Beware the Dangers of Misused Talent


This painting has apparently been making its way around the Internet. Subject matter aside, I think it’s quite good. I’m no art critic but this guy is really talented! When you do consider the subject matter, from an art-as-propaganda point of view, it’s pretty much tantamount to a really great statue of Stalin; or to be a bit kinder, it’s like all those videos you see of the athlete making the incredible shot—into the wrong goal!

It seems that the painting has garnered a lot of attention. (Too bad Satan’s got a’holda that boy’s brush!) Far be it from me to keep my two cents in my pocket so here’s what popped in my mind when first I saw the cartoon today:

Although I certainly can’t blame President Obama for stomping on the Wall Street Journal, I do wish he’d turn around and tell the drunk guy on the bench to pick up all that money he dropped. He’s gonna need that when the DTs come a’knockin’.

I doubt Lincoln would stand that close to Reagan without punching him in the throat for what “Th’ Gipper” and his ilk did to “the party of Lincoln”. 

Is that supposed to be Jefferson standing in arm’s length of the guy who just blew his paycheck on lap dances? And is he looking to Obama like “Why won’t you help him?” When HE’S right next to the guy? Jefferson? I doubt it. Slave owner or not, he was a member of the Democratic-Republican Party. He’d have to be far more republican than democrat to be expecting someone else to help when he’s in a great position to do so.  I think he was too much a gentleman to…. OOOOH I get it. He’s saying to Obama, “This guy can have one of ours if I can take Sally Hemings.”(bad joke)

And no, George Washington, you may be the “father of the country” but you may not take his shoes. Yes, his are nicer. Yes, he’s black man. But we’re going to pretend like those days are over. Wait a minute, is that George Washington or James Madison? Oh, put two old dudes in white wigs and stockings and who can tell the difference?

I wish they hadn’t cropped the picture. I want to know what the Democrats (stage-left) are clapping for. Barbara Streisand singing just off-camera perhaps? Sarah Palin choking on her Chic-fil-a?

Oh! Wait! President Kennedy seems to be trying to tell President O something. What’s that President Kennedy? Leave Cuba the fuck alone and avoid open cars and grassy knolls?  Roger that Mr. President.

The mansion in the background, by the way, was built by slaves, and the multitude of white men that you see standing between the house and the black dude are basically doing what they’ve been doing for the past 236 or so years– using their white male privilege to stand between the black dude and that house.  That speaks to the “white” part of the privilege, what about the “male” part?  I hope I’m not the only one who noticed but there ain’t a woman in the whole dang mob–and with about half of our population being female at any point in his-story, that ain’t nothin’ short of criminal.

The artist is clearly talented. What a shame such talent is used to such dangerous purpose (reference Carol Wolf’s comment just before mine on a recent Facebook posting of the painting), “can we build a gallows in the Swamp” [sic] So that’s what it basically comes down to folks. That’s about as far as we’ve come: suggestions of a return to the days of lynching the black man.

Perhaps the artist should turn his talent to those goose-pimply “great moments in college football,” paintings that have the working class public emptying their pockets like they were billionaires at a Romney fundraiser. You know the paintings I mean, the ones that have titles like “Goal-line Prayer” or “Only a Miracle”. But those only cost a trailer payment. This kind could cost us our democracy.

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