Sunday, February 13, 2005

Sharing Wave Lengths

Last week I posted on the Bush=Hitler artwork by a 17 year-old Rhode Islander. Here was my assessment:
The point is not whether or not this kid has a right to free expression, but that a panel of judges (15 people) thought that this type of crap is award winning art. What truly talented kid did not receive an award to make room for this bogus attempt at a statement from someone who cheapens the tragedy and atrocities that was brought on by Hitler? Where is the adult in the school system who sees this to ask: What about the 20 million people Bush has freed from tyranny? What about the prison for children that was shut down? What about the mass graves with skeletons of mothers holding their babies?

Today Mark Steyn weighs in:
In such a world, it's good to know we still have the guts to finger the real bad guys. Thus, when Chariho Regional High School art teacher Lynn Norton set her pupils the task of expressing an idea three-dimensionally, Jeffrey Eden immediately thought of a diorama comparing Bush to Hitler. You might think that ought to be disqualified on the grounds that characterizing Bush as Hitler is about as two-dimensional as you can get, and it's less of a diorama than the diarrhea of leftist rhetoric, as poured forth by millions of drones and nude Marin County feminist protesters and European activist puppeteers. But there's always room for one more, and Jeffrey's schoolmarm was thrilled at the way he did it so cutely, draping a swastika on one side and the Stars and Stripes on the other, and putting in little plastic soldiers -- Nazi and American, though who can tell the difference, right? -- and then adding his own penetrating observations on both Bush (''Saddam had no affiliation with the Taliban'') and his predecessor as Fuhrer (''Hitler's own justification was his own hatred.'' Hmm. What a testament to the quality of Rhode Island's ''Social Studies'' curriculum).

Well, Jeffrey's 17. One day, with a bit of luck, he'll realize Bush isn't Hitler. If he were, Jeffrey would be in the Bush Youth doing patriotic exercises in shorts every morning and singing the special Texan lyrics to the Horst Wessel song, and he wouldn't have time to do dioramas of dissent. But what are we to make of everyone else in this sorry story? The art teacher who gave him an A. The 15 judges in the Rhode Island Scholastic Art Awards who awarded him their ''silver key.'' The proprietor of Alperts Furniture Showroom in Seekonk where the winning ''art'' work is proudly on display. Are there no grown-ups left in Rhode Island?

Exactly. Where are the adults in our schools, businesses, and art community? Well, I guess that last group may not fit into the "adult" category. Not from what I've seen.

Steyn's article also deals with 2 other stories from other countries that defies belief. Are we losing the Culture War? After reading this column one must take a serious look that question.