“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....