The PJ Tatler

Stupid art is objectively pro-Nazi

Tell me: How could the French government countenance this art installation, which manages to be both juvenile and deeply insulting at the same time? :

Exhibit marks 67th anniversary of D-Day landings

An installation of 1,000 casts of Russian, German and American combat helmets of WWII which also represent turtles, to denounce global violence, created by French artist Rachid Khimoune, is seen on Omaha Beach in Colleville sur Mer, western France, Sunday, June 5, 2011 at the eve of the D-Day Anniversary. Photo: Vincent Michel / AP

COLLEVILLE-SUR-MER, France (AP) — French artist Rachid Khimoune has installed 1,000 sculptures shaped like sea turtles on Omaha Beach to mark the 67th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy.

The turtles’ “shells” are molded from American, Russian and German combat helmets, sprouting flippers and long-necked heads. The sculptures were arranged Sunday along the sandy expanses of Omaha Beach — where the Allies won a pivotal victory against the Nazis.

I ask you: So, would the artist prefer that the Allies had refrained from committing any icky violence and instead not invaded Normandy, so as to preserve peace? In which case, France would to this day be called Frankenreich, the western province of Greater Germany?

I mean, OK, sure, stupid artists make stupid art making stupid points all the time. But the French government gave permission for this particular statement to be made on Omaha Beach on the anniversary of D-Day.

The ghosts of 10,000 men who sacrificed their lives that day to save France all say “You’re welcome!” in unison.

At this stage, there’s really nothing left to do but quote George Orwell:

Pacifism is objectively pro-Fascist. This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side you automatically help that of the other. Nor is there any real way of remaining outside such a war as the present one. In practice, ‘he that is not with me is against me’. The idea that you can somehow remain aloof from and superior to the struggle, while living on food which British sailors have to risk their lives to bring you, is a bourgeois illusion bred of money and security. Mr Savage remarks that ‘according to this type of reasoning, a German or Japanese pacifist would be “objectively pro-British”.’ But of course he would be! That is why pacifist activities are not permitted in those countries (in both of them the penalty is, or can be, beheading) while both the Germans and the Japanese do all they can to encourage the spread of pacifism in British and American territories. The Germans even run a spurious ‘freedom’ station which serves out pacifist propaganda indistinguishable from that of the P.P.U. They would stimulate pacifism in Russia as well if they could, but in that case they have tougher babies to deal with. In so far as it takes effect at all, pacifist propaganda can only be effective against those countries where a certain amount of freedom of speech is still permitted; in other words it is helpful to totalitarianism.


Apparently the French government is marking all the victories over the Nazis by allowing this guy to display his pacifism helmet-turtles at each world-famous French national landmark:

VE Day pacificism installation at the Eiffel Tower

Picture taken in front of the Eiffel tower, on May 8, 2011 at the Trocadero in Paris, of the installation by French artist Rachid Khimoune of 1000 turtle-shaped statues made in the ’90s out of helmets from different countries. The statues, exhibited here on the 66th anniversary of the Allied victory over Nazi Germany in World War II, aim at symbolizing ‘the never ending horrors of war’. Photo by Thomas Samson/ AFP/ Getty Images

But what about the never-ending horrors of addlebrained moral relativism?