Thursday, November 13, 2008
Berkeley Appoints Official Art Censor
Ms. Mary Ann Merker, Berkeley Civic Arts Coordinator today announced the appointment of Ms. Carol Brighton to the newly created position of City Art Censor. Speaking at a news conference with Mayor Tom Bates and almost all members of the City Council standing behind her, Ms. Merker spoke passionately about the need for censorship in these trying times.
The "Art of Democracy" exhibit recently banned from the city-run Addison Street Windows Gallery "crystallized ... the need for an official censor", Ms. Merker said. In that instance Ms. Brighton, the curator of the gallery, refused to include posters containing images of guns. Ms. Merker continued that "On sober reflection and prayer, we realized that swords, knives, rope, baseball bats, even fists and civilian aircraft can and have been used for violence" and therefore images of these would not be allowed in any work to be shown at city-run galleries. Ms. Brighton's office is to compile an exhaustive Index of Proscribed Iconography, it was revealed.
As to the "artists manque" such as Berkeley residents Doug Minkler and Jos Sances, whose posters were among those that caused the Art of Democracy to be banned, and who have raised a hue and cry about having their "un-American posters banned", Ms. Merker said "We have forwarded their names to the Department of Homeland Security for a thorough investigation" and that she had been personally assured by Vice President Dick Cheney that "Guantanamo is still open for business".
Censor Brighton took the opportunity to announce her first official act, the Pure Pablum Proposition, explaining that this measure "will ensure that all art displayed in city galleries is pure pablum". She took umbrage at a skeptical reporter who wondered if there would be enough pablum available, responding angrily that "Anyone who has seen my work knows my absolute commitment to pablum. While I am certain that enough pablum exists in the great city of Berkeley for all our galleries needs, I commit myself to personally eliminate any pablum gap that may arise. I have a lifetime's worth of pure pablum in my garage and studio already, so I do not anticipate any difficulty."