The Austin Chronicle

Ticked Off Powers-That-Be With Spurious Opinions About Art

By Steven Cheslik-deMeyer, March 29, 2010, 3:33pm, Qmmunity

Interesting that the story about GLAAD's snit over Ticked Off Trannies with Knives is circulating the blogosphere at the same time as the story about the canceled production of Terrence McNally's play, Corpus Christi, at Tarleton State University in Texas.

Both stories involve a knee-jerk response to a work of art based not on a critique of the work's aesthetic merits but on an evaluation of how the work measures up to a set of community standards of decency. Both the play and the film have been deemed blasphemous by a group that perceives itself to have been given some authority by their communities, and so a more complex analysis is considered moot.

Not that the political and aesthetic value of a work of art are neatly separable. In fact, it's important to note that both Ticked off Trannies with Knives and Corpus Christi are works of deliberate provocation made by queer artists. But for that reason, you'd think we might give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they contain ideas worth discussing. But we're not allowed to have that discussion because it's completely shouted down by the outcry, the condemnation, the calls for boycott and censorship.

The artist is always suspect.

(Cross-posted at The Bilerico Project.)

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