But I'm sick of all my old pictures and not in the frame of mind to start nailing up ill-focused snapshots of my kids; I have to look at them all the time as it is. I started googling around for cheap posters and typed "family, painting" into the search bar just to see what I would get.
I got this:
I liked it at first. Not really wall material, but nice. Happy family. Kids with the potential for more. Mom with farmer's tan. Blonde hair, ruddy cheeks . . . waaaaait a minute! Somethings not right there! I read the web description: "Study the painting by Wolf Willrich and identify five ways in which this family illustrates the perfect Nazi ideal."
ACK!!!! This is no ordinary family; this is an EVIL family!
Wait, there's more!
"Here are ten ways in which the painting represents the Nazi ideal:
- The family has four children, and the mother has just had a baby.
- The mother is caring for the baby.
- She wears a plain dress.
- She has her hair in a bun; she is not wearing make-up.
- The mother is not skinny.
- The family lives in a rural/farming environment.
- The boy wears his Hitler Youth uniform and is making something out of the clay.
- The younger sister plays with a doll - preparation for motherhood.
- The elder sister has plaited hair (acceptable fashions), and gazes longingly at the baby (longing for motherhood)."
And then #10 came along to save the day:
"10: The family have fair hair, athletic bodies and ruddy complexions - they are the ideal Aryans."
Phew, that was close. We may have our fair share of fair hair and ruddy complexions, but we're not athletic. So we get a pass? Yeah?
Um, probably not. The discovery of this picture and it's companion deconstruction (a good one, seeing that Willrich was a Nazi bent on educating Germans living abroad) reminded me of our past posts on Living Green to the destruction of children--Living Green at all costs while viewing faith in Christ, tradition, children, and narrow paths to be the stuff of fascism and evil at worst, immaturity and stupidity at best.
But just look at the kids in that picture; they're models of health. Look at mom and dad; they seem to like one another and appreciate their roles as husband and wife, father and mother. What a shame that such things got and get mixed up in a "positive" way with the vagaries of a "Nazi ideal." What a shame that today they get mixed up in a "negative" way with the vagaries of Living Green.
Bah. As Eliot wrote:
We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats’ feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar
Let us worry not a whit about the accusations, expectations, and depictions of this dark world as it slouches toward Bethlehem. For:
Hark! A thrilling voice is sounding!
"Christ is near," we hear it say.
"Cast away the works of darkness,
All you children of the day!" (LSB #345)
Happy Advent, everyone. Happy, happy Advent.