If Antonin Artaud was crazy, then the President Elect is crazy too.
In the introduction to “Van Gogh: The Man Suicided by Society,” Antonin Artaud launches a defense of Vincent Van Gogh’s sanity arguing that, “Van Gogh was not mad, but his paintings were wildfire, atomic bombs, whose angle of vision, compared to all the other paintings popular at the time, would have been capable of upsetting the larval community of the Second Empire bourgeoisie …”
You can say all you want about the mental health of Van Gogh who, during his lifetime, cooked only one of his hands, and other than that did no more than cut off his left ear, in a world in which every day they eat vagina cooked in a green sauce or the genitals of a newborn whipped into a rage plucked as it came out of the maternal sex.
And this is … a fact abundantly and daily repeated and cultivated throughout the world.
And … present-day life goes on in its old atmosphere of prurience, of anarchy, of disorder, of chronic lunacy, of bourgeois inertia, of psychic anomaly … of deliberate dishonesty and downright hypocrisy, of a mean contempt for anything that shows breeding, of the claim of an entire order based on the fulfillment of a primitive injustice, in short, of organized crime.
That’s a hell of an intro for a Medium article, but I’m a student of words and tone. And as I write this, on the last of the first seven days of 2017, the largest contenders for my attention have been:
A (hopefully) fake Instagram beef between an Internet rapper and an R&B-turned-pop singer, both claiming an authentic belonging to a gang set and neighborhood in Los Angeles, despite being native to Virginia and Atlanta.
John R. K. Howard and Tanner Ward receiving probation and community service hours for forcibly raping (with a coat hanger) their black mentally disabled teammate.
Yahoo pretending like their social media manager or intern has absolutely no experience in proofreading before pressing send. And the #NiggerNavy aftermath that ensued.
Also, Michelle Obama gave her final address as FLOTUS yesterday. Barack Obama will give his final words as President in 3 days. And in 13 days, President Elect Donald Trump will take office.
But until then, he’s still tweeting.
So, if we return to my introduction — a simple presentation of Artaud trying to articulate the miraculous hypocrisy of aligning with the status quo and choosing to name anyone who rejects it as a lunatic — it really all seems quite fitting.
If you'd like to read more about where that whole Artaud discussion went (particularly as it turned into a discussion of mental illness and general acceptance of it as a reason for national terrorism) CLICK HERE to read the whole thing on Medium.