Wednesday, March 26, 2008

From In Defense Of Animals:

The "Art" of Animal Cruelty

Tell San Francisco Art Institute to remove snuff video exhibit from gallery!!!
Walk into the Walter and McBean Galleries in San Francisco's posh Russian Hill neighborhood, and you may be shocked to see what passes for contemporary "art" these days. Six televisions display video images of six different animals -- a doe, a goat, a horse, an ox, a pig, and a sheep -- being bludgeoned to death with a large sledgehammer by "artist" Adel Abdessemed of Paris. Entitled "Don't Trust Me," this sick exhibit is Abdessemed's and the Institute's self-serving attempt to pass off the brutal abuse and killing of animals as legitimate artistic creation.
What such "artists" and their patrons overlook is that animals are living beings who feel and suffer just like we humans -- and we are no more justified in taking their lives at will than we have the right to kill another person. Such abuse of animals may elicit horror and disgust in viewers, but that does not qualify it as art. Far from it -- in fact, "Don't Trust Me" represents the very worst impulses of the human imagination.
It takes no artistic talent or ability to kill animals, and Abdessemed should have never been given a venue for his sickening "work" in the first place. To their great discredit, the San Francisco Art Institute agreed to sponsor this exhibit, lending it an air of credibility, but what makes matters worse are the obscene rationalizations this venerable institution of learning and culture offers in defense of the sleazy snuff films. These include pedantic claims that such killings "regularly take the real world, on a regular basis," and that the installation "(makes) typical moral and cultural constraints seem beside the point."
Such statements betray not only a lack of compassion and basic human decency, but also a fundamental confusion of true artistic creation with the destruction of life. Abdessemed's work is of no artistic value, and rather than raise people's consciousness about the cruelties committed against animals every day, it will encourage them to accept animal abuse as a way of gaining attention and notoriety.
To call someone who murders animals an "artist" is an insult to every real artist who refuses to rely on violence and shallow, sensationalistic gimmicks to express his or her vision. While the work of such murderers will surely not endure, their antics may encourage and incite others to torture and kill animals, so it is crucial that people of conscience voice our outrage over this monstrous display of cruelty.

Here’s his address:

President Charles Bratton
San Francisco Art Institute
800 Chestnut Street
San Francisco, CA 94113

Have fun.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

rutka laskier

Rutka's Notebook - January-April 1943

girl from Bedzin, Poland, age 14, the same age as the Dutch teenager Anne Frank, kept a diary for a few brief months in 1943.

The outside world slowly closed down on her, but these few sheets of paper - some 60 handwritten pages in a notebook – reflect both the horrors of the Holocaust and the entire universe of an adolescent Jewish girl in the shadow of death.

Rutka shared the diary with her friend Stanislawa Sapinska. The two met after Rutka’s family moved into a home owned by Sapinska’s family that had been confiscated by the Nazis so that it could be included in the ghetto.The two became friendly and when Rutka told her that she felt she would not survive, Stanislawa offered to hide the diary in the basement under one of the floorboards. At the end of the war, Stanislawa returned to the house and found the hidden diary. She kept the diary in her home library for more than 60 years and recently decided to make it available to the public.

The last entry is from 24 April 1943. In August, Rutka and her family were deported to Auschwitz. She is believed to have been murdered upon arrival. Rutka’s father, Yaakov, was the family’s only survivor. He moved to Israel where he began a new family, a family who has now been given the rare opportunity to get to know a sister and an aunt who was murdered long before they were born.

From the Diary
“I have a feeling that I’m writing for the last time. There is an Aktion in town. I’m not allowed to go out and I’m going crazy, imprisoned in my own house […] For a few days, something’s in the air […] The town is breathlessly waiting in anticipation, and this anticipation is the worst of all. I wish it would end already! This is torment, ; this is hell. I’m trying to escape from these thoughts, of the next day, but they keep haunting me like nagging flies. If only I could say, it’s over, you only die only once… But I can’t, because despite all those these atrocities I want to live, and wait for the following day. It That means, waiting for Auschwitz or labor camp. I must not think about this so now I’ll start writing now about private matters.” (February 20, 1943)

please, do not wait until the diaries from 14 year old girls in iraq are posted....