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A Political Contradictionary from A to Z











RT and the role of the artist in a capitalist society is dictated by the dominant class. Both the art and the artist are commodities, manipulated to create profit. Commerce is the antithesis of art. The contradiction for the artist is that art comes from a type of individual isolation that is necessary for the creative process, yet this is a luxury most artists cannot afford.

Another contradiction implied by the need for isolation -- to make art about social justice issues, means being involved in all the messy contradictions and journeys of discovery that do not necessarily take place in a studio. Art happens when the viewer decides whether or not what she is looking at is art; what the artist thinks about her own work, is usually irrelevant. I don't want to go down the road of activist/artist definitions, because it is all meaningless. Before art can be a weapon, it first has to be art.

Sue Coe, from an interview with Alan Kaufman

ANTHROPOCENE
Did it begin in 1950 or 50,000 years ago?, David Biello, Scientific American April 2, 2015

HUNGER STRIKE!
Things didn't stay Green in the Anthropocene.
The industrial genii escaped from her bottle;
The watchword is GROW. The hand on the throttle
has forsaken the brake.
Is sustainable possible? What will it take?

Too many people. Not enough water.
Lives lived at the edge. It's no wonder we totter.
Rickety oil trains explode when they spill.
Civil wars torture and kidnap and kill.

Fracking means earthquakes. Coal mines collapse.
Corruption brings profits and other mishaps.
The ocean turns acid; extinctions increase.
Fools deny climate change, count on Heaven for peace.

Life's never been better. Its never been worse.
Technology sparkles (just watch it coerce)!
Consumption, corrosion, erosion -- we buy it.
Our gobble up rate is in need of a diet.

Spare the red meat, the HI-test, the plastic and such;
cut back and cut out and cut down on too much.
Let's define what is just -- why it's cruel or healthy;
what's sauce that sustains vs. sauce for the wealthy.

2/4/20
AUTOCRACY

What makes our autocrat so gosh darned cute?
What is it about a bully's charm, that drives his crowds to cheer and root?
Not counting the 1% (who love deregulation)
do Trump supporters (mostly white and without much education)
believe their self-interest is linked at the hip with his?
Surely not. They know they won't profit from his real estate biz.
So -- what's the attraction? It can't be his tan or his combed over pate.
You guessed it: like other dictators, he's provided scapegoats to hate.
Blame rains down on all those Others -- a Muslim, an immigrant, by whatever name;
Demonize any who bring non-white skin to the game.
He offers guns without butter; circuses without bread.
Lies distract from truth and half-truths are fed
to the hapless, the hopeless, the angry, the losers.
Democracy is shouted down and shut up by her abusers.

Authoritarianism is usually associated with a punitive spirit --a leader who prosecutes and incarcerates his enemies. But there is another side to this leadership style. Authoritarians also dispense largesse, but they do it by their own whims, rather than pursuant to any system or legal rule. The point of authoritarianism is to concentrate power in the ruler, so the world knows that all actions, good and bad, harsh and generous, come from a single source. That's the real lesson -- a story of creeping authoritarianism -- of today's commutations and pardons by President Trump.
Jeffrey Toobin, The New Yorker February 19, 2020.