Jun 15, 2011

Vonnegut and the babies in Dresden

The children's crusade

I like the sculpture, this strange, strange work of art that, randomly, is just on the side of a pillar on an arch from one part of the old city to another, because it makes me think of Vonnegut. I like it too because, where with so much art about violence, there’s a way in which it glorifies the violence. Violence in books, in movies, in paintings, makes violence look interesting, if nothing else. Or, if not that, if not setting up violence as something that’s attractive at least in the sense it says to us, “Watch this! This is cool!,” then it makes it seem OK, fictional, safe.

There’s not a lot of art about violence where you see it and say, in your gut, in your heart, “please stop.” There’s not a lot where you're supposed to respond with compassion for all the people involved, both the violent and the victims.

This does that though. You want to say, stop babies, stop. Don’t hurt each other, babies. There’s too much hurt in this world as it is.