Wednesday, August 05, 2009

The Game We Now Play....

Somebody, a very clever somebody, has begun to put up these posters in the Los Angeles area.

Here is the NewsBusters article on the posters, complete with images of their location. I'm told that they've also appeared in Atlanta, and I have to guess they'll appear elsewhere.

The Left, being not used to this sort of thing, are not happy about it.

LA Weekly wonders why the noose is missing. The Village Voice says that this is more of a viral internet thingi, rather than something actually being pasted on walls (without wondering if the Right is a little more circumspect than the Left about Urban Art defacing someone else's property).

Big Hollywood notes the selective outrage, which I'd like to explore a bit further.

Firstly--the idea of placing these posters in public spaces.

It is important, I think, to remember that Shepard Fairey, the guy who created this iconic Obama image, also the Shepard Fairey who is responsible for these posters and stickers seen on lampposts and public spaces all over the country.

Fairey explicitly discusses this image and his philosphy of it's distribution in his "Manifesto". [Am I "PARANOID" or "CONSERVATIVE" or both? Does Fairey see a distinction?]

But let's look at a couple of other Fairey images....

Big Brother

Angela Davis

Edgy. Hip. Urban. Left.

But here are a couple of more political Fairey images.



And then there's this....

I guess I can't be sympathetic, either to the idea that political images don't belong on public property, or to the idea that this image of Obama is so unflattering as to be not fitting for public view, when these complaints come from the Left. You guys have started this method of public debate.

Now....what about Zero as The Joker. Is that fitting?

A Caveat: I haven't seen The Dark Knight. It was released right after Heath Ledger's unfortunate death, and the hype around his death drifted into the movie. I'll take that its a good movie, and I plan to see it (someday), but it was that hype that kept me from going when it was in release.

But, via a comment at HotAir, I was referred to this scene. [Sorry, embedding not available.]

Moreover, here is a segment of dialogue from The Dark Knight (via IrishSamurai in the previously noted HotAir thread)...

“Do I really look like a man with a plan, Harvey? I don’t have a plan. The mob has plans, the cops have plans. you know what I am, Harvey? I’m a dog chasing cars. I wouldn’t know what to do with one if I caught one. I just DO things. I’m a wrench in the gears. I HATE plans. Yours, theirs, everyone’s. Maroni has plans, Gordon has plans. Schemers trying to control their worlds. I am not a schemer. I show schemers how pathetic their attempts to control things really are. So when I say that what happened to you and your girlfriend wasn’t personal, you know I’M telling the truth”*Gives Dent Gun*”It’s a schemer who put you where you are. You were a schemer. You had plans. Look where it got you. I just did what I do best-I took your plan and turned it on itself. Look what I have done to this city with a few drums of gas and a couple bullets. Nobody panics when the expected people got killed. Nobody panics when things go according to plan, even if the plans are horrifying. If I tell the press that tomorrow a gangbanger will get shot, or a truckload of soldiers will get blown up, nobody panics. But when I say one little old mayor will die, everyone loses their minds!! Introduce a little anarchy, you upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos. I AM AN AGENT OF CHAOS. And you know the thing about chaos, Harvey. It’s fair.”
So now. Go back and read that again and tell yourself that it is Zero who is saying it.

Is it really such a stretch to see Zero as The Joker?

And then there's the issue of other images of right-wing politicians done as "art", (or whatever).

Jill Greenburg took this image of John McCain for The Atlantic Monthly....

....this became the cover photo.

Gerard, of course, did a wonderful job of illustrating this while issue.

And then there was the Halloween decoration in West Hollywood which included a Palin-mannequin hung in effigy.

So, are we to take that political art, when done from the Left, is thought-provoking (or whatever), but that when it is done from the Right, that it is unacceptably offensive? Really?

Lately, I have had a shift in my approach to politics.

I still appreciate the value of a well-crafted argument against one's political opponents. It still is very possible to debate politics and policy in a civil way.

However, it is also clear to me that the Left does not necessarily always bind itself to that idea. Many of the Left, have adopted some or all of Alinksky's Rules for Radicals.
Rules for Power Tactics:

1. Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.
2. Never go outside the experience of your people.
3. Whenever possible, go outside of the experience of the enemy.
4. Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules.
5. Ridicule is man's most potent weapon.
6. A good tactic is one that your people enjoy.
7. A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.
8. Keep the pressure on with different tactics and actions, and utilize all events of the period for your purpose.
9. The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.
10. The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.
11. If you push a negative hard and deep enough, it will break through into its counterside.
12. The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.
13. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.

Rules to test whether power tactics are ethical:

1. One's concern with the ethics of means and ends varies inversely with one's personal interest in the issue.
2. The judgment of the ethics of means is dependent upon the political position of those sitting in judgment.
3. In war the end justifies almost any means.
4. Judgment must be made in the context of the times in which the action occurred and not from any other chronological vantage point.
5. Concern with ethics increases with the number of means available and vice versa.
6. The less important the end to be desired, the more one can afford to engage in ethical evaluations of means.
7. Generally, success or failure is a mighty determinant of ethics.
8. The morality of means depends upon whether the means is being employed at a time of imminent defeat or imminent victory.
9. Any effective means is automatically judged by the opposition to be unethical.
10. You do what you can with what you have and clothe it in moral garments.
11. Goals must be phrased in general terms like "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity," "Of the Common Welfare," "Pursuit of Happiness," or "Bread and Peace."
I am having an increasingly difficult time in not seeing the value of these rules to the Right as well.

The Left may be learning that "What goes around, comes around".

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