Much has been said lately about the Clashing Cultures and Cartoons Chaos enveloping Europe and the Middle East. I hold a very low opinion of these "artists" and that nadir is only outdone by my opinion of their sensationalism-sucking-scandal-stewing anything-to-sell-more-copy-of-a-rerun-rag publishers. Freedom of Speech means information availability, not ordered over-printed overkill. That being said, it is unfortunate that the Danish Doodles are the only Assault Art being discussed by most. There are some great works out there that are being overshadowed by the squiggles.
Case in point, from The Study of Revenge here is Kick the Bastards Out by D. T. Devareaux. At first glance this picture seems simplistic, childish, and hateful. First glances are deceiving in this case. Anyone immediately dismissing this piece in such a way would be succumbing to its irony. (Not in any way the "Irony" of Allanis Morrissette which is still just "unfortunate") The irony here is that one must actively embrace a simplistic, childish and hateful prejudice to dismiss this work out of hand. Mr. Devareaux has been accused of many things, but stupidity is not one of them. The emotions he is triggering in the the viewer are well planned and ordered.
At first the knee jerk Intellectual reaction of "Showing a people in such a light is wrong. We must accept these people." No we don't. The operative word is tolerance. We must tolerate these people, as they must show tolerance to others as well. If they fail to live up to this agreement, then the deal is off. There shouldn't be a culture clash going on. When in Rome, do as the Romans or get fed to lions. It is that simple. If you were to travel to any other country, you would be expected to act accordingly. The mind numbing concept of consideration for the guest over the host is an anachronism spawned of feudal Nobility. It's an old, outdated form of Chivalry that should have been given the boot long ago. In the immortal words of Dave Mustane "What do you mean I hurt your feelings, didn't know you had any feelings. What do you mean I'm unkind, just not your kind." Like it or not America is a society with its own unique customs and culture. 200 years ago it might not have been, but since then it cultured a culture. We are not multi-cultural as some claim. We are a stable Petri dish of adaptive and infectious culture. We assimilate the traditions we like from immigrants even as we force feed ours into them through sensory overload. Face it, 40 years from now the only language on the Earth will be Spanglish. Why, because Americans refuse to learn any other languages and the Mexicans are the masters of the slow and subtle teaching techniques.
Next come emotional string pulled is fear. This one goes to the opposite end of the ideological lunatic fringe. The Right Wing Fascists and IslamoNazi's. Whether you are listening to a black hooded Matyr or a Power suit and Tie guy, you'll notice a distinct trend in illuminative wordings and unfounded empowerment. The guy on TV bragging about spiritual superiority based on his ability to explode and the Pro-War Now because they dodged their draft days demagogues, have something in common, they are Dante's punchline. They are living embodiments of paradox and stupidity conjoined. Fortunately they get what they deserve if their faith turns out to be well placed. An Islamic martyr gets to go to Heaven where he is immediately greeted by 70 women so frigid in life that they won't put out even in paradise. That's hell for ya. On the other side, the Coward dies a thousand deaths if he's really successful, it is easier for as camel to go through the eye of a needle than it is for a Rich Man to get into Heaven. Bummer.
Now to the center of the painting. The center of our World, Western Civilization. By "Our" I mean those of us from Western Civilization. .. Boot back to where they come from. Some may consider the proposition a bit harsh, but allow me to explain the benign and the goodwill you may have missed. The single most inspirational behavior, attitude, habit sparking the fires between the middle Easterners and the Westerners is the Utopian Paradise of the subjective middle east. If you leave your country of birth and work your ass off to get to another country, far away were you have no money, friends or citizenship rights, don't even try to tell me how great it is over there. If it was so great, you would not have left. It sucked, you knew it, you came here because you had reasonably decided that here was better, and then you forgot how bad it was there and decided for nostalgia sake to recreate that crap in your new home. Well, guess what, even nostalgia not as good as it used to be. Adapt or get airlifted back to your fled home. Why go to all the trouble of recreating our society in your sentimental memory's image when we can easily provide you with a one way ticket to where ever you came from.