Friday, July 21, 2017

Art Gallery: War Without End, Amen

War Without End, Amen Parts I-II (2003)
Digital Media

This addition to the 2003 Digital Artwork series was created as a series of interlocking tiles, much like you would see in videogame graphics. In fact, I used Quake III Arena and Unreal Tournament 2003/2004 to test out these pieces. If I have the opportunity to show these works in a gallery setting, I'll have to use at least one as a giant tiled wallpaper.

The two variations are very close. The reason why I kept several variations is simple: I didn't want to throw anything away. But each version had to look a little different, have a slightly different twist. Perhaps this owes to my Pop Art inspiration (think of Warhol's portraits). Of the two, the first is more crisp and detailed, while the second shows a smoothness and a glow that reminds me of CRT televisions. And they both look very organic and trippy and colorful.

The title once again refers to the 2003 Iraq War and conflicting/ironic religious imagery, which critique the morality of America's "Christian" Republican Party waging war on innocents for no useful reason whatsoever.

For my March 31, 2003 notes on my old art website, I used this page to include a number of relevant quotes that referenced the Iraq War. I feel these are still relevant today, especially given America's infamously short attention span an inability to ever face unpleasant events. Ours is not a nation that likes to seriously question its cherished myths.  Human nature is ever thus.

Here are the quotes from in its entirety:

"The first casualty of war is truth."
- Senator Hiram Johnson (CA), one of six Senators to vote against American entry into World War I, 1917

"We are in the Mideast for three letters, oil, O-I-L."
- Bob Dole, speaking about the first Gulf War

"The vast majority of the country's population has been on a semi-starvation diet for years."
- World Health Organization reporting on Iraq

"They were wrong during Vietnam, and they're wrong today."
- Former US Representative Bob Dornan, who also called Senator John Kerry "a Judas Catholic."

"Americans and indeed our foreign allies who actively work against our military once the war is underway will be considered enemies of the state by me."
- Bill O'Reilly

"There are four countries that will never support us. Never. Cuba, Libya, and Germany. I forget the fourth."
- Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld

"We should not march into Baghdad. . . . To occupy Iraq would instantly shatter our coalition, turning the whole Arab world against us, and make a broken tyrant into a latter-day Arab hero . . . assigning young soldiers to a fruitless hunt for a securely entrenched dictator and condemning them to fight in what would be an unwinnable urban guerrilla war. It could only plunge that part of the world into even greater instability."
- President George H. W. Bush, in his 1998 memoirs

"This is scripted."
- President George W. Bush

"The United States needs to go to war with Iraq because it needs to go to war with someone in the region and Iraq makes the most sense."
- Jonah Goldberg, National Review

"A tired, left-wing liberal out of touch with the current marketplace."
- Internal NBC memo describing MSNBC host Phil Donahue, whose top-rated show was later cancelled

"A Kuwaiti woman rode through the streets of Kuwait City on Wednesday during celebrations marking the 12th anniversary of Liberation Day."
- Minneapolis Star Tribune, February 27. Women have little or no rights under the dictatorship of Kuwait.

"Using both an iron fist and a velvet glove, the Pentagon expects to neutralize Iraq's army, kill or capture Saddam - and leave the country's civilians and most cities and towns untouched."
- USA Today, February 21

"...the sponsors of these protests were not peace protesters at all. They are all talking about racism, environmental wacko-ism, feminism or other liberal causes. Very little about these protests was about the war in Iraq. If they were for peace, they would give every dollar they raise to the U.S. defense department because it's the U.S. defense department that keeps the peace and liberates the oppressed in the world and gives them the opportunity to have freedom, which is what we want for Iraq. It's beyond me how anybody can look at these protesters and call them anything other than what they are: anti-American, anti-capitalist, pro Marxists and communists."
- Rush Limbaugh

"We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed too. Otherwise they will turn out to be outright traitors."
- Ann Coulter, speaking to the Conservative Political Action Conference

"The Constitution just sets minimums. Most of the rights that you enjoy go way beyond what the Constitution requires."
- Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, speaking at John Carroll University

"War protester auditions here today ... thanks for coming!
"Who won your right to show up here today? Protesters or soldiers?
"How do you keep a war protester in suspense? Ignore them.
"Attention protesters: the Michael Moore Fan Club meets Thursday at a phone booth at Sixth Avenue and 50th Street"
- Fox News ticker, broadcast on the news ticker surrounding their Sixth Avenue headquarters, responding to New York protesters on March 27

"Where's the Ohio National Guard when you really need it? Seriously? Hey, if a campus crank can wish for personal calamity to befall U.S. forces in Iraq, why not fantasize about a volley of Kent State-style militia musketry rattled off in his general direction?"
- New York Post, March 30

"Protesting this war while our troops are being killed is equal to treason. You should all be shot."
- Pro-war sign at a Baton Rouge protest rally, March 31, alongside American flags

"Despite [their right to protest], I think these son-of-a-buggers deserve a bullet in the head."
- Baton Rouge talk radio host Richard Condon

"There's nothing like a war or rumors of war to resuscitate the anti-war movement in the U.S.

"Every leftist hatred came under attack: capitalism, colonialism, oppression, racism, homophobia, gender discrimination, consumerism, individualism, and on and on. Meaningless slogans dominated the festivities: 'No Blood for Oil,' 'Drop Bush, Not Bombs,' 'Stop War, End Racism.'

"'Instead of spending $400 billion every year for weapons of mass destruction and to promote militarism,' the leftists maintain, 'our money must spent to provide free education, healthcare and childcare, jobs and job training, expanded support for the elderly and other things that human beings need.'"
- Barrett Kalellis,, January 21. Keep in mind that he's criticizing the protesters.

"You can support the troops but not the President."
- Sen. Trent Lott, speaking about the 1998 attacks in Kosovo and Iraq

"The spirit of Jefferson Davis lives in the 1984 Republican platform."
- Sen. Lott, again, speaking to the 1984 convention of the Sons of Confederate Veterans

"The people in this room stand for the right principles and the right philosophy. Let's take it in the right direction, and our children will be the beneficiaries."
- Sen. Lott, yet again, in remarks to a meeting of the Council of Conservative Citizens in 1992. The CCC is the modern-day version of the White Citizens Councils of the 1960s.

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