Thanksgiving, Rockwell Style


When one thinks about Thanksgiving, what image is the first conjured up in one’s mind? Obviously, Norman Rockwell’s iconic painting, which we think of nostalgically as a representation of Americana from almost-bygone times. But in an article from this morning’s Berkshire Eagle, writer Chris Newbound says:

“Norman Rockwell characterized his own work as an idealized version of American life. He and others would often say that his images represented the way he wanted life to be, not necessarily the way life was.”

Mr. Newbound goes on to describe the “Thanksgiving” painting:

“The “Freedom of Want” painting was originally part of a quartet of works inspired by Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “Four Freedoms” speech (his State of the Union address) in January 1941. This particular painting is the Paul McCartney of the group: the sunniest, and arguably the most popular of the foursome. The other three works — “Freedom of Speech,” “Freedom of Fear” and “Freedom to Worship” — are decidedly more somber, more Lennon than McCartney.”

With the way that Republicans have talked about “taking our country back” one would think that the “Four Freedoms” as embodied in Rockwell’s paintings would be etched on a plank of the Republican’s platform. But that would require agreeing that every American has a right to “Freedom from Want” and “Freedom from Fear”, which we liberals believe in. In conservative lexicon, “Freedom” simply means “you’re on your own”, leaving those Four Freedoms “Ours To Fight For.”

Happy Thanksgiving to all Critters and Zoosters, great and small.

This is our Open Thread. What’s everyone up to today?

The Watering Hole: August 26 — How to brew a controversy, Norman Rockwell edition

The Problem We All Live With, by Norman Rockwell

AlterNet

Politico seems to be trying stir up the rabid racists in this country, while pretending they’re doing no such thing.  President Obama has hung this painting outside his office, OMG!  Naturally, Politico doesn’t come right out and say it, but rather than discuss the ugly history behind the painting — actual history — they make it about the President’s motivations regarding race.

What do you think?  Is Politico just doing some reporting about the painting, or are they blowing on a dog whistle?

This is our daily open thread — discuss!