Fascist Imagery

Roberto Bolaño dived as far as anyone into the relationship between fascism and art.  Surprisingly, fascist art exists, and it almost always stinks.  Note this as you look at the design for the coat-of-arms for what was easily one of the most evil incarnations of 20th century fascism, the Direccion de Inteligencia Nacional, Pinochet’s secret police from 1974 to 1977.


Now a coat-of-arms may not be intended as art, but this one is uniquely terrible even by the standard of coats-of-arms.  It seems that you just can’t get a good design when you’re killing, imprisoning and exiling as many lefty artists as your goons can lay hands on.  It would appear that Pinochet was down to a couple of 10th graders with some techinical drawing experience.


Surrealist Apostasy

The life of a surrealist is not about cashing in.  André Breton, pictured below, made this clear when he referred to Salvador Dalí as “Ávida Dollars,” an anagram.


Hot Sauce Ideology


So, everyone has heard that the city of Irwindale is threatening to take action against Huy Fong Foods, maker of the red hot Srihacha sauce.  A local government is threatening to shut down a thriving enterprise.  Hmmm, what happens next?  The answer is political theater.  Here is the obligatory link for the quotes and information from the New York Times article used for this post.

The owner of the factory is not some PR saturated guy in pinstripes.  He has probably worked constantly since about six weeks after he learned to walk.  Since 1980 he has built an empire on the foundation of freshly ground chiles.  Unfortunately, the neighbors are complaining, and the city is listening to what might or might not be a nuisance claim against the factory.  In step the republican delegations from Texas inviting Sriracha owner David Tran to move to Texas.  The hard-working, unsophisticated factory owner throws a chile into their ten gallon hats.  From the article:

Mr. Tran said he did not plan to move the operation elsewhere, not only because of the cost of building a new factory, but because he would have to find a new supplier of chiles.

“Other cities say, ‘Irwindale is not friendly, come to my city,’ ” he said. “Other states say, ‘California is not friendly, come to my state.’ Other countries say, ‘U.S.A. is not friendly, come back here.’ ”

It is pretty clear that Mr. Tran is running on a non-political agenda.  He says things like, “I work face to the chile for 34 years,” making him the type of hardworking guy, the maverick person that Republican speechwriters pretend their candidate is.  Does Mr. Tran even realize he is already the Republican Centerfold for this campaign season?  Check this out from the linked article.

Republican candidates in California have also seized on the plight of the popular hot sauce.

“Sriracha is a symbol of a much bigger and very unfortunate trend in California of businesses leaving and political leaders not seeming to care,” said Neel Kashkari, a moderate Republican running for governor this year against the Democratic incumbent, Gov. Jerry Brown. Mr. Kashkari added a button to his website that invites supporters to sign a petition to “Stand With Sriracha” (and to show their love of the sauce by donating $7 to his campaign).

So, Mr. Tran may be hot sauce for rotten republican politicians, but he isn’t considering moving to Texas.  The great dream of having one real story of a business leaving California for Texas won’t materialize.  Actions speak louder than words.  Even a hardworking factory owner running up against the regulation of local government can’t imagine going to Texas.

Solar Poetry


There was a crisis in ’79
Arabs had an oil embargo
To get gas it was a long line
Solar still had a way to go

Carter put on a sweater
He put solar panels on the White House
No one felt better
Hostages in Iran made every one grouse

A great communicator came along
Said solar panels would never belong
Those panels he tore down
Gave alternative his frown

Nobody is perfect, but some are son’s of bitches
History will reflect, just cared about their riches

It took 35 years
In this time the earth continued to overheat
Finally it now appears
Solar power ignorance has suffered a defeat

Solar panels are finally back on the president’s residence
Surely history will find Ronnie the dumbest of presidents