The Art and Military Music

One of the great insults of all time is to mention that whatever is to their standard what military music is to music. Military music is as such not that highly regarded, though we of course leave the window open for exceptions and note that even a marching band can be swinging some times.

However, in its defense, military music was mostly created to set the tone when soldiers marched into battle. It was not exactly meant to be used for easy listening. For such things, there was Bach and Beethoven and such. But what about military art? What about the many paintings requested by lords and kings to confirm their glory?

Fortunately, the situation here is a bit different. Paintings were generally create to further enhance the reputation and legend of the depicted, but as a medium it also offered more artistic freedom of expression. As such, paintings like Rembrandt’s The Night Watch. With the full title of The Company of Frans Banning Cocq and Willem van Ruytenburch, the painting depicts a company moving out. As such, the painting has a clearly military theme and yet, it is also counted among the clear masterpieces of Rembrandt.

But not all militarily related art is quite as masterful. Art has been used as part of propaganda throughout time, and e.g. the posters of the third Reich are not considered art by even the most liberal. On the other hand, the posters create by Edward Hopper across the Atlantic might actually qualify.

But maybe the greatest militarily related art is not the art requested by the powers that be at all. Artists are products of their time, people of their era. As such, when actions of war are taking place around an artist, they will often comment on this through the only medium they really know: Their Art. As such, some of the greatest militarily related art is actually comments on military acts rather than work commissioned by the military itself. In fact some painters like Jack Wolfe based many of their works on such expressions of political opinions, as all actions of war are in the end political.

Of course this leaves us with the clear conclusion that military influences do not ruin art the way some claim it affects music. The world of art seems safe, whether it is depicting or commenting on military acts. But then what could square art enough to qualify it for a doubtful comparison with military music? There are some that would claim that religion played that role, and indeed the influence of the church did take away from of the more sensual aspects of the world of art, compared to classic times. This lasted until the renaissance where the same classic art inspired new artists to regain the sensuality. However, while this lack of sensuality can at worst be said to be a temporary setback, it also completely forgets the amazing works fostered by the church. One only have to look at the ceiling of the sixteenths chapel or works like The Last Supper, and we are reminded at how much the world of art also owes to religion.

That probably leaves us with just totalitarian regimes to really limit artistic output and make it anything similar to military music. If artistic expression is limited in such a way, if there is no freedom to define ones own expression, then art too can become bland and predictable. But sparing that, art reflects life and society and the times it is created in, and through this, helps us understand more about ourselves, no matter what the subject of the painting might be.

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And, The Carnage Continues

Could it be that the times of today are masked by the Devils hand? One has to wonder considering the carnage that played out in Las Vegas. The perpetrators of calamity continue to carry out their heinous acts of unspeakable terror. Each violent act is proceeded by yet another more devastating slaughter of innocent lives. We have to remember that it was just about a year ago that another willful act of senseless murder eclipsed yet another murderous atrocity that was carried out before. It is as though every year there is yet another more tragic senseless loss of life by someone that is willfully aware of what they do. It doesn’t help that the United States has by far the largest collection of deadly weapons of any other nation that are in the hands of their citizens either.Questions have arisen each time there is act of violent terror using deadly force that should be only available to military personal.

Yet, the spineless members of our elected bodies have not only passed gun laws but other legislative measures that have only exasperated the growing threats of more violent terror infiltrating our neighborhoods. Is our nation on the verge of disintegration where people are so afraid of our own government where they feel the need to acquire weapons not for hunting but for self preservation? All over this country there are insurgent groups that support the extreme version of the 2nd Amendment. Using every loophole to acquire weapons that have only one purpose.Why is it that people today feel the need to arm themselves? One could see when the 2nd Amendment was written weapons were instrumental to securing a family’s food and protection against wild animals. But, today the right to bear arms is being used to the extreme. The results being as evident as what we are witness to each time there is an act of violent terror. Has our society descended into the mire on the verge of anarchy? As sobering as it is today the sanctity of life is nonsequential to the power brokers that write the laws or subject the masses to their will. And, the carnage continues.We have to understand that to address the continued slaughter of innocent lives using weapons of military grade there has to be a total ban on such weapons.

One would ask if there was a ban like prohibition on alcohol could affect a black market on such weapons? Valid argument. But, to not do something so drastic only precludes that another Las Vegas attack will happen again and again. All through-out history there have been despots, desperadoes, and mass murderers that have struck fear and terror in the hearts and minds of man. Without remorse the demons within deranged minds show no mercy in the carnage they inflict. We have it within ourselves to negate the carnage that those who are bent on carry out terrorist acts by eliminating the readily available weaponry that is used by these perpetrators.This is a great country founded on sound principles Liberty, Education, Morality, and Justice. When anyone of these principles is no longer amplified or dominate in our society, society succumbs to a lower level of existence. When our leaders themselves no longer exercise these fundamental building blocks of our nation in the legislation that is passed we have seen the results already undermining society as a whole. Each of these principles have been eroded by legislation that has been passed just within the past 45 years. The results are staggering, especially in education.We had better start addressing the fundamental problems facing our society today. When budget constraints in cities and towns all across the country forced municipalities to shut down mental health facilities as they did back in 1990′s and even earlier signaled a trend that is still ongoing.

It is these types of restraints forced by the policies that have reduced budgets to the point that society is incapable of attaining the level we were back in the early 1960′s. Today, the federal government as well as every city across the country no longer can support the services that enable our society to function. Gone are the resources, that propel a growing tax base to provide funding for schools and public services. The results are that schools all across the country have fallen in disrepair, consequently students no longer have the opportunities that students had during the 50′s and 60′s.That’s just in education, the other three basic principles have also through disingenuous policies from the late 1960′s through today have created an atmosphere ripe for instability and division through-out the whole country. Now, when we talk of home grown terror whether it was the Oklahoma bombing in the mid 1990′s or the latest carnage in Las Vegas we have to understand that deranged individuals who commit these atrocities have grown out of the imbalance in our society today.To prevent these horrible crimes from happening there first has to be a wiliness to put balance in our society today.That starts with creating economic equality and financial security for all. Sure, there will be those who sneak through the cracks in society and commit horrible crimes. But, to minimize the chances of violent terror from happening and to negate certain individuals from attaining the means to commit atrocities there must be a ban on automatic and semi automatic weapons.

Understanding that a ban on these types of weapons is only a step to reducing the chances of violent terror from happening. There also has to be a monumental shift in our society to create economic stability and financial security that enables all to have the same opportunities to live healthier and more productive lives.How this is done is by implementation of National Economic Reform’s Ten Articles Of Confederation. When implemented the articles of confederation will enable our society to have the means and the resources to achieve balance in communities all across the country. When there is balance and the availability to have equal opportunities with a understanding that weapons of military grade have no place in society can the chances of another Las Vegas atrocity be greatly diminished. To keep the status-quo or do nothing only concludes that another more violent terror will strike again.

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