.
Islam is trying to impose their values on Western society and it seems that their winning.

 
At 2/21/2006 10:27 AM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

David Irving says hi from the joint to all you "free speech" fanatics.

Troublesome issue isn't it?

 
At 2/21/2006 10:33 AM, Blogger Mussolini said...

Mr Ducky:

Michelangelo in every classroom.

"The Passion of Christ" on all High School film curricula.

Etc, etc.

Amazing how folks are coming out against censorship. Might even call it hypocritical.

 
At 2/21/2006 10:47 AM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

"American Crusader"....the reaction in Europe was very similar to our reaction to religious offense. Some muslims wanted to meet with the newspaper and were denied. Several months later there were demonstrations in the usual countries, Syria, Iran, Pakistan.

There was very little disturbance in Europe and if you think the Pakistani demonstrations are about cartoons then you just aren't paying attention. This is the Taliban demonstrating against Musharaff. The cartoons have nothing to do with it...a cheap pretext.

If you notice....since The Dauphin completely screwed up the Iraqi affair and exposed our inability to control an insurgency(just as Vietnam did) the radicals have been in ascendence. Time to rethink your plan.

 
At 2/21/2006 10:50 AM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

Mussolini, when was Gibson's film censored. I'd say the box office says otherwise. Now if the religiously insane wish to reduce the faith to sado-masochism they can. The left doesn't censor. But hell, even Pasolini didn't get as vulgar and offensive as Gibson.

Although I have to love a director who tried to cast Jack Kerouac as Christ and ended up with a Marxist truck driver from Naples.

 
At 2/21/2006 11:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What, you'd have Kerouac attempt to play something other than himself? I once held out the possibility that perhaps Kerouac would have made a reasonably good actor, but I think you've converted me to your view. He was "authentically" degenerate. ;-)

-FJ

 
At 2/21/2006 11:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

“I’m not a beatnik, I’m a Catholic.” --Jack Kerouac

-FJ

 
At 2/21/2006 12:04 PM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

Would have been a great performance, Farmer. Too bad the booze had him.

 
At 2/21/2006 12:10 PM, Blogger American Crusader said...

Ducky, I have been paying attention.
You mentioned the riots in Pakistan being political and not about the cartoons.
If this was true then how about the riots in Nigeria, Indonesia, Lebanon, Egypt, Afghanistan, Libya, etc. etc.?
Were the artist who did the series of Jesus being urinated on murdered or forced into protective custody?
Were any embassies torched?
Flags burnt?
You compared two dissimilar situations and drew a faulty conclusion.

 
At 2/21/2006 12:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Oedipus got to him long before the booze. Something must have happened in Lowell that really screwed up his mind. He had to get away from it.

-FJ

 
At 2/21/2006 12:43 PM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

Farmer, get a copy of "Visions of Gerard". It's about the death of his brother at a very young age. That gives you some insight.

 
At 2/21/2006 1:00 PM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

No, can't buy it American Crusader. If there was really so much pent up outrage about the cartoons then why not outbursts in Europe?

This was simply militant muslim factions continuing the radicalization of the Middle East.

Muslim Brotherhood has been gaining power in Egypt. Hamas is in control in the Palestinian terrirores, Hezbollah is in control in Lebanon, the mullahs have a clamp down in Iran and Musharaff appears to be in trouble in Pakistan.

This has all become much more aggravated since President AWOL started working his magic. He's a complete failure and we had better admit that.

 
At 2/21/2006 1:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep,

You definitely hit on it, ducky...

On hearing of Gerard's death, Jack ran joyfully to inform his father, glad that Gerard would no longer suffer, thinking his father would share his feelings. He had probably overheard grown-ups say that death would put an end to his suffering, would be the most merciful course of events. He was severely reprimanded, but perhaps, unconsciously, he was pleased that he was now the centre of attention, that he would now be his mother's favourite son. A Freudian viewpoint suggests he would have harboured unconscious feelings of hatred towards Gerard, and would probably even have wished him dead. This is a common element in the relationship between siblings, even when they are very fond of each other. However, the fulfilment of this unconscious wish gave the four-year-old a terrible unresolved guilt for the rest of his life.

With Gerard's death Jack was suddenly the centre of Gabrielle's life. She worried over his health and fed him special foods. She bathed and mollycoddled him. On an unconscious level he probably blamed himself for Gerard's death, but now revelled in the attention that it brought him. He had vied, usually unsuccessfully, with his brother for his mother's attention; now he had it all. Gerard's death affected Jack profoundly: he was beset with worries, he saw swarms of white dots before his eyes, he saw religious statues move their eyes, he was scared of shadows and would not sleep alone. For years after Gerard's death, Jack slept tucked up safely between his mother and his sister Nin. For the first few sorrow-filled months after Gerard died, Jack would sit motionless in the parlour, in a daze, doing nothing. He grew increasingly pale and thin. But then, as the horrendous events passed into memory, he began to play again, though now he played alone and with more introspection -- his older sister Nin had her own girlfriends. He played the old family Victrola and acted out movie scenarios to the music, some of which he developed into long serial sagas, to be `continued next week'. In one of them the plot led to the hero being left tied up with rope, so Jack tied himself up and rolled around on the grass where the local children, coming home from school, saw him and laughed and thought he was crazy.

In 1927, Leo's finances took a turn for the worse, probably caused more by his gambling debts than by the Depression. Shortly after Gerard's death he moved his family to an apartment at 320 Hildreth Street, in Centralville. His intention may also have been to get his family away from the many painful reminders of little Gerard and his suffering. Jack was now old enough to go to school, which enabled Gabrielle to go to work. She returned to her profession as a skiver, cutting the leather at a shoe factory.

Still confused and unsettled by the tragedy of his brother's death, five-year-old Jack's small, circumscribed world now expanded. He was sent to the Saint Louis de France Parochial School, in Centralville, to be taught by the same nuns who had regarded brother Gerard as a saint-who-had-walked-among-them. Jack was a poor substitute and they soon let him know it with regular beatings. At Saint Louis de France Jack was taught to pray to Sainte Therese of Lisieux, known as Sainte Therese of the Infant Jesus, a child saint, the consumptive daughter of a Brittany watchmaker. Her diary, The Story of a Soul, was a turn-of-the-century bestseller. She had become a nun at fifteen and kept a diary while dying of tuberculosis. In her diary she told how she would `spend her heaven doing good upon earth' and promised a `shower of roses' for those who prayed for her after her death. The nuns even showed the children a film made about a statue of Sainte Therese that supposedly moved its head. The cheap portraits of her sold by the Catholic Church show her surrounded by lambs and roses, the origin of all the lambs and roses in Kerouac's prose (and, by extension, all the lamby love in Allen Ginsberg's letters). Sainte Therese's family name was Martin, the name Kerouac used for the central family of The Town and the City. Even late in his life, whenever he was feeling particularly down, Jack would offer up a prayer to little Sainte Therese and claim to get relief.

At parochial school, morning lessons were in English, a language Jack had not previously spoken. They switched to French after luncheon, when they pledged allegiance to la race Canadienne Francaise. Morning prayers were in English but the biblical stories, catechism and history of the Church were all taught in French, preserving the division between the French Catholic community and mainstream American culture, and consolidating the hold that the Church had over its flock. One of Jack's earliest memories was learning to say `door' `instead of porte'.


...and of course, kerouac wrote of his fist homoerotic experiences beginning at age five...

-FJ (Sorry for the digression, always)

 
At 2/21/2006 1:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saint Gerard assumed control of his Superego... and punished him whenever he misbehaved. That would certainly drive a man to drink... and keep him fom thinking too hard about acquiring his mommy for himself. Unresolved and displaced Oedipal fantasies.

 
At 2/21/2006 2:20 PM, Blogger American Crusader said...

Ducky...I don't completely disagree with you. There was obviously people behind this who had their own agendas. The fact that there was so many Danish flags proves it. I live in New York just north of NYC and I don't think I could get that many flags. But I think the rage the protesters felt toward the cartoons was real.
I don't recall where I read this, but I Danish comic stated that he would be willing to urinate on a Bible but would be afraid to do the same thing on a Koran. That's what I am talking about...The fact that he would be afraid for his life.

 
At 2/21/2006 2:28 PM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4716762.stm

People with agendas? Oh, we absolutely agree on that. In Pakistan it is the radical religious parties and I still say the target is Musharaff not cartoons.

I don't believe that a spontaneous demonstration against the cartoons would end up breaching the embassy compounds security. This was organized and probably had high level Pakistani military inside co-operation.

 
At 2/21/2006 3:53 PM, Blogger MissingLink said...

AOW,
Please remember I can host pictures and graphic if you or any of you friends need help.
Just e-mail the picture to me and I'll send you it's location.

 
At 2/21/2006 4:12 PM, Blogger American Crusader said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 2/21/2006 4:21 PM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

Ducky,

Full funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.

Piss Christ in every classroom.

"The Last Temptation of Christ" on all High School film curricula.

etc. etc.

Amazing how folks are coming out against censorship. Might even call it hypocritical.


I'm going to use small words so even people who suffer from the intellect-sapping diseases that cause leftism in humans such as yourself might understand.

If the government doesn't pay someone to take a picture of a crucifix in a jar of urine, it isn't censorship.

If the public doesn't pay to see a picture someone took of a crucifix in a jar of urine, it isn't censorship.

If someone takes three minutes to piss in a jar, drop a crucifix in it, and snap a photo, it isn't art.

I realize that being a leftist requires you to purge your mind of any and all things that may lead people to believe you're even capable of rationality or might fool someone into believing you're smarter than half a can of turnip greens, but surely you can drop the act long enough to see how utterly stupid your comment was.

 
At 2/21/2006 4:42 PM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article12006.htm

Terrific, neocon founder deserts the movement and calls Bush a Leninist.

I'd be thrilled except that Fukuyama is a moron so who cares.

 
At 2/21/2006 4:49 PM, Blogger beakerkin said...

Ducky

I am against jailing Irving. Free speech includes idiots that is quite fortunate in your case

 
At 2/21/2006 4:55 PM, Blogger Mark said...

"Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil" - Thomas Mann

 
At 2/21/2006 5:09 PM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

I'm sorry Beamish but when you try to pull exhibits from public galleries, stop funding and start a media blitz of false information it is censorship.

You think the Serrano photograph took a few seconds? No, you're wrong. I know you once took a home snapshot of your dog licking its balls but that doesn't establish you as a photographer.

 
At 2/21/2006 5:45 PM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

Ducky,

Maybe I should have said "please" when I asked you to drop the leftist act and turn on your atrophied brain for a moment.

Nothing is stopping Serrano from opening his own gallery and snapping Polaroids of his own excrement except for the fact that no one, besides leftists, want to pay to see that sort of thing.

When people fund art in public galleries with government money, they expect, at a minimum, that what is is displayed is art produced by an artist.

Serrano is not an artist, except of the "scam" type.

 
At 2/21/2006 5:53 PM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

And don't lie for the cause, Ducky. You know damned well if I were to snap a photo of my dog licking its balls and entitled it "Marx at the Crossroads" you'd want to pay me millions of dollars in gallery and speaking tours for the right to view it.

 
At 2/21/2006 6:28 PM, Blogger beakerkin said...

Ducky

Mr Beamish has created the ultimate in art.

 
At 2/21/2006 6:37 PM, Blogger City Troll said...

Off Topic did you guys see this Story

 
At 2/21/2006 8:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neocon founder? Fukayama? You're kidding, right mr. ducky? Friend of Kristol is more like it. And you are right about another thing, Fukayama had a rather dangerous belief in historical determinism... as if there could be an "end to history". Talk about a "Leninist".

History is cyclical. Always was. Always will be. And hey, the Athenians used to impose democracies on the their Ionian tributary states all the time. You just row in, tear the walls down, kill the tyrants and oligarchs, and poof... you've got a democracy. If the democracy gets overthrown, you simply "repeat". It'll stick for as long as you can keep the walls torn down, and are free to sail in. But they don't last. They degenerate too easily into tyrannies.

-FJ

ps - Are you listening Iran? We're coming to tear down your "long walls."

 
At 2/21/2006 8:32 PM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

Santayana and Fukuyama set up a ping-pong table.

Fukuyama serves a Hegelian stroke "We are at the end of History."

Santayana rebounds with "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it."

Lather, rinse, repeat.

 
At 2/21/2006 10:00 PM, Blogger Bassizzzt said...

Did anyone buy their anti-Islamist cartoon t-shirts yet?

 
At 2/21/2006 10:41 PM, Blogger Mike's America said...

Mark should try using the Google affiliate photo service "Hello."

As long as you aren't posting any nasty images about the Chinese you should be ok.

P.S. The folks who did the cartoon T shirt are getting alot of hate mail:

http://www.shopmetrospy.com/cgi-bin/cNc/showPage.plx?db=shopmetro&pid=70

 
At 2/22/2006 1:19 AM, Blogger WomanHonorThyself said...

Let me get this straight...the Internet which promotes pornography incessantly..with thousands upon thousands of images of women which OFFEND many decent pple..is fine n dandy..but SOMEONE decided offending Muzzzlims is bad bad bad ..so that they can censor?...UGH!

 
At 2/22/2006 1:57 AM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

WomanHonorThyself,

You make an excellent point. Of course, the leftists and other kinds of stupid people among us will insist that "normal people" are not a politically acceptable activist group.

 
At 2/22/2006 6:23 AM, Blogger Kyle said...

The comparison with Soviet brand censorship is appropriate. It is interesting that the very same people who were always upset when we stood up to the Soviet Union are the same ones upset when someone stands up to the Jihadists.

 
At 2/22/2006 6:37 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

WHT makes a good point; the Internet which promotes pornography incessantly..with thousands upon thousands of images of women which OFFEND many decent pple..is fine n dandy..but SOMEONE decided offending Muzzzlims is bad bad bad...

Many of those who use to be staunch supporters of free speech/free press seem to me mighty worried about the sensitivities. Notice that I said "seem to be." I don't buy it! I believe that the real reason is FEAR--fear of angering the Muslims. Physical fear. The problem goes way beyond the ideal of "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," a concept which is not Islamic, BTW.

Think about some of those placards being carrried. Just to cite two signs I've seen in news stories: "Behead those who insult Islam" and "Death to the cartoonists."

These rioting Muslims are their own worst enemy. And they are also telling us something about Islam as well. Okay, it's blasphemy for Muslims to draw or look at pictures which insult MTP. Fine by me. But imposing the Islamic definition of blasphemy on Western society? That is unacceptable. If we accept the Islamic definition of blasphemy and apply that definiton to a free press, what's next? What other elements of shari'a law will have to be applied? Do a Google search on shari'a law, and have a look at all the strictures.

Some details about the hate mail which Mike mentioned...From this source:

(PRWEB) - (PRWEB) February 21, 2006 -- Conservative t-shirt maker MetroSpy set off a firestorm when their newest design depicted a caricature of the prophet Mohammed with a bomb wrapped in his turban....

Johnathan Alexander, MetroSpy's production manager, says he's never seen anything like it. “It's a silly little cartoon. We've sold designs far more offensive than this for years”, referring to a t shirt which reads, “My Jesus can beat up your Allah.”

“For people to become so enraged over a drawing that they resort to burning down buildings and threatening to kill people is something I'll never understand,” Alexander said.

In one email the person writes, “We kill you and burn your shop. I am Muslim with forces in the U.S.A.”

Another email claims to be from the terrorist group Al Qaeda. It reads, “You only have 5 days and your company will disappear. I promise!” The email is signed, Saalem Al Qahtani, Al Qaeda.

One of the more disturbing messages simply says, “In two days we kill your family."

Over the past few days, MetroSpy has begun posting some of the emails on their website (http://www.shopmetrospy.com/)....

Altogether, MetroSpy has received more than five hundred hate emails and attempted virus attacks....


Under normal conditions, I wouldn't wear a t-shirt which would offend someone else's religion. But try to IMPOSE that religion on me, and my attitude changes. I suspect that others may be feeling the same way.

In this cartoon furor, a lot more is at stake than just some offending caricatures. Remember these words from Flemming Rose:

As a former correspondent in the Soviet Union, I am sensitive about calls for censorship on the grounds of insult. This is a popular trick of totalitarian movements: Label any critique or call for debate as an insult and punish the offenders. That is what happened to human rights activists and writers such as Andrei Sakharov, Vladimir Bukovsky, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Natan Sharansky, Boris Pasternak....The lesson from the Cold War is: If you give in to totalitarian impulses once, new demands follow.

 
At 2/22/2006 7:00 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

A few details about shari'a law, from this source:

Islam is often in the news these days. News articles that relate to Islam sometimes refer to the Shariah. What is the Shariah? The Shariah is the Islamic Sacred Law which was developed hundreds of years ago by Islamic jurists using the Koran and hadith (remembrances about what the Prophet Muhammad said and did during the time he was alive) as guideposts. The Shariah outlines a complete way of life in a legal framework which tells you how to do everything from how to pray to how to go to the bathroom. What does the Shariah law actually state? Here are some examples of Shariah law:
1. Offensive, military jihad against non-Muslims is a communal, religious obligation;
2. A person who is ignorant about Islamic legal opinion must follow the legal opinion of a scholar;
3. The penalty for a Muslim apostate (someone who no longer believes in or no longer follows the tenets of Islam) is death;
4. When slaughtering animals for food, a knife must be used to cut the windpipe and gullet;
5. A woman is only eligible to receive half the inheritance of a man;
6. Marriage may be forced on virgins by their father or father’s father;
7. A non-Arab man may not marry an Arab woman;
8. A woman must seek permission from her husband to leave the house;
9. A Muslim man cannot marry a woman who is a Zoroastrian, an idol worshipper, an apostate from Islam or a woman with one parent who is Jewish or Christian, with the other being Zoroastrian; a Muslim woman cannot marry anyone but a Muslim;
10. A free Muslim man may marry up to four women;
11. Retaliation is obligatory in most cases when someone is deliberately murdered except when a Muslim kills a non-Muslim, a Jew or a Christian kills a Muslim apostate or a father or mother kill their offspring;
12. Non-Muslim subjects (Ahl al-Dhimma) of a Muslim state are subject to a series of discriminatory laws – “dhimmitude”;
13. The penalty for fornication or sodomy is being stoned to death;
14. The penalty for an initial theft is amputation of the right hand. Subsequent thefts are penalized by further amputations of feet and hand;
15. A non-Muslim cannot testify against a Muslim in court; a person who is “without respectability” cannot give legal testimony; a woman’s legal testimony is only given half the legal weight of a man’s (and is only acceptable in cases involving property); to legally prove fornication or sodomy requires 4 male witnesses who actually saw the act;
16. The establishment and continuation of the Islamic Caliphate (by force, if necessary) is a communal obligation;
17. Sodomites and Lesbians must be killed;
18. Laughing too much is forbidden;
19. Musical instruments are unlawful;
20. Creating pictures of animate life is forbidden;
21. Female circumcision, which includes the excision of the clitoris, is obligatory;
22. Slavery is permitted;
23. People may be bribed to convert to Islam;
24. Beating a rebellious wife is permissible; and,
25. Lying is permissible in a time of war (or jihad).


More at the above site.

 
At 2/22/2006 8:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fukayama in his own words...

NY Times

-J

 
At 2/22/2006 9:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sir Winston Churchill...

An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.

When the eagles are silent the parrots begin to jabber.

Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.

One ought never to turn one's back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. If you do that, you will double the danger. But if you meet it promptly and without flinching, you will reduce the danger by half. Never run away from anything. Never!

Never, never, never give up.

War is a game that is played with a smile. If you can't smile, grin. If you can't grin, keep out of the way till you can.

When the war of the giants is over the wars of the pygmies will begin.

No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism.

Dictators ride to and fro upon tigers which they dare not dismount. And the tigers are getting hungry.

He has all of the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.

I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.

I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I will be sober and you will still be ugly.

If I was your wife Sir, I'd poison you! Madam, if you were my wife, I'd let you!

My wife and I tried two or three times in the last 40 years to have breakfast together, but it was so disagreeable we had to stop.

If you have ten thousand regulations you destroy all respect for the law.

In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.

Mr. Gladstone read Homer for fun, which I thought served him right.

I never worry about action, but only inaction.

Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.

The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.

You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else.

You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life.


-FJ

 
At 2/22/2006 9:40 AM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

As usual Beamish you deal in cliches. You seem to want the "market" to make all esthetic decisions. Fine, until it absolutely inevitably regresses to the least common denominator.

The result of that pure market economy is the crap you see now, lousy music, boring derivative film and the best of the graphic arts migrating to advertising.

The "market" is an extremely aggressive and inefficient censor and when you censor the grant money then you really stifle the creative environment.

Jazz and classical are dying while you listen the Linkin Park or whatever manufactured crap. As you weaken the cultural life of the nation you weaken its ability to think and reason. Very bad boy, Beamish

 
At 2/22/2006 9:41 AM, Blogger American Crusader said...

'Never, never, never give up."
I thought that was Jimmy V.

Just kidding..great quotes FJ. Winston Churchill was a man for all times but fortunately he was here at the right time.

 
At 2/22/2006 9:46 AM, Blogger American Crusader said...

"The result of that pure market economy is the crap you see now, lousy music, boring derivative film and the best of the graphic arts migrating to advertising."

God lets hope not. I think the liberal Hollywood elitist may have part of the blame.

 
At 2/22/2006 9:52 AM, Blogger Mussolini said...

Ducky is 100% on with the Islamification angle.

This has never been about cartoons.

Amusing, no? He keeps telling me I have a muslim bogeyman but here he is saying the same thing I've been pitching. Must be a "Lucid-Ducky" moment.

 
At 2/22/2006 11:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

mr. ducky,

I thought reducing all people to the lowest common denominator was summa qua non goal of Marxist egalitarianism. Why aren't you happy about the fact that capitalism is helping achieve that laudible goal, thereby de facto making all men equal?

Sir Winston - The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.

I take it you feel the "blessings" of capitalism are simply being "bestowed" on the wrong people... the cultural "equalizers" instead of the "creative" cultural elites, like youself? Doesn't the junky deserve a culture?

You expect Plutus to bestow wealth on the virtuous instead of "blindly" as he does now??? Better take him to the Temple of Aesculapius post haste!

-FJ

 
At 2/22/2006 12:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Censoring the grant money is the only thing that makes sense, mr. ducky. Mustn't you decide what to lace the "culture" with (fertilizer or pesticide)?

Will a thousand more Jackson Pollock's really make this country a better place?

 
At 2/22/2006 12:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

...or is it the object of life to simply "create" as much of that which is "not" out of that which "is"?

-FJ

 
At 2/22/2006 1:02 PM, Blogger Mark said...

Anonymous:

Aren't those Churchill quotations just wonderful?

 
At 2/22/2006 1:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Art that REALLY forces one to think creatively... WW

and art that doesn't ;-)

-FJ

 
At 2/22/2006 1:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is purposeless and undirected thinking somehow nobler than purposeful thinking??? Does a "blank canvas" empower me? How about the "second one". Or isn't the second one simply redundant "overkill".

-FJ

 
At 2/22/2006 1:21 PM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

Marxism wants all people to be equal? Interesting piece of silliness, Farmer. Actually, beyond his prediction of laissez-faire's collapse (which it did in WW I) the other lest interesting aspect of Marxism is the question of economic power.

This idea of "all people being equal" is an indication that the right wing reads Marx with the same pitiful level of comprehension that they give to Adam Smith (woefully misunderstood).

Now asking if we would be better off with a thousand more Pollacks isn't the question. We would be better off with acreative environment. Right now it's barren. I don't pay much attention to Greek philosophy of aesthetics since theirs was so limited and static.

What's with the Churchill infatuation? Other than being FDR's toadie what was his big claim to fame?
They kicked his ass out of British politics right after the war because he was such an ass clown.

 
At 2/22/2006 1:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who was the toadie, Winston? or Franklin?

Sir Winston says...

Meeting Franklin Roosevelt was like opening your first bottle of champagne; knowing him was like drinking it.

No lover ever studied every whim of his mistress as I did those of President Roosevelt.


The laissaz-faire market, mr. ducky, is perhaps the most creative and dynamic environment ever invented. Why would you want to further subsidize creativity? Dont' tell me you've gone Nietzschean "creative aesthetic" extremist on me. Aren't you delving in the wrong medium (morality vs art) LOL!

Now some people think there is more art to making something "static" out of something "dynamic" than visa versa. But then I change my mind. Is that too Greek for you?

-FJ

 
At 2/22/2006 2:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Plato, "Theaetetus"...

SOCRATES: I would have you imagine, then, that there exists in the mind of man a block of wax, which is of different sizes in different men; harder, moister, and having more or less of purity in one than another, and in some of an intermediate quality.

THEAETETUS: I see.

SOCRATES: Let us say that this tablet is a gift of Memory, the mother of the Muses; and that when we wish to remember anything which we have seen, or heard, or thought in our own minds, we hold the wax to the perceptions and thoughts, and in that material receive the impression of them as from the seal of a ring; and that we remember and know what is imprinted as long as the image lasts; but when the image is effaced, or cannot be taken, then we forget and do not know.

THEAETETUS: Very good.

SOCRATES: Now, when a person has this knowledge, and is considering something which he sees or hears, may not false opinion arise in the
following manner?

THEAETETUS: In what manner?

SOCRATES: When he thinks what he knows, sometimes to be what he knows, and sometimes to be what he does not know. We were wrong before in denying the possibility of this.

THEAETETUS: And how would you amend the former statement?

SOCRATES: I should begin by making a list of the impossible cases which must be excluded. (1) No one can think one thing to be another when he does not perceive either of them, but has the memorial or seal of both of them in his mind; nor can any mistaking of one thing for another occur, when he only knows one, and does not know, and has no impression of the other; nor can he think that one thing which he does not know is another thing which he does not know, or that what he does not know is what he knows; nor (2) that one thing which he perceives is another thing which he perceives, or that something which he perceives is something which he does not perceive; or that something which he does not perceive is something else which he does not perceive; or that something which he does not perceive is something which he perceives; nor again (3) can he think that something which he knows and perceives, and of which he has the impression coinciding with sense, is something else which he knows and perceives, and of which he has the impression coinciding with sense;--this last case, if possible, is still more inconceivable than the others; nor (4) can he think that something which he knows and perceives, and of which he has the memorial coinciding with sense, is something else which he knows; nor so long as these agree, can he think that a thing which he knows and perceives is another thing which he perceives; or that a thing which he does not know and does not perceive, is the same as another thing which he does not know and does not perceive;--nor again, can he suppose that a thing which he does not know and does not perceive is the same as another thing which he does not know; or that a thing which he does not know and does not perceive is another thing which he does not perceive:--All these utterly and absolutely exclude the possibility of false opinion. The only cases, if any, which remain, are the following.

THEAETETUS: What are they? If you tell me, I may perhaps understand you better; but at present I am unable to follow you.


-FJ

 
At 2/22/2006 2:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the words of Heraclitus..."Panta Rhei"

-FJ

 
At 2/22/2006 2:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess I've really got to stop reading Wikipedia...

Therefore, most Marxists now agree that communism can only be achieved if the coercive powers of redistribution needed during the transitional period are vested in a democratic body whose powers are limited by various checks and balances, in order to prevent abuse. In other words, they argue that political egalitarianism is indispensable to material egalitarianism. Meanwhile, other defenders of material egalitarianism have rejected Marxist communism in favor of such views as libertarian socialism, which does not advocate the transitional use of the state as a means of redistribution.

-FJ

 
At 2/22/2006 2:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

from the Stanford Philosophy web...(I hate secondary sources)

The Marxian tradition in political and economic thought urges the desirability of eliminating some of the inequalities associated with the institutions of a capitalist market economy. Interpreting Karl Marx as an egalitarian normative theorist is a tricky undertaking, however, in view of the fact that he tends to eschew explicit theorizing on moral principles and to regard assertions of moral principles as so much ideological dust thrust in the eyes of the workers by defenders of capitalism.

In "The Critique of the Gotha Program," Marx asserts that in the first phase of communist society the economy will distribute goods according to the norm, to each according to his labor contribution. This norm can be regarded as defining an equal right, but like any such right, it is defective. One defect is that some individuals are naturally more able than others, and so the amount of one's labor contribution will vary depending on factors that vary by luck beyond one's power to control. For this and other reasons Marx asserts it will be desirable when a higher phase of communist society is attained. Then society can move beyond the sphere of bourgeois right altogether and operate according to the norm, from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs. Despite Marx's disclaimer, he seems to be proposing a principle of equal right: Each has the right to receive economic goods that satisfy her needs to the same extent provided she contributes to the economy according to her ability. But Marx would resist the description of this norm as a principle of justice or moral rights. One consideration in his mind may be that moral rights ought to be enforced, but when it is feasible and desirable to implement higher-phase communist distribution, the implementation can be carried out successfully without any legal or informal coercion, and hence should not occur through any process of social enforcement. Or so Marx thinks.


-FJ

 
At 2/22/2006 3:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have to admit mr. ducky, that if you create a culture that is based upon the least common denominator, you will correspondingly reduce human ability to that of the worlds most incapable person, thereby "eliminating" the main defect of Marx's 1st norm... distributing goods in accordance with each man's labor contibution, thereby also achieving Marxian "Nirvana" without ever having to attempt the impossible task of defining each man's unlimited and infinitely undefinable need.

-FJ

ps- Did I ever tell you that I will really never be happy and feel my need to rule the world satisfied until I can have your body stuffed and used as my own, personal futon?

 
At 2/22/2006 3:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marxian mathematics..

Marx prop #1 -
Labor contribution(L) x ability(A) = Goods Received (G)

Marx prop #2 -
Need (N) = Goods Received (G)

ergo...

L x A = N

and if I reduce Ability to 1...

L x 1 = N

and substitute, now...

L = N

Labor = Need.

hmmm - Guess that means that Marx has proven that I need to work. Brilliant!

 
At 2/22/2006 7:40 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Mussolini: This has never been about cartoons.

Of course not! The cartoons are merely the rationalization for another agenda, which is behind a smokescreen.

 
At 2/22/2006 7:41 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

FJ,
I checked those art links you left. The first one was fun. The second was, well, nothing to think about or even to matter enough to look at. Hehehe.

 
At 2/22/2006 7:43 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Logic flaw in Marxism? If systems are in a state of struggle and, therefore, evolving, why is communism the last and best phase? Why not regression back through other phases?

 
At 2/22/2006 7:44 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Mark and FJ,
Gotta love Churchhill!

 
At 2/22/2006 8:19 PM, Blogger City Troll said...

Great Post we must make sure not to use any hosting site that would edit peoples work in such a manner see what their more afraid of loss of business or the muslims...

PS Thanks for all the anniversary wishes

 
At 2/22/2006 11:09 PM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

Ducky,

As usual Beamish you deal in cliches. You seem to want the "market" to make all esthetic decisions. Fine, until it absolutely inevitably regresses to the least common denominator.

The result of that pure market economy is the crap you see now, lousy music, boring derivative film and the best of the graphic arts migrating to advertising.

The "market" is an extremely aggressive and inefficient censor and when you censor the grant money then you really stifle the creative environment.


Given the undeniable fact that no leftist in the whole of human history has ever demonstrated the ability to think rationally, nor likely ever will, it doesn't surprise me that you actually believe piss in a jar would become acceptable to society at large as "art" if only taxpayers gave it welfare.

 
At 2/22/2006 11:20 PM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

hmmm - Guess that means that Marx has proven that I need to work. Brilliant!

LOL!

 
At 2/23/2006 11:01 AM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

Beamish, I'm not sure if you think Serrano is representative of all contemporary art but since you are a metallica fan I can assume that you don't know your ass from your elbow.

I'm sorry that you feel inadequate in front of work that you can't understand and will not attempt to understand but please don't blame the left for your shallowness.

The market will regress taste to the least common denominator. There will be some fringe "luxury" segments but what you will have available to you is crap. Enjoy.

 
At 2/23/2006 12:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A more Straussian view.

Excerpts...

How can the levelling tendency of the modern age be counteracted? How can greatness be restored? Unlike many European conservatives, Strauss did not look to the hereditary nobility, a class non-existent in America. His was an aristocracy of spirit, not of rank. Hence the vital importance he attached to education. "Liberal education," he wrote, "is the counterpoison to mass culture, to the corroding effects of mass culture, to its inherent tendency to produce nothing but 'specialists without spirit or vision and voluptuaries without heart.'… Liberal education is the necessary endeavour to found an aristocracy within democratic mass society. Liberal education reminds those members of a mass democracy who have ears to hear, of human greatness."

...and of course, the 60's "progressives" made sure to burn down the bridges to any "classical" (aka "liberal") education of the kind Strauss advocated...

---

Strauss's own response to this predicament was, as we have seen, to cultivate pockets of wisdom in the interstices of mass society, hoping that they would, over time, impart their "tone" to the republic as a whole. But his solution was too subtle, too elitist for modern tastes. His neoconservative descendants realised that the goal of awakening civic virtue could more easily be achieved by transforming liberal democracy itself into a fighting faith, into an object of worldwide struggle and sacrifice. They sought to pull outwards, not upwards. The collapse of the Soviet Union gave them their chance. Many became fierce champions of the same liberal democracy that Strauss himself had viewed with such scepticism.

-FJ

 
At 2/23/2006 1:26 PM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

Ducky,

Beamish, I'm not sure if you think Serrano is representative of all contemporary art but since you are a metallica fan I can assume that you don't know your ass from your elbow

You're confused. I think Serrano is a hack that pissed in a jar that has leftists who smear their own shit on their own skin and call it "art" such as yourself
all fawning over him.

It is also your leftism that would lead you to believe Metallica would be an "elite" artist if taxpayers funded their concerts free for the public.

 
At 2/23/2006 1:31 PM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

Humor me, Ducky.

What is "artistic" about submerging a crucifix in a jar or urine? Would it be "artistic" to submerge the crucifix in Pepsi-Cola? Would it be "artistic" to submerge a picture of Jack Kerouac in urine? Or Pepsi-Cola? Or is it the shape of the jar?

 
At 2/23/2006 4:10 PM, Blogger Gindy said...

" But it was not only the cartoons of the prophet that were removed, one picture depicting an angry Muslim in a London demonstration calling for the beheading of any infidel who disrespected Islam had also been removed for having fallen foul of their terms!"

That's the part that I really find disturbing. If they want to make the argument that it is offensive to show Mohammed, that is one argument one can have. But, to remove pictures of violence done to others in general is scary.

 
At 2/23/2006 4:59 PM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

No answer, Ducky?

Where's the art in Piss Christ? Serrano didn't make the crucifix. He didn't make the jar.

He took a picture of own piss in a jar.

And you wouldn't get that from looking at it. It's just a photo of a crucifix submerged in a liquid. You have to be told in a press release hee hee ha ha Serrano pissed in a jar ho ho. Ansel Adams never needed an accompanying book report. The Mona Lisa doesn't require a text. Nobody stops a Shakespearean play for director's commentary.

Lowest common denominator indeed. You leftist troglodytes just keep telling yourselves you're talented, m'kay?

 
At 2/24/2006 4:29 PM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

Humor you, Beamish? Why bother. If you can't see something questioning the limits between sacred and profane or can't accept the question as valid then why argue with you.
It was St. Augustine who said we are "all born between the piss and the feces" and I'm sure that includes God made man.

Meanwhile, return to your couch. I doubt you could even tackle the job of selecting a lens filter for a similar composition.

 
At 2/24/2006 4:37 PM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

To whom do religious symbols belong and who has the authority to prescribe the manner in which they are used?

That would be another aspect of "Piss Christ" that is very relevent to the cartoon controversy. I don't expect you to answer, since you can't.

I would ask AOW if she thinks that iconic imagery should be the privince of the faithful only. Just how faithful? Should anyone be able to use the images in a public format. All questions relevent to the cartoon issue and I submit that we reacted to Serrano's work in a less violent fashion, for sure but there was still an element who felt the image was exclusively theirs.

Meanwhile Beamish, do comment on art. Ibelieve that contemporary work makes the average far right feel inadequate and left out. There's a level of thought out there that you can't even grasp which is why you get us so exasperated. Never mind trying to understand the issues...you don't even know the questions are being asked.

 
At 2/24/2006 8:16 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Duck,
Just a quick thought here...

Images are public domain, I think. Often market economics controls how far a domain can go with an image or with altering it.

 
At 2/25/2006 12:56 AM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

Ducky,

I'm not Catholic. Crucifixes are rather uninteresting to me. But would the "meaning" of this "art" change if it weren't a crucifix?

I'm not doubting Serrano's photography skills. That's one of the finest pictures of other people's piss in a jar I've ever seen.

 
At 2/25/2006 1:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice theory ducky...questioning the limits between the sacred and profane.

I've got a different "theory" for you. He simply wishes to denigrate the sacred. Somehow, when it gets put THAT way, it suddenly becomes much less artsy-fartsy and much "less" noble.

And this is precisely where "critical theory" fails. It seems that in the modern academy, only "designated elites" are allowed to verbalize the "right" theory to the exclusion of all others. Politics disguised as intellectualism.

-FJ

 
At 2/25/2006 1:17 PM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

Farmer John is catching my drift. It's just a photo of a crucifix submerged in a liquid taken through a red lens filter. You have to be told in the title of the "work" and in a press release that the liquid is Serrano's piss.

Why did it have to be piss? Couldn't he have taken a picture of a crucifix submerged in Cepacol mouthwash and called it piss? Who would know?

That's exactly it. Serrano derives his sense of "artistic fulfilment" from letting people know he pissed on a crucifix.

Ho hum. Okay, you're trying to be disgusting. What's next? Ooh! The Virgin Mary submerged in piss! Collect them all!

Leftists, each and every one that have ever walked the earth, all share in common the utter inability to be intellectual in anything but their deluded pretensions.

Piss in a jar is piss in a jar. But leftists see haute couture in piss in a jar.

 
At 2/25/2006 2:22 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Beamish: That's one of the finest pictures of other people's piss in a jar I've ever seen....

Piss in a jar is piss in a jar. But leftists see haute couture in piss in a jar.


Bwahahahaha! That's pretty much how I feel.

FJ: He simply wishes to denigrate the sacred. Somehow, when it gets put THAT way, it suddenly becomes much less artsy-fartsy and much "less" noble.

Yes, it is an attempt "to denigrate the sacred." But Jesus, while He walked this earth, suffered a lot more than denigration. So why should I be surprised that the denigration still continues? Therefore, I may voice my distaste, but I move on and look at real art, as I define "real art." IMO, the piss-art is stupid.

 
At 2/25/2006 5:07 PM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

And if he denigrates the sacred, Farmer, so what? When you can discuss this without using "artsy-fartsy" you may be able to be taken seriously.

I will remind Beamish that without the title he wouldn't know it was piss. I'll leave him to ponder that if he's capable.

And yes, AOW it is an abject image but what is there go worth in the crucifixion that wasn't abject?

You people can't think, can you? Or you don't think. Which is it?

 
At 2/25/2006 7:07 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Duck,
AOW it is an abject image but what is there go worth in the crucifixion that wasn't abject?

I'm guessing that you mean "of worth"...Somehow I don't think that Piss Art emphasizes the passion and suffering of Christ, both of which are of worth to Christians. The title of the piece belies that the crucifix has meaning. At least, that is my interpretation.

You people can't think, can you? Or you don't think. Which is it?

For certain, we don't think the way you do.

 
At 2/25/2006 7:53 PM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

You people can't think, can you? Or you don't think. Which is it?

Thinking? Thinking?!

Thinking is not conducive to leftism. Otherwise there would be at least one leftist in history you could honestly say without a doubt "Man, he's smarter than a dish rag." But there isn't, so why pretend?

*If* any thought went in to pissing in a jar and dropping a crucifix in it, or droppping a crucifix in a jar and pissing on it, or whatever "artistic" method set up the subject for the photograph, it was this:

"Huh-huh Beavis, let's piss in a jar and call it 'art' huh-huh-huh-huh you said piss"

Ducky thinks calling me a "Metallica fan" (guilty as charged) makes me "unsophisticated" and unable to understand Serrano's photography.
It just so happens, the band Metallica used Serrano's Blood and Semen III as the cover art of their album Load. It's a photo of cow's blood and Serrano's semen smeared together between two sheets of plexiglass. Looks kinda like flames, at first glance.

But, it probably wouldn't get a reaction without the label "Blood and Semen" just as no one would know Piss Christ was piss without the label. I mentioned Serrano's putting the Virgin Mary in a jar of his own piss and snapping a photo of that too.

So Serrano likes to photograph his own body fluids. Repeatedly. It's his medium.

I suppose that cancels out the "born between the piss and feces" explanation for Piss Christ. There ain't no intellectualism there to dig out. It's piss in a jar. Serrano pissing or jacking off on something and snapping a photo of it isn't even stand-alone unique. He's a veritable factory of excretion.

But he's not an artist.

 
At 2/25/2006 8:08 PM, Blogger Mussolini said...

Ducky is defending the johnny-come-lately epiphany that art is not art unless it "questions."

Art has always been the expression of the human experience on all levels.

What used to be termed "free speech" of a disgusting sort is now defended as "art" to garner tax dollars.

This is why "art" is now only art if it is offensive. It's about using the public's own money to tear down the common-decency underpinnings of civil society to pursue nihilism.

Piss Christ isn't art, no matter how many mental contortions Ducky performs to justify its inclusion.

I'm really surprised someone as intelligent as Ducky is embarassing himself with these hilarious antics.

 
At 2/25/2006 9:40 PM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

I'm really surprised someone as intelligent as Ducky is embarassing himself with these hilarious antics.

I'd be surprised if Ducky were intelligent enough not to. But then we'd have trouble discerning that he is a leftist.

 
At 2/25/2006 10:45 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Mussolini,
What used to be termed "free speech" of a disgusting sort is now defended as "art" to garner tax dollars.

There seems to be no limit to the foolishness which tax dollars fund.

Piss Christ isn't art...

My opinion as well.

I'm really surprised someone as intelligent as Ducky is embarassing himself with these hilarious antics.

I think that Duck may be immune to embarrassment.

 
At 2/25/2006 10:51 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Beamish,
*If* any thought went in to pissing in a jar and dropping a crucifix in it, or droppping a crucifix in a jar and pissing on it, or whatever "artistic" method set up the subject for the photograph, it was this:

"Huh-huh Beavis, let's piss in a jar and call it 'art' huh-huh-huh-huh you said piss"...There ain't no intellectualism there to dig out. It's piss in a jar.


I can see it now! Just like boys in elementary school, huh? How they love that bathroom humor! Such humor has its place, but not in an art museum.

Piss art isn't even up to the standard of immaturity, IMO. And it's a scam to make money, as far as I'm concerned. But some people think that such art makes a statement. Well, it does, but not an artistic one.

 
At 2/26/2006 2:44 AM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

AOW,

Serrano's "work" isn't even bathroom humor. Bathroom humor speaks for itself. Piss Christ can't even do that. It requires a peripheral expository essay to tell the viewer that they're looking at piss in a jar. It can't stand alone on its own "merits." The point of the "work" is that there's a crucifix in piss, not some unknown liquid. Whether one feels compelled to venerate crucifixes or couldn't care less about idolizing them, it doesn't matter. The point is that it's piss, not Christ, that Serrano wants you see. Hence, Mary in piss. Cow blood and semen. Battered cadavers holding crucifixes. Andres Serrano was never bold enough be simply puerile. He's just a coprophagic hack milking leftist idiots for his next "shocking" image. And now, he's stagnant. Serrano would "shock" people if he produced a photograph he didn't have to label something to make sure people are disgusted by what they're looking at.

 
At 2/26/2006 11:43 AM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

"This is why "art" is now only art if it is offensive."

When someone says something that foolish I have to assume that they never get out of the house much. Sorry Mussolini, you have a problem with tunnel vision.

"The point is that it's piss, not Christ, that Serrano wants you see."

Well, Beamish at least you address the photo with that comment. Progress.I don't particularly care what Serrano wants me to see. As Farmer John can explain, Plato said "if you want to know what a work means the last person you ask is the artist". Which do you see, Beamish?

My thesis is that you see only blasphemy and have not progressed much beyond the level of the "cartoon" protesters since you have active censorship in your neighborhood to keep you away from anything that disrupts your train of cliches.

 
At 2/26/2006 3:28 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Duck,
My thesis is that you see only blasphemy and have not progressed much beyond the level of the "cartoon" protesters since you have active censorship in your neighborhood to keep you away from anything that disrupts your train of cliches.

I don't know that there is much "active censorship" for art. But even those who see blasphemy in piss art don't riot, as far as I know.

Blasphemy or not, rioting over it seems absurd to me.

 
At 2/26/2006 3:32 PM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

Ducky,

You're wrong. I don't see blasphemy at all. People everyday carry crucifixes in their pockets next to lint and pocket change. Catholic imagery means a whole lot to very few people, and even less to me, a non-Catholic. That Serrano's other "works" also involve piss, blood, semen, etc. makes Piss Christ just another chance for Serrano to market excrement to his adoring leftist fans.

And that's what I see. Leftist idiots smearing shit on themselves and calling it "art."

 
At 2/26/2006 5:34 PM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Beamish,
I, too, am not Roman Catholic, so I don't see the denigration of the crucifix as blasphemy. But for me, the crucifix is a symbol of Christianity, so I catch the drift of Piss Christ. And I also don't overlook the meaning of "Christ."

In many cases, blasphemy is in the eye of the beholder.

From Merriam-Webster:

1 a : the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God b : the act of claiming the attributes of deity
2 : irreverence toward something considered sacred or inviolable


Islam, of course, combines religion and governance, so that blasphemy can result in a fatwa.

Beamish, did you get your fatwa yet? I'm still laughing at some of your recent postings.

 
At 2/26/2006 9:02 PM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

AOW,

The overwhelming majority of Serrano's "work" involves body fluids and excretions as a medium. He clearly revels in biological waste products. And he's clearly aware that such obsessions violate mores of our society. Piss Christ in particular is a measured contempt of religion, to be sure, but only if you believe piss to be defiling. If Serrano's "art" asks any questions, they are:

"What's wrong with getting pissed on?" and "What's wrong with being a coprophage?"

As if outside the torrid halls of leftist social settings there's a bunch of repressed piss worshippers attending support group meetings.

"I'm Mr. Ducky, and I'm obsessed with urine."

"Hi, Mr. Ducky!"

 
At 2/27/2006 6:15 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Beamish,
a bunch of repressed piss worshippers

I guess that some people will worship anything.

The overwhelming majority of Serrano's "work" involves body fluids and excretions as a medium. He clearly revels in biological waste products.

Most humans get over that obsession early on. I guess that some don't, though.

And he's clearly aware that such obsessions violate mores of our society.

An anti-establishment statement, huh?

 
At 2/28/2006 2:32 AM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

AOW,

An anti-establishment statement, huh?

That's what the pamphlet said.

 
At 2/28/2006 6:31 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

I didn't see the pamphlet, but having gone to college in the 1960's, I know the catch-phrases.

 
At 2/28/2006 4:12 PM, Blogger Mr. Ducky said...

God is other, yet, as each tradition affirms, God is also the creator, fully invested in creation. ''I was a hidden treasure," as the Koran reports God telling the Prophet. ''I loved to be known. Therefore I created the creation so that I would be known." God creates, that is, to be known by all that God creates. God's family, tribe, and nation -- are everyone and everything.

Obviously, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity have all had trouble keeping these principles of toleration straight, with each of the monotheisms having regularly reduced God to a tribal deity, and loyalty to God to a cause of war.

Serrano is closer to God than the so called religious who have been peddling so much hate of late. His is hardly an anti-establishment statement. Far from it.

 
At 2/28/2006 11:49 PM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

I meant the actual pamphlet. You can't just look at a Serrano "work," you have to read the essay that comes with it explaining to you how "transgressive" it is to photograph jars of piss.

Transgressive, anti-establishment, whatever.

 
At 3/01/2006 7:40 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Transgression = sin. So, Serrano's work is "transgressive," a willful sin?

I wouldn't say that declaration reflects a closeness to God as, by definition, transgression is defying the will of God as that will applies to personal behavior.

I'm not a huge art aficionado (I'm more into music because of my upbringing which, by dint of my parents' health, made music easier to access than works of visual art). But, in general, I'm not crazy about art which has to be explained to me. Adding information to enhance the art work is one thing; needing the information to get the message is another.

 
At 3/01/2006 7:43 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

Duck,
God creates, that is, to be known by all that God creates.

Agreed. And sometimes He is appalled at what His human creations are doing.

When human beings attempt to God-play, the trouble ensues in this world, IMO. And somehow humans of all religious beliefs, or of no religious beliefs at all, seem to desire to be God-players.

 
At 3/02/2006 9:43 AM, Blogger Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

AOW,

But, in general, I'm not crazy about art which has to be explained to me. Adding information to enhance the art work is one thing; needing the information to get the message is another.

That's why Andres Serrano is not considered an "artist" by anyone truly familiar with art. Ducky feels exactly about Piss Christ what the pamphlet told him to.

 

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