Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Freedom of Expression is Still Alive in Tucson

Tucson Museum of Art on the University of Arizona campus


We were stunned into silence, and then we grinned from ear to ear. Both Joe and I had read about the proposal made by C. A. Tripp that the sixteenth president of the United States may have been gay or bisexual. However, this was the first time either of us had seen that notion visually expressed. * The painting by Alfred Quiroz, titled “Abe ’n’ Josh” is part of his Presidential Series, and though politically incorrect in the extreme, the paintings humorously portray our highest political leaders in order to remove them from the exalted position the title “President of the United States” gives them. In the painting, Lincoln’s over stated endowment is a symbol of his place in the constellation of past presidents. Though he is the submissive partner, he is in the dominant position physically. Lincoln turns his back to Josh as if to say that the man is not important to Lincoln and his pleasure.

However, my personal position is that any attempt to project a sexuality that was thoroughly conceptualized during the Twentieth Century on anyone that lived before that time only confuses the medical, biological, psychological, and political issues surrounding the contemporary conceptualization of sexuality itself. Thus, the painting seemed the more humorous to me. I have also elected to censor the painting in this travelogue precisely because it is so egregious in its transgression of PC thinking. Thus, the “CENSORED” label is my own attempt to add a bit more humor, and perhaps comment on our late Twentieth, and early Twenty-first century turn against freedom of expression.

Tomorrow we travel from Tucson to Phoenix, and I will not be adding another entry until we are settled there.

* Tripp, C.A. The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln, (2005), Free Press

2 comments:

Bruce Sabin said...

As soemone who happened upon your blog looking for info on wind turbines, I appreciate your censorship of the image.

In other news, I am a proud owner of a Soleri bell I purchased at Arcosanti several years ago.

Dr. John Bittinger Klomp said...

Thank you for your comment Bruce. I've also looked at your self-help blog of Christian prayer and enjoyed reading it. As a gay retired educator and Christian, it would appear that you are an inclusive Christian as opposed to those who would divide the world into various religious camps, sexualities,ethnicities and so on, none of whom have the right to claim God as their own.