Monday, March 15, 2010

Violence and Art ????

'Whats done, is done'
Lady Macbeth

Originally I didn't see Sam Tanenhaus's article but it was this quote that caught my eye, 'Art imitates nature, but few artists observe like scientists. Especially in the United States, art is dominated by political correctness, which turns a blind eye to realities that aren’t supposed to exist. Both men and women are Homo sapiens, dangerous animals indeed.' It was a response to the article in the New York Times Book Review.

I wont quote it the article but read it if you must. I’ve now read it three or four times and I still don’t get what he is trying to say. Is art supposed to see the future? Artists pretty much record what they see, hear, what they feel. There are plenty of movies and books about violent women. Photos of babes with guns are all over the internet, not that I consider that art, oh maybe I should. But to say art has failed to see what is going on around it, has failed to see what is happening to women, is ludicrous. Maybe the world in general has failed to see what is happening as it does in most cases. And now I’m making no sense so I’m just as bad as him.

I mean, I thought it seemed pretty obvious that this was an open and shut case of a violently mentally ill woman who had just happened to be together enough to make it through a PhD program. Trying to generalize from it (‘feminist progress leads to violence’) just seems like grasping at straws for a story. Statistically speaking, women are much less likely to kill, and much less likely to have the sorts of violent mental illnesses that play out this way, but less likely does not mean never.

It reminds me of article I read about the shock around the world when the first female suicide bombers hit the streets of Iraq. The author concluded that, OMG, women make the same judgments and follow the same path of reason that men do! No way!! Somebody alert the psychiatric community that women can be anti social too.

Tanenhaus is what some people like to call a ‘smart conservative.’ He probably is. But being the smartest conservative is like being the best downhill skier in Tonga.

I think Tanenhaus is what some people like to call ‘full of shit.’

Obviously he doesn’t watch the show ‘Deadly Women’