Indeed, it's been a while since I hacked my way into your online lives and offended your sensibilities. However, considering my last few months of essays have been less than inspiring (honestly, a few were the blog equivalent to stepping in a wad of gum, wrapped in a piece of dog sh*t, inside a pile of street puke), I suppose it's no big whoop that I chose to self-censor myself the past few weeks.
Put simply, I've grown rather tired of my e-self. My virtual world has become so predictable, so bloated with loathe, so annoying, that when my real-life self would stumble across these sticky, squishy, smelly online rants a day or two later, all I could do was roll my eyes, wish I could punch my online persona in the face and dry heave. But that last reaction may be because, according to the last three years of "The Anti DC's" existence, all I've eaten were several tons of canned beans...
And so I'm going to expand my palette and take on some new projects. And while that doesn't mean The Anti DC is dead (anyone containing that much legume-derived protein and fiber is fortified for life), it does mean The Anti DC is abandoning the daily essays. In other words, I'm trading in the paper plates for the fine china, which I'll only bring out on special occasions, like when I invite guests over to gather 'round the overturned milk crate I call the dining table (ART!) to serve up a trash-can fire grilled meal of dead Metro rat three-bean salad. In other words, something has to be real f*cked up to earn The Anti DC's patented form of insightful, yet mind-numbing criticism.
Luckily, one such occasion has popped up in the past few days, so set the f*cking milk crate, kids. The dead Metro rat three-bean salad is about to be served.
BEAN 1 -- THE BACKGROUND
On October 30, the National Portrait Gallery opened a GLBT-focused exhibit called Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture, which included a video from an artist named David Wojnarowicz. The 30-minute video work, entitled A Fire in My Belly, sought to illuminate what it was like for the artist to live with AIDS, the disease whose complications ended up killing him in 1992. The exhibit opened to good reviews, until one month later, when some dickish religious zealot named Penny Starr wrote an article for CNS that focused on the 11 seconds of Wojnarowicz's installation that depicted ants climbing on a crucifix. Later picked up by Matt Drudge's Drudge Report, Starr's words were suddenly broadcast to the "gotchya" Internet, which got the priests at the Catholic League worried enough to stop (allegedly) molesting young boys for a minute and demand the piece be removed from the exhibit. Then, of course, the right-wing loonies in Congress got involved and threatened to cut off funding for the federally funded NPG because, let's face it, to those guys, anything about the gays is like an Internet meme to the rest of us. That is, it's just another way to procrastinate from doing your real job.
BEAN 2 -- THE THESIS
With building pressure from the idiots on the Hill, NPG decided to remove the "offending" work from the exhibit earlier this week.
BEAN 3 -- THE CONCLUSION
While NPG employees said they ultimately censored the work from the exhibit because it became a distraction, I believe they did it because the last thing they needed in an era when arts funding is already becoming increasingly scarce was a political controversy. And for that, I cannot fault their decision. "Look, the Smithsonian museums are like the attic of our country," said Anti DC creative director Terry the Tourette's Turtle this morning over tea and beans. He later amended his statement by adding, "Donkey dick!" And I think I get where he was going here...
The Smithsonian Institute isn't avant-garde. It's not about pushing the proverbial envelope or creating new limits. Instead, it's about depicting the limits that others have pushed elsewhere in the past. Hell, Impressionism used to piss people off, meaning, I doubt that the Smithsonian would have welcomed Manet, Monet and Pissaro with open arms either in 1863, yet today, those paintings are the Institute's reigning jewels. I'm certain in 100 years Wojnarowicz's work will also be looked at differently.
THE METRO RAT -- CHEWY
People are pissed. Hell, I'm pissed. However, unlike most people, I'm not pissed at NPG. Like I said, their roll is to basically play the soccer mom's fridge to the art world. That said, though, I'm disappointed that this decision had to be made, I'm more disappointed that certain members of society, including some Congressmen, aren't reasonable enough to deal with art in more mature manner. In fact, I'm outraged at that. But let me be clear to whom I think our collective outrage should be directed. The criminals here (that is those who seek to silence certain aspects of society) are the Congressmen, who were able to hold a metaphorical knife to the neck of NPG in the form of funding threats. The accessories to the crime, of course then, are the idiots who elected these assholes and the instigators who mistake injustice for righteousness.
Put simply, I look at this situation like I would a street mugging. These dicks in Congress just jumped the NPG, as if they were exiting the Apple store in Georgetown. In order not to get hurt, NPG did what they were supposed to do -- they handed over their MacBook nice and quiet. Can you really blame them?
Luckily, where our nation fails, our private sector can pick up. Transformer, an art space located at 14th and P in Logan Circle, has decided to make sure the work can still be seen, even it if is no longer a part of the official Smithsonian exhibit. And although, they differ from me on whom they are placing the blame (they put the blunt of the blame on NPG), I think what they're doing is a pretty good "f*ck you" to the bullies on the Hill. Seriously, f*ck those haters.
THE DIGESTION -- CONSTIPATION
Despite serving the fancy dead Metro rat three-bean salad served on the good china, I don't plan on getting the verbal runs. (The non-verbal kind, well, that's another story.) Like I was saying before I f*cked all the haters (now that didn't come out right...), I won't be updating The Anti DC every day anymore. What I will be doing, however, is continuing to work on some other projects, of which at least one will involve blogging. For those who may care, I suggest you follow me on the Twitter or "like" The Anti DC on Facebook to get timely updates on any details. I'm crossing my fingers that one day someone besides myself will deem my work vital enough to censor...