Look, I get tired of political posts too but darn it, we’re in highly political times so, it is what it is.
I’d much rather write about nerdy movie junk but there’s not that much on my mind of late, other than my feeling that ‘90’s action schmaltz has aged poorly.
There’s a scary trend of late to remove art and books from schools and colleges so that their ideas don’t spread among the young like cancer. There is a trend to ban the things that feel uncomfortable or difficult.
A desire to hide anything that raises too many questions with uncontrollable answers.
For a party that derides ‘cancel culture’ and fights for the rights of their guns, they sure do want to make things they deem unruly disappear.
Art has always been a wild child.
Art comes as much from the subconscious as the conscious and says things we don’t always feel able to say out loud.
When done well art is better than we are.
It is better because it is brave and while it may hide secrets and have double meanings, these serve as a tease to look deeper.
An invitation to remain curious.
This doesn’t mean all art is ‘good’ art or important, but it all still has a right to exist.
Art lives on the razor thin line of the permissible and the forbidden and that is where it needs to remain. Art forces us to rethink our place in the universe and in our own lives.
That doesn’t mean we agree with it.
That doesn’t mean we like it.
But it means it needs to exist.
Just as religion does.
I wouldn’t outlaw religion, atheist though I may be, because it serves a purpose. I may not take nourishment from that river but I see that there are those that do and wouldn’t deny them. Even as the more radical among them pose threats to some of us, and threaten us if we don’t follow their paths that doesn’t mean I can damn them all for those few.
That is art.
But art is different than discourse.
It gets away with things discourse cannot.
This doesn’t mean that every piece of art is appropriate for every setting but we need to explain why then and to be clear. Saying – it’s pornographic – is a dog whistle that people will nod in agreement with because the idea of letting kids see porn.
To call Renaissance art, which often features the nude human figure, as porn is disgusting.
The notion that we think it’s OK for kids to have to walk through metal detectors and have officers and guards all around them at school.
But art is offensive.
This is where we are.
Instead of teaching kids to interpret art – and I mean ALL art, books, music, sculpture, and on and on and on – we are teaching them to avoid it and block it out. We are not teaching them to assess, to observe, to learn, and to process.
We are teaching them to remove that which offends them.
And we are telling them what offends them.
We find it normal to call our political opponents names, to use violent words to rally people to our cause, and do whatever we can to further divide all of us, yet we are offended by the human body.
The deep, needless shame of the human body is madness.
It teaches shame, in turn, to our children, that they should be ashamed of their own bodies.
You see that in how girls and their periods are being treated.
Because we don’t want to deal with dealing with periods, in that, we don’t want to…know about them?
We’d rather teach shame than critical thinking.
That’s where we are.
We hide behind this nonsense of wanting to protect kids, though it’s not from guns so much as the golden apple of knowledge.
We don’t want them to see that non-White people are powerful and valuable and have been harmed by Whites. We don’t want them to see that girls and women have ownership of themselves. We don’t want them to understand their bodies. We don’t want them to understand their world. We don’t want them to see people of other colors, races, creeds, sexualities, or identities.
We want children to be obedient Christian soldiers that do as they are told.
And in order to do all of this we are filling their heads with lies about the world, and about their safety in it, all while undermining the value of education.
Don’t worry, child, you don’t need to understand anything outside of what I have told you.
We don’t want to build our children for the future, to be unique humans that work together with their separate talents to make this a better place.
We want them to shut up and do as they are told and to follow orders.
And art is the start of it.
We are already hiding our history away, deeming the truth too gruesome and too tilted towards showing a whole picture and not just the image of the White savior. Humans are flawed. Americans are flawed. White people…are flawed.
PEOPLE ARE ALL FLAWED.
Conquering nations is horrific and brutal. It doesn’t mean we all have to bow our heads in shame but that we need to acknowledge the blood it took to build what we have.
We need to admit the truth.
We need to see the world so we can change it.
We need to admit that we’ve messed the environment up to fix it.
We have to see art in order to see ourselves.
You can be conservative and not shut the world out, it’s possible.
Or it was.
Before the party became full of warlords and warmongers.
You can’t hide the world from children.
We can ban the apps, we can ban the art, we can ban the books, and on and on but they will learn about the world, whether we like it or not. That’s why it’s better to educate them so they can process it in a healthy way.
So that they don’t think it’s OK or normal to send naked pictures to people as a kid.
So that they don’t think their bodies are gross and wrong.
So they don’t live in constant fear.
Art is not the problem, ideas are, and you can never silence ideas.
You can try to block them and try to squash them but they exist just the same.
I get that some art is not for some ages.
Some books are not meant for some ages.
Those two things are obvious.
But instead of listening to professionals tell us what kids can handle, and cannot handle, and letting them show us the way we are letting politicians with agendas do it for us.
Education is dying and these are but deep chops into that tree, the taking away of art.
They can scream and cry all they want, about how the world is so pornographic and that drag queens are trying to recruit the children, but it doesn’t make it true.
Not all artworks are for everyone but all art is for everyone.
Whether we like that or not.
Art isn’t always a beautiful and serene sunset .
Sometimes art is a bloodied mouth and a burning world.
It’s how you see it and process it that gives it meaning though, and we’re cheating kids of that, and of the basic means to succeed in a world that won’t slow down for them to catch up.