Saturday, 7 November 2015

Art Story

This week, I noticed a school district decision made out on the west coast.  Some history teacher had given the class a work-project (for seventh graders)....which had a vocabulary worksheet.  This topic was Islam.  So, there were the missing words and you needed to fill in the missing words, and draw something related to them.  Naturally, one missing word was Muhammad, and to wrap up the project.....you needed to draw something that related to Muhammad.

If you follow Muslim theatrics, things get all tense when someone sees an image of any kind.....related to Muhammad.  It could be a stick-man....a random image of a guy in a turban....or just some slim figure standing on the side of a hill.  It doesn't matter....ALL is forbidden.

Some parent got disturbed by the project for their kid.....complaining. So the district superintendent in this rural area of California.....Action-Agua Dulce is the school district....announced that no religious figure of any type....even Jesus or some Egyptian sun-god....are forbidden in all school projects.

I sat and thought about this....pondering.

Naturally, when I went to school....art was a four-letter word for the most part and our chief accomplishments were badly drawn horses, hills that looked remarkably like boobs, and cars that had absolute maximum aerodynamics.  By the sixth grade, art was done and we never had to discuss or demonstrate our marginal talents.  Drawing some religious figure?  To be honest, most of us saw drawing as a useless skill.

The problem I see is that some twelve-year old kid might take to drawing every conceivable religious figure.....from Moses to the angel Gabriel,maybe even drawing God as some black Elvis Presley-like character.  Then he'd sit and draw Muhammad, and five Islamic kids in the class would freak out and declare jihad against this twelve-year old kid.  Five or six Latino kids would come to the artist-kid's defense, and then a couple of redneck kids would align with the artist-kid.....and you'd end up with some massive fight in the middle of some sixth-grade class with cops called and religious warfare declared.

In some ways, it's amusing that you end up using Islamic rules or standards for non-Islamic people.  The school can put limits on the teachers and the material they use in class.  Beyond that....if the art instructor is not clear about what you can or can't draw.....some kid will draw Muhammad just to get a reaction.  It'll freak out people and create a scene where Dad gets called to come down to the school because Woody draw a stick figure and claimed it was Muhammad. Dad will sit there at the director's desk, and reach a point where he asks...."Just how stupid are you really?"  Fists will fly and cops will come to sort the two apart.

If you ask me.....it'll turn into a mess as we continue on.

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