Welcome to another installment of Art Critic, in which we attempt a negative definition of art by excluding everything in Santa Barbara.
Every technological advance is usually accompanied by the gnashing of teeth from cultural critics who imagine dire consequences for humanity. In the case of the internet in general and Twitter in particular, the consequence foreseen was a massive shortening of our attention spans. How could anyone read a book, or write a paper, or follow world events while gibbering in 140-character bursts?
Fortunately the doomsayers were wrong, as usual. And the most inspiring rebuke to their pessimism has come from the political right, who have marshaled the power of Twitter to not only maintain a long-term focus, but to NEVER FORGET the greatest bungle in Obama’s presidency:
Since the media bungled its coverage of Obungler’s bungles, the Top Conservatives on Twitter have spent the last two years making sure everyone remembers Benghazi, even if that means turning it into a meme.
As #Benghazi has successfully spread, however, it has inevitably been co-opted by hacks and philistines. Against this trend, the Independent yesterday published what may well be the first piece of High Benghazi art:
The White House lied,
Four people died,
The media ignored,
The military was not deployed,
And to this day,
No one has had to pay.
What raises this poem by Donald Thorn above most Benghazi art is the subtle slant rhyme in the second couplet. By breaking the flow between lines about the media and the military, Thorn implicitly critiques the power of the US media in shaping American military policy. He yearns for a time when what mattered was what is right, not what is popular. We at SBBS do not endorse Donald Thorn’s view of what is right, but salute his ability to never forget Benghazi, even if that leaves little room for remembering other things.