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Friday, September 29, 2006

High-Cholesterol Abu Ghraib

posted by on September 29 at 9:54 AM

The Art Newspaper reports [via] that Colombian artist Fernando Botero is offering some 80 paintings and drawings based on the Abu Ghraib prison scandal to any US museum willing to show them—but none want to.

Institutional wussiness? I think not. Unfortunately, Botero’s signature cheek-pinching pudginess runs ridiculously, painfully counter to privation …


To cleanse yourself, check out Leon Golub’s bracing interrogation portraits.



RSS icon Comments


How about a painting of Zarkawi or KSM or other terrorists cutting the heads off of Berg, Daniel Pearl, or better yet a U.S. soldier?

Posted by Proud Gay Republican | September 29, 2006 10:00 AM

Why doesn't the Stranger organize a showing? Botero is a major artist, I bet 4 Culture or some city agency would help to get funds together to rent a gallery space.

By the way Proud Gay Republican, there's no outrage in that fact that uneducated barbarians commit acts of evil. The tragedy is that the U.S., the "beacon of liberty," has sunk to the same level. It's something we all need to look at, to learn about, and to scream about.

Posted by Gurldoggie | September 29, 2006 10:05 AM

how about a painting, in blood, of the aborted fetus of a dead US Solider, one which was aborted when the proudly wedded mother found out her husband had been killed. by friendly fire. and then the mother found out that the death benefits were so crappy having a child alone would mean she would soon be homeless. I'd like that, that would be good 'art'. well, as long as the fetus looked a bit like it's father.

PGR have you signed on to go over there? It sounds like you support whats going on over there, being at least proud and republican, so I would imagine you have done your part and pulled some time. if so, how many times did you return as stopgap? did you lose any limbs or any friends? and if so what was it like? did you feel more proud? or is that just what you have to tell yourself?

Posted by PGR is funny like herpes | September 29, 2006 10:44 AM

gay republican=jewish nazi

Posted by bing | September 29, 2006 10:47 AM

It's nice to know that Proud Gay Republican feels that the pointless torture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is such a visceral, deeply satisfying revenge for Danny Pearl. I imagine he feels a little stiffening in his trousers just thinking about it.

Unfortunately for those of us who actually want to WIN the war on terror, the harsh tactics used on KSM, particularly arresting his children and torturing them and threatening KSM with their imminent deaths, we put an end to what had been a very promising interrogation. Every military interrogator knows perfectly well that gentler, more insidious techniques work better, and have in fact given us the ONLY worthwhile results we have ever gotten. That's not possible with KSM now.

This is the process by which Bush and Cheney and his secret prisons and torture guards undermine US security. KSM himself could not possibly have wished for a better result.

What kind of result were you looking for, Proud Gay Republican?

Posted by Fnarf | September 29, 2006 10:54 AM

So only art that depicts Club Gitmo abuses is PC I suppose. I understand. McCain and the White House worked out a bill; it's time to move on. But I suggest doing a mural in your home to ruminate over on a daily basis, if you'd like.

Posted by Proud Gay Republican | September 29, 2006 11:33 AM

PGR, you are an insufferable shithead. It has nothing to do with that tiresome old "PC" trope. If you would update your arsenal a bit past 1985, you would see that YOU and people like you have contributed to the death of the American ideal far more than Osama bin Laden. YOU are the terrorists at work in this country now.

Posted by Fnarf | September 29, 2006 11:50 AM

Knarf, once again your extrapolations and non sequiturs are not coordinated.

Posted by Proud Gay Republican | September 29, 2006 12:06 PM

Well, PGR can once again be safely ignored until he comes up with a reply that makes sense and actually addresses the arguments leveled at him, instead of knee-jerk ad-hominem Repub playbook quotes.

Otherwise, you're just feeding the troll.

Posted by david | September 29, 2006 12:17 PM

Just answer the question, PGR: does torture give you an erection? Does it? You've lost your humanity. This is not a non sequitor: it follows directly one on the other. You are now the terrorist.

Posted by Fnarf | September 29, 2006 12:19 PM

These paintings by a terrorist should be burned along with the Iranian Holocaust cartoons. I can't believe The Stranger stooped to even mention this so called "art".

Israel needs America to stand strong behind it right now. Would you advocate showing paintings of German WWII prisioners to make people feel sorry for them.

Please show better judgement. As a Jew I'm offended by this post.

Posted by Josh | September 29, 2006 12:33 PM

No Knarf, I abhor torture and that includes waterboarding. I abhor what happened at Abu Ghraib, and I abhor what will happen if we don’t stop Islamic jihadism – if we don’t want a world where young gay men are hanged and we’d be forced to pray multiple times a day – even if we are as left as Cindy Sheehan. I merely brought up another angle of the evil that confronts us. No, I haven’t lost my humanity – and it is incredibly insulting for you to insulate that I’ve done so Knarf.

Posted by Proud Gay Republican | September 29, 2006 12:42 PM

The phrase "Proud Gay Republican" makes every bit as much sense as "torturer with his humanity intact."

That is to say, it makes no sense at all. PGR is a person who feels no need to justify his immeasurable hypocrisy. We may as well let him spew his bile while we figure out a way to get these paintings, and this discussion, more widely seen.

Posted by Gurldoggie | September 29, 2006 12:55 PM

I call bullshit on you, PGR.

You didn't "merely" bring up another angle of evil that confronts us as if we were having a discussion about the differing varieties of autumnal foliage.

In context to this thread, your intent behind your inflammatory post suggests that the abuses and flat out torture, water burning, sexual humiliation, beatings and death at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay are justifiable in light of the execution of innocent American citizens by Islamic radical insurgents.

Nevermind that Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo are government run facilities rather than the work of a fanatical militant group.

Nevermind that we are supposed to conduct ourselves according to the Geneva convention which prohibits the torture or illegal detainment of prisoners.

Nevermind that it is individuals making apologetic posts like the one above that has turned the entire idea of torture into a semantic cover up that pedanticaly argues over terms in a manner as stupid and obvious as Clinton's "it depends what you define as sex" and that we have a nasty habit of "rendering" prisoners to countries that we know torture whether or not they have provable terrorist links. (Maher Arar is a prime example of someone rendered, tortured, waterboarded, beaten and threatened with electrocution who had no links to terrorism whatsoever).

To you insane right-wing, revenge-based sophists you would love nothing more to suggest to the American public that any action including the most obvious acts of moral reprehensibility are a justifiable retaliation to religious fundamentalism, and in doing so, you mirror Islamic fundamentalism precisely.

I'll give you props for one thing though: you didn't falsely attempt to make some reference or tie-in to 9/11 that has absolutely no correlation like the rest of your brethren generally does.

Posted by Jesse (proud gay libertarian) | September 29, 2006 1:04 PM

You people are so dense. Israel must be protected. American military bases in Iraq are necessary for the upcomming war with Iran. We will win the war against the islamo-fascists.

Posted by Josh | September 29, 2006 1:20 PM

There are Botero paintings and sculptures all over DC, Im surprised not one gallery is willing to show this. Crazy. They showed his pieces on the war in Colombia and some of those pieces were pretty brutal, but they ( galleries here in the US) had no problem showing the atrocities committed by Colombian forces, both regular and paramilitary, but when the atrocities are commited by US soldiers than they jump. Lame.

Posted by SeMe | September 29, 2006 1:23 PM

Shut it Josh. We're all sick of your crap.

Posted by Gurldoggie | September 29, 2006 1:43 PM

PGR:No, I haven’t lost my humanity – and it is incredibly insulting for you to insulate that I’ve done so Knarf.

It was intended to be.

You HAVE lost your humanity, PGR, because you have placed your faith in the hands of the very people who have taken it away from you. You are a Republican. Republicans are now the civilized
world's leading force for inhumanity. The leaders YOU elected and YOU support, from YOUR party, are destroying America from within. George Bush couldn't be doing more damage to this country if he worked for Al Qaeda. This is YOUR MAN. Now, take some fucking responsibility, and shut up.

Posted by Fnarf | September 29, 2006 2:02 PM

Is this really art? There isn't much intrepretation here, just re-enactment. No additional meaning is being evoked beyond the visceral disgust that accompanies images such as these. I would reject these as much as I would reject the "Path to 9/11" or Oliver Stone's "World Trade Center."

And, PGR, call me a PC coward if you'd like, but I believe that our country should hold itself to a higher standard of conduct than a bunch of hairy men dreaming of a return to the Dark Ages. Our moral authority comes from a rejection of torture, no matter how lofty we feel the cause is. I suggest you read "On Morality" by Joan Didion for a different perspective.

Posted by golob | September 29, 2006 2:03 PM

Is it art?

I would have to say yes.

There's a reason these paintings evoke the jaundiced images of Egon Schiele: They're made in an equally apocalyptic time as turn-of-the-century Vienna. We're living in a time where artistic consciousness is fixated on these atrocities; it undermines all attempts at "benign" art. These paintings recreate, but it also bear witness. In denying the viewer the typical catharsis/interpretational brain massage we all seek when we visit museums, it says "Look at what's happening. You don't get your brain tickle until you deal with this." As in (Austrian playwright) Thomas Bernhard's "After Auschwitz, there can be no more art or theater."

Posted by david | September 29, 2006 2:20 PM

Jesse: My first post calls attention to the fact that there’s always outrage over the Abu Ghraib but a lack of outrage over the insurgent beheadings. I was not saying that one justifies the other.
Golob: I will check out Didion’s book. Most Americans polled want harsh interrogations, but not torture. John McCain is satisfied with the compromise that was worked out. I am too.
Knarf: Are you talking about all Republicans? Would you just like to blow away half the Congress and be simply ruled by Democrats, forever and ever? Would you like to go back in time and remove all previous Republican presidents? You probably despise GWB more than you do UBL. That’s silly, because despite W’s blunders and arrogance, our country has thwarted a number of attacks. Your rage doesn’t provide any hooks for a debate.
Gurldoggie: Be kind to your fellow sloggers. Debate Josh, don’t just insult him.

Posted by Proud Gay Republican | September 29, 2006 3:14 PM

Let me try again.

Dear Josh,
I wish to point out that this particular thread has nothing to do with Israel, with the Jews, or with military bases in Iraq.

I would also like to bring to your attention that you use the exact same line of argument on subjects ranging from football to restaurant reviews to Paris Hilton. If I may say so, most of the threads that you post to have little to do with Israel, with the Jews, or with military bases in Iraq. In the future, I would ask that you refrain from indulging Tourettes-like in your own obessesions when the rest of us are holding an intelligent conversation.

Additionally, allow me to state my firm belief that torture is a singularly disgusting and inhuman practice regardless of who indulges in it. If our enemies bloody their hands with reprehensible acts, then it is clear why we are fighting them. If our own government commits crimes against humanity, then many reasonable people fail to see what we gain by "winning" this war. There are no longer any ideals to uphold. There is no higher truth to cling to. The entire war becomes nothing but a worldwide exercise in barbarism. I cannot support that. I am shocked that anyone can.

Finally, I would like to contend that you are not even a real person, but rather an alias construed by some MBA student to get under the skin of sensitive types like me. Please, if you would be so kind, stick that in your prison and torture it!

Sincerely yours,

Posted by Gurldoggie | September 29, 2006 3:34 PM

I'm not sure some of the practices that have been explicitly approved count as "harsh interrogation" rather than outright torture. I also have a bit less faith in this neo-McCain as he positions himself to get the republican nomination.

Practices like putting naked humans in cold rooms until near death from hypothermia, forcing humans to stand for days, causing human beings to feel as though they are drowning all cross a clear moral line. Far too close to what the Nazi scientists did to their "patients," the original reason for the Geneva Conventions.

Practically, I just don't think this torture, or "harsh interrogation" is going to accomplish anything useful for us. Faced with any of these practices, most any person would admit to anything, true or not. The signal-to-noise is too low. All the false confessions (to just stop the torture) are worse than nothing, as they cause us to waste resources on wild goose chases.

PGR, do you really believe such "harsh interrogation" is useful? Your original post is telling. I believe the desire to do these practices has much more to do with a tit-for-tat mentality than a true desire to gain useful intelligence. "They did it to us, so we should do it to them" may sounds satisfying, but is counter to every one of our goals as a society, the very nature of our nation and the principles you believe in.

Posted by golob | September 29, 2006 4:00 PM

You're a liar, PGR. Your first post cannot be read in any other way except as a defense of torture, since they're doing it too. But now you backpedal.

As for Republicans in general, PBR: here's what I want. I want the Bush people out of the party, and I want the Jesus people out of the party, and I want all the psychologically damaged Cheney/Rummie Nixon remnants out of the party forever. I want to see a Republican Party that can remember what it once was. I want a Republican Party that has some principles again, even if I disagree with those principles. I want a Republican Party that can remember how to govern without lies and torture and fear and bullying. Where is that party? Where's Dan Evans's Republican Party? It's been gone for thirty years. I'm not the one who needs to wake up, you are.

Posted by Fnarf | September 29, 2006 6:47 PM

You're an idiot if you think the war in Iraq has nothing to do with the security of Israel. The only thing that matters in Iraq is securing American military bases to prepare to attack Iran. If you still believe the Iraq war had anything to do with justice for the people of Iraq I can't help you. What happens in the prisons in Iraq matters even less that what happens in Gaza. America and Israel must contain these vermin - if a few of them die who cares?

If you really care so much about those in the prisons of Iraq, I'd suggest you follow Rachel Corrie's lead and stand if front of a bulldozer. Then I won't have to read your bullshit anymore.

Posted by Josh | September 30, 2006 10:27 AM

Um. Looks like a hunger strike is in order.

Posted by MollyDolly | September 30, 2006 2:14 PM

ionolsen16 May we exchange links with your site?www_4_2

Posted by ppionerka | October 13, 2006 6:39 AM
Posted by thomson | October 13, 2006 11:21 AM

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