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Monday, May 03, 2004

Life Intimidates Art
A 15-year-old high school student in Prosser, Washington, was questioned last week by United States Secret Service agents after he turned in drawings for an art class. The assignment had been to keep a sketch journal depicting the war in Iraq, but apparently not to question it. When the student’s drawings called for an end to the war, school officials called the police.

One of the drawings shows a man in Middle Eastern dress with an AK-47 rifle and an oversized head of President Bush on a stick. Another depicts Bush as a devil firing rockets. A third showed the Bill of Rights and the Constitution in flames. A caption said, “End the War—on terrorism.”

While expressing a definite point of view in a straightforward fashion, there was nothing particularly disturbing about the cartoons. However, their voluntary submission to an art teacher immediately set off alarm bells all the way up from the school hierarchy to the state’s branch of the Secret Service.

Criticized for their excessive violence—this in a culture that routinely views multimillion dollar films and TV shows which are veritable orgies of killing—the cartoons have been treated as either an actual threat on President Bush’s life, or as symptomatic of a potential school-shooting psychopath.

Bush wars are made possible by the ignorance of the masses, especially the teenage cannon fodder in the schools. When some of the fodder starts to catch on, the Nazis move to repress immediately.

The hero-worship of fallen football-star-turned-soldier Pat Tillman is all a part of the brainwashing of youth. Ted Rall makes the point pretty bluntly in his latest cartoon, which is sure to make him this week's target of the right-wing hate machine: