Republicans, Dadaists Declare War On Art

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Vol 31 Issue 17

Hippocratic Oath Under Review By HMO Board

ATLANTA—The Oath of Hippocrates, a cornerstone of medical ethics for more than 2,000 years, is under review by the board of directors of MedCare, Georgia's leading HMO, it was announced Monday. "It looks good on paper, but frankly, some of the phrases struck us as a bit extreme," said board chair Dr. Forrest Gabler. "For example, 'The health of my patient will be my first consideration.' While it's fine as a concept, when put into actual practice, it creates massive budgetary and liability problems." Another phrase from the oath under review is, "I will practice my profession with conscience and dignity." "That goes without saying, so we'd just as soon not have it in there," Gabler said. Scheduled next for review are the Merck Manual and the Bill of Rights.

Focus Group Reveals: 95 Percent Of Americans Would Like To Go Home

NEW YORK—Extensive focus-group testing results released Monday by the marketing firm of Hayes, Loesser & Falk revealed that an overwhelming 95 percent of Americans are sick of being asked questions and would like to go home as soon as possible. "We were surprised by the results," Hayes, Loesser & Falk vice-president Thomas Mondrian said. "Our focus-group data, designed to capture a representative cross-section of the population, indicates that 19 out of 20 Americans never expected the testing to go on for this long and want us to finish the hell up and let them out of the office." Based upon the new information, Mondrian predicted a major shift in corporate advertising campaigns. "In the future," he said, "you're going to see a lot more products with slogans such as 'Chevrolet: You Can Leave Now' and 'Hormel Chili Is Done Asking You Questions.'"

Clinton Calls For Big Bucks, No Whammys

WASHINGTON, DC—President Clinton echoed the hopes of a nation in his weekly radio address Sunday, calling for big bucks and no whammys in the U.S. economy. "No whammys, no whammys," Clinton repeated, referring to the mischievous red gremlins who periodically plague the nation's economy, removing all cash reserves from the Federal Treasury. "Give me those big bucks!" Clinton added that while steady, job-based economic growth is what the nation needs most, winning the trip to the Cayman Islands would also be a positive step. Some in Washington, however, criticized Clinton's approach. "The economy is unstable enough as it is," said U.S. Sen. Al D'Amato (R-NY). "The president is truly pressing his luck on this one.

Tell Me Now If You Don't Want To See My Penis

Listen, it's obvious we're having a problem in the communications department. In the future, you've got to tell me what it is you want right away, because otherwise I've got no way of knowing that you don't want to see my penis. I'm a pretty sharp guy, but you can't expect me to know how you're feeling all the time. Unless you tell me, I'm going to just assume that you want to see my penis.

The FDR Memorial

The new Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, dedicated last Friday in Washington, D.C., has come under fire for not depicting him in a wheelchair. What do you think?

Ask A Humorous Cartoon Cat

Petey Paws is a syndicated advice columnist whose weekly column, Ask A Humorous Cartoon Cat, appears in over 250 newspapers nationwide.

Rogue Smorgasbord Sates Seven

ASHEVILLE, NC—A rogue smorgasbord ran rampant through the streets of Asheville Monday, eluding police and restauranteurs for over nine hours and sating the appetites of at least seven area residents caught in its path.
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Republicans, Dadaists Declare War On Art

WASHINGTON, DC—Citing the "proliferation of immoral and offensive material throughout America's museums and schools," and waving placards emblazoned with agit-prop fotocollage reading, "diE KUnst ISt tOT, DadA ubEr aLLes" ("Art is dead, dada over all"), a coalition of leading Republican congressional conservatives and early 20th-century Dadaists declared war on art in a joint press conference Monday.

Anti-art crusaders Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC) and Dadaist provocateur Tristan Tzara call for the dismantling of the institutions regulating public art in a joint press conference Monday.

Calling for the elimination of federal funding for the National Endowment for the Arts; the banning of offensive art from museums and schools; and the destruction of the "hoax of reason" in our increasingly random, irrational and meaningless age, the Republicans and Dadaists were unified in their condemnation of the role of the artist in society today.

"Homosexuals and depraved people of every stripe are receiving federal monies at taxpayer expense for the worst kind of filth imaginable," said U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC), a longtime NEA critic.

Dadaist Jean Arp agreed. "Dada is, like nature, without meaning. Dada is for nature and against art," he said.

Added nonsense-poet Hugo Ball, founder of Zurich's famed Cabaret Voltaire: "...'dada' ('Dada'). Adad Dada Dada Dada." Donning an elaborate, primitivist painted paper mask, he then engaged reporters in a tragico-absurd dance, contorting wildly while bellowing inanities.

Helms, well known for his opposition to arts funding, was adamant in his demand for the elimination of the NEA from the national budget.

"The American people will no longer stand for vulgar, nonsensical displays that masquerade as art," said Helms, who, along with U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), demanded the passage of obscenity laws granting police and government officials broader powers in the prosecution and censorship of art.

In a show of solidarity with the Republican legislators, Andre Breton, who founded the surrealist movement in 1923, fired a pistol at random into the crowd, conceptually evoking the hideous irrationality of the collective unconscious and wounding Hatch.

Urging reporters to "imagine a boot stamping on a face, eternally," Breton, along with Max Picabia, the most radical anti-art proponent within the Dadaist camp, then theatrically demonstrated Helms' vision. In a collaborative staged "manifestation," Picabia pencilled a series of drawings, which Breton erased as Picadia went along.

"So-called modern art is, at its core, an absurd and purposeless exercise," Helms said, echoing the Dadaists' illustration of the meaninglessness of art. He then announced the Gramm-Helms Decency Act, a bill that would facilitate the legal prosecution of obscenity, as well as establish stiffer penalities for the creators and exhibitors of "morally objectionable works."

Dadaist leaders were even more strident than Helms, stressing the need for the elimination of not only art, but also of dada itself. "To be a Dadaist means to be against dada," Arp said. "Dada equals anti-dada." Urging full-scale rioting, the assembled Dadaists called for their own destruction, each of them alternately running into the audience to pelt those still on stage with tomatoes.

In a gesture honoring Helms and the new bill, seminal anti-artist Marcel Duchamp drew a moustache and beard on a reproduction of Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa. Duchamp titled the resultant image "L.H.O.O.Q.," a series of initials which, when pronounced in French, forms the sentence "Helms au chaud au cul," or "Helms has hot pants."

Centered in Berlin, Paris and Zurich, the Dadaist movement was launched as a reaction of revulsion to the senseless butchery of World War I. "While the guns rumbled in the distance," Arp said, "we had a dim premonition that power-mad gangsters would one day use art itself as a means of deadening men's minds."

When told of Arp's comments, Helms said he was "fairly certain" that he concurred.

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