Thursday, January 29, 2009

Maybe it really IS this simple.

There's an interesting form of rehab going on in Saudi Arabia. "Art Therapy" is being touted as a way for jihadists to overcome their need to demonize non-muslims, and kill. There has been much criticism of the so-called naivete' of this program, and critics say you can't trade crayons for bombs.
You can read more about this, at: http://a.abcnews.com/print?id=6719704
Years ago, when I read "Inside the Third Reich", and a host of other books on Nazi Germany, and how Hitler came to have power, I noticed something particular about almost everyone in the Third Reich. Nearly all were failed artists. Hitler himself was denied admission to the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts, and was told when he was rejected that he had "no appreciation for the human form." That's not mere description of his lack of artistic skills, but a chilling(and prophetic!) commentary on Hitler's mentality. When Hitler returned home, his mother was dying of breast cancer. He suffered severe depression immediately following that. Only a short time later, while imprisoned(after the failed coup), he wrote "Mein Kampf" and of course, we all know the rest...
It was intriguing to me that so many of the men who wished to advance themselves with the Nazi regime--men that Hitler himself put in leadership positions--had been musicians, painters, writers. I've decided that when a person is denied their creativity, that drive/energy is going to manifest, and it appears if one cannot create, one learns to destroy.
Create works of art, and know that you leave a legacy, or destroy humanity in a bid to gain some sense of immortality, some feeling of having achieved something...Maybe it really IS that simple.
If allowing angry men with a narrow view of humanity to express themselves on paper will help them become less angry, don't we all benefit? Maybe having that outlet translates into having less reason to wire a bomb to one's body. Saudi Arabia claims this works, and they sweeten the deal by promising a new car and better housing, if a jihadist completes the therapy. This is a chance to remake history, to help people who feel extremely misunderstood, and disenfranchised, to begin to feel "heard", to feel validated, and understood. Isn't that how most artists feel? Isn't that what most of us want? To feel heard, validated, understood.

I wonder how history would read, if Hitler had gotten into that art school.

Peace, kids.

3 comments:

DeadMule said...

What about Dubya? Do you think there's hope for him? I'd be willing to chip in for a box of 64 crayons and maybe even scissors, if they were the blunt kind. LOL

Lydia said...

Fascinating! It does make sense. What an intriguing place to go in your mind, Hitler in art school.

Staying warm, are you?

Lisa Allender said...

Helen, of DeadMule--Hi there. You're hilarious! I doubt George W. ever spent time in art class; he was busy spitting on Vietnam War protesters(says several professors from his old alma mater), while he, George W. received several deferments from serving in Vietnam, a war he openly supported.
Lydia of Writerquake--Hi, yes, I wonder alot how history could've been different if just one element were changed...