Ravings From The Bog


Norman Rockwell Art or Nostalgia Americana

Rockwell Marine HomecomingI’m not sure exactly what it is that appeals to me so much about Norman Rockwell’s pictures of American life. I imagine that it is the fantastic realism and the accurate reflection of lighting and detail, but probably more likely, it is the wholesome goodness of the images that reminds me of my impressions of America garnered from the years of Hollywood movies I watched in my youth. This was long before I had begun my political education at the hands of my father. He showed me that in every conflict in which the US was involved, with the exception of the two World Wars, you could find out who the “good guys” were by checking which side the Yanks supported – it was always the other guys. He led me to the writings of Noam Chomsky, David Halberstam and others that opened my eyes to what was happening in the world.

Rockwell’s world detailed an era when the American people in general were comfortable with themselves and their lives. Now that many modern Americans have seen years of blatant profit orientated, oil-based foreign policy and financial scandals, like Cheney’s Halliburton fiasco, the majority of decent people in the US have taken a chance and stepped into a hopeful future with Barack Obama. With lots of effort, patience and focus, the American people can try to return to Rockwell’s world. It will not be easy. In recent weeks, I’ve listened to some Americans on podcasts and radio interviews, with disturbing views on why the US was attacked in September 2001. Their grasp of what goes on outside the US borders and in many cases, inside the US borders, is so far from reality, that it’s frightening. The knee-jerk right wing reaction to anything approaching a foreign threat appears to be “kill them all and let God sort them out” – a glib summary of the situation but not far from the truth in my experience.

Barack Obama has a vast number of urgent and critical issues to deal with. I suggest that political re-education of the American people around US foreign policy and the reasons why the US is considered “the villain of the piece” needs to be near the top of his list.

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2 Comments so far
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“With lots of effort, patience and focus, the American people can try to return to Rockwell’s world.”

If my memory serves correctly Rockwell’s world was great for white men but short on starring roles for anyone else. Not a state of affairs I’m keen to see encouraged.

Comment by zooeyibz

You could be right Zooey but I think Bograver means an ‘idyllic world’ where there is no rancour.

Comment by teachthemasses




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