I was caught sharply the first time watching the film by a passing point near the end of Inglourious Basterds that wasn't about art at all. The major villain Hans Landa is negotiating over the radio with an American general for terms of his cooperation and surrender. That conversation plays mostly as comedy, as the German rat ready to jump ship is nonetheless demanding (and certain to get, under the circumstances) not just to save his ass, but to get all kinds of high rewards. He's to get a full pension equivalent to his rank, and a house in Nantucket. The pure confident hubris of the listing is pretty funny. Why, he's even going to get the Congressional Medal of Honor.
The not particularly comic setup of that is what really caught my attention. Part of the deal is that the official history of the war is to reflect that Landa was in fact an American collaborator all along, and the leader of Operation Kino from the beginning. It rings very true that the Americans would accept such an official falsehood — perhaps even justifiably so under those particularly extreme circumstances. That severe twisting of facts struck me partly because I have a longstanding beef with the grotesque and documentably false twisting of history by which now nearly all Americans believe that Lincoln fought our Civil War in order to end slavery. The victors write the history books. If the government is that successful in selling this nonsense despite such documentation as Lincoln's famous Horace Greeley letter, how many lesser and undocumentable liberties have been taken with even the honorable stories of Sergeant York and Audie Murphy?
Finally, this brings us to the artistic ideas of Lt Aldo Raine, who might be perceived as being disdainful of art. He's a probably barely literate hillbilly from Tennessee, and seems dismissive of art. (On the other hand, Raine speaks with more art and wit than any of the nominal "artists" in the film.) Watching the Jew Bear bash in Nazi heads with a baseball bat is about as close to going to the movies as he gets, he explains at one point. He talks about carving swastikas unto the foreheads of the Nazis he allows to survive like they're artistic creations.