The Wealthy, the Weary, The Oblivious

Wealthy, Weary, Oblivious

This might be the first truly original idea I have come up with in my life. Our culture of rampant consumerism gnaws at me more and more. Notice how everything is “sponsored” these days? Pro sports stadiums are named for banks or oil companies, you cannot surf the web anymore without waiting for the “skip this ad” button to appear to click on, and golf pros and NASCAR drivers are decked out with sponsor logos. So, hey, I thought, why don’t we deck out our military hardware with their sponsors too? Oil companies. When you get down to it, that is why we have been at war for over a decade now. Oh, and how about including some of the contractors that are getting rich, rich, rich from this 720 billion dollar a year defense budget (larger than the next 15 countries combined, most of which, ironically, we count as allies). So, I came up with “sponsored” Humvee! 
   The symbolism I wanted to get across in this is actually threefold: First, the aformentioned feeding at the pig trough. Second, the fact that the people doing the dirty deeds are one tenth of one percent of the population, the soldiers, sailors and airman who have gone off to do their duty three, four, sometimes five or six deployments worth. They are tired. That is the guy atop the vehicle with his head in his hands. As an extra added bonus, the suspect is wearing green fatigues and an old style helmet. Yup, he is the ghost oh Vietnam, a previous unwinable war that we obviously learned nothing from. Third, we have the pit crew. That represents the rest of us shmucks who have not been asked for anything except to stick a magnetic yellow ribbon on our trunk lid, and, oh yeah, to go shopping, go to disneyworld. We just go about our business, watching Survivor,  cooking shows, or Duck Dynasty. Yeah, yeah, and hitting golf balls. Guilty as charged.
   In doing the research for this I was surprised to find out that the Army (your tax dollars at work) sponsors NASCAR drivers. I guess they figure they can get a lot of recruiting mileage out of that. That, to me, is nothing short of obscene, so also fits nicely with the painting. 
   I know, I know, there goes PG off on his soapbox again. Why can’t he just make nice pictures like all the other painters that get good grades in works and plays well with others? That might be a good question for Ai Wei Wei. I saw an exhibit by him this past summer at the IMA and got inspired, you might say. If you don’t know who he is look him up. While you are waiting for the search engine you can look at all the nice ads…