A sepia photographic collage of machinery, faces, and human figures.

Kitchen Knife

Everybody thank Hannah Höch for giving me another title I have to truncate on my preview page. And my archive page. And my index page. The full title is “Cut with the Dada Kitchen Knife through the Last Weimar Republic”. Thanks, Hannah.

As we all know, I grew up in Canada, which I would like to call “the real North America”, though I I would be extradited to the United States for having the gall to insult The Fascist and His Domain. It’s a country that maintains a simultaneous smug superiority, fear of, and curious apathy towards, their southern neighbour.

You might think the Canadian mindset of “be better than the Americans while still placating them” is pretentious, though considering how 80% of the country lives within 100km of the border, I think we have an obligation to avoid them running their trillions of dollars worth of tanks and drones through our border, which is money that we decided to spend on silly things like education, the CBC, universal healthcare, and buying new shoes on budget day.

My brother’s high school classes took the day off the day they heard The Fascist was elected. His English teacher was saying her son was crying because they thought we were going to war. You might call this an exaggeration. I call this reality.

It’s strange growing up next to the country that we are entirely dependent on and have no real way of fighting against bar a World War 3 scenario of every other country that Canada is friends with joining them in the anti–annexation effort. Of course Canada is friends with everyone, so maybe we’d just have to make do with the Commonwealth.

All Canadians are more aware of United States culture than they should be, even to the point of having more of an awareness of Statesian (a minority term against “Americans”, because Canada, Mexico, and South America doesn’t exist) culture. I remember when I was nine years old asking my grandfather whether or not we were Republicans or Democrats. He had to explain to me that Canada doesn’t work like that

I knew about their politics before I knew my own! What other country in the world has a relationship like that? How fucked up is that for a child to not even be aware of the culture he grew up in? How have we allowed the United States to invade and assimilate with our culture to the point where a child cannot even discern with any familiarity what’s Canadian and what’s Statesian? And this was in the Obama period!

I legitimately fear the future of our children when a country with no real national identity beyond the sum of its parts has to live in the shadow of the world’s most powerful and unpredictable one with one of the most undeserved, and yet fervently patriotic populations, ever. I fear that they will grow up under a regime led by a racist, sexist, transphobic, homophobic, liar. I fear that the human rights that we have, the gold standard for what other countries should be, will be eradicated by a manipulative cunt elected into office by the dumbest half of an already mentally deficient country. No offense, Kato.

I have to live every day knowing that no more than 100km from me, injustice is happening on a daily basis, where transgender teenagers are having their identities stripped away from there, where Muslims have to live every day in fear, and where sixty years of social progress that better countries had already figured out by now is being stripped away by people who’s only admiration of humanity is how much it benefits them alone.

And I have to spend the rest of my life wondering just how much of my life was affected by the actions of a country that by all rights should have self–destructed by the millennium, a country which David Bowie called “puritanical”, and which I call, “insane off its fucking ass”… by first–world standards, of course.

I bring all this up because Dada, which this piece had a large effect on, is an art style which was invented during the middle of World War I in Berlin. What was Canada and the USA up to in 1916? Censoring movies because it went against Good Christian Values? Hanging the gays? Trying to get Great Britain to throw them a bone? Oh wait, that’s just us, because our first thought when we had a disagreement with Great Britain was totally “let’s start a decade–long war”, which is such a common tactic for the United States that you can open up Microsoft Word and select a “declaration of war” template.

For such a subversive, ironic, and nonsensical art style to show up in 1916 would have been unthinkable for Canadians, when most of the art at the time was painting trees and shit. Even for Statesians, proud parasites of the best parts of other countries’ cultures, the revelations of art during that period was only represented in squeaky–clean and non–subversive acts of nonsense.

If ever I had the foresight to know just how much of my worldview is based around this squeaky–clean and puritanical way of life, and the foresight to understand the cultures of countries like the artist’s own Germany, then I would be a much wiser man, a much wiser artist, and a much wiser writer. I am sad to say I have not discovered the secret to omniscience, and so I am stuck wondering idle thoughts like these. I’ll just have to fake it like every other cult.

As for the piece itself… well, it is Dada. I guess that’s the punchline right there.

Date: 2017–02–23. Size: 5,039 bytes. Colours: 8.

Upscaled Dimensions: 512×512. Original Dimensions: 128×128.