Sunday, August 28, 2005

 

More than slightly disturbing

To be honest, I'm not entirely certain what to think of this story. Yes, it's grisly and disturbing, but then again, where exactly do we draw the line? The "art" in question here is more than likely the result of an abortion--let's be honest about that, shall we, as any other child who died via miscarriage would have been buried by its parents, not pickled in a jar. And to attach this poor baby's head to the body of a bird is intensely and outrageously hideous. "Freedom of expression" doesn't enter into it.

But--and this is a severely qualified but--we do exhibit human remains in museums, and people do come to gawk at Egyptian mummies, for instance.

The huge difference here is that the fetus in question is a modern child, not a 500-year-old Incan mummy. Of course, "Juanita" was also sacrificed on the altar of some bizarre belief that the slaughter of children is not only acceptable but necessary.

In my humble opinion, a murdered child is never "art," by any stretch of the imagination, and this has snot-all to do with "freedom of expression." If it does, then it also, logically, means that a person would be "free" to "express" themselves by mounting this Chinese idiot's head on a board and sticking it on a museum wall like some gruesome trophy. The murder would be illegal, of course, unless they could find a way to call it "euthanasia" (and given that this whole mess is in Switzerland they should be able to do that), but the "art" would merely be their freedom of expression. Right?

Where do we draw the line? If we want to survive as a race on this planet, we need to start drawing the line somewhere. A mummy exhibit qualifies as art--well, not art, per se, but definitely as something displayable that doesn't usually upset people. Fine. But should we then be allowed to display as "art" the shadows of humans fried onto walls by the Hiroshima bomb? Or should we be allowed to display as "art" the bodies of slaves who died brutal deaths? There has to be a distinction, or we will destroy our own race.

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