Picasso’s Barnyard and Iran

The recent Pablo Picasso exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario featured an interesting work titled, The Farmer’s Wife. Painted in 1938 just prior to the outbreak of World War II, it is one of Picasso’s darker works. Though impressionistic, the farmer’s wife languidly reclines across the bottom of the canvas, with a crowing rooster in the upper left hand corner. According to the curator’s notes, the nude wife is ignoring the rooster’s crowing. But the crowing is an alarm, a wake-up call of war. Specifically, the farmer’s wife, “self-absorbed Europe,” is indifferent to the fascist takeover of Spain by General Franco.  

Only a few years later came the news reports about Germany’s growing army and munitions capability. Maybe the rooster read Mein Kampf, in which Hitler outlined exactly what he planned to do to the world and to the Jews, because there was a whole barnyard of roosters crowing madly across Europe and England, but the farmer’s wife remained indolent. Only when the Nazis invaded Poland did she hear the rooster, or perhaps finally admit to it, with England declaring war on Germany to launch WW ll.

And now, only 3/4 of a century later, the Dynamic Duo of the Iranian Ayatollah and the President of Iran, Ahmadinejad are ably taking up where the furor left off: mad rantings and threats to destroy the world, specifically The Great Satan, and of course, the Jews and their homeland, Israel. Taking Iran hostage, these Muslim fanatics and their presidential henchman have become the leading exporter of state sponsored terrorism. Iran is ably abetted by a Jihadist Islamic movement seeking to reconquer lost lands. Even the deaf can hear the Iranian threats and boasts as they drive to develop nuclear weapons. They already have developed the rocketry required to deliver their Armageddon-payload capable of striking and destroying Israel, as well as any other location in the Middle east.

Iran’s theocracy has recently been caught plotting to kill a Saudi diplomat in New York, as well bombing the Israeli embassy there. Iran is also trying to form ties with Mexican drug cartels and several South American dictators as it works to export terror closer to the American heartland. Maybe they’ll do a reprise of the old USSR – Cuba dance, and ship some of those rockets and warheads to their South American buddies where they’ll be in striking range of the United States. Maybe then, threatened as Israel is now, the present U.S. administration, American cousin to The Farmer’s Wife, might wake up. But for now, Europe sleeps again and America has relegated the unhappy and terrifying memory of 9/11 as a ‘one of,’ languidly appeasing the Mullahs, a la Neville Chamberlain.

There is no Picasso to paint anew his canvas, the UN is pretty much the manure pile in the corner, and no one seems to be aware of the collision course that the world is on,  except possibly Israel, given that it is the country being targeted. 

And still, the rooster shrieks!