The Man Who Couldn’t Find Out How to be Afraid

The thought police

Lars Vilks, the Swede behind the Modoggies, is still in the news, and is still facing death threats.

According to Martin Lindeskog, “Lars Vilks has now received an open death threat from a woman located on the west coast of Sweden.”
A Modoggie
And in a comment on Mr. Vilks’ blog, one Hadi has left the following message:

i will f**k u soon in sweden. i am come fra irans goverment to kill u there! be sure boy.

The Swedish media have, as usual, been dancing around the whole issue in a kind of Multicultural Tarantella. In the very widely read and highly respected political blog “i hjärtat rebell” (“in my heart a rebel”), Dick Erixon writes:

[The Swedish #2 newspaper] Expressen shows a picture of bin Laden as Jesus — but does not show any picture of the rondell-doggies.

The mainstream media continue to dissemble about freedom of speech. Page one of the tabloid Expressen shows a picture of bin Laden becoming Jesus — but has not shown Mohammed as a rondell-doggie. Expressen utilizes freedom of speech to offend Christians, but refuses to do it in order to offend Muslims. Thus Expressen is running errands for the totalitarian forces. Expressen obeys and capitulates to those who threaten and use violence. The Swedish media have learned nothing, but carry on the same kind of cringing as during the 1930s. This is the height of cowardice.

The Danish media, on the other hand, are more forthright, as is their custom. In last Friday’s Berlingske Tidende there was a profile of Lars Vilks headlined Manden, der ikke kunne finde ud af at blive bange — “The man who couldn’t find out how to be afraid”.
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Lars VilksSo who is it that inaugurated the latest crisis by drawing a picture entitled “The Prophet as a Rondellhund”? Who is this man Lars Vilks?

He’s a genial-looking white-haired fellow who presides over his own country, the sovereign state of Ladonia, in what would otherwise be considered Skåne, or southern Sweden.

Drawing pictures is a sideline for him: his principal occupation is making large eccentric sculptures out of driftwood found along the shores of his domain.

He is signally undeterred by death threats and all the other forms of disapproval heaped upon him; every time someone new complains, he simply draws another Modoggie and posts it on his blog.

And, concerning his art, this is what Lars Vilks writes on his blog:

I have a clear idea that the majority visiting this site have little or no experience of contemporary art. For example, it is a common belief that the drawings are the art and that the judgments will be based thereon. Only in an entirely insignificant extent is the art located in the drawings. The substantial center of gravity is in the observers’ experience and reaction. Consequently, if you want to judge the art project you have to read your own and all the others’ comments on this site and try to judge and assess the artistic values of these.

This is a quintessentially high modernist (if not postmodernist) take on art: that it consists of the interaction between the viewer and the work, and is not inherent in the work itself.

Judging by the interaction between Lars Vilks’ viewers and the Rondellhund drawings, the Modoggies include in their artistic content blasphemy, outrage, provocation, insult, and offense in the eyes of Allah.

Two ProphetsBut Mr. Vilks maintains that the Rondellhundar only prove that anything can be taken as religiously offensive by the viewer; that blasphemy against the Prophet can be detected in virtually any work of art, provided that the frame is positioned correctly.

To illustrate his point, he has created the “Two Prophets”. Let’s see how long it is before they start burning Swedish flags in Peshawar and Isfahan over that one.

The Prophet as a ShoeThen there’s a new line of fun objects: variations on “The Prophet as a Shoe”. As we all know, Muslims are grievously offended by footwear — the only thing more humiliating and insulting than being waved at with the left hand is to be struck by another man’s shoe.

So if this new craze ever hits the MSM, then watch out, Sweden!

Most of the material on which this post is based was gathered and translated by our Swedish correspondent LN.

For previous posts on Lars Vilks and the Roundabout Dogs, see the Modoggie Archives.

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