New York Times defends green activist desecration of art — just as another one throws mashed potatoes on a Monet

The toddler-like philistines who've made a practice of desecrating art in Europe by throwing their food at it in the name of climate activism are at it again, throwing mashed potatoes on a priceless Monet in Potsdam, Germany this morning.

According to NBC News:

Police arrested a pair of German protesters who, in a bid to bring attention to the perils of climate change, threw mashed potatoes Sunday at a Claude Monet painting that once sold for more than $110 million.

As we say to toddlers, this is why we can't have nice things.

These moves are happening all over now, as they attract wide publicity for the greenie cause, but they also are extremely unpopular with the public and, from a practical point of view, do absolutely nothing to save the Earth.  Instead of picking up trash, these headline-seeking fanatics are making trash — and using petroleum products to do it.

But in the time it took for two green activists to trash Vincent van Gogh's "Sunflowers" masterpiece in London by throwing their tomato soup on it, and this pair who threw their food on the Monet, we learn that they've all got an enabler — writing in the pages of the New York Times.

Andreas Malm, whose Wikipedia page describes him as Marxist, is a Swedish author and associate professor of ecology at Sweden's Lund University.  His last claim to fame was defending the blowing up of pipelines to protest fossil fuels, defending eco-terrorism to much controversy in the pages of the New York Times.

This time, he wrote that he likes sabotage, so he was first skeptical of the climate activists who threw the soup on the painting.  The publicity they garnered in the press, though, changed his mind about it.  He wrote:

But as the scattershot from the National Gallery ricocheted across social media, eliciting everything from mockery to admiration, I had second thoughts. There might be room for this kind of action, too.  

Room?  What is he talking about?  You wreck the Monet, you don't get another Monet to replace it.  It's gone.  Extinct.  Art like this shouldn't become a cheap prop for protest.  And like van Gogh, Monet was a nature-lover.  Lotta logic in that Taliban-style attack, and they are still doing it, still getting away with it, and now getting more aggressive

After taking an obnoxious potshot at leading art critic Jerry Saltz, who criticized the acts, and whose well of art knowledge is deep, Malm went on to defend the art desecration, citing a green activist:

"We need to break the mirage that everything is fine and shatter the illusion of normal life," explained Indigo Rumbelow, an organizer with Just Stop Oil, when I spoke with her. A trip to the museums, a football match, a journey to work — anything is up for disruption in this view. The goal is to jump onto every stage and create enough disorder to make it impossible to ignore the ongoing climate breakdown. 

His justification for the activity was even more irrational:

As for the ethics of property destruction, it is not, in this case, very complicated. Fossil fuels kill people. If you disrupt the flow of such fuels and damage the machinery they impel, you prevent deaths. You stop the perpetration of harm. You may destroy an inanimate object — and no one in the climate movement is suggesting anything other than targeting dead things — so as to protect living beings. Or, put differently, if you are locked in a house on fire, you have a right to break some windows to get out.

If the logic and ethics here seem straightforward‌, the tactical terrain is not. How do we make sure that no one is physically harmed in the process? Just what windows will be most effective to break? What openings will attract larger numbers of people to make the leap? We don't know what, if anything, will work, which is why, perhaps, the movement needs both: flippant attention grabbing as well as surgical shutdowns, in a diversity of disruptions. We cannot afford to forgo creative methods that might further the cause.

He called the trashing of other people's art without their consent "creative."

Somebody's projecting.

He's been a nut for years, and isn't intellectually or morally fit to be in the same room as Saltz, or in the pages of the New York Times. 

What's outrageous here is that the New York Times has given this Luddite a platform anyway.  That platform serves to egg on more radical protestors — and marginalize the ethical protesters by default.

The Times may claim that's because it favors a diversity of views, but tell that to James Bennet, who was effectively fired for running an opposition editorial by Sen. Tom Cotton and made a pariah for it.

What's more, as Ed Driscoll at Instapundit notes, they're full of double standards

While the Times routinely rails against the "insurrection" on January 6 and sees all "domestic terrorism" as a right-wing problem, it promotes a climate insurrection and left-wing domestic terrorism. Malm explicitly champions sabotage and violence — even guerrilla warfare! — as an efficient path to ending fossil fuels[.]

So a riot by right-wing fanatics at the Capitol is not OK, but guerrilla warfare against Old Masters art, if it's done by the right fanatics, is?

Speaking of double-standards...

It shows that the Times doesn't have a leg to stand on in its publication of this maniac's advocacy of violence against priceless art.  They can't say they publish for diversity's sake because of how they came down on editor Bennet.  They can't say they favor civility and democracy because of the way they give Malm a platform. 

It goes to show that the Times is just part of the cheerleading section that is egging these art-trashing radicals on.  Obviously, if we follow the money, we may find that it leads to more interesting places.  Who is it who's given the Times the OK to publish this tripe — foundations?  Resetters at Davos?  Vlad Putin (who's been known to finance this kind of energy protest)?  Guys who want the value of their own art to go up by threatening the publicly viewable museum pieces?  Who indeed is behind this move to trash Europe's art and destroy property, which comes at a very bad time as winter approaches, heating bills are high, and shortages abound?  Somebody is, because the Times is giving Malm a platform to spew his intellectual pollution.

Image: Code Rood via Wikimedia CommonsCC BY-SA 2.0.

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