Sunday, January 21, 2007

"It" Does Not Come Easy




















In Robert Beverly Hale’s lectures on Artistic Anatomy and Figure Drawing, that great master proves that there is art in teaching. His presentations are full of information and wit; he is the personification of wisdom as the knowledge of truth.

In his first lecture he explains the importance of understanding the underlying bone and muscle structure before an artist can successfully draw the human figure. He tells of an interesting conversation between James McNeill Whistler and a young would-be artist. Oozing the Postmodern Relativism of the time, the novice intoned, “I paint what I see.”

“Well,” replied Whistler, “you see what you paint.”

It is tragic indeed for an aspirant to art to be unable to recognize the forms before his eyes and thus incapable of portraying them. What is even more disheartening is knowing that adequate effort would allow the would-be to be. That effort is the rub, the sticking point, past which most are unwilling to go.

In Irving Stone’s, *The Agony and the Ecstasy*, we learn of the winter when Michelangelo learned the secrets of human anatomy. One passage is particularly beautiful and terrible.

“The following night he found a boy of about fifteen who showed no external evidence of disease. The pale skin, almost completely white, was soft to the touch. The eyes were blue when he raised the lids, deep in color, contrasting with the pale white of the eyelids. Even in death he was attractive.

”Surely he will wake up,” he murmured.

He saw that the boy was still without hair on his chest, and felt a pity deeper than he had known since he had viewed his first corpse.

He turned away; he’d wait until another night. Then, facing the corner of the whitewashed walls, he stopped. By the next morning this lad would be buried under four feet of earth in the Santo Spirito cemetery. He touched the boy, found him as cold as winter; beautiful, but as dead as all the others.

He made his incisions expertly now . . .”

Some years ago our school put on the musical *Working*. One line troubled me. A young man sings on the assembly line, “If Michelangelo had had to paint the Sistine Ceiling a thousand times; even his mind would have been destroyed.”

Do you see the flaw in that logic?














Michelangelo had of course done the figures on the Sistine ceiling thousands of times. Gathering the terrible knowledge that made his art possible in the frigid death house at Santo Spirito and drawing and redrawing, painting and repainting the forms that would make art, everyday of his life.

















In spite of the Postmodern rush to force it otherwise, the twentieth century produced some real artists; non greater than Norman Rockwell. Rockwell was called, even called himself, “just an illustrator”, but Rockwell knew better. One panting, The Connoisseur* says it all.



















Jackson Pollock was a fraud – incapable of art, he pushed his hoax. Rockwell knew it and in his painting proves that while Rockwell, and any “thing” that can slop paint, could paint like Pollock. Pollock had not paid the price and could not paint like Rockwell.

However, in the Relativist, postmodern world there are plenty who extol Pollock and deprecate Rockwell; many who insist that art is not the product of mastery, but simply the consensus of critics.

I watch with increasing dismay as postmodern relativists mislead the American people into defeat in the battle for their very survival. We can contrast President Bush's plan for Iraq with the book recently released by Jimmy Carter.

The President’s plan calls for hard work and for paying the real price for victory. It would seem easy to turn our back and walk away, save the struggle for another day, but like Michelangelo, the President knows that he must take up the tools and do what is difficult now to achieve real peace in the end.

Jimmy Carter, on the other hand, simply presents the easy way, and calls it truth. It would be so easy if only the whole mess was America and Israel’s fault. Then America could just dump Israel and all the evil would go away.

In his book, *A River Runs Through It*, Norman Maclean has his narrator explain, that to his father fly fishing is an art, "and art like eternal salvation, does not come easy.”

So it is with peace, peace comes only by victory, and victory – like art, does not come easy.


I add this picture as a statement of Rockwell’s opinion of himself. Note that he has pictures of Rembrandt, Durer, Van Gogh and Picasso in his own self-portrait. Some say Rockwell is claiming parity – I believe he is demonstrating something more profound. See the posts below.





















Picasso’s father was an art teacher. He knew the rules of art and taught them to many, he tried to teach them to his son, but Pablo was much more interested in prostitutes than in the elements, principals, and skills of art. This first drawing is by Picasso while in school. It is of the Torso Belvedere, and is copied from a high school drawing program by Jean-Leon Gerome. The practice pieces in this program were reproduced as lithographs by Charles Bargue. Bargue’s drawing is below. I have copied this picture, and did as well as Picasso; if I must say so myself. You can come and see my work on my classroom wall.







































The next three pictures are other class assignments by Picasso. No doubt his teacher stood over him, directing his hand, and correcting his mistakes. These student works are often sighted as proof that Picasso could do “real art” if he wanted. But to anyone who has studied art, they say just the opposite.
























































The work was too much for Picasso. His portrait of Gertrude Stine shows how well he could do without a trained artiest directing his hand. BUT HERE IS THE WONDER for Picasso. Relativists, desperate to validate their “what ever I say is, is” philosophy, saw in Picasso a chance to define art and manipulate the masses. Soon Picasso realizes that his paintings, pushed by the agenda of relativism, could sell no matter what they looked like. In fact they would sell even better if they looked worse. He proceeded to produce ridiculous farces like this next piece. Here you see his pretended application of “African” art. The Africans had every right to feel insulted.








































The next piece shows how far Picasso went to see if he could go too far, for the Relativists he could not.
















But then suddenly, after twenty years of hoaxing, Picasso tried to become a real artist. He literally went back to school and for over a year he tried desperately to master the principles he had shunned before.

The next three pieces are evidence of his best efforts. Overworked and clumsy, they attest to how miserably he failed. His discouragement and failure are represented in the atrocities that were produced throughout the rest of his life.



























































This last picture is an example, and this is not the worst of the best he could do.




















Now an interesting thing about Picasso; the man basked in fame and the accolades of the relativists, but was miserable all his life. He hated the women he bought to serve him, and they all came to hate him. He abandoned one wife to the asylum, and drove his children from him. He died famous, praised, and rich; he died a fraud, a millionaire who claimed to be a communist, (only a relativist could reason like that) a hoaxer that pretended to be an artist. What ruined his joy, what tainted his success into misery? The answer, he knew he was not what the relativists claimed, he know that for all the accolades he was not an artist.

It would be instructive to examine the life of Norman Rockwell, to compare a master who, although the critics shouted otherwise, knew he was what they said he was not, a great artist.

106 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yes. I'm just afraid that America hasn't got the "guts" to fight the real fight anymore. (Too much influence from the "Democratic" Party.)

Aeneas said...

P.T. Barnem once said, "there's a sucker born every minute." This country has more than its fair share of suckers. My daughter could produce a work of art not unlike Jackson Pollocks'. Then, all I have to do is find enough people to say it is true art, and I could sell it for $5000 to a sucker.

In the war on terror, there are many charletains trying to convince us that the conflict in Iraq has nothing to do with the war on terror or that Bush has failed. Unfortunately, it is being said enough that the suckers in this country are beginning to believe it. In fact, the conflict in Iraq has everything to do with the war on terror. Although the jury is still out on whether or not a free and prosperous Iraq will, in the end, be created, (I hope so), Bush has already been successful, in that he successfully destroyed two rogue regimes that had supported terror against the United States and its allies; and in the case of Iraq, not only supported suicide bombers against Israel, but also lied to the international community that it had stopped its WMD program and destoyed all of its WMD's...both assertions have proven to be lies. Its no mistake that a major terror attack has not occurred in this country since 9/11. President Bush said he would take the fight to the enemy in '01, and he has done just that. It would be a huge mistake to be suckered in by the lib's in this country and pull out of Iraq prematurely. Stand fast with the President and our troops. Support the President's plan and say no to the lies!!

Anonymous said...

"Art that cannot rely on the joyous, heartfelt assent of the broad and healthy mass of the people, but depends on tiny cliques that are self-interested and blase by turns, is intolerable. Modern art seeks to confuse the sound instinct of the people instead of gladly confirming it."

I strongly disagree with the above opinion,.

When art cannot be enjoyed and judged on its own merits, but is made a "player" in some political diatribe, or a fixed means to an end outside of itself, clearly what has been created is PROPAGANDA and NOT ART!!!!

Michael Angelo's art is not great because of the many souls it brought to redemption, but because of its inherent greatness as art.

Artistic greatness is an INCLUSIVE and not an EXCLUSIVE endeavor -- NOT to be limited by the political JINGOISM of Lysis, the author in sentiment, OR Adolph Hitler, the author in fact of the above quotation!!!!

Anonymous said...

Aeneas:

Hey, suck a little air big guy!!!!

Those WMD LIES you still are so convinced are TRUE were long since disavowed by the administration that pandered them to you.

Get with the program.

We are now working on the ninteenth episode of, "We are turning the corner in Iraq, but need 20,000 more troops so we can blame our decrepit incompetence on anyone who disagrees with our latest nonsense", LIE!!!!

Lysis said...

We can now all se how, as if on queue (and without the pulling of any strings, I swear;) the Anonomy have delivered examples of the art by declaration. The “truth by foolish fiat” formula indicted by Hale, Michelangelo, Maclean and Bush is now exemplified by Flaccid. Even as “Jimmy the C” can deny the murderous acts of terrorism, the refusal to recognize Israel and renounce terrorism, the denials of the Holocaust and calls for another one – and blame conflict in the middle east of Israel; even as postmodern relativists, masquerading as artists and art critics, can deprecate the master works of Rockwell while lauding hoaxes that could have been composed by a leaky can; we now have Flaccid labeling the liberator of Iraq and Afghanistan, Hitler and the spread of democracy and freedom as jingoism.

Disagree with things all you want Anonymous – you can disagree with the rotation of the planets for all I care, but your opinion has no effect on the truth.

As for WMD LIES,

1. The existence of WMDs in Iraq is inconvertible – Saddam will soon stand trial, posthumously, for using them against his own people.

2. That the WMD program was in place, well financed, and ready to ratchet up production once the UN gave Saddam the go-a-head is not in question. Kofi Annan will soon stand trial for paying for it.

3. That Saddam shipped his WMD to Syria or hid them in the desert has never been disproved. He claimed that he had them; the world intelligence community claimed that he had them; the U. N. claimed that he had them. Bill Clinton bombed Baghdad because Clinton believed Saddam had them. I still believe he had them.

4. The truth is that only limited WMD have as yet been found in Iraq – that is all the Administration has stated – and that is not the same LIE that the neo-libs are shouting.

Thankfully we continue to “turn the corner” in Iraq. The only alternative offered by the enemies of American, foreign or domestic, is to TURN TAIL and run.

Anonymous said...

Anon...

"Art that cannot rely on the joyous, heartfelt assent of the broad and healthy mass of the people, but depends on tiny cliques that are self-interested and blase by turns, is intolerable. Modern art seeks to confuse the sound instinct of the people instead of gladly confirming it."

I strongly disagree with the above opinion,."

Regarding 'art', I agree with Anon...that I do not find value in it does not define it as art. And so long as the 'artist' is not funded by public tax dollars they can paint whatever they wish, with or without an appreciative market.

Anonymous said...

"Those WMD LIES you still are so convinced are TRUE were long since disavowed by the administration that pandered them to you.

Get with the program."

The administration cited Iraqs refusal to give a full and accurate accounting as one of three main reasons for attacking Iraq.

That Iraq refused to do so is undeniable. It is easily evidenced that the UN drew and redrew 17 little impotent "lines in the sand", each one ignored and each one worthless.

That Saddam had WMDs is also undeniable. Heck...ask any liberal and they will tell you that of course he had them, we sold them to him. When you check the inventories made following the first gulf war it is also obvious he had them. What he did with them during the 8 years of the Clinton administration...now that we DONT know.

But agin...NOT the reason we attacked. We attacked for several reasons, one of which was Iraq's refusal to comply with 17 UN resolutions demanding that they give full and accurate accounting and access to their facility.

And if you think THAT is a lie, then the Clinton administration has some serious s'plainin to do...

not that you would expect that to happen.

truth to power said...

So art is only art when it is an end in itself? Nonsense. Every civilization has produced useful works of art. Their functionality doesn't rob them of their aesthetic value.

Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land" was a serious piece of anti-property propaganda from a radical kook. But we had a lot of fun singing it in first grade, because it's a pretty song. And he was no phony; he used real musical talent, developed through hard work and study, to try to sell crazy.

I agree that art should be "enjoyed and judged on its own merits". But art in our time has been continually faced with the problem Hans Christian Andersen warned about in "The Emperor's New Clothes".

"Artistic greatness is an INCLUSIVE and not an EXCLUSIVE endeavor"

I don't agree with what this seems to mean. Artistic greatness, like every other form of greatness, belongs only to those who pay the price.

Anonymous said...

"The United States is taking steps to determine how it received ERRONEOUS ERRONEOUS, ERRONEOUS intelligence that deposed Iraqi leaer Sadam Hussein was developing and stockpilling nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, WHITE HOUSE SPOKEMAN SCOTT MCCLELLEN SAID." . . . Now we need to coninue to move forward to find out what went WRONG and to correct the flaws."

Instead, the Agora is supposed to believe that Lysis must be believed because HE knows the TRUTH about WMDS STILL existing in Iraq and that a "Pink Elephant" like McCellen is a LIAR full of deception.

This is Jingoism taken to the heights of meglamanical pshychological addiction!!!!

Lysis said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lysis said...

There is a difference between art and the hoaxes so often pushed off on the ignorant as art. That people can be enticed into fits of adoration for cans of crap is what is troubling. The foolishness of relativism, that “saying it is makes it so” is what is challenged by the examples of Rockwell and Pollock. Pollok was perpetrating a hoax as are those who pretend that the War on Terror can be ended unilaterally. As in Vietnam, those who seek peace by betrayal will find peace, the peace of the grave.

Christina Hoff Sommers of Clark University has explained the plight of those, like Flaccid, who are “dogmatically committed to a moral relativism that offers them no ground to think. . .” They are thus willing to accept the hoaxes that fit their hopes while denying the truths that are difficult.

The link is not that all people recognize that “ Michael Angelo's art is not great because of the many souls it brought to redemption, but because of its inherent greatness as art. Michael Angelo's art is not great because of the many souls it brought to redemption, but because of its inherent greatness as art.” But that many are willing to pretend that Jackson Pollock can aspire to the same claim by deception.

President Bush has offered a real and necessary remedy to the enormous danger that faces the world in the form of Islamic Terrorism and fanaticism. The course to this worth goal will be difficult and it will be achieved at great sacrifice. Others, including most of those running for President Bush’s job on the Democrat side, are seeking to hoax America. In place of the difficult course that will eventually yield peace and freedom they are making up pretend peace and freedom in order to garner the accolades of fools.

It is the obligation of all who value true art to call the hoaxers on their deceptions; those who value real peace and freedom must do the same in the face of the false artifices of those who would speak these priceless treasures into existence without the necessary struggle.

The first step is to recognize that people are easily swayed to accept false art and false policy just because those who purport it have loud and persistent voices.

Anonymous said...

Anon...

"The United States is taking steps to determine how it received ERRONEOUS ERRONEOUS, ERRONEOUS intelligence that deposed Iraqi leaer Sadam Hussein was developing and stockpilling nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, WHITE HOUSE SPOKEMAN SCOTT MCCLELLEN SAID"

really? I mean...if this is all that they are worried about we can answer that right away...

They got their information (erroneous or otherwise) from the Intel agenices, compiled under the Clinton administration and all the other worlds intel offices.

they also have the inventories compiled by UNSCOM1 following the first Gulf War. The incovneient fact is their are some 25 thousand tons of biological spores and/or chemicals for weapons and some 500 delivery systems that have never been accounted for.

You know...the ones liberals say WE sold to him.

So...where are they? Isnt THAT at least troubling to you? heck...even if Saddam poured them all out in the dessert there would at least be residues and traces.

So what the left would now have us believe is that Saddam WILLINGLY and without the oversight of the UN Inspection teams destroyed all that he had, then refused to tell us what he did with them. When Clintons defense secretary described sattelit imagery of inspectors being held at the front of facilities while trucks rolled out the BACKS of facilities, we shouldnt worry about that...

Or Maybe COHEN and all the Clinton Admin were LIARS...

Anonymous said...

The quoted material from Scott McClellen was taken from a Jauary 12, 2005 interview.

What was Bush doing taking information that was "unreliable" from "Clinton" agencies to so unquestionably and whole-heartedly go war with Iraq -- hadn't he been President for almost a year -- more than enough time to rectify problems within information gathering agencies -- if he had been competent????

However, my sources indicate that it took precious little information from ANY source to convince Bush to go to war with a country who had threatened and said mean things about HIS daddy!!!!

Anonymous said...

Anon...

Sometimes you argue just for the sake of arguing...

"What was Bush doing taking information that was "unreliable" from "Clinton" agencies to so unquestionably and whole-heartedly go war with Iraq -- hadn't he been President for almost a year"

Why yes...yes he had. A whole year. And guess what...had Bush not taken ACTION, something the world 'leaders' refused to do during the 90's, we STILL wouldnt know what Husseins WMD status was.

You get that...right? I mean you ARE smart enough to recognize that Hussein and the Iraqi government misled the world for ALL 8 YEARS of the Clinton presidency...right? You DO get that the reason why Clinton and the rest of the world leaders were apparently so wrong was because none of them bothered to force compliance with the 17 UN resolutions previously passed...right?

It isnt LOST on you that if we hadnt acted the worlds intel agencies would STILL not know the status of Husseins programs...right?

And seriously...what happened to all the WMDs that we know he HAD?

Anonymous said...

Anon...

"However, my sources indicate that it took precious little information from ANY source to convince Bush to go to war with a country who had threatened and said mean things about HIS daddy!!!!"

Fine. Do your sources also speak about the 1.5 to 2.5 million dead people slaughtered by Hussein? You never address reason one for some strange reason. You never address genocide...a reason in and of itself the liberals found as just cause to go to war against the Serbs...

Do your sources talk about Iraqs ties to global terrorism? No? You avoid reason 2 as well. But we know why you do that too.

What you harp on is reason 3, but you cant even get THAT one right. Well...its not that you cant...it's that you wont. I've posted the text of Bush's speech where he clearly stated the three primary reasons. Regarding WMD the record is clear...Bush cited Iraqs refusal to comply with 17 UN resolutions. THAT fact is not even in question. It is undeniable. 17 times undeniable.

YOU seem to conveniently ignore that fact. Even when it is pointed out clear as day. Which means you dont WANT to see the facts. Because they dont conveeniently coincide with your hatred and bigotry regarding Bush. Which leaves you spouting things you KNOW arent true. Which makes YOU a...whats that word again? Oh yeah. A liar.

Anonymous said...

Lysis:
Why the Norman Rockwell jihad ?

I do not recall ANYONE at the Agora disputing the quality of Rockwell's contribution.

Or is it useful to opportunistically turn the man and his work into a bludgeon to BASH Modern art and Modern artists? -- Rockwell once avowed that Picasso was "the greatest" and intended his "Girl At Mirror", in which a young girl compares herself to a glamour-puss photo of Jane Russell, as a homespun homage to Picasso's style and art.

Rockwell's artisitc legacy is his ABSOLUTE AUTHENTICITY -- affixing YOUR partisan political pastiche to Rockwell's great art is like painting a moustache on the Mona Lisa!!!!

Rockwell was an INCLUSIVE artist of artists, and NOT an EXCLUSIVE demagogue for demogogues!!!!

Anonymous said...

regarding Picasso...

I'm trying to find the source...I read somewhere once where Picasso (who was at the time painting work that would probably be best described as conventional) lamented about the 'art' that was being produced and he created the cubist form as a means of mocking the art community. When it recieved critical acclaim (something he hadnt gotten a lot of) he discovered (eureka) that maybe he was on to something. He later described himself as a whore for creating works solely for commercial gain-and boy, did he crank out work. I'll try to find the source...my wife is the artist...I know she has the book.

Picasso is an acquired taste I suppose...some love him, some pretend to love him. Most dont get him. Count me in that last group.

Anonymous said...

"affixing YOUR partisan political pastiche to Rockwell's great art is like painting a moustache on the Mona Lisa!!!!"

Why not...revisionists claim the the model for the Mona Lisa was a man after all...(and perhaps even "the man" himself).

Anonymous said...

MM
1. Scott McClellen, representative of the Bush administration, said in Jan. 2005 that information of Iraqi possession of WMDS, Nuclear, Biological and Chemical, WAS IN ERROR!!!!

2. MM and Lysis don't believe Scott McClellen!!!!

3. MM chooses TO believe information that MM has indicated is "corrupted Clinton information" RATHER than believe the information that the "NEW and IMPROVED" Bush administration, provided FIVE YEARS LATER!!!!

4. Focus -- the discussion is/was about the existence of WMDS. However, if MM had even an OUNCE of truth in him he would admit the TRUTH that the whole world knows --That Bush used the fictional existence of WMDS to scare the population and the congress into going to war -- EVERY OTHER RATIONAL was insignificant and ad hoc.

Lysis said...

Anonymous:

Thank you for your question regarding Rockwell. It gives me an opportunity to clearly state my intent in this post.

First I gladly admit that I cannot recall a specific post in the Agora has disparaged Rockwell, though I seem to remember some negative comments. Be that as it may, the point is that Rockwell is indeed much maligned. Rockwell’s own comments on Picasso are telling. I will post above Rockwell’s self portrait. You will note that he includes the self portraits of many artists, including Picasso. What I find telling is that Rockwell was capable of producing Picasso – Picasso was not capable of producing Rockwell. Rockwell was an artiest, Picasso a fraud.

That even Rockwell felt obligated to pay lip service to “modern art” is a sad symptom of the pervasiveness of relativism. Rockwell could paint anything Picasso of Pollock could paint; there was no art in their work, only scam, easily imitated, even by children, chimpanzees and mental defectives. That the relativists who controlled the thinking of the masses gave them homage was a frustration to Rockwell, but he persisted in his mastery in spite of the seeming triumph of fraud.

I have even heard people claim that Picasso was the greatest artist of the twentieth century, that Pollock the greatest twentieth century artiest of American. Time will tell, I will predict – though not prophesy – that in ages to come, thinking humans will wag their heads and laugh at the sheep like acceptance of fraud that would facilitate such silliness.

I use Rockwell, who I predict will one day be recognized for what he is, the greatest American artiest of the twentieth century, as an example of the pervasive power of relativism. That Pollok and Picasso are praised while Rockwell is dismissed is ample proof of the failings of Relativism. The proof is in the paintings. This same relativism, that speaks false hood against the efforts of American to bring about justice and freedom in Iraq, is what allows the masses to be misled into dropping their support for their own survival. In this case live truly does imitate art.

The day will surely come when thinking men will wag their heads and laugh at the sheep that would have retreated from Iraq to leave the world open to terror. But admittedly that can only happen if we hold in Iraq and thinking men are allowed to survive in the world at all.

Lysis said...

Flaccid;

As the “worlds master word parser” you should, and probably do, recognize the foolishness of your argument involving Scott McClellen. Over course “information of Iraqi possession of WMDs” was in error!! That does not mean that there was no possession of WMDs. For further examples of this foolishness please see the stupid misinterpretation of Rockwell’s’ comments on Picasso above.

Mindmechanic;

People develop “a taste” for smearing themselves with human dung and for having sex with animals. That does not make these things art.

Anonymous said...

Anon...

MM
1. Scott McClellen, representative of the Bush administration, said in Jan. 2005 that information of Iraqi possession of WMDS, Nuclear, Biological and Chemical, WAS IN ERROR!!!!

I dont deny it was in error. We DONT KNOW what he had or where he had it. We DO KNOW that he had it. We dont know where it went. Why? Because he had 8 years to do whatever it is he did.

All the intel in the world pointed to him still having it. We didnt find out he DIDNT until we attacked.

2. MM and Lysis don't believe Scott McClellen!!!!

Dont be silly (I know...thats a stretch for you...). Scott McClelland stated that our intel was incorrect. I agree. It was. The whole worlds intel was incorrect. I stated that very thing in my previous post. So once again you are making a deliberately dishonest statement. Furthermore, we KNOW WHY our intel was incorrect.

3. MM chooses TO believe information that MM has indicated is "corrupted Clinton information" RATHER than believe the information that the "NEW and IMPROVED" Bush administration, provided FIVE YEARS LATER!!!!

Hogwash...the decisions were made based on all the gathered intel back in 2002. That they are acknowledging it in 2005 has no bearing on when the decision was made. Or do you just COMPLETELY ignore the fact that we went to war in 2003???


4. "Focus -- the discussion is/was about the existence of WMDS. However, if MM had even an OUNCE of truth in him he would admit the TRUTH that the whole world knows --That Bush used the fictional existence of WMDS to scare the population and the congress into going to war -- EVERY OTHER RATIONAL was insignificant and ad hoc".

Bush stated that Saddam refused to give an accounting of his WMD programs. That is an absolute truth verified 17 times by the UN.

YOU call them fictitional. Fine. Were they FICTITITIONAL when Clinton cited them? Where they FICTITIONAL when Albright cited them? Or Cohen? Or Kennedy? Or Daschle?

When did they change from real to fictitional? If they existed in the 90's when did they cease to exist?

And BTW...you STILL refuse to address the other two primary reasons...each on its own a valid reason for action.

Anonymous said...

"People develop “a taste” for smearing themselves with human dung and for having sex with animals. That does not make these things art."

Not to you. Or me for that matter.

My sons band plays a rather...interesting...style of music. Or should I say 'music'...because its not really 'music' to MY ears...but the kids love it.

I'm not trying to parse words myself. I understand what you are saying and for my taste I even agree with you. When Mapplethorpe opened his disgusting exhibit I cringed while others raved over it.

No accounting for taste.

I was just mad because he was publicly funded.
I cant stand soprano's but I love a powerful tenor.

Anonymous said...

"One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line."
President Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998.

"If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program."
President Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998.

"Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face."
Madeline Albright, Feb 18, 1998.

"He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983."
Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998

"[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs."
Letter to President Clinton, signed by Sens. Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and others Oct. 9, 1998.

"Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process."
Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998.

"Hussein has ... chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies."
Madeline Albright, Clinton Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999.

"There is no doubt that . Saddam Hussein has reinvigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to redefine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies."
Letter to President Bush, Signed by Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL,) and others, Dec, 5, 2001.

"We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them."
Sen. Carl Levin (d, MI), Sept. 19, 2002.

"We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country."
Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002.

"Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power."
Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002.

"We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seing and developing weapons of mass destruction."
Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA), Sept. 27, 2002.

"The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons..."
Sen. Robert Byrd (D, WV), Oct. 3, 2002.

"I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force — if necessary — to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security."
Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Oct. 9, 2002.

"There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years . We also should remember we have alway s underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction."
Sen. Jay Rockerfeller (D, WV), Oct 10, 2002,

"He has systematically violated, over the course of the past 11 years, every significant UN resolution that has demanded that he disarm and destroy his chemical and biological weapons, and any nuclear capacity. This he has refused to do."
Rep. Henry Waxman (D, CA), Oct. 10, 2002.

"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons."
Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct 10, 2002

"We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction. "[W]ithout question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime ... He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation. And now he has continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction ... So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real ...
Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Jan. 23. 2003.

Anonymous said...

Iraq's WMD Secreted in Syria, Sada Says
By IRA STOLL
Staff Reporter of the Sun
January 26, 2006

The man who served as the no. 2 official in Saddam Hussein's air force says Iraq moved weapons of mass destruction into Syria before the war by loading the weapons into civilian aircraft in which the passenger seats were removed.

The Iraqi general, Georges Sada, makes the charges in a new book, "Saddam's Secrets," released this week. He detailed the transfers in an interview yesterday with The New York Sun.

"There are weapons of mass destruction gone out from Iraq to Syria, and they must be found and returned to safe hands," Mr. Sada said. "I am confident they were taken over."

Mr. Sada's comments come just more than a month after Israel's top general during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Moshe Yaalon, told the Sun that Saddam "transferred the chemical agents from Iraq to Syria."

Democrats have made the absence of stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq a theme in their criticism of the Bush administration's decision to go to war in 2003. And President Bush himself has conceded much of the point; in a televised prime-time address to Americans last month, he said, "It is true that many nations believed that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. But much of the intelligence turned out to be wrong."

http://www.nysun.com/article/26514

True? False? Who knows. We DO know he had WMDs. We DONT KNOW what happened to them. THAT is all that was cited in the decision to engage.

Anonymous said...

Media Ignore Saddam's Uranium Bombshell

Tape recordings released over the weekend show that Saddam Hussein had an active nuclear weapons program at least as recently as 2000 - but the press has decided the bombshell development isn't newsworthy.

Speaking at the Intelligence Group Summit in Arlington, Va., Saddam tapes translator Bill Tierney revealed that in one recorded conversation, the Iraqi dictator can be heard discussing a plan to enrich uranium using a technique known as plasma separation.

Though U.S. weapons inspectors found that 1.8 tons of Saddam's 500 ton uranium stockpile had been partially enriched, they failed to turn up any evidence of an ongoing enrichment program.

Instead, Iraq Survey Group Chief Charles Duelfer concluded that Baghdad terminated its nuclear weapons program no later than 1995.

News that Saddam had an ongoing enrichment program comports with the account of Dr. Mahdi Obeidi, the nuclear physicist who ran Iraq's nuclear centrifuge program.
After turning himself in to U.S. forces in July 2003, Dr. Obeidi revealed that he had successfully hidden centrifuge parts and blueprints from U.N. weapons inspectors on Saddam's orders.

Despite the staggering implications of the audiotaped uranium revelation, only one mainstream media outlet had covered the news as of Monday morning.

Noting that Saddam's enrichment program was "totally unknown to U.N. weapons inspectors," the Washington Times editorialized on Monday: "It is apparent that the American public has much more to learn about . . . . precisely when Saddam's nuclear weapons programs actually stopped."

Anonymous said...

Ex-Official: Russia Moved Saddam's WMD
Kenneth R. Timmerman
Sunday, Feb. 19, 2006

A top Pentagon official who was responsible for tracking Saddam Hussein's weapons programs before and after the 2003 liberation of Iraq, has provided the first-ever account of how Saddam Hussein "cleaned up" his weapons of mass destruction stockpiles to prevent the United States from discovering them.

"The short answer to the question of where the WMD Saddam bought from the Russians went was that they went to Syria and Lebanon," former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense John A. Shaw told an audience Saturday at a privately sponsored "Intelligence Summit" in Alexandria, Va. (www.intelligencesummit.org).

"They were moved by Russian Spetsnaz (special forces) units out of uniform, that were specifically sent to Iraq to move the weaponry and eradicate any evidence of its existence," he said.

Shaw has dealt with weapons-related issues and export controls as a U.S. government official for 30 years, and was serving as deputy undersecretary of defense for international technology security when the events he described today occurred.

He called the evacuation of Saddam's WMD stockpiles "a well-orchestrated campaign using two neighboring client states with which the Russian leadership had a long time security relationship."

Shaw was initially tapped to make an inventory of Saddam's conventional weapons stockpiles, based on intelligence estimates of arms deals he had concluded with the former Soviet Union, China and France.

He estimated that Saddam had amassed 100 million tons of munitions - roughly 60 percent of the entire U.S. arsenal. "The origins of these weapons were Russian, Chinese and French in declining order of magnitude, with the Russians holding the lion's share and the Chinese just edging out the French for second place."

But as Shaw's office increasingly got involved in ongoing intelligence to identify Iraqi weapons programs before the war, he also got "a flow of information from British contacts on the ground at the Syrian border and from London" via non-U.S. government contacts.

"The intelligence included multiple sightings of truck convoys, convoys going north to the Syrian border and returning empty," he said.

Shaw worked closely with Julian Walker, a former British ambassador who had decades of experience in Iraq, and an unnamed Ukranian-American who was directly plugged in to the head of Ukraine's intelligence service.

The Ukrainians were eager to provide the United States with documents from their own archives on Soviet arms transfers to Iraq and on ongoing Russian assistance to Saddam, to thank America for its help in securing Ukraine's independence from the Soviet Union, Shaw said.

In addition to the convoys heading to Syria, Shaw said his contacts "provided information about steel drums with painted warnings that had been moved to a cellar of a hospital in Beirut."

But when Shaw passed on his information to the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and others within the U.S. intelligence community, he was stunned by their response.

"My report on the convoys was brushed off as ‘Israeli disinformation,'" he said.

One month later, Shaw learned that the DIA general counsel complained to his own superiors that Shaw had eaten from the DIA "rice bowl." It was a Washington euphemism that meant he had commited the unpardonable sin of violating another agency's turf.

The CIA responded in even more diabolical fashion. "They trashed one of my Brits and tried to declare him persona non grata to the intelligence community," Shaw said. "We got constant indicators that Langley was aggressively trying to discredit both my Ukranian-American and me in Kiev," in addition to his other sources.

But Shaw's information had not originated from a casual contact. His Ukranian-American aid was a personal friend of David Nicholas, a Western ambassador in Kiev, and of Igor Smesko, head of Ukrainian intelligence.

Smesko had been a military attaché in Washington in the early 1990s when Ukraine first became independent and Dick Cheney was secretary of defense. "Smesko had told Cheney that when Ukraine became free of Russia he wanted to show his friendship for the United States."

Helping out on Iraq provided him with that occasion.

"Smesko had gotten to know Gen. James Clapper, now director of the Geospacial Intelligence Agency, but then head of DIA," Shaw said.

But it was Shaw's own friendship to the head of Britain's MI6 that brought it all together during a two-day meeting in London that included Smeshko's people, the MI6 contingent, and Clapper, who had been deputized by George Tenet to help work the issue of what happened to Iraq's WMD stockpiles.

In the end, here is what Shaw learned:


In December 2002, former Russian intelligence chief Yevgeni Primakov, a KGB general with long-standing ties to Saddam, came to Iraq and stayed until just before the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003.

Primakov supervised the execution of long-standing secret agreements, signed between Iraqi intelligence and the Russian GRU (military intelligence), that provided for clean-up operations to be conducted by Russian and Iraqi military personnel to remove WMDs, production materials and technical documentation from Iraq, so the regime could announce that Iraq was "WMD free."

Shaw said that this type GRU operation, known as "Sarandar," or "emergency exit," has long been familiar to U.S. intelligence officials from Soviet-bloc defectors as standard GRU practice.

In addition to the truck convoys, which carried Iraqi WMD to Syria and Lebanon in February and March 2003 "two Russian ships set sail from the (Iraqi) port of Umm Qasr headed for the Indian Ocean," where Shaw believes they "deep-sixed" additional stockpiles of Iraqi WMD from flooded bunkers in southern Iraq that were later discovered by U.S. military intelligence personnel.

The Russian "clean-up" operation was entrusted to a combination of GRU and Spetsnaz troops and Russian military and civilian personnel in Iraq "under the command of two experienced ex-Soviet generals, Colonel-General Vladislav Achatov and Colonel-General Igor Maltsev, both retired and posing as civilian commercial consultants."

Washington Times reporter Bill Gertz reported on Oct. 30, 2004, that Achatov and Maltsev had been photographed receiving medals from Iraqi Defense Minister Sultan Hashim Ahmed in a Baghdad building bombed by U.S. cruise missiles during the first U.S. air raids in early March 2003.

Shaw says he leaked the information about the two Russian generals and the clean-up operation to Gertz in October 2004 in an effort to "push back" against claims by Democrats that were orchestrated with CBS News to embarrass President Bush just one week before the November 2004 presidential election. The press sprang bogus claims that 377 tons of high explosives of use to Iraq's nuclear weapons program had "gone missing" after the U.S.-led liberation of Iraq, while ignoring intelligence of the Russian-orchestrated evacuation of Iraqi WMDs.

The two Russian generals "had visited Baghdad no fewer than 20 times in the preceding five to six years," Shaw revealed. U.S. intelligence knew "the identity and strength of the various Spetsnaz units, their dates of entry and exit in Iraq, and the fact that the effort (to clean up Iraq's WMD stockpiles) with a planning conference in Baku from which they flew to Baghdad."

The Baku conference, chaired by Russian Minister of Emergency Situations Sergei Shoigu, "laid out the plans for the Sarandar clean-up effort so that Shoigu could leave after the keynote speech for Baghdad to orchestrate the planning for the disposal of the WMD."

Subsequent intelligence reports showed that Russian Spetsnaz operatives "were now changing to civilian clothes from military/GRU garb," Shaw said. "The Russian denial of my revelations in late October 2004 included the statement that "only Russian civilians remained in Baghdad." That was the "only true statement" the Russians made, Shaw ironized.
The evacuation of Saddam's WMD to Syria and Lebanon "was an entirely controlled Russian GRU operation," Shaw said. "It was the brainchild of General Yevgenuy Primakov."

The goal of the clean-up was "to erase all trace of Russian involvement" in Saddam's WMD programs, and "was a masterpiece of military camouflage and deception."

Just as astonishing as the Russian clean-up operation were efforts by Bush administration appointees, including Defense Department spokesman Laurence DiRita, to smear Shaw and to cover up the intelligence information he brought to light.

"Larry DiRita made sure that this story would never grow legs," Shaw said. "He whispered sotto voce [quietly] to journalists that there was no substance to my information and that it was the product of an unbalanced mind."

Shaw suggested that the answer of why the Bush administration had systematically "ignored Russia's involvement" in evacuating Saddam's WMD stockpiles "could be much bigger than anyone has thought," but declined to speculate what exactly was involved.

Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney was less reticent. He thought the reason was Iran.

"With Iran moving faster than anyone thought in its nuclear programs," he told NewsMax, "the administration needed the Russians, the Chinese and the French, and was not interested in information that would make them look bad."

McInerney agreed that there was "clear evidence" that Saddam had WMD. "Jack Shaw showed when it left Iraq, and how."

Former Undersecretary of Defense Richard Perle, a strong supporter of the war against Saddam, blasted the CIA for orchestrating a smear campaign against the Bush White House and the war in Iraq.

"The CIA has been at war with the Bush administration almost from the beginning," he said in a keynote speech at the Intelligence Summit on Saturday.

He singled out recent comments by Paul Pillar, a former top CIA Middle East analyst, alleging that the Bush White House "cherry-picked" intelligence to make the case for war in Iraq.

"Mr. Pillar was in a very senior position and was able to make his views known, if that is indeed what he believed," Perle said.

"He (Pillar) briefed senior policy officials before the start of the Iraq war in 2003. If he had had reservations about the war, he could have voiced them at that time." But according to officials briefed by Pillar, Perle said, he never did.

Even more inexplicable, Perle said, were the millions of documents "that remain untranslated" among those seized from Saddam Hussein's intelligence services.

"I think the intelligence community does not want them to be exploited," he said.

Among those documents, presented Saturday at the conference by former FBI translator Bill Tierney, were transcripts of Saddam's palace conversations with top aides in which he discussed ongoing nuclear weapons plans in 2000, well after the U.N. arms inspectors believed he had ceased all nuclear weapons work.

"What was most disturbing in those tapes," Tierney said, "was the fact that the individuals briefing Saddam were totally unknown to the U.N. Special Commission."

In addition, Tierney said, the plasma uranium programs Saddam discussed with his aids as ongoing operations in 2000 had been dismissed as "old programs" disbanded years earlier, according to the final CIA report on Iraq's weapons programs, presented in 2004 by the Iraq Survey Group.

"When I first heard those tapes" about the uranium plasma program, "it completely floored me," Tierney said.

Anonymous said...

Resolution 1441 specifically stated:

1) That Iraq was in material breach of the ceasefire terms presented under the terms of Resolution 687. Iraq's breaches related not only to Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs), but also the known construction of prohibited types of missiles, the purchase and import of prohibited armaments, and the continuing refusal of Iraq to compensate Kuwait for the widespread looting conducted by its troops in 1991.

2) That 1441, and its deadline, represented Iraq's final opportunity to comply with disarmament requirements. In accordance with the previous Resolutions, this meant Iraq not only had to verify the existence or destruction of its remaining unaccounted-for WMD stockpiles, but also had to ensure that all equipment, plans, and materials useful for the resumption of WMD programs was likewise turned over or verified as destroyed.

3) That "...false statements or omissions in the declarations submitted by Iraq pursuant to this resolution and failure by Iraq at any time to comply with, and cooperate fully in the implementation of, this resolution shall constitute a further material breach of Iraq’s obligations".

Iraq agreed to the Resolution on November 13. Weapons inspectors returned on November 27, led by Hans Blix of UNMOVIC and Mohamed ElBaradei of the IAEA. The inspectors had been absent from Iraq since December 1998 when they were withdrawn immediately prior to Operation Desert Fox

Inspectors began visiting sites where WMD production was suspected, but found no evidence of such activities. As was discovered after the invasion of Iraq, no production of WMDs was taking place, and no stockpiles existed. Debate about Resolution 1441 therefore turns on whether, despite the absence of WMDs and the acceptance of inspections, Iraq failed to comply with the terms of the Resolution, and whether an invasion was justified in the absence of any further UN Security resolutions on the subject.

On December 7, 2002, Iraq filed its 12,000-page weapons declaration with the UN in order to meet requirements for this resolution. The five permanent members of the Security Council received unedited versions of the report, while an edited version was made available for other UN Member States. On December 19, Hans Blix reported before the United Nations and stated in regards to Iraq's December 7 report (unedited version): "During the period 1991-1998, Iraq submitted many declarations called full, final and complete. Regrettably, much in these declarations proved inaccurate or incomplete or was unsupported or contradicted by evidence. In such cases, no confidence can arise that proscribed programmes or items have been eliminated." By March, Blix declared that the December 7 report had not brought any new documentary evidence to light.

Iraq continued to fail to account for substantial chemical and biological stockpiles which UNMOVIC inspectors had confirmed as existing as late as 1998. Iraq claimed that it had disposed of its anthrax stockpiles at a specific site, but UNMOVIC found this impossible to confirm since Iraq had not allowed the destruction to be witnessed by inspectors as required by the pertinent Resolutions. Chemical testing done at the site was unable to show that any anthrax had been destroyed there.

Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei presented several reports to the UN detailing Iraq's level of compliance with Resolution 1441.[1] [2]. On January 30, 2003 Blix said that Iraq had not fully accepted its obligation to disarm, and by mid-February the issues of anthrax, the nerve agent VX and long-range missiles remained unresolved. Blix's March 7 report stated "Iraq, with a highly developed administrative system, should be able to provide more documentary evidence about its proscribed weapons programmes. Only a few new such documents have come to light so far and been handed over since we began inspections."

Anonymous said...

OK...so those are just a few. The intent isnt to prove where they went...only to ask the question where did they go?

And when.

Anonymous said...

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB80/

This BTW has TONS of links from the UN and British research offices. That way you dont have to believe things from the US government.

Lysis said...

Mindmechanic:

Great stuff. Thank you for the obvious effort you went to in order to compile this devastating refutation of the neo-lib talking points concerning WMD. I am sure we can all predict Flaccid’s response. Won’t that be fun!

As for your son’s taste in noise, or Mapplethorpe’s taste in “things to exhibit”. There is not accounting for taste, but as I have maintained from the start, there is accounting for art. Art comes by work, hard work to the mastery of the truths that produce beauty. One may not be able to tell if Maple Thorps pieces are art, or your son’s noise is music – but one can surely recognize fraud when one sees it.

If all art is, is a matter of taste – then there is no art.

In the face of all the evidence you have compiled to the contrary – Flaccid will still claim, and site others who will claim – that President Bush lied about WMD in order to drag the US into war for oil and to line Dick Cheney’s pockets. These are the lies they have been trained to recite in the face of truth. If art is truth and truth is good, and the good is beautiful, then art must have a definition independent of the shouting of the relativists.

Anonymous said...

Of course Scott McClellen KNEW of ALL the fabricated information about WMDS MM downloaded. He announced them to be ERRONEOUS, ERRONEOUS, ERRONEOUS when he announced the negative existence of Iraqi WMDS in 2005.

If there had been an IOTA of VALID confirmation Would GWB and company allowed it to have gone uncelebrated????

None have EVER been found, and there is no evidence what-so-ever!!!!

Anonymous said...

Lysis...

Thansk for posting this original thread. It has given me an opportunity to read more about Picasso.

Picasso to me was like many overprivileged youth...gifted, talented, and by his own admission lazy and lacking in direction. Also, like many children of privelege he grew up a 'rebel'-often, one without a clue. He hated war, yet embraced the global communist movement. He hated America, despised capitalism, yet moved to America to become rich. He was a gifted painter (some of his earlier paintings are haunting) and probably the most prolific ever. One of the articles I read said his paintings were not named, they were numbered. They didnt just have dates, they had numbers of paintings on each day.

He rejected convention (which I think can be valuable) and expanded cubism (a style BTW which he stole from early tribal art). Some of (MOST OF) the cubist work he did is garbage to my eye (and I think if people were honest they would recognize that he painted like many people doodle, without thought-the work isnt 'great'...it's just famous because he was 'Picasso'), yet in some of his cubist work you can see things that couldnt possibly portrayed in standard art styles.

My grandmother had a gifted eye (and was a pretty good artist herself) and while she didnt have much appreciation for modern art, she loved MOST of Picasso's work. I have practically ZERO artistic ability and I love only a very small amount of Picasso's work.

So again...there is no accounting for taste when it comes to art.

The interesting thing about the art community is that it represents a very clear part of American society. Those that find a niche become acclaimed and well compensated. Those that produce garbage believe society owes them not just the right to paint what they want but also that society should compensate them for what they do.

Anonymous said...

Anon...

I think you are deliberately dense.

"ERRONEOUS when he announced the negative existence of Iraqi WMDS in 2005"

It is EASY to declare what we know today exists in Iraq. The ONLY WAY we know that is we took action in 2003, something none of the world leaders did in the 1990s.

Oh...but we DID ATTACK Iraq in the 1990s...using the same justification.

Or do you conveniently forget THAT as well?

Anonymous said...

This isnt a US report...it is a UN report dated 2002, by the cheif UN inspector, based on THEIR experiences and intel...

"In Resolution 1441, adopted in November 2002, the U.N. Security Council called for progress reports from UNMOVIC and the IAEA two months after renewing inspections in Iraq. As head of UNMOVIC, Blix is responsible for overseeing inspections whose objective is to verify Iraqi chemical and biological warfare disarmament. Part of Blix's report reviews the sequence and content of U.N. resolutions dealing with the disarmament of Iraq.


With regard to cooperation on substance, Blix's report is more negative, noting that Iraq has failed to engage in the "active" cooperation called for in Resolution 1441. He questions Iraqi claims concerning the quality, quantity, and disposition of VX nerve gas produced by Iraq as well as claims that Iraq destroyed 8, 500 liters of anthrax. In addition, he reports that Iraq has tested two missiles in excess of the permitted range of 150 kilometers."

Anonymous said...

It's a little bit funny..the dems always criticize Bush in that scientifically he isnt 'curious' enough...

yet, when we have dems making the claims of existing WMDs, we have the UN Inspection teams exisiting inventories, we have UN reports showing Saddam refused to give an accounting of the weapons we KNOW at one time existed, the dems are amazingly curious as to WHERE THEY WENT.

Instead they (and here at the Agora our own Anon collective) adopt the mantra "they didnt have WMDs" But of course they DID. the question that STILL has yet to be answered is WHERE ARE THEY? or at least WHAT HAPPENED TO THEM?

And you arent the SLIGHTEST bit curious about that?

Anonymous said...

It's a little bit funny..the dems always criticize Bush in that scientifically he isnt 'curious' enough...

yet, when we have dems making the claims of existing WMDs, we have the UN Inspection teams exisiting inventories, we have UN reports showing Saddam refused to give an accounting of the weapons we KNOW at one time existed, the dems are amazingly curious as to WHERE THEY WENT.

Instead they (and here at the Agora our own Anon collective) adopt the mantra "they didnt have WMDs" But of course they DID. the question that STILL has yet to be answered is WHERE ARE THEY? or at least WHAT HAPPENED TO THEM?

And you arent the SLIGHTEST bit curious about that?

Anonymous said...

This sentence
"the dems are amazingly curious as to WHERE THEY WENT"

should of course read

"the dems are amazingly NOT curious as to WHERE THEY WENT"

Anonymous said...

I dont think I can post pictures in the comments section, but I think it is interesting to study the two portraits done by Picasso of Jacqueline Rocque in 1957. One is done in 'typical' Picasso fashion, the other is a more conventional portrait. The thing that sticks out to me is that Picasso's portraits done in a classical style are simply nothing special. Maybe that was what drove him to cubism.

Anonymous said...

Pollock though...man...I'm just at a loss...

a quiet listener said...

my best friend is an amazing artist. we were discussing a similar topic. one girl was ranting about how much pollock sold his paintings for when he wasn't even "a good artist." my friend said the following and I found it very interesting:

I think that the question of what Jackson Pollock has done (or many of the other artists that have followed similarly confusing or revolutionary paths [revolutionary whether we like them or not]) lies deeply in the question "what is art?", and then we can start deciding what Mr. Pollock has accomplished.

I decided to take a beginning intro to art class in college. I know, it's a little like the mexican born USA student somehow getting into a spanish 1 class, but for the easy A and for the company, it seemed like a good choice. The teacher seems unenthusiastic, and produced a definition for what someone famous defined art as being, paraphrased, it was as follows: Art is the human expression, supplementation, or interpretation of nature. This definition supposes that all of art is in a constant orbit around nature. Though nature encompasses a broader spectrum than the initial connotation that the word invokes in the waiting mind, it seems arbitrary to even attempt to limit or subbordinate art to nature. Art to me, is not expression, it is not supplementation, it is not interpretation... it is raw accomplishment. It is the human spirit ejaculated into reality through any medium available. It is the "look what i can do", and then done. It cannot be attatched to anything with any success. Art can mean anyting, and nothing. It can be beautiful, and it can be ugly. It can be perfect, or imperfect. It can be emotional, or cold. To enjoy art, requires honesty with ones-self. If i enjoy a Jackson Pollock painting, i enjoy it. There is no reason that i should impose on my affection any sort of unnatural censorship. Anyone could have done it? Maybe. Who did it? Jackson Pollock. If i like it and i have money, i'll buy it. Does it mean i'm stupid? No. It could mean a variety of things. Pollock has used color and arrangement to create layers of erratic shapes with no conventional reason. Bursts of blues, splashes of tawny, fire-cracker pops of yellow or red. If i like it i like it. If i don't i don't. If i like it, i buy it. If i don't like it i don't. Value in art is not attatched to money. It is only attatched to the individual experience that each person has with the piece. I don't like the mona lisa. I think it is a boring picture. I think it was well made, but i wouldn't hang it in my room. I think that the Creation, by michealangelo is fantasic, and i do have a print of the old fresco hung in my room. Is michealangelo better than da'vinci? I would not venture to make that comparison. But i do enjoy the creation a great deal more than the Mona Lisa.

My point is, that along side my prints from michealangelo, magritte, renior, and picasso, is a certain painting called lavender mist, by one Jackson Pollock. I like to look at it and imagine the creation of it. What was going on in his mind when he made it. If he thought he would make alot of money off of the splashes, then there lies his genious. He did. If it is the frustrated drippings and thrashings of a disturbed mind, well there you go. If it was the pendulum swings of pigment laden brushes over a nude canvas simply to see what would happen when it hit, well then we found out. I neither protect or defend pollock from you, i only defend myself for liking him.

(also the one page long prologue to A Picture of Dorian Gray is very helpful in developing discussion over the purpose/existance of art, I'd suggest it)

Anonymous said...

AQL...

Well said. I agree with you. Art is personal to everyone. You dont have to defend Pollock to me. In fact, I was studying some his earlier painting and can see the 'art' (expression) in paintings like "man W/ Knife" or Lucipher. It doesn tmean I necessarily like them, but I can see what some might like. Then again, "#7" just does nothing for me. And I think sadly, most of his work is #7. Or more appropriately...#2.

But thats just my taste and what do I know...except what I like. I promise none of MY paintings will ever hang in the Guggenheim...

a quiet listener said...

i must clarify that the above arguments are not my own. i only wish i could create such beautiful arguments and artwork as my dear friend.

Anonymous said...

Quiet Listener:
I hesitate to express my complete endorsement of your "friends" ideas about art -- Lysis' venemous insults often show little discretion and I wouldn't want you to "get any on you" that was intended just for me!!!!

I have made two postings that were both erased and never blogged -- I know this must be a conspiracy of MM and Lysis!!!!

On the small chance that it WASN'T, has anyone else been experiencing the problem? Both postings went to "bit heaven" without salutation or goodbye -- GOOD STUFF TOO!!!!

Anonymous said...

Blue Period
Rose Period
African Influenced Period
Analytic Cubism
Synthetic Cubism
Classicism
Surrealism
Neo expressionism

"A man once criticized Picasso for creating UNREALISTIC art. Picasso asked him: "Can you show me some realistic art?" The man showed him a photograph of his wife. Picasso observed: "So your wife is two inches tall, two-dimensional, with no arms and no legs, and no colour but only shades of gray?"

The above are ALL examples of the REALISTIC ART that Picasso created!!!!

Anonymous said...

Anon...

Ive lost several...which is why I generally type responses in MS Word and then paste them here.

As for your conspiracy theory...I also shot JFK.

;-)

mostly just listening said...

On WMDs:

In a song called The Boxer, Paul Simon states, "a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest." Oy and how.

The WMDs that Aeneas discusses are those small groups of biological and chemical weapons found in Iraq that date back to the early 90's. These are some of the weapons Sadaam was supposed to have destroyed and claimed he did destroy. The fact that these weapons are being found in groups here and there is just one more indication of a violation of agreements made with the UN.

The WMDs discussed in the Scott McClellan quote which Anonymous supplied are those that many believed, erroneously it seems, Sadaam was manufacturing and stock piling in the years leading up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq more recently.

Whether willfully or not, you aren't talking about the same think Anonymous.

The fact that the old weapons weren't all destroyed and the intelligence that Sadam was working on erroding UN sanctions so he could start up his weapons programs again (see both the Duelfer report and Joe Wilson's report) is at least discomforting.

Regarding art.

Sorry, Lysis, I like some of Pollock's work including Lavender Mist, but then I think my Turkish rugs are works of art. The blend of color and texture and pattern are why. I suppose I am a "sucker" and easily fooled by the "frauds" out there.

a quiet listener said...

anonymous: just because i post my friends ideas does not mean i buy into them. they cause me to think, wonder and question. i hope they do the same for you. i appreciate much of what he says, but i find some of his thoughts to be entirely wrong.

personally i relate art to the laboratory. (since that's where i spend most of my time.) truly physics, chemistry and mathematics are the underlying fundamentals of all science. an engineer or scientist is trained or has some inherent intuition in these languages. but not all would be engineers and scientists are succesful. the innovative application of concepts, the practical problem solving nature and the critical thinking behind such applications to form new developements and further understanding is where a truly great scientist is manifest. a scientist who assumes "it" will come easily and puts forth no effort will enjoy getting minimum passing grades through college but will ultimately be shocked to realize he has learned nothing and it has cost him more than he can imagine. however; only learning to parrot back ideas with no personal developement and thought will also limit oneself to a simple technician, able to correctly perform tasks but unable to plow where no tracks have been laid.

in any case, a scientist or engineer who pretends himself to be such without taking the necessary time to learn the fundamentals of mathematics, chemistry and physics is a joke. these are those who might certainly amuse or interest people with their unfounded ideas but at the same time base their notions on concepts contrary to the very laws which govern all things.

the parallel to art is obvious. taking the necessary time to learn and practice the basics of shape, tone, hue, perspective, drawing and learning to see our surroundings and recognize beauty should be an absolute prerequisite. sadly I think many artists "bail out" before they've learned all they can just to begin mass producing "art" which is priced, sold and copied again and again. take dali for example. truly a great artist when it comes to technique, but a hack in that he had any number of apprentices produce work which he signed, sold and got rich off of as if they were his own. pollock is no better (in my opinion) than an engineer who becoming frustrated with the difficult course material jumps ship and mass produces second rate doodles which are made just to be avant gard. does that mean it's not art? no. by most definitions i guess not. is it his potential to express beauty and truth though? doubt it.

Lysis said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lysis said...

First to Anonymous;

I am sorry your posts have been lost. I promise you I would never intentionally remove anything you post. I did once accidentally do so, I explained and apologized then, I do so again now. I want to hear and share every word you have to say here at the Agora. Please repost if you can. And take Mindmechanic’s advice and save your documents until you are sure they make it onto the string.

To A Quiet Listener and his artsy friend, and Mindmechanic, and all:

First, if I may use the license A Quite Listener has given, and say that Art can mean anything, the discussion would be over. I would just proclaim art, and end the argument, but for your sake I will try a little reason. I will suggest that your friend’s college art professor was far more correct if less poetic, than your buddy. How could you or he disagree with me, you said Art is anything!

Now, on to the accidental “beauty” of Pollock’s splattering; when I was a boy in Alaska, there was a lot of oil shale about. My friends and I would break the stones open and marvel the beautiful patterns found there. Indeed the colors, forms, and contrasts were most beautiful, however they were not art. Every spring in Alaska there is a breakup. The winter long accumulation of snow all melts at once and filled our dirt streets with rivers of brown water. Sometimes a bit of gasoline would get spilled in the runoff. It colors reminded me of the centers of shale stones; swirling, shifting, moving ejaculations of color and form, but not art.

Art is the imitation of Nature in the way that the artiest is an imitation of God. The artiest must create. If the universe is an accident it is not a creation. The artist cannot create reality, like God, but he can express, supplement, and interpret nature. He can create the illusion of beauty, and the key word is create. God creates according to immutable laws; laws, which applied, produce nature. An artist also must have command of the laws of art, its elements and principles, if he is to bring beauty, art, into existence. As Einstein would say, God does not play craps with the Universe, nor does true artiest throw paint or feces, and call it the creation of art.

Your friend’s definition – “Art can mean anything, and nothing. It can be beautiful, and it can be ugly. It can be perfect, or imperfect, it can be emotional, or cold. It is anything I enjoy” This is not a definition, it is a dodge. It could apply to anything; it could apply to ice cream, to sunsets, to oil swirls, to murder, to hell, to Seinfeld. It could be applied to the arguments that Flaccid posts here at the Agora. It means nothing.

Pollock did not control the powers that created the spatters he pawned to the public, he was not more an artiest that a bubble burping in the Paint Pots of Yellowstone.

And by the way, Michelangelo was a better artiest than De Vinci. Read Wilde’s definition of art again – it definitely contradicts your friend’s pronouncement.

Now to Picasso - I had intentionally avoided Picasso in my original post, but let me deal with him now. On the original post I have placed a series of pictures by Picasso. This is the story they tell. More pictures – available to all of you, will only reinforce my evidence.

Picasso’s father was an art teacher. He knew the rules of art and taught them to many, he tried to teach them to his son, but Pablo was much more interested in prostitutes than in the elements, principals, and skills of art. This first drawing is by Picasso while in school. It is of the Torso Belvedere, and is copied from a high school drawing program by Jean-Leon Gerome. The practice pieces in this program were reproduced as lithographs by Charles Bargue. Bargue’s drawing is below. I have copied this myself, and did as well as Picasso; if I must say so myself. You can come and see my work on my classroom wall.

The next three pictures are other class assignments by Picasso. No doubt his teacher stood over him, directing his hand, and correcting his mistakes. These student works are often sighted as proof that Picasso could do “real art” if he wanted. But to anyone who has studied art, they say just the opposite.

The work was to much for Picasso. His portrait of Gertrude Stine shows how well he could do without a trained artiest directing his hand. BUT HERE IS THE WONDER for Picasso. Relativists, desperate to validate their “what ever I say is, is” philosophy saw in Picasso a chance to define art and manipulate the masses. Soon Picasso realizes that his paintings, pushed by the agenda of relativism, could sell no matter what they looked like. In fact sell even better if they looked worse. He proceeded to and produced ridiculous farces like this next piece. Here you see his pretended application of “African” art. The Africans had every right to feel insulted.

The next piece shows how far Picasso went to see if he could go to far, for the Relativists he could not.

But then suddenly, after twenty years of hoaxing, Picasso tried to become a real artiest. He literally went back to school and for over a year he tried desperately to master the principles he had shunned before.

The next three pieces are evidence of his best efforts. Overworked and clumsy, they attest to how miserably he failed. His discouragement and failure are represented the atrocities that were produced through the rest of his life. This last picture is an example, and this is not the worst of the best he could do.

Now an interesting thing about Picasso; the man basked in fame and the accolades of the relativists, but was miserable all his life. He hated the women he bought to serve him, and they all came to hate him. He abandoned one wife to the asylum, and drove his children from him. He died famous, praised, and rich; he died a fraud, a millionaire who claimed to be a communist, (only a relativist could reason like that) a hoaxer that pretended to be an artiest. What ruined his joy, what tainted his success into misery? The answer, he knew he was not what the relativists claimed, he know that for all the accolades he was not an artiest.

It would be instructive to examine the life of Norman Rockwell, to compare a master who, although the critics shouted otherwise, knew he was what they said he was not, a great artiest.

Anonymous said...

Lysis...

I agree regarding Pollock. I saw some work that was intriguing...not good. The later stuff...yuck. I hear 'art' lovers talk about lines, weight, balance, composition...ummm...OK...whatever you say.

But...

As long as it is THEIR money and they are willing to pay for it, call it what you will.

I have really enjoyed learning more about Picasso. I think our perspective of young Picasso is at least similar. During his blue and pink periods I saw pieces I really liked. I don't have much appreciation for the rest.

I lost a post earlier today and in the post I recommended people compare the two portraits of Jacqueline done in 1957. I think the 'classical' portrait was simply ordinary. Maybe thats why he turned to the cubist, relativist style. His classical 'art' was just nothing special.

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Anonymous said...

Anon...

we went from this...

"If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program."
President Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998

to this...

"He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983."
Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998

to this...

"Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process."
Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998.

And then THIS...

"Hussein has ... chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies."
Madeline Albright, Clinton Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999.

to THIS...

"We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country."
Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002.

and THIS...

"Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power."
Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002.

and then THIS...

"We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seing and developing weapons of mass destruction."
Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA), Sept. 27, 2002.

AND this...

"He has systematically violated, over the course of the past 11 years, every significant UN resolution that has demanded that he disarm and destroy his chemical and biological weapons, and any nuclear capacity. This he has refused to do."
Rep. Henry Waxman (D, CA), Oct. 10, 2002.

AND THIS...

"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons."
Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct 10, 2002

And finally this...

Resolution 1441 specifically stated:

2) That 1441, and its deadline, represented Iraq's final opportunity to comply with disarmament requirements. In accordance with the previous Resolutions, this meant Iraq not only had to verify the existence or destruction of its remaining unaccounted-for WMD stockpiles, but also had to ensure that all equipment, plans, and materials useful for the resumption of WMD programs was likewise turned over or verified as destroyed.

And after having the FACTS revealed and the lies and hypocricy of the left so BLATANTLY and OBVIOUSLY exposed...after having your nose rubbed in it...

you come back with THIS...

"None have EVER been found, and there is no evidence what-so-ever!!!"

And you want to make this about George Bush? What...was Al Gore asleep during his 8 years as a veep? Was Ted Kennedy too drunk to know what was being said at all those intel meetings? Were Sandy Berger and Madeline Albright lieing to cover for Bill Clinton, the MASTER of all lies?

Was the UN report NOT specific enough for you? It stated CLEARLY that this was Iraqs last chance for compliance and that to comply Iraq had to allow for full and unabated inspections AND had to account for ALL of it's missing weaponry...missing because it had ALL been inventoried following the first gulf war.

I dont care if you dislike GWB. I dont care if you disagree with his war plan. But when it comes to telling lies about the war, about WMDs, about the reasons and justifications...the facts are obvious. The only LIARS here are you and the liberals that at once defended a democrats military actions against Iraq and Saddam BECAUSE of WMDs, and then lie and say there never was WMDs.

Not finding them...not knowing of their disposition is NOT the same as never being in existence.

And you dont think those lies have left the country weaker? You dont think they have given aid and comfort to the enemy? Please...

Anonymous said...

http://www.antiwar.com/orig/debatto.php?articleid=9196

Good article...involves a first hand account by a war critic of his discovery of WMD delivery systems.

Anonymous said...

The ONLY one practicing the "whatever I say is, IS" aesthetics is Lyis!!!!

Everyone who has posted on the topic has written about the "Art" they enjoy and feel sympathy with personally, and, so far, have not sought to elevate their OPINION into a morality play for GOOD and EVIL or the ABSOLUTE and the RELATIVE -- it is ONLY Lysis who wraps his opinions around GOD and the demagoguery that God and Lysis' artistic opinions are one.

The argument is transparent, the one offered by demagogues everywhere.ie, AGREE with my opinion, which is absolute -- or, DISAGREE and be branded a relativist!!!! (Right out of the Jim Jones' hand-book)

The greatest enemy, however, of a demagogue is NOT those who disagree -- what a demagogue truly despises is ANOTHER demagogue.

Battling demagogues demolish each other's pretense of ABSOLUTE authority, revealing what at core is only self-indulgent, arrogant, power-hungry RELATIVISM!!!!

Anonymous said...

Now God's creation is not art? It is accidentally beautiful? I ask Lysis to take a look around next time he is in his "paradise" and ask himself again if that is not art. If God's creation is not art, but what Lysis creates is, I am at a complete loss at the incredulousness of such a definition.

Lysis said...

Anonymous the first (Flaccid);

I did not call anyone a relativist – my calling would not make it so anyway – but when A Quiet Listener’s friend said “Art can mean anything, and nothing. It can be beautiful, and it can be ugly. It can be perfect, or imperfect. It can be emotional, or cold.” He or she was expressing a relativist view. Whether relativism is evil or not – you read in yourself.

Anonymous the second (Child);

I did not say God’s creation was not art. I said: “The artiest must create. If the universe is an accident it is not a creation. The artist cannot create reality, like God, but he can express, supplement, and interpret nature. He can create the illusion of beauty, and the key word is create. God creates according to immutable laws; laws, which applied, produce nature. An artist also must have command of the laws of art, its elements and principles, if he is to bring beauty, art, into existence. As Einstein would say, God does not play craps with the Universe, nor does true artiest throw paint or feces, and call it the creation of art.”

My point, which most got, but you understandably missed is that true creation, whether of the universe or of a piece of art work, is not an accident, it requires the implementation of universal laws. God’s art is divine – it is nature itself, man’s art is “expression, supplementation, interpretation of nature, but to be creation, it cannot be an accident.

I suggest you reread the material above, this time with your brain engaged. You need to realize that, like art, discussion is more than throwing crap to seeing where it sticks.

Anonymous said...

I like the way it was described on arthistory.com

What is art? Art is 6.3 billion things, but you should probably stick with "Art is form and content".

Lets say I want to take up painting, and so of course, I do. I start with watercolors and lo and behold...I'm not very good at it. Am I an artist? Yes. Am I a GOOD artist? Not even close. the painting I created is 'art' but only art a mother could love.

now...lets say I discovered that I am no good at the art form. If instead I decided I would simply dip my brush in the water and then dab it to the dye and then spray it on a canvas...is THAT art? Well...it depends how i do it. If I just spray it on randomly with no design I would say 'no'. However if I use a BIG canvas, big brushes and spray on the shape of the sailboat...is THAT art? Well...sure. Content and form are present. I might even find people that like the random shape of the very directed lines and they might buy it.

On PBS there is an art show with the host being Bob Ross. Bob taught a very simplistic style whch can be used to effectively paint landscapes and really...after a little practice, anyone can do it. MANY people like his paintings, and it would be called art. However some critics call it formulaic, boring, and words far worse.

Who is right?

Anonymous said...

It is important to accurately quote Einstein, without processing his ideas through Lysis' "garbelometer" (neologism) that allows for LYSIS' convenient misquotations and deceptive interpretations of what Einstein ACTUALLY said, "God does not play DICE with the universe."

From Lysis' depiction of Einstein, his indoctrinated charges might conclude that Einstein was part of Lysis' "Absolutists club" -- however, that was NEVER true.

Einstein wrote in March 1954 --
"It was a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the undaunted admiration for the structure of the world SO FAR AS SCIENCE CAN DETECT IT."

Also:
"I do not believe in imortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern with no superhuman authority behind it." -AE

Lysis would prefer by far the ABSOLUTIST sentiments expressed by this "artist" and devotee of the arts.

"For God's will gave men their form, their essence, and their abilities. Anyone who destroys His work is declaring war on the Lord's creation, the DIVINE WILL. Therefore, let every man be active, each in his own denomination if you please, and let every man take it as HIS FIRST AND MOST SACRED DUTY TO OPPOSE ANYONE WHO IN HIS ACTIVITIES BY WORD OR DEED STEPS OUTSIDE THE CONFINES OF HIS RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY . . . .

Yep, seems to line up completely with the demogogue, meglomania, and belligerent prototype -- of course, the above was written by one of the world's most infamous of absolutists, Adolph Hitler!!!!

Lysis said...

Flaccid;

Thank you for conceding all the points on art and the war in Iraq.

Now to give you something else to concede let me explain away your dissatisfaction concerning Einstein. You are very big on telling us what Einstein did not believe. So? I simply told you something he did believe, “That God does not play DICE (craps) with the universe.” In fifty odd posts all you can come up with to challenge is another word game. This is truly pitiful!

I have not mentioned either Einstein’s religious convictions or my own.

You’re so funny. Since you can’t handle my arguments, you drag in Hitler to debate with. Well, at least you’ve finally found someone on your own level.

Anonymous said...

Indeed Lysis, it was having my brain engaged that made your argument most confusing. Now you make it clear that God's divine art is nature itself (paraphrase). However, in your analogy you mention the inside of the rocks that were beautiful but not art. Which of God's creations, what part of nature, is art Lysis? I contend only with this small bit of your analogy, because it seems you used it to infer that those who have posted here who find beauty in the works of Jackson Pollock have stumbled across something that, like that rock, was beautiful by accident. I actually am intrigued and agree with most of your argument there Lysis. I appreciate that something can be beautiful and not be art. However, you use an example of nature. Confusing, wouldn't you agree? More likely, you will instead insult me further by saying the only confusion was in my own lack of intellect that my questioning of any or all of your theory was the intellectual equivalent of flinging crap on canvas.

I feel secure in the knowledge that you would not treat a student who questioned something you presented in such a way. Instead you would be caring and help that individual to understand. The format of this blog and the use of anonymity means you don't who I am and therefore don't know how you would usually treat me. Because I disagree with you, you infer I've no intelligence. Interesting Lysis. It is good that the President, who has so much more right to be venomous, has so much more class in dealing with those who disagree with him. He gave quite a good speech last night.

Anonymous said...

No!
EINSTEIN himself is very big on telling you what he DID NOT believe -- I quoted him.

YOU are very big on mis-telling us what he DID believe -- you quoted him inaccuately and misrepresented him.

Now honestly ask yourself WHY you quoted Einstein, of all people, as an example of ABSOLTISM in ART ? Had it anything to do with the words GOD and UNIVERSE in the quotation?

Terminal meglamania is expressed as horrible fantasies of dementia, feeding on imagined arguments NEVER WON and concessions NEVER MADE!!!!

Lysis said...

Two particularly cogent points made by President Bush in his courageous and powerful State of the Union Address.

1. “Our success in this war is often measured by the things that did not happen. We cannot know the full extent of the attacks that we and our allies have prevented, but here is some of what we do know: We stopped an al Qaeda plot to fly a hijacked airplane into the tallest building on the West Coast. We broke up a Southeast Asian terror cell grooming operatives for attacks inside the United States. We uncovered an al Qaeda cell developing anthrax to be used in attacks against America. And just last August, British authorities uncovered a plot to blow up passenger planes bound for America over the Atlantic Ocean. For each life saved, we owe a debt of gratitude to the brave public servants who devote their lives to finding the terrorists and stopping them. (Applause.)”

2. “Our enemies are quite explicit about their intentions. They want to overthrow moderate governments, and establish safe havens from which to plan and carry out new attacks on our country. By killing and terrorizing Americans, they want to force our country to retreat from the world and abandon the cause of liberty. They would then be free to impose their will and spread their totalitarian ideology. Listen to this warning from the late terrorist Zarqawi: "We will sacrifice our blood and bodies to put an end to your dreams, and what is coming is even worse." Osama bin Laden declared: "Death is better than living on this Earth with the unbelievers among us."

Anonymous said...

Not to jump into the arguement...

Einsteins position was that there was a God (just not a God of man made religions), that the God that he knew was a God of order, and that the 'creation' and laws of nature all follow design and order. He in fact stated that the true scientist that could study the order of the universe had a greater understanding of God than did the religous masses.

I think this is where the arguments
here devolve to mere contention based on dislike.

IMO, Einsteins position would be that God's 'creation' had nothing to do with creativity or accident. It had everything to do with order and design. It wasnt structured to be beautiful, it was structured because that is how it had to be.

Which defies the creative aspect of art.

But, doesnt preclude us from enjoying the beauty of the Grand Canyon, the White Cliffs of Dover, or women. Nor does it preclude us from enjoying the accidental beauty of the rainbow hues of
an oil spill.

but is it art?

When looking at Pollocks work, I guess we would have to know his mind. Did he have a plan or did he just throw stuff out there? Is it (valuable) art because we really like it and deem it worthy or because the Guggenheim promoted the artist (remember...prior to the promotion by the Guggenheim Pollock was pretty much seen as a joke)?

Same goes for Picasso...before his paintings received acclaim, they were panned. It wasnt until later that people declared it powerful work.

I still say art, yes...just not my cup of tea.

Lysis said...

To the Anonymous I called Child;

I appreciate your revisiting my comment, and I see your confusion. I see many things that are beautiful in the world that are not art.

I did refer to “God’s art – what I meant was God’s creation – which is nature itself. Art, is as I have repeatedly indicated is the product of an artiest, and “The artist cannot create reality, like God, but he can express, supplement, and interpret nature. He can create the illusion of beauty, and the key word is create.”

I appreciate this chance to clarify.

If I did insult you, I am sorry. I must admit that in the clash of debate I am prone to be combative. Please understand that I cannot tell which Anonymous I am talking to, and so often read the comments of one unknown voice into the tone of another. I know this is little more than an excuse – but I hope you will consider it as an explanation. I hope I can learn from your firm and just chastisement.

For the record, I would not claim to create art, and if God is the creator of the world, His efforts surely transcends Art. It is however the type to which art seems to adhere.

Now I must consider the idea that what Jackson Pollock has creating is beautiful. Some people find it to their taste, but I will still contend that it is no more art than oil floating on muddy water. I wonder if Pollock would have given God the credit?

Anonymous said...

Anon (student)

Please do not offer Lysis concessions of favorable opinions of GWB's speech last night -- donating fingers when he seeks your whole head, won't feed the bulldog or . . . bull something!!!!

Anonymous said...

MM,

In what speech did President Bush outline the 3 reasons for going to war in Iraq that you have commented on?

Lysis said...

Flaccid; (I assume)

So now you no longer give reason or evidence, you just give commands. The anonymous you refer to as student gave their opinion on what was indeed a wonderful speech by the President, and you accuse them of concessions. Who sounds like the totalitarian dictator? Bow wow.

Anonymous said...

Anon...

Bush gave several addresses in the months of February and March of 2003. In one of them he cited over a dozen reasons, but in all they came back to the three main reasons...

Genocide-Never been refuted, never been argued, and since it is the ONLY reason Clinton gave for going to war against the Serbs...SHOULD be justification in and of itself...

Ties to global terrorism. Again...indisputable.

Iraqs refusal to comply w/ UN resolution 1441 (which was posted here earlier).

I posted the text of the speech previously. I posted the UN resolution outlining the resolution and penalty for non-compliance. I know the Fox news site has the speech text.

Rumpole said...

Quiet Listener,

You know that I generally love your posts. I certainly do not intend to offend. However, your recent post from your friend was troubling to me. If I may, I’d like to pose some questions. I know they are fairly blunt, but I know of no other way.

You post: “(Art) is the human spirit ejaculated into reality through any medium available.”

As a Christian, then, do you believe that art lies in the denigration of Christ? Were you a member of Islam, would it be art to belittle the prophet Muhammad? Is it “art” to burn the American flag in front of those who sacrificed everything to defend it?

You post “(Art) can mean anything, and nothing.” Have you recently returned from the Council of Nice? Is God “art” defined? Is he everywhere and nowhere?

You also speak of the imposition of “unnatural censorship.” Apparently then, if one, deemed to be an artist by those who determine such things, has the inherent right to promote any level of porn, denigration, or simply bad taste, and call it art? Exploitation of children is art? This is what you suggest to me when you place no limits on the bounds of the “artist”.

I believe, as Lysis has suggested, that greatness in any discipline lies in understanding the rules of that discipline and mastering them over time. Brittney Spears may be beautiful, but the ability to lip sinc does not make her a great musician.

Rumpole said...

Quiet Listener,

Your allegory comparing a scientist and his discipline to a great artist who has used the same discipline in mastering his craft is most heartening.

Be it scientist, artist, or musician, an individual with that kind of disipline is certainly worthy of great respect.

Lysis said...

A Quiet Listener:

I did want to thank your for your excellent clarification as to the need to master the laws before you can become the master. I am likewise grappling with the drawing of lines between art and not art. I guess it is like the Supreme Court implies about obscenity. Hard to describe, but one know when one sees it.

Anonymous said...

Rump:
I understand that you want definitions, limits and controls --that you would be willing to authorize a POLICING force of some kind to curb disturbing excesses that SOME find to be ART. That sacrificing freedom of speech because SOME are irresponsible might be necessary to ensure public security -- that for EVERY freedom there are thousands of opportunities for SOME to abuse and corrupt.

Censorship IS a compelling ideology!

However, I believe the promises of security and purity of expression that censorship promotes are MORE EVIL than the license, perversion and illicitness that it seeks to obliterate.

The Middle Ages in Europe was all about PURIFICATION of the HERETIC for God's benefit -- commonly using terrifying hench men and incredible violence to PERFECT and censor those who had "DEVIANT" perspectives from state or church or statechurch.

I choose to ERR on the side of ART, and yes, the abuses that will ALWAYS arise, than to stifle and crush the creative spirit with proscriptions, definitions, authorizations and violent "cleansings"!!!!

Much has been posted about Art and beauty. Cannot ART also be ugly, terrifying, and revolting?

Anonymous said...

A wonderful essay, written by T.S. Eliot, "Tradition and the Individual Talent" agrees with the "discipline before art" ideas some have expressed in their postings.

Though, I completely agree with Eliot, I would not make it mandatory or appoint a 'policing' agency!!!!

Lysis said...

Rumpole;

You ask: “As a Christian, then, do you believe that art lies in the denigration of Christ? Were you a member of Islam, would it be art to belittle the prophet Muhammad? Is it “art” to burn the American flag in front of those who sacrificed everything to defend it?”

I do believe that a piece of art might well denigrate Christ or Muhammad, America or its flag. It is not the denigration that makes these things art – it is the nature of the thing created.

Anonymous;

While I tend to favor your position over Rumpole’s in this case; I would not allow the abuse of children in the name of art – or the mutilation of animals, or men and women for that matter, or any number of atrocities either. I would not “censor” them because they are not art, but because they are evil in themselves. I have admitted recently that I thought the movie Apocalypto was a great piece of art – that does not mean I condone human sacrifice.

There is a better way to deal with the lies. Obscenity that pretends to art is best dealt with by decrying it for the fraud it is and leaving the foolish to adore it if they choose. But the truth still remains – their choice does not make it art.

Art can portray the ugly, terrifying and revolting – but it must do it beautifully to be art. Ugliness and Revolution are not artistic ends unto themselves; any more that nausea is a true emotion.

Second anonymous;

Therefore I agree with you, and I imagine with Eliot, in the need for discipline before art – and also in the desire to avoid mandatory policing of anything produced legally.

Anonymous said...

Anon...

"I choose to ERR on the side of ART, and yes, the abuses that will ALWAYS arise, than to stifle and crush the creative spirit with proscriptions, definitions, authorizations and violent "cleansings"!!!!"

I dont mean this to be an argument against...I think we pretty much agree. the only exception I would take is with the line "the abuses that always arise". And here is why...

I'll use the Maplethorpe exhibit of several years ago. I only speak to my position and I thought it was disgusting, repulsive, reprehensible. But and abuse? I dont know...lets crawl into the mind of the artist...

Maplethorpe dealt on a daily basis with his own demons. He was raised devout Irish Catholic but lived as a gay man-that equals conflict. Society's rules were in conflict with his own values. Even in the gay community the trend was toward overt and aggressive expression of sex as a weapon, as a means of defiance, as the outward act the defines the "we are here, we are queer, get used to it mantra." Watching a steady stream of friends first contract the HIV virus, then eventually die slow horrible deaths from AIDS was devastating. the fear that accompanied the lifestyle was horrible. Finding out that he too had contracted the disease, well...imagine the impact.

So...what was he trying to portray? how did a man go from making a living taking portraits of stills, flowers, landscapes, and the beautiful people to a man that photographed graphic imagery that he defeneded as the poitive and powerful while accepting that it could also be viewed as sadistic and even racial and demeaning?

Is it really hard to see how he made that transformation? And in the mind of an artist, isnt that precisely how he might reflect his own internal conflict? And how many people might share his pain and relate and ultimately share that expression?

Which is NOT to say I have or need to have an appreciation for the work. But an understanding? Sure...it is easy to see WHY. and what. and I dont call that an abuse. I call it art. Just not MY KIND of art. But as long as I dont have to pay for it...well...

Anonymous said...

Lysis...

"Art can portray the ugly, terrifying and revolting – but it must do it beautifully to be art. Ugliness and Revolution are not artistic ends unto themselves; any more that nausea is a true emotion"

What then of 'bad' artists? Should they not then be allowed to create?

Art to me is a means of expression. Wether it is wittling, carving, writing, singing, composing, 'DE-composing, drawing, painting, whatever...

I think we agree on most of it though. If I sit down and scribble or throw some paint on a canvas and say "here you go...thats "Blood without Red"...that'll be $400.00"...well, I have used the medium of art to create a picture, but I havent created a 'work' of art or a "work of art" (two very different things).

Anonymous said...

Whittling! Eureka...I've found my own best example...

A scout sitting around the campfire (with no one in his blood zone) and working a carving of the eagle's head that he saw just that afternoon is in the process of creating art. Depending on his skill it may be very good or very bad or somewhere in between.

Across from him sits another scout. He has his knife, and no one is i his blood zone, and he is whittling...a stick...he is just making a pointy stick.

One is using the medium...the other is just whittling.

Anonymous said...

Blood zone????
Boy Scouts have changed from the days I whittled ON a round piece of wood trying to fashion something to tie down my bandana

Anonymous said...

nah...not all that much. Just paid a little more attention to safety.

Besides...it doesnt sound like you were 'just' whittling...you were whittling an object and maybe an ARTFUL object.

Anonymous said...

Nah, intent had nothing to do with product -- but, on second thought it DID have much Piccasso...esque potential as a "boy slashing at wood" sculpture!!!!

a quiet listener said...

rumpole: i agree with you art needs a definition. however; i must confess that i'm no closer than anyone else in offering a good one.

as for my beautiful friend's post, well I will ask him next time i see him. it's a pity i didn't read your post until today since i watched "Howl's Moving Castle" with him last night and we stayed up quite late talking about art and the blog. it's a real pity i can't ever convince him to join our discussion.

as for "Howl's Moving Castle." well. it's certainly better than "spirited away" but worse than "princess mononoke." i do believe my friend loves them simply because they are not western. no real bad guy. no real resolution necessarily. they're just stories with characters exhibiting both good and bad qualities, but not inherently evil. they're not all too unlike the stories that lysis tells us from japan up at camp with such unexpected endings as the flying head people story.

Anonymous said...

Anon...thank you! That laugh just set my day back to right.

Rumpole said...

Anonymy,

You add much to the conversation. Please allow me to respond, if I may.

You post: “I understand that you want definitions, limits and controls --that you would be willing to authorize a POLICING force of some kind to curb disturbing excesses that SOME find to be ART. That sacrificing freedom of speech because SOME are irresponsible might be necessary to ensure public security -- that for EVERY freedom there are thousands of opportunities for SOME to abuse and corrupt.”

I want no such policing force!

I have talked about placing limits on art; however, I have not suggested how that ought to take place. I advocate the first amendment. I do not wish to create a climate of fear when one is critical of my beliefs, as members of Islam have done when individuals are critical of Muhammad.

You sarcastically point out that “Censorship IS a compelling ideology!”

Can we define censorship with an example? Was Larry Miller guilty of censorship when he declined to show “Brokeback?” I would argue that he was not. Did he prevent the authors of the film from plying their trade? No. Did he stop the world from seeing the film? No.

And here is the critical point. Did Larry Miller have a responsibility to show the film just because it was out there? I would say, rather emphatically, no!

No laws have been passed to prevent the showing of “Brokeback”. If you are among those who disagreed with Mr. Miller’s position, congratulations. Show your displeasure by not supporting him. But I don’t believe he can be accused of censorship. His right to disagree with the premise of the film is just as great as the rights of those who promote the premise of the film. Mr. Miller has no responsibility to show the film just because it is out there.

I do not advocate a “police state” when defining the boundaries of art. Those boundaries are defined by good taste. I do take issue, however, with those who suggest that their forays into the arts ought to be funded with my tax dollars, and if they are not, censorship has ruled the day. Is it a republic’s responsibility to financially support those forays just because they are there? Is a republic guilty of censorship if such forays are not supported?

I do not seek for purification. I would answer yes, art can also be ugly, terrifying, and revolting. However, I am not a censor, in that I have prevented the medium of presentation, if I exercise my right not to support something just because it is out there.

Lysis,

You post: “I do believe that a piece of art might well denigrate Christ or Muhammad, America or its flag. It is not the denigration that makes these things art – it is the nature of the thing created.”

Well stated.

Further, you post: “There is a better way to deal with the lies. Obscenity that pretends to art is best dealt with by decrying it for the fraud it is and leaving the foolish to adore it if they choose. But the truth still remains – their choice does not make it art.”

Again, well stated. As I said to the Anonymy, while I have suggest that limits ought to exist in defining art, I never offered how those limits ought to be imposed. You have articulated far more clearly than I ever could have that which I wish to point out.

Quiet Listener,

Your posts are always insightful. I’m sure your friend has a far greater understanding of art than I do. Perhaps he will add his understanding at some point to those here at the Agora.

Anonymous said...

OK...I first want to say that i have been impressed with the ability to express. I dont think we have consensus but we do have discussion and thats AWESOME.

Lysis...this has been a great post for me. I learned a lot...especially about Picasso but also about Robert Mapplethorpe. I am no closer to appreciating his work, but I have a deeper understanding of the tragedy that was his life.

Ok..now...on to the controversy.

Part two of this thread related to the war against terror being engaged in Iraq. Maybe change has to occur, maybe some things are working better or less well than others, but the end result MUST NOT include the careless splatter of cut and run. We have to clearly define the goal and then commit to that goal.

Hillary Clinton announced her candidacy recently. I watched news programs with people gushing over her verbal announcement. I couldnt help but feel we (the pundits and I) were listening to two different speeches. They thought she sounded MARVELOUS...I thought she sounded just outright dumb.

She stated that she didnt like the direction this president had taken, but then said "I dont know what I would do." Im sorry...come again? Have you NOT been a senator for 6 years? Has Iraq NOT been a front page topic? You dont know what you would do? well...you have certainly cemented yourself then as a top notch candidate.

Then...after a series of comments m,eant to riciule our very presence there and the 'wrong minded' decision to increase troops, she lists numerous global concerns including (get this) "Al Qaida desperately trying to destabilize the Iraqi government and establish a foothold in Iraq."

But we shouldnt be fighting the war on terror? We shouldnt be committed to WINNING the war on terror?

SHe SEES the threat...but fighting it...no...we shouldnt do that.

See...THAT is the worthless art. THAT is just splatting paint hoping it will please the customers.

Come on Bill Richardson!!!

Lysis said...

Mindmechanic;

Thanks for getting it. It is not just the producers of mock-art that discourage me; it is the purveyors, the critics, the relativists who use art as a wedge to drive their agenda into the heart of the masses. And finally, I am concerned with the mob it’s self. I am discouraged with people who are more interested in what the media says about Hillary than what Hillary says.

Anonymous said...

I think much of what is going on in our politics today resembles a fable that easily applies to the art topic. Of course the story is "The Emperors New Clothes."

We have the most buzz for 2 people. I work with many liberal friends and they LOVE the thought of having EITHER Hillary or Barrack Obama as the next president. I know I am just a natural born buzz kill, but I always ask them the same thing and they always give the same answer...I ask 'Why?' Why do you want Hillary Clinton as president? What has she done in her 6 years as a Senator to make you believe she will make a good president? What is her plan for social security? For foreign policy? For the economy? For battling terror?

And the answer is of course what you would expect...When it comes to her record...to her actions...nothing.

SO...on to Obama...and the response is the same.

When the MAIN REASONS that they are being promoted come up, they think that it is a personally rational reason. Hillary would be great because she could be our first woman president. Barrack would be great because he could be our first black president.

SO...I always ask the next question...

"If it is bigoted and racist to NOT vote for someone just because of their skin color, what is it if you DO vote for someone just because of their skin color?"

I know...buzz kill...

Dan Simpson said...

AQL:

I have not yet seen Howl's flying castle, but want to, I have heard good things.

It seemed, however, that you didn't like Spirited Away much (or at least saw it far below Princess Mononoke).

I am not sure which of the two I prefer, but both SA, and PM are awesome movies. I look forward to seeing HFC.

Off topic, but if you want some great art, you should see Miyazaki's (not sure of spelling) films. They are incredible. But see them with subtitles, dubbing is craptastic.

Anonymous said...

"I want no such policing force!"

"I have talked about placing limits on art; however I have not suggested how that ought to take place." -Rumpole
_________________

I am not particularly fond of "slippery slope" arguments, but this topic seems to warrant one.

Censorship ALWAYS means "suppressing or deleting ANYTHING CONSIDERED objectionable." -Websters

The term, CONSIDERED, omits what is for me a crucial element of censorship and that is, considered by WHOM? Censorship necessitates one man (agent) limiting the freedoms of another man (agent) by limiting ACCESS to something the censor HAS accessed and now feels "morally" bound to KEEP from others (sometimes vicariously). The censoring "moral" agent often makes appeal to various kinds of "absolutist standards" to justify the censorship and also on popular notions of God or State or Public Good, -- usually all three.

"Placing some kind of limits on Art" is the decisive SHOVE that inevitably sends civilization DOWN the mountainside, ending with a terrible plunge into the ABYSS of ABSOLUTE Church/State control of media that we have seen through history and are seeing today in the absolutist/ultra-conservative/theocratic zealots of the Middle East.

We would do well to oppose intellectual tyranny and ignorance with enlightenment, freedom, knowledge and information, rather than cultivating zealots of our own!!!!

Anonymous said...

My last sentence should end, ". . . cultivating CENSORING zealots of our own!!!!

I celebrate ALL zealots of enlightenment, freedom, knowledge, and information.

Anonymous said...

Anon...

Would you accept as adequate policing the abolishment of public funding for the arts and leave it to private investors and interested participants?

I dont want to see art become censored but I do think it should be no different than a mom and pop grocery store. The government should no more fund artists than it should ensure all private business ventures succeed with government funding.

Anonymous said...

Government encouragement and NOT censorship?

I think it wonderfully enlightened when a government invests in education, knowledge and proliferation of information. However, equitable distribution of funding could be a problem -- funding some and not others COULD become an insidious form of censorship!!!!

Lysis said...

Dan:

I have always been a big fan of Japanese Art and I particularly like Japanese animation. I saw my first Japanese cartoon at the Base theater at the Air Base in Anchorage Alaska when I was a boy. I can still see the young student carrying the buckets of water up the mountain as they grew larger and larger each day. You know I am especially fond of Ranma 1/2. The young folks around our place are, at the moment, very much into what seems to be an American imitation of Japanese animation called Avatar, the Last Air Bender. Have you seen it?

To the New and Reasonable Anonymous;

Extremely well said. Censorship, like discrimination, is a two edged sword, and like swords, has some excellent applications and can be easily misused. I am also not terribly afraid of intellectual slippery slopes, as I believe that thinking people are capable of discrimination; as in the drawing of reasonable lines.

Let’s put it this way. Should I be able to turn off my T.V.? Yes! Should I be able to turn off your? No! On the other hand should you be able to require me to provide you with T.V. that I would not find appropriate for myself? I think not.

If I might be so bold as to speak for Rumple, or at least for his position. The frustration comes over one being forced to subsidizing, through one’s tax dollars, products, I will not call them art, which one finds wrong. If these productions can find a market, let them be bought, but I will decry them, point out how harmful they are, even mock them in the Agora, but I would not use the force of law to prevent their production.

I am concerned, however, when such products are forced upon me and mine, especially by “professors of Art” who are set on legitimizing such things with relativist deceit. I would not censor such “professors” but I much lament their existence and feel it my duty to decry them whenever possible.

And finally, there are acts which are just wrong, and cannot be defended under the protection of free expression afforded by just governments. Claiming that the abuse of children, for example, is acceptable in the name of art is an invitation for just censorship. I think this is a line we are capable of drawing without fear of falling off any roofs.

Mindmechanic;

As you see, I concure.

Dan Simpson said...

I have never seen Ranma 1/2 those were summers that I wasn't there. But Miyazaki's stuff in particular is quite beautiful.

Anonymous said...

New and reasonable?

Nothing is at variance with anything I've posted before -- Certainly Muhammad hasn't come to the mountain nor the mountain to Muhammad -- nor has cantankerousness seemed appropriate in this good discussion!!!!

Anonymous said...

Coincidentally, I watched Kirasowa's "Roshoman" twice last night. Imagery, and O my God the rain, and brilliant setting sun!!!!

Also, I would highly recommend Krzysztof's, "The Decalogue".

Ten, one-hour long films with Ten Commandment themes -- it is NEVER predictible.

A good film is one that haunts about my life and will not let me alone!!!!

Rumpole said...

Anonymy,

I don’t completely disagree with what you have written; however, before the “Brokeback” example, and as you have pointed out, I had suggested no methodology to the end of censorship.

For the sake of discussion, let’s accepts Webster’s definition as you posted it.

According to Webster, then, Mr. Miller is guilty of censorship. But was he wrong? Does not “ownership” give one the right of self-determination? As the owner of a theater, isn’t Mr. Miller’s opinion just as valid as the “owner” of the creative rights to “Brokeback?” Is there such a thing as “appropriate” censorship?

Who is right? Better still, is this a question of being right or wrong?

I would offer that the preferred methodology for censorship in a free republic lies in the morality of her people. I would suggest to you that in order for a free republic to survive over the long-term, her people must be moral and responsible.

The truly dangerous “slippery slope” that we currently face is not, as you have so eloquently pointed to, “Placing some kind of limits on Art.” When considering the current political climate in America, the “decisive SHOVE that inevitably sends civilization DOWN the mountainside . . . into the abyss” will be the graying of moral to immoral, the blurring of enjoyment to exploitation, and the hazing between choice verses destruction.

So that there can be no misunderstanding, I offer to you that I don’t believe that this potential “shove” down the mountainside can be legislated. Even if it could, I’m not sure I would want it to be so.

However, as standards decline, does the line gray between criticizing an opposing religion, and destroying faith? Is one’s vision blurred in viewing the beauty of a child, and the exploitation of a child? Does it become hazier when differentiating between protecting the unborn, and killing in the name of choice?

The religion to which one belongs, or even the lack of participating in religion, is irrelevant. What is relevant is that as a society (not as a government, as defined by Paine), the lines of criticizing verses destroying, beauty verses exploitation, and protecting verses killing are not blurred within the fiber of the people.

Lysis,

You have stated my position quite eloquently. I would only add that I believe it to be just as important a right for a private citizen to not show what he considers to be tasteless (i.e. Miller and “Brokeback”) as it is a right for the producers of such potential material to market their ideas. As you have said, and as I similarly have proffered above, a discriminating public will make a wise decision.

Anonymous said...

Hey!!!

Strategos said...

hey

Anonymous said...

Do you really think you can define art?

Anonymous said...

Shya!!

Anonymous said...

Dido...

welcome!

Do you mean do I really think I can define art in general, art for me, or art for you?

I think I can generally define art. I KNOW I can define what IS or ISN'T art to ME. I wouldn't begin to think to define what art is or isn't for you.

Its not really a whole lot different a question from the meaning of 'faith.' There is the general definition of faith, but my personal definition and foundation of faith is unique, as is everyone else's.

Anonymous said...

I think Mr. Miller has things backwards.

Miller has built movie houses and has shown films of a variety of ratings -- G, PG, PG-13, R, NC-17 and MPAA unrated film.

I hear, Miller is in the business of making money, and while he cannot show EVERY film, one assumes that as an entrepreneur, "the bottom line" controls choices within MPAA sanctions (as it should) -- I do not know if Miller shows non-rated film.

I suggest that Miller is trying to "have his cake and eat it too" when he takes moral umbrage against ONE film for "content" HE PERSONALLY" finds revolting, but has no EQUAL objections, and even profits by, OTHER films he shows that have questionable content above a G rating that OTHERS often find EQUALLY revolting.

Now, if he were to open his doors to ONLY G rated film, and advertised the fact, there would be no question to his not showing "Brokeback". However, THAT would never be the case with Mr. Miller -- his movie houses would go broke.

When Miller opened his doors for business he bought into MPAA standards and the freedom of choice patrons would ENJOY making choices with THAT information, -- now the public is supposed to turn away from all of that and not even be ALLOWED a choice, because the great public MORAL benefactor (demagogue),FORMER ENTREPRENEUR, thinks that "Brokeback Mountain" is harmful?!?!?!?!

Anonymous said...

Anon...

It is your contention then that once he opens a business he DOESNT have the right to show movies in his theatres he personally finds offensive? Or even that he SHOULDNT choose to not show it?

Should magazine stands that show the SI Swimsuit Edition also be obligated to carry pornography?

I think you have it wrong...I dont think his position is that "I'll protect society"...I think his position was "Not in MY theaters."

And of course...the follow up is that people that dont like it dont have to go there. LOTS of other options. Plenty of room for everyoen to speak their mind.

Rumpole said...

Anonymy,

Is Larry Miller trying to “have his cake and eat it too?” Is he, at best, incredibly inconsistent, and at worst, a major hypocrite?

Yes! Sorry for being such a sports geek, but I remember Miller back in the Jazz title runs in 97 and in 98. The Jazz were required to have a home playoff game on a Sunday. Miller refused to go to the arena for the game, and instead stayed home. When word came that the Jazz had won, he jumped in the car and drove to the Delta Center to congratulate his team.

It’s my own view, but I don’t think much of Miller for such a show. He was inconsistent and hypocritical. He brought more negative attention to himself by doing what he did rather than just going to the Delta Center for the game.

But does hypocrisy take away one’s rights? Just as with the basketball fiasco, Miller has the right to be a hypocrite, and a right to be inconsistent when he picks and chooses what he will or won’t show at his theaters. If the “market” wishes to take “umbrage” with Miller’s business tactics and not support his businesses, so be it. It is another example of a “market correction”, if you will.

But it is the market that ought to be the judge and jury on Miller’s actions, not the law.

If I may, can I use one more example of this, just to get a reaction from Lysis? In the 80’s BYU had the opportunity to display an exhibit of Rodin’s sculptures. All the pieces, including “The Kiss”, were displayed. The students of BYU deemed that particular piece objectionable, and so it was removed from the display.

In my view this student uprising was silly. The negative publicity generated from the decision (for publicity hungry BYU) far outweighed any perceived benefit the University sought to gain by making such a “statement.” Nevertheless, as a private institution, BYU had the right to look foolish, just as Larry Miller does. It’s one of the advantages of private ownership.

Lysis said...

Rumpole and all:

I don’t believe Miller is necessarily a hypocrite; he is a shrewd businessman intent on maintaining his image in a valley where homosexuality is still considered an abomination. The hypocrites here are those who pay lip service to the support of gays in their struggle for justice, but continue to attend Miller’s theaters, and support his baseball team.