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Thursday, December 2, 2010

11 Seconds

  In an effort to offer a distraction from the things that really matter like taxes or unemployment, various GOP politicians are wasting their breath trying to pander to the Catholic Church.

  The Church was incensed that in 11 seconds of a video exhibit that is over 30 minutes long, ants are seen crawling on a crucifix.  The work was by obscure gay artist David Wojnarowicz, who was mourning the loss of Peter Hujar. The 1987 work has never been critiqued in such a fashion before, and follows an exhibit of 17th-century Spanish art, well known for gory images of Christ. But the fact that the late Mr. Wojnarowicz was openly gay has led the Church to deem the usage of the crucifix to convey struggle to be hate speech. Naturally, John Boehner and Eric Cantor seized the opportunity to echo the Church's sentiments about the AIDS-related piece, and the Smithsonian pulled it.

  In a move surprising to few, GOP representatives are calling for the Smithsonian to be defunded. Jack Kingston hopped on the soapbox at Fox to display his supposed outrage and cry about how the small amount of tax dollars paid to fund the Smithsonian buildings (all exhibitions are privately funded) is a terrible burden to the American people. And much like the earmark debacle, the purpose of this is to grandstand and preach to an uneducated base.

  It's natural that the Catholic Church would want to make a big deal out of something that comprises 0.6% of a total art piece, considering that it's so much more important than thousands of priests abusing children in the eyes of the fragile faith. They're ants, and I'm certain that somewhere in the world there is an insect crawling on a religious image. They're insects, and they don't care about idol worship, but getting from point A to B.

  But this isn't about insects for the Church, but imposing their will on the people, about censoring art; the kind of freedom that the Church so willfully helped Hitler stifle, and is trying to do again. As for the GOP, they seem to hate censorship and governmental interference on paper, but this latest semi-outrage displays their true colours in full HD. I think that it's far more scandalous that images of Ronald Reagan were on display on World AIDS day since his officials declared that (a) the blood supply was safe; and (b) that it was "nature's revenge on gay men", but I'm not going to demand those pieces be removed. It would seem that one little me is far less fragile as an entire religion. It's amazing, isn't it?

  All this is is a ploy by the GOP to stall voting on the things that Americans care about. Forget the millions of unemployed, completely disregard the billions spent on training soldiers axed by the expensive-to-enforce "Don't Ask, don't Tell" policy, clear from your mind the $500 billion to $1 trillion to be added to the debt by extending tax cuts for people who don't need them. Ignore the hunger, the people dying because of lack of medical care, the broken educational system, and the underfunded police laboratories that permit rapists to walk free. Cleanse all of these things from your mind because 11 seconds of long-deceased ants are the real enemy of the State.

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