Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Someone's mad at me

for being... well... me.

I have been saving this little gem for a rainy blog day. You remember the other day when I was musing briefly about isolation and what it does to you. The context, I believe, was the weird spectacle of the "official" mourning activities being filmed and enforced in the world's most isolated state, North Korea. I was thinking about it because I had also been musing on what sort of conditions one has to have to ensure that an entire nation of 33 million people have ex-ACT-ly the same opinions on the usual range of, shall we say, reproductive issues.

Canada, you will remember, has a press and broadcast media that is almost entirely state-run or state-vetted. The CRTC ensures that nothing in broadcasts from radio or TV comes with anything other than the officially approved editorial position. Nearly every newspaper in the country is owned by the same company, that is a heavy funder of the Canadian Liberal Party, and of course, we can count on academia and film to do its bit in making sure that everyone adheres in lock-step to the Frankfurt-school, feminist, neo-marxist, Planned Parenthood, Our Bodies Our Selves marching orders. There really is no place in Canada where you can get away from this, it is a self-contained media bubble, or was until the internet came in.

I pondered this once many years ago. Canada seems to have an ideal situation to be used as a guinea pig in a big experiment on how to change a deeply conservative country into a nation of whiney welfare-state addicted leftists. Part of it is the low population to land mass ratio. Canada has the second largest landmass in the world, but a tiny population. The population centres, moreover, are very far-flung indeed. If you grow up in, say the Gaspe, you will without a doubt have to move to somewhere larger and more densely populated like Montreal to get a job and start your life. This trend tends to isolate individuals, separating them often by thousands of miles from their family and their communities of origin.

By rigid control of the media, by creating an atomised population who have only the official state-controlled line for information and no other sources of moral or social stability but the state, you have a population that is ripe for brainwashing.

How do you shift an entire nation to the left? Look at what has been done in Canada.

I was thinking about all this because of an interesting email from a young man whose prodigious skills as a Classical Realist painter had caught my attention. You may recall that I linked to David Gluck's blog, Painting Stuff to Look Like Stuff.

Delighted that I had found more Classical Realists to play with, who moreover live in Duncan BC not an hour from my birth place, you can imagine that I wasted no time in giving them a little extra boost. It never would have occurred to me that I was not worthy in their eyes to dare to link to their page.

I received one friendly commbox note from Mr. Gluck and then, honestly, more or less forgot about him.

What with getting the news that I am much less likely to die of cancer, dealing with the long-term side effects of chemotherapy, recovering from major abdominal surgery, dealing with the emotional and physical stresses of surgically induced premature menopause and suddenly finding myself in contact with a father whom I had assumed had forgotten all about me and from whom I had not heard since the early 1980s, ... oh, and trying to get back to work...you can imagine that Mr. Gluck was not prominent in my mind.

Imagine my surprise, therefore, when I received the following little note by email.

From: David Gluck
To: quicustodiet66@yahoo.ca
Sent: Monday, January 16, 2012 12:20:52 PM
Subject: please remove our link

Please remove the link of my blog from your blog. I must say at first I was excited to find a fellow BC Canadian realist who was supportive of what my wife and I were doing, but quite frankly after reading your blog, I am turned off. I cannot accept intolerance of gays, transgender individuals, woman's rights, etc. I also found it in very poor taste you are trying to draw a parallel between abortion and the holocaust (especially since many of my family members were wiped out in it). You seem like a very angry individual, and we do not want your followers bringing that sort of hatred to our our blog. Thank you.

David Gluck

ps. You may also want to consider removing Sadie Valerie as well considering she is a huge supporter of gay rights and marriage. In addition, I am friends with most of the artists on your links section and I cannot say they would approve of your blog either.
(emphasis added)

A pariah in the Classical Realist world! Dear me. Having other things on my mind, I responded somewhat tersely,

I'll do whatever you like, but I'm disappointed that a fellow adherent to the Classical Realist revival is so narrow minded as to be unable to disagree on politics in a civil way.

I'm always shocked at the ingrained intolerance of the left.

Very disappointed.

H. White

He replied,
"On Mon, Jan 16, 2012 at 10:13 AM, David Gluck wrote:
Trust me when I say this is me being as civil as humanly possible. I sent you a personal message as opposed to posting anything on your blog that was negative and I was very polite in the manner in which I did it. By the way, I find it a stretch to call someone who is accepting of people for who they are "narrow-minded."

Yesterday, I found out that he must be lurking about here because I received the following, "I asked you very politely to take me off of your blog. Please take me off the links section immediately. Thank you."

I thought of all sorts of replies, (like, Good grief boy, I've really got other things to think about...) but then I thought I would put it to my readers what my response ought to be. (I also considered "friending" him on Facebook, but worried that his little head would explode.)

I have thought about writing back to explain that in the world of grown-ups it is possible not only to disagree civilly on political matters, but to remain close friends with people for many years who differ radically on such issues. It is often difficult, but with the application of charity, forbearance, kindness and forgiveness, and a habit of keeping one's own faults and failings firmly before one's eyes, (I realise these are rare traits in the lefty world, but I have met them there) it is possible greatly to benefit by maintaining contact with people outside one's own political bubble.

Faithful chorus, please discuss.

(I ask only that you do not bother the poor fellow at home. No emails please or commbox messages at his place please.)



~Katherine~ said...

I have thought about writing back to explain that in the world of grown-ups it is possible not only to disagree civilly on political matters, but to remain close friends with people for many years who differ radically on such issues. It is often difficult, but with the application of charity, forebearance, kindness and forgiveness, and a habit of keeping one's own faults and failings firmly before one's eyes, it is possible greatly to benefit by maintaining contact with people outside one's own political bubble.

Precisely. Having spent most of my adult life in the arts world, I can assure you that a) I disagree with nearly all of my artist and musician friends on issues such as homosexual activity, abortion, the welfare state, etc.; that b) we're capable of discussing these subjects logically and rationally; and that b) is one of the reasons we're all friends in the first place. Yes, we're united in the quest for good music, but we also know there's more to life than music, and we need friends with whom we can have strong and good-natured arguments about things other than the proper interpretation of Handel literature. I have several openly homosexual or lesbian friends, and they know precisely where I stand on such behavior. It's insulting to them to think that we shouldn't have these conversations in the first place. *Sigh.*

healthily sanguine said...

If he wants you to remove the link, you should remove it. You are under no obligation to do so, of course, (except for the fact that you already said you would do what he liked in the matter) but it's the "nicest" thing to do under the circumstances. He seems to be under the mistaken impression that people who see and recognize that following homosexual impulses can ruin lives are uncaring, angry people. It is far from the case!

F. S. Poesy said...

If a page is linkable on the internet it is fair game to be linked to by any and all. The only way to keep someone from linking to your page is to take your page down. I suggest he do exactly that as he appears to not be interested in the free exchange of ideas.

a Christopher said...

The fellow cannot accept Women's Rights? what an odd thing to mention...

Trying to be less fatuous, if it were me, I'd take the opportunity to point out that the Catholic position isn't intollerant of people, but of sodomy and frivolous mutilation; and that far from opposing Women's Rights, proposes a clear enunciation of what a woman's rights actually are, and what they are not.

... if he objects to a direct link, you might humour him by borrowing his pictures and attributing them without links.

(btw, you may link to my blog in whatever way you like, if you can remember which it was)

Steve said...

I find this really amusing, but it may just be because I'm extremely bored today.

I was going to try to come up with an inappropriate limerick relating to the issues he protests and the convenient rhyme possibilities provided by his last name, but I've decided to refrain.

Anonymous said...

Good grief, girl, you are insufferably pompous. As if you would follow the advice of any reader telling you to apologize for your demeaning attitude toward someone who asked you to remove a damn link from your page.

servo said...

He can accept anyone for what they are except you?

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...


I have never said I was looking for advice and certainly never said I would take it if it were offered. That is not how things are done here. I said I would leave it open to discussion because I thought it was an excellent example of what we talk about here a lot, and would make an interesting blog topic.

I was stunned by the incredible blindness of this person to the contradiction of his position. He praises himself as someone who is "accepting" and condemns and vilifies me (and by extension anyone who agrees with me) as a "hateful" person who opposes "Women's rights" etc. But of whom then is he so "accepting"? I think the answer is obvious, only and exclusively those who agree with him.

Not only does he not accept them, he calls them evil. He claims to have made the request "politely" but the content of the message, "Get lost you evil bitch," is by its nature rude, meanspirited and intolerant.

He fails on two counts, first to recognise the inherent irony in claiming to be tolerant and openminded while at the same time calling me hateful and wicked because of my opinions on a narrow range of topics. This is hipocrisy. Second, he has based this conclusion, that I am hateful and wicked, exclusively on my political opinion which he knows about how? He read a few posts about my pro-life work. This we usually call bigotry.

Many persons on the left are totally blind to their own bigotry and intolerance. The frequently are utterly incapable of seeing the irony of calling someone else a hater, while at the same time declaring themselves to be the last word in open-minded tolerance, peace-loving spreaders of good will...

Of course, what they mean is they are "accepting" only to those who agree.

It's not pomposity to point this out, particularly on a blog where the main topic of conversation is these kinds of conflicts in the world. The eagerness with which people demonise others on flimsy grounds and the damage it does to our society. In fact, I regarded it as a gift to have so immediate and lively an example of it in real life.

Also, if you will take a moment to examine the commbox rules posted to the sidebar, you will see that anonymous posts are not allowed. This rule is strictly enforced.

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

Christopher, if you're the Christopher I think you are, your blog is already sidebar linked.

Tiffany Borges said...

Dizzying logic, the intolerance of tolerance.

I was just yesterday thinking how my transition from a kind of default-1990s-American-public-school liberalism to being a conservative had much to do with realizing I was no longer welcome.

and it is indeed comical that he's mad about the WWW being so ... worldwide, hence beyond his control.

Steve T. said...

Miss White, on the mere grounds of traditional good manners, I would suggest that you honor this being's request and remove the link. If someone makes a simple request of you that does not harm you or even inconvenience you, and that involves their own work, it seems merely good form to honor that request.

This also seems to be an excellent opportunity to follow Christ's dictum and shake the dirt off your sandals. You aren't wanted there. Why hang about? Why provide him with any additional publicity? All I can recommend is "let the heretics rot in their own heresy."

Thomas L. McDonald said...

The preening moral vanity of his messages is astonishing. If you think his art and blog are worthwhile for your readers, I don't see any reason to drop the links or delete the post. It's patronizing and arrogant for him think he can tell some other blogger what she can or can't put on her site. I've been linked by sites that publish opinions I find repellent. It never even once occurred to me to request they stop or pull down the link. It's like he's afraid you might get your icky-icky Jesus cooties on him. My message to him? Grow up and act like a big boy.

tubbs said...

You have a bit of the Harpy in you, it's part of your charm!

Anonymous said...

What Thomas L M said.


Anonymous said...

If he asks you take it down, then just take it down.

Teresa B. said...

When I first read that he is an artist and he lives on the Left Coast - well I thought - he is on the Left Coast! Enough said.
Wipe the dust off your Italian leather sandals and move on.
There are more realist artists than those who feel that they don't have to tolerate other intolerant artists.

Anonymous said...

Maybe he should have called you an evil bitch, you seem to be one.

Felix said...

Goodness, but our anonymous troll is getting boring and repetitive!

Anyway, it reminds me of when I was at college and some feminists disrupted a pro-life meeting. I had a little underground publication and ran a piece, "Can we talk about abortion?" And I got the answer when the wimmin scoured the campus destroying every copy of that edition that they could find.

BTW, it's amusing that the left should show such intolerance while also attacking (quite reasonably, IMHO) Congressional attempts to limit free speech on the Net.

But what to do? I suggest being civil and deleting the link (even if he's not that civil himself). And annoy the heck out of him by telling him that you'll pray for him.

Mrs McLean said...

Dear me. You have been marked out yet again as Double-Plus Ungood and not the kind of girl who can be introduced to Mother!

But what interests me is the philosophical underpinning of your fellow Classical Realist. If he is devoted to painting things as they are, and not as faulty vision tells him they should be, why is he so horrified by people who write about things as they are, and not as current ideology tells him they should be?

His defense of transgenderism is particularly odd in this respect. And I cannot see how someone who has trained his vision can cover over the reality mutilated fetal corpses with the slogan "women's rights."

Ugly philosophy usually makes for ugly art; it's curious then that there is a divide in his thinking between classical art and classical thought.

It's too bad you two are unlikely now to have a conversation about that.

Gregory said...

"In the world of grown-ups"... ay, there's the rub.

DP said...

I'm reminded of an anecdote told by Bono. He related to Radiohead's lead singer (I don't recall his name) that then-Rep. John Kasich (a Republican) was a fan of the band. Radiohead Vocalist was appalled, saying "Great--bad people like our music."

To his very great credit, Bono remonstrated with him on that point, saying Vocalist needed a head check.

The odds are, he and his smug brethren are going to remain petulant undergrads for the remainder of their isolated lives.

A real artist (as opposed to a propagandist) understands that when he puts his work out in a public forum, he no longer controls who sees it nor how they react to it.

Is he going to have a table with a Correct Opinions test that all must take before they obtain entry to his next showing? Will he similarly pre-clear potential buyers beforehand? Of course not--if he tries, the gallery owners and brokers will set him straight in a heartbeat. But a link to him on the internet--harumph, harumph! He'll draw his line *there*?

How cost-free. How meaningless. How...fearful, really. His standing in his particular subset is so precarious he can't abide a link from "bad people"? Group-think at its finest. I'm afraid that in the old Soviet Union, he'd have happily churned out social realist posters and wouldn't have raised a peep about the regime's "heteronormativism" or whatever buzzword currently afflicts those circles.

Grown-ups recognize that a link to something is not a blanket endorsement of everything posted there. Likewise, people who link to you don't march in lockstep to all your opinionizing. Not even me.

"Bad people" like him? Tough.

Zach said...

You could send him the note. It might do him some good, although I suspect odds are the poor fellow is so irony-impaired he'll be impervious to logic.

Since you told him you'd remove the link, you have to follow through, of course. Otherwise, I'd say an appropriate response might be along the lines of "Thank you for your suggestion about my writing. I have filed it appropriately..."

I suppose, if you are feeling especially mischievous and wicked, you could replace the sidebar link with some text such as "David Gluck (cannot abide being linked to by me)", with his name in strike-through formatting. Voilà! You have removed your link. Surely, he can't be upset by an invitation to Google his name, can he?


a Christopher said...

No, I'm not that Christopher (you see, Christopher is my middle name... ); but at the same time it's not at all important.

I'd had another thought, but now it's gone...

Tancred said...

Been there, done that... It is he, rather, who sounds like an angry and intolerant person.

Tancred said...

I hope he doesn't mind if I link him.

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

Oh, I intend to.

When I can be bothered to think about it for more than five minutes.

Anonymous said...

You are under no obligation to remove the link.

He sounds like a fool.

I would leave it linked sure in the certain knowledge it will annoy the fool.

Oh and I disagree with lots you say, but I'm not a fool and enjoy your writing.

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

Dorothy is the only one who was thinking what I was thinking.

How can a person dedicated in art to The Real, be so blind to The Real in, well, real life?

Gregory said...

Starting with Plato, more than one person has noted that artists, even really good ones, are often radically disconnected from reality.

F. S. Poesy said...

How can a person dedicated in art to The Real, be so blind to The Real in, well, real life?

I believe it is called compartmentalization, which Wikipedia defines as a psychological defense mechanism used consciously or unconsciously to avoid cognitive dissonance, or the mental discomfort and anxiety caused by a person having conflicting values, cognitions, emotions, beliefs, etc within themselves.

a Christopher said...

Oh, that...

There must be --- must be --- some number of realist artists for whom realism ("photorealism" comes to mind) is an act of bravado, a feat to painting as free-climbing is to getting outdoors. Nothing people do need actually be unto them about what they are doing --- insert Yoda quote here.

Anonymous said...

I don't know very much about classical realism and won't weigh in on the larger political/moral issues invoked here -- but isn't it hypocritical, not to mention distinctly unchristian, to agree to remove a link (something you were of course under no obligation to do until you said you would) and then to rather meanly invoke the person's name here, knowing that by doing so it will show up in a web search as surely as a link?

The artist you corresponded with may be a jerk, but your actions are even more ill-willed, particularly given your simultaneous invocation of Christian values -- which don't leave much room for public sniping about a private dispute. This post fails the motives test.

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...


you are allowed here to say whatever you like, but you must leave a name. Anonymous posts are not allowed.

And actually, I didn't think of the websearch issue. I may use the internet every day, but I'm actually not very savvy about it.

Nice of you to give me the benefit of the doubt though.

Anonymous said...

After re-reading my comment above I must apologize for pointing out the mote in your eye while ignoring the plank in my eye. I will go now and work on removing that plank from my eye. While I'm at it I'll also see what I can do about removing this stick from my posterior regions.

HJW said...

Thank you, but I reiterate, (for the ten thousandth time)

Anon. Y. Mous. Posts. Are. Not. Allowed.

You must leave a real or plausible-sounding name.

Please read the commbox rules posted to the sidebar on the left.

F. S. Poesy said...

Looks like someone (not me (as far as you know)) was having a little fun putting words into Anonymous' mouth. I guess that is one of the drawbacks of posting anonymously.

Anonymous said...

I never would have paid attention if not for this post. He is a good painter. However, I recommend removing the link, since he requested it.
Hughnonymous McDonald, Niagara.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
HJW said...


I rely upon people's good manners. When they demonstrate that they don't have any, they are deleted.

Much more fun that way, don't you think?

Anonymous said...

How about this, you keep the link, but use strike-through <strike>strike-out<strike> to indicate certain reservations, that ye two do not see eye-to-eye or something. That should make him happy too.
Hughnonymous of Niagara

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...


berenike said...

Was that "bye" to Hugh?!

I suppose the nice thing to do is to remove the link, but the mildly amusing thing would be to put links to his blog in every post you write :)