My post title is somewhat misleading, because I actually don’t have an opinion about the artist Banksy. You can’t revisit what never existed. Up until about ten minutes ago, I didn’t care about him one way or the other, neither to like nor to dislike; nor to respect nor to revile. For me, his name is familiar; everything else about him has, in the past, fallen into the “whatever” category.
However, Banksy’s opinion about the building rising at Ground Zero in New York suggests that he’s more than a “whatever.” It’s not just that the piece demands that the City itself not cry craven at Ground Zero but, instead, bravely assert itself in the wake of 9/11 (never mind that it’s taken 12 years even to start building something). What really makes Banksy’s latest move unusual is that he calls out The New York Times for its own craven behavior when it comes to an opinion piece demanding better for New York.
Banksky printed at his personal blog an editorial that the NYT refused to run. Why? One can guess. Banksy just states the facts. “Today’s piece was going to be an op-ed column in the New York Times. But they declined to publish what I supplied. Which was this…”
In the same post, Banksy includes some new art work illustrating censorship:
Our suspicion is that the Times wants desperately to pretend that 9/11 never happened because it is an invitation to cognitive dissonance. Islam is not a religion of piece, al Qaeda is not gone, and Barack Obama hasn’t made America more safe. An op-ed demanding that the new tower trumpet America’s triumph over a foul ideology is simply unacceptable to a media institution drowning in dhimmitude.
So, when it comes to Banksy, there’s definitely more there than has met my eye. I I’m prepared to respect any society darling who has the decency to attack The New York Times. Most people in society desperately crave the Times’ approval, so it’s very rare indeed for an insider to speak out.