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FRANCISCO LEQUERICA

27.2.13

Gauguin is Evil (synecdoche XVI)



"I feel that Gauguin is evil. He has nudity and is bad for children. He has two women in the painting and it's very homosexual. I was trying to remove it. I think it should be burned. I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you."

Thus spake a DC woman named Sarah Burns after being arrested for assaulting the Gauguin painting Two Tahitian women. Almost thus also spake a Getsemaní (Cartagena, Colombia) priest who called the police (to no avail) and attempted to forcefully evangelise the whole Trinidad Square, a popular meeting spot for youth and tourists in front of his parish, because two girls had kissed there and he wanted them to leave. A few weeks later, some of that parish’s devotees hit a girl for no apparent reason, accusing her wrongly of similar rites. The same words thundered through and through – evil. Sonic Youth has an album where they spell love backwards. That is Evol. Evil backwards spells live, which is what we all try to do, but who shall survive?

In our times, the proliferation of violent madness as opposed to peaceful madness is painfully worrying; it seems to know of no limit. Madness that is beyond conception, far from fruitful, rather declining that inclining towards anything – all this madness toils around; real dementia universalis. It is primarily an absence of sensibility and sensitivity, both of which are educable. Therefore, it could seem as if we were witnessing a catastrophe of education. Yet it also seems true that each generation spurns a new style of madness, almost always motivated by a pugilist (if often puerile) reaction to its predecessor, but which offers no significant variation from a deductible system of behaviours that appear to be totally inherent and unalterable.

Yet little do we know of the outcomes of wars between concurring prehistoric creatures, of mud-laden opabinia and calcium-lensed trilobites…

Yet America the everything, America the puritan, America the synecdoche! Pushing and shovelling faeces from the face of fancy fashion, feeding TV screens with glam manure and muses galore, America still manages to be scandalised by the sight of breasts painted by a dead master! Fat burger clean pizza eat more, George Carlin celebration of premium-like bullshit, all neon-carbonized in open fields while your car gets washed in a special machine of soaps and needle-massages.

Yet somehow, just like John Kerry celebrating the US-given right to remain stupid (anything you say will be held against you in courtship), America always seems to provide some sort of satisfaction at the sheer spectacle of the infinite possibilities of human stupidity. Knowing that the Gauguin painting in DC was not damaged, that the two Colombian girls were not arrested or distressed any further after being accused of wrongdoing by the priest, it is possible to laugh at these anecdotes of self-proclaimed social imbecility without further ado.

Idiots do seem to reproduce precisely like some of those prehistoric creatures – through simple replication of genetic structure, in effect rendering multiple copies of an original individual which do not change in time. That is precisely how time washed them off the face of the earth; the reason behind their extinction is that they could not adapt to survive. Their inflexibility broke them. Thus spake Darwin.

It is hence possible to envisage, through this cleverly artistic fallacy that one could come to term style or culturally-challenged faux-pas, that idiots are bound for extinction. It is easy to imagine that the world knows that Sarah Burns is an idiot, and that she in some sort of psychiatric muddle. It is easy to imagine how lonely and doomed that impotent Colombian priest must have felt when everyone sitting in the square booed him away, because these are times when one reads that the pope himself is stepping down from the papacy. These are extinct humans, waiting to pass away and leave no other trace than a fossil. And, in a way, it is tremendously encouraging to have proof that idiots are a disappearing minority of our time in the very absence of trilobites today.