Sunday, December 23, 2012

Swedes descend into enlightened madness

What if I told you that the Minister of Culture in Sweden participated in the following stunt to call attention to the plight of third world females living with the effects of female circumcision:  Make a cake that looks like a vintage caricature of a female African savage and serve the cake to delighted, cheering activists.  Mmmm.
It's the Swedish minister of culture cutting up a taxpayer-funded cake baked to look like a racist caricature of a black woman at the opening of an exhibit about the horrors of female circumcision, and a crowd of people laughing while she feeds a piece of it (red velvet, natch) to the actor in blackface someone hired to poke their head out from a hole in the table so that it looks like the cake is alive and crying. Ok, folks — we're declaring moratorium on smug talk about how much better everything is in Sweden.
So bizarre.  In America, I think this would be considered tasteless.  It's one of those things, I think, that you have to see to believe.  I find myself questioning the sanity of these people.  A total conflation of high-brow academic irony with indulgent kitsch spectacle.  In other words, sheer madness that DE-sensitizes.  Never has worldwide tragedy been so much macabre fun (but in an "enlightened" sort of way), an occasion for such fiendish glee.

Maybe these people are onto something though.  Maybe we should call attention to the drowning of newborns by "prom moms" by making use of a dunk tank with an actor in a diaper wailing as it falls into the water.  Yeah, that's the ticket!  Maybe we could foment social change over school shootings with a kind  of carnival duck shooting game with screaming children replacing the ducks, and we can all laugh at what outrageously smart and ironic activists we are!  We are changing the world through the outrage and having such a goo time in the process.  Woohoo!

If these images are not sufficiently haunting, watch the "performance art" as participants cut into the cake and the sober response of the onlookers:

I'm not against art simply because it is disturbing or evokes revulsion, but I think this has gone past all sensibility or justifiable social commentary.  This is simply revolting and functions as little more than a particularly horrific sort of violent pornography, a perverse entertainment ironically masquerading as social conscience.

A spokesperson for the National Afro-Swedish Association, Kitimbwa Sabuni, remarked, "[The Swedish minister's] participation, as she laughs, drinks, and eats cake, merely adds to the insult against people who suffer from racist taunts and against women affected by circumcision."

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