Tuesday, February 11, 2003

It's late and, again, I'm tired.
Contrary to the opinions of many this is not the beginning of the American Empire, it is probably the end. If we are lucky our president's policies may yet bring about an independent Europe, with strong ties to the east and to China, and a newly sped-up process of democratization in the middle east. And all because the man's a loudmouth with so many weapons that everybody else is terrified. I admit it's risky, but it's brilliant. He's probably a mole working for Kofi Annan.
If there's no war I'm nominating him for a Nobel Peace Prize.

I've read enough crap recently to last my lifetime as to why art is or should be moral. Art is not moral, it's honest, and that's not the same thing. Or rather I'd say that, of course, it is about someone's morality, but not necessarily yours or mine. On Sunday I saw the show of da Vinci drawings that just opened at the Met. His work practically defines the rebuttal to such an argument. If he were alive today he would be designing missile systems.

I do not have the interest in da Vinci I once had. It's not the result so much of my adult, and middle aged(?) comprehension of the meaning of war machines and machiavellianism, as it is of my dislike of the thing from which they both derive: a cold academicism. He is the first and greatest painter of the French Academy. For all his skill and technical curiosity he lacked something, seemingly without realizing that it was missing. His arrogance precludes such an awareness.

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