Post to be doused with kerosene and torched while chanting in tongues:

You keep bowing out Tom, and yet you're still here. I think we need a moderated hierarchical structure at RAW (you know, to protect the weak and defenseless), and you seem like the perfect moderator for us. You're balanced, fair, never one to forward your own agenda, always willing to receive constructive feedback from others, well-connected, on-the-ground, not one to easily take offense, never trolling or factious, full of humor and perspective, a wise old head and yet still "with-it," theoretically enlightened, and most importantly, a strong man with a tender heart for the weaker sex. We should just turn RAW into a blog, and then you could post the lead articles and we could add our subordinate comments (and occasional animated gifs). Then you could parse through them and choose which ones to allow and which ones to delete (we trust your correct perspective). That would be a great 2.0 use of the network. Plus it would look good on your C/V.

I venture to say that most of the acrimonious churn here recently has been largely in response to your polemic rhetoric. The agenda you are forwarding ("net art 2.0" as a version reset) is largely unconvincing. It's not that the work being made by "surf club" participants is uninteresting. Much of it is actually quite funky and invigorating. It may even be the next "big thing" (check local listings for details). But you're not really talking about the work itself much (and I would like to talk more about the particulars of the work). You are pushing for the work to be accepted as more historically radical than I think it is. And anyway, time and more perspicacious heads will decide all that. So I disagree with you now. To quote the eloquent sophist Thurston Moore, "I can understand it, but I don't recommend it."

For me, the value of RAW is that you can (often) proceed dialogically until you come to the crux of your disagreements. Nobody is ever fully persuaded. Nobody is objectively declared the winner. But just understanding the crux of my disagreements with various people has been of great advantage to my own practice. This is why I characterize the recent threads as solipsistic. You've got the attention (ire) of a large group of folks here (many of them very intelligent and most of them who aren't a part of your parochial scene). But instead of using them to figure something out for yourself, you just want to win. Even as purely spectacular flame wars go, it's not all that entertaining. You can win on your own blog or at your dealer's gallery. This is an unmoderated international art forum (one of the few left standing, oddly enough). If you mean to colonize it, then I have (yet more) problems with your vision of the radical future network.

Cremaster Mugabe


(Zimbabwean president, petroleum jelly, wax, wrestling mats, sternal retractors, mouthguards, NFL jersey, glucose syrup, video monitors, hydraulic jack, speculum, prostatic retractor, human chorionic gonadotropin [a natural steroid], etc.)

barney table

Savage Mules on McCain

As for John McCain being qualified to be Commander in Chief of the US Armed Forces, the man loves war--he is an uber hawk. He sang "bomb bomb bomb Iran" in response to a question from a hick town knuckle walker: "When are we going to send a love letter to Tehran?" Watch the video and hurl.

Wes ("bomb bomb Belgrade") Clark performed a useful service in questioning McCain's military bona fides--looks like it failed though. Obama is going the Kerry route, "talking tough" on war and leaving his opponent's resume unchallenged.

As Dennis Perrin notes frequently on his blog, many top Dems like war (he has just written a book called Savage Mules) and worship McCain's psycho violent streak, while others don't think he was violent enough. Below are recent blog excerpts where Perrin wonders aloud about the "Bombing of the Vietnamese" part of the McCain life lessons and Dem responses to them. Excerpt One:

John Aravosis of Americablog recently wrote, "A lot of people don't know, however, that McCain made a propaganda video for the enemy while he was in captivity. Putting that bit of disloyalty aside, what exactly is McCain's military experience that prepares him for being commander in chief? . . . Getting shot down, tortured, and then doing propaganda for the enemy is not command experience."

Disloyalty. The Enemy. Boy, do some liberals love using those words, frantically waving Old Glory to show who the "real" patriots are. A rancid but inevitable display, though in this case it's even more distasteful. You wouldn't know from Aravosis's post that McCain was in captivity because he was part of a criminal assault on Vietnam in which the US and its subordinates slaughtered millions. Plus, given the inconvenient fact that the US never formally declared war on Vietnam, those resisting the murderous attacks could not be accurately described as "the enemy," unless one feels, as apparently does Aravosis, that anyone whom the US bombs and herds into camps immediately becomes "the enemy," regardless of the actual circumstances.

"Criminal assault on Vietnam" perhaps oversimplifies Cold War politics but you would think only ignorant righties like Rove and Cheney thought Vietnam was a "good" war (while somehow avoiding serving in it). Yet for the sake of McCain's sainthood his fans pretend it was a "band of brothers"-like soiree. See this earlier Perrin post, describing an appearance on Alan Colmes' radio show, where Perrin was the only person in an all-liberal guest list to question McCain's saintly hero status:

The slagging went on for a little while longer. Here I was, in the middle of three Clinton liberals, reminding them why McCain ended up in a POW cell. Not that I supported torture or reprisal beatings, but some context was in order. The Vietnamese didn't sneak into the States and kidnap McCain from his snug bed. The three couldn't care less. What's more, they defended the U.S. bombing of Vietnam, at least so long as McCain was doing the killing. It was a handy reminder of how crazed liberals become when they taste a little blood.