I have to admit that I've been utterly baffled by the harsh criticisms and/or intense stupidity of the American public these past few months. Of course, before I continue, let it be known that I don't have the right to talk about every single person in the States. Just the vast majority. If it's not obvious yet, I'm speaking on the matter of everyone's favourite whipping boy: Barack Obama.
Seriously folks. Why the mass wave of resentment? Here's my rant on one of the biggest accusations against him so far.
The 'Commie' argument
My personal favourite. How does this make even an iota of sense? I was looking at comments on a newspaper article on Obama when one stood out; a person stated that the 'Commie' argument was just another word for 'black'. He then got slammed down by self-righteous Republicans spewing on about how 'they weren't racist', Obama was 'just a filthy Commie'. The best bit was the fact that this was easily the 20 billionth time I'd seen this expressed on the interweb.
I'm truly intrigued to find out if anyone in the US has heard of the word 'prejudice'? Prejudice isn't just confined to racism. It's 'an adverse opinion or leaning formed without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge' [Mirriam Webster]. Therefore, the subject of him being 'black' or 'communist' really is interchangeable as people are using these terms as criticisms without just grounds or before possessing sufficient knowledge of the bloody topic. Morons.
The word 'communist' is currently being used as a scare tactic, synonymous to 'terrorist' and 'black', depicting someone as 'against the American way of life'. It is imbued with left over fear from the cold war era, of some large insidious force just waiting to corrupt your children with its immoral values. So what exactly are these values? Of course the answers from the red necks are always the most entertaining. Take a look at this for example. Pure comedic genius. He's a communist because he's indoctrinating the kids to his 'hippy' values, right? God forbid wanting to save the environment or actually trying to make a contribution to the future of humanity instead of being yet another mindless consumer drone. As for the accusation of indoctrination? This coming from FOX news? Hah. Pull another one.
One story comes to mind. An American friend of mine once told me that a ridiculous amount of homophobic red necks absolutely love QUEEN (the band). Anyone with popular knowledge will know that QUEEN is fronted by Freddie Mercury who is, how shall we put it ... pretty damn gay:
I mean come on. The fact that the band's called QUEEN should be a bit of a clue no? Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with homosexuality, it's just the absolute irony of it all. But this is the thing with ignorant people. They're, well, bloody ignorant. They don't seem to have any concept of actually creating a balanced opinion instead of being a slave to FOX and its ridiculous stir mongering agenda. Without knowing what the concept of communism truly is, many are happy to jump on the bandwagon, declaring it as the "ENEMY" (cue mob mentality outrage). I think people need to look at my first entry again for a minute and get some fucking common sense.
It is, after all, what is lacking these days. An example can be found in the reaction to Obama's speech one year after Lehman's crash. I watched it on BBC which interviewed some absolute moron from a Conservative think tank, ranting on about how Obama's pledge to more regulation would cripple the economy; that Obama was letting his socialist ideals get the better of him. Firstly, did this guy even listen to the speech? Secondly, has he ever read Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations aka (the original treatise on capitalism) ? The answer is undoubtedly a resounding NO. If he had he would have realised that it was under so called 'capitalism' that the American economy mimicked one of communism. True capitalism is meant to aim for a 'perfect market' which requires
(1) Perfect Competition (no buyer or seller can unilaterally influence the market)
(2) Perfect Knowledge (perfect market information, i.e. consumers know everything about all products at all times)
(3) Perfect Mobility (all buyers and sellers can move to where they have the greatest competitive advantage)
There may be more but that is all my memory can dredge up from the good ol' days of A level economics. Sure a perfect market is hardly likely to ever occur, but the point is in a capitalist market we are meant to aim for it. Let's look at recent capitalist America shall we? There were monopolies in the form of banks 'too large to fail' which happily influenced the market during their prime. There was a definite lack of knowledge, epitomized by the Madoff scandal, which was further added to by the lack of transparency entrenched in the system. Someone commented that this occurred due to previous regulation brought in by the Democrats which caused financial institutions to produce complicated instruments and documents to remain competitive.
My reply? Don't be an idiot. If that's the route they took then they're at fault for choosing that path. Why not look at efficiency? Investments with an element of ... I don't know, something crazy like sustainability? Sure they wouldn't have made as much as they did relying on exotic financial instruments such as the infamous credit default swaps, but I bet you they'd still be making a shiteload.
The best thing is I can almost understand the rich Republicans. Understand mind you, not condone. They're just looking out for their own self interest. Why make several million when you can be making several billion after all? What baffles me completely are the masses, those that have suffered during a financial crisis caused by ... oh wait, what was that? The Democrats? The Commies? Or perhaps ... Bin Laden? No. It was caused by rich Republicans. People that couldn't care less about their country, or it's fellow inhabitants. So obviously it makes complete sense to turn your back on a president who's actually looking out for you.
... Wait I take that back. Not just baffling. Utterly fucking depressing.
I have far more to rant about concerning the Land of the Free. But for now;
I'm not usually a fan of shock art. More often than not I find it ridiculously pretentious; a form typically showcased by geek-chic hipsters or the latest l'enfant terrible wannabe. One look at Richardson (pictured above with Obama) and you'd be forgiven in writing him off as just another famous douche. My advice to you? Don't.
Personally, I find his work mesmerizing. His photographs have a particularly striking quality, akin to those by August Sander ...
... and Ugo Mulas:
In all these cases something inexplicable captures my fascination. Maybe it's the simplicity of their form. Maybe it's their inherently exhibitionistic nature. For me, the fact that their appeal cannot be constrained to some meaning or explanation is what enables them to be so striking. So kudos to you Terry Richardson. I look forward to seeing what else you deliver.
After reassessing the situation I have decided that what was previously written = utter bollocks. Let's face it. Anybody who knows me knows that I'm a massive voyeur; Richardson's complete objectification of his subjects simply appeals to that side of me. And really now. Who in their right mind could resist Gay!Batman and Robin? Win of epic proportions.