Monday, July 25, 2011


Edvard Munch The Scream
The Scream - Edvard Munch (Norwegian 1893) - source Wikipedia

Crazy World... In response to the horrible and heart-wrenching events in Norway last Friday, it seems there's now a raging media war being played out from both Left and Right.

One of the controversial items is an editorial cartoon that ran yesterday on the front page of the The Sunday Times (London). It's been bringing forth comments like:

-I know The Scream is Norway's best known work of art but mass murder seems more than a little inappropriate for parody by The Sunday Times.
-Re-evaluate what the Scream is portraying and what it's actually saying, then take another look at the illustration.
-Erm... please tell me this is a joke? Please.
-I feel pity for a newspaper that thinks it has to make fun of mass murder.
-I understand the cartoon, but the editor made a very bad decision to run with it today.
-As a Norwegian, I am not sure what to feel about this cartoon. I am torn between admiration of the creativity behind it and the unbelievable timing of it. ...I don't feel it is meant as a joke.


The cartoon and full comment thread were sent to me by a Leftist Brazilian friend who said:

This cartoon, published in the Times of London, Murdoch's newspaper also, is stirring controversy. Some find it disrespectful to the moment. I found it all to do with the feeling that I think the Norwegians have now, and we also. The perpetrator says fight Marxist multiculturalism. Why does he hate so much?

I wrote back as follows,

I agree with you. The Scream painting of Munch is an icon of horror. That he was Norwegian, now seems prescient. The painting is deeply expressive of what many feel in this moment. That it was published by a Murdoch enterprise seems irrelevant, and the strong reaction either a misunderstanding of the painting or cheap shot.

The world is in a great shaking. The cause is ecological but the reaction is political -- individual or collective, organized or anarchic, elitist or populist, both the angels and the demons are unleashed. Both civilization and civility are more delicate than we imagine.

Everywhere, there is a rise of partisanship and polarization as institutions can no longer contain the internal contradictions. Ecologically, economically, politically, we are indulging in bubbles and ponzi schemes. When they burst, the mess splatters across the innocent. The first acts come from crazy individuals. They are the early warning signals. We are entering very dangerous times.

It is going to be very hard to hold a calm center. But that is what is needed most. It is a burden and a privilege for it to be our work. Maybe, here in the New World, we can help it be different.

PS: The New World is wherever we work on it.


mdyak said...

Love your P.S.! Definitely the New World is in each of us waiting to be born.
Much love,

Thesis Writing said...

Thank you for sharing such relevant topic with us. I really love all the great stuff you provide. Thanks again and keep it coming.