The problem is that shock and outrage is, well, so yesterday. Kimball explains:
Don't get me wrong: it was plenty awful. Body parts, "explicit" images, and naughty language galore. The exhibition certainly merited the warning to parents at the entrance. But it wasn't worse than dozens of other exhibitions I've seen, you've seen, we've all seen.He continues:
No, the thing to appreciate about "Wrestle," about the Hessel Museum and the collection of Marieluese Hessel, and about the visual arts at Bard generally is not how innovative, challenging, or unusual they are, but how pedestrian and , sad to say, conventional they are. True, there is a lot of ickiness on view at the Hessel Museum. But it is entirely predictable ickiness. It's outrage by-the-yard, avant-garde in bulk, smugness for the masses. And this brings me to what I believe is the real significance of institutions like the art museum at Bard, the Hessel collection that fills it, and the surrounding atmosphere of pseudo-avant-garde self-satisfaction. The "arts" at Bard are notable not because they are unusual but because they are so grindingly ordinary.I think these people seriously think that we're all going to faint when we see this stuff for the umpteenth time in its most recent derivative incarnation. These people don't need to be met with cries of protest, they need to be met with a collective yawn. But such is the state, not only of our artists (if I may use that term loosely), but of our universities which apparently have nothing else better to do, now that they've given up on passing on Western culture, than to tear it down.
Although he doesn't mention Chesterton directly, Kimball recognizes what Chesterton spoke of in the introduction to Heretics, where he points out that heresy is essentially boring. Everyone is a heretic now. The subversives have taken over. It's time to subvert them. If you want to strike out on your own, if you want to be different, if you want to revolt, about the only thing to revolt into is orthodoxy.
Someone needs to tell these people the 60's are over. Yoohoo! Jerry Garcia is dead. So's Timothy Leary. Turn off, tune out, drop in. Or, perhaps preferably, go somewhere and don't bother people with your ludicrous attempts to bother people. It's getting very old.