Big Al: You have a different agenda than I do. You're in reality denial. Everyone is... you think that because the masses all believe what you believe—and behave accordingly, that all my perceptions are "in my mind" . Americans/Europeans are living inside a self-enclosed media-created fantasy bubble—totally impervious to any reality outside that false reality bubble. This has always been the case with all societies in history. Americans are no exception. We're actually even more delusional because of media's ability to construct a seamless false reality for people to imitate. A certain number of Europeans, the one's who still have functioning brain cells in their heads, have had their fantasyworlds shattered by the war in Ukraine, although most of them doubtless have no way of understanding what's happened to them. And, at this point, it's far too late for them to have any affect on what the central planners have already put into effect.
European "culture" is no more than a pseudo-aestheticized imitation of Anglo-American culture. And American "culture" is no more than an imitation of the decadent European culture that issued out of Paris at the end of the 19th century. Initially it was a gigantic version after which it rapidly morphed into a plastic version. The miracle of continuously new scientific chemical commodities to make "art" out of insured art would always be new just as long as the chemical companies can keep creating new chemical substances. This went on for a few years before DIY art could be made by letting computer programs take over the laborious part. The more childish and wonderful the better. The new emperor's new clothes imitating the old emperor's old new clothes. From Madonna to Lady Gaga to Cardi B, it never gets old. Art, fashion and entertainment becoming indistinguishable as it all flickers by in digital eternity.
That's what is being described when I use the term media-created fantasy bubble. That's what you're living inside.... if you can call it living.
Little Al: I guess you're right, Big AI. I'm not even sure who you are. Big al or big AI. Artificial intelligence? Al? al? Who's Madonna?
Big AI: Good question. I'm glad you asked. Americans are deeper inside this fantasy construct than anyone else because they're the ones who created way way back in time when they were the world's only superpower and whatever they said went. It was a bedazzling culture of coca cola and marilyn monroe and elvis. And Europeans fed up with the boring paintings in the Louvre and Prado were only too relieved and happy to finally receive some real artistic masterpieces, just as long as they were mass-produced in sufficient quantity so that they could all have posters on their walls and imitate the art, with the exception being that their art was much more sophisticated. After all, they were European. And it goes without saying that Europeans are now, and always have been, far more culturally and intellectually superior to their idiotic American counterparts. There's no artist on earth that's ever been more brilliant than a French artist imitating a brilliant American comic book artist. Not to mention French film critics turned cineastes, which is French for poser, doing infinitely trite and pretentious imitations of American film noir classics from the 1950s. A lot of European artists have kissed the asses of American Artists, but none so devotedly as the French.
I'm not saying this to malign the French, their welcoming the Nazis into Paris with open arms, legs and behinds notwithstanding. I'm just saying that the French, having unearned reputations as being the sole arbiters of all that is artistically superior, are the primary people responsible for inflating the egos of American artists, meaning Hollywood film makers, to astronomical proportions. After all, without Warhol and other Pop stars making silkscreens of Hollywood stars, and absurdly calling them paintings, there wouldn't be a Warhol. Let's get real here. The only reason that France was considered the artistic capitol of Europe prior to America taking the reins after World War II was that Paris was the place artists from all over Europe (including America's lost generation of Fitz and Hem) packed into, Beginning at the end of the 19th century Paris had the most wide open sexual carnival on available display of any place on the globe. That's the only reason Paris became the designated capitol. The French themselves weren't even bright enough to see that the Dutchman van Gogh was the most innovative artistic genius in their midst. He was both isolated and called insane, thus tragically resulting in him killing himself at an early age in isolation in Southern France. In fact, the immeasurably less gifted Paul Cezanne was one of the artists calling van Gogh demented and his work rubbish.
Beginning with Gauguin and his greatest enthusiast Picasso one primary subject of Modern Art was not just sex, it was sex with pre-adolescent women. Bisexuality, cross-dressing, homosexuality, bdsm, anti-social criminality, delusional madness, satanism/witchcraft/blood sacrifice, occult religion, hallucinogenic drug visions, narcissistic personality disorder, and every manner of sexual perversion as laid out by the German psychiatrist Richard von Kraft-Ebbing in his comprehensive study Psychopathia Sexualis (1886) replaced overnight the stodgy conformity and propriety and exquisite visionary craftsmanship of the bourgeoisie. Artistic mediocrities (as defined by the new revolutionary French art critics) like Ingres, Delacroix, Corot, and Meissonier were replaced within a short span by amateurish works by artists like Picasso doing crude paintings of African Masks he copied from the anthropological museum along with the all-important subject matter of whores in a brothel (demoiselles d avignon), while Matisse made crude imitations of van Gogh's paintings and along with Derain and Vlaminck were titled the Fauves (wild beasts).
To get an idea of just how pathetic this so-called progress or evolution was, from the French Academy to the two Modernist "giants", let me show a simple contrast:
The only thing "shocking" about these early 20th century "masterpieces" by Matisse and Picasso is how shockingly lousy they are. Picasso never misses the opportunity to make the sexual parts as crude as possible if it's going to be a "masterpiece." This applies just as much to his early lame configurations as it does to his last period, which was roundly lambasted and dismissed as rubbish by French critics (how fickle those French critics are!) despite the fact that compared to the early Picasso the late Picasso at least indicate some felicity in handling paint.
The point is that Modern art began in decadence, debauchery, drug addiction, psychosis, artistic primitivity, and, and of course, social revolution. Beyond that, it had no point at all. The endless revolution... from the bottom of the barrel in Picasso primitivism to the bottom of the barrel in underground porn comics. Europe is not a dying civilization. It died at the end of the 19th century. It was then finished off entirely by HItler in World War II. At that point it believed it was reviving itself by copying whatever Americans were doing in the 1950s and forwards. What Americans were doing was ripping off the so-called "Automatic drawings" of the surrealists in the person of Jackson Pollock. All Pollock was doing that was "innovative" was making it the size of a studio wall and eliminating all trace of representational figuration. Prior to that he was doing pure Picasso knockoffs in Jungian therapy. and what they were doing was recycling the stale ideas of Marcel Duchamp, which were stale to begin with. Calling them ideas is giving them a lot more credit than they deserve. Ridiculing and defacing the art of the past with crude sexual humor and calling hat racks works of art aren't interesting ideas in the first place.
Little AL: WAIT A MINUTE, BIG AI!?!?! How did stupid ideas like that get into major American art collections and art museums? Are you telling me that when this Marcel Duchamp guy showed his work in America that crowds were lining up to see and appreciate it, while the American critics at the New York Times went wild with enthusiasm?
Big Al: Not at all. The American public, for one thing, never had any interest at all in Modern Art back in the early part of the twentieth century. They were dumb. But not that dumb. As a matter of fact, just like today they aren't interested in art at all. You see, Little Al, back in those days before television the American audiences were not very hip. If they were looking at art at all, it would be a lot of photographic painting: landscapes, portraits or still lifes. In other words, exactly the same stuff hip Modern folks avoid at all costs if they've gone to an Art Museum in order to get educated in the latest critical race, art and gender theories. Plus pay 25 dollars for a tray of warmed cafeteria food, after which they can buy digital reproductions of the famous artworks to put on their walls that match the tastes of the reproductions on the wall of their psychiatrist's office.
To make matters even worse most of that old crap was painted by institutional white homophobes and racists like Degas and Monet. If they'd known about transgenders they'd have been trans-phobes as well. So if your psychiatrist has any of the works of those offensive artists it's your duty to have him or her or whatever their pronoun remove that personally offensive trash and replace it with a classic Robert Mapplethorpe, like the one with him wearing devil horns with a bullwhip sticking out of his ass. Or the NEA award winning Andres Serrano's Jesus Christ soaking in a jar of urine. Or just report them to the ACLU and sue them for all they're worth for malpractice.
But returning to your question about how such infantile toilet jokes came to rule over the international art world to the point that American taxpayer dollars were being used to educate the Afghan people into the secrets of the Postmodern Plastic Exploding PornArt Inevitable we need to take a close look at exactly who bought and collected all the profound Duchampian masterpieces. That would be a multimillionaire Rosicrucian Freudian Harvard lad named Walter Conrad Arensberg.