30 June 2018

The Atrocity of Modern Architecture

Paul Joseph Watson takes a look at the difference between real architecture and "modern" architecture, between what nearly everyone wants and what the government gives them in terms of the aesthetics of where they live.



"Modern" (and post-modern) art is shite. There's no disputing that amongst 99.99% of all the people on the planet. The only people who like such artistic abortions as paint splatter, blank canvasses, buildings made of randomly assorted bits of construction kit, and literal heaps of shit, are pretentious twats who like to believe they are superior to everyone else and the artists themselves who are taking the piss at said pretentious twats.



As Sociologist Nathan Glazer explains in an essay about the National Mall in Washington, D.C., titled "Monuments, Modernism, and the Mall", what the deal is with toilets, giant clothespins, and wasted heaps of metal. Presented here is a section of that essay, taken from an anthology, The National Mall: Rethinking Washington's Monumental Core, edited by Mr. Glazer himself and Cynthia R. Fields. The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008.

There are many traditional forms and emblems that are not yet, I would think, exhausted and do serve to communicate something to people. In any case, the new forms of modern art and modernism either have their own kitschy meaning, like flat roofs or metal beams agonizing with each other, or mean nothing at all. Perhaps the sophisticates can distinguish one construction of beans from another, one set of whorled metal sheets from another, so that one might mean triumph and another defeat, but most of us can't and are left to say, "Huh?"
    I find an exquisite summary of the dilemma of modernism and memorials in a 1992 book by Harriet Senie, Contemporary Public Sculpture: Tradition, Transformation, and Controversy. In the two first sentences, she writes: "The problems endemic to public art in a democracy begin with its definition. How can something be public (democratic) and art (elitist)?" The implicit and taken-for-granted assumption is that art must be elitist and therefore will be incomprehensible to a democratic public. What a strange, what a modern, assumption! Would Michaelangelo or Bernini or Lutyens have ever had such a thought? They would not have contemplated such a thought not because their publics were better educated than we are today (they might have been) but because they took it for granted that they were distinguished from their fellows by their skill and genius, not by their assumptions and values and ideals.
    One way the contemporary artist overcomes the problem is by turning his or her art into a joke. So on the dust jacket of the book Contemporary Public Sculpture, one will see an enormous clothespin erected in front of the huge Philadelphia City hall, which was built in Second Empire style. The sculpture is by Claes Oldenburg, who has proposed many such modern monuments and built a few. Alexander Calder's mobiles and stabiles are gentler jokes. One can see one on the west side of the National Museum of American History, a homage to Gwendolyn Cafritz, a benefactor of Washington art. This will work to some extent; it will not work, however, for a serious monument or memorial to note events or people that we do not consider matters for amusement.

23 June 2018

Education Is a System of Indoctrination of the Young

Continuing the theme from last week, Noam Chomsky explains the purpose of education, which is, as I've previously said, the indoctrination of the young. That's why school is often boring and pointless, because it's function is not to facilitate learning but to condition children to become obedient cogs who never question authority.

16 June 2018

The Chaos of American Schools

Retired public school teacher Lee McNulty describes in chilling detail the horrors of the American public education system. Teachers are not allowed to teach and students literally cannot fail. No child left behind. They just get pushed through to graduation because no school wants to lose funding by looking like they aren't achieving results.



This is what I talked about in my magnum opus "What Is At Stake In The Next Election". Here's what I wrote in November 2016:
What about the wonderful public school system? High school graduation rates are at the highest they've ever been! That's because dumb kids are being pushed through like cattle to the slaughter and programs for smart kids are being cut so the dumb kids don't feel bad for being excluded.

26% of high school graduates are below the basic reading level. This means these kids do not have the skills necessary to perform simple and everyday literacy activities. One quarter of all high school graduates are functionally illiterate! In 1979 only 1% of graduates were illiterate, and now it's 26% thanks to "outcome-based education." Worse still, 19% of high school graduates can't read AT ALL! One in five graduates cannot read their own name.

Remember Bush's "No Child Left Behind Act"? And it's gotten worse under Common Core, where getting the correct answer is wrong unless you use all your fingers and your toes to count by ones!

The schools have failed a significant percentage of kids. People with no education and no skills, mostly poor urban blacks and Latinos, often can't get a job (see above), and in order to make money just to survive turn to crime. They turn to crime, they turn to drugs, and then they run afoul of the police. They go to prison, they die in gangland shootings, or they die in standoffs with the police. The horrible state of public education in America, combined with economic policies that ship jobs overseas, are creating the crime that is devastating minority communities. Blacks and Latinos who vote for the Bush-Obama-Clinton policies are literally voting for their own poverty and inner city violence. If black lives really mattered, if you really want police shootings to stop, you need to solve the root causes of the problem, which means fixing the economy, fixing the schools, and securing the border. And that means voting for Trump.
The state of public education in America is appalling, and no amount of money can fix it. More money is, in fact, the problem. Schools are letting illiterate, often violent students graduate because they know they can get more money if their graduation rates and phony test scores are higher. The only solution is to go back to policies that actually worked, before the Department of Education's one-size-fits-all approach was invented; back when individual communities ran the schools and catered to the needs of the children living in those communities. Back then America had one of the greatest education systems in the history of the world, and we can return to that greatness if only we follow along the same path of scaling back government that Donald Trump has taken us on.

03 June 2018

What's The Point of Life if We're Going To Die?

Motivational speaker Seth Alexander explains his answer to the great existential question of the purpose of life in this circular system where we work to make money so we can afford to live so we can keep working.