Thursday, August 07, 2008

Thoughts after viewing the exhibition of American prints at the British Museum

For years, commentators have been pontificating about the so-called Culture Wars in the United States and by extension in the whole world. The problem is that the issue is usually presented as one of extremes. Yes, sure, a 19-year-old woman of Korean/Gambian heritage who works in a vegan co-op in Seattle, and plays drums in a neo-queercore band called Raping Cheney is liable to have a different view on life from a 73-year-old pastor in Kansas who believes that Janet Jackson's nipple was personally responsibly for the subprime crisis. But life usually comes in shades of taupe, and the conevntional dichotomies (conservative/liberal; Republican/Democrat; pro-life/pro-choice) usually reveal a whole load of contradictions.

But I think I've found a question that can place any American on one side of the cultural barrier or another. And it's this: who would you rather have adorning your living room?


Edward Hopper;


or Norman Rockwell?

6 comments:

pleite said...

Scared to pronounce. And scared to pronounce first. But... Hopper. Does that mean I'm a neocon 73-year-old pastor from Kansas who blames it all on Janet Jackson and her errant nipple?

garfer said...

David Lynch's Blue Velvet shattered my Norman Rockwell illusions for good.

oyebilly said...

Raping Cheney? My favourite band, now.

Rimshot said...

There was recently a Hopper exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago...I wasn't blown away. That said, Norman Rockwell always makes me think of magazine covers, very pretty and wonderfully expressive magazine covers.

So, in my fence straddling style, I think I'd hang a Hopper in the dining room and a Rockwell in the hallway.

Murph said...

My Janet Jackson Poster says it all, methinks.

And "Raping Cheyney" are just a bunch of known unknowns.

Tim Footman said...

No Pleite, you're on the side of the angels. Or Obama, until he disappoints.

Indeed, Garfer. And the revelation that Dennis Hopper is a Republican was also an eye-opener.

More than Colorless Green Ideas Sleep Furiously, Billy? You tart.

You don't live in Ohio, do you, Rimshot?

I used to have posters that talked, Murph. They sent me for a little lie-down in the country.