July 4, 2010

Happy Independence Day from the Washington Post

From the Washington Post, an unintended reminder of the magnanimity, broadness of vision, and faith in our common humanity of Steven Spielberg, as compared to art critic Blake Gopnik's identity politics-driven rage at how Norman Rockwell just won't stay shoved down the Memory Hole.
Norman Rockwell exhibit opens at the Smithsonian American Art Museum
By Blake Gopnik
Sunday, July 4, 2010; E01

This Fourth of July, let's celebrate courage. It took courage to split from England, courage to risk democracy and still more courage to dream up a constitution to preserve it.

Courage has been the signature virtue of almost every great American: Emily Dickinson was brave to warp grammar, Louis Armstrong was brave to blow jazz and Jackson Pollock was brave to paint splats.

Norman Rockwell is often championed as the great painter of American virtues. Yet the one virtue most nearly absent from his work is courage. He doesn't challenge any of us, or himself, to think new thoughts or try new acts or look with fresh eyes. From the docile realism of his style to the received ideas of his subjects, Rockwell reliably keeps us right in the middle of our comfort zone. 

Definitely not in the middle of Mr. Gopnik's comfort zone, however. 
A new show of 57 Rockwells, borrowed from the collections of Hollywood celebrities Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, opened Friday at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Right, Spielberg and Lucas are "Hollywood celebrities," same as Paris Hilton and the Kardashians. (By the way, I'm not a big fan of Lucas's movies after American Graffiti and Star Wars, but I've got to admit the man's got good taste in architecture. His Skywalker Ranch in Marin County looks like what the world would look like today if the Great War hadn't come along in 1914 and ruined the West's self-confidence.)
It includes oil paintings and drawings, and every one of them is a perfect depiction of what we've been taught to think of as true Rockwellian America.

There's the small-town runaway, and the cop who takes him out for a malt before returning him home. Aw, shucks.

There are the three old biddies gossiping, imagined as so ancient and gnarled that Rockwell had to use a man in drag to model them. What a hoot!

There's the remote blonde in her convertible being joshed by a couple of truckers. Jeez, lady, wontcha give those guys a wink? ...

Of course, the "art" in Rockwell's pictures isn't that modern stuff promoted by Picasso and his crowd. Rockwell's painted realism tells us that his pictures are the real thing, old-fashioned and skilled -- the very art admired by the kinds of regular, all-American folk his craft is used to depict, and to whom it sells magazines and products.

By the 1930s, making pictures the way Rockwell did couldn't count as just a neutral preference for the old. In the hands of America's Favorite Artist, it stood as a willed repudiation of the new. Judging from the fan mail that survives, that's precisely how it was read. Rockwell panders, in the very substance of his pictures' making, to his public's fear of change.

Rockwell's greatest sin as an artist is simple: His is an art of unending cliché. The reason we so easily "recognize ourselves" in his paintings is because they reflect the standard image we already know. His stories resonate so strongly because they are the stories we've told ourselves a thousand times.

They became clichés after Rockwell recognized these stories in daily life and showed that, by taking endless pains, they could be clearly conveyed in a single memorable image. Golden Age Hollywood then amplified his influence. (Frank Capra is the most obvious analog to Rockwell in fertility of invention.) But moviemakers had it easier in a way because they could tell his kind of stories using actions, words, and music.  It's amusing, though, how the frequently Rockwellian products of Golden Age Hollywood seldom comes in for quite so much fury.
... Most reactions to Rockwell, however, continue to be decidedly simpler. Steven Spielberg has said, "I look back at these paintings as America the way it could have been, the way someday it may again be." He and others have bought Rockwell's bill of goods. But what these speakers, and these pictures, fail to grasp is that the special, courageous greatness of the nation lies in its definitive refusal of any single "American way." 

Norman Rockwell died 32 years ago. And Mr. Gopnik's views have been representative of elite discourse for longer than that, burying Rockwell's reputation under a barrage of anger. But, Gopnik, even though he's on the winning side, is still furious that his victory isn't total.

If you want a picture of Mr. Gopnik's ideal future, imagine a boot stamping on Norman Rockwell's face -- forever. (But not, let me hasten to add, a well-painted realist picture of a boot stamping on a face. Instead, say, a picture of a surrealist boot stamping on a cubist face with Jackson Pollock-like blood splatters on the floor.)  
America isn't about Rockwell's one-note image of it -- or anyone else's. This country is about a game-changing guarantee that equal room will be made for Latino socialists, disgruntled lesbian spinsters, foul-mouthed Jewish comics and even, dare I say it, for metrosexual half-Canadian art critics with a fondness for offal, spinets and kilts.

I don't want to live by the clichés of a wan, Rockwellian America, and I don't admire pictures that suggest that all of us should. But I see why we need to look into how, in a world full of threats, so many of us have been soothed by their vision.

Telling Stories: Norman Rockwell From the Collections of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg is on through Jan. 2 at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, at Eighth and G streets NW. Call 202-633-7970 or visit http://www.americanart.si.edu.

To be frank, if a WASP critic displayed this much overt ethno-cultural animus toward a Jewish painter, he would be unemployable at the Washington Post.

It should make us all appreciate Mr. Spielberg even more.

141 comments:

OneSTDV said...

I am a little surprised to hear Speilberg speak so warmly about this old America.

I don't know much about his films though (not a big movie watcher). Do they reflect this?

I'll tell you one director who doesn't share Speilberg's opinion: the guy who directed 2012 and Independence Day.

OneSTDV's Review of 2012

Harry Baldwin said...

Blake Gopnik has really got his panties in a twist! Maybe for his next screed he could expose the phony optimism of Horatio Alger stories.

Maybe he has Norman Rockwell mixed up with George Lincoln Rockwell?

Gopnik is too conventional to grasp that his heroes Picasso and Pollack were hacks exploiting the gullibility of the art buyers.

agnostic said...

Yeah it takes real courage to champion Jackson Pollock in the Washington Post.

I love that his first name is Blake. Kind of explains the ethno-cultural bitterness that normally is only seen among black-white biracials.

Anonymous said...

There's a great video of the Skywalker Ranch here:

http://philipbloom.net/dslr-films/skywalker-ranch-5dmkii-and-7d/

Anonymous said...

What a hottie!

http://sfaiblog.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/blakeheadshot.jpg

Anonymous said...

Seriously, what does it take to become the Washington Post's art critic? Is it even a paid position? The newspaper doesn't even have its own daily crossword, and its Book World section folded a couple of years ago.

In sum, who gives a crap what this nobody thinks? He doesn't even have a wikipedia page, and that's setting the bar pretty low.

Fred said...

I was thrown off for a moment by your generous praise of an American Jew, but then I saw it was balanced by criticism of the tripe by the "third generation atheist Jew" Gopnik. Holy crap. What obnoxious drivel.

A couple of additional comments. "Cliché" is the weakest criticism of all, because Rockwell's originals weren't clichés. They were so wildly popular that they became clichés. There's a huge difference. By the same token, many of the Shakespeare's tropes are clichés today, but they weren't when Shakespeare first wrote them.

The other comment is that you can't have a counterculture without a culture, and, if nothing else, Gopnik should appreciate Rockwellian culture as a tolerant and inclusive foil for his lesbian spinsters, Latino socialists, and foul mouthed Jewish comics. Put it this way: there's never been a society composed mainly of Jewish comics or lesbian spinsters, but there have been Latino socialist ones, and I'm sure Gopnik would rather be a Latino socialist in Rockwell's America than a Rockwellian artist in, say, Castro's Cuba.

Shouting Thomas said...

Gopnik's venom is bizarre.

There's one slice of diversity that apparently doesn't contribute to the wonderful mosaic... white middle class people.

steve burton said...

Hmmm...so to express affection for the traditional folkways of middle-American gentiles is somehow to "suggest that all of us should" live by those (wan, clichéd) folkways?

This guy has serious psychological problems.

Figgy said...

You keep writing, Steve. Maybe enough people will eventually realize that it's gotten to the point where the fools are now in charge. Hopefully, we can still do something about it.

Black Sea said...

"Rockwell's greatest sin as an artist is simple: His is an art of unending cliché."

As opposed to his article?

Anonymous said...

My first reaction, the dimunition of Americana is so bitter---is this Gopnik fella gay?

Anonymous said...

Not to be Austeresque, but lets have a look at Blake Gopnik,

http://www.google.com/images?q=blake+gopnik&um=1&hl=en&tbs=isch:1&ei=clExTMjqFYSglAfr59TgCg&sa=N&start=0&ndsp=18

My prejudices get confirmed yet again....

Anonymous said...

Great art, like great anything, doesn't have to *challenge" to be great.

Perhaps Mr. Elite doesn't understand that *capturing* the beautiful, the sublime, in what is the ordinary is quite a talent. Ask any writer or movie maker, even anyone who knows something of poetry.

This guy's sounds as if he never really experienced a happy childhood, a comforting family and community, and he's mighty envious of those who did, but he can't bring himself to admit that is the reason for his vitriol.

Anonymous said...

Much more even-handed and appreciative review in the NYT. Some fun quotes from the two fanboys-in-chief too:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/04/arts/design/04rockwell.html

Ray Sawhill said...

Well done!

Anonymous said...

Will this guy and his ilk be surprised when something like this happens.
WARNING - Very Graphic!

Anonymous said...

Holy Sh#t- Blake Gopnik just got a virtual curb shot from Steve....made my 4th

uncontroversial said...

'It should make us all appreciate Mr. Spielberg even more.'

Perhaps Spielberg was trying to look after the best interests of the whites, and perhaps he was not.

I consider it possible that Spielberg was trying to seize and enclose Norman Rockwell's art for hostile purposes, as a form of collective genetic competition.

asdfasdfasdf said...

Is this the Spielberg who, along with fellow Hollywood big shots, donated gazillions to Obama, the patriot who has filled his administration with disgruntled Jews, angry lesbians, black radicals, Maoists, Alinskytes, open borders lunatics, affirmative action tards, etc?

asdfasdfasdf said...

Even though Gopnik is a stupid freak, I agree that Rockwell paintings are BORING!

They are sermons, not works of art. The painting where an old woman and her grandson prays in a 'secular' restaurant is just... too much.

Anonymous said...

I love Lucas' Library.

Average Joe said...

One of the good things about our modern times is that Jews seem to be much more honest and open about their intentions to destroy the traditional white gentile culture of the United States. In the past, Jews would often pretend that they loved the United States and wanted to preserve its traditional culture.

Kylie said...

Gopnik is as good an art critic as he is an historian.

From the article: "Rockwell's vision of 'Freedom of Speech' included in the Smithsonian's show, doesn't invoke a communist printing his pamphlets or an atheist on a soapbox. It gives us a town hall meeting of almost interchangeable New Englanders, no doubt agreeing to disagree about something as divisive as the rates for those new parking meters. For this, the Founders risked powder and ball?"

Mr. Gopnik conveniently ignores the fact that it was just such a group of almost interchangeable New Englanders who established the right to the freedom of speech that communists and atheists enjoy. By contrast, I've found the latter two groups to be remarkably intolerant of any speech that differs in content or style from their own.

And: "But what these speakers[Spielberg and other Rockwell admirers], and these pictures, fail to grasp is that the special, courageous greatness of the nation lies in its definitive refusal of any single 'American way.'

Actually, no. Again, contrary to what Mr. Gopnik thinks he knows about American history, as their own writings attest, the Founding Fathers favored assimilation and a nation not of various groups but of "one people".

And: "America isn't about Rockwell's one-note image of it -- or anyone else's. This country is about a game-changing guarantee that equal room will be made for Latino socialists, disgruntled lesbian spinsters, foul-mouthed Jewish comics and even, dare I say it, for metrosexual half-Canadian art critics with a fondness for offal, spinets and kilts."

I infer what Mr. Gopnik really means here is that America is indeed about a one-note image--that is, his one-note image of it, which presumably he shares with the special interest groups so much more diverse than those interchangeable New Englanders he disdains.

And: "I don't want to live by the clichés of a wan, Rockwellian America, and I don't admire pictures that suggest that all of us should."

Of course not. Mr. Gopnik wants all of us to live by the clichés of vibrant, Gopnikian America that he would impose on us, if only he could. No wonder he's no fan of Norman Rockwell, who not only trafficked in an image of America he abhors but who still, decades after his death, has admirers who laud not only the artist's work but his vision of America--a vision that is far closer to what the Founding Fathers intended that his own.

Steve Sailer said...

"I love Lucas' Library."

I'd never come out.

party functionary said...

I used to enjoy Rockwell images as a boy growing up in the Midwest for the simple themes they captured.

Now I realize, thanks to commissar Gopnik, that all this time his "art" not only didn't advance our glorious social revolution but was spreading counter-revolutionary petty bourgeois poisons among the masses.

Down with Rockwell. Down with all running dogs of Capitalism.

asdfasdfasdfsa said...

In some ways, I find guys like Gopnik far less offensive than guys like Spielberg. Spiel is a great director and I admire him as an entertainer, even as an artist. But he is a two-faced weasel.
He basically uses Norman Rockwellism to push an anti-white and even radical agendas/messages. Gopnik is at least upfront with his hostility, agenda, and whatnot. Spielberg acts like he's a nice suburban 4th of July celebrating American, and indeed he fools a lot of people with his 'family values' and 'patriotic' movies.

But he adapted COLOR PURPLE by the radical feminst Alice Walker. He made AMISTAD, which made blacks out to be total saints. And the opening scene celebrates killing of whites as much as Raiders and Saving Private Ryan did of killing Nazis.

Now, COLOR PURPLE and AMISTAD were both works of angry radical blacks, but Spielberg gave them an All-American Norman-Rockwellian look. He made radicalism look mainstream and conventional. He pulls the same shit Oprah does. It's as if he read the book of Alinsky.

And indeed that makes sense why Obama was supported by guys like Spielberg. Obama is a radical anti-white black nationalist controlled by Jews BUT he sure knows how to at like a charismatic mainstream non-radical Middle American. DON'T YOU BELIEVE IT!!! In a way, the Obama campaign of 2008 was so much like a Spielberg movie. The endless stream of Obama photos in TIME, NEWSWEEK, and other mags were downright Rockwellian with all the saccharine sanctimoniousness, specious humility, and populist highfalutinism.

We should be wary of Spielberg ALL THE MORE since he puts on this schitck of nostalgia, patriotism, and apple pie. But the ingredients in his Apple Pie is really radical kosher.

This isn't to say Spielberg doesn't have a genuine love of Rockwell paintings or for old Americana. I'm sure he does. But he also grew up with a chip on his shoulders as suburban white kids called him "Jewboy". Also, as a Holocaust worshipper, Spielberg shares the general Jewish paranoia about white goyim.

Anonymous said...

This reminds me of the story about how Mel Brooks went to stay at Skywalker Ranch to finish "Spaceballs" but was unnerved by the rustic setting and the lack of city noise and feeling so he checked into a hotel in San Francisco.

agnostic said...

The other thing that this dickless scribbler can't understand about courage is that it is not only about the process, i.e. how hard you have to struggle to meet your goal -- it is also about the moral worthiness of the goal.

It takes guts and resolve to mug somebody in broad daylight, but that's hardly courageous. So, to what higher plane of existence are the heroic Pollock et al. delivering us? Exactly. At least Rockwell's paintings have charm.

Don't expect modern critics to miss the point about how worthy the goal is -- that's too judgmental. Instead, it's all about how hard you struggle. Maybe this is another variant on Greg Cochran's "heroes of suffering" vs. "heroes of accomplishment" idea.

Kylie said...

By the way, I see the Google guys just couldn't bring themselves to alter the logo solely in honor of Independence Day. They had to toss in Rube Goldberg's birthday, too.

So instead of looking patriotic or even celebratory, the logo looks like some trap the Roadrunner would spring on Wile E. Coyote.

I'm sure Gopnik approves.

Anonymous said...

"Rockwell's vision of 'Freedom of Speech' included in the Smithsonian's show, doesn't invoke a communist printing his pamphlets or an atheist on a soapbox. It gives us a town hall meeting of almost interchangeable New Englanders, no doubt agreeing to disagree about something as divisive as the rates for those new parking meters. For this, the Founders risked powder and ball?"

I'd be curious as to whether Gopnik would actually be able assert, in all seriousness, that the intention of the First Amendment, as envisioned by the Founding Fathers, was to lend legal protection to the screeds of militant atheists and the bloviations of Bolsheviks.

And talk about continuing to promote the ascendancy of an exclusionary view of the American experience and, with respect to Mr. Gopnik, its history! Making mention of only atheists and communists? What, Blake, did Latino socialists and lesbian spinsters not merit any consideration from the Framers?

Anonymous said...

Spielberg and Lucas are Jews. I fail to see how buying, preserving and showing Rockwell's work shows a Jewish animus towards Americana, Mr.Gopnik notwithstanding. Who has more influence? More prestige? Gopnik or Steven Spielberg? For someone who complains about "one note" art, Gopnik has an interesting take on a one note review. But so brave! So transgressive! Lol perhaps his review will be preserved at the Smithsonian as a parody of the critic's self-regard. Or it'll become fishwrap. I know where I'm laying my bet.

Fred said...

Where's my comment, Steve? You didn't moderate it away, did you? I thought it was pretty good.

anony-mouse said...

Not so sure NR would have been as down with HBD as your are.

See: gardenofpraise.com/art12.htm

I think NR and Spielberg have that same childlike belief that everyone is exactly the same, but just look a wee bit different, that's all.

Anonymous said...

The critic needs to get under the squat bar and let the testosterone flow.

Anonymous said...

Why Mr. Sailer, you simply MUST make an effort to update your artistic taste. Shall we start here?

http://www.artinfo.com/news/story/35108/sarah-palin-memorialized-with-porn-art/

Anonymous said...

Mr. Gopnik:

Indulge me for a moment while I utter a trite phrase, 'kay?

Fuck you.

Anonymous said...

Coincidentally, I just happened to be reading Maurice Samuel's 1924 book You Gentiles, which is full of provocative ideas. Mr. Gopnik's views on Rockwell's lack of "courage" put me in mind of the following passage (p. 36):

"We [Jews] cannot have art such as you [Gentiles] have, a free and careless lyrical beauty, songs and epics. Our sense of beauty springs from immersion in the universe, from a gloomy desire to see justice done in the name of God. Morality itself we take simply and seriously: we have none of your arbitrary regulations, your fine flourishes and disciplined gallantries: we only know right or wrong: all the rest seems to us childish irrelevance."

Steve Sailer said...

"In the past, Jews would often pretend that they loved the United States and wanted to preserve its traditional culture."

But that's unfair to, say, Spielberg.

The issue with the newer generation of Jewish intellectuals is that they've been so shielded from criticism for their often common foibles that they don't even have a sense of humor about them anymore. They don't even notice that Jews tend to have certain traits that they ought to try to resist. Who today is going to dare be so anti-Semitic as to point out certain tendencies?

In contrast, earlier Jewish generations tended to feel that they ought to try to be on their best behavior or the goyim might notice and look down upon them. And, guess what, if you feel you ought to try to be on your best behavior, you'll often wind up behaving at least a little better. That's true for everybody.

Today's situation in which the most powerful single group is above all criticism as a group is less than ideal.

asdfasdfdf said...

"Spielberg and Lucas are Jews"

Lucas is Jewish? It's news to me.

Anonymous said...

The speaker in the "Freedom of Speech" painting is a working class guy, and the coat & tie people around him, doubtless the town burghers, are giving him a listen.

The civil rights paintings like "The Problem We All Live With" are conventionally liberal, for the time, in that they were pro civil rights and didn't advocate revolution, as Gopnik would presumably prefer.

Anonymous said...

By the 1930s, making pictures the way Rockwell did couldn't count as just a neutral preference for the old. In the hands of America's Favorite Artist, it stood as a willed repudiation of the new. Judging from the fan mail that survives, that's precisely how it was read. Rockwell panders, in the very substance of his pictures' making, to his public's fear of change.

You know, the funny thing is that a "willed repudiation of the new" sounds an awful lot like courage to me!

When you're doing what Gopnik wants, it's courageous. When you're not, it's hateful and fearful.

(And somehow I doubt that the Founders thought it courageous to portray a "communist issuing a pamphlet" as free speech, given that communists abolish free speech whenever they get power.)

Gopnik and his ilk are transparent when you know what to look for.

asdfasdfasdf said...

Oh, and a happy 4th to everyone.

Simon in UK said...

"It should make us all appreciate Mr. Spielberg even more"

Yeah, I agree.

Anonymous said...

"Spielberg and Lucas are Jews."

Spielberg is a Jew, Lucas isn't.

"I fail to see how buying, preserving and showing Rockwell's work shows a Jewish animus towards Americana, Mr.Gopnik notwithstanding."

It has already been pointed out upthread: the best way to administer a foul poison is to serve it mixed in with something sweet and innocuous.

At least with Gopnik, even the dullest retard in the land is capable of noticing the blatant hostility. Under the Rockwellian facade, in contrast, the Speilberg poison sails right past the defenses and slips into the collective unconscious without ever tripping any alarms.

Lucas might not be a Jew, but he is a pretty conventional liberal, though, with all the usual pettiness. One of those Starwalker Ranch websites proudly points out that Lucas refused then President Reagan's request to tour the recently completed ranch.

Simon in UK said...

Wikipedia on George Lucas:
"Lucas was born and raised in a strongly Methodist family. The religious and mythical themes in Star Wars were inspired by Lucas' interest in the writings of mythologist Joseph Campbell,[18] and he would eventually come to identify strongly with the Eastern religious philosophies he studied and incorporated into his movies, which were a major inspiration for "the Force." Lucas eventually came to state that his religion was "Buddhist Methodist". "

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Lucas

Steve Sailer:
"The issue with the newer generation of Jewish intellectuals is that they've been so shielded from criticism for their often common foibles that they don't even have a sense of humor about them anymore. They don't even notice that Jews tend to have certain traits that they ought to try to resist. Who today is going to dare be so anti-Semitic as to point out certain tendencies?

In contrast, earlier Jewish generations tended to feel that they ought to try to be on their best behavior or the goyim might notice and look down upon them. And, guess what, if you feel you ought to try to be on your best behavior, you'll often wind up behaving at least a little better. That's true for everybody.

Today's situation in which the most powerful single group is above all criticism as a group is less than ideal."

I think this is exactly right, and very incisive. The vile behaviour of many younger4 Jewish writers like Gopnok seems a bit reminiscent of how many US black 'public intellectuals' behave so horribly, because no one will ever criticise them.

Anonymous said...

Spielberg also wanted to make a bio pic about Charles Lindbergh exposing Lindy as an anti-Semite

Anonymous said...

Don't overlook the Canadian aspect of this. Left-wing, intellectually oriented Canadians often look down on Americana. Come to think of it, so do leftist intellectuals generally, not just Jewish ones. In fact, I've found that leftist Gentiles often have the most venom toward traditional American values and culture.

Still a fine skewering of an idiot, Steve, and your point about this Jewish tendency running amok is well-taken.

Anonymous said...

"Spielberg also wanted to make a bio pic about Charles Lindbergh exposing Lindy as an anti-Semite."

He wasn't one?

Anonymous said...

In contrast, earlier Jewish generations tended to feel that they ought to try to be on their best behavior or the goyim might notice and look down upon them.

Nonsense - in fact the "Culture of Critique" originated with these earlier generations of Jews.

Anonymous said...

"He wasn't one?"

In the sense that an "anti-semite" is anyone that the Jews hate, then yes, Lindbergh was an "anti-semite".

eh said...

I'd never come out.

The libraries of the Strahov Monastery in Prague: here, and here.

James said...

"If you want a picture of Mr. Gopnik's ideal future, imagine a boot stamping on Norman Rockwell's face -- forever. (But not, let me hasten to add, a well-painted realist picture of a boot stamping on a face. Instead, say, a picture of a surrealist boot stamping on a cubist face with Jackson Pollock-like blood splatters on the floor.)"

LOL!!! This paragraph is one of Steve Sailer's happiest inspirations.

l said...

What strikes me about Gopnik is that his columns that are packed with clichés -- art critic clichés. Read through the archives of any big city newspaper's art, theater or (even) film critic and sooner or later you'll catch this same sort of angry 'Avant-Garde' rant, often delivered in the same beatnik meter.

To be fair to Mr. Gopnik, he is a prisoner of his job. He has to write this tendentious drivel. The coffeehouse hipsters and self-styled 'intellectuals' who read the arts section of the Post would have had convulsions if he'd said anything nice about Rockwell. One might as well admit to liking the Wal-Mart shopping experience.

So, Gopnik plays it safe and rips Rockwell. Hate on WASP culture, throw some bones to aggrieved identity groups. These columns write themselves.

Big Bill said...

It is so sad. On the one hand you have Spielberg who knows how lucky he is to live among the goyim in America, how they have made him the wealthy man he never could have been had he spent his life scuttling about the ghettos of Europe or Iran in a penguin suit.

On the other hand you have Adam Gopnik, like Mark Rudd, a profoundly frightened and angry man, who just cannot stop digging his claws into the closest gentile.

I don't begrudge the Jews their myths of nationhood, like the fact that Jews were never forced into exile, or that Palestine was never a "land without people for a people without a land". God bless 'em, ever nation needs its myths.

But why, why in heaven's name, do they insist on tearing down the only society that has turned the other cheek again and again? Why do they stay when they could make aliyah and live among their own nation? Why do they stay when they view their non-Jewish neighbors as pod people and can barely suppress the urge to scream, "Soylent Green is Jews!!"

Imagine for a moment what a pathetic, ungrateful wretch a Christian would be to seek refuge in Israel and then sulk, whine and complain about how Jewish it is and how awful the Israelis are because they do not think and act like Christians, and how their sacred texts preach Christian-hate.

If you are like me, your exasperated response to such a person would be, "why don't you leave, move to a Christian country and stop badgering these folks and trying their patience? They gave you refuge didn't they?"

And yet here stands Mr. Gopnik, doing precisely that ... but in our country, to us.

Whenever I hear a Gopnik, desperately unhappy with the country he is in and fundamentally fearful of his neighbors, all I can wonder is why he doesn't just move home to Israel, the only place where he will be happy and find true Jewish fulfillment. Adam, listen to Theodore Herzl. Listen to Rav Kook.

Yet the Gopniks stay in America, living a life surrounded by European Christians (aka "white people"), angry that American does not express their nation's cultural values, and convinced deep down inside that white people have genocide deep in their hearts.

How sad!

none of the above said...

IMO, you're reading too much intellectual significance into this kind of critique. My guess is that while this may reflect Gopnik's ideas to some extent, the main reason he's taking this tack is the same reason professors of literature go off on tangents about the hidden elements of incestuous lesbian homoeroticism in Pride and Prejudice or some such thing--they need something to write about, and most sensible stuff that might be said about their subject by someone of their level of intellect and insight has long since been said. They have no choice but to reach.

It's remarkably unlikely that Gopnik could have written anything much more insightful w.r.t. Norman Rockwell and America than stuff that's been written before, in the hundreds of times someone must have written similar-length and -themed pieces. Taking this contrarian tack gave him something to write. Silly, perhaps, but at least something to write, something that got the editors' and readers' attention.

Big Bill said...

It is so sad. On the one hand you have Spielberg who knows how lucky he is to live among the goyim in America and honors the culture.

On the other hand you have Adam Gopnik, a profoundly fearful and angry man, who just cannot stop warning Jews that "Europeans" or "white people" (aka white goyim, esp. Christians) can never be trusted. This is a continuing theme for Gopnik.

Whenever I read about Gopniks, desperately unhappy with the country they are in and their neighbors, all I can wonder is why they don't just move home to Israel, the only place where they will be happy and find true Jewish fulfillment.

Secular Gopniks should read Theodor Herzl. Religious Gopniks should read Rav Kook. They both preach the same thing: make aliyah and save yourself, fulfill yourself, redeem yourself.

Yet the Gopniks stay in America, living a life surrounded by goyim, twitchy and fundamentally afraid for their entire lives.

How sad!

anony-mouse said...

Isn't it nice to see how many isteve readers are pure FDR Democrats.

Google "Norman Rockwell Four Freedoms"

Anonymous said...

If Gopnik really new American, or any, art history he could criticise Norman Rockwell's painting on its own ground. Rockwell was fine illustrator but doesn't really measure up against the great American realist painters. Compare "Freedom of Speech" with George Caleb Bingham's pictures of electioneering in mid-19th-century Missouri, for example. The Rockwell appears sentimental and shallow by comparison. All the 19thC genre painters who are remembered outclassed Rockwell (eg David Wilkie in the UK). So does Grant Wood. Edward Hopper captured American life without really being able to paint the humen figure. But I guess Gopik hasn't even heard of these artists. That's the beauty of his kind of modernism - you don't have to know what the avant garde are in front of.
I think you're all wrong about Amistad, though; is there another American film in which the unquestionable good guys are the redcoats?

Shawn said...

"Today's situation in which the most powerful single group is above all criticism as a group is less than ideal."

Most powerful group per capita, no doubt, but not overall. It is still White protestants who make up the largest group of voters.

ARaceAgainstTime said...

Eric Kaufman's book The Rise and Fall of Anglo-America contains a section called The Assault on Anglo-American Populist Art, which explains how the heavily Jewish New York avant-garde defeated Regionalism and other realist art in the 1930s and 1940s.

Regionalist painters and writers emphasized the rural, Yeoman populism of Jefferson and Jackson. They "sought to draw on the American landscape, its history and folk culture, in an attempt to generate an authentically native 'American' culture and reconstruct an American sense of national community."

The New York critics attacked the Regionalist school as fascist and reactionary. "The appeal to national sentiment should set us on guard," Meyer Schapiro wrote in Partisan Review. The Jewish-Anglo roots of the conflict came to a head when Greenwich Village radical Alfred Stieglitz condemned Regionalist painter Thomas Craven as a racist and Craven responded by calling Stieglitz "a Hoboken Jew without knowledge of, or interest in, the historical American background."

Stieglitz and the New York radicals won the battle for control of the American art world; Craven and the Regionalists lost.

Kaufman concludes, "What occurred, therefore, was an attempt by the new avant-garde 'ethnic' community to replace the Anglo-Protestants as the culturally dominant group in the nation, an event that was to hasten the WASP-to-Cosmopolitan shift in the nation's identity... In capturing Anglo-America from the top-down, the American avant-garde left American dominant ethnicity rudderless. It was now only a question of time before cosmopolitanism would achieve the institutional inertia necessary for it to triumph as a mass phenomenon."

michael farris said...

I think Rockwell can be criticised on a number of grounds, some of which are even in the same general ballpark that Gopnik was in. But overall, Gopnik's review is an embarrassment, a poorly thought out and written piece that says a lot more about his phobias than whatever Rockwell's shortcomings may be.

But where Gopnik is almost kind of right was the .... self-congratulatory sentimentality of a lot of his stuff (understandable given the nature of his clients but still too sticky sweet at times). A lot of his work is meant to make the viewer think more highly of themselves for appreciating the simple good-hearted humanity of it all (a borrowed idea, but one that does apply to Rockwell).

And .... about to commit heresy here - he mostly didn't really paint children very well, he painted burlesques of adult stereotypes of children. His teenagers are even worse.

On the other hand, he was an amazing craftsman and in addition to his keen storytelling skills he could capture and project adult emotional states better than almost any other artist of the last couple of centuries.

At his best there's something almost atavistic about some of his work which can be appreciated in the same way that folk art or the work of outsider eccentrics can as glimpses into the unfiltered psyche.

There, that's enough pretentious drabble for today.

Anonymous said...

I used to be a waiter and Jews tipped the worst, even worse than African-Americans.

Ray Sawhill said...

I'd love to see someone write a well-researched book about the history of this ridiculous "art MUST be progressive and challenging" idea. It's such an obvious falsehood, yet it has so come to dominate the culture sector that it's now almost like a loyalty oath you have to commit to in order to have access to the cultural world at all.

"Do you hereby agree that art MUST be progressive and challenging?"

"I do."

"OK then, we'll let you in."

I know what the outlines of the story are but I'd love to immerse myself in the details.

Also, once someone has packaged the idea, pointed out how absurd it is, and argued convincingly that it's an artifact of a specific place and time, maybe it'll start to lose its grip. Maybe we'll finally start to be able to laugh it off.

Any takers for the project?

Anonymous said...

One of the good things about our modern times is that Jews seem to be much more honest and open about their intentions to destroy the traditional white gentile culture of the United States. In the past, Jews would often pretend that they loved the United States and wanted to preserve its traditional culture.

Bingo.

Folks like David Axelrod [son of the Stalinist propagandist, Myril Axelrod], Rahm "Never let a good crisis go to waste" Emanuel, Ezekiel J. "Death Panels" Emanuel, Andy Stern, Bernardine "Dohrn" Ornstein, and Elena Kagan don't waste any time in letting you know what their true intentions are.

Thank goodness that we can finally dispense with the facade of civility.

Tom Piatak said...

An outstanding response to an odious column.

Mark said...

America isn't about Rockwell's one-note image of it -- or anyone else's. This country is about a game-changing guarantee that equal room will be made for Latino socialists, disgruntled lesbian spinsters, foul-mouthed Jewish comics and even, dare I say it, for metrosexual half-Canadian art critics with a fondness for offal, spinets and kilts.

I love how a "half-Canadian" descendant of more recent immigrants is trying to tell those of us descended from America's founding populations what America is supposedly about.

Thank you, Mr. Gopnik. I'll take that under advisement.

And the opening scene celebrates killing of whites as much as Raiders and Saving Private Ryan did of killing Nazis.

"Saving Private Ryan" goes overboard to note that Jews served as faithfully during WW2 as any other group. There is the Mellish character, ever-present with a Yiddish quip, who endures perhaps the most courageous and drawn-out death in the movie. Then in the final scene there is the aged Ryan visiting the US cemetery at Normandy. In the background shots you see row upon row of crosses, unbroken by a single Star of David. Yet Miller's cross just happens to be right next to at least two Stars of David, one to its right, and one directly behind where Ryan is standing.

Spielberg takes a potshot at Brits/WASPs via Ted Danson's knock of Field Marshal Montgomery, and via the movie's official designated coward, the WASP Corporal Upham.

But hey, it's Spielberg's movie.

Spielberg supposedly has a genuine love for mid-century Americana, though. I once read that when he's making a new film he has eveyr member of the cast sit down and watch "It's a Wonderful Life."

By the way, I see the Google guys just couldn't bring themselves to alter the logo solely in honor of Independence Day. They had to toss in Rube Goldberg's birthday, too.

Odd. The point I got out of it is that thanks to Obamaite socialists, America is now one giant, costly, time-consuming, and inefficient Rube Goldberg contraption, only with far less charm.

Spielberg and Lucas are Jews.

Lucas is not Jewish. He was raised a Methodist. His ethnic background seems to be Protestant German.

Today's situation in which the most powerful single group is above all criticism as a group is less than ideal.

Add to that the belief, often propounded by Jews (but also others), that America is not a "melting pot" but a "salad bowl," where all of the different groups are supposed to retain, unchanged, their original cultures and identities. Meanwhile, there is little to know respect for the original identity. We are the bowl itsewlf - tasteless, irrelevant and only useful as a serving platter.

Lucas might not be a Jew, but he is a pretty conventional liberal, though, with all the usual pettiness.

It's pretty noteworthy, though, that once Lucas inserted the shrillest liberal beliefs into his movies they turned into pure dreck. Indiana Jones and the original Star Wars trilogy were fairly conservative - individualistic, belief in the morality of defensive violence, and belief in subservience to the old ways. The Star Wars prequels were crap.

Mark said...

America isn't about Rockwell's one-note image of it -- or anyone else's. This country is about a game-changing guarantee that equal room will be made for Latino socialists, disgruntled lesbian spinsters, foul-mouthed Jewish comics and even, dare I say it, for metrosexual half-Canadian art critics with a fondness for offal, spinets and kilts.

I love how a "half-Canadian" descendant of more recent immigrants is trying to tell those of us descended from America's founding populations what America is supposedly about.

Thank you, Mr. Gopnik. I'll take that under advisement.

And the opening scene celebrates killing of whites as much as Raiders and Saving Private Ryan did of killing Nazis.

"Saving Private Ryan" goes overboard to note that Jews served as faithfully during WW2 as any other group. There is the Mellish character, ever-present with a Yiddish quip, who endures perhaps the most courageous and drawn-out death in the movie. Then in the final scene there is the aged Ryan visiting the US cemetery at Normandy. In the background shots you see row upon row of crosses, unbroken by a single Star of David. Yet Miller's cross just happens to be right next to at least two Stars of David, one to its right, and one directly behind where Ryan is standing.

Spielberg takes a potshot at Brits/WASPs via Ted Danson's knock of Field Marshal Montgomery, and via the movie's official designated coward, the WASP Corporal Upham.

But hey, it's Spielberg's movie.

Spielberg supposedly has a genuine love for mid-century Americana, though. I once read that when he's making a new film he has eveyr member of the cast sit down and watch "It's a Wonderful Life."

By the way, I see the Google guys just couldn't bring themselves to alter the logo solely in honor of Independence Day. They had to toss in Rube Goldberg's birthday, too.

Odd. The point I got out of it is that thanks to Obamaite socialists, America is now one giant, costly, time-consuming, and inefficient Rube Goldberg contraption, only with far less charm.

Spielberg and Lucas are Jews.

Lucas is not Jewish. He was raised a Methodist. His ethnic background seems to be Protestant German.

Today's situation in which the most powerful single group is above all criticism as a group is less than ideal.

Add to that the belief, often propounded by Jews (but also others), that America is not a "melting pot" but a "salad bowl," where all of the different groups are supposed to retain, unchanged, their original cultures and identities. Meanwhile, there is little to know respect for the original identity. We are the bowl itsewlf - tasteless, irrelevant and only useful as a serving platter.

Lucas might not be a Jew, but he is a pretty conventional liberal, though, with all the usual pettiness.

It's pretty noteworthy, though, that once Lucas inserted the shrillest liberal beliefs into his movies they turned into pure dreck. Indiana Jones and the original Star Wars trilogy were fairly conservative - individualistic, belief in the morality of defensive violence, and belief in subservience to the old ways. The Star Wars prequels were crap.

Mark said...

America isn't about Rockwell's one-note image of it -- or anyone else's. This country is about a game-changing guarantee that equal room will be made for Latino socialists, disgruntled lesbian spinsters, foul-mouthed Jewish comics and even, dare I say it, for metrosexual half-Canadian art critics with a fondness for offal, spinets and kilts.

I love how a "half-Canadian" descendant of more recent immigrants is trying to tell those of us descended from America's founding populations what America is supposedly about.

Thank you, Mr. Gopnik. I'll take that under advisement.

And the opening scene celebrates killing of whites as much as Raiders and Saving Private Ryan did of killing Nazis.

"Saving Private Ryan" goes overboard to note that Jews served as faithfully during WW2 as any other group. There is the Mellish character, ever-present with a Yiddish quip, who endures perhaps the most courageous and drawn-out death in the movie. Then in the final scene there is the aged Ryan visiting the US cemetery at Normandy. In the background shots you see row upon row of crosses, unbroken by a single Star of David. Yet Miller's cross just happens to be right next to at least two Stars of David, one to its right, and one directly behind where Ryan is standing.

Spielberg takes a potshot at Brits/WASPs via Ted Danson's knock of Field Marshal Montgomery, and via the movie's official designated coward, the WASP Corporal Upham.

But hey, it's Spielberg's movie.

Spielberg supposedly has a genuine love for mid-century Americana, though. I once read that when he's making a new film he has eveyr member of the cast sit down and watch "It's a Wonderful Life."

By the way, I see the Google guys just couldn't bring themselves to alter the logo solely in honor of Independence Day. They had to toss in Rube Goldberg's birthday, too.

Odd. The point I got out of it is that thanks to Obamaite socialists, America is now one giant, costly, time-consuming, and inefficient Rube Goldberg contraption, only with far less charm.

Spielberg and Lucas are Jews.

Lucas is not Jewish. He was raised a Methodist. His ethnic background seems to be Protestant German.

Today's situation in which the most powerful single group is above all criticism as a group is less than ideal.

Add to that the belief, often propounded by Jews (but also others), that America is not a "melting pot" but a "salad bowl," where all of the different groups are supposed to retain, unchanged, their original cultures and identities. Meanwhile, there is little to know respect for the original identity. We are the bowl itsewlf - tasteless, irrelevant and only useful as a serving platter.

Lucas might not be a Jew, but he is a pretty conventional liberal, though, with all the usual pettiness.

It's pretty noteworthy, though, that once Lucas inserted the shrillest liberal beliefs into his movies they turned into pure dreck. Indiana Jones and the original Star Wars trilogy were fairly conservative - individualistic, belief in the morality of defensive violence, and belief in subservience to the old ways. The Star Wars prequels were crap.

asdfasdfadf said...

"Lucas might not be a Jew, but he is a pretty conventional liberal, though, with all the usual pettiness."

I think he is a closet New-Age fascist.

sdfasdfasdf said...

Wasn't Rockwell a New Deal Liberal? And he fought segregation through his paintings too. He may have been artistically conservative but he was politically on the left, I think.

asdfasdfasdf said...

Good thing Charles Schulz covered himself by adding Franklin(black) and Peppermint Patty(prolly lesbian), or he'd be attacked too.

Btw, Schulz the comic artist was 1000x the artist Rockwell could ever be. He loved America and children and all that, but he didn't have a mawkish sentimentality.

MQ said...

America isn't about Rockwell's one-note image of it -- or anyone else's. This country is about a game-changing guarantee that equal room will be made for Latino socialists, disgruntled lesbian spinsters, foul-mouthed Jewish comics and even, dare I say it, for metrosexual half-Canadian art critics with a fondness for offal, spinets and kilts.

Holy crap does Gopnik make liberalism look bad. It's like, let's gather up all the most irritating detritus of the left, and that's my vision of America.

The issue with the newer generation of Jewish intellectuals is that they've been so shielded from criticism...They don't even notice that Jews tend to have certain traits that they ought to try to resist. Who today is going to dare be so anti-Semitic as to point out certain tendencies?

In contrast, earlier Jewish generations tended to feel that they ought to try to be on their best behavior or the goyim might notice...

Today's situation in which the most powerful single group is above all criticism as a group is less than ideal.


It's always interesting to see Steve's elaborate rationalizations of racism or anti-semitism. In polite discourse today it is perfectly permissible to call out other people for being a jerk, so long as you do it *as an individual*. Just like we arrest and imprison millions on millions of black people who actually do commit crimes. What's not permissible is to say that someone being a jerk or a criminal simply because they belong to a particular group, because you are then implictly saying that everyone else in the group is also an asshole or a criminal. This code is perfectly reasonable -- no one would ever accept their own group being subject to mass negative stereotyping.

Mark said...

By the way, I see the Google guys just couldn't bring themselves to alter the logo solely in honor of Independence Day. They had to toss in Rube Goldberg's birthday, too.

I found the America-as-Rube-Goldberg-Contraption a stirring analogy for the USA under the Obama socialists: costly, time-consuming, inefficient, and apt-to-fail at all too many points. The analogy breaks down in that Obama's America isn't quite as charming as a Rube Goldberg machine.

asdfasdfasdf said...

http://www.jessicaswell.com/ObamaJesus.gif/ObamaJesusSmall.gif

Norman Crockwell.

Anonymous said...

Lucas is Jewish? It's news to me.

Ditto.

If ever there was a socially awkward, white, geek/nerd archetype, George would be your man.

Anonymous said...

In Soviet America Social Realism embourgeoise you!

Anonymous said...

It is still White protestants who make up the largest group of voters.

How covenient then, that of all demographics they are most split politically.

sdfasasdfasdf said...

Rockwell's paintings remind me of Socialist Realism and National Socialist volkism. Not that either is necessarily bad as artic expression, but there is an element of didactic propagandism at its core. It's the sort of thing you expect in poster or calendar art. It's one thing to SHOW, another thing to PREACH.
Socialist Realism is always saying 'the noble worker!!' and Volkish art always says 'the noble Aryan farmer!!'. Rockwell was less blatantly political or ideological--due to the nature of American democracy--, but there is an overly idealized image of GOOD DECENT AMERICA.

He may be compared with Capra, but there is darkness as well as warm glow in Capra's movies. Some parts of Meet John Doe and It's a Wonderful Life give us America as nightmare. Though Rockwell too painted about American problems--perhaps mostly famously of the little black girl walking to a desegated school--, there was precious little but the simplest kind of message. There is good or bad--mostly good--, no shades of grey.
In a way, this is the basic problem with the liberal narrative. We usually associate the left with hippies and druggies and subversives, but most liberals tend to be of the GREEN MILE, SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, FORREST GUMP, PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS, and BLIND SIDE Rockwellian school of 'uh-goshy, the world would be a better place IF ONLY we learned to love one another, blah blah blah.'
The whole race narrative since the
1950s has been noble peace-loving black saints struggling for justice and equality against white bigotry, oh boo hoo. Even the coverage of South Africa is Rockwellian, with CRY FREEDOM blacks led by saints Biko and Mandela in the peaceful struggle for dignity and liberty. There is a complete shutout of news on genocide against whites, complete lack of ambiguity, complexity, the dark side of ANC and Mandela.

asdfasfasdf said...

Rockwell's paintings remind me of Socialist Realism and National Socialist volkism. Not that either is necessarily bad as artic expression, but there is an element of didactic propagandism at its core. It's the sort of thing you expect in poster or calendar art. It's one thing to SHOW, another thing to PREACH.
Socialist Realism is always saying 'the noble worker!!' and Volkish art always says 'the noble Aryan farmer!!'. Rockwell was less blatantly political or ideological--due to the nature of American democracy--, but there is an overly idealized image of GOOD DECENT AMERICA.

He may be compared with Capra, but there is darkness as well as warm glow in Capra's movies. Some parts of Meet John Doe and It's a Wonderful Life give us America as nightmare. Though Rockwell too painted about American problems--perhaps mostly famously of the little black girl walking to a desegated school--, there was precious little but the simplest kind of message. There is good or bad--mostly good--, no shades of grey.
In a way, this is the basic problem with the liberal narrative. We usually associate the left with hippies and druggies and subversives, but most liberals tend to be of the GREEN MILE, SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, FORREST GUMP, PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS, and BLIND SIDE Rockwellian school of 'uh-goshy, the world would be a better place IF ONLY we learned to love one another, blah blah blah.'
The whole race narrative since the
1950s has been noble peace-loving black saints struggling for justice and equality against white bigotry, oh boo hoo. Even the coverage of South Africa is Rockwellian, with CRY FREEDOM blacks led by saints Biko and Mandela in the peaceful struggle for dignity and liberty. There is a complete shutout of news on genocide against whites, complete lack of ambiguity, complexity, the dark side of ANC and Mandela.

Indeed, even liberals have infused their politics with Rockwellism. NY Times and Elena Kagan would have us believe in all those good, decent, virtuous immigrants and disenfranchised who ONLY want their slice of the American Dream. Jeb Bush and Putnam(in Sailer's VDARE article) are living in Rockwelland, the golden glowing myth of Ellis Island and Neil Diamond's cheesy song 'coming to America TODAY!!!'

Of course, reality is far more complex. Sailer, who's been writing about the REALITY beyond the BS fed to us by liberal Hollywood, should open his eyes to the dangers of Rockwellism. Sure, his paintings are mostly about white people in old white America, but they are a form of secular faith in THE PEOPLE. With changing demographics, we are told to worship the NEW PEOPLE. The subject has changed but the same simple-minded viewpoint remains: just have faith in trustworthy authorities and THE PEOPLE!! The people? Far more people prefer Oprah to Sailer, Blind Side to Idiocracy. I don't worship the people.

And Bush II was right out of a Rockwell painting, the born-again beer buddy. Had enough?

adsfasddf said...

Indeed, even liberals have infused their politics with Rockwellism. NY Times and Elena Kagan would have us believe in all those good, decent, virtuous immigrants and disenfranchised who ONLY want their slice of the American Dream. Jeb Bush and Putnam(in Sailer's VDARE article) are living in Rockwelland, the golden glowing myth of Ellis Island and Neil Diamond's cheesy song 'coming to America TODAY!!!'

Of course, reality is far more complex. Sailer, who's been writing about the REALITY beyond the BS fed to us by liberal Hollywood, should open his eyes to the dangers of Rockwellism. Sure, his paintings are mostly about white people in old white America, but they are a form of secular faith in THE PEOPLE. With changing demographics, we are told to worship the NEW PEOPLE. The subject has changed but the same simple-minded viewpoint remains: just have faith in trustworthy authorities and THE PEOPLE!! The people? Far more people prefer Oprah to Sailer, Blind Side to Idiocracy. I don't worship the people.

And Bush II was right out of a Rockwell painting, the born-again beer buddy. Had enough?

adsfadadsf said...

Maybe Gopnik will like this:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_1P1V1UT_zoU/Si9XDhECBII/AAAAAAAAA9M/nkdVbx_XOBQ/S660/Norman+Rockwell-beliefs-people.jpg

It sure looks like today's America.

adasadfasdf said...

http://silencedmajority.blogs.com/.a/6a00d834520b4b69e201287685b0df970c-400wi

http://www.eons.com/images/members/2009/12/19/0/2/02794216215495642836_610w.jpeg

Look at the paintings above and it's obvious what Rockwell's problem was. His works are PACKED with OVERRIPENESS.

The first one might have worked better with just soldier and tenement housing, or maybe a few people. But there are too many people all at once, from young to old, in every imaginable cute or loving position/expression.
What could have been stark, moving, and touching is mushy and gushy. Spielberg was also at his worst when he went over the cliff with overripeness. The first third of Empire of the Sun is masterly but then the movie progressively turns into a kind of epic Rockwellism. And the ending of Schindler's List was Rockwellism at its worst.

The second painting is also packed, with every inch of the frame signifying 'hard working American', 'good decent American', 'proud American', 'American of faith', 'healthy American', etc, etc. It's sooooo humane that there's nothing human in it.

Compare Rockwellism with Mike Royko-ism or Mike Judge-ism. Both Royko and Judge love America and Americans, but their vision is fuller and richer cuz they show warts and all(and the warts look pretty nasty as they should). In the world of Rockwell, even the warts are cute, cuddly, and glowy.
King of the Hill is uglier and cruder than any Rockwell Painting but more truthful about what America is really like. And there is something in Mike Royko's columns that we find in All in the Family. In the end, if there's anything wonderful about Americans, it's not because we are picture perfect but because we have the freedom and courage to say it like it is.

Rockwell was an oldfashioned meathead, no less a shallow idealist than the freaks of the 60s.

asdfadasdfasdf said...

PS: what is Gopnik arguing with or about? America culture, sports, and politics today is completely run by liberals, neocons--fake cons--, black rappers, black athletes, interracial porn, idealized gays on TV, feminist idiots, La Raza activists, etc, etc.

If anything, Gopnik should thank Rockwell for encouraging an overly idealistic and idealized view of America among white Americans. If white liberal sappiness has been defenseless against the radical and non-white onslaught, it owes something to the cultural mindset promoted and disseminated by the likes of Rockwell and Stanley Kramer. Most people in Kramer's movies are white too; the films idealize simple 'good whites'--open-minded and open-hearted progressives--over simple 'bad whites'--the hate-filled bigots. Not much difference between Rockwell and Kramer.

Why did white Americans end up with white guilt? Because at one time, they'd been told AMERICA WAS PERFECT AND GREAT AND WONDERFUL. When they discovered it aint so--like kid finding out Santa is fake--, they went crazy and were filled with the opposite of pride--guilt and shame.
So, let's not embrace Rockwellian idealism. We'v never been perfect nor all that good. Our main argument should not be 'we are so good' but 'others are even worse'. Been to Detroit lately? And how are Zionist Jews treating the Palestinians?

asdfasdfasdfs said...

"Latino socialists, disgruntled lesbian spinsters, foul-mouthed Jewish comics and even, dare I say it, for metrosexual half-Canadian art critics"

Lemme see... Sotomayor, Kagan, Maher & Stewart, and himself.

How about an America where nearly 90% of MSM, top colleges, Wall Street, Hollywood, and government isn't owned by people of one ethnic group?

Jews are 2% of the population. What percentage of movie, art, and book critics are Jewish. So much for 'fairness' and diversity.

I often think Jews scream diversity, diversity, diversity(against whites of course) in order to mask their own violation of its rules.

If any people should MAKE ROOM so that other people may join in, it's the Jews. So, how about NY Times making sure its writers on foreign affairs(especially the Middle East) are at least 30% Muslim.

PS: what is Gopnik arguing with or about? America culture, sports, and politics today is completely run by liberals, neocons--fake cons--, black rappers, black athletes, interracial porn, idealized gays on TV, feminist idiots, La Raza activists, etc, etc.

If anything, Gopnik should thank Rockwell for encouraging an overly idealistic and idealized view of America among white Americans. If white liberal sappiness has been defenseless against the radical and non-white onslaught, it owes something to the cultural mindset promoted and disseminated by the likes of Rockwell and Stanley Kramer. Most people in Kramer's movies are white too; the films idealize simple 'good whites'--open-minded and open-hearted progressives--over simple 'bad whites'--the hate-filled bigots. Not much difference between Rockwell and Kramer.

Why did white Americans end up with white guilt? Because at one time, they'd been told AMERICA WAS PERFECT AND GREAT AND WONDERFUL. When they discovered it aint so--like kid finding out Santa is fake--, they went crazy and were filled with the opposite of pride--guilt and shame.
So, let's not embrace Rockwellian idealism. We'v never been perfect nor all that good. Our main argument should not be 'we are so good' but 'others are even worse'. Been to Detroit lately? And how are Zionist Jews treating the Palestinians?

asdaasdfasdf said...

"Latino socialists, disgruntled lesbian spinsters, foul-mouthed Jewish comics and even, dare I say it, for metrosexual half-Canadian art critics"

Lemme see... Sotomayor, Kagan, Maher & Stewart, and himself.

How about an America where nearly 90% of MSM, top colleges, Wall Street, Hollywood, and government isn't owned by people of one ethnic group?

Jews are 2% of the population. What percentage of movie, art, and book critics are Jewish. So much for 'fairness' and diversity.

I often think Jews scream diversity, diversity, diversity(against whites of course) in order to mask their own violation of its rules.

If any people should MAKE ROOM so that other people may join in, it's the Jews. So, how about NY Times making sure its writers on foreign affairs(especially the Middle East) are at least 30% Muslim.

Tomf1027@hotmail.com said...

Other art critics also take issue with Gopnik's criticism, which seems to boil down to "If its popular, its bad."

http://blogcritics.org/culture/article/blake-gopniks-art-history-challenged/

SFG said...

Spielberg and Lucas are liberal but not anti-American. Lucas' Star Wars uses tropes of freedom fighters against an evil empire, in a sense re-enacting the story of American independence and of WWII. Spielberg actually used the Communists as villains in the last Indy movie. E.T. is about the goodness of middle Americans helping an alien against the evil federal government. Even Amistad has New England Americans in a positive role opposing slavery. Spielberg's pro-Jewish (Schindler's list, Munich), but I don't see him as anti-American in any way. He may not be fond of your favorite parts of America, but he doesn't seem to oppose the nation as a whole.

Notably, they make the sort of 'popcorn movies' that have to appeal to the nation as a whole. The middle class isn't as fond of anti-Americanism as the avant-garde, and both Spielberg and Lucas have been criticized for their 'popcorn movie' work. What serious film critic admits to liking Star Wars? (This may change with the rise of nerd culture.)

travis said...

Gopnik's words are the logical conclusion of the world the Yankee has created. The Jew is a convenient scapegoat. If you have any doubts check out Rockwell's "Civil Rights Paintings".

Anonymous said...

"I love Lucas' Library."

I'd never come out.

Take a look at this personal library of Jay Walker.


http://www.wired.com/techbiz/people/magazine/16-10/ff_walker?currentPage=all

Mr. Anon said...

"America isn't about Rockwell's one-note image of it -- or anyone else's. This country is about a game-changing guarantee that equal room will be made for Latino socialists, disgruntled lesbian spinsters, foul-mouthed Jewish comics and even, dare I say it, for metrosexual half-Canadian art critics with a fondness for offal, spinets and kilts."

Yeah, "canadian", that's the first thing that comes to mind when I hear the name "Gopnik". Frankly, I'm getting tired of jews telling me what America is or is not about. It's my country more than it is theirs. (and by the way, does he honestly think this country is not indulgent enough of "foul-mouthed" jewish comics")

Would Gopnik be happier if Norman Rockwell had painted strung-out junkies in a flop-house, or amyl-nitrate popping drag-queens in a bath-house? If that's the "America" that this pervert dick-head wants portrayed than he can just f**k-off.

Anonymous said...

"I used to be a waiter and Jews tipped the worst, even worse than African-Americans."

I'm glad this highly relevant comment made it through moderation, demonstrating the lack of anti-Jewish animus on this blog.

Anonymous said...

Many phenomenon can be explained by the bear joke. You know the one that says - "I don't have to outrun the bear, I just have to outrun you".

Modern art and therefore modern art critics exist largely to supply people with a way to separate and raise themselves above others. It is easy to define yourself as above the crowd by embracing something ugly and odious. The poor unsophisticated schmuck will be slow to catch on to this game and will continue to admire beautiful things and/or things with meaning.

Gopnik provides a service to his readers. He says - join me, embrace the ugly, stupid and obnoxious. That is sure to draw a line between you and the millions who just respond to what they see rather than being sensitive to the true class defining power of art. Who cares about what you see? You can achieve social exclusivity.

When buying hardware online I read the reviews on Amazon. If most people like the thingamajig I buy it. But art appreciation is exactly the opposite. If most people like something it must be wrong. Otherwise you are just like all them.

Albertosaurus

Anonymous said...

Note to Big Bill. Blake Gopnik and Adam Gopnik are two different people. I realize that we all look alike, but still...

Anonymous said...

Isn't it nice to see how many isteve readers are pure FDR Democrats.

Google "Norman Rockwell Four Freedoms"


While you're at, try "Norman Rockwell Golden Rule"

Anonymous said...

"The other comment is that you can't have a counterculture without a culture, and, if nothing else, Gopnik should appreciate Rockwellian culture as a tolerant and inclusive foil for his lesbian spinsters, Latino socialists, and foul mouthed Jewish comics. Put it this way: there's never been a society composed mainly of Jewish comics or lesbian spinsters, but there have been Latino socialist ones, and I'm sure Gopnik would rather be a Latino socialist in Rockwell's America than a Rockwellian artist in, say, Castro's Cuba."

Well said, Fred.

Black Sea said...

"Blake Gopnik and Adam Gopnik are two different people."

They're brothers, actually.

Anonymous said...

A few thoughts.

1. Jews, of course, contributed mightily to the "WASP" Americana culture. Just a couple of hours before reading this post I was driving in a car and the radio played Hoedown from Copland's Rodeo (aka the music from the "Beef...that's what's for dinner" commercials.)

2. Mr. Gopnik would be astonished to learn that he is diplaying "ethno-cultural animus". He just doesn't think of Rockwell as a representative of an ethnic culture. Also, he doesn't think of himself as a representative of an ethnic culture. Contra Steve, the issue with the newer generation of Jewish intellectuals is that they forgot they are Jews.

3. I like Rockwell but I can understand those who don't. However, those who don't like him have fewer excuses now than they did 50 years ago.

4. Some people call Rockwell's art fascist. Much of it is cheap histrionics but there is some truth to it. America was going through its fascist moment and Rockwell is a representative of that. It's no accident that his work closely resembles much of the 1930s Fascist/Soviet propaganda art. This doesn't mean that Rockwell was bad; but those Fascist/Soviet painters weren't bad either.

Anonymous said...

"Jews are 2% of the population. What percentage of movie, art, and book critics are Jewish. So much for 'fairness' and diversity. "

Half Sigma says that's because Jews have high IQ's

Black Sea said...

"America was going through its fascist moment and Rockwell is a representative of that."


I agree that Rockwell's work was sentimental, sometimes cloyingly so, and I wouldn't call myself much of a fan, but I was surprised to learn from Anonymous that Rockwell's paintings stoked the fires of American fascism. This would seem to be painting with a rather broad brush.

Sorry, I couldn't resist.

ben tillman said...

Mr. Gopnik would be astonished to learn that he is diplaying "ethno-cultural animus". He just doesn't think of Rockwell as a representative of an ethnic culture. Also, he doesn't think of himself as a representative of an ethnic culture.

Lte's suppose you're right. Why should that matter? What matters is the result, not the reason.

Anonymous said...

"I used to be a waiter and Jews tipped the worst, even worse than African-Americans."

I'm glad this highly relevant comment made it through moderation, demonstrating the lack of anti-Jewish animus on this blog."

Would you be happer if it said, "I used to be a waiter and African-Americans tipped the worst, even worse than Jews"?

Fred said...

For someone incredibly rich and successful, George Lucas comes across as surprisingly petty and insecure in his comments about Spielberg in the NY Times article about the Rockwell exhibit. Maybe he resents that Spielberg has had more critical success.

Anonymous said...

For someone incredibly rich and successful, George Lucas comes across as surprisingly petty and insecure in his comments about Spielberg in the NY Times article about the Rockwell exhibit. Maybe he resents that Spielberg has had more critical success.

Yeah Lucas is a sore loser. Spielberg has a higher IQ so obviously he's more successful.

Fred said...

"Yeah Lucas is a sore loser. Spielberg has a higher IQ so obviously he's more successful."

I'd guess Lucas has the higher IQ, given his technical innovations with special effects. But Spielberg is the better filmmaker and has more artistic talent, which is why he has had more critical successes to go along with his commercial successes.

asdfasdfasdf said...

"I used to be a waiter and Jews tipped the worst, even worse than African-Americans."

I'm glad this highly relevant comment made it through moderation, demonstrating the lack of anti-Jewish animus on this blog."

Would you be happer if it said, "I used to be a waiter and African-Americans tipped the worst, even worse than Jews"?


How did you know they were Jews?

adfasdfasdf said...

For someone incredibly rich and successful, George Lucas comes across as surprisingly petty and insecure in his comments about Spielberg in the NY Times article about the Rockwell exhibit. Maybe he resents that Spielberg has had more critical success.

Yeah Lucas is a sore loser. Spielberg has a higher IQ so obviously he's more successful.


Is Spielberg richer?
Who made more money from the Indiana Jones franchise?

asdfasdfsadf said...

Some people call Rockwell's art fascist. Much of it is cheap histrionics but there is some truth to it. America was going through its fascist moment and Rockwell is a representative of that. It's no accident that his work closely resembles much of the 1930s Fascist/Soviet propaganda art. This doesn't mean that Rockwell was bad; but those Fascist/Soviet painters weren't bad either.


There's nothing FASCIST about Rockwell. His works are humanist-populist.
There is an idealism at work but it's never quite heroic in the Fascist or National Socialist sense. What is being idealized is the ordinary free man in a democracy, not a great leader, god-like people, great beauty, or some such.

Rockwell's paintings share a certain populism with fascist art, but the difference is more crucial. Rockwell is content with people as people whereas fascist art extol the people to be beyond ordinary.
Humanism--Capra, De Sica, Kazan, etc--accept people as they are. Fascism pushes people to be heroes and gods.
The mother in National Socialist art isn't just a mother but a racial heroine who gives birth to babies of the SUPERIOR RACE.

There is much fascism in popular art and entertainment, and much of it's been appropriated by the Left. Makers of Matrix owe something to Riefenstahl. Cameron too. And of course 300 and Star Wars.

Anonymous said...

"I used to be a waiter and Jews tipped the worst, even worse than African-Americans."

I'm glad this highly relevant comment made it through moderation, demonstrating the lack of anti-Jewish animus on this blog.

I'm glad too.Demonstarting that people's real views and feelings not be repressed.

Anonymous said...

How did you know they were Jews?

For myself as the years go by my jewdar has increased its effectiveness. Looks, voice, mannerisms, its all there.

Or is this where we pretend that being jewish is all about religion and not ethnicity?

Anonymous said...

"Would you be happer if it said, "I used to be a waiter and African-Americans tipped the worst, even worse than Jews"?"

No, I'd be happier if comments presenting unverifiable criticisms of Jews completely irrelevant to the topic at hand didn't appear here.

Imagine a blog item discussing some problematic aspect of WASPdom and seeing comments in the thread below it bitching about some completely unrelated supposed WASP characteristic. Perhaps you too would be taken aback.

P.S. Maybe you were a lousy waiter and Jews tip more meritocratically than others.

Anonymous said...

Holy crap does Gopnik make liberalism look bad. It's like, let's gather up all the most irritating detritus of the left, and that's my vision of America.

Except that it's not like that - it is that.

Welcome to Nihilism 101.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad this highly relevant comment made it through moderation, demonstrating the lack of anti-Jewish animus on this blog.

Actually, I'm very interested in whether or not it's true.

Here is Natalie Portman at 11%, and here is Barbara Streisand at 2%.

One of my oldest memories of being introduced to the notion of Jewishness [I didn't really start to understand what Jews were until graduate school] was as a child, listening to an older cousin, who worked in a grocery store, on Cape Cod, during the summers, and who would tell us stories about the Jewish ladies who took the dinged-up tin cans to the clerk at the register and demanded a discount on them.

Weird - the little bits and pieces of childhood memories which stick with you through the years...

Anonymous said...

I can't think of a single movie by Lucas or Spielberg which I have any interest in watching.

Give me Josey Wales any day of the week.

[Which, in point of fact, either TNT or TBS seem to do at least once a weekend - Lucas & Spielberg just don't stand the test of time].

Anonymous said...

Big Bill, this is BLAKE Gopnik, WP art critic, not Adam Gopnik of the New Yorker.


I don't know if anyone outside Washington, DC reads Blake Gopnik. There are only two art critics who matter: Roberta Smith (NY Times) and Peter Schjeldahl (New Yorker). Both were raised in flyover country but have assimilated to NYC.

n/a said...

"Gopnik's words are the logical conclusion of the world the Yankee has created. The Jew is a convenient scapegoat. If you have any doubts check out Rockwell's "Civil Rights Paintings"."

First paragraph from your link:

Fifty years after he first started doing work for the magazine, Norman Rockwell was tired of doing the same sweet views of America for the Saturday Evening Post in the early 1960s. The great illustrator was increasingly influenced by his close friends and loved ones to look at some of the problems that was afflicting American society. Rockwell had formed close friendships with Erik Erickson and Robert Coles, psychiatrists specializing in the treatment of children and both were advocates of the civil rights movement.

Who was Erik Erikson:

He was born on June 15, 1902 as a result of his mother's extramarital affair, and the circumstances of his birth were concealed from him in his childhood. His mother, Karla Abrahamsen, came from a prominent Jewish family in Copenhagen

Coles apparently is a Yankee, albeit an at least mildly self-hating one whose closest associates / biggest influences were Jews and Southerners.

MTG said...

Recently, the liberal Jews at New York Post praised the WASPS for stepping aside in the name of 'meritocracy' and 'inclusion'. The op-ed argued that WASPS are good people not only because they've created a system of fairness but allowed others to beat them at their own game. In terms of meritocracy, the smarter Jews beat the WASPs and attained the status of the power elite. If America is all about 'winner reaching the top', then the Jew deserved to win by the standards of meritocracy.

BUT, the liberal Jews at NY Times also praised the WASPS for stepping aside in the name of 'inclusion', which is a codeword for 'affirmative action'. Inclusion is the very opposite of meritocracy; it is where the less qualified is favored over the more qualifed. Thus, affirmative action favors less qualified blacks and Hispanics over better qualified whites.

Now, consider the contradiction at the core of NY Times argument. It praises WASPS for their adherence to meritocracy and accepting defeat to the smarter and more talented Jews. But then, it also also praises the WASPs for their adherence to 'inclusion' and stepping aside for those who are less intelligent and qualified.

In other words, Jews want whites to lose to everyone. Jews want whites to lose to Jews in the name of meritocracy and to lose to blacks/browns in the name of 'inclusion'. And isn't it funny that Jews congratulate WASPs not for winning but for losing.
In other words, the only good WASP in the eyes of a Jew is a white tom wasp, or a white uncle tom wasp who ho-de-do's to the Jew and the black. This is why so many conservatives hated McCain. McCain thought NY TIMES and other institutions of Jewish power were praising him for his goodness and wonderfulness, but in fact, they were patting him on the back to stab him in the back--to make him work against white interests(when in fact Jews, blacks, and browns only work full-time for their own interests).

Now, why are Jews so eager to have blacks and browns win over the WASPs? Why aren't Jews content with their own victory over WASPs via meritocracy? Who do Jews want blacks and browns to step over more qualified WASPs in the name of 'inclusion'?

Because it's awful lonely at the top. If Jews are the sole winners at the uppermost echelons of society, then they would be perceived and feared(and even hated)as THE super power elite of America. So, Jews want to associate themselves with 'noble victims' or 'people of color'. So, Jews are aiding blacks and browns to move up over the WASPS. This way, Jews can have photo-ops with 'powerful' blacks and browns and act as though Jewish power is part and parcel of 'progressive multicultural' rainbow. Jews can tell the growing numbers of blacks and browns that Jews helped the 'disenfranchised' 'people of color' to succeed against 'white privilege'.

This is why Jews prop up people like Obama, Will Smith, and Oprah. Jews have risen way above whites. Now, they are trying to 'ennoble' their power elite status by associating themselves with the success of blacks and browns(at the expense of whites).

Paul Mendez said...

Isn't it time ASFASDF got his own blog?

Marc B said...

Post-modern liberals are not happy with any evidence that this was once a country populated with a mostly white, rural, civil and respectable people with small town values. God Bless Norman Rockwell, and a big thanks to Spielberg and Lucas for preserving and sharing the remnants of an era many of us cherish despite not ever experiencing.

asdfasdff said...

"Isn't it time ASFASDF got his own blog?"

It's a Her, moron.

Svigor said...

And: "But what these speakers[Spielberg and other Rockwell admirers], and these pictures, fail to grasp is that the special, courageous greatness of the nation lies in its definitive refusal of any single 'American way.'

What a manifest lie. Gopnik & co. definitively refuse to acknowledge or tolerate anything but their single "American way." That's precisely why I'm political. If they were willing to live and let live I'd be apolitical and none of you guys would have ever heard from me (wait for it...).

I have to love homosexuals and non-whites. I have to believe the myths of equality and white guilt. I have to love open borders. I have to pretend my freedom of association hasn't been abrogated. I have to love the fact that my country's being given away out from under me. If I don't, Gopnik & co. will come after me.

Anyone who pays attention to what emanates from Gopnik & co. knows perfectly well that there's a single "American way," that Gopnik & co. dictate it to the rest of us, and woe unto those who don't conform.

I was reading about Saudi Arabia and thinking about this the other day. Most of the expat bloggers (almost all female, for what it's worth) in SA give the impression that in SA, there's only one right way to do things, and that this is the opposite of America. Well, theoretically, historically, this may be true, but in reality, there's a very wide swathe of human interaction where for westerners, there's only one, single way to do things. We just have a much narrower set of rules to which we must rigidly adhere.

Svigor said...

Lucas is Jewish? It's news to me.

For a long time I thought Lucas was Jewish, and I just couldn't square the circle. It just didn't fit with his movies. Then I found out why, lol.

Svigor said...

"Spielberg also wanted to make a bio pic about Charles Lindbergh exposing Lindy as an anti-Semite."

He wasn't one?


But Spielberg isn't planning a movie about the Jewishness of Bolshevism and the Red Terror.

But weren't Bolshevism and the Red Terror pretty Jewish?

Svigor said...

"Today's situation in which the most powerful single group is above all criticism as a group is less than ideal."

Most powerful group per capita, no doubt, but not overall. It is still White protestants who make up the largest group of voters.


Most powerful overall. Political money trumps votes.

Svigor said...

"Saving Private Ryan" goes overboard to note that Jews served as faithfully during WW2 as any other group.

Jews did serve faithfully in WWII. Unfortunately, this serves as a stark contrast to the the faithfulness of their service in all our other wars (though Korea was a bit of a spike, too). This is compounded by the fact that WWII served Jewish interests like no other.

Svigor said...

I think he is a closet New-Age fascist.

That's why I couldn't square the Lucas-Jewish circle, heh.

Svigor said...

This code is perfectly reasonable -- no one would ever accept their own group being subject to mass negative stereotyping.

Yeah, if whites were subject to mass negative stereotyping, there'd be blood in the streets.

What are you, high?

Spielberg and Lucas are liberal but not anti-American.

The main Jewish thrust is not really "anti-American." The thrust is to redefine "American." If you're in love with open borders, multiculturalism, and white surrender, you're "American." If you want for you and yours what Jews have for themselves in Israel, you're "un-American." Sure, there's a minority there to push hard-core cosmopolitanism and globalism for the elite, and another to create a coalition of the deviant, but those are different markets.

Spielberg actually used the Communists as villains in the last Indy movie.

And everybody says it sucked (haven't seen it yet). So the pattern is, great flick with Nazi villains, lame flick with non-white villains, good flick with Nazi villains, lame flick with Commie villains. Plus, devious as I am, I have to wonder why so late? Now that Communism is long dead, and the Russians and the neocons have had a falling out, we get Commie Russian villains?

Contra Steve, the issue with the newer generation of Jewish intellectuals is that they forgot they are Jews.

...because their parents so thoroughly defeated and Judaized the old culture (or redefined "American," if you will) that they became the new normal.

OT: can we get a few more repeat posts, please? A few dozen just ain't enough.

Svigor said...

I just can't get over this one:

It's always interesting to see Steve's elaborate rationalizations of racism or anti-semitism. In polite discourse today it is perfectly permissible to call out other people for being a jerk, so long as you do it *as an individual*.

Or as long as you restrict your group criticisms to honkeys (which obviously excludes Jews); that's perfectly acceptable too.

Just like we arrest and imprison millions on millions of black people who actually do commit crimes. What's not permissible is to say that someone being a jerk or a criminal simply because they belong to a particular group, because you are then implictly saying that everyone else in the group is also an asshole or a criminal.

But this isn't anything anyone other than your straw man is saying. I say "way too many of the people screwing us are Jews" you say, "you just said every Jew is screwing you, that all Jews are bad by dint of being Jews!" See the disconnect?

What is your rule, if not a license to group malfeasance? If a group can't be criticized as a group, aren't you inviting misbehavior? The problem with the ipso facto pseudo-ban on collective responsibility is that, shock, surprise, horror...groups do act as groups! (which is probably why recognizing (protected) group malfeasance is itself covered in the quasi-ban on collective responsibility)

We can criticize a corporation without worrying about such semantic quibbles ("ZOMG did you just say everyone who works for BCCI is an asshole or a jerk?"), so we have no real problem with collective responsibility in the current context. But we're supposed to pretend we do on a "Who? Whom?" basis (no problem when we do it to whites; big problem when we do it to Jews).

Mr. Anon said...

"SFG said...

Spielberg actually used the Communists as villains in the last Indy movie."

Yes, but he refused to label them as "communists" or "reds" - they were simply "russians". Even more ridiculous was the scene where the college president decries the "red scare" which has people "seeing communists in their soup". And this happened just after the first act of the movie showed russian soldiers breaking into a top-security military installation in Nevada, killing american soldiers, and making off with top secret stuff. Within the logic of the movie, does that not rate a little justified "red scare"?

But it being a Hollywood movie, they have to get in their digs against the evil McCarthyists and their needless red-baiting.

Templar said...

Btw, Schulz the comic artist was 1000x the artist Rockwell could ever be. He loved America and children and all that, but he didn't have a mawkish sentimentality.

My favourite analysis of is Al Capp's: "The Peanuts characters are good, mean, little bastards, eager to hurt each other."

You could say he meant it as a compliment, but Schulz didn't seem to think of it as such.

Anonymous said...

"I used to be a waiter and Jews tipped the worst, even worse than African-Americans."

How did you know they were Jews?

Methinks they were Armenians or Lebanese rather than Jews.

Methinks that for the last 30 years or so, western Jews in America have gone to great lengths not to look the way Jews are "supposed", and to break as many stereotypes as possible.

IOW, Jews take pains not to be the nervous, neurotic, cheap, nerdy, shabbily-dressed strivers of the 1940s.

Anonymous said...

This may be a huge surprise, but Rockwell had an miserable childhood.

His schmaltzy paintings were one part ironic revenge against society, one part an attempt to rewrite his past, and another part cashing in on his previously unappreciated talent. He is like the comic book artist who draws evil arch-villains looking like his childhood enemies.

adfasdfasdf said...

If Gopnik is crazy about ideological and cultural diversity, how would he feel about having more radical anti-gay and anti-Zionist Muslims? Or how about neo-Nazi Germans? Or hardline Mormons? Or Neo-Confed anti-yanks? And conservative Asian-Indians?

sdfasdfsdf said...

Svigorous is on a roll!!!

dsfasdsdafsd said...

"Spielberg actually used the Communists as villains in the last Indy movie."

And everybody says it sucked (haven't seen it yet). So the pattern is, great flick with Nazi villains, lame flick with non-white villains, good flick with Nazi villains, lame flick with Commie villains. Plus, devious as I am, I have to wonder why so late? Now that Communism is long dead, and the Russians and the neocons have had a falling out, we get Commie Russian villains?


Yes, Spielberg isn't half as hostile to the commies as he was to the Nazis--but then he's Jewish--, but Indiana Jones and Crystal Skull is ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS!!!!
It's interesting that what had once been a New Kind of Filmmaking now seems CLASSIC like a 50s car in the 80s. Spielberg's style is to today's cinema what Howard Hawks or Hitchcock was in the late 50s or 60s. Old but still ahead of the game in many ways. Still fresh but also maturer.

I loved, loved, loved this movie.

It's like the Wild Bunch. Aging guys' last hurrah.

V. Walter said...

Anonymous wrote:

"His [Rockwell's] schmaltzy paintings were one part ironic revenge against society, one part an attempt to rewrite his past, and another part cashing in on his previously unappreciated talent. He is like the comic book artist who draws evil arch-villains looking like his childhood enemies."

Shades of Prince Otto von Bismarck, who - long after he had become the most powerful man in Europe - continued to live in absolute dread of one of his old schoolteachers.

Anonymous said...

Time to take a break from this blog.

Templar said...

Methinks that for the last 30 years or so, western Jews in America have gone to great lengths not to look the way Jews are "supposed", and to break as many stereotypes as possible.

Methinks you're coming off as just a wee bit desperate there...

Anonymous said...

I love fireworks on the Fourth of July.

Thanks, Steve!

Paul Mendez said...

asdfasdff said...

"Isn't it time ASFASDF got his own blog?"

It's a Her, moron.


My apologies! Those gender-neutral names like Pat, Carrol, Casey, Jody, Francis, and Asdfasdff can be very confusing at times...

David said...

>[Jews in America are the m]ost powerful group per capita, no doubt, but not overall. It is still White protestants who make up the largest group of voters.<

Dollars lead voters.