What is it that makes drivel such as the previously mentioned Fifty Grades of Shade successful? Have we all gone out of our minds?
Before we continue, a couple of acknowledgements.
The headline is stolen from a Tom Lehrer song.
The inspiration for the earlier text on boycotting abusive pornography, and, come to think of it, for this follow-up, too, comes from my wonderful granddaughter, Michaela.
And now back to the topic.
Many might remember how the National Gallery of Canada went ahead and bought a sculpture from a certain Jana Sterbak. It was made of pieces of beef, which apparently was supposed to carry a deep thought, a message, indeed. The only message was that it began to stink within days and Ms. Sterbak had to replace the offending pieces of beef.
The general public were not amused. Some ventured so far as to suggest that instead of spending the money on this insult to human intelligence, the National Gallery could have spent it on buying beef in any shape or form for Canada’s Food Banks.
A bunch of hicks, snorted the artistic poohbahs whose way of working can be safely described as “I scratch your back, and you scratch mine.”
Jiří Menzel, an Oscar-winning film director, has more than once described this phenomenon thus: these so-called artists ignore the general population because they live in an incestuous world of mutually awarded grants and whatnot. The general public ignores them back. And so, they live side by side, ignoring each other. The only issue to observe here is that one of the two sides is productive, moving society ahead, while the other is not.
The unproductive group, a.k.a. so-called artists, can hardly care less about the basics, such as tradecraft. They are artists, God damn it, and they’ll have you know that tradecraft exists only for nincompoops whose only goal is to pander to the masses of the unwashed.
The result? Simple. Ms. Sterbak wins the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts. Another proof of the incest that exists in the so-called pure artistic community.
Dr. Milena Sterbak, Jana Sterbak’s mother, was an honest physician who left her native Czechoslovakia in 1968, when Soviet tanks rolled in. When she was still alive, she wasn’t very comfortable with what her daughter was presenting as art. If only she knew where her daughter’s chutzpah would land her, she would strangle her with her own hands.
But how is it possible? Don’t the educated people whose opinions matter in these circles know any better?
It seems they don’t.
Many, if not most, correction, if not all of them, know not whereof they speak. They look at the garbage (quite literally, on occasion, too) that is presented to them as pure, unadulterated art. They don’t want to miss the train. They have no idea what it is they are looking at, but since everybody in their crowd is sighing in ecstasy, using all kinds of would-be intellectual words (mostly ending in –ism or –ist), they join the chorus. Little do they know that those whom they are joining are about as ignorant as they are.
Of course, all those would-be artists deserve the right to create whatever they please. Freedom of expression. Why taxpayers should be paying for this drivel is another question. If a private connoisseur wants to indulge (and has the money to do so), by all means.
Which brings us back to excrement known as avant-garde use of sadism and masochism in literature and movies. Fifty Shades of Grey is a frightful example of society gone berserk. Works that applaud abuse cannot be described any other way.
So, how and why is it possible that a publishing house of some renown picks up this turgid prose and publishes all of the more than 500 pages of it?
That Hollywood picks it up is not a surprise. These guys smell dough from the furthest of distances. Which brings us to the most important question: how is it possible that crowds that should know better spend their hard-earned currencies on this nonsense?
It would be difficult to believe that sado-masochism has reached such popularity within general population.
So what is it?
It would be interesting to see a breakdown of actual people who’d bought this insult to the meanest of intelligence. We won’t get that, of course, but still, it would be interesting to see something like that.
Meanwhile, boycott is the only line of defence we have. We should use it. We should use it now, before it’s too late.
Remember Larry Flynt? The guy who produced such smut as Hustler? The guy who fought for his freedom of expression and won?
We should fight for our freedom to be free of this would be creative, artistic, even, nonsense.
It’s our duty. If not to ourselves, then, at least, to our children and grandchildren.