In Soviet Troy, the Government sanctions art

Upstate New York has been all up in arms about all kinds of things lately.

An Iraqi artist named Wafaa Bilal wanted to exhibit his project at Rensselaer Polytechnical Institute (RPI) in Troy, New York. He was using a modified video game to have viewers view the Iraq war from the Iraqi point of view. And not just any Iraqi’s point of view, but a suicide bomber’s at that.

That didn’t go so well with the local neo-cons, who first got RPI to cancel the exhibit by pressuring them with withdrawn donations and “safety” issues. Apparently the FBI was also alerted about a possible “terrorist” threat.

A local art gallery called Sanctuary for Independent Media then decided to let Mr. Bilal exhibit there.

That wasn’t ok with the local neo-cons either, who continued to protest against the art exhibit. One of the leading voices protesting was one Robert Mirch, Republican Majority leader in the city of Troy.

The day before the exhibit was to go on, the Sanctuary for Independent Media premises were shut down by the Department of Public Works for building code violations. It appears that the doors of the 108-year-old building the gallery resides in were 3 inches too narrow. And that’s a violation. The gallery had been cited for the violation some time ago, and at that time given until mid April to correct the issues. It is not mid April yet. It just happens Mr. Mirch is the commissioner of the Department of Public Works in the city of Troy. What a coincidence!

Well done Robert! Keep up the good work up there in Troy! We are all so very proud of you.


1 Response to “In Soviet Troy, the Government sanctions art”

  • Sadly, as you’ve pointed out, censorship is OK with the Democrats too, provided that the art in question is in the form of a game instead of a static work. So let’s just hope this news doesn’t make it to Hillary and/or Spitzer. Oh wait, never mind Spitzer. 🙂

    They’d have to review all video games for politically incorrect gameplay, to protect the li’l childrins. And that would be truly sad. Don’t take away my Goblin Sappers! How else am I supposed to take out the other guy’s defensive towers? It’s not like the Orcish Horde has cruise missiles, and dragons ain’t cheap (and they suck utterly against arrow towers).

    One has to question the logic behind a philosophy that states that anything that’s available for you to be exposed to becomes something you will come to like. ORLY? I live in a very gay neighborhood, and there are tons of adult gay videos in the windows of a half dozen gay video stores. Does that mean that there are straight guys watching them and spontaneously turning gay? (‘Cuz that’s how the homophobes think gayness works.) No. There are not. I may laugh at the title of a video in the window called “Everybody Loves Raymond”, but I sure as hell have no intentions of watching it.

    The same goes for this game. I’ve read the background of this situation, and it’s a pretty dumb-sounding game, even before the bad guys got a hold of it and turned it around and made it a propaganda tool. And now it’s something more moderate, according to the artist. But what matters is that you can still go and read propaganda from foreign / enemy countries in the public library, and it doesn’t convert the reader in to a communist or Nazi or Mao fan. It’s the elimination of alternative points of view that makes propaganda work.

    And actually I think that was the point of the now-banned game in the first place: to show that a confused and poorly informed kid in Iraq is easy to manipulate into doing horrible things. Just broadcast some shallow Westernized TV, with pop singer competitions, reality shows, game shows, dating challenge shows, etc. and they’ll get all sorts of new ideas about how they’d like to spend their time. Like studying to be on Jeopardy!

    “Answer: Number of Iraqi elections under Saddam Hussein in which he was unanimously re-elected, according to official results.”

    “Question: What is “all of them”?”


Comments are currently closed.