So yesterday early evening I was trawling around for comical right-wing nonsense, and I wasn't finding very much. I ended up where all snark ends, in the foul rag and bone shop of the internet's arsehole.
The 13-Year-Old comes up behind me and peers at the laptop screen. He sees the Twitchy headline, which at that point was blazoning about how a player for the Eagles had canceled his Twitter account, for some reason.
"Really?" He said. "Someone canceled his Twitter account? Really? What is this?"
A fair cop.
The sad reality is that Greater Wingnuttia is not producing anything remarkable nowadays as far as goofiness goes. It's like looking for halfway decent dim sum in outer suburban Mordor. Maybe you'll find it, but you won't want it, it's so hellishly sad and warmed over. Even Ann Althouse is just reruns; she doesn't understand English and took the SATs, and wants links. Seen that! Boo. Boooooo.
But we persevere.
Barrel-scraping reveals that there exists the thoroughly ghastly Daily Beast, acting bravely to preserve the world's supply of bathetic horseshit.
Critics charge that ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ fails to point out torture is immoral. That ‘Girls’ is racist. And ‘Portlandia’ somehow denigrates women. Why must we demand political correctness in art—rather than just let art be art?
Oh for the love of fuck. Is there a gratuitous E. Arthur Blair reference somewhere in this mess? There is.
Let's back up.
The notion of "art for art's sake," "let art be art," is not some sort of Eternal Law. It is an idea that was fought for. Flaubert, the Bovary trial, and so forth.
What this means (sliding way over a lot of arguing here) is that it is disrespectful and cheapening to claim an "it's art!" defense if you are clearly falling between two stools, as it were. Are you doing art? Or politics? Or attempting history? Or what?
If you are doing art, admit the artifice. In the final analysis, Madame Bovary doesn't read like a satire -- which is not to say that it is not deeply critical of the society it so nastily depicts. It is not realism either, though.
Art is a lie that is not phony. It demands a certain odd integrity. I haven't seen Zero Dark Thirty, and so won't comment, but I'm not for a second buying the defenses laid out in the linkage. You can't claim to be making a "historical" movie and then claim "art" as a get-out-of-jail free card. Richard III is great art but crap history. Pick a camp.
Or don't -- it's a free country. But don't expect any free passes.
At any rate "stop arguing about this, it is art" is an awfully stupid thing to say.