Now that Science Week is over [and what did we learn? That you can’t get smart without oppressin’ somebody somewhere, that’s what. Which is hardly surprising, since (as I’ve been gently, kindly, and with the patience of Job trying to explain the Internet for the last 5 years) patriarchy isn’t just some vague academic concept invented by fat chicks who can’t get laid, it’s the world’s most popular world order, and it’s actually predicated on oppression, and its sphere of influence is infinite, therefore science can’t exist outside it, therefore revolution is the only solution, blah, yadda, etc] it’s time to focus the jaundiced lens of blaming scrutiny on Art.
Although if I might just make one last observation: the idea of the “natural” world as separate from human culture? Nope.
Let me ask you this. At what point does human culture depart from the Natural? With the invention of computers? TV? Cars? The cotton gin? Electricity? Taco stands? Gunpowder? The printing press? Written language? Shoes? Crop cultivation? Yurts? The wheel? Did humans become unnatural when the good old days of picturesque, endless agrarian toil, feudal oppression, unchecked disease, ignorance, and death from dysentery at 35 turned into the bad new days of urban post-industrial capitalism where a pound of fair-trade organic coffee costs $12.99 and your email inbox is full of spam?
Pah. Everything humans do, or have ever done, is “natural.” We can’t do anything else. The idea that modern culture is un-natural is nostalgic and inaccurate. Living off the grid in a yurt is “good” in some absolute sense, whereas driving an SUV from a suburban bungalow to the stripmall is “bad”? Come on. This a romantic, but misguided view. The cosmic reaction to a 20′ Ford Expedition is the same as to a sanctimonious Prius: bupkis. The universe doesn’t give a fuck about you or your lifestyle choices. It doesn’t give a fuck about the economy, oil spills, or civil unrest in Blargistan. It doesn’t give a fuck about katydids. Eventually our whole planet will be erased from space, and the galaxy won’t bat an eye. The inevitable extinction of our species (imminent, according to research here at Spinster Laboratories) via the exhaustion of available resources is as natural as a fresh-picked peach. As Andre 3000 and other dude philosophers have observed, nothing is forever.
Yes, yes, when people use the word ‘natural’ what they really mean is ‘free of chemical additives’ and maybe some of the assorted hippie concepts that go with that narrative. Barter economies, home furnishings made from bamboo, vegan cookbooks, living in the country. While I would argue that it is just as natural for people to put chemical additives in things as it is to not put chemical additives in things, I admit that it is appealing to fantasize that the source of human misery is an unnatural isolation from Nature, and that doing yoga on an organic rubber mat and drinking organic spinach smoothies will put me back in sync with the cosmos.
But alas, I’m already in sync with the cosmos, and so are you. In other words, this is it. This is what we’ve become, and this is what we get. Which is not to say that a person can’t fantasize about a verdant paradise full of songbirds and polar bears and Bengal tigers, untouched by human influence. Only, that world isn’t a world we could actually live in. The minute you add “contented children, lazy from a carefree day at the swimming hole, eating ripe plums on the porch at sunset” to that scenario, natural history changes, and it’s right back to our scorched-earth dystopia. Our giant brains use up resources, it’s as simple as that.
As long as we’re still here, though, we might as well try to make the best of it. Which is why I say bring on the cyborg fetus incubators, and Art Week.
In my enthusiasm for the project at hand, I Googled “women art.” Amazon came back with this result:
Women, Art, and Society by Whitney Chadwick , which discusses women artists through the ages and how they came to be given the heave-ho by the keepers of the Great Art Canon. What’s this doing here?
Gifted to Lead: The Art of Leading as a Woman in the Church by Nancy Beach. “Nancy desires that women will fully engage in the dangerous and thrilling adventure of using their leadership gifts to advance the kingdom of God. The path won’t be easy . . . but God will never leave you alone. ” Now this is more like it.
The Best Things in Life are Topless (Woman and Beer) Art Poster Print by Poster Revolution. From the Home & Garden section! Art for the people! Now we’re getting to the crux of the matter. Customers who viewed this item also viewed posters with images of beers squished between women’s breasts and thighs, along with about 30,672 other pornographic posters featuring beer as a subtle metaphor for rape.
Cheap Monday The Tight Jean in Art, Denim for Women. Price, $64. Art in this case is a color. Customers who bought art-colored tight jeans from Amazon also bought “Sexy Metallic Stretch Booty Shorts” and “Sexy Black Rubber Look Mini Skirt.” Awesome.
Also, Salvador Dali mousepad, featuring “Woman Sleeping in A Landscape.” More awesome. Why not get one for Dad? He’ll enjoy rolling his mouse over this charming painting of a naked woman with her skull bashed in, brains hanging out, wrist chained to a dead tree, because it is beautiful and important, having been painted by a 20th Century Master.
Well, what’re you waiting for? Get crackin!