The greatest work of art George W. Bush ever took part in was in 2008, when an Iraqi journalist threw two shoes at his head. “This is a farewell kiss from the Iraqi people, you dog,” screamed the journalist, Muntadhar al-Zaidi, who had been arrested twice by U.S. forces during the occupation.
Bush dodged the shoes with the same ease with which he’d had dodged consequences all his life; those for drunk driving, for ruined companies, stolen elections, war crimes, the destruction of Zaidi’s country.
After he dodged the shoes, Bush joked about free countries. Meanwhile, guards beat Zaidi bloody. Police tortured him during the nine months he served in jail.
Inside the cellblocks at Gitmo, where men have languished for more than a decade, not charged with any crime, the palette is cold too—fluorescent bulbs on concrete. I wonder if Bush ever sketched there. Abu Zubaydah did. He was rendered by the CIA, tortured and locked forever in the secretive Camp Seven. Documents obtained through recent Freedom of Information Act requests reveal that Zubaydah drew the torture inflicted on him. The drawings, however, are classified.
I believe Bush paints because Bush can do anything. Every American dream, Bush got—an Ivy League education, running his own sports team, even the presidency. When each dream ended in failure, he grinned and moved on. Bush’s paintings are one more way of turning away from the past, just as he ignored the trail of blood Zaidi left as guards dragged him from the room.”—George Bush’s Paintings Aren’t Funny, Molly Crabapple at Politico Magazine (via boomvagynamite)