Today on Blogcritics

War Art

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The deviantART site has 225 visual interpretations on the theme “Iraq War 2003.” There is some thought-provoking imagery, deft workmanship, creativity, humor and passion. Of the works that take a discernable stand – many are appealingly vague – 95% are anti-war, and most are frankly rather glib and trite in this expression.

After clicking through about half of these, a phrase coined by the industrial band Chemlab fought its way into my brain, no matter how hard I tried to bar the door: “fuck art let’s kill.”

I do not endorse this statement literally, but after enduring the simplistic, paranoid, parochial, knee jerk, platitudeness, pessimistic, misdirected, self-deceptive extrusions of poets, actors, musicians, novelists, and artists regarding America, Bush, and the war, I do understand the impulse to clear out the obstructionist clutter and take decisive action, with extreme prejudice.

The carefully modulated activities of the allied military over the last couple of days, leaving the infrastructure of Iraq intact, civilians remarkably unkilled, and surrendering enemy combatants welcomed to milk and cookies, rams this point home ever harder. A good number of Americans seem disappointed the war is going as well as it is.

Chemlab rocks the sphincter, by the way.

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About Eric Olsen

  • http://www.slumdance.com/blogs/brian_flemming/ Brian Flemming

    “…simplistic, paranoid, parochial, knee jerk, platitudeness, pessimistic, misdirected, self-deceptive extrusions…”

    Yeah, I have heard a lot of that from pro-war folks.

    But, when trying to figure out why the other side wants what it wants, I don’t judge it by its most moronic exponents. It would be very easy to tar every war proponent with the, say, Free Republic brush.

    And I’m going to compliment myself for being gracious here. Because there is little doubt in my mind that if pro-war and anti-war played a game of “Whose Extreme Views Are More Noxious?” those Freepers would tip the scales every time.

    But they aren’t Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld and Cheney and Rice.

    If I wanted to relax into prejudice, I would just go to Free Republic and other conservative islands and reassure myself that all who disagreed with me are monsters. But their opinions mean very little in this debate. It’s the more seriously deliberated thoughts, from serious conservatives and other pro-war folks, that I want to hear and engage.

    Because I’m still searching–sincerely–for an argument for this war that makes sense to me, because if it exists it is vital that I hear it. And I’ll hardly find it scouring through the dregs of the radical right.

    I’m also waiting for war proponents to stop cherry-picking the most ridiculous images and statements from the anti-war movement and play fair in the same way.

  • Eric Olsen

    Brian, I thought you were going to let me down – I couldn’t believe you guys (my anti-war fellow Blogcritics, readers) were just letting this one slide.

    I know you are sincere and of course it’s easy to pick on the most extreme positions, but I am referring specifically to this art display AND also most of what I’ve heard from the arts community, ie, a large percentage of the anti-war side does think and emote this way.

    The point of the post is not to take on the anti-war position, just pointing out how generic and trite a large portion of the anti-war element is.

    We can’t fight the big fight with every post – at least I can’t.