Antifas Groups, Performance Art, and the Stink Bomb Putsch

The purpose of these types of activist coalitions is to serve as a catchall for disillusioned Liberal voters leaving the Democratic Party, often times for being too moderate or corrupt.

No sooner had I commented on Donald Trump’s cryptic pinhole camera warning in my last post, Project Veritas released another set of undercover videos exposing #disruptj20 activists discussing various plans to obstruct Trump’s inauguration and cause chaos.

Part I: Undercover investigation exposes groups plotting criminal activity at Trump inauguration

Part II: NEW Investigation Uncovers Plot to Chain the Trains & Shut Down DC During Inauguration

The #disruptj20 group appears to be a motley collection of far-left, socialist, anti-racist, and anarchist activists who have formed the “DC Anti-Fascist Coalition.” But instead of attacking the Globalist fascists, such as the unabashed Nazi-collaborator George Soros, running the Washington establishment and the EU, they have decided to rail against the Globalists’ greatest foe.

And they decided to do it by unleashing an acid active in stink bombs into the National Press Club. They had also planned to pull fire alarms and activate the building’s sprinkler system to send wet occupants outside into winter temperatures.

“Another activist, identified as Luke Kuhn, said during a sit-down at the Comet Ping Pong pizza parlor in Northwest Washington: ‘If you had a pint of butyric acid, I don’t care how big the building is, it is closing.’ Mr. Green responded: ‘And this stuff is very efficient, it’s very, very smelly, and it lasts a long time.’

“Butyric acid is an ingredient commonly used in stink bombs. As a backup plan, activists said in the video they would look to set off the sprinkler system.”

Video shows anti-Trump activists plotting to set off stink bombs, sprinklers at inaugural fetes

This, along with plans to immobilize DC Metro trains with heavy chains, are part of a broader plan to obstruct “major bridges and highway access points” on inauguration day. The FBI is reviewing the entirety of the undercover footage, and those attending the celebrations at the National Press Building have filed for restraining orders and civil action.

Apparently, some of these Antifas activists have been paranoid of infiltration since their first public meeting.

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Keep “security culture” in mind? Why use government jargon to talk to your fellow activists?

“Today, security culture is being used to describe the kind of behaviors organizations would like to see in their employees, in areas like cybersecurity, physical security and personnel security. The term is used by government institutions within defense, police and intelligence agencies to explain the focus on security, security training and the need to change an individuals behavior into a behavior that is coherent to the security behaviors determined by the organization.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Security_culture

When news of the hidden camera footage broke, #disruptj20 responded by claiming that they knew they were being recorded and were trolling Project Veritas in a counter-sting. Wow, what wonderful performance artists! But there are now reports that #disruptj20 activists are backing off their plans to impede traffic to the capitol.

“An activist coalition has dramatically scaled back plans to block the flow of traffic into the nation’s capital on Friday, a key organizer says following the release of undercover videos produced by a conservative group.

“Legba Carrefour, an organizer of the activist network DisruptJ20 shown discussing bridge and train blockades in footage recorded by Project Veritas on Tuesday, says ‘the amount of chaos is being intentionally overstated’ by his group.

“By virtue of us making those claims, it whips people up into the kind of panic that accidentally ends up causing the chaos we want. You can say ‘all of Metro is being blockaded’ and people will stay home,’ the local anarchist says.”

Anti-Trump DisruptJ20 Activists Scale Back Inauguration Blockade Plans

According to Carrefour, exposing these Antifas plots actually has the effect of advancing their agenda. Yes, they meant to do it! In fact, the strength of Carrefour’s performance art is so powerful, #disruptj20 can just skip carrying out their operations and start thanking Carrefour and Kuhn for their incredible performances.

If there is to be an AstroTurfed anti-Trump resistance in the coming years, expect these Antifas movements to near the center of it. In British politics, anti-fascist groups like this popped up after the upheaval of Thatcherism in the late 70’s and throughout the 80’s. After being expelled from the Socialist Workers Party for engaging in street violence with far-right organizations, the militant Red Action group formed in 1981.

Red Action would be the primary supporter of Anti-Fascist Action, a coalition put together from other disenfranchised radical leftists, Trotskyites, class-struggle anarchists and anti-racists- essentially the same ideological composition as the DC Anti-Fascist Coalition. The purpose of these types of activist coalitions is to serve as a catchall for disillusioned Liberal voters leaving the Democratic Party, often times for being too moderate or corrupt. Antifas groups act to corral these voters back into the influence of Globalist ideology and policy after an appalling political failure.

Just as the victory of Margaret Thatcher threw into question the then status-quo of Keynesianism and nationalized industries, Trump’s victory is upsetting Mr. Global’s apple cart today. But Mr. Global still hasn’t updated his tired, old playbook, and now, after more than 30 years, he still has no new answers.

Marina Abramovic and John Podesta’s “Spirit Cooking” Ritual

I would describe it, in a nutshell, as “keeping the faith.”

I don’t usually delve into things like Occultism and the bizarre “black magic” that the elite play around with, but when something like this pops up on Wikileaks and then begins to trend on Twitter, a word about the subject would seem appropriate.

spirit-cooking-email-1

So, what is all of this stuff? Spirit Cooking? Why would Podesta waste his time taking part in a ritual with some weirdo performance artist when he should be busy gearing up for Hillary’s 2016 campaign? I would describe it, in a nutshell, as “keeping the faith.” The actual ritual of Spirit Cooking, or what we have been allowed to see of it, involves painting on a wall, in blood, a “recipe” of mixing various bodily fluids. There are also other sadomasochistic elements involving self-mutilation and bleeding. I believe some sort of Crowley-esque ritual sex orgy follows the laying out of the recipe/instruction, probably involving the various participants.

So what happens if you take part in this ritual? Is it Satanic? Do the gods reward your actions with good fortune and providence? In this instance, no. Not at all. Those rituals are entirely different. Spirit Cooking is, quite frankly, very much like a group of teenagers playing with a Ouija board in a dusty attic. All participate, but one teenager will have the gumption to very subtly move the planchette around to spell out names, places, and dates while the rest gasp in amazement and shock, running home never to talk about their shared secret lest they be seen as crazy and deviant. In this case, Abramovic is the one moving the planchette. It’s silly, but the will to believe, the desire of the individual to be a part of something supernatural and inexplicable is undeniable. Add the elements of exclusivity, celebrity and secrecy, and the feeling is overwhelming.

The Ouija board has always been a tool of swindlers and con artists, which is exactly what Abramovic is. She is yet another Alistair Crowley, a Rasputin-like figure using her performance art, and other connections, to hoodwink and manipulate celebrities and dignitaries already completely detached from reality via their own wealth, power, and narcissism. This fake theology feeds the ego of the artist and serves as blackmail material for public officials.

“Abramović is unrepentant about hanging out with Lady Gaga, James Franco (who calls her a deity) and Jay-Z, among other popular cultural figures. Later, I see a toe-curling video clip filmed at the Pace Gallery in New York in which Jay-Z pulls Abramović on to a platform to rap and dance with him. Abramović, who has made her career out of being the strong body at the centre of the performance, is here a fish out of water, flapping around like an auntie dancing at her nephew’s wedding with his hipster friend.”

Marina Abramović: The grandmother of performance art on her ‘brand’, growing up behind the Iron Curtain, and protégé Lady Gaga

All of Abramovic’s New Age hooey about kundalini and her self-ascribed mysticism is a total fraud. Then again, she’s a famous performance “arteest” so being a hack fraud should be her specialty. She and the other higher ups like the Clintons and Soros secretly laugh at these childish rituals, but keep a straight face so they don’t burst the mystical bubble their friendly supporters live in.

Kanye’s Art Fail, and Other, More General Art Fails

There was no art, no talent, no beauty, and no work, and instead we got a peak behind the curtain at a creepy nexus between art, advertising and capitalism.

For an artist who makes a living expressing his opinions, the worst thing Kanye West could do is make a bizarre, incoherent, and ultimately boring statement. Unfortunately for him, that’s exactly what happened at his last fashion show in New York.

Kanye’s NYC fashion show gets blistering reviews

Kanye West had a ‘meltdown’ and ‘fired over 30 people’ after disastrous Yeezy fashion show

Those who attended the show waited hours in the heat before it started, and when it began there were models wobbling and rolling their ankles on the catwalk while one fainted from the heat. In a nutshell, it was an embarrassing failure. So what happened? And how hard is it to put on a fashion show?

Although I would love to lay all of this at Kanye’s feet, he had actually hired another “arteest” named Vanessa Beecroft to design and organize the show. Curious about how her artistic style would be defined, I looked up her profile on Wikipedia and was ultimately not surprised.

Her performance art is often large scale and often involves live female models, often nude.

Putting aside the wisdom of hiring an artist that uses mostly nude models to organize a fashion show, one must admit that the nudity involved is the only thing differentiating this performance art with any regular fashion show you’d see on TV. This is an important point that will resurface later.

The performances are existential encounters between models and audience, their shame and their expectations.

An existential encounter- in other words, people existing in the same area. They don’t do anything but walk and stand, there’s no actual performance, just existence. What Beecroft would claim to be art is the act of being nude in public and the defiance of social norms, but what crucial role does Beecroft serve in the process? Anybody can tell a person to get naked and stand in a field, it doesn’t actually require any talent. Mother nature did all of heavy lifting creating an elegant female form, the model made the sacrifice of privacy by being nude in public (Beecroft has never performed nude) and society is doing the rest of the work by reacting. The artist has yet to create anything, or even occupy a crucial role in the creative process. Even the manner in which she arranged the models was a square, the most boring, mundane shape anybody could imagine.

Each performance is made for a specific location and often references the political, historical, or social associations of the place where it is held.

Ok, now we are getting artistic. The artist is finally forced to do some work and make a decision, displaying their thought process and conferring a style to the work. Kanye’s event took place at the Four Freedoms Park at Roosevelt Island, created in honor of Franklin D. Roosevelt and named after the four freedoms he outlined in a speech in 1941. These were freedom of speech and worship, and freedom from want and fear.

Although I have issues with FDR’s conflation of equality under the law with freedom from economic and political issues, a classic Globalist philosophical leap, the speech is a nice thing to reference. Being an arteest, Beecroft undoubtedly relies on freedom of speech for her job, but the performance art didn’t look like it was celebrating freedoms at all. Women standing in a rigid square formation and languishing in the sun while jack-booted models march in a path around them? This looks like a military parade in Red Square. These oppressive, militant displays lack humanity and people are literally treated like motionless objects to be arranged and displayed. There was no beauty at Four Freedoms Park.

Looking at what happened at Kanye’s show and Beecroft’s profile, I think it’s pretty clear we have two hack frauds exploiting young people and society to try to make a buck. Beecroft’s conveniently simplistic style allows her to inject nude women and “edge” into any corporate venture, turning a simple fashion show into “high-concept” performance art. Because Beecroft’s style is very minimalist and doesn’t require any actual work or planning, it’s cheap and adds value to Kanye’s brand. That’s art, cheap and easy. Kanye is reportedly $53 million in debt and has already been accused of exploiting people for not paying his models. This has nothing to do with art, it’s about money. Even though Beecroft touts her work as feminist, she does nothing but exploit women in art for her own personal gain.

top-gear-set-visit0115

There are many examples of great performance art that aren’t recognized as such. The Stig, for example, is the official, anonymous test driver and a character on the British TV show Top Gear. He’s often seen racing the hosts, setting lap times and records for celebrity guests to beat, and testing every car that is reviewed, pushing them to their limits and beyond sometimes. His performance on the track is awe-inspiring, fueling rumors about his identity as many professional race drivers are unable to beat his lap times. Taking advantage of the mystery of the his anonymity, the writers and the hosts fill in the blanks of the Stig’s personality, painting him as part maniac, part petulant teenager, and part genius. This is an actual performance, and the artist doesn’t do it for recognition or fame as the white helmet, which has itself become a symbol in the UK, never comes off in public. But art doesn’t have to be a cultural icon to be recognized, it just has to look like the product of work and skill. Aerial dancers like those at Cirque du Soleil have to be in fantastic shape and practiced, and they still might fall and die in front of a crowd of people.

The reason why Kanye’s “performance art” was boring was just that, nothing was happening. There was no art, no talent, no beauty, and no work, and instead we got a peak behind the curtain at a creepy nexus between art, advertising and capitalism. We saw how fraudulent, untalented celebrities go through the motions and check the boxes to peddle there wares under the guise of high fashion. But they got too sloppy this time, and the truth became plain to all who were at Roosevelt Island that these people, Kanye West and Vanessa Beecroft, are nothing more than sad, desperate, and pathetic individuals.

Mass Shooters, Lone Nuts, and Cinema- Nietzsche’s Ubermensch Are Now Ubervillains

Nietzsche’s pessimistic, nearly apocalyptic views toward popular society and culture have actually been adopted by it, and his ideas seem to have become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Western culture and society gives Friedrich Nietzsche a lot of credit. Some of his attitudes towards organized religions have merit, particularly the “original sin” spiritual debt complex he somewhat lightly touched on in his views concerning slavery. However, Nietzsche’s pessimistic, nearly apocalyptic views toward popular society and culture have actually been adopted by it, and his ideas seem to have become a self-fulfilling prophecy. There are two concepts specifically, Perspectivism and the worship of Ubermensch, that have burrowed themselves deeply into popular culture. The Ubermensch are well known, but Perspectivism is more deeply ingrained in our chaotic, “postmodern” age and its ongoing assault on humanism and our humanity. Since these two topics are quite large, they will be handled one at a time. Today, we will focus on the Ubermensch, which is often translated as “supermen” in English.

Nietzsche believed that the waning influence of religion and the belief in God would eventually lead to a loss of commonly-accepted values across a society. He believed that the “elites” of society (scientists, intellectuals, the very rich, and the politically connected) would then be obligated to provide new values to the helpless masses. These Ubermensch are to be so important that they are above the notion of laws and immorality, and there is no aspect of democracy or even national sovereignty in this concept. Nietzsche was suggesting the ultimate power fantasy, that a man could become, or at least be treated like, God. With no accountability and a might makes right attitude, this is the megalomaniacal undercurrent that still lives on in this day and age, and is the presumption of today’s “elites.”

Nietzsche also overvalued the role of religion as the linchpin of a society, which is true to some degree, but culture encompasses more than just philosophy and religion. For example, China’s incredibly rich culture has existed since around 2100 BC, that’s nearly 1,400 years before the monotheistic worship of Yahweh in Israel. Chinese writing, a key to culture, may have existed in a primitive form over 6,000 years before monotheism. In fact, the Israelis used to worship a pantheon of gods just like everybody else, meaning they could form their own beliefs rather than acquiesce to the worship of a single deity. There were no bibles, Korans, or Torahs toting “values,” and priests prayed for good weather, successful crops, and fertility among their people. There were cities with multi-ton, megalithic stone structures, organized farming and animal husbandry, and nascent art and culture. The older, polytheistic religions like paganism and the Greek pantheon actually had some quasi-scientific elements in them. Rather than attributing all of creation and purpose to the will of God, a philosophy that shut down brilliant people like Galileo, the ancient philosophers categorized and attributed specific aspects of nature and existence to their pantheon in an attempt to rationalize the world. Aphrodite was all about the creation of life and Hades dealt with death. Ares was associated with war and conflict and Dionysus linked to celebration and drunkenness. These are all aspects of life and human consciousness, and they represent culture as well. The ideology accompanying this type of naturalist philosophy begat great thinkers like Socrates and Pythagoras. So in a sense, the common religious philosophy that Nietzsche claimed was so crucial to the prevention of self-destructive nihilism could be just as suffocating as it was cohesive. There was a time when the postmodern dichotomy of science vs. religion did not exist.

So how does the Ubermensch fantasy present itself today? A very apparent example would be the current trend of prolific superhero movies. There is one about the “Superman” specifically, and the largely negative responses to it are very telling of the current state of Ubermensch worship. In the latest reboot, re-imagining, re-brand, rehash, or whatever marketing jargon you would like to call the remake of Superman titled Man of Steel, the reality of collateral damage incurred by the conflict between good and evil is brought to the forefront as Metropolis is reduced to a pile of twisted steel and powdered concrete. This aspect is necessary to set up the sequel, Superman vs. Batman: Dawn of Justice, but it completely negates the heroic efforts of Superman. The Ubermensch is above accountability, so when Batman confronts Superman on this issue, Nietzsche’s philosophical foundation for the entire superhero genre crumbles. The subconscious justification of an at all costs response to the antagonist is shattered, and Superman errs. Many have decided to lay the blame on director Zack Snyder, which is somewhat justified, but Snyder knows how to make a superhero movie. The movie 300 was far more of a superhero movie than anything Snyder made with DC. Just 300 Spartans stop the horde of foreign, evil Persians from invading their homeland, sacrificing themselves and their King in the process to preserve their culture and nation. Being so cut and dry, the plot is easy to understand and the protagonist is easy to get behind. This is how the superhero should be portrayed, according to Nietzsche.

From Suicide Squad to Batman v Superman, why are DC’s films so bad?

The fact that Zack Snyder is attempting a gritty, realistic version of the superhero genre is a fools errand anyway. The Watchmen series was written like that, so it works. Frank Miller’s Batman: The Dark Night Returns, was a welcome change of pace in a stagnant world of comics. The darker subject matter was a way to win back grown up fans, and the question of right and wrong became more ambiguous and complicated to keep an adult interested. These darker chapters of the comic book world were less about being realistic, and more about being complex and interesting. We are, after all, still talking about an alien flying out of a telephone booth wearing red underwear and shooting laser beams out of his eyes.

With Snyder’s latest flop, Suicide Squad, the darkness and deviance is pushed even further away from the original Ubermensch concept. Rather than rooting for a protagonist, the audience is expected to support a cast of super villains motivated by their own selfish interests rather than old-fashioned altruism. Instead of saving a school bus full of children falling off of a cliff or smashing open a water tower to put out a massive fire in the city, the characters of Suicide Squad engage in torture, kidnapping and betrayal to avoid completing their mission and advancing the story arc any way they can. Oh, and did I mention Superman himself is dead, rotting in a grave in Smallville during the whole movie? Being slaves to “nanobombs,” the villains of Suicide Squad do not portray the power fantasy, which is the main draw of the genre. I think it’s safe to say that Snyder has no idea why people liked superheros.

So if everybody understands the Ubermensch concept, even on a subconscious level, how powerful is the fantasy? Is it strong enough to drive someone to kill a President?

John Hinckley, Who Tried To Kill A President, Wins His Freedom

This “lone nut” did seem to have an Ubermensch fantasy as Hinckley was obsessed with the movie Taxi Driver. The protagonist, Travis Bickle who is played by Robert De Niro, becomes fed up with the dregs of New York City, going on a killing rampage against robbers, pimps, and mafia thugs. He even gets away with it and saves vulnerable Iris, played by Jodie Foster. Hinckley envied Bickle, he stalked Jodie Foster when she was attending college, and he mimicked Bickle’s assassination attempt on a politician when he targeted Ronald Reagan. The assassination attempt portrayed in the movie was itself inspired by a real attempt in 1971, leaving a presidential candidate paralyzed below the waist. Rather than portraying the true consequences of attempting such an egregious act, Taxi Driver allows Bickle to escape from the Secret Service, and his later vigilantism is excused and even praised in newspapers as his victims lacked virtue. The film was loved by critics, nominated for four academy awards, and later preserved in the national film registry and the Library of Congress. It is clearly a power fantasy and Travis Bickle is the Ubermensch, above any consequences for his actions. Obviously, it takes a very disturbed individual to think that murdering people would bring respect and admiration from their peers, but that is precisely what is portrayed. Hinckley may have misconstrued popular entertainment, and what is entertaining, with what is socially acceptable. Therefore, having a poor understanding of society and lacking social skills may have begotten this whole episode just as much as mental illness and the Ubermensch fantasy.

But what about mass shooters? As it just so happens, two of the most infamous were the Columbine shooters, and they also enjoyed a good power fantasy. Rather than Taxi Driver, these two enjoyed the film Natural Born Killers. Juxtaposed to excusing an instance of vigilantism and blatantly ignoring an assassination attempt, every important character in Natural Born Killers is a sociopath that participates in murder. The barbarity of mass killing is trivialized, but then again, decades of yellow journalism will have the same effect. But what is most disturbing is the power of notoriety given to the main character. While being interviewed from jail for a television appearance set to follow the Super Bowl, the character’s speech proves to be so powerful that it causes the prisoners to riot and the two main characters to escape. We are then left with a happy ending as the mass killers are living free in a mobile home with their two children and a bun in the oven. This is the Ubermensch family.

Now please understand, I am not advocating that the new standard for mass media be Teletubbies, I am just trying to point out the inherent social schizophrenia in our culture. People look at the mass shootings regularly appearing in the news nowadays and wonder how people can be so desensitized. I wonder who hasn’t been desensitized, at least in some small way. When these narratives are depicted for entertainment purposes, they receive praise from society. I’m not surprised at all when socially stunted, mentally ill, or maladjusted individuals are fascinated by them to the point of mimicry. If you don’t have a well-developed sense of societal values, irony, and satire, you won’t get that the film is so satirical and fantastical that it could have just as easily been a cartoon on Adult Swim. But what the lunatic fringe will get, just like everybody else, is the power fantasy.

There was a time when popular culture was not interested in such lowbrow storytelling. There was a time when people would say these films were made in bad taste, or were intellectually vacuous and playing off of emotions, cheap thrills, and guilty pleasures. Just like art, cinema has watered itself down to allow films that are social commentary or artistic expression rather than just creations of beauty, skill and passion. The latest iteration of Ghostbusters, with an all female cast and accusations of widespread sexism and misogyny as the reason why the movie was poorly made, is the latest example of how an attempt to inject social commentary, or exploit popular trends, can eclipse the original purpose of a movie- to show the audience an interesting, memorable story involving characters you would actually care about.

But I must stop myself before I get into the Perspectivism, and the postmodern relativism that allows directors like Paul Feig and hack… I mean… Zack Snyder to brand genuine criticism as bias or a result of a lack of virtue. The fact is, they are the ones who lack virtue, or are at least not smart enough to realize that making a good movie is much easier than defending a bad one. With movie budgets soaring into the hundreds of millions of dollars, movie making has become an industry, and with every industry you have the typical risk-averse investors, rule by committee and the ever present fear of the negative return. With these kinds of stakes, writers and directors are naturally going to gravitate towards the macabre, cheap thrills, and guilty pleasures to hedge their bets. The power fantasy is one of those cheap thrills, and the groundwork was laid by Nietzsche all those years ago. Considering how the man died a lunatic with a messiah complex, should it be any surprise that his philosophical concepts resonant particularly well with today’s psychopaths and sociopaths?

When Art Became Cheap ‘N’ Easy

How does an art movement go from confounding and avant garde to inspiring lifestyle choices and philosophy?

If you’ve been following my blogs about art, how technology has outpaced it, and the modern emphasis on expression and controversy, you might be wondering exactly how and when everything really got out of hand. I think it started, in earnest, with minimalism:

The Oppressive Gospel of ‘Minimalism’

How does an art movement go from confounding and avant garde to inspiring lifestyle choices and philosophy? If you were to ask a professional art snob, he would probably say something edgy but completely vapid like,

“Minimalism in the 1960s was very much along the lines of taking LSD,” says Miguel de Baca, an associate professor of art history at Lake Forest College.

The reality is much less provocative and a little more historical. From the 1700’s to the early 20th century, the industrial revolution drastically reshaped every aspect of human society from fashion to war. Newly mechanized agriculture required fewer farmhands and urban factories needed more laborers to increase their output. The result was the birth of the middle class and modern cities, and with that, modern popular culture and entertainment. This explosion of productivity and technology would spawn cross-continental railroads, massive foundries burning plentiful coal rather than wood, and the magic of electricity. With everybody from the richest entrepreneur to the poorest worker sharing in this massive upheaval, what did the artist have to offer with their landscapes and cherubs?

It is because of this age, and as a result of the wonders of that technology, artists felt it necessary to separate their work from reality. With abstract art, there were no constraints like perspective or anatomical proportion. The artist was now free to create something that could not be found anywhere else in the world, no matter how far you travel in a locomotive or a hot air balloon. This process of evolution would continue in the 20th century. Further development of technology would up the ante and compete with art directly. With the invention of film, television and radio, entertainment could be pumped directly into the home. The mid 1960’s would see the color television and color films, and photography was beginning to be accepted as a medium for art. Facing the possibility of becoming irrelevant and niche, the standards for what would qualify and be labeled as art were lowered. Films and television shows were created with capital from investors, teams of professionals and large studios in a way that no single artist could match. Rather than trying to top the spectacle of entertainment, minimalism reset what was to be expected from artists. By going to the opposite end of the spectrum from sensationalism and grandeur to obscurity and subtlety, the disparity between art and entertainment could be bypassed completely. By standing in opposition to entertainment, art had a new reason to exist. This is why modern art isn’t explained, people are just told they don’t “get it.”

When minimalism lowered the bar, it made sure that art could continue to exist alongside entertainment and technology. Minimalism was also a fresh alternative to the over stimulation of entertainment, and to consumerism in general. Requiring so little, minimalism allowed the inclusion of the lazy and those who lack artistic talent. Businesses could quickly and cheaply create a stylish but no-frills product without ever having to mention the words “budget” or “economy model.” Following the dynamics of capitalist competition, more and more would adopt this business-friendly exploitation of culture. Without Donald Judd’s basic shapes and unfinished pine, Ikea could never exist. It allowed the inclusion of the poor as minimalism began to be associated with frugality and asceticism, two virtues of American counterculture. Now that art was cheap ‘n’ easy, spread throughout culture and ingrained in philosophy, it would change society in ways it never had before, and it would continue to be relevant.

Today, art follows what I call the Kanye West Template. This involves creating as much false or real controversy as possible to gain exposure and maintain relevance. This is how pop culture is hacked and gamed. Rather than providing some kind of thought or creation that generates widespread interest and attains popular acceptance (hence, “pop”), a divisive and provocative viewpoint is presented to stir emotions and illicit a response. Other purveyors of the template include Donald Trump, Milo Yiannopoulos, and Charlie Sheen, among a bevy of artists like Justin Bieber and Marilyn Manson. But, can minimalism produce something beautiful? Although there is no virtue or value in schlock and laziness, the style can still be stirring. A prime example was constructed thousands of years ago in Giza by laborers paid in alcohol. The pyramids of Egypt are simple, they are giant stones arranged in fancy piles, yet they have inspired more awe, mystery, and debate throughout their existence than any piece of modern art.

How Modern Art and Celebrity Worship Encourages Society to Objectify People and Judge Personal Beliefs

Objectifying the artist and including them, and their thought process and attitudes, with the work that is to be evaluated and criticized has changed how we as a society judge one another.

If you’ve read my other article on modern art then you already understand how art has subjectified the act of expression itself over the objectification of a great thought, emotion, event etc. This means that in modern art, the style in which the artist expresses him/herself has been made as important as the work of art itself. The artist takes on a kind of cult of personality through the choices and attitudes (the thought process) they display in the art, attitudes which often clash severely with societal norms in order to affect the viewer. That means in modern art, it is literally style over substance because of competition from CG graphics and other electronic media. That is, except for these artists:

Banksy, Daft Punk, Elena Ferrante: The New Cult of the Anonymous Artist

There are very good reasons why some of the innovators in the article have decided to remain anonymous. The creator of bitcoin must have understood the potential destabilization of a decentralized currency on the currency markets, whose toes he/she could be stepping on, and how deep that side of the pool was. Banksy obviously knows that graffiti is illegal. Aside from the legalities, being anonymous also prevents one from becoming a part of the work, and a part of what is scrutinized by the public. The anecdote about jazz trumpeter Dupree Bolton hiding from the public due to the shame of his criminal record is one example of an artist separating themselves from their work to avoid judgement.

In an age in which engagement with artistic works has been displaced by gossiping about celebrity artists, the anonymous innovators have forced us to return our gaze to the creative product.

Objectifying the artist and including them, and their thought process and attitudes, with the work that is to be evaluated and criticized has changed how we as a society judge one another. In modern art, rather than judging an artist solely on the merits or lack thereof in their work, modern art encourages the examination of the choices, and therefore, the attitude of the individual during the artistic process. Particularly so if that behavior is deviant or controversial. It would appear, to my view, that this attitude has begun to spread or be spread into other areas.

In social media, commentary is valued equally to original content. Posts, status updates, and likes are often times commentary themselves. The emphasis is connectivity, or the ability to freely express oneself to another. When that ability is threatened, such as the attempt to copyright reaction videos on youtube, people respond quickly and emotionally.

The effect on social discourse is to significantly muddy the waters in ideological, epistemological warfare. Now that the person has been objectified, society is free to pass judgement on them as well as their ideas. This means that the event the most sophisticated, well-constructed arguments can be completely ignored and ad hominems heaped upon the person instead. Now that everybody has the option to kill the messenger, nobody wants to be the messenger and nobody’s getting the message. Rather than presenting an argument standing on its own cited facts and logic, the attitudes and beliefs of the presenter are the focus of examination. Those who have contradictory beliefs are “corrected,” and every social interaction becomes an opportunity to prove and reinforce loyalty to an ideology and rebuke outsiders.

Political correctness and “microaggressions” are an example of how specific choices of language, phrasing and interaction can be associated with undesirable attitudes by popular society rather than the individual. By giving into political correctness, one is forced to admit that they are, in some aspect, subconsciously antisocial and that popular society is attempting to correct them (white guilt anybody?) rather than attributing a different meaning, and intent, to their words and actions. Instead of ignoring the message and attacking the messenger, you only need one wrong word or act to establish bad character and discredit the messenger. Anybody wishing to have an intelligent discussion will be presented with a minefield with all of these divisive, pseudo-scientifically derived word and mind games.

The legal system has begun to take on these characteristics as well. Things like hate speech and hate crimes place additional emphasis, and scrutiny, on the thought process of the individual. Although the traditional, Orwellian meaning of thought crime does not require a specific act, these types of hate crimes do lay additional punishments on certain motivations and beliefs in addition to the act. Although the aim of these laws is admirable, one has to wonder if the act of having an illegal thought, and nothing more, would be enough to get one arrested in the future. With the spate of highly-publicized killings in the news lately (the media loves the ratings), legislation requiring mental health screenings is being proposed for gun buyers.

But none of this is new. For decades, the American people have been made to focus on aspects of psychopathy whether it be serial killers and suicide jumpers on the news or divisive, schizophrenic social attitudes and conflicts. When JFK was assassinated, Lee Harvey Oswald was the “lone nut.” In other words, on of us just went crazy and tried to kill the president on his own. This meme would be repeated for RFK, Ford and Reagan, and after being beat about the head with it for a few decades the people have succumb. The paranoia and polarization of our current times is the result.

Old Lady Mistakenly Fills in Crossword Art Exhibit, Becomes Art

This is completely logical when art itself lacks beauty and has no intrinsic value or affect outside of its original context.

An $89,000 piece of avant garde artwork was mistaken for a real crossword puzzle and filled in by a 91 year-old retiree in a Nuremburg art museum.

Crossword artwork filled in by German woman in museum

Gerlinde Knopp, who was leading the excursion, said the museum was also full of interactive art, making it easy to lose sight of what one could and could not do there…

The woman had no malicious intent and the art piece was restored, but something else very interesting has happened here. As art becomes more abstract and ugly, it begins to look less like a product of effort, skill, and inspiration and more like a self-conscious expression within a society. This artist was trying to be ironic by deliberately choosing to create, sell, and display, in a museum, an image that is actually printed millions of times a day in newspapers around the world and probably already exists in every living room or driveway, but the whole thing is ironic only within this context. People going to a museum to look at something so mundane and common is only ironic when they expected to see art.

When the context was changed and the crossword art was displayed among many other interactive exhibits, it reverted back to its original purpose- a crossword puzzle to be marked up rather than preserved and admired. This is completely logical when art itself lacks beauty and has no intrinsic value or affect outside of its original context. Playing off of preexisting social conditions and expectations is an easier way to evoke thought or emotion from a public already overstimulated by Michael Bay CG explosions and Avatar in 3D.

When a piece of art represents a reaction to society, the choices made and the decision process of the artist become the subject. That means making art that still has an impact doesn’t necessarily require great skill, discipline, or creativity. This is how art has continued to exist alongside the much more visually impressive creations of computer graphics and other forms of media. The style and intent of the artist can replace substance, so the work itself is allowed to be, and often is, unimpressive. Take for example, the prankster who left a pair of glasses on the floor of a San Francisco museum to be mistaken for a genuine art exhibit, drawing a crowd and photographs. The prank itself stirs more emotion than a lost pair of glasses and the same is true for this scenario. I am amused by the fact that an elderly woman mistook an art exhibit for what it literally is, but I was even more amused that the modern art “experts” working at the museum failed to foresee this level of irony.