Monday, April 18, 2005

Bigotry takes on yet another form... 
in this account of a controversy surrounding an art exibition put on by a U.S. Marine. Apparently, some of the local arts jerks felt that paintings like this one and this one glorified war, and therefore thought picketing the exhibition was, you know, a cool thing to do:

The protesters objected to the show's content and what they claimed was the museum's "implicit support of war." They said a more balanced show would include images of civilian deaths and mass destruction. To represent one facet of military life in combat zones without placing it in the context of the true costs of war displayed a lack of sensitivity, they said.

Just when you thought arts jerks couldn't possibly get dumber, they come up with a doozy:

"The fact that he would come not dressed as an artist, but as a Marine is an affront," said Natasha Mayers of Whitefield.

Pardon me, but I wasn't aware that being an artist involved a dress code. As a matter of fact - not to lecture the apparently grossly undereducated Ms. Mayers on art history, but in fact, I know it doesn't.

Here once again we have the ignorant condescension of the American clueless left towards men and women in uniform. What she's too dumb to know yet - and perhaps will never know - is that I have had the honor of serving in uniform alongside artists and photographers whose technical skills put those of the vast majority of coffee-swilling, clove-toking bohemian "artist-types" to shame.*

Marines don't need lectures from latte sniffers about the suffering, pain, and death that is war. Believe me, we have photographs which will never see print. My unit has photographs that can freeze blood. We have photographs that can cause a room of hardened and calloused veterans to fall silent.

I'm sure lots of units do. We show them to each other, but there are certain things we keep to ourselves, because there is no way a mass market could understand them.

The irony that seems to be lost on Ms. Mayers, though, is that by the very act of wearing his Marine Corps uniform at his own exhibition, Fay was making a powerful statement in its own right.

When he wore our nation's uniform to an exhibition, he was sending the artist community a much-needed shot across the bow: We are here, and our writing, our art, our voice, is as expressive and important as anyone elses. We are artists, musicians, and writers as well as soldiers, and we demand a place at the table.

Splash, out


*Check out the photos on this page from Edouard HR Gluck. Ed could work for any national magazine in the country and be their star shutterbug tomorrow. Instead, he served in an infantry battalion as a private first class (later specialist), where he took some of the finest photos of the war. I don't mind correcting any goatee-fingering goon who looks down his artistic nose at our soldiers. Their quality is greater than he can even comprehend.

Hat tip to Blogotional

Hey, excellent website. A great Iraq resource is Deaths in Iraq. It breaks all of the casualties down by age, race, branch of the military, country, etc.
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