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(Reason Magazine)   Artists have a duty to dissent, even against Obama   ( reason.com) divider line
    More: Obvious  
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2015 clicks; posted to Politics » on 08 Aug 2009 at 4:09 AM (8 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2009-08-08 05:46:59 AM  
Reason...not so much.
 
2009-08-08 06:01:15 AM  

Sabyen91: ilikeracecars: onebadgungan: I was under the impression that most artists are liberals.

Most artists can't wait for free healthcare.

The Obama/Joker poster isn't art, its the low vote getter in a Fark photoshop contest.

Well, when I saw some guy post it I thought, "shiat, that is the next Mona Lisa".


I've been called the next Dean Koontz.

Artists have a right to dissent. They don't have a duty. Its not their responsibility to come up with something bad about Obama just to be "fair".

Some of the great art in history has been made protesting war and other cruelties such as genocide and dictatorships. Does this author really expect people to get riled up about giving people free health care?
 
2009-08-08 06:01:15 AM  

RoyBatty: Art can have only one meaning, and that meaning is easy to understand and in plain site.

That so-called art is trolling.


Art can have multiple meanings, some very subtle, but when it's utterly incomprehensible? What's the point?

I mean, this is obviously art to someone. Hell, dogs playing poker printed on velvet is art to someone. The question is, is it dissent? In short, no.
 
2009-08-08 06:03:59 AM  

ilikeracecars: Sabyen91: ilikeracecars: onebadgungan: I was under the impression that most artists are liberals.

Most artists can't wait for free healthcare.

The Obama/Joker poster isn't art, its the low vote getter in a Fark photoshop contest.

Well, when I saw some guy post it I thought, "shiat, that is the next Mona Lisa".

I've been called the next Dean Koontz.

Artists have a right to dissent. They don't have a duty. Its not their responsibility to come up with something bad about Obama just to be "fair".

Some of the great art in history has been made protesting war and other cruelties such as genocide and dictatorships. Does this author really expect people to get riled up about giving people free health care?


Yeah, I agree. Artists tend not to dissent when they agree with a leader. To say they have a duty to dissent is stupid considering they are humans and may not feel like dissenting.

/The whole Mona Lisa thing was a joke.
 
2009-08-08 06:07:18 AM  

Occam's Chainsaw: RoyBatty: Art can have only one meaning, and that meaning is easy to understand and in plain site.

That so-called art is trolling.

Art can have multiple meanings, some very subtle, but when it's utterly incomprehensible? What's the point?

I mean, this is obviously art to someone. Hell, dogs playing poker printed on velvet is art to someone. The question is, is it dissent? In short, no.


I can haz cheezeburger is art to some :)
 
2009-08-08 06:13:37 AM  
Reading articles from reason is like punching yourself in the nads. Some people probably enjoy it, and if you do it enough you may enjoy it, but for the most part it just doesn't do you any good man. That is, unless you like it, then knock yourself out.

I can read words, I like reading words, but this guy really has to many of them. Although it may very well be that he doesn't have enough. So lets boil the article down to a nice reduced wine sauce. Some artists rebel, some artists support. WHY IS NO ONE REBELLING??? IS IT BECAUSE PEOPLE LIKE OBAMA OR DO THEY FEAR THE CAREER BOOGEY MAN? Don't fear the boogey man, it's ok to rebel, those who don't could possibly be seen as tools in the future.

Edge of your seat stuff here. He never even really bothered to sit back and think about his own question. Maybe artists just aren't interested in the subject. Maybe they find rendering giant penises in blood-of-sperm-whale-on-canvas much more exciting. It a good majority of the population didn't even bother to vote, why should we assume that artist feel this shiat is more important than giant penises?

I mean really, in a year's time I'm more likely to remember the dynamite monkey or the gold paint guy, that stuff is high art because it speaks to the soul.

What does this poster speak to? I don't know man, maybe fat people or something. Eat more ice cream. It's easy to loosely associate non-related things. Like Fascism and Garfield. Because Odie is the weaker one, he gets kicked off the table far too often. But he's not really. Garfield is just oppressive, and doesn't realize that he has greatly underestimated the slobbering dog.

So what do we learn? Post Modernism is stupid, or if you're a post-modenist, post-modernism is stupid to me and possibly others because our experiences has shaped a world-view in which post-modernism is stupid. In this case it may not be stupid, it may make perfect sense.
 
2009-08-08 06:17:35 AM  

Sabyen91: /The whole Mona Lisa thing was a joke.


I got it, I just thought the idea of someone being the next Dean Koontz was really funny, and its 6 in the morning and needed something to post waiting for Caturday.

I just reread the article (ok, i didn't read it the first time). The author states throughout modern history, art typically enters politics on a mass scale in two fashions: first, as a check on power; second, as a tool used by those in power.

This seems like someone did the latter, took a photoshop of Obama and added socialism to it.

I wonder what is considered art. During the last 8 years, most movies about Iraq failed both critically and at the box office. Even though these movies were advocating my position and worldview, it didn't make me want to see them or enjoy them any more. Art can be "bad" no matter what side of the isle you are on. The best thing about the Clinton presidency (ok, not the best thing, but allow me the hyperbole) was the political cartoons. They were funny as hell, and they allowed a very liberal medium to poke fun at the pres.

I dismiss the cries of racism with this poster, the racism comes from the viewer interpretation. I'm kind of upset on the whole that every criticism of Obama is met with some cry of racism. Sure there are racists out there, but its not an effective counterargument against all. take for example any comparison between Obama and primates. Some of the best Bush cartoons were based on his likeness to apes. Should the same joke be completely off limits to artists? Isn't that the essence of the freedom of speech? or is it our right to call said artist a racist?
 
2009-08-08 06:25:04 AM  

ilikeracecars: I dismiss the cries of racism with this poster, the racism comes from the viewer interpretation. I'm kind of upset on the whole that every criticism of Obama is met with some cry of racism. Sure there are racists out there, but its not an effective counterargument against all. take for example any comparison between Obama and primates. Some of the best Bush cartoons were based on his likeness to apes. Should the same joke be completely off limits to artists? Isn't that the essence of the freedom of speech? or is it our right to call said artist a racist?


If there was a long and storied history of Connecticut yankees playing cowboy dress-up being called apes to demean them and paint them as an inferior race of humans, there'd be a clear parallel. Sure, it's entirely possible that the intent is to riff on Obama's jug handle ears. However, considering the context in which the comparison of a black person and an ape saw use, racism is going to be the first motivator people go for.
 
2009-08-08 06:27:26 AM  
www.dynoxicon.de
 
2009-08-08 06:35:48 AM  
www.mcculloughsite.net



Sabyen91
:
dn't know that was art. I thought it was really lame trolling.


And indeed, some people that would normally like to consider themselves free speech advocates, went on to claim the Mohammed Cartoons were not art, but trolling.

I find it hard to take the racism angle seriously given how we portrayed McChimpy as a chimp, and as the joker, and as a vampire. I do see calling the obama joker cartoon as racism to be a godwinning by racial trump card and a way to shut down debate.
 
2009-08-08 06:38:15 AM  

Dr. Mojo PhD: Consider the recent flurry of debate over the Obama "Joker" posters that have been appearing in Los Angeles. This image represents the only substantial counterpoint to Obama's current agenda from the art community. What's been the response?

Yes, a substantial counterpoint. An inane, mangled analogy with a meaningless epithet that anybody mildly familiar with socialism would find retarded is a "substantial counterpoint" from the art community.

Remember that image of Bush as a vampire sucking the blood from the statue of liberty's neck? That was a substantial counterpoint. That single graphic illustration summed up the feelings -- the accurate feelings -- of millions of human beings around the world with a metaphor that had Bush as a vile human being abusing and seducing freedom-loving people into permitting him to drain away that very freedom. Qv. Patriot Act, Iraq War (WMD & Al Qaeda connection), Indefinite Detention, Extraordinary Rendition, etc.

See? It was a counterpoint. A forced, nonsensical metaphor of an icon of a nihilistic anarchist crammed crudely together with an emotional trigger word that represents the total dichotomy of the character represented isn't a counterpoint, it's a bad joke.


So, to sum up:

newsbusters.org

Not effective counterpoint.

4.bp.blogspot.com

Effective counterpoint.
 
2009-08-08 06:50:47 AM  
Not important but note red frame, image off center.
www.moonbattery.com
 
2009-08-08 07:04:16 AM  

RoyBatty: I find it hard to take the racism angle seriously given how we portrayed McChimpy as a chimp, and as the joker, and as a vampire. I do see calling the obama joker cartoon as racism to be a godwinning by racial trump card and a way to shut down debate.


And again, if Connecticut yankees playing cowboy had a long history of being called chimps to demean and dehumanize them, it'd be apples to apples. With black people, there is that history.

Totally agree on the Obama Joker / racism angle.
 
2009-08-08 07:40:38 AM  
If an artist dissents just for the sake of dissension, he is not a dissident - he is a shallow poseur.
 
2009-08-08 07:44:12 AM  

Loucifer: If an artist dissents just for the sake of dissension, he is not a dissident - he is a shallow poseur.


Or a Republican.
 
2009-08-08 07:44:22 AM  
I don't know anything about art.

But, this, art or not, good or not, has been discussed much. So, I guess the "artist" really is teh suxors at stirring a reaction, anyway.
 
2009-08-08 07:50:18 AM  
So, dissent the highest form of patriotic, after all.
 
2009-08-08 07:50:44 AM  

Like it or hate it... it's got everyone talking about it.

newsbusters.org

 
2009-08-08 07:58:02 AM  

LivingDeadX1: Like it or hate it... it's got everyone talking about it.


I bet this picture just burns him up.
 
2009-08-08 08:03:36 AM  

LivingDeadX1: Like it or hate it... it's got everyone talking about it.


True, but when a goodly amount of the discourse is, "That's utter gibberish," it's hard to mark that as an accomplishment.
 
2009-08-08 08:09:31 AM  
i414.photobucket.com
 
2009-08-08 08:19:43 AM  
"I don't get it."
farm3.static.flickr.com
 
2009-08-08 08:22:12 AM  
No, artists have a duty to help improve the communities they live and work in... Like every other citizen. Sometimes that does, indeed, mean political dissent in form or another, but in general, it means being a productive and contributing member of one's community.

In regards to the poorly thought out Joker/Obama poster, the designer is doing neither...
 
2009-08-08 08:23:57 AM  
img515.imageshack.us
 
2009-08-08 08:25:53 AM  
i443.photobucket.com
 
2009-08-08 08:28:48 AM  
i182.photobucket.com
 
2009-08-08 08:29:22 AM  
Hobodeluxe: hilarious pic

i247.photobucket.com
 
2009-08-08 08:29:53 AM  
And apparently, I have a duty to report them for it.
 
2009-08-08 08:53:04 AM  
The fact that there's this much talk and/or discussion about a picture popping up on the streets of LA does prove one thing...

What we keep saying about people slavishly worshiping Obama is correct. Even something this insignificant gets the Obama faithful screaming and howling. I couldn't get this kind of reaction if I did a Jesus as Joker picture in the middle of Alabama.
 
2009-08-08 09:11:37 AM  

randomjsa: Even something this insignificant gets the Obama faithful screaming and howling. I couldn't get this kind of reaction if I did a Jesus as Joker picture in the middle of Alabama.


Well, it isn't "screaming and howling" so much as a simple "lol wut". But I have to say, I'm totally down with that Jesus/Joker idea. Of course, to get a similar reaction you'd have to caption the picture with something completely irrelevant and nonsensical, like "Trotskyism".
 
2009-08-08 09:17:49 AM  

ilikeracecars: Sabyen91: ilikeracecars: onebadgungan: I was under the impression that most artists are liberals.

Most artists can't wait for free healthcare.

The Obama/Joker poster isn't art, its the low vote getter in a Fark photoshop contest.

Well, when I saw some guy post it I thought, "shiat, that is the next Mona Lisa".

I've been called the next Dean Koontz.


Yeah, the Fark filter is pretty weird sometimes.
 
2009-08-08 09:24:37 AM  
This thread is full of win. ...and crybabies.
 
2009-08-08 09:28:43 AM  
You know which other former political dissenter made art?

news.bbc.co.uk^
 
2009-08-08 09:36:21 AM  
One of my all-time favorite political artists:

www.artlex.com

upload.wikimedia.org

faculty.evansville.edu

www.takver.com

www.clevelandart.org

They have a bunch of Daumier prints at the New Bedford Art Museum. I used to spend hours looking at those when I was student...
 
2009-08-08 09:44:19 AM  
funny how with all the rhetoric about socialism no one even notices the real path this country is taking. we've slowly been turning into an Oligarchy. Socialized risks and privatized rewards.
Wage stagnation for decades and actually a decrease for the first time. Wal Mart is now one of the better jobs for the common man.
But the guys at the top? They've never had it so good.
 
2009-08-08 10:23:54 AM  
oblig. (new window)

imgur.com
 
2009-08-08 10:31:41 AM  
i373.photobucket.com

i373.photobucket.com
 
2009-08-08 10:36:41 AM  
I wouldn't presume to tell artists what to do at all. Except "Don't SUCK."
 
2009-08-08 10:49:20 AM  
Art critics have a duty to dissent, even against artist against Obama.

or...

Criticize when it's rational and necessary, but if you put out stupid shiat like a Joker poster with no connection to reality, be prepared to be called on it.

//Free Speech always goes both ways.
 
2009-08-08 11:15:52 AM  

JimmyFartpants: Mentat: And they have neither the duty nor the right to intimidate and bully. The line between dissent and and demagoguery was obliterated weeks ago.

There are loons with no sense of perspective on either side.
The more loony, the more we all notice them.


Well, to be fair, not enough Americans would recognize Mussolini, who would be the correct comparison.

/Stupid inaccurate artists.
 
2009-08-08 11:33:08 AM  
FTA: "And I say duty because the art community, as a counterpart of the press, has been given special rights written into the Bill of Rights ..."

WRONG.

Nobody GAVE anyone their rights -- those rights exist as a metaphysical quality of being Homo Sapiens. A person (or body of people operating as a government) can no more grant rights or take them away than one can exchange his genome with that of a jellyfish.

A government can only protect your rights or abridge them, but they cannot give them or take them back.

That which is given or taken away by a superior authority is a permission. Obtained with a license, or via lobbying, one is permitted to do certain things by the state, until such time as the state believes people are "abusing" their "freedom". In such a system, you are viewed as fundamentally a childish sociopath whose 'freedom' is bought with compliance with paternal authority.

If a contributor to a magazine called REASON can't get the difference between rights and privileges, how does he expect artists - or anyone else - to be effective when exercising their right to speak out against the state?
 
2009-08-08 11:39:24 AM  
\

Mentat: And they have neither the duty nor the right to intimidate and bully. The line between dissent and and demagoguery was obliterated weeks ago.


HAHA!

One side's demagoguery is the other side's dissent.

But the biased blind are unable to ever see that.
 
2009-08-08 11:47:57 AM  
"It's time for the art community to return to its historical role in political affairs, which means speaking to power, not on behalf of it."

No,the role of art in political affairs (or in any other manner) is to express an artist's personal view on the given subject. If this idiot thinks that there is a bias in the art world then he is completely free to make a macaroni picture of Obama with devil horns.

"Most artists would not want to be referred to as tools of the state, but in the case of Obama's administration, that's exactly what they've been so far."

To avoid being a tool of the state, artists should instead become tools of Patrick Courrielche?
 
2009-08-08 11:55:29 AM  
Agree with subby so here's my take...

img34.imageshack.us
 
2009-08-08 12:02:47 PM  
P.S. Courrielche isn't even an artist, he is an "art community consultant".

See also: Dilettante.
 
2009-08-08 12:02:58 PM  
Peek-a-boo!

newsbusters.org


AAAHHH! What is that thing?!

/Well my friend, it is your "president"!
 
2009-08-08 12:06:59 PM  
i735.photobucket.com
 
2009-08-08 12:16:22 PM  
Since the Joker is an anarchist, having "Socialism" under the picture is meaningless. However, portraying Obama as the Joker works. After all, he's a smoker, and at least at one point in his life he was a midnight toker.

/And he speaks of the pompatus of love.
 
2009-08-08 12:22:57 PM  
Agree with Subby, so here's my take:

img41.imageshack.us
 
2009-08-08 12:24:40 PM  

brainscab: Darrr, the Joker is an anarchist, pro destruction of the state... and Obama's critics belive obama is giving too much power to the state...
so the poster is all 1+1=0


I saw him as more of a nihilist.

Say what you will about the tenets of Marxism-Leninism, at least it's an ethos.
 
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