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Amused Muse

Inspiring dissent and debate and the love of dissonance

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Master's Degree holder, telecommuting from the hot tub, proud Darwinian Dawkobot, and pirate librarian belly-dancer bohemian secret agent scribe on a mission to rescue bloggers from the wholesome clutches of the pious backstabbing girl fridays of the world.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Designer Really Oughta Open a Restaurant

(Things I post because I can’t find a complete and unedited version of Genet’s Chant d’Amor on the Web):

Day No. 1:
And the Lord God said, “Let there be light,” and lo, there was light. But then the Lord God said, “Wait, what if I make it a sort of rosy, sunset-at-the-beach, filtered half-light, so that everything else I design will look younger?”
“I’m loving that,” said Buddha. “It’s new.”
“You should design a restaurant,” added Allah.

Day No. 2:
“Today,” the Lord God said, “let’s do land.” And lo, there was land.
“Well, it’s really not just land,” noted Vishnu. “You’ve got mountains and valleys and—is that lava?”
“It’s not a single statement,” said the Lord God. “I want it to say, ‘Yes, this is land, but it’s not afraid to ooze.’ ”
“It’s really a backdrop, a sort of blank canvas,” put in Apollo. “It’s, like, minimalism, only with scale.”
“But—brown?” Buddha asked.
“Brown with infinite variations,” said the Lord God. “Taupe, ochre, burnt umber—they’re called earth tones.”
“I wasn’t criticizing,” said Buddha. “I was just noticing.”

Day No. 3:
“Just to make everyone happy,” said the Lord God, “today I’m thinking oceans, for contrast.”
“It’s wet, it’s deep, yet it’s frothy; it’s design without dogma,” said Buddha, approvingly.
“Now, there’s movement,” agreed Allah. “It’s not just ‘Hi, I’m a planet—no splashing.’ ”
“But are those ice caps?” inquired Thor. “Is this a coherent vision, or a highball?”
“I can do ice caps if I want to,” sniffed the Lord God.
“It’s about a mood,” said the Angel Moroni, supportively.
“Thank you,” said the Lord God.

Day No. 4:
“One word,” said the Lord God. “Landscaping. But I want it to look natural, as if it all somehow just happened.”
“Do rain forests,” suggested a primitive tribal god, who was known only as a clicking noise.
“Rain forests here,” decreed the Lord God. “And deserts there. For a spa feeling.”
“Which is fresh, but let’s give it glow,” said Buddha. “Polished stones and bamboo, with a soothing trickle of something.”
“I know where you’re going,” said the Lord God. “But why am I seeing scented candles and a signature body wash?”
“Shut up,” said Buddha.
“You shut up,” said the Lord God.
“It’s all about the mix,” Allah declared in a calming voice. “Now let’s look at some swatches.”


“Shouts & Murmurs -Intelligent Design” by Paul Rudnick The New Yorker, September 25, 2005.

Now from the Wedge Strategy:

Governing Goals
To defeat scientific materialism and its destructive moral, cultural and political legacies.
To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and hurnan beings are created by God.

Five Year Goals
To see intelligent design theory as an accepted alternative in the sciences and scientific research being done from the perspective of design theory.
To see the beginning of the influence of design theory in spheres other than natural science.
To see major new debates in education, life issues, legal and personal responsibility pushed to the front of the national agenda.

Twenty Year Goals

To see intelligent design theory as the dominant perspective in science.
To see design theory application in specific fields, including molecular biology, biochemistry, paleontology, physics and cosmology in the natural sciences, psychology, ethics, politics, theology and philosophy in the humanities; to see its innuence in the fine arts.

To see design theory permeate our religious, cultural, moral and political life.

Now, come on. Does any one idea “permeate our religious, cultural, moral and political life” and is our diverse and pluralistic religious, cultural, moral and political life to be “permeated” by intelligent design forever?

“To see its influence in the fine arts,” bwahaha. Good luck with that, peasants. If there’s anything the fine arts cannot tolerate, it’s dogmatism and puritianicism of any stripe.

They just don’t get it, do they?

UPDATED: Whereas the true meaning of life is to be found written on refrigerator magnets!

Funny, non-sappy video on You Tube (by someone who knows how to write music):

Note this commenter's remarks:

Reading comments i noticed that creationists sound rather childish and less educated than those arguing against them. Creationists use biblical fables, simple, abstract concepts of love and very low level baseless claims (like the comment below mine) and get responses that they probably cannot comprehend, supported by logic, scientific theories and big words.

Good luck with the art world!

SECOND UPDATE: Oh, please! Now William Kristol in today's New York Times yokes art into the service of propaganda with his column, "Democrats Should Read Kipling." Sir, I have read Rudyard Kipling, being that he was second to Edgar Allen Poe in my list of favorite authors. While it's true that Kipling identified with the colonizers rather than the colonized, Mr. Kristol, in your simplistic characterization of Republicans as the beleaguered ruling class and the Democrats as the “opposition,” you reveal your sad lack of knowledge of history and even more tenuous grasp of literature. Kipling understood as you do not that the relationship between the empowered and the disenfranchised is never so simplistic as you make out. You, sir, are also no literary critic.

Read the train wreck of a column if you want. Scott Horton has, and he summed up my sentiments precisely:

George Orwell, my favorite essayist, described reading Kipling’s poetry as “a shameful pleasure, like the taste for cheap sweets that some people secretly carry into middle life.” That, I have to admit, is much the attitude I have towards Bill Kristol’s New York Times columns. They’re so bad, so predictable, so thoroughly clichéd that it’s a sort of malicious treat to read them. And today’s exercise, “Democrats Should Read Kipling,” which offers us Rudyard Kipling supposedly through the optic of Kristol reading Orwell, is a veritable stale Milk Dud. It’s too bad to resist.

Creationists (Kristol is also an apologist for intelligent design) just can't create.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, they have already come up with the "one idea [that] “permeate[s] our religious, cultural, moral and political life”-FEAR! Not to worry, though, it only feels like "forever" to the faint of heart.

February 15, 2008 8:25 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Well, art is the second-to-last thing in which one should show fear.

The last thing is opening a restaurant (since most fail). ;-)

February 16, 2008 1:48 PM  
Anonymous 386sx said...

“To see its influence in the fine arts,” bwahaha. Good luck with that, peasants. If there’s anything the fine arts cannot tolerate, it’s dogmatism and puritianicism of any stripe.

I have a feeling that whoever wrote the wedge document actually wanted to say something like "fancy schmancy artsy stuff" instead of "fine arts". That, and they really meant "my fundy religion" instead of "design theory", of course.

February 17, 2008 1:13 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

I remember that I was in the Weisman one time looking at some Abstract Expressionist art, and some guy blurted out, "I'm a Christian, and I prefer realist art!" and stomped out. I think this is part of a pattern - the simplistic mind wants art that "looks like something," preferably a pretty something, not art that evokes or breaks down something.

These people think we're all going to return to still lifes and neoclassicism. Well, I could compare them to another artistic revisionist movement, but then I would be violating Godwin's Law!

February 17, 2008 11:20 AM  
Anonymous Janine said...

I wonder if this unknown christian man would approve of Soviet era social realism? The ideology behind such works are just as fanciful as any "realist" portrait of Madonna and Child.

February 17, 2008 11:41 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

I thought of that, too.

And have Beethoven, Bach, and Schubert been completely routed from the churches in favor of this sappy "Christian pop"? Ugh, I can't even listen to it! It's excruciatingly painful. Good luck to them with that.

It's not music, it's manboobed untalented Salieries incompetently composing.

February 17, 2008 5:08 PM  
Anonymous Janine said...

Weeelllll, one church does have Al Green providing the music. And I must admit, that is almost enough to want to go to at least one service.

February 18, 2008 1:22 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Jeff Sharlet of Harper’s has a blog post about the fundamentalist preference for kitsch. This kitsch aesthetic reminds him of another. (Hint: What do the fundies blame Charles Darwin for?)

February 18, 2008 9:43 AM  

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