Chicago Boyz

                 
 
 
What Are Chicago Boyz Readers Reading?
 

 
  •   Enter your email to be notified of new posts:
    Loading
  •   Problem? Question?
  •   Contact Authors:

  • CB Twitter Feed
  • Blog Posts (RSS 2.0)
  • Blog Posts (Atom 0.3)
  • Incoming Links
  • Recent Comments

    • Loading...
  • Authors

  • Notable Discussions

  • Recent Posts

  • Blogroll

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Sweden Confirms Its Neutrality Between Good And Evil

    Posted by Jonathan on January 17th, 2004 (All posts by )

    The Swedes are throwing a hissy fit because the Israeli Ambassador, visiting a museum exhibit associated with a Swedish government-sponsored conference on genocide, took offense at a display of offensive “art” and literally pulled out its plug.

    (The Israeli government says that the Swedes promised not to link the conference to the Arab-Israeli conflict — which, BTW, Reuters mislabels “the Middle East conflict.”)

    Meanwhile, the “artist” — a lefty Israeli “peace” activist — said, essentially: Hey, what are you so upset about? It’s just an exhibit, we were trying to raise consciousness about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, what about freedom of expression, etc., etc. And a representative of the Swedish government expressed outrage that the ambassador had the temerity to damage sacred art, etc., etc.

    To the “artist” and the Swedish government, I say: fuck you. Yeah, the Israeli ambassador lost it, but you provoked him. He took the bait and now you get to tut-tut about his emotional reaction and make sanctimonious statements about “art.”

    The message I get is that the Swedish government cares more about art exhibits and moral posturing than it does about the lives of Jews. Would the Swedish government tolerate, at an official conference, an “art exhibit” portraying Hitler sailing in a lake of Jewish blood? More to the point, would the Swedes tolerate an exhibit showing the Jewish mass murderer Baruch Goldstein sailing in a lake of Arab blood? Would they tolerate an exhibit that could be interpreted as insulting to Muslims or Arabs? To ask this question is to answer it.

    Maybe I, like the Israeli ambassador, am overreacting, but my impression is that the ambassador isn’t the problem here.

    UPDATE: I am happy to learn that the Israeli government is supporting the ambassador:

    Sharon said he called Mazel Saturday night and thanked him for his stand against rising anti-Semitism. “We are witnessing a rise in anti-Semitism, and will increase our efforts to fight the phenomenon,” he reportedly told the cabinet.

    Good. Let the bastards worry about offending Jews, for a change.

    (Link: Yehudit)

    UPDATE 2: Bjørn Stærk has a contrary view.

     

    18 Responses to “Sweden Confirms Its Neutrality Between Good And Evil”

    1. pat Says:

      well, I probably shouldn’t step into this… but, just reading your links

      – you left out that a jew put together this artwork,
      – and that the israeli ambassador creates a situation thats life threatening for those in the building over this artwork
      ( it seems implausable, but that is what the articale says)
      – and you compare the suicide bomber who killed herself to hitler

      hmmm, ya this is as ‘fair and balanced reporting’ as fox

    2. R. Darren Brewer Says:

      – you left out that a jew put together this artwork,

      Galineau said, “Meanwhile, the “artist” — a lefty Israeli “peace” activist . . . .”

      – and that the israeli ambassador creates a situation thats life threatening for those in the building over this artwork ( it seems implausable, but that is what the articale says)

      Yes, that was bullshit. A breaker cutting power to that zone is not the same thing as a short circuit electrifying the zone (somehow).

      – and you compare the suicide bomber who killed herself to hitler

      Nope. That was his reductio ad absurdum.

      hmmm, ya this is as ‘fair and balanced reporting’ as fox

      This is silly. The blog does not purport to be a news network.

      However, it is more fair and balanced than PBS.

    3. Jonathan Says:

      -I didn’t leave out anything. That was the point of having links.

      -Yeah, a Jew made the exhibit. So what? It’s still offensive and the “artist” is still a putz. Yeah, I know: It’s art! (and therefore to be taken with the utmost seriousness etc.). But is the world really better off for having this kind of display that makes some kind of marginal transgressive point and, incidentally, hurts people? Somehow I doubt it.

      -The Israeli ambassador probably shouldn’t have lost his composure. But what if, say, a Palestinian Authority representative had lost it? Do you think the Swedish govt would have reacted with such pique? I don’t. I think they might even have apologized to him. That’s my point.

      -I did not compare the suicide bomber to Hitler. I mentioned a hypothetical involving Hitler, as part of a thought experiment. But since we are on this topic, wouldn’t you agree that the bomber and Hitler had at least one important characteristic in common?

      -This post isn’t reporting, it’s my opinion. It doesn’t have to be fair and balanced and I have not pretended that it is.

    4. Peter Bocking Says:

      The fact that no one seemed to consider that the exhibit might provocative or offensive is an indicator of how far Europe has lost its moral compass.If a representative of the Palestinian Authority had been visiting would they have depicted an Israeli soldier in the same context?They may as well have offered the Ambasssador a bacon sandwich.

    5. R. Darren Brewer Says:

      Oops, I thought it was Sylvain’s byline. Sorry Jonathan.

      Hoping something this offensive “will lead to artistic dialogue” is the museum director’s way of saying they hope the exhibit will generate free publicity and wads of cash.

      In fact, I think they exhibit objects such as these specifically for the purpose of generating negative publicity, since, for them, all publicity is good.

    6. Andrew X Says:

      I saw this magnificent work of art the other day. It showed the broken body of Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh, with her murderer standing over her holding a Nobel Peace prize he had just been awarded. Meanwhile, you could see rats beginning to chew on the foreign ministers face.

      I was struck by the artistic merit of the piece. It truly was provocative and thought provoking, which is of course the only purpose of great art. I found some cherished beliefs of mine confronted and challenged in a most healthy way. It’s representation of the exploitive nature of Western Civilization washed over me like an elexir. It touched something quite deep in my soul, far more than such banalities as an Ansel Adams photo or a Monet, and similar tripe as that.

      A man standing next to me expressed the trogladytic opinion that maybe Ms. Lindh deserved better than to be exploited in such a manner, and that while the art house showing it had every right to do so, they might take into consideration factors other than “We can” and “It’s provocative” in their choices of show. You can be assured that I reacted with extreme prejudice to such an obvious affront to my right to… see rats chewing the Swedish foreign ministers face.

      I have no doubt such art will be making the global rounds… starting in say, Tel Aviv?

      (My apologies for the above are hereby offered, as they should be. Point made.)

    7. Creek-Choctaw Says:

      And have the jews been the only people in history who have been persecuted? You don’t have a patent on suffering.

      Let us call a spade a spade. The Isrealis ambassador is like unto the suicide bombers and no less a terrorist to risk OTHER people’s lives to prove his point.

      We would correct the behavior of a child; I hope the Swedes do no less.

      There are other and better ways to make the point the piece was offensive: Leave. Or, why didn’t the advance party warn the amabassador about this piece? Surely there was a preview?

      Considering what the Swedes did to hide Jewish refugee children from Hitler during the war, what the ambassador did was not gain friends for Israel.

    8. R. Darren Brewer Says:

      Let us call a spade a spade. The Isrealis ambassador is like unto the suicide bombers and no less a terrorist to risk OTHER people’s lives to prove his point.

      No one was defending his behavior. He shouldn’t have done it. But make no mistake, there is no moral equivalency between a Jewish guy who tore up an exhibit and sins of suicide bombers. It is foolish to make such a comparison.

      The point is that they exhibit such objects specifically to trigger the most offensive interpretation possible, while leaving the door open ever so slightly for a second, benign interpretation. That serves as their fig leaf when the public outcry–and free publicity–breaks out. It’s all for money.

      The technique is cliche.

    9. Jonathan Says:

      R. D. Brewer: I am honored to be confused with Sylvain. And I agree with you about the beneficial effect this event is likely to have for the museum, as well as for the career of the “artist.” (I doubt that the ambassador will be so fortunate.)

      Creek-Choctaw: I did not and do not claim victim status. I am commenting on the Swedes’ peculiar moral sense. However good Swedish behavior toward Jews during the War may have been, it does not excuse their government’s current inability to see the offensiveness in the exhibit in question. As to the rest of your comment, Andrew X made a better response than I can.

      Though if you really believe that an Israeli diplomat who loses his temper and yanks out an electric cord is on the same moral level as a mass-murdering terrorist, I’m not sure if there’s any point in my arguing with you.

    10. David Says:

      Let us call a spade a spade. The Isrealis ambassador is like unto the suicide bombers and no less a terrorist to risk OTHER people’s lives to prove his point.

      Are you completely insane? &nbsp Europeans (it wasn’t just the Swedes) aided and abedded the slaughter of millions of Jews only a few decades ago, and now the Swedes present the Israeli Ambassador, as prelude to a conference on Genocide, with “Snow White” the suicide bomber sailing on a pool of Jewish blood? Do you not understand the depravity of this act? The Ambassador handled it well. Had it been an American, I’m happy to say, things might have gone worse.

      Even if the artists’ intent, and I don’t believe it for a minute, was to convey the madness of the suicide bomber, the work is still an act of depravity. The motivations of the suicide bombers are not a mystery, we know exactly why they are killing: they have been deliberately brainwashed into believing they will enter a heavenly paradise if they murder innocent Israelis. It is grotesque to try to obscure this reality.

      The Ambassador is “like unto the suicide bombers and no less a terrorist” for knocking over a spotlight is he? &nbsp Well those in Europe who ignore the lessons of the Shoah, their complicity in it, and the parallels in Palestinian and Arab Islamist movements enable and prolong terrorist attacks against Israelis and now, God help them, Americans.

      This is not about freedom of speech. This is about the kind of artistic speech presented to the Israeli Ambassador and what it says about the character of Swedes and by extension all Europeans.

    11. Theodopoulos Pherecydes Says:

      When the “artist” and his family are disassembled into their component parts by a Muslim homicide bomber in a Swedish restaurant I, for one, shall clap my artistic little hands and immediately commission an installation. It will depict the artist, his picture on the sail of a tiny boat, floating on a black pool of oil. It’s all about oil, no? My installation will be entitled “Coal Black and the Unholy Lie”.
      I expect the Swedes to be delighted with my artistic expression.

      Four cheers to the ambassador.

    12. R. Darren Brewer Says:

      Do you not understand the depravity of this act?

      You are right, David. There are NO redeemning qualities in this exhibit. The murderer is portrayed as “Snow White”. In other words, she’s completely innocent, without sin, righteous. And she is sailing on Jewish blood, not mourning or burning near it, not drowning in it.

      We can tell a few things about this “artist”. He’s obviously selfish beyond belief. Irresponsible. A vulgarian. And, clearly, he’s astronomically stupid.

      I was determined not to use scare quotes, but it’s impossible in this case.

    13. Jeff Says:

      When I read this from Drudge, I was thinking “Yeah! right on!” This ambassador is my kind of guy. We need more people like him.

    14. Peter Bocking Says:

      Having seen a picture of the exhibit,I think the iconography is unmistakable.The bomber is depicted in a similar style to an album cover,in a little pure white boat on a large lake of red.The image of the murderer is very glamourised whereas the victims are reduced to a depersonalised backdrop.Sistine Chapel it isn’t crass insult it is.

    15. Sylvain Galineau Says:

      The appropriate response for Israel and its ambassy would be to sponsor a replica of the same work, with a large flotilla of little boats sporting pictures of the children torn to bits by the righteous suicide bombers. And invite Palestinian officials to come admire it and offer a word of wisdom and contrition. Then we will see who keeps his cool.

      A few random comments.

      And have the jews been the only people in history who have been persecuted? You don’t have a patent on suffering.
      What kind of nonsense is this ? This is an open discussion area, not a brain fart dumping ground. Because Jews do not have a “patent on suffering” – what a dumbass concept – that makes it OK to trivialize their murder ?

      We would correct the behavior of a child
      Everybody would. Hence the ambassador’s reaction.

      Considering what the Swedes did to hide Jewish refugee children from Hitler during the war, what the ambassador did was not gain friends for Israel.
      Right. Considering the Swedes’ reaction, it’s pretty obvious those who risked their lives to protect Jews were a minority then, and might still be now. And given that people in Sweden and neighboring EU countries are so willing to “understand” the suicide bombers and their individual suffering and circumstances, the clear fact that they show no such willingness whatsoever in trying to understand the ambassador goes to show how little friendship there was to be gained in the first place.

      I’ll give you one hint, Mr Creek-Choctaw. How would you feel if the next Nobel Peace Prize went to Ariel Sharon ? What would the reaction be in Palestine, in the Arab world, in Europe ?

      Now you know how Jews felt when Arafat got it. Half a century after the Holocaust, and after hundreds of years of persecution and pogroms, people are still rewarded for spending a lifetime killing Jews. Yes, my friend, somehow the Jews still have a patent on that. So go to the store across the street and do us all a favor by buying yourself a clue.

    16. David Says:

      He didn’t endanger any lives. &nbsp He unplugged the lamp.

    17. Jeff Says:

      Good video. Is that all the ambassador did? Geez louise… in my book he would have been justified if he did much more.

    18. Miguel Says:

      Jonathan wrote:

      To the “artist” and the Swedish government, I say: fuck you.

      And I say: DITTO!