Archive for April, 2012

Shuttle Carrier Aircraft at Dulles, April 17, 2012


Marine Corps CH-53E Sea Stallions from HMH-464 Condors, MCAS New River, NC.


Pounding Keys Yet Again

The line of thinking that supports the “the only reason that oppressive, orwellian legislation is passed is because of terrorist acts” is a nice cop out. It’s easy to take the administration-friendly line of painting the government as a reluctant oppressor, that it doesn’t REALLY want to spy on its people or treat them as unruly cattle, but plans like the Levin Amendment to the NDAA, the amendment that allows the US military to indefinately detain United States citizens without any access to legal services wasn’t a knee-jerk reaction to some imminent threat, it was cooly composed and inserted into the NDAA AFTER Osama Bin Laden was killed. But the argument never takes the opposite track in mainstream political discourse. We always see the erosion of our civil rights, our liberties and our freedoms as the unfortunate result of some grave, dire threat, that somehow taking away the ability to use a megaphone at a political rally will save thousands of lives, or whatever ridiculous example you want to give. We– the news media, the public and our elected officials– never frame the debate in the opposite manner, that the ridiculous, horrible act comes after it is made illegal, and this as a result and reaction to its banning. Everything in society is framed like this: “there was no choice but to invade Iraq because there were terrorists there” is retroactively justified because some ignorant people who rarely pay any attention to the news perk up whenever they hear “terrorist attack in Iraq.” They cannot make the connection that the reason for the existance of that terrorist is a direct result of the invasion of Iraq– for whatever reason, they believe that Iraq has always been populated exclusively with terrorists. Similarly, they do not understand why– after so much high-level diplomacy– certain countries still hate all westerners with a passion. They cannot understand that protestors who are being gassed with tear-gas canisters stamped “made in the USA” is a far more potent diplomatic gesture than all of the five-star luncheons or glad-handing photo-ops ever conducted.

If there’s one major flaw in direct action, it is that it is far too optimistic in its goals of “waking people up to the truth.” People have been conditioned to believe that the government is a generally benign behemoth that has no real desire to oppress, and that “oppression is something for other countries.” People have been trained to accept the model of causality that posits the government as ONLY acting harshly and oppressively as a tactical reaction against something harmful, never vice versa. You know the chicken and the egg metaphor– in this reality, The CHICKEN CAME FIRST. Only commie hippie scum think the egg came first, and even if the egg came first, the chicken was ABSOLUTELY JUSTIFIED in what it did!


Art is context, intent and emotion.

Art is context and intent. Art exists to evoke an emotion. If we can assume that the intent of the artist is to evoke a specific emotion in the viewer, a work of art can be considered effective if the evoked emotions roughly match with those intended by the artist. Even if the artist’s intent is simply to createsome thingthat only satisfies a deep, as yet unidentified urge within the artist, the work still has an intent, a context and set of emotional responses it is expected to invoke.

From this, we can indeed infer that art iseverywhere— and the act of creating a work of art does not necessarily require a skill set like those possessed by skilled laborers, outside of those skills necessary to achieve the vision of the creator. The primary job of the artist is not to know how to operate a bead-blasting machine or to finish a block of wood– but to assign meaning, purpose and life to aspects of our physical reality. Whether this is done by the skilled act of blending various objects together in a smooth, seamless, well-crafted object or by invoking an emotion in a large group of people, “art” is being created. Even if we took the post modern route– that is, attempting to create a work of art that lacks context, intent and emotion– we’d still have a work of art that had context (why it is being shown, why people are aware of it, the background of the artist), intent (the intent being to create a work of art without intent) and whatever emotional (or lack thereof) response on the part of the viewer. Indeed, in this scenario, the most effective way of creating art that has no context, intent or emotion would be to not create anything at all, and instead use the money to be spent on procuring materials on food, rent or taxes.

Art fails when its intent, context and desired emotional response are gone or forgotten; it is important to point out that “failed art” also possesses the potential for the reassignment of context, intent and emotion. Thus, the cycle of art continues on.