Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A schoolkid echoes Holbein and gets suspended

In the latest oddity of our fear-driven age, a second grader in Taunton, Mass. has been suspended over a drawing of Jesus and told to undergo psychological evaluation (at his parents' expense).

His artwork:

"...because he put Xs in the eyes of Jesus, the teacher was alarmed and they told the parents they thought it was violent," an educational consultant with the Associated Advocacy Center told the Taunton Gazette.

It may be too effusive to say so, but this child's iconography shows a deep theological truth. The Crucifixion was no mere illusion of death.

Perhaps that realization hit the teacher too closely.

The drawing itself is like a child's version of the Jesus in Hans Holbein's painting "The Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb."

Note the disturbed reaction to that painting from Ippolit, the death-obsessed character in Dostoevsky's The Idiot:

"Looking at that picture, you get the impression of nature as some enormous, implacable, and dumb beast, or, to put it more correctly, much more correctly, though it may seem strange, as some huge engine of the latest design, which has senselessly seized, cut to pieces, and swallowed up--impassively and unfeelingly--a great and priceless Being, a Being worth the whole of nature and all its laws, worth the entire earth, which was perhaps created solely for the coming of that Being!

...The people surrounding the dead man, none of whom is shown in the picture, must have been overwhelmed by a feeling of terrible anguish and dismay on that evening which had shattered all their hopes and almost all their beliefs at one fell blow. They must have parted in a state of the most dreadful terror, though each of them carried away within him a mighty thought which could never be wrested from him."

Forget a psych exam, get that kid a paintbrush.

Update: The Associated Press claims that the school district denies the father's account. How will this turn out?


Anonymous said...

Let's hope the parents stand up to this teacher and the rest of the school employees! Great drawing, young one!

Kold_Kadavr_flatliner said...

HEAR YE! O HEAR YE!! Just wanna let youse know having a BIG-OL party on my drawbridge in Heaven after my demise. So, why don't you meet me Upstairs for a beer where you can bitch at me as we play thumb wars? Kick-ass, huh? God blessa youse.

ekwughastanchubby@yahoo.com said...

Chei! I nukwa uwa mmebi? Our society is psychologically sick. People are afraid of shadow. Creativity is termed violence. Are we safe? Even the teachers are not free from the malady. God save us.