If conceptual art has a point at all, it is to get a rise out of aesthetes who know what's not art before they’ve seen it. Tom Piatak detects none in the work of a Yale arts major he wants expelled for raising the artistic yuck factor beyond the realm of pickled sharks and plasticized cadavers, but thinks her case grounds to remind that:
"Chief Justice Story, the chief constitutional theorist of his day, explained the purpose of the First Amendment" thus: “The real object of the amendment was ...to exclude all rivalry among Christian sects, and to prevent any national ecclesiastical establishment which should give to a hierarchy the exclusive patronage of the national government.”
A decade ago, cultural relativists fell for physics professor Alan Sokal's fish slap to the credulity and incoherence of post-modern literary theory. Contempt for Deconstruction as an academic way of life, led him to draft, a paper entitled
"Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a
Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity"
which appeared in the “Science Wars" issue of Social Text in 1996. The same month, in another publication, Lingua Franca, Sokal announced the Social Text article was a hoax, calling his own paper:
"a pastiche of left-wing cant, fawning references, grandiose quotations, and outright nonsense", which was "structured around the silliest quotations I could find about mathematics and physics"
"Tom, what part of “Sokaled” don’t you understand? As the e’patered party you may now challenge Ms. Shvarts to a pie fight, but along with a barely passing grade in conceptual art, she gets an A for successfully transgressing the boundaries of credulity. Mencken would love it."
Shvarts doesn’t deserve an “A” for anything. She either attempted the serial murder of her own children, or is a publicity-seeking liar. What she did is not “art” in any reasonable definition of the term. Indeed, the only thing she “transgressed” are the standards any civilized institution would uphold. I agree with Yale alum John Zmirak: she ought to be expelled."
"There is no need to amend the Constitution each time the Supreme Court misinterprets it. Under Article III, Section 2, Congress has the power to restrict the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court (and to abolish all inferior courts). Congress also has the power to impeach justices and judges, and issuing an unconstitutional decision, as Roe v Wade was and is, is a proper grounds for impeachment.... as I’ve argued
I don’t quite understand your comment about religion, either. The fact that my views on abortion are informed by my religious beliefs do not make them illegitimate, nor would they make illegitimate any properly enacted legislation inspired by those beliefs. The ACLU’s interpretation of the First Amendment has more in common with the French and Bolshevik Revolutions than the American Revolution.
Stimulating as some find Chronicle of Culture, Taki’s plays a different role. It is a salon des refusees in the face not just of PC, but the intellectual captivity of National Review ,and the aesthetic dominion of The New Criterion. Besides, other proponents of conceptual minimalism, like the Taliban, have put Miss Schvarts efforts at reifying obscenity to shame. It pales before the demolition of the Great Buddha of Bamiyan, in which the performance artist known as Mullah Omar overthrew Althuserian conceptions of the linearity of time’s arrow by showing that dynamite artistically deployed can not only transform featureless rock into monumental art, as at Mount Rushmore , but vice versa. Now that’s deconstruction!