Monday, June 09, 2014

Sad Eyed Jebus Is Sad

“They were careless people, Tom and Daisy- they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.”

-- F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
Having a shitty taste in art is not (yet) a crime, nor is it particularly unusual or noteworthy:
It was November 20, 2010, less than two years before he died, and Thomas Kinkade was at the Denver Broncos’ stadium to unveil Mile High Thunder, his painting for the Tim Tebow Foundation. At 52, he was America’s most popular—and the art establishment’s most hated—living artist. Esteemed art critic Jerry Saltz once wrote that “Kinkade's paintings are worthless schmaltz, and the lamestream media that love him are wrong.” But to his fans, Kinkade was everything.

Evangelical Christians snapped up his bucolic garden scenes and cozy cottages with windows that glowed so much they seemed, as Joan Didion once wrote, “as if the interior of the structure might be on fire.” Kinkade painted “John 3:16,” along with the sign of the fish, the traditional Christian symbol for Jesus, in the signature of each of his sentimental works that now hang in around twenty million homes globally.
No, what made this story stand out was this, entirely predictable bit (emphasis added):
In the weeks following Kinkade’s death, his estate tried to protect his brand: the gag order on his mistress and a statement attributing his death to natural causes were among the efforts they made to prevent the public from learning about the seedier side of Kinkade’s life. They didn’t work—but it didn’t matter. Kinkade’s fans have proven that they are willing to overlook his weaknesses because his paintings symbolize the values they aspire to. “I like to portray a world without the fall,” he once said. And just as Spotty, the neighborhood menace of Thomas Kinkade’s childhood, found new life as a cute Dalmatian in ‘Hometown Memories’, Kinkade’s fans remember him as they wish to.
Faith, as it says in the book, is "...the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Faith is not the maintenance of your own, private, gated menagerie of anti-science, anti-history, anti-causality delusions to fend off a reality that your fragile -ism finds terrifying.

And this is where we pivot the The Larger Point...because the history of the last 40 years of Conservatism has been that of Conservatives running away, faster and faster, from the disasters their Conservatism created.

They have been able to get away with it because the money and power to be gained by abetting them in remember history as they wish it had happened is vastly greater that the influence wielded by dirty Liberals who insist on reciting the past as it actually happened, over and over and over again. in the face of this avalanche of weaponized political amnesia.

They have been able to get away with it because currently the Dark Ages pays better than the Enlightenment.

And yet, massively outnumbered as we may be, the infighting bastards and outcasts and misfits of the Left continue to hold a ragged line against the raging giants bearing down on us,

because the alternative is so much worse:
I know that I’m supposed to cut these people some slack. I know that an objective person would try to empathize. I know I should try and see the world through their eyes, to meet them halfway, to treat them as if their gibbering insanity is, if not okay, at least reasonable. Understandable. Sane. And I try, with varying and limited degrees of success, but I try because I understand they are afraid and they just can’t help themselves.

But this? This, right here, this is the limit of my patience.

With this, they can no longer claim that it’s a difference in political philosophy, or a clash of competing economic theories, or the debate between big government and small, or civil rights, or taxes or the national debt or jobs or gay marriage or abortion or any of the bullshit excuses they’ve used to justify their unhinged rage for the last five years.

No, it’s hate pure and simple.

It’s hate for hate’s sake, hate driven by unreasoned selfish fear and nothing more.

When these capering lunatics stand in front of the nation, the world, and without a single shred of decency, without the tiniest modicum of self-conscious shame, without any apparent awareness of their own boundless hypocrisy, and loudly protest the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl from the clutches of our sworn enemies, I have to say no more.

I’ve reached the limit of what little tolerance I have for this insane hatred.


JerryB said...

I just don't see how the right has majorities in any demo. They've quite proficiently poked just about everybody in the eye with the pointed stick of insanity that is the modern GOP's preferred method of governance.

Rich white guys and toothless rednecks just can't create enough votes to win elections.

Robt said...

How many good decisions are made in a fit of rage? When you purchase a home, is it hate that drives you to make the purchase?

I want NASA to explore space, because "I hate not knowing what is out there?

Hate has been extracted, condensed and bottled.
The trpublican Tea Potters are proof that the emotional chenical compound actually works.
The only thing is, it is a chemical reaction that must have a willing host.

Anonymous said...

Thomas Kinkade: Painter Of Crap

Ric - from the land of sky blue waters

Kathleen said...

Thanks for the link to Jim Wright at Stonekettle. You both share the gift of crafting eloquent righteous rants. I've been reading his stuff for awhile now.

Neo Tuxedo said...

I just don't see how the right has majorities in any demo.

Because, almost a quarter-century after the Berlin Wall came down, 27% of the country still thinks any leftward movement in this country would make the Baby Jebus cry and the Baby Karl Marx giggle, and a depressingly high percentage still coddles the delusions of that fucknozzle 27%.

Monster from the Id said...

Jerry & NT:

Also, don't forget the unaccountable, easily hacked vote-counting computers.

Or the shrewdly disguised--more effective because disguised--suppression of potential voters who aren't likely to vote for the reactionary candidates.

Or the gerrymandering so precise that if the same intellectual effort had been put into the space program, the Lunar colony of the movie 2001 would have existed in the real 2001.


Anonymous said...

The “faithful” as well as being consumed with hate and fear have also reached the point where they “couldn't pour piss out of a boot if you put the instructions on the heel.” So, indeed it’s a thread bare existence trying to hold the line against their rage filled 200mph drive, sans helmet and seat belt, into the retaining wall while screaming : “it’s god’s will, and Obama has a Hitler mustache.”

Monster from the Id said...

"it's god's will, etc."

The god in question of course, being the false god who has always been the actual god of the USA: Mammon.

Cliff said...

When you purchase a home, is it hate that drives you to make the purchase?

I dunno, now I kind of want to buy a house out of sheer spite.

Cliff said...

I'm partial to giants and felt bad for the ones that got killed in the episode, but the comparison to the Night's Watch fits.
Especially when you consider that the wildling hordes are driven forward by icy white-skinned monsters of alien temperament.

Neo Tuxedo said...

I've recently had a theory that the appeal of GoT lies in its being the only major media property willing to even suggest the brutal but eminently reasonable proposition that some problems just can't be fixed, and that other problems could have been fixed at one point but not any more. I much prefer that presumption, with its sunnier view of human nature, to my earlier belief (formulated when my tolerance for gratuitous character-abused ran out about a third of the way into A Clash of Kings) that its popularity stems from people wanting to know that, no matter how bad they have it, those poor fucks in Westeros have it worse.

Anonymous said...

Monster from the Id @11:19

Considering that religion and economics are things we humans made up, and the belief that money has value is a required “faith” for the broader economic model to work, transitioning from the guy in the sky being god to money being god isn’t that far apart, and to the super rich and many others ‘mammon’ usually does become their god of choice as it has been for many millennia. But the point of my statement about the “faithful” screaming “it’s god’s will” is that it is, and has also been for many a millennia, a one size fits all excuse for doing all sorts of stupid, vile, pernicious shit by those who believe in their particular version of guy in the sky god.

So, I don’t disagree with your statement about the broader mammon is god in the USA, but that isn’t the point of my use of the statement “it’s god’s will…” The god in my statement does refer to the guy in the sky version.

A long winded attempt that I hope clarifies what I was trying to say.


Anonymous @8:01