Student stands by “controversial” mural that shows life of a man ending in marriage and fatherhood

posted at 6:11 pm on April 9, 2012 by Tina Korbe

Liz Bierendy, a 17-year-old artist who attends Pilgrim High School in Warwick, R.I., has had to defend her artistic vision for a mural to cover a wall of the high school. The work, designed to show the progression of a boy from childhood to adulthood, ends with a depiction of a man standing hand-in-hand with a woman and child. The man and woman wear wedding bands.

Critics said the mural might not represent the life experiences of many of the students at Pilgrim High School — so Bierendy should have to change it. Fortunately, the Warwick School Superintended inserted himself into the controversy and insisted that Bierendy should be allowed to finish the mural as she designed it.

My first thought when I read this story was of the elephant-dung-dusted image of the Virgin Mary that once was brought to New York’s Brooklyn Museum of Art. When Christians complained, the common refrain was, “What’s the matter? It’s just art.” That’s what I want to ask Bierendy’s critics now: “What’s the matter? It’s just art.”

Very few artistic works are so grand and sweeping as to reflect the whole of human experience. It’s an expert artistic strategy to attempt to reflect that part of reality with which the artist is most familiar. So it was that Jane Austen wrote of the love lives of the landed class in the eighteenth and nineteenth century English countryside. So it was that Louisa May Alcott wrote a story of four “little women” closely patterned after herself and her sisters. Often, artists’ most imaginative attempts at the construction or reconstruction of a world they’ve never actually experienced themselves fall flat. The Twilight series should be evidence enough of that. That Bierendy was accurately reflecting some sliver of human experience should be enough to satisfy any pro-art critics.

But another layer to this story exists. The reaction to Bierendy’s mural underscores society’s alarming tendency to adjust standards to fit the way we live, rather than adjust the way we live to fit standards. (Incidentally, I’d note that many of these standards are rooted not just in societal mores, but in natural law. We’re not actually able to “change” them — just to deny or ignore them at our own peril. But that’s another post!) While we should be realistic about human nature and certainly shouldn’t base governmental policies on idealistic assumptions, we should nevertheless work to renew the culture such that it brews better and better behavior in each successive generation.

No family is perfect, but the facts still support the idea that the so-called “traditional” or “nuclear” family is the best context in which to bring up children. Consider just a few statistics:  Adolescents in single-parent homes are more likely to be sexually active than their peers in two-parent homes. Boys whose fathers aren’t involved in their lives are more likely to exhibit aggression and antisocial behavior than boys whose fathers are involved. Girls whose fathers are frequently absent are more likely to become pregnant as teenagers than girls whose fathers are consistently present. Meanwhile, teens from intact families are less likely to initiate drug and alcohol use, have lower smoking and drinking rates than their peers and are less likely to abuse drugs. If, then, we consider it to be better for kids not to smoke, drink and have sex as teenagers, then it is better for kids to grow up in an intact family. That’s not a judgment; it’s just a description.

The need for art that depicts the traditional progression to adulthood is greater than ever. Too few examples exist in real life these days. Art can fill the gap and show millennials who seem determined to delay responsibility for as long as possible that something else is possible. Whereas a blog post (yes, like this one) that lectures kids my age to consider marriage and parenthood as valid priorities is easy to tune out, art might actually invite them to consider again the advantages to the traditional “transition to adulthood.” Anecdotal evidence suggests that kids aren’t actually happier remaining kids when their brains and bodies are long past the point of developing. They might not know it, but they want to be adults who not only take full responsibility for themselves but are at least capable of taking responsibility for a child, too. A depiction of a smiling, hand-holding family (however cheesy that might seem) might help kids themselves to become aware of that fact.


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And if it had ended with Andy Sullivan having unprotected man-on-man sex it would have been lauded as artistic activism to have the government spend more on condoms.

MeatHeadinCA on April 9, 2012 at 6:16 PM

Yeah I have more than a few married friends, that would agree that life has ended.

firepilot on April 9, 2012 at 6:16 PM

Showing a traditional family is now ‘controversial’???? Just… WOW!

michaelo on April 9, 2012 at 6:16 PM

Griping about a depiction of family! Sheesh. She should’ve started with a picture of him in his mother’s womb–just to make the leftists go bananas.

txhsmom on April 9, 2012 at 6:17 PM

And as Al Bundy said “Four Weddings and a Funeral, is just five of the same thing”

firepilot on April 9, 2012 at 6:17 PM

Liberal tools to argue that Tina’s post is unrealistic and/or unreasonable in

5…

4…

3…

2…

1…

gryphon202 on April 9, 2012 at 6:17 PM

All that is missing is a sweater vest…

Sebastian on April 9, 2012 at 6:18 PM

Ending? Tina, how about this:

Student stands by “controversial” mural that shows life of a man ending culminating in marriage and fatherhood

acasilaco on April 9, 2012 at 6:20 PM

This will not stop until the nameless “officials” in the story are named, humiliated, and disciplined, possibly terminated. We rather desperately need a “zero tolerance for stupidity” policy.

RINO in Name Only on April 9, 2012 at 6:20 PM

I was always partial to Thomas Cole’s The Voyage of Life.

John the Libertarian on April 9, 2012 at 6:21 PM

I’m Sure the Department of Education will withdraw funds from the school…and the DOJ will hold an investigation! etc.

KOOLAID2 on April 9, 2012 at 6:22 PM

Yeah I have more than a few married friends, that would agree that life has ended.

firepilot on April 9, 2012 at 6:16 PM

That’s the beauty of un-marriage. You can start to live again.

hanzblinx on April 9, 2012 at 6:23 PM

Student stands by “controversial” mural that shows life of a man ending in marriage and fatherhood

Add one more child and I’m that man in the mural.

Wasn’t aware some considered my life controversial. I’m keeping it nonetheless.

rukiddingme on April 9, 2012 at 6:23 PM

It’s only controversial because a local news website decided it was so and a certain website reported the story of these faceless, nameles, unaccounted for critics.

lester on April 9, 2012 at 6:24 PM

i believe that picture is a hate crime.

t8stlikchkn on April 9, 2012 at 6:26 PM

The work, designed to show the progression of a boy from childhood to adulthood, ends with a depiction of a man standing hand-in-hand with a woman and child. The man and woman wear wedding bands.

As Breitbart would say, “So?”

(That’s for you Flora.)

Fallon on April 9, 2012 at 6:26 PM

That’s the beauty of un-marriage. You can start to live again.

hanzblinx on April 9, 2012 at 6:23 PM

But only infidels “un-marry”.

lester on April 9, 2012 at 6:26 PM

If I was her I would change it. Make the mural of a black kid born to a single mother. She can show the progression of the kid’s first crime and then end it with the kid serving a life sentence for murder.

See how they like that one.

The Notorious G.O.P on April 9, 2012 at 6:27 PM

If I was her I would change it. Make the mural of a black kid born to a single mother. She can show the progression of the kid’s first crime and then end it with the kid serving a life sentence for murder.
See how they like that one.

The Notorious G.O.P on April 9, 2012 at 6:27 PM

Hey Derbyshire!

lester on April 9, 2012 at 6:29 PM

Liberals would prefer to have the last scene depict the family on their knees with Obama handing them a pile of food stamps.

Rovin on April 9, 2012 at 6:29 PM

If it weren’t for all the legal constructs that have enabled single motherhood, people would still have fathers.

jhffmn on April 9, 2012 at 6:29 PM

The next stage in the mural shows the man meeting other man, then undergoing gender reassignment surgery.

Rusty Allen on April 9, 2012 at 6:30 PM

The War on the American Family continues.

ted c on April 9, 2012 at 6:31 PM

If it weren’t for all the legal constructs that have enabled single motherhood, people would still have fathers.

jhffmn on April 9, 2012 at 6:29 PM

I have spoken to many of “Holder’s people” who repeatedly make this point.

CycloneCDB on April 9, 2012 at 6:33 PM

Another “TK nails it” piece,thank you!

DaMav on April 9, 2012 at 6:34 PM

If she had done it in a state where gay marriage is recognized by the state, she would be in big trouble. The whole gay marriage movement is only about schools and other public institutions having to portray both hetero and homosexual marriage as equal.

The fact that for 97% of the boys in the school heterosexual marriage is their goal, and that of the 3% that want a man when they marry only maybe a third would actually want to marry and that another small percentage of those would give a rat’s *bleep* what’s on the mural doesn’t matter. The PC police want to knee jerk react to that .5% of people that would be “offended.”

The left is trying to crush the right of expression down to “you have a right not to offend,” by the left’s definition of what is offensive.

PastorJon on April 9, 2012 at 6:34 PM

Showing a traditional family is now ‘controversial’???? Just… WOW!

michaelo on April 9, 2012 at 6:16 PM

It’s not controversial. They want everyone to believe it’s controversial because they believe it helps them advance their agenda. The old “Repeat a lie enough and hopefully everyone will start believing it” routine.

yhxqqsn on April 9, 2012 at 6:35 PM

I was going to post that “It would be OK with the art critics if the evil married man had redeemed himself by being depicted having sex and snorting cocaine in the back of a limo with some other guy”…

But Meathead beat me to it right out of the gate.

So I guess I won’t mention it.

LegendHasIt on April 9, 2012 at 6:35 PM

(Incidentally, I’d note that many of these standards are rooted not just in societal mores, but in natural law. We’re not actually able to “change” them — just to deny or ignore them at our own peril. But that’s another post!)

I can hardly wait for the half-wit exposition of Medieval superstitions.

thuja on April 9, 2012 at 6:35 PM

The work, designed to show the progression of a boy from childhood to adulthood, ends with a depiction of a man standing hand-in-hand with a woman and child. The man and woman wear wedding bands.
============================================================

It rocks for me!

That is how my world is envisioned,growing up as a kid,the wonders
of the world,to sowing me wild oats,and then finding a female part
ner that I have settled down with,and have raised a family,and now my son’s are doin the same,accept my daughter is still single!
(Yes,sorry….TMI).

canopfor on April 9, 2012 at 6:36 PM

Critics said the mural might not represent the life experiences of many of the students at Pilgrim High School — so Bierendy should have to change it.
====================

A Grand Crock of Political Correction Sh*t!!

canopfor on April 9, 2012 at 6:38 PM

Critics said the mural might not represent the life experiences of many of the students at Pilgrim High School

Given the fact that any group of humans will have different “life experiences”…

…what kind/type of mural could possibly reflect such a strange and preposterous edict?

This is ridiculously stupid.

Religious_Zealot on April 9, 2012 at 6:39 PM

So,lets review,if your a Liberal Lefty,and it doesn’t
work,er,collides with your warped world view,

…..ya need to Hope like h*ll,and Re-Arrange/Change it!
(sarc)

canopfor on April 9, 2012 at 6:41 PM

The War on the American Family continues.

ted c on April 9, 2012 at 6:31 PM

Exactly right Ted!

D-fusit on April 9, 2012 at 6:43 PM

A painting of the life of a man or woman can only at best reflect the experiences of half the student body and only if a race neutral shade of purple is used for the skin tone.

Clearly, we need to outlaw art.

jhffmn on April 9, 2012 at 6:44 PM

Sometimes I used to sigh and laugh when people complained about the state of our culture. Not anymore. The institutionalized depravity this country has sunk into is unbelievable.

Django on April 9, 2012 at 6:44 PM

I am so sick of political correctness and everyone being offended by everything. I must have missed the part of the constitution that says we have a right to not be offended.

Sachiko on April 9, 2012 at 6:46 PM

That Bierendy was accurately reflecting some sliver of human experience should be enough to satisfy any pro-art critics.

Damn, I must be really out of the loop. I know the stats are really bad vis a vis marriage and children (and these stats bode very poorly for our future as single motherhood is becoming the new normal), but is traditional marriage only a “sliver” now?

Buy Danish on April 9, 2012 at 6:47 PM

Critics said the mural might not represent the life experiences of many of the students at Pilgrim High School

The key word in this sentence is MIGHT.

It might, it might not. Let’s overreact because somebody might be offended. Total crock of bs.

D-fusit on April 9, 2012 at 6:48 PM

Student stands by “controversial” mural that shows life of a man ending in marriage and fatherhood

OK, I like to joke that a wedding is a funeral…

22044 on April 9, 2012 at 6:48 PM

“life of a man ending in marriage”

That can be interpreted a couple different ways.

As the saying goes – “a man isn’t complete until he gets married – then he’s finished….”
Or as Jeff Dunham and his puppet Walter say it – “when you get married and say til death do us part – men don’t realize they’re actually setting a goal…”

dentarthurdent on April 9, 2012 at 6:49 PM

Critics said the mural might not represent the life experiences of many of the students at Pilgrim High School — so Bierendy should have to change it.
====================

A Grand Crock of Political Correction Sh*t!!

canopfor on April 9, 2012 at 6:38 PM

You said it. I’m offended by the critics!

dogsoldier on April 9, 2012 at 6:50 PM

I was going to get married until I found out Dana Loesch was taken. Then I lost interest.

MechanicalBill on April 9, 2012 at 6:50 PM

I can hardly wait for the half-wit exposition of Medieval superstitions.

thuja on April 9, 2012 at 6:35 PM

I’m more worried about the superstitions of a group of people who thoughtlessly follow the edicts of their bearded master even though it’s caused so much blood and massacre and has been demonstrably proven untenable, unviable, and plainly evil everywhere it’s been tried.

I’m speaking of course about Marxists. Who enjoy in their number many “enlightened” non-believers who would rather live in a ditch cursing God than live in the light with their believing friends and neighbors.

BKennedy on April 9, 2012 at 6:51 PM

How come there are no Asian’s, Blacks or other minorities in the Mural?… Is the girl a racist?… Cough, cough. Libs.

Kjeil on April 9, 2012 at 6:51 PM

Sachiko on April 9, 2012 at 6:46 PM

It’ll be in there if Obummer gets any more Supreme Court appointments…

dentarthurdent on April 9, 2012 at 6:51 PM

The drawing doesn’t looke like high-caliber 17 year old’s work. Certainly not mural worthy.

Is this mural showing that life ends at marriage, aka “marriage is the end of one’s life”? That sounds like an awfully anti-marriage message.

Or is the artist/school too cowardly to show the life of man ending in grisly death? Just another example of pathetic weenified politically-correct American public-school BS?

It depicts a typical 20th century patriarchal, conformist mindset. What of the female partner, who’s own life history is ignored? Does she only exist as a quest item in the man’s own life adventure?

Plenty of controversy to be had.

Daikokuco on April 9, 2012 at 6:52 PM

Sometimes I used to sigh and laugh when people complained about the state of our culture. Not anymore. The institutionalized depravity this country has sunk into is unbelievable.

Django on April 9, 2012 at 6:44 PM

It’s not the complaining that bothers me. People have ALWAYS complained.

It’s the fact that the school administration (temporarily) caved in to the complaints that gives me pause. (And even AFTER the superintendent stepped in, the assistant principal “asked” her if she wanted to change the mural’s ending or if she preferred the original ending. (any questions about which option carried more “emphasis”?))

I’m glad the school has a superintendent with the -ahem- cojones to stand up to the stupidity.

But I expect that he will get a lot of heat for this.

Religious_Zealot on April 9, 2012 at 6:52 PM

The drawing doesn’t looke like high-caliber 17 year old’s work. Certainly not mural worthy.

Is this mural showing that life ends at marriage, aka “marriage is the end of one’s life”? That sounds like an awfully anti-marriage message.

Or is the artist/school too cowardly to show the life of man ending in grisly death? Just another example of pathetic weenified politically-correct American public-school BS?

It depicts a typical 20th century patriarchal, conformist mindset. What of the female partner, who’s own life history is ignored? Does she only exist as a quest item in the man’s own life adventure?

Plenty of controversy to be had.

Daikokuco on April 9, 2012 at 6:52 PM

The thing that irks me most about leftists is they take what is clearly satire and actually advance it seriously.

If the intent of your post was to illustrate this, you are magnificent.

BKennedy on April 9, 2012 at 6:55 PM

But really its a high school, there are like tens of thousands of them in America. And all of them have lame shitty art. Tina always gives voice to those pressing issues nobody gives a crap about.

Daikokuco on April 9, 2012 at 6:59 PM

Daikokuco on April 9, 2012 at 6:52 PM

Well, what the hell, while we’re at it, let’s make sure every artist must use every color of the paint pallet so we don’t leave anything out. And we must make sure every piece of art comprehensively covers EVERY aspect of the entire universe or it’s offensive to someone or something that was left out…/////

dentarthurdent on April 9, 2012 at 7:00 PM

I was always partial to Thomas Cole’s The Voyage of Life.

John the Libertarian on April 9, 2012 at 6:21 PM

Very nice. Thx for the link.

arnold ziffel on April 9, 2012 at 7:01 PM

Ending? Tina, how about this:

Student stands by “controversial” mural that shows life of a man ending culminating in marriage and fatherhood

acasilaco on April 9, 2012 at 6:20 PM

Yep, the wording was a bit awkward there.

BTW, for those who wax nostalgic over charming and remote indigineous tribes, perhaps another mural could be painted depicting this event, which is like totally “normal” for them. Who are we to judge? Only marriages and child-bearing between a man and a woman are to be scrutinized.

Buy Danish on April 9, 2012 at 7:03 PM

It depicts a typical 20th century patriarchal, conformist mindset. What of the female partner, who’s own life history is ignored? Does she only exist as a quest item in the man’s own life adventure?

Plenty of controversy to be had.

Daikokuco on April 9, 2012 at 6:52 PM

What’s your point? The patriarchal conformist mindset is always the wisest choice. As for the female partner, she girl, she no have name. And yes, she there for man pleasure.

arnold ziffel on April 9, 2012 at 7:04 PM

To be clear, “ending” was the wording of the news story and not Tina’s invention…

Buy Danish on April 9, 2012 at 7:05 PM

It’s only controversial because a local news website decided it was so and a certain website reported the story of these faceless, nameles, unaccounted for critics.

lester on April 9, 2012 at 6:24 PM

Ah yes, the “Scooby-doo” defense:

And the school would have gotten away with it, too, if it hadn’t been for those meddling right-wing kids.

RINO in Name Only on April 9, 2012 at 7:07 PM

Critics said the mural might not represent the life experiences of many of the students at Pilgrim High School…

What would we call that?

Let’s see…

How about ‘DIVERSITY’?

kbTexan on April 9, 2012 at 7:09 PM

What’s your point? The patriarchal conformist mindset is always the wisest choice. As for the female partner, she girl, she no have name. And yes, she there for man pleasure.

arnold ziffel on April 9, 2012 at 7:04 PM

Clearly you need another dose of “dear woman” youtube video.

Daikokuco on April 9, 2012 at 7:09 PM

It depicts a typical 20th century patriarchal, conformist mindset. What of the female partner, who’s own life history is ignored? Does she only exist as a quest item in the man’s own life adventure?

Plenty of controversy to be had.

Daikokuco on April 9, 2012 at 6:52 PM

Bwa ha ha. Using your “logic” no short story, novel, painting, sculpture – nothing – could be produced which doesn’t depict both genders. Farewell Michelangelo’s David. Bye Bye Mona Lisa. We hardly knew ye, Hardy Boys. Hello, Taliban.

Buy Danish on April 9, 2012 at 7:10 PM

But really its a high school, there are like tens of thousands of them in America. And all of them have lame shitty art. Tina always gives voice to those pressing issues nobody gives a crap about.

Daikokuco on April 9, 2012 at 6:59 PM

I’ve always loved comments like this because it causes us to ponder the eternal question “Is the poster trolling or just stupid?”

Or maybe Daikokuco is a hipster who loves to post deeply ironic posts (i.e. why did he read and then comment upon a post that he “doesn’t give a crap about.” Doesn’t reading and posting signify that the poster DOES “give a crap”?)

Religious_Zealot on April 9, 2012 at 7:11 PM

Ending? Tina, how about this:

Student stands by “controversial” mural that shows life of a man ending culminating in marriage and fatherhood
acasilaco on April 9, 2012 at 6:20 PM

+1. Ending sounds so sad.

talkingpoints on April 9, 2012 at 7:11 PM

And if it had ended with Andy Sullivan having unprotected man-on-man sex it would have been lauded as artistic activism to have the government spend more on condoms.

MeatHeadinCA on April 9, 2012 at 6:16 PM

Surprisingly, even Sullivan admits to having limits…

The Ugly American on April 9, 2012 at 7:12 PM

Please don’t ban this comedian:

It depicts a typical 20th century patriarchal, conformist mindset. What of the female partner, who’s own life history is ignored? Does she only exist as a quest item in the man’s own life adventure?

Plenty of controversy to be had.

Daikokuco on April 9, 2012 at 6:52 PM

Seven minutes later:

But really its a high school, there are like tens of thousands of them in America. And all of them have lame shitty art. Tina always gives voice to those pressing issues nobody gives a crap about.

Daikokuco on April 9, 2012 at 6:59 PM

Buy Danish on April 9, 2012 at 7:13 PM

How about this for a mural? Think the school might have a conniption fit?

http://www.plu.edu/~arnoldwp/home.html

arnold ziffel on April 9, 2012 at 7:14 PM

Bwa ha ha. Using your “logic” no short story, novel, painting, sculpture – nothing – could be produced which doesn’t depict both genders. Farewell Michelangelo’s David. Bye Bye Mona Lisa. We hardly knew ye, Hardy Boys. Hello, Taliban.

Buy Danish on April 9, 2012 at 7:10 PM

No because marriage (a super duper holy and sanctified thing if you didn’t know..) is simply not depicted or alluded to whatsoever in either Mona Lisa (which sux and is overrated) or David (who is naked! – controversy).

In this grade-school quality doodle, marriage is clearly depicted. Yet it is supposed to be a partnership of equals. A woman does not just show up as a supporting character to a man! That is so 1960.

Also Hardy Boys does depict girls, namely the brothers’ girlfriends, Chelsea and Kim I believe their names are. They are portrayed in a dignified, supportive and classy manner like Jackie Kennedy or Laura Bush. Check your facts.

Daikokuco on April 9, 2012 at 7:18 PM

She’s right. A man’s life does end with marriage.

DFCtomm on April 9, 2012 at 7:19 PM

I’ve always loved comments like this because it causes us to ponder the eternal question “Is the poster trolling or just stupid?”

Or maybe Daikokuco is a hipster who loves to post deeply ironic posts (i.e. why did he read and then comment upon a post that he “doesn’t give a crap about.” Doesn’t reading and posting signify that the poster DOES “give a crap”?)

Religious_Zealot on April 9, 2012 at 7:11 PM

Not every opinion you share has to be some deeply held passionate belief.

Daikokuco on April 9, 2012 at 7:23 PM

I’m more worried about the superstitions of a group of people who thoughtlessly follow the edicts of their bearded master even though it’s caused so much blood and massacre and has been demonstrably proven untenable, unviable, and plainly evil everywhere it’s been tried.

I’m speaking of course about Marxists. Who enjoy in their number many “enlightened” non-believers who would rather live in a ditch cursing God than live in the light with their believing friends and neighbors.

BKennedy on April 9, 2012 at 6:51 PM

Marxism has followed the trends in religion. There are fewer and fewer devout Marxists. People aren’t willing to trading their minds for the promise of the Marxist redemptive revolution. Instead, you get Occupy Wall Street, which is like a Unitarian version of Marxism.

thuja on April 9, 2012 at 7:24 PM

Wait till the artist gets married…

Marriage is not just a word…it is a sentence.

coldwarrior on April 9, 2012 at 7:25 PM

It depicts a typical 20th century patriarchal, conformist mindset. What of the female partner, who’s own life history is ignored? Does she only exist as a quest item in the man’s own life adventure?

Daikokuco on April 9, 2012 at 6:52 PM

I’m reminded of a review I read shortly after the movie “Big” came out in 1988, where a 12 year old boy makes a wish to be big and turns into an adult overnight. I’m sure you remember it — Tom Hanks plays the 12-year-old in an adult body.

Anyway, the reviewer said something that didn’t occur to me until I saw it again years afterward as a rerun on AMC or TCM, but makes sense in the context of how the two sexes experience (or used to experience) rites of passage to adulthood: “Boys have rites of passage. Girls are rites of passage.”

PatriotGal2257 on April 9, 2012 at 7:25 PM

Wait. You mean life doesn’t culminate in a parade down Fremont St. where you’re wearing a studded black leather dog collar and nothing else, being “walked” by a paunchy guy with a porn mustache and assless chaps?

Gee. How disappointing.

Cicero43 on April 9, 2012 at 7:30 PM

Not every opinion you share has to be some deeply held passionate belief.

Daikokuco on April 9, 2012 at 7:23 PM

Well, your response just ruled out “trolling” as an option.

If you don’t like what Tina writes, why do you read them?

Religious_Zealot on April 9, 2012 at 7:36 PM

It’s the fact that the school administration (temporarily) caved in to the complaints that gives me pause. (And even AFTER the superintendent stepped in, the assistant principal “asked” her if she wanted to change the mural’s ending or if she preferred the original ending. (any questions about which option carried more “emphasis”?)

Religious_Zealot on April 9, 2012 at 6:52 PM

It must be something in the water in the New England states. I seem to remember hearing Rush talk about this one afternoon in the last two weeks.

PatriotGal2257 on April 9, 2012 at 7:39 PM

In this grade-school quality doodle, marriage is clearly depicted. Yet it is supposed to be a partnership of equals. A woman does not just show up as a supporting character to a man! That is so 1960.

blah blah blah.

Daikokuco on April 9, 2012 at 7:18 PM

Says who? And do note, the controversial part of this story is not the poor quality of the art work (what you call a “doodle”).

I gather that according to your Cultural Marxist Deconstructionist Social Anthropology which recoils at Hetero-Normative stereotypes, the mural should also have also depicted the bride as a young girl – growing up – then marrying, and giving birth (perhaps with a scene where the male oppressor changed a diaper)?

It’s both hilarious and pathetic you don’t see how absurdly preposterous this is.

Buy Danish on April 9, 2012 at 7:42 PM

It depicts a typical 20th century patriarchal, conformist mindset. What of the female partner, who’s own life history is ignored? Does she only exist as a quest item in the man’s own life adventure?

Daicuckoo on April 9, 2012 at 6:52 PM

Gee, I don’t know. What about the billions of other people that the artist ignored in her mural? How dare she! Now that you mention it, I think I’m getting upset that DaVinci didn’t include a male “partner” in the Mona Lisa. I’m sure Francesco del Giocondo would have liked being included.

cicerone on April 9, 2012 at 7:44 PM

But really its a high school, there are like tens of thousands of them in America. And all of them have lame shitty art. Tina always gives voice to those pressing issues nobody gives a crap about.

Daikokuco on April 9, 2012 at 6:59 PM

Then why are you posting on this thread?

Gladtobehere on April 9, 2012 at 7:53 PM

…the mural should also have also depicted the bride as a young girl – growing up – then marrying, and giving birth (perhaps with a scene where the male oppressor changed a diaper)?

It’s both hilarious and pathetic you don’t see how absurdly preposterous this is.

Buy Danish on April 9, 2012 at 7:42 PM

Marrying? The woman should be joining a commune, smoking pot, having lesbian sex, and only having kids with a sperm donor. Of course, if she does have sex with a man, he must beat her until she decides to abort any kids. Only then can she be truly free.

Gladtobehere on April 9, 2012 at 7:58 PM

Cicero43 on April 9, 2012 at 7:30 PM

Why I hate facebook…

Post one gosh darn photo and then everybody knows about it. :-)

coldwarrior on April 9, 2012 at 8:03 PM

For the first time in my life… I am not very proud of my country.

Not just because of this asininity — but because of everything. Trying to figure out this intentional self-destruction of America taking place at the furious pace it is racing along at is just mind boggling.

What the f**k has happened to us?

FlatFoot on April 9, 2012 at 8:12 PM

I think the headline is wrong. The guy’s life doesn’t end in marriage, the mural ends with him getting married.

Kjeil on April 9, 2012 at 8:14 PM

All the money we pay and they can’t hire a painter to slap a couple coats of latex on the wall.

Ronnie on April 9, 2012 at 8:29 PM

Bwa ha ha. Using your “logic” no short story, novel, painting, sculpture – nothing – could be produced which doesn’t depict both genders. Farewell Michelangelo’s David. Bye Bye Mona Lisa. We hardly knew ye, Hardy Boys. Hello, Taliban.

Buy Danish on April 9, 2012 at 7:10 PM

Buy Danish:Yup,blowing up the statues,the world was outraged!:)

canopfor on April 9, 2012 at 8:32 PM

She made a progression from childhood, to what the artist imagines is responsible adulthood. (Not perpetural extended adolescence.) I admire her, she is using life in her art, and life, to picture an ideal that is important to her, and may be one that she sees somewhere in her life.

Here is the thing, a lot of people get mad and say you can’t show that ideal because it is unfair. But what if it is a greater thing to have a mother and a father who have made an effort to be the family that they want to be, and to have two parents who are both there. Do we know if that is the case for the artist or is it her ideal?

Is it unfair because others screw up their lives and throw the good things away, then they don’t want you to enjoy them?

Is it unfair that two natural biological parents want to enjoy a child and make a good home for him or her? Is it unfair if they are married and not single parents?

Is it unfair to have two parents who care for you? And live together more cheaply as a family instead of Sharing Custody, (which sounds a lot like a prison.) Or tug of war – so much more fair for the child.

You see they should be telling the kids in school that if something looks better to them they can live that way when they grow up too, instead of taking the cynical attitude toward a traditional family unit that has worked ok for eons. Not very open minded of the cynics, is it?

Fleuries on April 9, 2012 at 8:33 PM

The reaction to Bierendy’s mural underscores society’s alarming tendency to adjust standards to fit the way we live, rather than adjust the way we live to fit standards – Tina Korbe

Now, THAT is good.

Cleombrotus on April 9, 2012 at 8:43 PM

The leftist version:

- Baby survives late term abortion
- Teacher helps child construct his first “dental dam”
- Child pitches tent on Wall Street
- Teenager receives his EBT card
- Young adult gets condoms from Catholic church
- Adult and 2 partners in leather and a hamster grabbing each others genitals with a Miss Piggy hand puppet

bernverdnardo1 on April 9, 2012 at 8:50 PM

For most American men this mural shows the major transitions they will undergo in life, with details specific to each individual left out for obvious reasons. I don’t have a problem with this at all. I myself am gay and while sure it would be nice to see a gay family and all, I also realize we are a very small minority. I don’t have a problem at all with depictions of “traditional” families, I’m glad to see straight men shown in a positive light just as much as I am when gay men are. Frankly, straight men have taken a beating in the popular culture which I’m tired of. What some folks seem to forget is just because I’m gay doesn’t mean I’m “anti-straight” or that I disdain “traditional” marriages/families. I’d have to disavow my own upbringing along with my father and brother, both of whom are straight, have been very supportive of me and whom I love very much. To the critics I’d say “get over yourselves and quit being so dang PC”.

JohnAGJ on April 9, 2012 at 8:52 PM

What the f**k has happened to us?

FlatFoot on April 9, 2012 at 8:12 PM

“Today’s mawkish concern with and compassion for the feeble, the flawed, the suffering, the guilty, is a cover for the profoundly Kantian hatred of the innocent, the strong, the able, the successful, the virtuous, the confident, the happy. A philosophy out to destroy man’s mind is necessarily a philosophy of hatred for man, for man’s life, and for every human value. Hatred of the good for being the good, is the hallmark of the twentieth century. This is the enemy you are facing. ” – Ayn Rand, Address to Graduating Class of West Point 1974.

http://fare.tunes.org/liberty/library/pwni.html

Although she had a blind spot as regards Christianity and considered Aristotle the pivotal personality of Western Civilization’s progress, nonetheless her diagnosis of the decline of Western Civilization’s values, at least from a human perspective, were accurate and worth studying.

Cleombrotus on April 9, 2012 at 8:52 PM

Upon reading the headline I actually thought Tina was going to criticize the mural because it showed a man’s life “ending” i.e. terminating i.e. no longer being worth living at the point of marriage. In which case I was just going to say, way to be 40 years behind stand up comedy kid. But turns out its just a boring salvo on the nuclear family.

I find it pretty hilarious that conservatives who want a return to “small government” are also the party who yearn for the 1950s fantasy of the two headed household “independent” nuclear family. We know for a fact that before the postwar boom (aided and abetted by federal welfare for the suburbs) that many American families were anything but what conservatives frame as “traditional.” Many men traveled in order to work, large extended family units worked collectively in order to make the most of big tracts of land. Children in poor families were sent to better off relatives be they Aunts or cousins. Fathers were very rarely part of children’s lives for a host of reasons. Few states had explicit laws against bigamy until the turn of the 20th century and fewer enforced them before the growth of the beauracratized state in the early decades of the 20th century. But we somehow transformed the 1950s, into “the way its always been.” Which is hilarious. At most the nuclear family described the way it was for the American middle class. But the “middle class” was the minority of Americans until the post-World War II era. The very name “nuclear family” should tip you off as to how recent a social construct it is, but lets continue to act like the idealization of the nuclear family somehow predates the expansions in the federal government.

libfreeordie on April 9, 2012 at 8:53 PM

Well, what the hell, while we’re at it, let’s make sure every artist must use every color of the paint pallet so we don’t leave anything out. And we must make sure every piece of art comprehensively covers EVERY aspect of the entire universe or it’s offensive to someone or something that was left out…/////

dentarthurdent on April 9, 2012 at 7:00 PM

Exactly right. The logical conclusion of this mentally ill aesthetic is a bunch of paint spilled on the floor (because even using a canvas is too normative/patriarchal). It obliterates meaning and beauty. The very act of artistry is rendered impossible, because no discrimination is possible. By demanding the embrace of everything, you end up with nothing.

Nom de Boom on April 9, 2012 at 8:57 PM

Hatred of the good for being the good, is the hallmark of the twentieth century. This is the enemy you are facing. ”

– Ayn Rand, Address to Graduating Class of West Point 1974.

Bears repeating.

Cleombrotus on April 9, 2012 at 8:58 PM

I don’t get it. I was a liberal until about 2 years ago. Either fake outrage or there’s something they’re not telling us. Likely, it’s a teacher that’s too overbearing in her POV. That happens a lot.

MrX on April 9, 2012 at 8:58 PM

libfreeordie on April 9, 2012 at 8:53 PM

All those lesbian communes archaeologists keep digging up are sure to undergird your arguments, comrade. Get busy linking.

Nom de Boom on April 9, 2012 at 9:01 PM

This story reminds me of a quote I came across last week attributed to Slavoj Zizek:

What if, in our postmodern world of ordained transgression, in which the marital commitment is perceived as ridiculously out of time, those who cling to it are the true subversives? What if, today, straight marriage is ‘the most dark and daring of all transgressions?

What if, indeed.

Threshing Flora on April 9, 2012 at 9:03 PM

libfreeordie on April 9, 2012 at 8:53 PM

A few years back now, Jeff Greenfield did a piece for, I believe it was, 60 minutes in which he demonstrated the exact things you are saying. He showed that such television shows like Ozzie and Harriet and Leave It To Beaver did not accurately reflect what society was generally like.

One could have been excused if they thought the piece was just another Liberal attack on traditional values until the last segment of his article where he argued that what made that time different from this is that the cultural gatekeepers were at least attempting to encourage and promote values and virtues unlike those of today who seem intent on tearing them down and discouraging them.

Cleombrotus on April 9, 2012 at 9:03 PM

But another layer to this story exists. The reaction to Bierendy’s mural underscores society’s alarming tendency to adjust standards to fit the way we live, rather than adjust the way we live to fit standards.

This line right here was so spot on, I was actually startled. I have never thought of morals in this light before. That was very well articulated.

Book on April 9, 2012 at 9:10 PM

Yeah I have more than a few married friends, that would agree that life has ended.

firepilot on April 9, 2012 at 6:16 PM

I was single until I was 39.

I’ve lived more life since then, married and raising our two daughters than I did those 39 years of being single.

Enjoy growing old in a bar, chasing dried up, bitter spinsters.

NoDonkey on April 9, 2012 at 9:12 PM

One could have been excused if they thought the piece was just another Liberal attack on traditional values until the last segment of his article where he argued that what made that time different from this is that the cultural gatekeepers were at least attempting to encourage and promote values and virtues unlike those of today who seem intent on tearing them down and discouraging them.

Cleombrotus on April 9, 2012 at 9:03 PM

This. People didn’t always live up to the ideal (I know the stories of my pioneer forebears’ lives, after all), but their opinion of the ideal was decidedly aspirational. That we have to patiently explain the value of marriage–as though thousands of years of history, art, literature, and archaeological evidence simply didn’t exist–is evidence of the suicidal tendency of neo-Western culture.

Nom de Boom on April 9, 2012 at 9:12 PM

But another layer to this story exists. The reaction to Bierendy’s mural underscores society’s alarming tendency to adjust standards to fit the way we live, rather than adjust the way we live to fit standards.

Actually, in the history of human history, the stable nuclear family *is* the transgressive form, if we’re talking about the number of years most people in any given society lived within it.

libfreeordie on April 9, 2012 at 9:14 PM

It should be controversial. Having children causes all the human suffering in the world.

Mitchell Heisman on April 9, 2012 at 9:25 PM

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