According to Anfam, it is easy to see why the CIA wished to promote Abstract Expressionism. “It’s a very shrewd and cynical strategy,” he explains, “because it showed that you could do whatever you liked in America.” By the ‘50s, Abstract Expressionism was bound up with the concept of individual freedom: its canvases were understood as expressions of the subjective inner lives of the artists who painted them. As a result, the movement was a useful foil to Russia’s official Soviet Realist style, which championed representative painting. “America was the land of the free, whereas Russia was locked up, culturally speaking,” Anfam says, characterising the perception that the CIA wished to foster during the Cold War.Doesn't make sense. Very few Americans want to "do whatever you like", and nobody except the "artists" saw any purpose in scrawling and scratching random shit and calling it "art". Americans and Russians, like all rational people, want art to be a beautiful and orderly representation of reality. The job of art is to ADD order, not subtract. We were getting what we wanted from commercial artists, so we saw no reason to value the CIA-sponsored chaos. Russians were getting a better deal in terms of officially sponsored art, so they had even less reason to want abstract ratshit. A much simpler explanation: CIA, dark heart of Globalism, wants to spread chaos and death everywhere because CIA is evil. The real target of "modern" "art" was domestic, not foreign. It was convenient to blame the Russkies, and the Russkies were dumb enough to help with the blame.
Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.