Friday, February 02, 2007

Pursuant to the Aqua Teen Hunger Hoax, some insightful commentary by Lauren Sabina, as posted to this thread at Daily Kos:

(or, should I say, I read somewhere on some message board that someone said:)

If anything, it looks like adult swim's efforts at advertising what amounts to incredibly inexpensive, if by now well loved characters had them teaming up with in Boston at least a local artist.

While some may feel that's some kind of prostituting, or contamination of the 'purity' of ("high") art, this kind of advertising/art gig actually has a long proud tradition. And art, for many of us at least, is something that moves beyond the walls of galleries and museums, out beyond the rich into an altogether different class segment- into the everyday, genuinely interacting with people- who in tern respond or react to it (though few artists have the distinction of having their work blown up by the bomb squad), art in the street, installation pieces, and yes characters. If Mickey Mouse passes someone's test for art, then the Aqua Teen Hungerforce characters are also, to some, like it or not, art.

The fact that the "Boston Panic of '07" does not relate to these items as either advertising or art says more about the people who made those decisions (to essentially shut down thoroughfares and fuck with the lives of so many), and the times we live in than it says about the cartton figures and advertising instalation pieces themselves.

We live in an era of street cameras and amber alert communications systems and infrastructure- real hardware across roads throughout the country, and when those boards have no (usually domestic /divorce related) cases to hyperpublicize they are still sitting there, but not sitting idle, instead as a routine matter, they are being used to create the culture of hypervigilance and paranoia- screaming at commuting drivers daily "Report suspicious activity!" or "be alert for unattended packages!"

No, I'm not 'tone def' to genuine threat; I was in Jersey City on 9/11/01, only to come home to the DC area the day after travel restrictions were lifted. And yes, I've seen both the smoldering remains of the WTC in New York with my own eyes, and the aftermath at the Pentagon, for that matter, I've spent most of my adult life working against domestic terrorism- particularly against abortion providers, but damn it, jumping at every unexpected anything, from now until the "end" of the unendable war on 'terra', isn't the answer. It only provides further excuses by the real criminals in Washington to gut whatever shreds of civil liberties might still be left.

Think. Don't react. Don't overreact blindly. Don't panic, and (speaking as one living outside DC who sees every abandoned coffee cup being turned into a matter of "national security") don't paralyze a city, expending shitloads of money, time and 'man'power on crap like this.

Somewhere out there, in the real America, a ton of 18-24 year old males (sitting right in the middle of a demographic) are looking at this country and trying to figure out whether to laugh their heads off, or cry at how insane this place is really getting. Yup- you know something's not right when they're down to exploding Aqua Teen Hunger Force ads. It would be laughable, were it not so pathetic.

Then again, maybe someone just got all upset over a raised middle finger- and found 'TERRORISM!!!' a convenient excuse to deal with content they disliked- sort of like how during the Salem Witch trials, the cry of "WITCH" became a convenient way to deal with neighbors one didn't like.

as the author of the thread, Mike Doughney, said, "One of the hallmarks of a totalitarian state is the laying of bogus charges against artists."

creepy, just creepy.

I think what becomes most obvious is the painful cultural disconnect between the folks living here and the folks amongst those charged with "defending" us. I might go so far as to say DHS should enlist a bureau to act as cultural liaison with average Americans and it should be made up of...average Americans. All ages. All socio-economic walks-of-life. Model it after the House of Lords/House of Commons dichotomy. Eventually, I foresee by way of this more representation of average Americans in modern politics because by God, that's what's missing in Washington.

The word for the day is unymkd.
I wanna be on the Cultural Liason Council!

that would be fun and educational.
Fantastic blog.

Have a look at mine - comments more than welcome

Robert :)
I think that being on a or the Cultural Liason Council would be very cool and fun!!!! I mean come on! Just to say that you were would be cool!

ap-if you haven already read your e-mail please.
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