Pharyngula

Fear the philistine

I am reminded of the whole host of intellectual failings of creationists: it’s not just that they reject modern science, but many of them tend to be brain-damaged peckerwoods who are also incapable of viewing literature and art without squawking in horror, unless maybe it’s a tasteless photorealistic airbrushed Aryan Jesus, or perhaps some cookie-cutter landscape from a hack like Kincade. For a truly sickening example, just look at Ray Comfort’s latest blog entry. He’s reacting to a documentary of Gustav Klimt, which describes his work as “sensuous” and “obsessed with women”, which are all marks of Satan in Comfort’s book. He ends his recitation of the description of the eroticism in Klimt’s paintings with this:

If you too enjoy gazing at the naked female form, you don’t have to go to New York to see similar works. You can find them scrawled on the walls of most public rest rooms.

I know there are lots of good artists around, but they generally don’t scribble on restroom walls. Does this look like something you’d find on a bathroom stall?

i-03ac35d9ed395e94272b747521c7a53a-Klimt_the_kiss.jpg

Does this make you think of pornography?

i-e681cf4fceb6f7f85665f28c4a7fb7bb-klimt_3_ages_of_woman.jpg

Here’s a gallery of art by Gustav Klimt. There’s a good reason he’s a famous painter — this is wonderful stuff. Ray Comfort, two-bit rednecked ignoramus that he is, sees none of it, and is so freaking dishonest that he doesn’t dare show his readers any of Klimt’s actual work … so instead he does his own crude rendition of “The Kiss” to illustrate his screed, and just so you don’t miss his point, he crudely slathers wicked words all over it.

i-fd713cf065fad5e7ac89b8b45d0464fe-comfort_klimt.jpg

I think you might find Comfort’s work in a seedy, filthy restroom somewhere, but not Klimt’s.

Just so you don’t think this battle is all about nothing but esoteric arguments over details of the interpretation of rarefied biological data, I can’t imagine a clearer example of the broader field of the struggle. This is a war over all of Western culture. What do you want? Klimt or Comfort? Science or lies?

Comments

  1. #1 Kcanadensis
    March 10, 2008

    Wow. Comfort’s rendering is just sickening. As an artist, I feel the frustration at some people’s opaque view of artwork. My own mother is a perfect example of that type of person (I love her dearly, but at a distance) and I sent her a self portrait and the first thing she noticed was that I wasn’t wearing a shirt. I’m not sure she moved past that.

    And I prefer Klimt and Science. :)

  2. #2 Bill Dauphin
    March 10, 2008

    He’s reacting to a documentary of Gustav Klimt, which describes his work as “sensuous” and “obsessed with women”,

    Sounds to me like a Feature, Not a Bug?!

  3. #3 AJ Milne
    March 10, 2008

    Love that look of discomfiture/horror on his female/kiss recipient drawing, tho’…

    Now I wouldn’t want to imply he drew that from life or nothin’… Like, say, maybe because that’s usually the reaction he gets… It’s just… interesting.

  4. #4 J-Dog
    March 10, 2008

    Jeez, I hate to be too snarky PZ, but hey,. I’m a guy – under 70 years old – almost everything reminds me of pornography! I do make an exception for Ray “Banana Boy” Comfort though – he reminds me of snails, landfills and illegal dumping.

  5. #5 humbert dinglepencker
    March 10, 2008

    Hmmm. He saw someone nekkid oncet. And has been terrified of humanity ever since.

  6. #6 Sastra
    March 10, 2008

    Comfort’s blog entry makes a great deal of the artist having had affairs or fathering out-of-wedlock children. Thus, the art is tainted.

    Yet another example of their complete inability to separate a person’s work from their life. If Darwin was a “racist,” then his theory MUST be wrong. And now, if Klimt was a scoundrel — then his art is bad. Particularly ironic with artists.

    It’s no wonder one of their first accusations against ideas they don’t like is that it’s a “religion.” That’s all they see.

  7. #7 Brownian, OM
    March 10, 2008

    If Ray’s eyes cause him to sin, then why doesn’t he just cut them out, like the baby Jesus says to?

    Ha! He’s going to hell ’cause he doesn’t have the balls to follow Jesus’s advice. And there won’t be any Klimt in hell, just back issues of Hustler from 1986.

    But only the articles! *Shudder!*

  8. #8 MyaR
    March 10, 2008

    I also like how his woman is the one falling off the cliff, not the man.

  9. #9 Monado, FCD
    March 10, 2008

    You that old saying, “You can always be useful as a bad example.” And here we have Ray Comfort. He has created a nice analogy for the hatchet job they do on the concept of evolution. Just place Klimt’s version next to Comfort’s supposed equivalent. The only way to make it more accurate would be to replace Comfort’s version with a stick figure with boobs and horns.

  10. #10 Aaron Golas
    March 10, 2008

    Oh, PZ. I just recently cut Ray out of my blog subscriptions… must you tempt me to go back to that pit?

  11. #11 Brownian, OM
    March 10, 2008

    Yet another example of their complete inability to separate a person’s work from their life.

    Except of course, when it’s a non-Christian pointing out the hypocricy of some bigwig preacher. Then it’s all “to err is human; to forgive divine” and other apologetic bullshit.

  12. #12 Will E.
    March 10, 2008

    brain-damaged peckerwoods…

    It’s not even that. A lot of these folks are affable, upright citizens who work, pay taxes, raise children, etc. They’re not deranged or mentally challenged. They just simply have no interest in the fruits of the creative imagination. They may not be actively banning/burning books, but they certainly wouldn’t ever actually read one. They may not be actively trying to get Michelangelo’s David to put on a bathrobe, but they certainly wouldn’t ever think of stopping by an art museum of a free afternoon. They may not be calling their local movie theater to protest the showing of The Golden Compass but they certainly couldn’t tell you who Martin Scorsese or Orson Welles are. It’s just a vast incurious–indeed suspicious–nature these “regular folk” have about art in general that confuses and indeed frightens me. Inbred hicks are one thing, but the average American who’s never read a book, seen a movie besides Titanic or Forrest Gump, or been to a museum of any kind, that disheartens me. Comfort is just a garden variety anti-intellectual religious know-nothing; if it’s not about God, it’s somehow anti-God. Believe me, like a lot of you, I’m related to some of these people, so I speak from experience.

  13. #13 Patrick
    March 10, 2008

    Can I combine Comfort and Science? I’m sure we could ease some of the complaints of animal welfare groups if we started using subjects that were clearly not intelligent, feeling organisms.

  14. #14 Joolya
    March 10, 2008

    I think Comfort’s piece is unintentionally hilarious – that is, if its purpose were a scathing lampoon of Comfort-type “values” it would be really funny.

    And what’s wrong with liking to look at human bodies, anyway? We should get turned on by chickens or trees or something?

  15. #15 Dan
    March 10, 2008

    At first, I was pissed off, but let’s face it, it’s pretty funny how utterly repressed and woefully clueless Ray Comfort really is. It’s like the mushy-headed dope hit the Third Grade and just stopped dead in his tracks as far as learning or developing is concerned.

    As for his “painting,” I think it betrays not only his utter ignorance, but it also shows his near-crippling fear of women.

  16. #16 Patrick
    March 10, 2008

    Re: the placement of words in Comfort’s art…don’t you hate those Immorality STDs? The moral, upstanding Christian STDs are the ones to go with. You know, the ones that spread because of abstinence-only education and the treatment of something natural and beautiful as something filthy.

  17. #17 Doug
    March 10, 2008

    Are you talking about the same Ray Comfort who thinks a cloned, sterile banana is evidence of intelligent design?

  18. #18 Bob
    March 10, 2008

    Fear the philistine, indeed. What a putz.

    Has this guy ever been to a museum? I can only imagine what this idiot’s house looks like…

  19. #19 minimalist
    March 10, 2008

    Hmm, fearful of women’s bodies, loudmouthed moralizing Christo-conservative, obsessed with bananas…

    looks like we got a real closet case on our hands here.

    Really, though, the “moralizing Christo-conservative” aspect would be sufficient evidence unto itself.

  20. #20 Greg Peterson
    March 10, 2008

    I think it’s a great idea to ignore the artistic creations of adulturers and folks that beget kids out of wedlock and so forth. Because there goes (ostendibly) most of the Psalms and Proverbs, for starters.

    I’m not a huge Klimt fan, but I do like Goya, who was called before the Spanish Inquisition (why was he not expecting this?) for painting a female nude. What probably really irked the church, though, was his habit of creating etchings that criticized the church and upheld Enlightenment ideas, such as the one that reads, “The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters.” Exhibit A: Ray Comfort.

  21. #21 Rey Fox
    March 10, 2008

    I think calling Comfort a Philistine would be an insult to Philistines.

    I suppose he would object if I were to share an audience with him, and tell them to never read the Bible or Thomas Aquinas or anything like that, because you can hear similar spiritual advice from the filthy guy on the subway platform.

  22. #22 Pablo
    March 10, 2008

    Someday, I am going to write my movie (but not until I get the kid’s book written). I am going to do a “realistic” movie of Genesis, kind of like what Mel Gibson did with the Passion. I am going to stay as true to the Bible version as possible. Of course, that means that, before the fall, Adam and Eve run around naked and there is no shame in it. No, no fig leaves from me, at least not until after the fall.

    I want to hear the objections. Will the Christians put up with the nudity on the grounds that “it is true to the biblical story” like they did with the violence in the Passion?

    I am still debating with myself whether I should include a sex scene. I mean, A&E did have sex before the fall, right?

  23. #23 Patrick
    March 10, 2008

    “I think it’s a great idea to ignore the artistic creations of adulturers and folks that beget kids out of wedlock and so forth. Because there goes (ostendibly) most of the Psalms and Proverbs, for starters.”

    To say nothing of rendering the Gospels and New Testament rather suspect. Sins of the Father and all that jazz.

  24. #24 Whodunnit
    March 10, 2008

    So what do you think? Closet-case or projection?

    Come on everyone, let’s hear your thoughts on this one.

  25. #25 MAJeff, OM
    March 10, 2008

    Of course, that means that, before the fall, Adam and Eve run around naked and there is no shame in it. No, no fig leaves from me, at least not until after the fall.

    From what Dame Judy Dench says, you should seriously consider Daniel Craig for Adam.

  26. #26 Brownian, OM
    March 10, 2008

    Closet-case or projection?

    Are you kidding? A sex-fearing God-bot with a moustache like that?

    He’s so deep in the closet he’s tripping over last season’s shoes.

  27. #27 MAJeff, OM
    March 10, 2008

    He’s so deep in the closet he’s tripping over last season’s shoes

    He hasn’t even made it up to the 1970s platforms!

  28. #28 Brownian, OM
    March 10, 2008

    $50 says Ray’s got Eric Prydz’s “Call on Me” on DVD hidden in the toilet tank.

  29. #29 IanR
    March 10, 2008

    @Pablo (#22)

    How are you going to run the creation stories, and the two Noah’s ark stories? In split screen?

  30. #30 Ichthyic
    March 10, 2008

    As for his “painting,” I think it betrays not only his utter ignorance, but it also shows his near-crippling fear of women.

    hmm, I found his art quite revealing. Note how he interprets the expression of pleasure on the face of the woman in the original, as pure fear and revulsion in his own rendition.

    It not only reveals his fear of women, it reveals his fear of what he might DO TO women.

    IOW, it shows how he feels women should be afraid of HIM.

    These people, who often squawk about how their can be no morality without fear of god, are literally speaking from personal experience; they know what horrors they would unleash upon their fellow citizens if they weren’t artificially “leashed” by their own delusions of an all-powerful deity.

    Frankly, I find his artwork just as important from a social commentary standpoint as Klimt’s.

    I’d like to title it:

    Fear

  31. #31 G. Tingey
    March 10, 2008

    Godwin’s Law warning…..

    Wasn’t it the Nazis who went on and ON about “degenerate” art?
    Including Klimt, AFAIK.

  32. #32 Niobe
    March 10, 2008

    “Yet another example of their complete inability to separate a person’s work from their life. ”

    Man are they going to be PISSED when they find out about Da Vinci.

  33. #33 Carlie
    March 10, 2008

    How does Comfort know that the people portrayed in “The Kiss” aren’t married? Then it’s ok!

    Please excuse me now while I go scream about Elliot Spitzer for awhile.

  34. #34 bybelknap, FCD
    March 10, 2008

    Where does one begin with someone like Comfort? My first reaction to the buzz killer types of the world is “fuck off and mind your own goddam business, eh?” But they wont fuck off. They flit around and do more stupid and annoying shit like this ass-hattery. Why oh, why oh WHY do they have to mis-represent everything in life that they don’t like? Why are they such nannies? Why do they think that their propensity for lying about EVERYTHING makes them better people? Who with any sense at all reads what they have to write, listens to what they have to say and agrees?

    It doesn’t take an art critic to look at the face of the woman in the Klimt and see the EXACT OPPOSITE of the Fear and Loathing in Comfort’s “work.” I see warmth, contentment, comfort (ha!) mixed with desire and a bit of lust (and there’s nothing wrong with a bit of lust in my book nudge nudge wink wink say no more!) maybe, but nothing even close to what Comfort’s does. I wonder if when he looks at the Klimt if that is what he really sees? Is the fear of sex so ingrained in him that what he sees is completely distorted from what normal people see? Is it like anorexia, where the image in the mirror looks fat, no matter how thin the person is?

    Does he hate and fear women and sex so much that all he sees is hatred where there is love?

    So when I quit worrying about what might actually be wrong with him and his ilk, as if there might be something positive to do about them, I come full circle to “Fuck off, and mind your own goddam business, eh? You don’t like naked pictures, don’t look at ‘em, and shut up about it while you are fucking off because you are harshin my mellow with all your chatter.”

    But because he STILL won’t stfu about it, he needs a swift kick in the arse – maybe it will dislodge his head.

  35. #35 bybelknap, FCD
    March 10, 2008

    Ichthyic you beat me to it!

  36. #36 David Marjanovi?, OM
    March 10, 2008

    How are you going to run the creation stories, and the two Noah’s ark stories? In split screen?

    Yes yes yes!!! I’d love to see that. :-)

  37. #37 David Marjanovi?, OM
    March 10, 2008

    How are you going to run the creation stories, and the two Noah’s ark stories? In split screen?

    Yes yes yes!!! I’d love to see that. :-)

  38. #38 Tulse
    March 10, 2008

    I just don’t get it. Both figures in “The Kiss” are fully clothed, and in the work there is nothing, I mean absolutely nothing, that says the two are not happily and monogamously married to each other. Heck, the woman is even on her knees, in a nicely subservient position that should make fundies pleased.

    Man, just the hint of sexual pleasure, no matter how Biblically-sanctioned, seems to set some people off.

  39. #39 Sarah_D
    March 10, 2008

    Oh, my, what a clueless loon.

    He has altered the expressions and composition to mean something entirely different from the original painting, and it’s scary. I fear for him if he actually sees the menace/implied rape in his cartoon when he looks at Klimt’s original.

    I can’t say how relieved I am that he (apparently) hasn’t gotten around to doing a parody version of The Three Ages of Woman. I love that painting, and a Comfort-ized rendition of nude Grandmother is something I’d rather not contemplate.

  40. #40 Ryan F Stello
    March 10, 2008

    Will (#12) wrote:

    They’re not deranged or mentally challenged.

    I agree with the rest of what you said, but I dunno, scrawling ‘fornication’ and ‘immorality’ in big block letters ANYWHERE seems like the act of a deranged person.

  41. #41 Vic
    March 10, 2008

    Somehow I think the ‘Comfort-able’ versions you would find in restrooms would feature two men.

    And, while a self-portrait, it wouldn’t be a painting. More like ‘performance’ art.

  42. #42 Ichthyic
    March 10, 2008

    Ichthyic you beat me to it!

    I’m probably going to catch flak for saying this, but I actually wish, that if this is an actual example of Comfort’s artistic expression, he go off and produce an entire gallery of such revealing pieces.

    one of the values of art is as social commentary, and Comfort’s art (if it is his), cannot be denied as having much value from that standpoint.

    Like most evangelicals, they simply can’t help but show their true selves in one form or another.

    so I say, go at it, Ray. show us another self portrait.

  43. #43 David Marjanovi?, OM
    March 10, 2008

    So when I quit worrying about what might actually be wrong with him and his ilk, as if there might be something positive to do about them, I come full circle to “Fuck off, and mind your own goddam business, eh? You don’t like naked pictures, don’t look at ‘em, and shut up about it while you are fucking off because you are harshin my mellow with all your chatter.”

    I know that phenomenon :-)

  44. #44 David Marjanovi?, OM
    March 10, 2008

    So when I quit worrying about what might actually be wrong with him and his ilk, as if there might be something positive to do about them, I come full circle to “Fuck off, and mind your own goddam business, eh? You don’t like naked pictures, don’t look at ‘em, and shut up about it while you are fucking off because you are harshin my mellow with all your chatter.”

    I know that phenomenon :-)

  45. #45 miller
    March 10, 2008

    “Imorralty”? How about anti-intellectualism?

  46. #46 Ichthyic
    March 10, 2008

    I just don’t get it

    you will if you put yourself into Ray’s head.

    this is an artistic form of the creobot’s most common form of communication:

    projection.

    evangelism and fanatical religiosity is driven by fear, not love, if that helps you at all.

    Ray is simply projecting his own internal fears onto everything he sees and hears. The words printed in the accompanying blog entry match the picture quite well.

  47. #47 arachnophilia
    March 10, 2008

    yes, because michelangelo’s sistine ceiling, one of the most famous christian works of art, has no naked female forms in it. clearly it is equivalent to a restroom wall.

  48. #48 Michael X
    March 10, 2008

    I was actually surprised to see that Comfort even stumbled upon Klimt by accident, much less actually knows about him. Though I doubt his audience will relate, or even care, about his hilarious “take-down” of Klimt. They probably have yet to get over Harry Potter.

  49. #49 Will E.
    March 10, 2008

    yes, because michelangelo’s sistine ceiling, one of the most famous christian works of art, has no naked female forms in it. clearly it is equivalent to a restroom wall.

    Well, it that’s those damned crazy Catholics who got up to all that nonsense. You know how evil and idolatrous they are. I mean, are they even Christians?!

  50. #50 Joolya
    March 10, 2008

    (what does the “,OM” in some people’s names refer to???)

  51. #51 Ichthyic
    March 10, 2008

    (what does the “,OM” in some people’s names refer to???)

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/molly.php

  52. #52 Hank
    March 10, 2008

    The best illustration (no pun intended) of a straw man argument I’ve ever seen.

  53. #53 Holydust
    March 10, 2008

    Ichthyic said:
    you will if you put yourself into Ray’s head.
    this is an artistic form of the creobot’s most common form of communication:
    projection.
    evangelism and fanatical religiosity is driven by fear, not love, if that helps you at all.
    Ray is simply projecting his own internal fears onto everything he sees and hears. The words printed in the accompanying blog entry match the picture quite well.

    Quoted for truth.

  54. #54 arachnophilia
    March 10, 2008

    @will e.:

    the ironic part is that if you know any art history, michelangelo also painted the front wall of the sistine chapel, which was a depiction of the last judgement. exactly the kind of fire and brimstone mr. comfort is so fond of.

    what’s ironic? well, cardinal carafa didn’t like it. too many naked people. he accused michelangelo of obscenity and immorality, and the nudity was covered up. i believe the restoration has since restored the painting to its original naked form.

    all this, of course, will be lost on mr. comfort.

  55. #55 thalarctos
    March 10, 2008

    I was actually surprised to see that Comfort even stumbled upon Klimt by accident, much less actually knows about him. Though I doubt his audience will relate, or even care, about his hilarious “take-down” of Klimt. They probably have yet to get over Harry Potter.

    Word.

    I couldn’t wait to share this post with Mr thalarctos, because I wanted to see his “WTF?” expression at the juxtaposition of Comfort with Klimt–I, for one, never saw that choice of target coming.

    Mr t’s reaction was very gratifying, but turns out I learned way more than I expected–he was actually already familiar with Comfort pre-banana, having been raised fundie. (He and his whole family are feeling much better now.)

    Apparently, one of Comfort’s evangelism schticks is to start out with “Do you think you’re a good person? So you think you’re good? Really? Well, have you ever told a lie? So, do you still think you’re good?”, and to keep on tearing down the person from there. Mr. thalarctos knew him mainly from that kind of evangelical tactic; bananas and Klimt, on the other hand, he’s learned about here.

    After getting a glimpse of the artistic “vision” Comfort’s cartoon shows, I gotta say, learning about his deploying that kind of psychological abuse wasn’t quite the surprise it might have been under other circumstances.

  56. #56 kmarissa
    March 10, 2008

    Someone keep him away from the Rodin. He might have a heart attack.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Kiss_(Rodin_sculpture)
    (“Rodin indicated that his approach to sculpting women was of homage to them and their bodies, not just submitting to men but as full partners in ardor. The consequent eroticism in the sculpture made it controversial.”)

  57. #57 Ichthyic
    March 10, 2008

    Someone keep him away from the Rodin. He might have a heart attack.

    really?

    that gives me an idea…

  58. #58 Ginger Yellow
    March 10, 2008

    To be fair, a lot of Klimt’s sketches border on the pornographic. Not in the legal sense of having no merit beyond titillation, but they are both explicit and focused on the erotic.

    By the way, if you’re in NYC, you should check out the exhibit. It’s really, good. And the gallery cafe does an awesome apple strudel.

  59. #59 JJR
    March 10, 2008

    G. Tingey wrote:

    “…Wasn’t it the Nazis who went on and ON about ‘degenerate’ art? Including Klimt…”

    Yes, yes it was. And for reasons all not that different from Comfort’s, though marginally more nuanced. Heidegger did give them tips on “proper” art, after all–the creepy bastard.

  60. #60 Carlie
    March 10, 2008

    “The Kiss” looks very much like the style of a painting that sold awhile back for the most money ever, but being a total art philistine myself I can’t remember what that painting was or who did it, only that it was a woman and it was gold. Was that by Klimt?
    Wow, I sound spectacularly stupid.

  61. #61 Michelle
    March 10, 2008

    *scratches head* Damn, that Ray guy needs a grip. I mean… I’m sorry but that art isn’t even hot.

    I seen art that was way more realistic and wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy more naked and hawt action. I mean, at least they looked like people. I don’t like that Gustav’s artstyle.

  62. #62 Longtime Lurker
    March 10, 2008

    Comfort’s rendition actually portrays Adam and Eve, note the Fred Flinstone attire worn by the man. The scrawled imprecations hide the family dinosaurs in the background.

    Cut some slack for Comfort’s cartoony hack-work, it’s not his medium. Comfort’s true ouvre consists of soft-porn videos of curly-tressed, non-threatening boys fellating bananas.

  63. #63 Carlie
    March 10, 2008

    … and hitting “Post” on the way to opening a new window to google it before posting confirms my self-assessment. However, SCORE for me! Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, $135 million, by Gustav Klimt. Ha!

  64. #64 alex
    March 10, 2008

    personally, i don’t really like Klimt’s paintings (his drawings are better), but for probably the exact opposite reasons as Comfort.
    as an art student, and member of the human race, i find it absolutely fucking awful when extremist nutjob views infringe on people’s ability to like good things. bloody weird, awfully sad. what a way to waste your own humanity.

  65. #65 octopod
    March 10, 2008

    Man, don’t knock graffiti artists. Some of them are really good. Just like the difference between “crops” and “weeds”, the difference between “art” and “graffiti” is just a question of where it shows up.

    That said, yeah, I would actually like to see more of Ray Comfort’s parodies. That one’s pretty illuminating. (And that man is SO closeted it isn’t even funny. Fear of sex? Fear of women? A weird thing for bananas? And Jesus Haploid Christ, what about that moustache!)

  66. #66 Dahan
    March 10, 2008

    Comfort and Hitler, two failed artists trying to attack true genius. Just pathetic. I wouldn’t sell him any of my art even if I were starving (not that he’d buy it).

    Sorry for the reference, but Tingey brought him up.

  67. #67 Dan
    March 10, 2008

    I suggest Ray take a little stroll around the inside of Saint Peter’s in Rome if he would like to see some real porn and snuff artwork.

  68. #68 kmarissa
    March 10, 2008

    It is my imagination, or does the man in Comfort’s version kind of look like he’s holding a banana? I mean, I guess it’s supposed to be cloth, but…

  69. #69 AlanWCan
    March 10, 2008

    I’m sure he would like Andy Warhol’s banana though.
    (There’s one here – certainly an evolutionists worst nightmare. I wake up screaming at night over bananas…or something)

  70. #70 Ruth
    March 10, 2008

    So is reading the ‘Song of Songs’ OK? It was written by one of those biblical guys who got in trouble for fornication.

  71. #71 arachnophilia
    March 10, 2008

    hey guys, lets give credit where credit is due. those cartoon’s on ray’s site are not drawn by him, but by another person — richard gunther: http://christianessays.freeservers.com/

    i doubt ray has an artistic bone in his body.

  72. #72 Ichthyic
    March 10, 2008

    It is my imagination, or does the man in Comfort’s version kind of look like he’s holding a banana?

    By jove, I think you’re right.

    he is both grasping an banana and a female with his right hand, and she obviously knows that he is about to drop her in favor of the banana.

  73. #73 Michelle
    March 10, 2008

    @Octopod: Yes. Lots of graffiti artists are really good. But I have a massive problem with the “graffiti” part of the deal.

    …But about the non-good graffiti artists… Someone should teach them how to draw an anatomically correct erect penis. Seriously.

  74. #74 Ichthyic
    March 10, 2008

    hey guys, lets give credit where credit is due. those cartoon’s on ray’s site are not drawn by him, but by another person — richard gunther:

    how did you figure that out?

    I’d like to see a link directly to the rest of the “art”.

    is that somewhere amongst the rubble of that site you linked to?

  75. #75 Sarcastro
    March 10, 2008

    I am going to do a “realistic” movie of Genesis, kind of like what Mel Gibson did with the Passion. I am going to stay as true to the Bible version as possible.

    Problem; There are two differing accounts in Genesis. Are you going to have man created before the animals (Gen 2) or after (Gen 1)? Was Adam created before Eve (Gen 2) or were they created at the same time (Gen 1)?

    And remember your source is inerrant! You must get it right or you will suffer the dire consequences of something or another.

    I think you should use Rabbinical lore rather than the Bible. That way you get to do cool special effects as God builds The Virgin (wife #2) in front of Adam and you get a real strong female character in Liith (wife #1).

  76. #76 Dave
    March 10, 2008

    Switching from Klimt for a moment, there’s a painting by Edvard Munch that could be of some poor sod reacting to Ray Comfort’s world-famous Banana-In-Hand Seduction Technique?…

  77. #77 thalarctos
    March 10, 2008

    hey guys, lets give credit where credit is due. those cartoon’s on ray’s site are not drawn by him, but by another person…i doubt ray has an artistic bone in his body.

    fair enough, arachnophilia–you’re correct that we should be accurate about these things.

    I still think, though, that posting it on his blog with the implied equivalence to Klimt’s work means the cartoon fits securely within Comfort’s artistic “vision” wrt love, eroticism, men and women, etc.

    If he can look at both pieces, and cannot see that the cartoon he posted is 180 degrees away from what Klimt is expressing, then Comfort’s inner world seems to me to be a very scary place that I don’t want to get any closer to. (I did go look at it after arachnophilia’s correction, to make sure that I got it right this time.)

    Which reminds me: Once again, PZ, thank you for reading these things so that I don’t have to!

  78. #78 Todd
    March 10, 2008

    I would not be surprised if Comfort is demonstrating the art of smoke screen piety common to many evangelicals; rail against some “sin” to give the impression of fostering their warped brand of moral virtue while secretly engaging in the very same deviant behavior.

    And yes Ray, thanks to the wonderful processes of evolution which have shaped the female body into the profoundly beautiful work of art it is I love looking at the naked female form. If you find that offensive then it’s your loss. Besides, most of the time when I go to a public restroom the main anatomical graffiti I see are dicks which will, from now on, make me think of you.

  79. in fact, the Nazis created an art show entitled “Degenerate Art” which was later recreated in this country – I saw it in DC many years back. They took famous works of art and did everything they could to undermine and ridicule the artist’s vision. They hung some of them upside down; others with vile captions (e.g., “This work insults German womanhood.”), and still others they created their own parodies of.

    Many of the artists left the country after that show, and some committed suicide.

    If it walks like a fascist, and talks like a fascist, maybe it is a fascist.

    Hillary

  80. #80 Turd Ferguson
    March 10, 2008

    I just masturbated to the Comfort version.

  81. #81 PZ Myers
    March 10, 2008

    That Richard Gunther site…I took a look at one essay, and the stupid, she burns.

    One illustration of this might be the spectrum of visible light. There are seven colours in a rainbow, and all the colours we see are different combinations of these seven. No new colours are ever produced, because the primary limit is always seven.

    Aaaargh. There is a continuous range of wavelengths in the spectrum!

  82. #82 idahogie
    March 10, 2008

    But his picture has eight colors in it. How’d he do that?

  83. #83 Bride of Shrek
    March 10, 2008

    Pablo @ #22

    Could you try and get Jack Nicholson to play God, and do it in his “mad mode” all wild eyed and tussled haired. Extra points if you can get him to hold and axe and hiss “here’s daddy” in a super evil voice to Jesus. (ok I know JC isn’t in Genesis but artistic linence and all..)

  84. #84 Janine, ID
    March 10, 2008

    If you too enjoy gazing at the naked banana form, you don’t have to go to New York to see similar works. You can find them hanging by the urinals of most public men’s rest rooms.

  85. #85 kmarissa
    March 10, 2008

    “There are seven colours in a rainbow, and all the colours we see are different combinations of these seven. No new colours are ever produced, because the primary limit is always seven.”

    Wait now, I learned in elementary school that there were only THREE primary colors, and I could make any color of fingerpaint by mixing those together. Yet again, our public schools are lying to our children!

  86. #86 dwarf zebu
    March 10, 2008

    I feel somewhat vindicated for observing that fundy-types really seem to go for teh tackeh (like Kinkaid and Wyland.) Mr. “Painter of Light (TM)” is raking it in by selling his designs for needlepoint and scrapbooking! Sorry, but you cease to be eligible for artist status when you trademark a catchprase, IMHO.

    So what do you think? Closet-case or projection?

    Come on everyone, let’s hear your thoughts on this one.

    Posted by: Whodunnit | March 10, 2008 3:04 PM

    Can I vote for both?

  87. #87 Greg Peterson
    March 10, 2008

    “Modern Europeans have words for the seven basic colours of the rainbow, whereas other societies have from two to eleven.”

    (Steven Pinker I think explores this in “The Language Instinct” or “Blank Slate”)

    What a dumbass. I read a couple of those essays, too, and it’s hard to believe people can be so easily gulled.

  88. #88 defectiverobot
    March 10, 2008

    “…he does his own crude rendition of “The Kiss” to illustrate his screed…”

    Note that Comfort does not indicate that the image is not an actual Klimt rendering.

  89. #89 Stevie_C
    March 10, 2008

    Only 7 colors??? That’s the most absurd thing I’ve ever heard. I could say there’s only 3 colors because monitors use Red Green and Blue to show the “millions” on my screen.

    Buncha fucktards.

  90. #90 Christophe Thill
    March 10, 2008

    “If you too enjoy gazing at the naked female form, you don’t have to go to New York to see similar works. You can find them scrawled on the walls of most public rest rooms.”

    Typical of someone who doesn’t particularly enjoy gazing at said form, and doesn’t make the difference between beauty and ugliness..

  91. #91 True Bob
    March 10, 2008

    Comfort reminds me of a gent who lived in our county. Every few months, this geezer would send a letter to the editor. And it didn’t matter what he started out with, it always came down to: Society is doomed because we let wimmen show their ankles! The horror!

    Anyway, I suppose everyone knows one of these hemorrhoids, they just pop up in different venues. Ignorant and proud of it.

  92. #92 danley
    March 10, 2008

    Comfort is a Neaderthal who would prefer Coke cans over Chiam Soutine.

  93. #93 Stevie_C
    March 10, 2008

    Ray Comfort is perfectly happy with junk painted with toilet paper of a covered bridge made exactly to the dimensions of his couch.

    I bet he’s offended by greek and roman sculpture. PAGAN NAKED DEITIES! BLASPHEMER!

    Someone send him the Mapplethorpe book. The one of flowers… just to fuck with him.

  94. #94 danley
    March 10, 2008

    This is also the reason why Christian bookstores have the aesthetic sensibilites of a wombat’s asshole. They make the world into a fabricated hell of carved angels, Cracker Barrel kitsch and domesticated piss. Their music sucks ass too. I’ve never heard a good Christian musician since Bach. If Bach knew about Darwin, he’d be telling them to go fuck themselves with their goddamn Michael W. Smith t-shirts and their goddamn Promise Keeper baseball caps…shoving them methodically up their pious, anesthetized, stupid assholes. It’s the residual backwash of a mechanized society steeped in church fellowship.

  95. #95 David Marjanovi?, OM
    March 10, 2008

    “Modern Europeans have words for the seven basic colours of the rainbow, whereas other societies have from two to eleven.”

    Only the Russians have seven separate words for colors of the rainbow and actually use them.

    Newton made “indigo” up and declared it to somehow not be blue because he wanted there to be seven for metaphysical reasons.

  96. #96 David Marjanovi?, OM
    March 10, 2008

    “Modern Europeans have words for the seven basic colours of the rainbow, whereas other societies have from two to eleven.”

    Only the Russians have seven separate words for colors of the rainbow and actually use them.

    Newton made “indigo” up and declared it to somehow not be blue because he wanted there to be seven for metaphysical reasons.

  97. #97 Christophe Thill
    March 10, 2008

    They’re stupid. They don’t know the difference between art and pornography. But the wort may be that they really suck at humour.

    Says one of the commenters :

    “Reminds me of the old joke about the town drunk taking a tour through a liquor production facility where he drowned in a 20,000-gallon whiskey vat. He fought his “unsuccessful-rescuers” off for three hours before going under for the last time.”

    (Of course we atheists are the target is this clumsy metaphor, because we don’t want to be saved, or whatever)

    “PS: The termination of that joke is that they cremated the drunk and nearly burnt down half the town.”

    Now that’s a punchline ! I hope everyone is rolling on the floor laughing !

    Perhaps we should rename them “cremationists” ?

  98. #98 Kerry Maxwell
    March 10, 2008

    To be fair, a lot of Klimt’s sketches border on the pornographic. Not in the legal sense of having no merit beyond titillation, but they are both explicit and focused on the erotic.

    And I have read allegations that he *spanked it* to his paintings in progress.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

  99. #99 Siamang
    March 10, 2008

    I’ve never felt truly sad for Ray-ray until this moment. When I see those Klimts, especially in person, it’s as though I hear a choir of angels, and the top of my head has been opened up and molten gold has been poured inside. If anything approaches the divine majesty of God in this life, it’s that feeling. To hear Ray Comfort spit at them tells me all I need to know about Ray and his tiny, insignificant, small-minded ghost of a god. That’s a god made only of Ray’s discomforts, fears and a severe lack of reverence. There is no beauty in Ray’s god… it’s an ugly troll of a thing.

    To hear him complaining about the work of Gustav Klimt as if he were a Nazi complaining about degenerate art, is to realize that this man has closed off something vitally human inside him.

  100. #100 H. Humbert
    March 10, 2008

    True Bob said:

    Comfort reminds me of a gent who lived in our county. Every few months, this geezer would send a letter to the editor. And it didn’t matter what he started out with, it always came down to: Society is doomed because we let wimmen show their ankles!

    Thus allowing us to conclude that the letter-writer had an unnatural fixation on women’s ankle. Funny how the nutjobs always project their obsessions onto everyone else.

  101. #101 Owlmirror
    March 10, 2008

    Newton made “indigo” up and declared it to somehow not be blue because he wanted there to be seven for metaphysical reasons.

    ?

    indigo
    1555, from Sp. indico, Port. endego, and Du. (via Port.) indigo, all from L. indicum “indigo,” from Gk. indikon “blue dye from India,” lit. “Indian (substance),” neut. of indikos “Indian,” from India (see India). Earlier name in Mediterranean languages was annil, anil (see aniline).

    http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=indigo

  102. #102 Grammar RWA
    March 10, 2008

    I can’t imagine how a person could offer that drawing as anything but a joke. I’ve never felt sorry for Ray Comfort until today.

  103. #103 Dave M
    March 10, 2008

    Someone keep him away from the Rodin. He might have a heart attack.

    Or better yet: Egon Schiele, who makes Klimt look like Grant Wood. Or even Bernini (*Ecstasy* of St. Theresa?!? Good gracious! Those naughty Catholics!)

  104. #104 Grammar RWA
    March 10, 2008

    I had not read the thread and I see I’m just echoing Siamang. Look at how he makes the woman seem frightened, which is a clear misrepresentation of Klimt’s purpose. Ray is lying.

  105. #105 Noadi
    March 10, 2008

    This is a topic I’ve had endless personal experience with. My sculpture and drawings are pretty tame stuff in general but I’ve received nasty comments and emails calling my work pornography among other things. There is this segment of the population who can’t handle the nude form at all, the actual subject matter is irrelevant to them, if it’s naked it’s wrong. I feel really sorry for them and what they are missing not being able to see the beauty of the human form as anything other than a sexual object. It’s only getting worse too as arts education gets pushed more and more out of schools because it isn’t easy to put on a standardized test.

  106. #106 Harry Bathwater
    March 10, 2008

    The difference between pornography and art is simple.
    If it make you want to wank it’s pornography.
    If it doesn’t then it’s art.

    Nothing about the above pictures made my hand start creeping toward my tackle.

  107. #107 Pablo
    March 10, 2008

    Problem; There are two differing accounts in Genesis. Are you going to have man created before the animals (Gen 2) or after (Gen 1)? Was Adam created before Eve (Gen 2) or were they created at the same time (Gen 1)?

    Actually, I can pretty much get around that stuff by writing it from Eve’s incarnation. Basically, the movie starts with Eve opening her eyes, and the resulting awareness. In fact, I am planning to call it “Eve”.

  108. #108 ngong
    March 10, 2008

    What a wretched life it must be to filter every sensation through the superego.

    I’d love to hear Comfort’s take on Tantric Buddhism.

  109. #109 Ritchie Annand
    March 10, 2008

    Reminds me a bit of the treatment of the queen in Beowulf when it hit the big-screen adaptation. It’s possible I’ve forgotten something, but I do not remember in the slightest the Christianity angle and the poor suffering queen bearing the depravity of her husband in the original story (never mind how much smarter the guard at the shore was in the original story, but I digress).

    Unnecessary and pandering, not to mention offensive.

    As for Kincaide, at least he can be improved :)

  110. #110 toomanytribbles
    March 10, 2008

    thanks for posting this, pz. my reaction:
    pious, misogynist prudery

  111. #111 Graculus
    March 10, 2008

    Aaaargh. There is a continuous range of wavelengths in the spectrum!

    In creo-world there an’t be. Just like DNA can’t produce continuous forms, only half a leg, and cat-dogs.

    Or something like that. I need to drink more.

    Owlmirror I think the point was that “indigo” was artificially stuffed into the colour spectrum by Newton for metaphysical reasons, not that the word didn’t exist. “Indigo” was a dyestuff, not a hue.

    I vote: “Ray Comfort: Projecting like a Cineplex.”

  112. #112 Clostridium
    March 10, 2008

    This is Ray’s response to all the hooplah that has ensued since he posted this nitwitish trash:

    “That post stirred up a little hornet’s nest. I am surprised at how many atheists and non-Christians are on this site. I was told that I am “ridiculous,” a “sad repressed person,” a liar, “complete retrograde,” (old-fashioned) a “red necked ignoramus,” told “see your counselor,” and encouraged to “please, stay away from kids for a while.”

    While I am honored to have so many non-Christians read my blog, my advice to those who are so upset–don’t read it. If the food upsets you, don’t eat it. Unsubscribe. Delete. Stay away. You will feel much better . . .”

    I’ll use an appropriate cuss-word to describe Comfort….he is a real Kent Hovind. I mean, to write a blog, allow comments and then tell people to ‘stay away’ is just unbelievable. Also, many of the posters who criticized him were his fellow Bible thumpers. If you’re going to write stupid things expect ridicule!

  113. #113 JDM
    March 10, 2008

    Re: #103

    Actually, the difference between art and pornography is that the former displays naked people and the latter naked sex slaves. Not that some art doesn’t involve misogyny, unfortunately, but it doesn’t often revel in it.

  114. #114 Ichthyic
    March 10, 2008

    Not that some art doesn’t involve misogyny, unfortunately, but it doesn’t often revel in it.

    so is lesbian porn misogynistic?

    what about gay male porn?

    if the male is the sex slave, and the female the dominatrix… is that still misogynistic?

  115. #115 Ichthyic
    March 10, 2008

    While I am honored to have so many non-Christians read my blog, my advice to those who are so upset–don’t read it.

    more projection from Ray, of course, since he was unable to stay away from art that “offended” him. He “hated” it so much he watched an entire documentary about it.

    uh huh.

    what a whiny bitch.

  116. #116 Harry bathwater
    March 10, 2008

    “Actually, the difference between art and pornography is that the former displays naked people and the latter naked sex slaves.”

    What kind of bollocks is that?!

  117. #117 Reynold Hall
    March 10, 2008

    Well, I’ll give Comfort this: He doesn’t censor his blog like the people at Uncommon Descent or Culture Watch do; he lets damn near anyone post…even I’m able to post semi-regularly.

    Even Rev BigDumbChimp posts there!

    Unfortunately, so is Mark W Laine

    He accuses us of projection:

    “Like those ministers who are so adamantly dug in against homosexuality, who preach about it regularly, and who turn out to be homosexuals themselves, it is obvious, Mr. Comfort, that you are a closet atheist yourself, that you struggle in your doubts daily, and that it’s threatening to tear you up, just like it did me and other people I’ve known. I’m not being facetious. I really think this. Your actions scream it loud and clear.”

    That type of an assertion would be called projection. You are projecting motive onto Ray because of your own BITTER ROOT OF JUDGMENT, through that bitterness you attempt to defile many.

    In reality I see all you ah-theists, here on this overtly Christian blog, as those who are crying out in desperation, “Save Me!!! Save Me!!! I am lost and dying and who will save me”. When we throw you a rope you toss it aside with a sneer.

    Love the arrogance of that guy. We’re just calling them out on their stupidity, not their morality like they do to us.

  118. #118 Molly, NYC
    March 10, 2008

    I feel really sorry for them and what they are missing not being able to see the beauty of the human form as anything other than a sexual object. (Noadi @ #102)

    Can only see it as sexual and can’t deal with sex at all. It’s truly sad.

    Sadder still: These emotional cripples want to dictate public policy on anything having to do with sexuality, want the right to micromanage every one else’s intimate life, and want your tax dollars to pay for it. All that “abstinence education”? We have it because people like Comfort want your kids to be as self-hating and miserable as they are.

  119. #119 Scott Little
    March 10, 2008

    “I think you might find Comfort’s work in a seedy, filthy restroom somewhere, but not Klimt’s.”

    Your probably more likely to find Ray in a seedy, filthy restroom…perhaps playing footsy with the guy in the next stall.

  120. #120 MandyDax
    March 10, 2008

    Pablo, it’s too bad James Mason’s not around anymore. He’d make a perfect God. And Sean Connery could be Noah. The scene where they compromise between and ark and a speedboat would be great. BTW, will there be dinosaurs in your version?

    Oh, other problems are that you’ll have to find:
    1) an Adam who is “uncut,” since that didn’t come about for a while.
    2) someone to play Abraham who is the same way and who is willing to take care of that on screen. Hope he’s got good aim with the smashy rocks.

  121. #121 Graculus
    March 10, 2008

    Ritchie Annand: As for Kincaide, at least he can be improved

    The first series had more Cthulhu jokes.

    (I tend not to say much when “art criticism” comes up, because I usually end up pissing off the Robert Bateman fans.)

  122. #122 Skwee
    March 10, 2008

    @Harry Bathwater:

    And if it shocks, terrifies, & scars you for life, you clicked on the troll’s name. :)

    For the braver, stronger Pharyngulites, there are 37 comments on this post. While most of them are not insane (thankfully), there are a few that fall into the category of *headdesk*. Such as the following treasure:

    “So basically, this man was a filthy pornographer. Never married, but fathered a dozen children. How does that work, exactly?

    The “arts” are a joke. Liberal pornography. Only someone who would think that lust and filth are things to be celebrated would consider this art.

    Matthew 5:28 “But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust in his eye has already committed adultery with her in his heart.””

    I’m taking the Banana Plunge®!

  123. #123 Nullifidian
    March 10, 2008

    Wait now, I learned in elementary school that there were only THREE primary colors, and I could make any color of fingerpaint by mixing those together. Yet again, our public schools are lying to our children!

    And there’s a DIFFERENT set of primary colours for light, but Big Art refuses to admit this in painting classes! Teach the controversy!

  124. #124 Nullifidian
    March 10, 2008

    By the way, Hitler wasn’t the only dictator-cum-art critic.

    Here’s a few quotes from an editorial which ran in Pravda–unsigned, but believed to be by Josef Stalin himself–decrying Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District:

    This music is built on the basis of rejecting opera – the same basis on which “Leftist” Art rejects in the theatre simplicity, realism, clarity of image, and the unaffected spoken word…. Here we have “leftist” confusion instead of natural human music. […]

    Leftist distortion in opera stems from the same source as Leftist distortion in painting, poetry, teaching, and science. Petty-bourgeois “innovations” lead to a break with real art, real science and real literature.

    I love that line about “Leftist distortion…in science” set off against “real science”. How many times have we heard it claimed that leftist scientists are suppressing “real science” in favour of evolutionary biology?

    There’s a doctoral thesis in the making about how much the modern conservative movement, especially the religious right, replicates the patterns of thought of unreconstructed Stalinists.

  125. #125 Sili
    March 10, 2008

    I’ve never heard a good Christian musician since Bach.

    Haydn, Mozart, Poulenc, Britten, Górecki, Pärt

    Just off the top of my head.

  126. #126 toomanytribbles
    March 10, 2008

    ray doesn’t get it.

    i — and i suspect others — read his blog to get an example of extremely impoverished thinking — the kind i luckily do not see every day.

    plus, it’s a good pick-me-up after a hard day. they say laughter is the best medicine.

  127. #127 Alex
    March 10, 2008

    The first time I saw any of this type of work that I recall was when I watched Elfen Lied.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMS-QV2Rcv0

  128. #128 Ichthyic
    March 10, 2008

    they say laughter is the best medicine.

    the problem is that it’s funny alright…

    right up until they convince a bunch of like minded morons to start legislating your neck of the woods.

    then it ain’t so funny any more.

    still, ridicule remains an effective tool.

  129. #129 Nullifidian
    March 10, 2008

    Haydn, Mozart, Poulenc, Britten, Górecki, Pärt

    Britten’s a pretty dubious inclusion here, since he appears to have been an agnostic/don’t give a damn-ist, like most of the British population.

    And Mozart, while raised a Catholic, ignored several Papal bulls condemning the Masons. The Masons require a belief in a deity, however that’s a requirement fulfilled as well by deism as it is by Christianity.

    But you’re perfectly right about the others on your list, except for including Górecki and Pärt as good composers. ;-)

  130. #130 MAJeff, OM
    March 10, 2008

    Did someone say Mozart?

    My favorite scene in all of opera.

  131. #131 extatyzoma
    March 10, 2008

    if anything shows what a poor grip of reality comfort has its his knowledge of restroom walls.

    naked female forms rarely abound, as you know its usually a picture of a cock and balls with some rough scribbling underneath like ‘meet me at 9pm so you can f### my a###’. the scribblings are usually amusing, so long as its not actually 9pm at the time. comfort does have some relationship to rest rooms, hes full of shit.

  132. #132 dSmith
    March 10, 2008

    I don’t know what men’s rooms Comfort hangs around in but I’ve never seen a Klimt in a lavatory.

  133. #133 Coda
    March 10, 2008

    YOU DON’T MAKE SENSE. I’m not arguing Creationism vs. Evolution at all. Comfort is a sick quack! You are and you’re argument didn’t amount to much more than his did though.

  134. #134 Nullifidian
    March 10, 2008

    Did someone say opera? ;-)

    Here’s my favourite scene.

    Don Carlo, Act IV, sc. 1 – “Il Grand’Inquisitor”

    Interestingly enough, in Don Carlos, Verdi portrays a religion which is hostile, prickly, and fundamentalist. Perhaps that accounts for why it’s my favourite opera in the Verdi canon.

  135. #135 Brian X
    March 11, 2008

    I am reminded of the picture of Martin Bashir with the participants in the Comfort/Cameron/Rational Response Squad debate with Brian Sapient’s girlfriend Kelly and her very, very large breast implants, and how I wondered when I first saw it if Sapient and Kelly had agreed to have her seduce Ray or Kirk. I can only think from this article that it wouldn’t have worked on Ray.

  136. #136 antaresrichard
    March 11, 2008

    Oh dear, I’ve a millstone about my neck. I’m about to install an exhibition featuring the art of our local youth, thus unbeknownst to me, rewarding and facilitating their first steps into moral turpitude! It’s all downhill from there! Better hide the Klimt under the bed.

  137. #137 themadlolscientist
    March 11, 2008

    Wasn’t it the Nazis who went on and ON about “degenerate” art?

    The Russians too. “Soviet Realism” was the only way to go. The Chinese Cultural Revolution wasn’t exactly friendly toward art either. :-\ Totalitarians and art don’t get along terribly well in general.

    “The Kiss” looks very much like the style of a painting that sold awhile back for the most money ever, … it was a woman and it was gold. Was that by Klimt?

    Right you are. It was this one.

    p.s. I can identify 100% with the woman in the cartoon. I’d have a horrified expression on my face too if that guy tried to kiss me. GAAK.

  138. #138 Al
    March 11, 2008

    The calendar on my wall is a calendar of Klimt’s work. I have absolutely no idea how one can hate those beautiful works; let alone believe that instead of love and tenderness and appreciation of the human form, Klimt is showing disease-spreading rutting.
    This is where the whole God thing breaks down for people who don’t even pay attention to science or reality. The repression of feelings and instinct is of course abhorrent to most people. And how does that oft used religious argument go? “I can’t believe that Hamlet came about as a result of physical laws operating alone without a designer”? That’s the idea, at least; why not Klimt, therefore? It’s not even like Shakespeare didn’t use dick jokes and sexual innuendo…

  139. #139 jeh
    March 11, 2008

    He probably thinks Georgia O’Keeffe’s flower art is hardcore porn.

    Uh, someone should tell him about the Song of Solomon [“My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him.”]. It’s in that book he pretends to read.

  140. #140 Christophe Thill
    March 11, 2008

    The food for thought promised by Mr Comfort severely lacks in vitamins. If you try to live on nothing but it, you’ll get blind soon.

  141. #141 Rick R
    March 11, 2008

    MAJeff wrote- “From what Dame Judy Dench says, you should seriously consider Daniel Craig for Adam.”

    I’d seriously consider Daniel Craig for anything.

    In fact, I’m considering him right now. :)

  142. #142 Reynold Hall
    March 11, 2008

    Uh, someone should tell him about the Song of Solomon [“My beloved put in his hand by the hole of the door, and my bowels were moved for him.”]. It’s in that book he pretends to read.

    Go ahead and post it over there; it’ll be interesting to see if it gets through or not.

    Oddly enough, his advice on our reactions to his stupidity?

    While I am honored to have so many non-Christians read my blog, my advice to those who are so upset–don’t read it. If the food upsets you, don’t eat it. Unsubscribe. Delete. Stay away. You will feel much better . . .

    People have told him that he should take his own advice when it comes to things that offend him!

  143. #143 Lilly de Lure
    March 11, 2008

    To hear him complaining about the work of Gustav Klimt as if he were a Nazi complaining about degenerate art, is to realize that this man has closed off something vitally human inside him.

    Agreed. If he didn’t want to make sure that this vital part of humanity was closed off in everyone else as well I might even feel sorry for him.

  144. #144 Jud
    March 11, 2008

    Godwin’s Law warning….

    Wasn’t it the Nazis who went on and ON about “degenerate” art?

    Including Klimt, AFAIK.

    Just headshakin’ stuff, that Comfort, et al., have no least idea how 1920s-right-wing-German this all sounds.

  145. #145 HalfMooner
    March 11, 2008

    I had to do a little parody art of my own on that. (Click my nickname, below.)

  146. #146 maxi
    March 11, 2008

    Good one HalfMooner!

    People who try to censor art do nothing but make themselves look like crazy fools of the type that wear foil hats to keep the aliens out of their brains.

  147. #147 extatyzoma
    March 11, 2008

    despite being moderated the blog comments seem to be mainly critical of comforts entry. he is for sure a dispicable little wretch, most likely a homosexual, i pity closeted gay men of his ilk. What a poor little sod he is, he knows deep down what he desires but that religious garotte holds them in tight.

  148. #148 Ray C.
    March 11, 2008

    Remember, boys and girls:

    * Unauthorized lovemaking: IMMORAL.
    * Unjustified warmongering: NOT IMMORAL.

  149. #149 Doozer
    March 11, 2008

    LUST! FORNICATION! IMMORALITY!

    If he was aiming for subliminable, he blew it. I like the dangly foot, though…

  150. #150 Interrobang
    March 11, 2008

    Not that I spend much time in men’s rooms (people tend to look at you funny if you go in them if you look like I do), but are there really lots of scribbled nekked wimminz on the walls? Given the quality of the stuff you see in women’s rooms (I don’t think I’ve seen a naked man on the walls in one of those yet, although my gym has some stall-door ads that are vaguely racy), I somehow doubt it. Seems like most people have trouble drawing stick figures — “I FUKT YOR MOMMA” and “For a GOOD TIME call…” seem to be about the appropriate speed.

    I have, actually, seen actual art in bathrooms before, but I’m one of these librul elitists who does things like go to art galleries and swanky restaurants where they do that sort of thing.

    Keep in mind, when dealing with Comfort and his ilk, the key term in the phrase “sexual object” isn’t the “sexual” part, it’s the object part. I absolutely guarantee he’d be utterly horrified by the concept of a female sexual subject, never mind an actual sexual agent. (Horrors!) I pretty much further guarantee that he has problems with the idea of female subjects and/or agents in general, outside of the context of sex.

    Isn’t it funny how the religiously-derived idea of homosocial sex-segregation leads to the idea that women and men aren’t actually the same type of creature? Hint: We are not, actually, “from Venus,” although some days the idea of coming from another planet (hello, right of return?!) sounds like a perfectly keen idea…

  151. #151 Calladus
    March 11, 2008

    I feel like Comfort is Talking about my site.

    But really, this doesn’t surprise me. Comfort has no education beyond High School from what I’ve been able to tell, yet his Christian Credentials make him act as if he is an authority in Biology, Cosmology, and now apparently the Art World too.

    He’s really nothing more than a high pressure salesman for a literally mind-numbing product.

  152. #152 CR Stamey
    March 11, 2008

    Note to self: Go by Deck the Walls and pick up Klimt prints for upstairs bathroom.

    What a great idea, Ray. Thanks.

  153. #153 extatyzoma
    March 11, 2008

    it actually makes me wonder if cameron has ever seen any actual pornography and how would he respond to that?

  154. #154 jim
    March 11, 2008

    #147: As a Private Eye cartoon once memorably put it: Men are from Mars; women are from Venus; pop psychology is from Uranus.

    I’d suggest some Milton where he’s talking about Adam and Eve’s glorious nakedness, but the response would surely be: But that was before the Fall, things were different then!

    Milton makes it pretty clear that A&E do have sex before the Fall, although that’s good, innocent sex, as opposed to the sex they have immediately after eating the apple, which is evil and lustful although not otherwise distinguishable–though the bad effects of the fruit haven’t kicked in yet at that stage, they hold off long enough for Eve to convince Adam to eat the apple, then they screw, then they sleep, and then they get the whole shame/anger/sin thing…

    …Milton’s God is a right bastard

    Oh, and I’ve been rehearsing the Missa Solemnis too hard lately to let you leave Beethoven out of the post-Bach religious composers list.

  155. #155 C. L. Hanson
    March 11, 2008

    Klimt is one of my favorite artists.

    I realize this has already been commented on, but I’ll quickly add my reaction as well:

    While the original portrays warmth and affection on the woman’s face, that doesn’t fit Comfort’s worldview, so he redraws it as the man forcing himself on the reluctant, disgusted-by-sexuality woman. So sad, so limited, so typical.

  156. #156 Tlazolteotl
    March 11, 2008

    You know, I have this fabulous pair of shoes with this image on them:

    http://www.topofart.com/images/artists/Gustav_Klimt/paintings/klimt014.jpg

    And I recently bought kits for these pillows:

    http://www.ehrmantapestry.com/

    Surely, I am going to hell!

  157. #157 Nullifidian
    March 11, 2008

    Oh, and I’ve been rehearsing the Missa Solemnis too hard lately to let you leave Beethoven out of the post-Bach religious composers list.

    Well, the list was of Christian composers. Like Mozart, and many Enlightenment composers, save Haydn, that can be rather difficult to pin down. Just because someone writes a Christian-themed piece cannot be sufficient evidence. Ralph Vaughn Williams harmonized half the Anglican hymnal. Surely that should have made him as devout a communicating member of the CoE as the Archbishop of Canterbury, but he was an atheist his whole life. Verdi was another atheist who wrote several fine religious works, including his Requiem.

    In the less exalted sphere of composers, Humphrey Searle, a very unjustly neglected British serialist, wrote a choral work, “Quam pulchra es”, based on the Song of Solomon, and your humble author is at work on a Good Friday piece called “The Dream of the Rood”. “The Dream of the Rood” is one of the earliest examples of dream poetry in Old English and tells the story of the Crucifixion from the perspective of the cross (!). I don’t have to believe in the content of the poem to find it interesting enough to set.

  158. #158 Sili
    March 11, 2008

    Britten’s a pretty dubious inclusion here, since he appears to have been an agnostic/don’t give a damn-ist, like most of the British population.

    I know. Mea culpa. (Not to mention the whole Peter Piers deal …). I’d mistakenly read “music” rather than “musician”.

    I did say “just off the top of my head”, but my apologies for leaving off Beethoven. Still, he was really the first freelancer, so he didn’t actually do much sacred music, did he?

    I may not be able to give examples of sacred music from Pärt and Górecki (I’m a latecomer to music and make no claim to understand it), but Fratres and Symfonia pie?ni ?a?osnych (Thank you, WP) I’d hate to be without.

  159. #159 MAJeff, OM
    March 11, 2008

    Still, he was really the first freelancer, so he didn’t actually do much sacred music, did he?

    Oh yes. He’s got a couple Masses. I performed the Mass in C in college.

    Also did the Poulenc Gloria and Stabat Mater; Dvorak Te Deum; Resphigi’s Christmas Oratoria; Holst’s Nunc Dimitis; Rachmaninoff’s Vespers; Mozart’s Vespers and Mass in F; Bach’s Magnificat and a couple Motets…..Damn that shit was fun. I miss good choral singing.

  160. #160 complex_field
    March 11, 2008

    Comfort would have a major aneurism and psychotic break if he were ever to read the Song of Solomon. Or the one where a guy is doing his deceased brother’s wife and “spills his seed”.

  161. #161 pick one
    March 11, 2008

    honestly people, we should really not care if some people can’t appreciate art. Life is art, it is all around us all the time. yes, it is unfortunate that there are those who can’t see this, but there are. So lets leave them be and let them believe what they want.

  162. #162 BlueMako
    March 11, 2008

    Not that I spend much time in men’s rooms (people tend to look at you funny if you go in them if you look like I do), but are there really lots of scribbled nekked wimminz on the walls?
    No. Lots of writing though. I swear writing on bathroom walls is the human equivalent of dogs pissing on stuff…

  163. #163 thalarctos
    March 11, 2008

    It’s a nice sentiment, pick one, but if the religious right had the least interest in abiding by “live and let live”, they wouldn’t have declared their “culture war” on the rest of us.

  164. #164 AleieX
    March 11, 2008

    I love Klimt, and I love art too but it seems that there are people who simply can’t think by themselves and thus see everything that is different to their ancient standards as evil.

  165. #165 Ichthyic
    March 11, 2008

    it seems that there are people who simply can’t think by themselves and thus see everything that is different to their ancient standards as evil.

    History has given numerous examples to support the idea that the easiest way to defend one’s way of life is to vilify those that challenge it.

  166. #166 Kseniya
    March 12, 2008

    I left a comment on dis Comfort fellah’s blog last night. It never appeared. I guess he didn’t like me pointing out that in misrepresentating of Klimt’s work, he had borne false witness against him. Or perhaps it was my suggestion that he prefered fondling bananas to admitting that a heterosexual kiss might be pleasurable for both parties. I dunno. Was I un-Christian in taking him to task for his insipidity and his transparent lies?

  167. #167 MAJeff, OM
    March 12, 2008

    Or perhaps it was my suggestion that he prefered fondling bananas to admitting that a heterosexual kiss might be pleasurable for both parties. I dunno. Was I un-Christian in taking him to task for his insipidity and his transparent lies?

    I think it’s the notion that women’s pleasure might be valuable that may be so troublesome. Can’t you just accept your status as object of lust and vessel of manly seed? That’s pure womanhood.

  168. #168 Ichthyic
    March 12, 2008

    Can’t you just accept your status as object of lust and vessel of manly seed? That’s pure womanhood.

    … and Jeff should know!

    (sorry, just had to old boy.)

    :p

  169. #169 MAJeff, OM
    March 12, 2008

    I think a shopping and bloody mary buddy is far better than those others, but that’s just me.
    :)

  170. #170 Azkyroth
    March 12, 2008

    To be fair, a lot of Klimt’s sketches border on the pornographic. Not in the legal sense of having no merit beyond titillation, but they are both explicit and focused on the erotic.

    As if eroticism wasn’t a merit in itself. Ridiculous puritan culture.

  171. #171 Azkyroth
    March 12, 2008

    i doubt ray has an artistic bone in his body.

    Apparently he fantasizes about it, though.

  172. #172 Azkyroth
    March 12, 2008

    “Actually, the difference between art and pornography is that the former displays naked people and the latter naked sex slaves.”

    -JDM

    Funny, that’s been inconsistent with my experience. Of course, the hypothesis that “all sex porn is rape exploitation” types might ever let the facts get in the way of a good bit of vitriol has also been inconsistent with my experience.

    What kind of bollocks is that?!

    -Harry bathwater

    It’s apparently one of two kinds, either the “women, being mentally and morally equivalent to children, cannot give meaningful consent to appearing in pornography and therefore, like sex with children, sexual depictions of women are inherently abusive” kind or the “women have absolutely no sexuality of their own and whenever a woman is showing behaving sexually it is because some evil man has manipulated her into it” kind. Either way it’s an absurd, irrational bit of projection and sex-phobia worthy of someone like Ray Comfort; demeansm, dehumanizes, and insults the intelligence of women; and does violence to basic logic.

  173. #173 Kseniya
    March 12, 2008

    **Ding*dIng*diNg*dinG**

    Azkyroth wins a fabulous prize!

  174. [Prize received may not match illustration.]
  • #174 Nullifidian
    March 12, 2008

    I may not be able to give examples of sacred music from Pärt and Górecki (I’m a latecomer to music and make no claim to understand it), but Fratres and Symfonia pie?ni ?a?osnych (Thank you, WP) I’d hate to be without.

    I could take them or leave them, personally. My favourite Christian composers of the 20th century are Olivier Messiaen, Krzysztof Penderecki, Sofia Gubaidulina, Galina Ustvolskaya, etc. I generally prefer a far more modernist approach to my modern music. :-)

    Still, it certainly is very much an exaggeration to say that there hasn’t been a good Christian composer since Bach.

    It is, I would argue, the case that most Christian rock is bad for the same reason that most Socialist Realism is bad: the whole point is about hitting you over the head with the Sledgehammer of their Meaning rather than the artistic quality of the work.

  • #175 Azkyroth
    March 12, 2008

    Jon Oliva, Hansi Kursch, and Tuomas Holopainen deal with Christian themes in much of their music as well, even though I wouldn’t precisely call any of them a “Christian composer.”

  • #176 Tom Foss
    March 16, 2008

    So, wait, if a painting is proof of a painter, then what is an incompetent, ugly, sour grapes caricature of a painting proof of?

    @106:

    Reminds me a bit of the treatment of the queen in Beowulf when it hit the big-screen adaptation. It’s possible I’ve forgotten something, but I do not remember in the slightest the Christianity angle

    Whether from original text or later copyist changes (as is likely the case with the Christian framing of similar-era poem “The Wanderer”), “Beowulf” is indeed mired in the transition between old pagan religions and Christianity. References are made toward the beginning of altars and the old ways of worship, while Beowulf’s powers are said to be God-given, and Grendel is of the clan of Cain. It wasn’t quite as explicit in the text as it was in the film, more thematic, but the tensions and transitions were apparent.

    Or, at the very least, we discussed them in my first-year college Lit class. The suffering queen and adulterous kings, however, were new to the flick.

    On a side note, I liked the movie (especially how they deflected criticisms that it was different from the poem by showing how the poem was supposedly an exaggerated, inaccurate version of the “actual” events–very Gaiman) but was quite disappointed at losing the description of Beowulf “unlocking” his “word-hoard.”

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