Sunday, January 30, 2011

What Double Standard?

The New York Times never disappoints. Back in December, there was a huge flap over the Smithsonian showing of a gay fantasy/homoerotic porn fest passing as art and capped by a continuous loop video of the crucified Christ being covered by crawling ants. Naturally, the Times couldn't understand what we rubes objected to, and gave the exhibit high marks.

For my discussion of the exhibit, see: Smithsonian. In its inimitably oafish way, the Times made the exhibit into a freedom of expression issue rather than an exercise in disgustingly bad taste on the taxpayers' and donors' money. The senile Gray Lady simply couldn't see how this could be offensive to people who consider Jesus Christ to be the Son of God and Savior of the World, nor why their reaction was so vocal and effective. The Smithsonian gave in to massive public pressure and removed the video from the public exhibit.

Not one to allow a juicy issue to die a well-deserved death, Times writer and media critic Michael Kimmelman last week decided to revivify the controversy and add the other favorite Times prejudice that Americans are ignorant rustics and religious zealots in comparison with our overseas brethren. The article discussed how much more reasonable our English friends are, and to emphasize his point, he reprinted a clip from the video showing the ants crawling all over the crucifix.

Kimmelman further exhibited his blissful ignorance by entitling the article "In Britain, Separation of Art and State." You see, all of this was triggered by Smithsonian Secretary G. Wayne Clough's attempt to cleanse his soul in Los Angeles by trying to explain his failure to keep the crawling ants in the exhibition. Not enough sackcloth and ashes to suit Kimmelman. To Kimmelman, Clough was an unforgivable apostate who caved in to pressure from a government interfering with art.

The Smithsonian is not a purely government institution, though it exists in a public building and receives large sums of federal taxpayers' money. It is in reality at least equally a venerable public institution designed to exhibit the best of American arts and culture. And the big negative reaction was almost entirely from the public, with politicians bringing up the rear. Still, Kimmelman frames the comparison as if the removal of the ants was purely a political action resulting in government censorship at a government edifice.

So Kimmelman praises the pure art appreciation of the Brits and the complete independence of the artists from the government. Say what? The exhibit that Kimmelman is praising took place at the very governmentally owned and operated Tate Modern [Museum]. He praises the Brits for their easygoing attitude toward anti-religious art. He continues his arrant ramble with a jab at Rudy Giuliani by comparing the recent controversy with the "piss Christ" and Virgin Mary with elephant dung outrages a few years back. What Rep. Cantor has done is the same as when New York "went through much the same paroxysm of orchestrated grief over a work combining an image of the Virgin Mary with elephant dung." Note the words "paroxysm" and "orchestrated grief."

So just for fun, let's take a look at how Kimmelman feels about anti-religious art on alternate days of the week. Having dealt with the horror of angry Christians objecting to homosexual sado-masochistic "art" by speaking out and demanding removal of the offensive piece, how does Kimmelman feel about simple, cartoon depictions of the Prophet Mohammed, founder of the religion of peace?

On February 8, 2006, Kimmelman refused to defend the freedom of expression of a Danish newspaper which printed cartoons of Mohammed. He ignored the violent worldwide reaction of the practitioners of the religion of peace to the publication of the cartoons. He ignored the several deaths resulting from the violent protests. And then, in typical fashion, he defended the refusal of the Times to print any of the cartoons, even when the articles were trying to explain the underlying "art." Though he could find all sorts of justification for full public exposure at a national museum on the taxpayers' money of a degrading video of Christianity's central figure, he could find no reason why the Times should reprint "callous and feeble cartoons" of the very human founder of the religion of peace. Apparently, Kimmelman felt they had neither artistic nor news value.

Kimmelman's article is just another example of the elite, pseudo-intellectual snobbery of the Times. But worse than that, it's an example of its hatred of all things American combined with the purest of hypocrisy. It will also someday be just another milestone on the road to the gravestone of what was once "America's newspaper of record."


Tennessee Jed said...

After reading this article, I rushed to my Webster's Dictionary (brand new edition.) I looked up the word hypocrite and found Kimmelman's name

AndrewPrice said...

"Americans are ignorant rustics and religious zealots in comparison with our overseas brethren" -- that's the kind of thought that just stuns me with these elitist jerks.

Do they somehow not know that people are being stoned to death, or having their head severed in the Middle East? That women are being kept out of school. The people are being forcibly converted to Islam under threat of blasphemy sentences?

Where do you find ANY of that in the American Midwest?

This is like comparing a falsely-accused jay walker to a serial killer, and arguing that the supposed jay walker is the real bad guy!

Unknown said...

Tennessee: I assume it listed the entire staff of the NY Times. LOL

Unknown said...

Andrew: Is the jaywalker a Christian?

AndrewPrice said...

Of course, or else he wouldn't be a bad guy, he'd be an oppressed guy, who can do no wrong.

Joel Farnham said...

In Kimmelman's world view, the Christians in America are beneath his notice. Things to prod and be made fun of. Not people. Just things.

He is a hateful little man, made littler by what he wrote. Fortunately, Time is not is not as widely read as it used to be.

Unknown said...

Andrew: Right on. I used to think that they did it consciously, but I think that anti-Christian view is so deeply-ingrained that it's now just knee-jerk prejudice. You can't reason with that kind of deep-seated hatred.

Unknown said...

Joel: It's all very incestuous. They live, breathe, talk and sleep only with their own kind in order to avoid exposure to that diverse society that they claim to love so much. When one of them has a thought, they all have exactly the same thought.

Tehachapi Tom said...

Freedom of expression is sacred and must be protected at all costs. With that said, class and propriety are equally as important. Should one in the endeavor to exercise freedoms of any kind choose expressions or actions which are just classless, stupid or knowingly offensive to others?

We have arrived at the point where unless a statement or act isn't provocatively offensive to a large portion of the population it is with out merit.

Where does common decency rest anymore?

Unknown said...

Tehachapi Tom: According to the editors, it resides in the editorial offices of the New York Times.

Individualist said...


You should write an article to the New York Times and ask them if they will condemn CAIR for their recent letter decrying the show "Curb Your Enthusiasm" for having the lead actor urinate on a picture of Jesus in the show.

According to the good folks at CAIR Jesus whom they refer to as Isa is recognized by Msulims as a prophet of almighty God and the actions on the show were offensive to the Muslim religious community as well.

They wioll probably ignore your letter however if they do answer it it would be hilariious to read the lingual gymnastics in trying to bend around their own spin.

Unknown said...

Individualist: I like the suggestion, but I think I'm on a NYT "watch list." My letters never make it out of the mail room, and I get occasional strange phone calls from the FBI, Homeland Security, and some guy with the unlikely name of Pinch Sulzberger.

Libertarian Advocate said...

"Do they somehow not know that people are being stoned to death, or having their head severed in the Middle East? That women are being kept out of school. The people are being forcibly converted to Islam under threat of blasphemy sentences?"

You have not factored into your analysis the two elemental pillars of the Left's ideology, "Tolerance" and "Cultural Diversity". In the minds of America's progressive culture elite, when a foreign culture employs such indigenous traditions as stonings and beheadings, that culture's traditions invariably trump the domestic preferences of the culture elite.

After all who are we or they to decry the executions of homosexuals in Iran, the stoning of alleged adulterers in Afghanistan, etc, etc, etc...

Sarcasm off.

Our lefties are now so thoroughly delusional that they have no understanding that were Sharia in force here, they would be the first dispatched in the name of Allah.

Astonishing; so much for being the one's they've been waiting for.

Notawonk said...

times up! asswipes. or as andrew calls them: elitist jerks. tomato, tomato.

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