"John Pierson is one of the unsung heroes of the independent–film explosion of the last decade. Just ask him. A New York–based producer's rep, he was among the first to discover and help finance the debuts of such filmmakers as Spike Lee, Michael Moore, Richard Linklater, Rose Troche, and Kevin Smith. Pierson recounts these discoveries and describes the booming independent–film scene from the inside in his memoir Spike, Mike, Slackers & Dykes: A Guided Tour Across a Decade of American Independent Cinema, a book as personal and idiosyncratic as some of the films he has nurtured."
(Gary Susman, 1995, Phoenix Media/Communication Group)
"George Crofutt, publisher of a fashionable western travel guide series, commissioned the creation of 'American Progress' by the Brooklyn resident, painter, and lithographer, John Gast. Crofutt reproduced the petite painting, done in 1872, as a color lithograph poster and also engraved the image in the guidebooks he published widely circulating the image. The painting depicts a sense of technological development's advancement upon the untamed land like the coming of an impenetrable, inevitable militia with one uncharacteristic exception––the company is led by a feminine figure.
In the wake of four years of Civil War, the creation of the promotional material of 'American Progress' portrays a spiritualized feminine that provides nurturing, protective guidance and fortitude for the extension of civilization over wilderness and the 'uncivilized,' the enigmatic, and the primal. Disembodied, the idealized feminine portrays the evolution of the split of spirit from daily life as well as the sanctified superiority of the immigrants above human beings who lived in harmony with the spirit of the land.
The dominating and centralized angelic being's paradoxical innocence and sensually alluring presence has the effect of distracting and softening the reality and the violence of this movement to 'win the west' where Native Americans depart the frame as non– natives stake claims in the form of prospectors, as settlers: farmers, homesteaders, and travelers. One of the popular artists of the times, Maynard Dixon speaks of the untruth of the romanticized representation of facts as he complained he was being paid to lie in his artwork and portrayals of life on the wild prairie (Dixon).
Fueled by an underlying desire to be free from tyrannical government and the prospect of a new life and livelihood in a world new to them, Euro–Americans manifested suffering and persecution similar to the very situation they sought to escape."
(Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism)
Fig.1 John Gast (1872). "American Progress", painting: oil
"The word terror activates your fear, and fear activates the strict father model, which is what conservatives want. The 'war on terror' is not about stopping you from being afraid, it's about making you afraid."
(George Lakoff, 2004)
George Lakoff (2004). "Don't Think of an Elephant: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate", Chelsea Green Publishing.
[George Lakoff uses the metaphor of the family to explain contemporary American conservative politics. He draws a distinction between a strict father model and a nurturing parents model. He believes that George Bush and his conservative cronies evoke the strict father model as a mechanism for enforcing control and reframing debate around issues of security and self–interest. The conservatives in Australia appear to be following a similar line – evident in their anti–terrorism campaign, played–out through television advertisements and train station billboards.]