Joe Sacco, from Footnotes in Gaza
With typical synchronicity (these days), after just posting Chris Hedges’ remarks on art I ran across the announcement below of a new book by Hedges in collaboration with Joe Sacco.:
Sacco’s work is absolutely outstanding. A list of some of his better known work gives some idea of his enormous accomplishment witnessing the effects of war and translating his experience into visual form. His work provides a perspective that one isn’t going to get from the corporate media. :
Safe Area Gorazde: The War in Eastern Bosnia 1992-1995, The Fixer: A Story from Sarajevo
Wara’s End: Profiles from Bosnia 1995-96
Footnotes in Gaza.
The upcoming Hedges/Sacco book will no doubt provide a necessary introduction to an American reality that is all but ignored by mainstream media. Poverty is a mark of shame for anyone living in America and our media prefer to depict those without money as marginal people at best… savage predators at worst. There’s little to no interest in examining how the poor live and the kinds of shameful social conditions that could be ameliorated by universal health care and functioning educational systems.
Instead, America as a whole bought the Reaganite fiction that poor people are that way by choice and they’re composed of a lot of people sponging off the labor of the hardworking middle class. Now that same hardworking middle-class might look around them to see just what their 40 years of tirelessly voting for Reaganomics has delivered them.
Bill Clinton was a practitioner of Reaganomics. His slogan “The era of Big Government is over” would have had Ronnie smiling in his grave, as Reagan himself was unable to accomplish what Clinton did with NAFTA, deregulation of the banks, destroying the safety net of welfare, etc…. all courtesy of a complete lack of any serious Democratic resistance. Poor Reagan was faced with Democratic resistance… back when there actually was Democratic resistance, until Clinton showed the Democrats that road to political success was to be Ronald Reagan, who Obama saluted during his campaign as he praised Reagan as one of our greatest Presidents.
Why this didn’t wake anybody up to who Obama was prior to his demonstrating it once elected is again testament to Americans and their ability to steadfastly deny all reality. Although now that the Midwest has turned into a parched desert with corn crops turned to cinders and Western forests regularly turning into infernos it appears that belief in Global Warming has ticked up a little bit in the latest polls.
It’s always wonderful to see the Democrats take over from the Republicans, and to see Barack Obama accomplish the expansion of the use of predator drones, taking the war into Pakistan, etc… all without a single peep from Democrats. Democrats oppose the war…. if a Republican is waging it. If Obama is expanding the police powers of the state is perfectly fine.
Anyway, now America can experience the wonders of laissez-faire capitalism… pure Reaganomics… in their very own communities… as local municipalities go broke. Scranton, one of the latest cases, has uniformly cut pay of all government employees to minimum wage. It’s going to be great to be served by a police force making the same as kids flipping burgers at McDonalds. I think it a fine plan to have people with power and guns paid next to nothing. It sure works perfectly in Mexico. Great American pioneers in radical political thought like Newt Gingrich have already begun exploring the idea of dispensing with minimum age requirements for workers that no doubt the Democrats will heartily embrace once it’s become mainstream. Perhaps then we can follow Africa’s example of a childrens military corps. Teach them the work ethic early so they don’t waste their time lazing around on the playgrounds!
Of course, unlike the unruly anarchy of these AK-47 toting African kids, America will have the tykes under full control. Perhaps then we can get these ghettoes filled with welfare queens driving cadillacs back into line.
Reagan’s Shining City on the Hill is almost in sight. Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!
Anyway, hats off to Chris Hedges and Joe Sacco for reporting on these places that most people like to pretend don’t exist. And it’s good to see that they’ve turned the light on America’s own backyard. It’s high time that the delusion that America is a land of happy sit com families is shattered. Then maybe there’s a chance that real problems can be addressed. As long as these delusions persist as reality we’ll continue to slide into the abyss.
Joe Sacco, panel from Footnotes in Gaza
Joe Sacco, The Four Reporters and the Boxer Rebellion
Joe Sacco, So Many Schemes
Joe Sacco, from Gorazde
Joe Sacco, from Chechen War, Chechen Women
Joe Sacco, Kushinagar
Bill Moyers interview with Chris Hedges on Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt: