For newcomers, three more items from the archives:
A San Francisco “nude-in” reveals more than intended.
Some of you may register a whiff of disingenuousness in exhibitionists accusing their critics of being repressive and stuffy. Exhibitionists may be eager to dispense with clothing in incongruous locations – say, a traffic island in the middle of a busy intersection - but they desperately need an audience, preferably a clothed one, and preferably one that’s embarrassed, inconvenienced and unwilling. Those indulging in their kink for being noticed are, in effect, saying: “Hey, you. Look at my bollocks. I SAID, LOOK AT MY BOLLOCKS RIGHT NOW, YOU UPTIGHT CONSERVATIVE PRUDES!” And while I doubt many readers here are prone to fainting at the sight of withered genitals and subsiding buttocks, they may conceivably object to being made an accomplice to someone else’s psychodrama. Imagine you’re in a supermarket queue with a basket of groceries. Is the thought of some old bloke’s tackle hovering near your lettuce or freshly baked baguette a pleasing one? And isn’t that the whole point of “radical” exhibitionism - to shock, to transgress - to make others feel uncomfortable?
Laurie Penny champions Arts Council-funded dirt relocation. It’s vital for “social progress.”
It’s so unexpected. Pretentious taxpayer-funded noodling is vital, says beneficiary of pretentious taxpayer-funded noodling. Because Laurie believes in folly, see, ideally when done at someone else’s expense and regardless of their objections. And because without the Arts Council and its politically generic freeloading caste, all human progress would simply grind to a halt. Besides, grumbling about the extortion and misuse of other people’s money - half a million pounds of it – is, she says, anodyne and inconsequential. Presumably, taxpayers shouldn’t trouble themselves with how their earnings are expropriated and pissed away by their betters. Artists, it seems, are visionaries, not made of mortal flesh, and so sacrifice is necessary - yours, of course, not theirs. Laurie illustrates this point unwittingly and with her usual grandiose sorrow: “Is this what human progress has come to? Fighting over the scraps of money left as the markets crumble?” Oh, the indignity of not being given all the money you want just because you want it.
The public funding of vandalism? The Guardian approves.
The millionaire “anti-capitalist” Banksy would have us believe that “crime against property is not real crime,” though residents and business owners whose property has been defaced and who’ve been left with the cost of cleaning and repair may take a rather different, less sophisticated view. Especially given that such crime tends to affect people who earn considerably less than Banksy. Lest we forget, graffiti, like broken windows, can act as a signal to other vandals and predators. And the residents of graffiti-blighted neighbourhoods, which can subsequently become blighted by other forms of crime, may find little comfort in the notion that their own taxes could soon be funding and legitimising more of the same.
Slip into something comfortable and peruse the greatest hits.