Saturday, May 19, 2012

Propaganda



I just spent an hour connecting two news stories today in a very irreverent way.  The first concerned the desire of some Congressmen to spend tax payers' money to use propaganda on/against them.  The other was about tapeworms in the brain.  But the whole thing got out of hand.  I spent most of the time Googling images that I could use, propaganda posters and images of ethnic stereotypes from my childhood, and particularly gruesome pictures of parasite damage.  I freed myself to use every stereotype and epithet I could.  It was fun but ugly.

I don't mind stereotypes at all, of course.  Nor epithets nor any irreverent things.  They are funny, but only, I guess if you are aware of the humor in them.

Oops.  I just started giving examples again and had to delete.  It is not that I don't want to share, but I don't want to sully today's image with any of that.  It is a most perfect example on it's own, a gorgeous play on male desire and the chthonic power of the female figure that Camille Paglia wrote about.  The image is wrong which makes it so perfectly delicious if you get the joke.  And that's the deal.  Art is supposed to let you say things that you are not allowed to say outside it, to talk about things that are taboo.  This image presents the oldest taboo of all.  And at once it piques my prurient interests and assuages my guilt for having them because it is ironic.  Or is it?  And this is where the power of propaganda is of interest.  Who gets to say what about the image and whose saying will prevail.  The image is about power.  But so is any analysis of it, too.  It is all propaganda, this art and analysis, an attempt to make you see and agree.

But I am instructing, lecturing. . . and being a bore.  I think I must have tapeworms in my brain.  I eat a lot of raw fish.  It can't be good.

O.K.  Stop illegal immigration.  Save the transgendered whales.  Or, my favorite: Don't be evil.  Do good.

3 comments:

AnitaNH said...

Well, the image may be "wrong" but it certainly is nicely composed. And those "knock-me-down-and-fuck-me" shoes are making a big fashion come-back I notice.

Lisa Nickerson said...

me too.

only then i went and enjoyed the two videos -- one narrated by Tom Waits about John Baldesarri and the other about the peach seed carving man.

and i dare only say "i like it. yes, of course, i agree."

cafe selavy said...

Hell yes.