Saturday, August 25, 2007

Using the pig:

From Paul Johnson's A History of the Jews: (Part Three, Cathedocracy, pg 231-2) (emp add)
The medieval mind delighted in reducing all aspects of the universe to imagery. ... [Among sculptors] the favorite pair of images, often rendered with striking grace, was the triumphant church and the sorrowing synagogue.

There wre, however, other images used for Jews in the graphic arts: the golden calf, the owl, the scorpion. In Germany, towards the end of the medieval period, a new one began to emerge: the sow.

[In Germany] it became the commonest of all motifs for the Jews, and one of the most potent and enduring of abusive stereotypes. It assumed an infinite variety of repellent forms. Jews were portrayed venerating the sow, sucking its teats, embracing its hindquarters, devouring its excrement. It offered rich opportunities to the coarser type of popular artist, presented with a target where none of the usual rules of taste and decorum applied and where the crudest obscenity was not merely acceptable but positively meritorious.

Its endless repetition helped on a process ...: the dehumanization of the Jew.

Woodcut of Jew playing bagpipes while riding a pig.
Here is Bill Kristol's opening sentence attacking "The Left" for being wrong on Vietnam: (emp add)
Like a pig in muck, the left loves to wallow in Vietnam. But only in their "Vietnam." Not in the real Vietnam war.
You would think that Kristol, who is Jewish, might have wanted to steer away from such imagery.

Steve Benen has more on Kristol's column (not about the pig reference):
I naively thought I could no longer be surprised by Kristol’s columns, but his latest gem pushes the envelope to new depths.


Post a Comment