… before we get going, this chap would like to point out the possibility that though our readers might have heard of Alex Jones and Infowars, they might have missed out on his recent Performance Art defence. In itself – arguably – some of his best performance art. Then of course, this chap is not the expert on that particular topic.
Graham has worked in performance art …
… and seriously, knows whereof he speaks. Be warned, though, you can’t talk about this stuff in front of the kids. (Yes, Ian, we’re talking about you, Jude, and the herring… ) But it was always a broad tent and, frankly, needed one from time to time (yes, Ian and Jude, we do mean you).
So, why would he be reluctant to consider Alex Jones any sort of peer or colleague?
It’s not the content. Being (seriously, NSFW) shocking is par for the performance art course –– expected, in fact.
Nor is it even the scale or the production values. Much as Graham loves them as spectacle, the Joker’s scenes of mass or insane destruction —
Performance art can be very — challenging. And even vomit-making, disgusting, gut-wrenching — they do, really, go with the territory.
So it’s not about the content, or production values.
Why, then, should Alex Jones be excluded from the community of “artists”? Is it a class thing, maybe, that this rough child, his hour come round at last, could be slouching along a route towards Bethlehem for him and his followers? On a troll recently blazed by the current White House inhabitant?
No. Really, No. Performance art relies, at some level, on setting up a controlled, considered tension between the real and the observed or experienced. Back in the day, this Chap’s team set up strange, alternative — or at least, skewed or shifted — realities. We arranged a strange waiter service, where the services — Lip Service, Today’s Special — may have been odd but their recipients were always grateful; offered an orientation to college life that, in the end, encouraged a skeptical view of the life that awaited college entrants; and offered ceremonious sendoffs and greetings for random rail travelers. All well and good.
But Jones plays with real people with real lives, intervenes in real situations and finds the tinfoil hat conspiracies everywhere. The Boston Marathon bombings and the Sandy Hook school shootings were deliberately staged by totalitarian pols. A Washington pizza parlor headquarters a child sex ring, also run by noted pols. He pushes this one so hard that an armed man invades, threatening staff and customers alike, looking for the (nonexistent) basement dungeon.
All the signs are Jones believes this stuff, and because he believes it, it is real. (Which, given his just-revealed mental state, makes perfect sense.) And that belief moves from what Jones does from considered, provocative art –good or bad — to paranoid fantasy. The man is no artist, except perhaps in the details of his own dangerous delusions.
The Other Chap reminds our dear readers that …
… while he may not know too much about Performance Art, he knows what he (doesn’t) like, which is why he doesn’t spend too much time considering which Performace Art pieces he enjoys and which he doesn’t.
… that’s lot of ‘doesn’t’s #justsayin
He considers the choice akin to whether you might want to die falling out of a plane, run over by a train or simply suffocated in a suicide attempt sitting in an automobile.
He recognizes that the latter would probably be the best piece of performance art – but alas – probably not the preferred choice for ‘manner of death’.
The First Chap adds
(at the risk of usurping Last Word) — Aah yes: Let me die a youngman’s death…
Aah yes – The Scaffold
.. what does usurping mean?
This Chap seems to remember another Chap claiming Last Word Rights for himself.
Claiming … is that the same as ‘God given rights’
… assuming he believes in god?
Problem is, in explaining what “usurping” would constitute in this case, this Chap would be doing it. Hmmm. Oh well…
encroach or infringe upon (someone’s rights).
“the Church had usurped upon the domain of the state”
But still – for background …