The End of America, Gangnam Style

clintonAnyone interested in viewing the future of America, you’re looking at it. At this point the present is the future. Mindless lemmings taking their own pictures in front of the grotesque corporate-owned robot Hillary. We need perhaps a Jeff Koons or one of our great kitsch stylists to hire artisans to make immortal plastic statues and cart the whole display over to Madame Tussaud’s in Las Vegas so that future generations can get a look at the high point of American Democracy in 2016.

Masochist that I am, I actually watched the non-debate of two “candidates” with all the integrity, deeply held convictions and benevolent intentions toward the brainwashed multitudes supporting them of Goldman Sachs’ Jamie Dimon. I don’t understand why he or Lloyd Blankfein don’t run for election so we can cut out the brain dead middlemen and put the owners of America in the Oval Office instead of their proxies.

Yes, I realize Americans need to live in a delusional world where they imagine that they’re a free and independent thinking people carefully weighing the choices offered them by entirely different political parties who are doing their level best to represent the will of the American people, as if the American people possess any kind of will or notion of what they’re doing or where they’re going, other than the local Nascar event, stadium rock concert or shopping mall. With maybe a week spent in Las Vegas on their yearly vacations. This year is a remarkable pinnacle where the choices have been narrowed down to selecting either the man who will make America great again or the woman who will make an already great America even greater.

The excitement in the air is palpable.

Fortunately, in the case of Hillary, she’s condensed all her elaborate brainwork into handy slogans that we must all put on our refrigerators or over the bathroom mirror so we can keep in mind what she’s promising to deliver: “Fighting for us.” (Whoever we are.)

“Breaking down barriers.” (The one or two left before we reach total insanity;)

“Stronger together”. (Those in the 1 percent.)

“I’m With Her” (It’s Hillary’s turn!)

“Love trumps hate.” (Think about it.)

Actually I would have preferred “All you need is love.” Or perhaps “Love is all you need” with LOVE spelled in capital letters and silkscreened by Shephard Fairey with a nod to the famous LOVE painting of the Pop genius Robert Indiana.


The great achievement of the Pop Era was to reduce all complex thought to it’s essentials, just as the great men of the 1950s-era reduced painting to a few color blobs, grids, drips, spray painted, tie-dyed and shaped canvases. What would America do without its high culture, I often wonder to myself while relaxing at my local spa taking a hot stone massage.

Odd thoughts roll through my becalmed brain, as the soothing scents of lavender mixed into the coconut oil my masseuse is rubbing me down with while one of my many studio assistants (all named Geoffrey so I don’t have to memorize names) writes down my three- word art messages which are a play on Barbara Kruger’s three-word art messages which her fans (and my imaginary fans) find provide both solace and zen insights simultaneously in these troubled times in which we live (as consumer robots).

I imagine a bright future ahead where Hillary’s first cabinet pick will be Barbara Kruger chairing the Department of Education. I’ve sent in this suggestion telepathically, along with the love vibrations I constantly radiate, as well as the recommendation that Barbara’s educational maxims be put on the wall next to President Hillary’s picture which will hang in every classroom in America underneath an American Flag reproduction of the famous Jasper Johns painting. The ritalin-sedated children will start each day off repeating the Pledge of Allegiance Human Microphone style in recognition of the Occupy Wall Street protests that woke Americans up from their slumbers for a few weeks before they got bored with it all and went back into their slumbers in preparation for the current election.

Like Clinton’s campaign slogan writers Kruger has a way of cutting thought down so close to the bone that it ceases to exist entirely.

There are so many brilliant aphorisms, it’s hard to narrow them down. Perhaps each classroom can vote, getting them involved in what democracy is all about, adding a personal touch to their own classroom. There are so many examples to select from. Below are just a few random selections. As they’re all separate but equally illuminating any one of them will do just fine.

“Gender is irrelevant.”

“It’s all about me. I mean you. I mean me.”

“Pro-life for the unborn. Pro-death for the born.”

“You don’t controll you mind.” [sic]

“Love hurts.”

“Love for sale.”

“In space no one can hear you scream.”

Maybe Banksy can create a stencil with the word LOVE cut out and each student could have it spray painted on his forehead. This would insure that if anyone uses insensitive language that will harm another student all that child need do is point to the LOVE sign and shake an admonishing finger at the miscreant.

I’ve been thinking a lot about that last quotation of future Chairman Kruger’s “In space no one can hear you scream.”

It brings to mind Stephen Hawking and his plans to get those special few (who like himself can afford it) up to their high tech homes on Mars. As Stephen warns us, this planet is good and fucked. And if Mars colonies are started we don’t want to start them off with a defective gene pool of low-income losers who haven’t made the grade in terms of Darwinian natural selection. The robots can handle the menial jobs and leave the brilliant high-income residents time to think up new high-tech solutions to whatever problems Mars presents them with.

And  while “billionaire tech idealist and space entrepreneur” Elon Musk puts his money and brains (or lack of them) to no good use for no more than a handful of wealthy people like himself who are even more deluded than the American electorate, that same electorate can be left behind to be melted down by global warming Donald Trump doesn’t believe in. What’s he got to worry about as he’ll be on the Mars shuttle?

Meanwhile, as all this techno-wonderland marvel is being put together (or back together I should say since the first rocket blew up a couple weeks ago) Stevie H can keep himself occupied out in California setting an example for the all schoolchildren of earth who want to grow up to be brilliant scientists like Himself. While reading the link below I suggest a martini, shaken not stirred, and a bit of mood music by Marvin Gaye, which is provided below the link.

Let’s get it on.

Everybody dance… Gangnam style!


Posted in Art and Money | Leave a comment

From Porcelain Urinal to Gold Toilet: Recent Breakthroughs in Avant Garde Art

cattelanUpcoming Presidential debates look to be enlightening as Trump has invited Gennifer Flowers to sit front and center and lo and behold, she’s accepted the invitation. But wait! Mike Pence has stepped in to say this will not stand! So this is fast breaking and no doubt by the time anyone reads my post we’ll be well into some new are of total absurdity. I can’t wait.

Here’s a good one from CNN. The Director of National Intelligence (now there’s an oxymoron for you) James Clapper tackles the question: Is the US at risk of becoming a failed nation-state? At risk? We barreled right through that risk a while back. Aren’t any of these guys paying attention? They haven’t drawn any conclusions yet with Donald Trump and Hillary set to go mano -a- womano with Gennifer Flowers in attendance? America isn’t a country; it’s a reality TV show at this point. Just look at the latest masterpiece the Guggenheim has added to it’s collection (see below…where it belongs).

Meanwhile, in the Risking a Failed State News. Go ahead pick a few:

Video Shows Maryland Police Pepper-Spraying 15-Year-Old Girl

For the full article see:

I’m forwarding these links among 30 0r 40 others to the Director of National Intelligence for him to put into his precise calibrations of whether we are at risk of becoming a failed nation state. The real question at this point is which state will be first to declare secession. Maybe the Spaceman running for election up in Vermont has that curveball up his sleeve.

Meanwhile, in the high arts the brilliant intellects and supertalented artists are creating  fresh and thought provoking artworks. America a failed state? What? When you can pay 20 bucks and stand in line for two hours to take a dump in a golden toilet titled “America”? That’s what freedom is all about!

And thanks to our rich elite, major museums and high culture art critics there’s no worry that art will fail, as it reaches one astonishing milestone after the next.

Waiting to Pee in “America,” the Gold Toilet at the Guggenheim

I just love Hyperallergic, I gotta tell ya…. Where else could I find out that Marina Abramovic, the presiding genius of Conceptual Performance Enlightenment Art, thinks that aboriginal Australians look like dinosaurs. That to Western eyes “they look terrible.” No doubt they need a bath. We certainly don’t want them in the US as they’d skew our standing as the most hygienic people on the planet (see this post on our standing). As she says, “Nothing prepares you for the ubiquitous dirt and the overwhelming smell” when meeting Australia’s first inhabitants.

This is reminiscent, for me, of a passage  in Tom Powers great book, The Killing of Crazy Horse, where he reports a white woman’s reaction to Native Americans (some things never change I guess).  Andy Warhol also complained about Jean Michel B’s B.O. in the Warhol Diaries. But Andy can hardly be blamed as he came from a time way back in history before political correctness became de rigeur.

Too bad Marina is barely literate and that her descriptions are those a somewhat unimaginative (not to mention demented) 8 year old would write:

Their [aboriginals’] faces are like no other faces on earth; they have big torsos (just one bad result of their encounter with Western civilization that is a high-sugar diet that bloats their bodies) and sticklike legs.

Political correctness is so great. Thanks Hyperallergic for getting on this breach of the rules.

If only PC had been around back in 1875 then comments like the following from Caroline Frey Winne might have been stifled and she could have been banished from polite liberal society and the genocide of the Native Americans in the West might have been prevented.

Winne recoiled when she encountered them [Indians] in the streets. Indians filled her with terror–not fear of rape or murder, exactly, but of them–their painted faces, the animal skins in which they wrapped themselves, what they ate, their words like grunts, “their nasty little papooses,” their relentless begging, their desire to touch, their frank curiosity about her.

“It was not pleasant to say the least to look up and find your windows darkened by ‘Lo’ and his brethren and wives and children, their dirty painted faces pressed close to the glass. They are poor miserable creatures. It would be a great mercy to them if they would all freeze to death as many of them have this winter.”

Thomas Powers, The Killing of Crazy Horse

We Americans have always been known for our “great mercy” when it comes to dealing with undesirables, along with their “nasty little papooses.” And we no longer have to employ crude 19th century weaponry as computer guided missiles make it a clean and thorough operation. (See Helen Mirren in Eye in the Sky for details).

Small wonder that Marina is so deeply loved as she’s shown us as well just how demented her ancestors sexual practices were in charming ethnographic films like this one. We did our best to clean up this area of the world but when dealing with people like the ones below that Marina has captured in their true natures what can one expect but failure? How could people like these ever be civilized? Well, thanks to artists like Marina we can see just how people like those in the Balkans and in the Australian outback are just too far gone to enter the ranks of a civilized people who wait in line for two hours to take a shit in a golden toilet.

How Clapper could have the idea that America is in decline I can’t imagine. With our greatest art critics like Arthur Danto swooning before the genius of Marina and her sexy spirituality (surpassing even Yoko’s if you ask me), I see no reason to doubt that American culture will continue to shine as the cultural beacon guiding  Europe and the rest of the world into the new Golden (toilet) Dawn. (Note that Hyperallergic reports that most of the people in line to use the golden toilet were European. If Europeans love it, it’s gotta be the height of sophistication!)

As for me, I’m counting down the days to the upcoming exhibition at the Denver Art Museum:

Star Wars™ and the Power of Costume

Thank you corporate America and other public minded institutions for insuring our museums bring us the greatest Art on Earth! Instead of just seeing art in films we get to see the actual art (the costumes actors wear) in our museums. If only the Director of National Intelligence could get around to our high art museums he’d see that unlike the other civilizations that all fell, America’s will last forever by making art that’s not only educational but it’s for folks of all ages and levels of intelligence. Just like our Presidential candidates speaking the language of 6th graders, our artists and art museums do the same.



Posted in Art and Money | Leave a comment

We’re No. 28! We’re No. 28!

fuhgeddabouditHere are the latest statistics (compiled by The Lancet) and published by Bloomberg showing the US in the number 28 spot in performance based on measures of dozens of factors including diseases, suicide rates, road injuries, smoking, water quality, and war . This puts us just ahead of Estonia. On the bright side, we’re out in front of most of the pack in the prevalence of personal hygiene among our citizenry.

Strange how all the other countries doing better than us are all doing the best they can to imitate us and join up with us in our various war projects and expansion of our democracy to the less fortunate. Guess they don’t read Bloomberg news.

Skimming over Lionel Shriver’s new novel, The Mandibles, I note that she makes a pretty good case for the total disintegration of the US into a police state complete with implanted chips and lack of vital resources like drinking water in sufficient quantity. Looks pretty plausible to me, but I’m invariably pessimistic, always looking for the negative and ignoring the brighter things like good personal hygiene where we are excelling. As well as being more heavily armed than all the other countries combined and ready to go into action at the drop of a hat.

Really looking forward to the upcoming debates between Trump and Hillary. Watching two intellectual giants with impeccable records of honesty and public service will doubtless be an illuminating experience. Not to mention all the great ideas they have for getting the country back on track.

As far as art goes, oh yeah… gotta keep up with those developments as I know that with so much depressing news in the real world, the art world is invariably cheery and positive and moving forward into a new golden era. So let us follow the latest conceptual investigations but a PostModern British absurdist. When it comes to absurdity, we’re certainly far up there on the charts as well, but in my humble opinion I think the Brits, as personified by this daring conceptual thinker, have us beat.

I’ve been pondering the question that she asks in this Hyperallergic report for the last couple days wracking my brains for the answer. “Some of the containers contain animal skins,… What did they die for??” I can’t imagine. I had no idea animals skins were alive in the first place. Conceptual Artists teach us so much about life!

I’ve been calling the Pres race for Hillary, particularly since so many upright Republicans are behind her: the Koch Brothers, Jeb Bush, Meg Whitman, Richard Armitage, Brent Scowcroft, Max Boot, Ken Adelman. And when so many pillars of the Neocon community like Dick Cheney have endorsed her foreign policy decisions and capabilities to carry on our multi-front wars as well as the top minds of our financial community like Hank Paulson vouching for her ability to steer our complex financial system (by appointing them to top positions) it actually boggles my mind that Trump could be anywhere near her in the polls.

And then there’s this super bright Prof at American University who’s predicted 30 years of Presidential outcomes saying that it’s going to break for Trump in November.

So guys, to be honest, my crystal ball is totally fogged up. Fuhgeddaboudit! But it’s clear that things have really gone haywire in the US when one of the upper crust has to put up with a poorly decorated birthday cake for her son. And since when does drop kicking a birthday cake with a botched Batman v. Superman theme constitute a temper tantrum? Doesn’t a wealthy paying customer have the right to criticize the kind of shoddy work that these working-class incompetents are always trying to put over on the impeccable standards for birthday cakes that the wealthy residents of Bloomfield Hills are at their wit’s end trying to maintain?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Humpty Dumpty Falling Down

death brTwo pieces that should be read back to back. First the Kimball piece, where the pomposity and irrelevance of today’s “avant-garde” is shredded in a quite funny comic satire (unless you’re a big fan of contempo avant-garde that is). I should say that I don’t subscribe at all to Kimball’s New Criterion conservative/reactionary notions of what art is.

The piece below follows on from Kimball’s speculation (made in 2007), which is obviously correct that “sooner or later, even the Leon Botsteins and Marieluise Hessels of the world will realize that the character in Bruce Nauman’s “Good Boy, Bad Boy” was right: “this is boring.”

As we can see in this 2012 Daily Mail piece on Damien Hirst’s collapsing prices which we can assume have only gotten worse, as what has Damien Hirst done since 2012 of any note? Not following the art world, I have no idea but perhaps somebody knowledgeable can enlighten me.


Christies sales of Postwar and Contempo Art are down 41% from the same period in 2015, which could be considered a bit strange as the stock market is booming. So clearly the investments are going to other places than into blue chip contempo/postwar.

Of course, people mired in this delusional belief system that Modern Art is all triumphant over the entirety of the past history of art, I imagine will be totally baffled by all of this. Even with all the forgeries, the CIA funding of Ab Ex and the incredibly financial manipulations, auction rigging, and so on, their belief in the profound achievements of Urinal Man and Bronze Beer Can man are unaffected. Art exists in a place totally disconnected from known reality. A pure place where pure spirits make pure art…

Right on! Power to the People! Let them vote on the best art, just like they’ve given us the best President and Congress and right down the line to the best Art, Literature and Music never ever before seen in all it’s awesome proliferation covering the earth in peace, love, and beauty along with lots of sex and violence!


I hate to say it but I find myself completely put off by both camps. The Beauty School of ennobled art as Kimball describes art as “mastery of craft in order to make objects to gratify and ennoble those who see them.” This has to be one of the most moronic definitions of art I’ve ever seen written. Yes, the Renaissance, Baroque, Belle Epoque were all about making objects to gratify and ennoble those who saw them. I can hear Michelangelo and Leonardo conversing now…. Won’t the people feel gratified and ennobled once they view our latest fresco works.

On the other hand I find Kimball’s disgust and disdain for the intellectual vacuity and sex thrill crud that the “Wrestling” artists represent.

How I’ve found myself being the lone dissenter in an art world that I view as having gone totally insane as well as totally commercial is a mystery. Apparently everyone else thinks that we live int he best possible of all worlds. Maybe I just haven’t found the right medication yet to really get with the current program.

This George Orwell passage bears looking at for me:

“The artist is to be exempt from the moral laws that are binding on ordinary people. Just pronounce the magic word “Art” and everything is OK. Rotting corpses with snails crawling over them are OK; kicking little girls in the head is OK; even a film like L’Age d’Or (which shows among other things detailed shots of a woman defecating) is OK.”

Herein lies the problem (and my copy of L”Age d’Or has no detailed shots of a woman defecating, though I do note them in Odd Nerdrum paintings). I don’t see anything whatsoever problematic with showing grotesque subject matter within a moral system that encompasses Dante’s hell or Buddhist hells, Japanese demons, Kubrick films and so on. (See Brueghel detail above).

I do see a serious, as well as fatal, problem when sexual decadence being shown purely gratuitously, with no context whatsoever other than to please the prurient tastes of the Las Vegas minded viewers  who thrill at it all.  And I think the morality of those inside this questionable system who are not raising their voices in protest against it to be a bit questionable themselves.

The “See No Evil. Hear No Evil. Speak No Evil.” doesn’t strike me as at all tenable in the sense of Burke’s admonition that the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men [and women]  to do nothing.

Plus there’s this more recent Feb 2016 note on Hirst along with pity for the credulous saps who invested in him. And I imagine that would extend to the much of the rest if not all of the YBAs. I’m putting Ruth Dudley Edward’s Killing the Emperors into my Amazon queue. Sounds like an even more fun read than the Kimball piece.


Posted in Post-Contemporary Art, Postmodernism | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Bored and Losing MY Hair!

I thought I’d put up this video of myself dressed up as Professor Richard Walter, an art expert from UCLA. Notice how cranky and pompous I am.. And boring beyond belief… But I know all about art and that’s why I teach at UCLA. Let me explain the difference between Bad Art and Great Art to to the rest of you idiots. I’m a fascinating speaker in real life, as you can get just a taste of on my video below. Just listen. Riveting stuff here. Not boring! This is not boring at all! Hold onto your seat belts!

I’ve come across this unbelievably angry guy. An incredibly reactionary nutcase. Practically screaming into the camera. No idea what this guy is talking about. Don’t think he gets it at all. He needs to take a few classes with Professor Richard Walter at UCLA if he wasn’t to get wised up about what is Bad Art and what is Great Art, as he is obviously clueless.

OK… enough intellectual stimulation… Cue up the Jewish rock guitarist playing back in the days of yore. Excuse the comatose audience. Guess they were expecting Eagles of Death Metal or Bruno Mars.

Or this.. Eagles of Death Metal got nothin on this… :

One more while I reel in the years, introduced by Bill Cosby. Or maybe that’s just an acid flashback I’m having. God Help America!:

I’m on a roll… what next? No suggestions. Dead silence, as usual… How about the Zombies? Hot babe alert!

Here’s one for Goetz (Lewis Carroll reference here). Rock trivia: The lead singer slept with Jim Morrison.


Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Book ‘Em, Dano


Police questioned schoolkids about brownies, name-calling, a zombie drawing

Citizens! You can sleep sound in your beds tonight knowing that the police are on the job round the clock at local elementary schools making certain that kids using politically incorrect language in the third grade will be stopped immediately lest their juvenile delinquency and anti-social tendencies are put a stop to immediately. As Barry Goldwater said, “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.”

At William P. Tatem Elementary police rushed in to question a third grader about alleged racist remarks about the brownies. Listen to this! The racist punk said that the brownies were “made out of burnt black people.” Fortunately his other third-grade classmates were on the alert and and no doubt immediately called the police on their cel phones. At a minimum he should be put out in the schoolyard in stocks with I AM A RACIST spray painted on his forehead as a lesson to the other third graders they’ll be unlikely to forget.

This elementary school looks to be a potential hotbed of crime as also at Tatem police were called to look at the drawing of a second grader of a zombie holding a gun. A kid drawing a zombie holding a gun! What kind of sick perv is drawing stuff like this in the second grade?! What’s happened to America when this kind of mental illness is showing up in our grade schools? Thank God that Tatem is reporting these criminal types to the Authorities so that they can be sent to re-education camps run by the Democratic National Front so that any kind of racially insensitive remarks, violent drawings or calling each other names can be stamped out entirely before this spreads into the high schools.

This country has gone out of control and it’s all because of Liberal pussies who, instead of just sending in cops after the trouble has already occurred, are drawing the line at strip searching them every morning and having them waterboarded to get information on any of the other kids who might be planning a school bombing.

Eternal vigilance is the price of Liberty, as Thomas Jefferson said while playing hide the salami with Sally Hemings.  And the Chinese lead us on vigilance as well. Imagine an American women with the smarts to call the cops to arrest her cheating husband and have him caught red-handed as well with 40 smuggled primates that were being kept in a room inside the residence.

OK kids! Remember this message brought to you by Bobby Fuller:

Later on True Outsider we’ll be taking a closer look into the death of  young Bobby, a lad of 23, from asphyxiation.  His reworking of the Buddy Holly classic had rocketed him to fame in 1966 shortly before he’d been mysteriously beaten and doused in gasoline. Why? That’s the mystery.

Some of the rumors involved the mob. Most of the murders I’ve been investigating lately have been mob-related in one way or another. There’s a bigger story behind most common-day events. As a matter of fact, I can sense the slim, bony fingers of the mob at work at Tatem Elementary School combing the ranks of the second-graders for those they think have what it takes.

They need to recruit early, before the military gets them.

If the mob didn’t rub out Bobby could it have been a love affair with his own stardom gone wrong? Was he perhaps in some twisted relationship with himself, the kind ascribed by David Bowie to Ziggy Stardust. “Making love to his Ego! Ziggy sucked up into his mind! Like a leper Messiah.”

When I first heard that I thought he said Leopard Messiah. Like an Aztec God. But when I realized it was Leper… it was like…. gross! Who would listen to a leper Messiah? If he was that personally fucked up, how could he bet the Messiah? Wow… I googled some images of lepers to post one, but got too freaked out!

What else should we talk about? Any suggestions?  I’m open… Well. Deutsche Bank is saying European banks are fucked and somebody better their shit together or as bush would say, “”This suckers going down.” Maybe send in Hank Paulsen. I can only imagine what they nutjob is up to these days. Transcendental Meditation with David Lynch?

Memo to David: Hey.. in your next film why not cast some real monsters instead of all that fakey bullshit? See if you can get Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz. Yeah. I know you don’t know who they are. Do a google search.

Hey. I’m just kidding. I love David’s Films. John Ford, Howard Hawks, Orson Welles, Stanley Kubrick, David Lynch… The genius of Hollywood moves to ever greater heights.  And we wait expectantly for new masterpieces by the up and comer Harmony Korine. Maybe a remake of Birth of a Nation.

But seriously, folks, will you listen to this shit just in on the wire!??@?🙂

Who is that guy talking? I think it’s the elusive Bart Johnson, who’s been hired as manager of the Banksy Tour 2017

Posted in Art and Money, End of Art | Tagged , , | 2 Comments


moon ver

Moonlight In Vermont, pen and ink, in progress and deterioration simultaneously, 2016

Thought I would put up a link to a couple shows I’d really have loved to see. I did see a show of American Prints at the National and took a lot of photos so will try to get them downloaded and up. Most of the pix of prints were from the Depression, which is my favorite period of American painting. Some of the prints are fabulous on every level. Last gasp before Big Bombastic art took front and center with its big ass knocking everything else more subtle and complex and deeply felt off the stage.

Also just below the piece on depression prints be sure to see the one on the wonderful Miss Constant Pott, whose work I have to thank one of my more interesting crackpot readers for bringing to my attention.

American artists have just gone to hell in a handbasket when they can’t even begin to appreciate the immense artistry and complex visions of the world brought to life in the prints shown on the link. It’s particularly disappointing o me that some of the greatest artists in America going back to the Homers, Eakins, Sargents, and up through the “Ashcan Painters” have been entirely snubbed and overlooked due entirely to the fact that the great people being depicted in these old prints have been replaced by a bunch of lifeless consumer zombies who want to have nothing whatsoever to do with lived life as long as they can hang out at a shopping mall or on their computers.  An endless parade of death. What else can be one’s subject matter as that is all one sees these days.

Artists who avoid reality aren’t making art. They’re simply making escapist fantasies of the Huxley variety. Below is a long quote by the great Neil Postman, who like Chris Lasch, saw this dystopia coming a long ways back.  I agree with where he comes out in the end between Orwell and Huxley as who was most right. But beyond them I find it resembles Phil K. Dick in that people now are largely simulating their lives beside others lost in their own simulated lives. I also believe the Orwellian phase will come as our economy continues to deteriorate so that our Potemkin Virtual Reality will break down as our human reality becomes more nightmarish. I also expect the Huxley model of ostrich in sand will intensify, as I’ve seen it by texting around over the last week and finding nobody is really following what is going on at all except in little snippets and surface news. The volcanic buildup underneath them they’re entirely oblivious to. From Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman:

We were keeping our eye on 1984. When the year came and the prophecy didn’t thoughtful Americans sang softly in praise of themselves. The roots of liberal democracy had held. Wherever else the terror had happened, we, at least, had not been visited by Orwellian nightmares.

But we had forgotten that alongside Orwell’s dark vision, there was another–slightly older, slightly less well known, equally chilling: Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. Contrary to common belief even among the education, Huxley and Orwell did not prophesy the same thing. Orwell warms that we will be overcome by an externally imposed oppression. But in Huxley’s vision, no Big Brother is required to deprive people of their autonomy, maturity, and history. As he saw it, people will come to love their oppression, to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think.

What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be non one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny “Failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions.” In 1984, Orwell added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we fear will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we desire will ruin us.

This book is about the possibility that Huxley, not Orwell, was right.”

Of course the Huxley present is what deliver the Orwell future. The Orwell future is in the persons of Hillary and Trump. And they will arrive pronto all due to the fact that Americans, in their incredible shallowness and denial of reality while they fantasy about all the luxuries they will attain while paying little to no attention those around them have come to exist in either total isolation from one another or to sit around facebooking and gabbing about nothing more than feelies, orgy porgies, and centrifugal bumblepuppys, reduced to a kind of glazed eyed infantile state. The artwork I see everywhere now is a clear depiction of this kind of numbed out infantile fantasies of horror monsters or cutesy monsters, tattooed monsters, sleazy erotica.. women with breasts thrust forward covered in tattoos and nose rings.

We’ve moved into a horror show society and the middle class yuppies walk along the beaches listening to an NPR podcast that deliveries them their mindless Huxley pablum, Sodom and Gommorrah thrills alongside self-help gurus with their personal enlightenment remedies. Everyone in their own private pod reality. Peas in a pod.

News of the real world outside the pod realities of the urban megalopolis with its non stop digitized entertainment feed is lost to the overwhelming and empty noise composed of “man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions.”

Almost everything one finds on the internet is one nostalgia trip or another. Where people can go back to different places where ebony and ivory lived together in perfect harmony.

Posted in Printmakers | 2 Comments