The insanity we’re up against, part 1:
Protesters are demanding that the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston remove an exhibit by a white female artist because she once painted a picture of Emmett Till — even though the exhibit does not even contain that Emmett Till painting.
Some background: The artist, Dana Schutz, initially came under fire for Open Casket after the painting appeared at the Whitney Biennial in June, according to an article in Art World. The painting depicted the open-casket funeral of Emmett Till, a black boy who was murdered after a white woman accused him of flirting with her, and critics said it was offensive because it amounted to a white woman’s profiting off of the tragedy of a black boy …
[So the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston decided not to show that Emmett Till painting.]
The critics’ letter claims that the ICA’s showing any of Schutz’s work essentially amounts to both it and Schutz benefiting financially from the tragedy of Emmett Till. Now, of course, some people might suggest that the fact that the painting of Till will not even be in the exhibit means that neither the museum nor Schutz could possibly be making money from the tragedy that it depicts. You know, because it’s literally not even going to be there.
But the critics have a different view. They claim that it still amounts to the museum’s taking an opportunity to “capitalize on the notoriety of said painter, not only directly benefiting her access and future opportunities, but also the institution’s,” and that the museum did something very wrong by refusing to meet all of its demands.
Read between the lines: If you once paint someone of a different race, you are guilty of an artistic capital crime and should never be allowed to exhibit anywhere again.
The insanity we’re up against, part 2:
By a margin of over two to one, Republicans support using the courts to shut down news media outlets for “biased or inaccurate” stories, according to a recent poll from The Economist and YouGov.
When asked if cracking down on the press in this manner would violate the First Amendment, a narrow majority of Republicans agreed that it does, seeming to create a contradiction. However, a further question gave them a chance to clear the air and reaffirm the primacy of principle over political expediency: “Which is more important to you?” it asked, “(A) Protecting freedom of the press, even if that means media outlets sometimes publish biased or inaccurate stories; (B) Punishing biased or inaccurate news media, even if that means limiting the freedom of the press; (C) Not sure.”
Shockingly, a full 47 percent of Republicans support “punishing biased or inaccurate news media, even if that means limiting the freedom of the press,” versus just 34 percent who support “protecting freedom of the press, even if that means media outlets sometimes publish biased or inaccurate stories.”
Because these Republicans are presumably fully adult, this is more obnoxious than the students of Madison, in my last episode, who at least hesitated about throwing principle under the bus.
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There is no epistemological Switzerland. (Via Mars Hill Audio Journal Volume 134)