Sunday, May 07, 2006

A Big Rant

The flipside of my happiness yesterday over the grant was my outrage at the contents of the current exhibition, which has been supplied by what I'm increasingly sure is a cult. Their website claims that they are not a religious organisation, yet there is a definite religious overtone to all of their literature - i.e its preachy, sanctimonious and self-righteous. And the person who is my contact within this organisation seems unable to see why the propaganda she had put up is inappropriate for a children's art gallery, which to me suggests a some sort of religious zealotry. Maybe I'm over-sensitive to this stuff as a pretty much certain atheist (I tried to be an agnostic, but I have enough other things to worry about) but anyway even if it isn't religious, it is certainly on dubious grounds.

Yesterday, in a fit of rage that I can only liken to Jesus overturning the money lenders tables in the temple that time (I did go to a CoE school so I know this stuff), I tore down part of their display from the wall that was blatantly anti-USA propaganda.

It was a piece about the world's population that started off with the claim that the world was over-populated (I braced myself for Jonathan Swift's idea to eat the poor) but then continued into a diatribe about how the USA controls most of the world's wealth. What it had done was to simplify the world's population into 100 to make it easier and then claimed that 20 of those people owned 40% of the world's wealth and they were all in the USA (I can't remember the exact figures, but you get the idea). I have heard similar figures to this before, but usually it is the whole G8, not just the USA singled out and in doing this, it started to read like anti-USA propaganda.

The problem with simplifying figures like this means that it is easy to turn everything into a black & white issue, which it isn't. Now I hate Bush as much as the next man (assuming the next man is someone like Michael Moore rather than Rumsfeld) and I'm not a big fan of capitalism (alright I buy alot of clothes but that is down to insecurity more than rabid consumerism and I have voted Socialist before) , but this anti-USA business isn't right either. The USA is a huge country - it is wrong to tar all its citizens with the same Republican brush as loads of them didn't vote for Bush - the branch of my family out there are now ardent Democrats and they really don't fit the stereotype of wishy-washy liberals. Furthermore, the healthcare and child-poverty levels in parts of the USA are shocking, which their simplification of the statistics has erased.

To top it all, the rest of the exhibition isn't even very good.

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