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Monday, April 04, 2005

That Wacky Wecker

Lukeford has the contents of the 'controversial' Menachem Wecker article from The Commentator which oddly enough does not appear on his own blog. The fact that something like this got printed suggests The Commentator's standards have gone down and their relish for venom has gone up.

The 'article' attacked Stern college as a finishing school for silly girls who only think about fashion who are incapable of writing anything serious, whose student newspaper is a joke in contrast to the deep minds at The Commentator which Wecker himself represents and and his high artistic standards which can be gleaned in a sample of his artwork he has displayed at his blog up above.

Some people view the piece as motivated by sexism, I think the real giveaway though is his obsession with Christo's orange curtains which defaced Central Park for a week and his outrage that The Observer, the Stern college student newspaper dared to criticise 'The Orange Gates of Doom'. Indeed his article seems obsessively focused on claiming that Stern girls and their newspaper are incapable of comprehending the work of Christo because they're too busy looking at fashion magazines.

In defense of Christo's orange shower curtains, better known as "The Gates" or 'The Gates to an Orange Hell That Defaced a New York City Landmark With Pretentious Eurotrash Avant Garde Nonesense' as I call it, Wecker spews Lashon Hara, sexism and defamation at the staff and student body of a Jewish college. A good demonstration of the corrupting effects of modern art.

Besides his unnatural orange curtain love, Wecker's letter claims The Observer is not as good as The Commentator because it doesn't have a website, though it's not too clear what websites and journalistic quality have to do with one another. He cites spelling and grammatical errors as proof of the Observer's lack of standards and articles he considers silly. The Commentator had plenty of spelling errors and silly articles. And while none of them were fashion spreads, that's a gender difference; not a difference in quality. Neither newspaper is all that professional or impressive by the standards of a professional paper.

Wecker who vaguely reminds me of The Commentator's Mordechai Levovitz in temperament , writing style, and queenish mannerisms, does a regular modern art column for the Jewish Press that delves into the artistic principles of upside down cubes, splashes of paint on canvas and the other debris we euphemistically call modern art. The JP's other writer on the topic, Richard McBee who can at least occasionally be counted on to review actual art as opposed to something that looks like a first grader's finger painting; has an even nastier letter in support of his colleague that refers to Stern College as a harem. (anyone who feels that this attitude should not be represented in a major Jewish newspaper, should address their letter to the Jewish Press at letters@jewishpress.com )

It seems there's something about grown men who become committed to pretending that purple triangles are art that makes them rather nasty and intolerant. Absurdly Wecker can argue that fashion is not art but Christo's The Gates are. Artfully designed clothing is not art but hanging orange curtains all over the park is.

Wecker says: "The very anti-aesthetic model that bars an understanding of "The Gates" from observer staff is also responsible for the juvenile writing and for the six page fashion spread." To his mindset, one must be appreciate of modern art to be a serious artist or writer. What genuine artists of the past such as Rembrandt or Sargent would have made of self-indulgent nonsense like The Gates suggests that they would not meet Menachem Wecker's standards of seriousness. It is ironic that ridiculing modern art makes one juvenile in Menachem Wecker's assessment but producing and appreciating orange curtains hung on a park does not make one juvenile. And most of all making the kind of finger paintings we can see up above and trying to pass them off as art is the mark of a 'serious artiste' like Wecker.

"For Christo is about meditation and about a cautious, humble way of looking. It is about exploring what orange means and about complicating notions of art," Wecker writes. It's hard to know how hard to laugh when the author of the above sentences actually has the gall to criticize the writing and seriousness and aesthetic understanding of anyone else.

But in honor of exploring the meaning of orange, I will make my last sentence to this piece be orange as well. Art is in the eye of the beholder but everyone can tell a snob and a jerk when they see one.


  1. Anonymous4/4/05

    Orange means citrus, valencia or wait...it could mean a carrot.
    Orange is University of Tenn.'s color too. Thats impressive no?
    Orange can also mean failing liver, jaundice can be a bit orangey at times.
    I like fashion spreads almost as much a strawberry spread or bed spreads too.
    Wecker seems to have his undies in an uproar. Whats the matter wecker that you have to pick on little girls ya big bully you.
    Leave the kids at Stern alone . Get a hobby, suck your thumb to calm yourself down buddy, you are really just wound too tight you might fly apart someday.
    The painting isnt bad. the colors are kind of springish and pastelish and would look nice in a nursery I think or a young girls bedroom dont ya think?
    Have a couple of beers Weck and sit back, loosen your belt and relax, breathe buddy, breathe.....

  2. I think they'd scare more children really

    "Mommy it looks like somebody flooded that forest and then blew it up"

    forcing convicts to look at it might do the trick

  3. Anonymous4/4/05

    "'The Gates to an Orange Hell That Defaced a New York City Landmark With Pretentious Eurotrash Avant Garde Nonesense"

    That's the best description I've seen on 'The Gates' yet.



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