Banksy's in New Orleans

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15 Responses:

  1. tjic says:

    So New Orleans, with a history of corruption and government incompetence, drastically mismanaged its preparations for AND reactions to Katrina, and everyone screamed that the federal government needed to have 30 minute road-side assistance or the next pizza is free, and then the Feds did show, and crap slowly got taken care of.

    ...and the most trenchant political point is "The National Guard is composed of looters" ?!?!?!

    Now, if we were talking firefighters looting high end jeans in the wreckage of the WTC after 9/11, Banksy'd have a point...

    • infrogmation says:

      Banksy's New Orleans works seem very well informed on local conditions; I suspect he'd been spending time with some local artists/bloggers.

      Yes, it is certainly true that we have a shockingly corrupt and incompetent regime-- by "we", of course, I mean those of us in the United States of America.

      I see you're far from up to speed on what happened with the great engineering disaster and associated events of 2005-- quite understandable, as the the thrown-together guesses and misinformation were world headlines, and the corrections and details came out buried in inner pages bit by bit months and years later. A few links to help out:

      Guardian: "Overcoming the Katrina myth"

      Salon: "How Karl Rove played politics while people drowned"

      Harry Shearer's blog on Huffington Post often has some good summaries.

      Hope this helps!

      Back to Banksy: The Guardsmen varied. Some were helpful. Others came in to town very eager for chances to shoot their fellow countrymen. Some were well behaved and law abiding. Others broke into citizen's homes without warrant, roughly siezed locals, arresting them for no "crime" other than living in their own homes, and removed them against their will to distant states refusing any information on the destination before arrival. Some troops commendeered local homes for their own use. (Contrary to what I read some commentator claim, the Third Amendment of the Bill of Rights does not seem to stand uniquely unviolated.)

      And yes, some guardsmen (and police) looted.

      Kudos to Banksy for his work, both as art and for inspiring chances for discussion.

      • wisedonkey says:

        Speaking of "overcoming the katrina myth", there's more Katrina than New Orleans. The Mississippi Gulf Coast took heavy damage that makes new orleans look tame. In fact, we had hurricane force winds in the state's capital over 150 miles from the coast.

        • infrogmation says:

          Hell yeah! (Well, except for that "looks tame" part; anywhere folks lost everything they owned or had friends and family killed ain't "tame".) Katrina left a path of destruction over significant parts of 4 states.

          The big casinos along the Mississippi coast have been rebuilt while around them are neighborhoods of ruins for miles. I have friends on the Mississippi Gulf Coast who are pissed off at the politicians who keep trying to make an example of how great that area has supposedly been doing.

      • tjic says:

        Let me recap the timeline:

        0) The National Guard does not loot New Orleans
        1) Banksy (whose work I am otherwise a fan of) paints art of the National Guard looting New Orleans.
        2) I call BS on Banksy.
        3) You respond with 238 words, starting out with "Banksy's New Orleans works seem very well informed on local conditions", and you link to three articles.
        4) I read everything you wrote, and everything you linked to ... and fail to find even two words that contradict my point that Banksy's good art makes piss poor politics because the National Guard did not loot

        Perhaps by "Banksy's New Orleans works seem very well informed on local conditions" you mean "Banksy's New Orleans works seem to cater well to hipster political prejudices". which case, we're in agreement.

        • sheilagh says:

          it'll be painted grey in no time.

        • Gee, with that level of pedantic literality, how do you manage
          to enjoy or understand any art at all? At the very simplest:
              National Guard = government
              Looting = fucking up

          • tjic says:

            Look, when I renewed my driver's license the other day, I was asked for political affiliation, and I specified "anarcho capitalist", so in addition to being a Banksy fan, I'm also more than ready to be sold a bill of goods labeled "government sucks".

            ...but if the best Banksy can do to get that across (and I'm not convinced that that's his message here) is the above, then he's failed this time around.

        • infrogmation says:

          Of course "the National Guard does not loot", in that looting is not a function nor (AFAIK) an assigment of that governmental agency.

          However the category of "people in the National Guard" and "people who have looted" are not mutually exclusive, even temporally.

          In late '05 and early '06 a few Guardsmen were even caught and arrested for it in New Orleans. Believe or disbelieve as you like; I suspect you can find some stories at the Times-Picayune website if their archives aren't currently down due to Gustav.

  2. mhoye says:

    The kid on the life-preserver tire-swing is particularly sweet.

  3. pyrop says:

    Banksy better get out of New Orleans before Gustav shows up.

  4. mcity says:

    Looks like they found some electronics.

  5. headhouse says:

    Oh, good, the post-storm wanking has started ahead of schedule.

  6. I went around the city right before I evacuated for Gustav; but I only found 2 of his pieces. :(