Right Wing Fails At Manufacturing Culture War Over Art

Culture Monster at The Los Angeles Times writes that the right wing’s attempts at a fake culture war over the arts have not been successful:

When it comes to art, the right-wing anti-Obama crowd hasn’t had a very good year. Repeated efforts to gin up outrage in a manufactured culture war have either fallen flat or proved downright embarrassing. (You can see some of them here, here and here.)

The latest fiasco is the Great Christmas Ornament Scandal.

On Tuesday, Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government blog got its knickers in a twist over one of the Obama White House’s myriad Christmas trees. (Big Government is a sibling to Breitbart’s Big Hollywood blog, which cranked up a paranoid fantasy about the National Endowment for the Arts a few months back.) The blaring “EXCLUSIVE” led with a blurry photo of a decoupage Christmas ornament adorned with the face of Chinese Communist dictator, Mao Zedong.

“Of course, Mao has his place in the White House,” Big Government wailed about the GCOS, taking the Obama-as-socialist meme out for a yuletide spin.

Except, it wasn’t exactly Mao. It was Andy Warhol’s “Mao.”

The image is one of a very large series of silkscreen paintings and prints the late Pop artist made of Mao. Warhol’s parody transformed the leader of the world’s most populous nation into a vapid superstar — the most famous of the famous. The portrait photo from Mao’s Little Red Book is tarted up with lipstick, eye-shadow and other Marilyn Monroe-style flourishes.

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2 Comments

  1. 1
    chris says:

    It was still Mao. Think maybe any depiction of Mao to be inappropriate? I mean the man killed more people in his Communist revolution than Hitler or Lenin. 50 to 70 million people died. Is that the image, no matter how small or meaningless that needs to be put on a Christmas tree? Or seen at the White House? Can’t believe you are basically defending it.
    This country is so polarized. People can’t even use their common sense of what should be right or wrong because their ideology is at odds with their agenda. This country continues to circle the bowl. It doesn’t matter who is running it.

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    That’s a rather contradictory comment. You complain about the country being polarized but then demonstrate this by contributing to the culture war described in the linked article by trying to politicize art. It is not a matter of defending it but of having some perspective and not trying to politicize everything and finding reasons such as this for attacking others.

    The country will remain polarized as long as the right wing continues to try to impose their thought on everyone. Large segments of the country will continue to resist the attitude of the authoritarian right that we all must think and live the same way.

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