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[BKARTS] Show, don't tell



That's Paul, not Peter. Paul's the one with the sword, Peter has the 
keys.

I wasn't talking about the president's behavior but the behavior of 
self-defined "Christians" who hide their own behavior under "Faith." 
I'm not suggesting that a scribe like yourself is the moral equivalent 
of a criminal like Bush, but your manipulation of the 
categories "Faith," "Christian," "Art" and "Medieval" to hide from 
criticism and self-criticism does put you in the same camp. It's as if 
I were to insist that the "real" meaning of such-and-such a medieval 
manuscript was the Class Struggle without bothering to explain to 
myself and to others what I meant by "Medieval," "Class," 
and "Struggle." Not to mention "Art." Not to mention "Faith." I try not 
to use those categories precisely because they're unexplainable, and 
when I do use those terms it's as historically subjective concepts, not 
as metaphysical realities.

Did Medieval monks believe in the Class Struggle? No more than they 
believed in Art. Did the Class Struggle exist in the Middle Ages? 
Probably so, but just as for "Art," I have to define the concept in 
order to justify it, instead of rushing as you do to claim for the 
Class Struggle, or Art, or Faith the status of a metaphysical concept, 
a "real" entity outside of History. Your demand that I explain 
what "Art" is, is a trap, and a rather crude one, since I've already 
explained what art was not. With you these concepts are metaphysical 
from the git-go: "Art" and "Faith" are there to close off an argument 
you're unable and unwilling to defend or pursue. Kinda like Bush. 

As any real Christian would tell you (and I count quite a few as my 
friends), Faith, like the Class Struggle, justifies itself in practice. 
As it so happens I have a deeply-held hope that centuries of oppression 
may be ended, or improved some day, and that seems to be a worthwhile 
commitment to a certain faith, and I try to put this faith in practice. 
So what's your faith, and how do you put it in practice? By making 
little letters you get to go to Heaven? By making little letters you 
make the world a better place? By making little letters you get to make 
the Rapture come? By making little letters you get to be an artist? By 
making little letters you glorify the word of G*d and therefore clarify 
or spread a belief that in your estimation will make the world a better 
place, even though by all rational standards such activities are doomed 
to failure and have been for many centuries? And if so, why are your 
activitues going to be more succesful than, say, registering to vote or 
organizing a Party cell? Those are the questions you resolutely refuse 
to answer. Come to think of it, that puts you in the same league as 
many Medieval monks. Faith is not your tool, it's your way of hiding 
from yourself and others the meaning of your own actions, or inaction.

Oh, and by the way: the Morgan Library has been closed for several 
years, and is not due to reopen for a while longer. Once again you're 
preaching to others what you haven't even done for yourself. Kinda like 
Bush.


Paul T Werner, New York
http://theorangepress.com

WOID: A journal of visual language

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