Another Political Bestiary, Ep. VIII

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The Tweet (2018). Acrylic on paper. Artwork and text copyright Danny Grosso.

Continuing the expeditions of Jeff MacNelly, James Kilpatrick, and Eugene McCarthy, with apologies.

The Tweet

The Tweet species traces its lineage back to forebears of friendly disposition, bent only on including their neighbors in all of the happy moments of existence. Of late, however, the bend has become increasingly more severe, toward animosity, and, in some holding the highest of offices, toward self-incrimination. Researchers have not reached consensus on why this happens, but there is some evidence that that the Tweet may not actually know that it has turned its weapons on itself; there seems to be a level of innate ignorance that cannot be breached. Moreover, the Tweet, in malevalent form, often magnifies its damage to self by binding together with others of the species, forming a flock of misspent emotional energy, bent on humiliation, and called a Tweet Storm. Look for this flurry of crazed activity in the early morning hours of days when certain high government officials have no official events planned.

 

-Danny Grosso

Another Political Bestiary, Ep. VII

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The Garland (2018). Oil and acrylic on paper. Artwork and text copyright Danny Grosso.

Continuing the expeditions of Jeff MacNelly, James Kilpatrick, and Eugene McCarthy, with apologies.

The Garland

The Garland is an efficient, honest, and dutiful creature of exemplary character. Unassuming in appearance, yet often possessing a keen intellect, the Garland is usually found perched on federal appeals courts, honing its sense of reason among other accomplished beings. For most of its life, the Garland lives in the rarefied habitat of bipartisan adoration, receiving innumerable accolades, which, in turn, the creature dismisses as inappropriate. Here, however, begins the mystery of the Garland. Inevitably, notwithstanding is high station, the Garland is always and forever stunted and stymied. The attempts of its benefactors to elevate the Garland seem to be subject to rules so arcane as to be unverifiable, or to rules otherwise just made up by myopic majority leaders. The effect of all this is to leave the Garland in a state of suspended regard, still receiving the best wishes of all interested parties, but unable to ride the hot air of good will to rise to the highest judicial perch.

Still, wings clipped, it soldiers on, working its way through life each day, seemingly oblivious to the injustice of its story. Sometimes though, at night, along the Potomac, one can hear the creature discreetly chirp its song,  the uncanny “Call the vote, Call the vote…”.

 

Danny Grosso

Another Political Bestiary, Ep. VI

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The Dark Presence (2018). Acrylic on wood. Artwork and text copyright Danny Grosso.

Continuing the expeditions of Jeff MacNelly, James Kilpatrick, and Eugene McCarthy, with apologies.

The Dark Presence

Long elusive and unspoken about, but lately a visible void and a subject of wide discourse, the Dark Presence rocketed into public view during the beginning of the endless wars of the 21st Century. Often taking the form of a featureless and shrouded bureaucrat, the DP can mix with the general population when it senses the time is right to maximize its influence on a wavering head of state. Through whisper-like voicings of some depth, the DP can turn the searching head and command the listening ear. This underestimated entity is rumored to be the Iago de facto to some of history’s most tragic figures. It may have brought down more politicians than junket mixers and video evidence.

In repose, as is its habit during times of general consensus, the Dark Presence provides little evidence of its impressive CV, instead biding its time in corners, spinning webs and deepening its opacity. Its incarnations over the years have progressively grown in stature, and it is said the the DP harbors a secret ambition to become a black hole that swallows up the entire government.

 

-Danny Grosso

Another Political Bestiary, Ep. V

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The Compromise (2018). Acrylic on paper. Artwork and text copyright Danny Grosso.

Continuing the expeditions of Jeff MacNelly, James Kilpatrick, and Eugene McCarthy, with apologies.

The Compromise

Thought to be extinct for at least two election cycles, the Compromise has become the Capitol’s UFO – rarely seen but always fleeting.  Forever enigmatic, even in its heyday among back-slapping country club pols, the long-armed Compromise of late became more the spectre or puff of smoke, a trail leading to nowhere, a closing door. Once the aspirational ideal of the ambitious, the creature is now a discarded relic of bygone age. However, it has long been thought that the Compromise had, in opportune times, rooted itself into the Constitutional system.  If true, this forecasts the possible return of the species under proper conditions.

 

-Danny Grosso

Another Political Bestiary, Ep. IV

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The Gerrymander (2018). Acrylic on Paper. Artwork and text copyright Danny Grosso.

Continuing the expeditions of Jeff MacNelly, James Kilpatrick, and Eugene McCarthy, with apologies.

The Gerrymander

Part fanciful artistry and part killer calculation, the Gerrymander is a fluid, long-tailed and hump-backed beast, sometimes horned and toothsome, borne of the angry coupling of partisan victory and mercilessness. It fashions its lair by stealing away bits and pieces of its neighbors’ holdings until it has assembled a safe, homogeneous district to call home. It then sets about making rules for the manse designed to convince those unlikely to conform that they should remove themselves from the district. The ensuing exodus ingeniously insures the survival of the new rules by purging dissenting voices, thereby also guaranteeing the safety of the Gerrymander itself.

The Gerrymander is content to lie quietly in its misshapen habitat, and await its eventual demise that will come with a change of legislative majority. The lifespan of the species was once thought to be short, but is now clearly increasing. This is likely due to a recent change of climate that provides for the growth of a sheltering political canopy – one that may protect the Gerrymander from its traditional enemies, reform and sunlight.

 

-Danny Grosso 

 

 

 

Another Political Bestiary, Ep. III

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The Climber (2018). Oil and acrylic on paper. Artwork and text copyright Danny Grosso.

Continuing the expeditions of Jeff MacNelly, James Kilpatrick, and Eugene McCarthy, with apologies.

The Climber

Drawn to power, Climbers are rumored to have been present, in immaculately powdered wigs, at the opening of the very first Capitol chambers in D.C. The species has changed its appearance over time through the use of a chameleon-like talent for mirroring the prevailing sartorial and social trends of the era. Its intellectual ambivalence and moral flexibility allows it to use its greatest tool, the ability to ingratiate, with aplomb. Ever eager to please, the Climber portrays itself as selfless, perhaps to disguise the fact that it seeks only to further its own selfish agenda. Its life is a ceaseless effort to push itself up the political, social, or professional ladder on which it resides. Climbers have no sense of personal space or decorum, and can often be seen at the heels, or in the side offices, of some of the town’s most disreputable, yet powerful, people. They are so plentiful and adaptive that they, at times, may seem indistinguishable from their powerful superiors. However, around holidays, a strange penchant for costumes is often the trait that betrays the Climber and its well-known obsession for blending in. One easy tip for those interested in further study: find the staffer in the bunny costume at the White House Easter Egg Roll.

 

-Danny Grosso

Another Political Bestiary, Ep. II

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The Stubborn Base (2018).  Oil and acrylic on paper. Artwork and text copyright Danny Grosso.

Continuing the expeditions of Jeff MacNelly, James Kilpatrick, and Eugene McCarthy, with apologies.

The Stubborn Base

The Stubborn Base is an infectious, multi-entity organism that harnesses its throngs of moving parts for the converse purpose of denying movement. It is often grouped in boisterous regional colonies that seem desirable to otherwise unindoctrinated outsiders looking for a place to belong. Perceived desirability is the ruse by which the SB spreads its contagion – for it is often predation, not accommodation, that guides this organism’s behavior. Once the colony peaks the interest of its prey, the SB then momentarily distracts it by offering the illusion of fealty in great numbers. It then unleashes its pestilence. Neophytes and second-tier candidates are seduced by overtures in chorus from the SB, only to find out later, sadly, that the organism is tone deaf. Alas, by then it is too late; the SB has already infected the unsuspecting victim, depriving it of any capacity for original thought. Moreover, the contagion leaves any associated campaign paralyzed by outdated dogmas, polarizing rhetoric, and web-like infra-alliances that weigh down, slow, and eventually halt any vital momentum.

The SB can take many forms, but may sometimes be identified by blocky growths on the feet of its sub-entity members, the presence of wall-like physical and rhetorical structures around the colony, and the tacky habit of members wearing similar headgear.

-Danny Grosso