“I may not know art, but I know what I like.” A statement we’ve all heard before, first spoken by a sage and mysterious figure that not even the likes of Yahoo! Answers can identify. And even more enigmatic than the source of this phrase is the theme it tackles: the nature of art. Dating back to the all-too-frequently-used-in-long-winded-summations-like-these cave paintings, spanning through eras like the Renaissance, the Andy Warhol years, and whatever James Franco is doing with his life, art has manifested in countless media, motivated by infinite purposes, earning an eternity of interpretations. On a completely unrelated note, Glenn Beck dipped Barack Obama in a jar of urine.
Okay, there is a connection here: Beck claims that his endeavor — the submersion of a bobblehead likeness of the President of the United States in a container of (fake) renal output on his web series on Tuesday — is an expression of art, employing (quite ironically) the most liberal definition of the word.
We’re not going to deny Beck the right of free artistic expression, nor to define anything he understands art to be so. And taking a good look at this creative spectacle — which The Hollywood Reporter reveals to be seeking ownership at a price of $25,000 — we’re willing to forgo every bit of education granted to us by our beloved BFAs, delving right into a wholehearted analysis of Beck’s piece.
So what could it mean? What has the political pundit so masterfully crafted with this introduction of an Obama figurine into an ecosystem of imitation kidney export? What societal progress can we instill via a better understanding of this pioneer in the wave of the Beckist Movement? Here are just a couple of theories — the most erudite, sophisticated, post-post-post-modern analyses our in-house staff of Brooklyn-dwelling nihilists could come up with — to run through the ol’ think-machine…
We’re all just drowning. In ourselves.
Each and every man has an enemy in himself. Barack Obama represents the man that has assailed his weights, risen to a glory that no degree of past treachery can mar. But Barack Obama, protected around the clock by Secret Service agents and never independent from the public’s vantage point, cannot escape his own body. His own biology. His own, dare Beck prove, urine — a representation of the inescapable humanity tethered to even the most superhuman of our species’ exploits. And it is this humanity — this base, grotesque, scatological weakness — that both defines and destroys us all. Strive to soar, Obama. But you’ll only end up diving back down into your own humanity, and drowning slowly as your head bobbles its last breaths.
We’re missing the jar for the liquid.
It’s not the liquefied human waste that is the danger here, although that is what we’re wont to believe upon observing our president struggling to survive in Beck’s creation. It is, instead, the jar: the confining prison — an unassuming prison, a translucent prison, a prison we’d never suspect — that keeps him in harm’s way. While we, the public and the government alike, are so focused on the obvious terrors in the world (warfare, the economic downturn, famine, dragons), we’re practically blind what will inevitably do us in: the unobservable social constructs that we build around ourselves to keep us shielded from these very entities. But what happens when they make their way in? We’re trapped. In our own rigid, unwavering safety nets, knowing naught outside the plexiglass barriers with which to fight back.
The government is bathing in our blood, sweat, and tears… and other fluids.
It is not Obama who is the sufferer here, but we. The people. The providers of the very liquids — metaphorical liquids — with which the suits in Washington are filling their swimming pools (the swimming pools, too, are metaphorical). We slave away day after day, pouring our everything into keeping this country afloat. And where are we at the end of it all? Empty, dehydrated, sapped of our life force. The very life force that is piped into the White House bathtubs for government officials to enjoy their soothing jacuzzis.
So what do you think? Share your own interpretations below!
[Photo Credit: The Blaze TV]
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