reporting on the infamous New York School of abstract expressionist painters
in 1947, art critic Clement Greenberg pondered, "What can fifty do against
one hundred and forty million?" It wasn't so much an entire population
stacked against a band of radical painters that Greenberg was
contemplating...rather it was 140 million Americans essentially ignoring a
movement that would eventually change the face of art.
The U.S. population has doubled in the fifty-plus years since Jackson Pollack dripped his way onto the cover of Life magazine...and there are still plenty of movements being ignored by the majority. In fact, I get the feeling there's a new wave of writers, thinkers, artists, and rabble-rousers out there...operating under the radar to change the face of activism.
A fine example is Kurt Nimmo, author of Another Day in the Empire: Life in Neoconservative America. When he's not using his words like defiant daggers, Nimmo works for New Mexico State University as a photographer and multimedia developer for distance education. "I build educational websites for Navajo and Hispanic students here in New Mexico, the poorest state in America," he said. "Incidentally, thanks to Bush's No Child Left Behind (sic) and budget cuts in federal education (Bush needs the money to kill more dark-skinned people), the program I work for did not get funded this year. Come June, I will probably be out on the street like a lot of Americans. I have absolutely no idea where I will get another job."
"The geniuses in the Pentagon and in the diabolical labs over at Lockheed Martin have yet to invent a bomb able to eradicate the hatred of millions of people who yearn to determine their own destinies." Kurt Nimmo, from "The Folly of Total War"
Another Day in the Empire is, for the most part, a scathing critique of our un-elected president and the criminals who surround him. "Since the book was written during Bush's tenure -- his hijacked tenure -- most of the essays are about the foreign and domestic policies of the Bush administration," explained Nimmo. Concerned that he was reserving his well-researched venom solely for neo-cons, I asked him for his thoughts on Democrats in general...and Clinton in particular.
"I believe there is essentially very little difference between Clinton and Bush, or so-called New Democrats and Republicans," he replied. "Clinton bombed Yugoslavia, Sudan, and Iraq several times. He continued Bush Senior's policy of unrelenting mass murder in Iraq and violated international law."
~~ "Clinton and the Democratic Leadership Council killed any shred of liberalism in America." From "Crimes Plotted in Windowless Rooms" ~~
Inevitably, this led to a discussion of John Kerry and Election 2004. What if, I posited, readers interpreted Nimmo's anti-Bush essays as a motivation to vote Democrat?
"I should hope a reader does not draw the conclusion from the book that I believe Democrats are a viable alternative come November," said Nimmo. "In my opinion, Kerry is a war criminal and a despicable human specimen – for his actions during Vietnam, even though he climbed on the Vietnam Veterans Against the War bandwagon after the fact -- and as his voting record indicates, he is a New Democrat: NAFTA, the Patriot Act, Bush's illegal invasion; he voted for all of these things and if he wins in November -- unlikely but not outside the realm of possibility -- his administration will not differ much from Bush. Of course, the abrasive neocons will likely be history if Kerry wins, but the agenda will be remarkably similar to Bush's. Instead of alienating the Europeans, Kerry will attempt to win them back over and get them on the neoliberal bandwagon. It will be business as usual."
~~ "Dissent makes a difference." From "Corporate Media: Selling Dubya's Oil War" ~~
"I'd have to say if somebody reads my book and runs out and votes for Kerry, he or she did not read it very closely," continued Nimmo. "People need to examine the issues. If they do that they will see that Kerry is simply Republican Lite minus the unabashed venom of the neocons. US foreign policy will remain essentially unchanged if Kerry enters the White House."
"I believe Noam Chomsky is wrong to support Kerry," Nimmo told me. "I will vote for Nader -- a far from perfect choice. I will, as you have suggested, tell everybody I know to vote for Nader."
What can a handful (for now) do against 280 million? I say we have no choice but to get busy and find out.
Another Day in the Empire: Life in Neoconservative America (with an intro by Jeffrey St. Clair) is required reading this election year. For more on Kurt Nimmo, visit: http://www.kurtnimmo.com.
* Kurt Nimmo's most recent article, with links to his previous work in DV
Mickey Z. is the author of two upcoming books: A Gigantic Mistake: Articles and Essays for Your Intellectual Self-Defense (Prime Books) and Seven Deadly Spins: Exposing the Lies Behind War Propaganda (Common Courage Press). His most recent book is The Murdering of My Years: Artists and Activists Making Ends Meet. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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