This is the newspaper article that I mentioned in the previous post. I have no quarrel with protests, or liberal progressive thinking for that matter. However, I'm finding that the left, like many of their protagonists on the far right, are stuck in their own little retrogressive groves.
ROCKLAND - Free speech clashed with free expression on a downtown street corner Saturday as artists opposed to war protested the showing of combat paintings of Marine Sgt. Michael Fay at the Farnsworth Art Museum. Sgt. Fay stood ramrod straight when confronted by the small group of protesters upset with the Farnsworth for exhibiting his paintings of combat forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. The afternoon sun reflected off the combat ribbons pinned to his green uniform, and the red chevrons on his sleeves glinted in the finish of his spit-shined shoes as Fay listened to his challengers.
"The protesters objected to the show's content and what they claimed was the museum's "implicit support of war." They said a more balanced show would include images of civilian deaths and mass destruction. To represent one facet of military life in combat zones without placing it in the context of the true costs of war displayed a lack of sensitivity, they said.
"....We are fighting an illegal and immoral war," Suzanne Hedrick, 73, of Nobleboro told Fay. "Without another viewpoint, without the faces of the victims and the ruining of the country, I'm deeply concerned."
"....Fay spent two years in the Afghanistan and Iraq war zones, armed only with a pistol, camera and sketch bag. Some of his work was done in the field, other pieces created in his studio from images he brought home. Fay retired from the Marines in 2000, "but 9-11 changed everything," he said. Fay, who lives in the Washington area, joined a Reserve unit and was posted to the combat zones.
"These in no way, shape or form glorify war," said Fay. "It has nothing to do with anybody ever pulling a trigger. I'm an artist; we do art."
While critical of his subject matter, the protesters also were upset that Fay came to the show in full-dress uniform. They said it indicated that he was on official business and promoting war.
"The fact that he would come not dressed as an artist, but as a Marine is an affront," said Natasha Mayers of Whitefield. "I'm for real expression that's not paid for. This guy is paid for, he's been a Marine all his life, and this is a military point of view. The day-to-day part of war, which we can't imagine, is what we need to see. We need to see images that tell us the truth."