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Sunday, December 17, 2006

The Gingerbread Man

Run, run, as fast as you can.
You can't catch me,
I'm the Gingerbread Man.

Artists and writers, indeed all creative people are a funny bunch. There is an inner need to express ourselves that often will go beyond the norm. We want to stand out from the crowd, to be noticed, to express ourselves. Sometimes we even attempt to garner attention with the element of "shock". This is an accepted practice among artists and writers, and sometimes used to great effect.

At first when I read the following in the United Press International Release and then at JTA, I was bemused.
An Ohio artist who wants to grab people's attention has done just that with a storefront holiday display featuring gingerbread men at a Nazi rally.
I could not help but think that a child wants to make an impression. But then my eye caught something else.
McGuckin, 50, originally had the display in an Oberlin hardware store but the owner ordered him to remove it after deeming the subject matter offensive.
One would think that a 50 year old should know better. Now with all fairness Mr. McGuckin did immediately take down the display entitled, "The Secret Lives of Gingerbread Men", when he discovered how offensive it was. I can only wonder where his own judgment went when he created this masterpiece.

The thing is - the point is - when we start poking fun with Gingerbread Men at scenes such as depicted below, we make them almost "innocent". In this day and age when we are facing Holocaust denial and Nazi rebirth in Europe and in Iran, when the world faces a new up and coming Fuhrer in a new "fatherland" one should use one's brains before one thinks of a decent message and method to "shock" others.

Mr. McGuckin did accomplish his goal. He got the press and he got his "ten seconds of fame".

He also proved that even an innocent Gingerbread Man can be made into something vile and disgusting in the name of art.

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