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« Paul Krugman gets it so right it's wrong | Main | the most trusted voice in the media »

28 October 2005

Comments

mr.fun

wow. I like this. call it, competition.

Malkin and the like have the market cornered. and any attempt to get in on their propaganda share has them in a tizzie.

if only the competition weren't such elitist fascist fucking weasels.

but what do I know, I'm an asshole.

agi t. prop

competition? fairness?

they hate real competition.

mr.fun

there's just this part of me that won't let anyone else decide what is best for me or my own.

a critical flaw.

agi t. prop

I agree. But we are all flawed and we have no hope.

Remember, losing all hope is freedom.

Stickwick Stapers

Naturally, conservatives are in a tizzy because this Euro-trash bastard had [the] gall to criticize the absurdities of contemporary America.

I am willing to bet that nobody, including you, is sure exactly what absurdities Mr. Perfido is criticizing. What is his message? What do the bandaged faces represent? What does the laptop signify? What does any of it mean? In what way does American contemporary life differ from that of Europe, and how is this manifested in the images? You could slap any flag on this artwork and make it no less "relevant." Art like this is just mental masturbation.

Europeans might be high falutin snobs but at least they can handle criticism and don't recoil into a ball like a frightened ferrets.

Is this sarcasm?

On what basis do you say that conservatives are in a tizzy and recoiling like frightened ferrets? Malkin simply links to the artwork that Gaijinbiker posted with minimal commentary.

And if by "handling criticism" you mean that the European response is to either tell the critic to shove off or to prostrate oneself before the critic, then you are correct.

el s

though the slick style of the work leaves me unenchanted (shades of the film 'seven'), the content seems fairly straightforward - at least i choose to intrepret it that way.

i'm no euro, but i do spend a fair amount of time each year there, and i can say that folks tend to view americans as whole as a bunch of blind screaming children demanding more! hell i view us that way.

the image of the chick looking in the mirror really caught my attention. i like thejuxtapostition of the model-like female form with the image in the mirror. is this a modern lady liberty?

and stickwick...michele malkin is ain a perpetual tizzy.

the euros certainly have many issues to work out, i doubt they ever will (just like us), but they do seem to have a more realistic view of themselves as part of a larger whole. not the center.

agi t. prop

Banning piggy banks, now THAT'S funny!

Crusader AXE of the Lost Causes

Is this supposed to represent the best of conservative thinking? I think if we could get that hot Mama and Michelle and maybe Peggy Noonan to jello wrestle live, on a webcast, we could rally give the Europeans the best of America...

I didn't particularly care for the pictures, but so what? They are interesting and disturbing. If people see this as the way we are, maybe it could be that's the way we are. If you don't like the results of your communication, Mikki babe, change your goddamn behavior.

I did like the priest with the laptop and the crying praying black chick. Nothing says technocracy run amok more than a priest using a laptop as a bible...I'd cry too. However, Tiffany assures me that as the true singularity, she doesn't know how to use a laptop except to watch gay porno.

the quitter

it certainly is provoking some ..err.."debate" from, what seem to be malkin readers. they certainly are open to a discussion of the issues these portraits (cus that's what they seem to be) raise. (that was sarcasm)

http://www.ridingsun.com/posts/1130465382.shtml

Stickwick, if indeed she/he came via malkin's site, seems to be the exception here by simply asking some pointed questions. thanks for coming by.

agi old pal? you gonna field those?

steve

i don't see the intelligence behind broad generalizations of europeans as america haters. some europeans hate america, this is true. the vast majority have an opinion of america which is slightly shortsighted but no worse than the average american's view of europeans.

as for comments about their "smaller houses" or use of public transportation; europeans have a completely different style of living which is no worse and no better than the american style, simply different. i'm sure large cars would be popular here if the streets weren't so small and parking so difficult. and i'm sure houses would be larger if they weren't so old or if european families were as large as american.

Stickwick Stapers

...the content seems fairly straightforward - at least i choose to intrepret it that way.

If it is open to interpretation, then it is not straightforward. As I said before, you could insert any other kind of overt symbolism in place of the American flag and the work is just as open to interpretation and therefore meaningless. If I imagine this work centered around the Swedish flag, for instance, I could compose an entire thesis on how this work represents the despair of a culture oppressed by a bleak emphasis on conformity. In fact, a much more clever and self-satirizing approach for this work would have been to allow a viewer to insert any flag he wished and then compare his interpretation with those of others -- an exercise in projection.

...[Europeans] do seem to have a more realistic view of themselves as part of a larger whole. not the center.

This is not true. My husband is European, and I have spent time in Europe, myself. One inescapable conclusion I have reached is that while Europeans are very adept at appearing self-deprecating, they have absolutely no doubt as to their position at the center of world affairs -- the lofty, high-minded, and cultured arbiters of How Things Should Be. If this were not the case, then from what authority do they proceed to comment at great length about how childish, loud, and demanding Americans are?

With respect to Malkin, she merely links to the artwork. But if you regard her as perpetually in a tizzy, then any response by her regarding any topic should be unremarkable. But, more to the point, one conservative columnist responding to an issue in a particular way is pretty flimsy grounds from which to proclaim that Americans don't handle criticism very well.

el s

SS,

i never made that last claim. i think that was agi and i think the evidence of what he said is available every single day on the 24 hour news networks and most other media outlets. my views on european folks come from my own personal experience which is primarily in the netherlands and france..so when i say something or other about what folks do or say there, i'm speaking of the folks i encounter.

as to malkin, she is a clown. as are many loudmouths from the left. people like malkin and al franken reduce thought to a us and them base. i am not a fan.

that said, your idea about inserting the flag of choice is outstanding, that would definitely be a far more worthy idea for discussion. as it stands, the photos contain american flags. i think anyone in the world has the right to speak to what the U.S. is doing right now becuase what "we" do has further reach than pretty much any other country. everyone is affected when we invade and threaten nations or when we ignore treaties and agreements. these past few years have had a profound affect on everyone.

i think this is why people here like to generalize about about people elsewhere and vice versa.

the fact is that we are the greatest consuming, polluting, and warring (is that a word?), nation on earth. these photos (again, i'm not a huge fan of this work, just interested in the discussions it creates) reflect one persons reaction to that.

reverend  quitter

and if anyone sees anything on this site that makes them wonder if it is sarcasm... for god's sake people look at the name of the blog and group photo.

nuff said? :-)

agi t. prop

Some people just don't get satire and sarcasm these days.

velid

"When fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in an American flag". Senator Huey Long.

Eolo Perfido has obviously captured an important part of our contemporary political experience, as some American artists have noted as well. Those, like Stickwick Staplers, who most vehemently deny that patriotism is being used to muzzle dissent, suppress individual difference and oppress the weak, ironically illustrate the correctness of his vision. They don't just dislike the art they are deeply offended by it. Why?

Americans are the most hyperventillating patriots in the world. Only in America does every gas station and burger joint feel it necessary to remind themselves what country they are in by displaying the national flag. Only in America would the leaders of the country go into such a tizzy that they would consider renaming fast food to avoid referrring to a dissenting country. In America, patriotism has become a form of mental illness. It has become a valorization of the hive mind. And Eolo Perfido does a good job of capturing this.

agi t. prop

Americans are the most hyperventillating patriots in the world.

Well said. That's basically the point I was trying to get across.

Enjoy your freedom fries.

Stickwick Stapers

i think anyone in the world has the right to speak to what the U.S. is doing right now becuase what "we" do has further reach than pretty much any other country.

If it's true that what the United States does in the world has further reach than any other country (and I agree with this), that means Americans rightly regard themselves as citizens of the most important nation in the world. According to your statement, we are at the center of world affairs. You can't have it both ways -- the United States cannot simultaneously be the most influential nation in the world and be of no more importance than any other nation.

everyone is affected when we invade and threaten nations or when we ignore treaties and agreements.

The Baathist Party is a direct offshoot of the Nazi Party, and by invading Iraq the United States has invaded one of the last two Nazi regimes on the face of the earth. Is there any doubt about the evil that Saddam has done to his own people? How can anybody defend the existence of a Nazi regime anywhere? By definition, they deserve to be destroyed.

As far as ignoring treaties, the United States ignores treaties it hasn't signed, and it is right to do so. There's a lot of commotion over the fact that the U.S. will not participate in the International Court of Justice, but until such a court is willing to put Castro on trial as well as Pinochet, America has a right to believe that it is nothing more than a kangaroo court with the sole purpose of prosecuting whatever the Left doesn't like. If you are alluding to the Kyoto Protocol, then I will point out that Kyoto has obviously failed, and the United States was right to ignore it. Canada, which is the poster child of Kyoto, has failed miserably to come even close to its much-trumpeted goal under the protocol. If you're not referring to any of these, then what treaties and agreements are you talking about? You can't just make statements like that without supporting them.

the fact is that we are the greatest consuming, polluting, and warring (is that a word?), nation on earth. these photos (again, i'm not a huge fan of this work, just interested in the discussions it creates) reflect one persons reaction to that.

Why is consuming such a bad thing? Is there a nation in Africa or Asia that wouldn't trade places with the United States in terms of consumption? Consuming, in and of itself, is not a bad thing. The whole issue is simply Leftist envy in disguise.

With respect to polluting, your statement is absolutely factually wrong, and betrays either ignorance or a bigotry against the U.S. We have a better record in controlling pollution than Canada, for instance. We are doing a better job and are making bigger strides in protecting the environment than Canadians, who talk the talk, but don't actually do anything about pollution. But if you want to see some rampant, out of control pollution that is genuinely hurting people, go to China. The average peasant there is up in arms because they're not benefiting from what the city-dwellers are doing, but they're suffering from the effects. The old Soviet Union benefited by ravaging Eastern Europe in the same way. Don't criticize the U.S. until you criticize China and Canada. Otherwise it's just anti-American prejudice.

As for "warring," when the U.S. saved the world from Nazism, that was wrong? When it saved South Korea from becoming a commie-cult, treebark-eating, tyrannized nation, that was wrong? When it saved the world from communism in the Cold War, that was wrong? The U.S. was the only nation in the world that could protect people in the Balkans -- protecting them was bad? When it kicked Saddam out of Kuwait, that was bad? You might as well be saying that defending yourself and others is wrong. I am not defending all of the actions of the U.S., but if you're asking for perfection you're condemning every nation on earth. Besides, the statement that the U.S. is the "greatest warring" nation on earth is actually quite wrong. Surveys show that most of the major conflicts going on in the world in recent times involve muslims. So who are you calling the most warlike and violent people in the world? Try to imagine if islamofascist Iran, the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, imperial Japan, or even France had the incredible power that the U.S. has right now -- is there any doubt that this power would have been used for a thousand-times worse destruction than what you're seeing today? The power of a nation should be compared with its restraint in using that power. It's fine for small countries with no power to sit back and point fingers, but until they're in that position, they can't judge. In spite of mistakes, the U.S. has done incredibly well in handling its vast military power.

Stickwick Stapers

Those, like Stickwick Staplers, who most vehemently deny that patriotism is being used to muzzle dissent, suppress individual difference and oppress the weak, ironically illustrate the correctness of his vision. They don't just dislike the art they are deeply offended by it.

The name is Stapers, and I don't believe I was ever given the chance to vehemently deny any such thing. But since you mentioned it I will go ahead and deny it. What is being used to muzzle dissent, suppress individual difference, and oppress anyone, is a government grown quite large and powerful and increasingly less accountable to its citizens. In that respect, it is very much on the road to becoming indistinguishable from the European and Canadian form of government.

And contrary to your assertion, I'm not offended by Mr. Perfido's art. Though the work itself represents a high level of technical skill, the "message" is too tediously banal to be offensive. I am irritated, though, by the support this artwork receives, because the U.S. doesn't deserves this censure.

Only in America would the leaders of the country go into such a tizzy that they would consider renaming fast food to avoid referrring to a dissenting country.

What is this infatuation with the word "tizzy"? Anyway, I thought renaming fast food was a stupid idea. "French fries" is the perfect name in that they are small, greasy, and bad for your health.

agi t. prop

Stickwick,

I'll let velid respond to your comments since they were directed at him/her. But for the sake of clarification, Saddam's Iraq was not a Nazi regime. Just because a regime murders its own people doesn’t make it a Nazi regime. Saddam's regime was more Stalinist than anything...

Baathism and Nazism are quite different ideologies my friend. Try putting a fascist Aryan supremacist in the same room with a left-wing Arab nationalist and the outcome won’t be pretty.

And yeah, French fries are disgusting, although I will occasionally indulge if I'm feeling masochistic.

Night Bird

I so much more prefer Tatter Tots. As for Perfido, I never heard of him, but I do like the woman with parasol. As for warring, this war is not about Democracy...

jen

thanks agi for the heads up on the propaganda photos. i have seen his work before, the women in gallery 1, but not gallery 7, very intense.

velid

Stapers,

The fact that you personally didn't want to rename french fries is beside the point. Many national leaders did, and therefore it is a reasonable indicator of near hysterical levels of American patriotism. To mention another example: the widespread support for a constitutional amendment banning flag burning. Flag burning causes no one any physical harm, but it remains a perrenial cause celebre among American conservatives.

If you still have trouble seeing how patriotism is being used to muzzle dissent, just turn on FOX news or the O'Reilly show, or take a look at the USA patriot act.

Again it seems clear that Eolo Perfido is right on target.

As for the relative virtue of the US, our widespread use of torture kind of robs us of any moral high ground. Cheney's open advocacy of the right to torture last week makes us unique in all the world. But it is not a record to be proud of.


Stickwick Stapers

...for the sake of clarification, Saddam's Iraq was not a Nazi regime. Just because a regime murders its own people doesn’t make it a Nazi regime. Saddam's regime was more Stalinist than anything...

Saddam is on record as having admired Stalin, but that does not make him a Stalinist. Arabs dismiss the idea of class struggle, which means they are not on the Left.

There is, in fact, a demonstrable historical link between the Baathist Party and the Nazi Party. First of all, Arab intellectuals had an affinity for Nazism, because of the shared dislike of the British, and the extreme anti-semetism. Take a look at the Wikipedia definition for fascism and observe the parallels. You have a belief in a strong, central government; loyalty to a single leader; militarism; strong ties between big business and government (cf. oil industry); the state being exalted over the individual; state control over all aspects of life (cf. Sharia law). Every one of these tenets is shared between Nazis and Baathists. And consider Saddam's proclivity for gassing his own people -- does that sound familiar?

You can put two and two together.

But if you require more evidence, consider the following two passages.

Quoted from The Middle East by Bernard Lewis:

As far back as 1933, immediately after Hitler's accession to power, the British-appointed Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husayni, made contact with the German consul to declare his support and offer his help. After years of uncompromising struggle against the British and the Jews, the Mufti left Palestine, and with stops in Beirut, Baghdad and Tehran en route, reached Berlin in 1941. The most important of these stops was Baghdad, where in April 1941, an Iraqi politician called Rashid 'Ali al-Gaylani, with military support, seized power and established a pro-Axis regime. Despite some help from Syria, at that time still controlled by the Vichy authorities, the Axis powers were too far away to save him, and his regime was overthrown by British and British-led forces. In Syria a committee was formed to mobilize support for the Rashid 'Ali regime. This was the nucleus of what later became the Ba'ath party, rival branches of which came to govern both Syria and Iraq.

Rashid Ali fled and later joined the Mufti in Berlin. Among the many who supported or sympathized with the Axis during the war years were some who later became famous. Nasser recorded his sympathy and his disappointment at Germany's defeat; Sadat according to his own memoirs, was a willing co-operator in German espionage. Even Rashid 'Ali has been resuscitated as a hero in Saddam Husayn's Iraq.

At first sight, this enthusiasm for the Nazi cause seems very strange. Nazi racism cannot have had much appeal for a people who, according to Nazi pseudo-science, were themselves racial inferiors. Nazi propaganda, in so far as it was specifically anti-Jewish rather than generally anti-Semitic, had considerable support. But it was, after all, the persecution of Jews by the Nazis in Germany and their imitators elsewhere that was the driving force of Jewish migration to Palestine and the consequent strengthening of the Jewish community in that country. The Nazis not only caused this migration; they even encouraged and facilitated it until the outbreak of war, while the British, in the forlorn hope of winning Arab good will, imposed increasing restrictions. Nevertheless, significant numbers of Arabs favoured the Germans, who sent the Jews to Palestine, rather than the British, who tried to keep them out.

The Axis powers tried in different ways to profit from this mood. First Fascist Italy and later Nazi Germany launched massive programmes of propaganda and penetration in the Arab world, with considerable impact on the new generation of political thinkers and activists. The Nazis in particular, by preaching hatred of Jews, were able to exploit a problem which they themselves had in large measure created.

Quoted from The Nazi Connection to Islamic Terrorism: Adolf Hitler and Haj Amin Al-Husseini by Chuck Morse:

Kharaillah Tulfah, Saddam Hussein's uncle and future father in law, along with Gen. Rashid Ali and the so-called "golden square" cabal of pro-Nazi officers, participated in a failed coup against the pro-British government of Iraq in 1941. Operating behind the scenes in Baghdad at the time, and arranging for Nazi weapons and assistance was the notorious pro-Nazi Haj Amin al-Husseini the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. The Mufti had been on the Nazi payroll, according to testimony at the Nuremberg and Eichmann trials, since 1937 when he had met with Adolf Eichmann during Eichmann's brief visit to Palestine. Saddam Hussein was born in 1937.

The Mufti, after instigating a pogrom against Jews in Palestine in 1920, the first such pogrom against Jews in the Arab world in hundreds of years, went on to inspire the development of pro-Nazi parties throughout the Arab world including Young Egypt, led by Gamal Abdul Nasser, and the Social Nationalist Party of Syria led by Anton Sa'ada. After the failure of the 1941 pro-Nazi coup in Iraq, the Mufti fled to Berlin where he spent the war years heading a Nazi-Muslim government in exile and using confiscated Jewish funds in a largely successful effort to further pro-Nazi and anti-Semitic propaganda in the Arab world. While in Berlin, the Mufti also helped form pro-Nazi Muslim Hanschar brigades in Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia.

Kharaillah Tulfah, participant in the 1941 pro-Nazi coup and an advocate of a pan-Islamic Nazi alliance along with the Mufti, raised and educated his nephew Saddam Hussein from age 10. In 1959, the 22-year-old Saddam failed in an attempt to assassinate Iraqi leader Abdel Karim Qassim. He subsequently fled to Egypt where he received refuge from fellow Mufti disciple Nasser. At the time, Nasser, along with the Mufti himself, who resided in Cairo after the war and his conviction by the Nuremberg Tribunal of war crimes, was spearheading what was known as the Odessa Network, which facilitated the settlement of thousands of Nazi criminals in Egypt and elsewhere in the Arab world. In 1962, Saddam married Sajidah Tuffah, the daughter of his uncle and mentor.

Stickwick Stapers

velid:

To a person who has been brainwashed to hate America, any love for America must seem hysterical. The fact is there are good reasons for Americans to love their country. For one thing, it is the longest surviving democracy in the world; and, despite all its faults, it's the only place where the civil rights movement could occur. Right now, for instance, Great Britain is struggling with race relations, and is recovering from a big riot recently between East Indians and Jamaicans. No country has ever done what the U.S. has done in terms of race relations. America has also been one of the most generous nations ever in terms of monetary contributions; it responds immediately when other nations are in need; and it is the only thing that stands between helpless people and aggressors all over the world, whether in Kuwait or the Balkans. There are good reasons to love America, unless your only standard for loving a nation is perfection. If that's the case, you'll never love anything.

As for people being muzzled, who is being muzzled? There is a constant torrent of criticism aimed at America. Nothing about the U.S. goes unquestioned. So where are people being muzzled? What do FOXNews and The O'Reilly Factor have to do with muzzling people? You can't turn the TV on without seeing some idiot complaining about something in America. The only concession I will grant you is the abhorrent and un-Constitutional McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform act, which is a clear violation of the first amendment. But there are far more frequent and egregious examples of free-speech violations in Canada and Europe, under the guise of restrictions on "hate speech."

Regarding the whole "freedom fries" thing, anybody with any sense realizes that the French are not our friends, but are in active opposition to us. We are essentially in a cold war with the French. They hate America. This goes far back to the historical hatred between Britain and France, which has been passed on to America. The French are trying to use the EU as an enormous mechanism that they can control to make themselves as powerful, or more powerful, than the U.S. The only thing that keeps the French from being the declared enemy of the U.S. at this moment is that they're weak, and it doesn't suit their purposes to openly declare their hostility.

Yes, the whole "freedom fries" thing is silly, but you have to understand that the people who came up with it are acting out of sincere bafflement. They are coming to terms with the fact that the people we saved from the Nazis in WWII and from the communists in the Cold War are this contrary and ungrateful. Americans are expressing a real disappointment in the French, because they don't yet realize that the French are not our friends.

With respect to torture, let me ask you this. If you captured someone you knew was involved in a plot to blow up a public school building with many children in it and there was a chance by torturing this person that you could avert this mass killing, what would you do? Would you do nothing and allow maybe hundreds of children to die? There's no real answer to this. If you say you wouldn't soil your hands in such a way, then at that point you will have made a decision that will lead to the deaths of hundreds of children. On the other hand, it's not easy to make that decision. There is no easy answer. And lest you think this is a hypothetical situation, look at what happened in Beslan, with Islamic militants invading a school and brutally killing hundreds of innocent civilians, half of them children. If a person is in a plot to kill helpless children, does he deserve any kind of humane consideration whatsoever? Have we not gone beyond the basic laws of human interaction at that point?

the reverend t. quitter
You have a belief in a strong, central government; loyalty to a single leader; militarism; strong ties between big business and government (cf. oil industry); the state being exalted over the individual; state control over all aspects of life (cf. Sharia law).

umm stickwick, doesn't that also pretty much describe the republican party? just insert some biblical reference for sharia and you got it.

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