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March 2016

A Performance Art Sampler

In which the students of Ms Sandrine Schaefer, a winner of the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art’s Foster Prize, stagger beneath the knee-buckling weight of their own immense talents. From Ms Phoebe Warner, an aspiring educator of children, and her exercise in gratuitous, somewhat masochistic thigh abuse, to the cryptically-named Fatty Spice, a Twitter poet and graduate of the Montserrat College of Art, who “makes shrines to her failed relationships” and dazzles us today with a pink ensemble and a gripping exercise in drooling, doomed horticulture and radical fatness. All captured for posterity at the Zeitgeist Gallery and Studios, Beverly, Massachusetts, May 2014

Readers will of course recall Ms Schaefer’s own, even more staggering contributions to the culture. A body of work perhaps best summarised by this video of the artist gnawing at a lettuce while slouching in her underpants

Friday Ephemera

How cats and dogs differ. // 2,000 ball bearings and one of these. // An en caul birth. // When patience is tested on British roads. // “The laws would allow people to ‘bequeath’ their dead bodies for necrophilic intercourse.” // Pilea involucrata.// Pictures posted on social media accounts cause cancer in children, says Islamic cleric. // It’s not paint thinner, it’s moonshine. // Issues of If magazine, 1952-1974. // First world problem. // Janice Fiamengo on so-called “structural violence.” // Trek enthusiasts convene, 1976. // Gershwin plays Gershwin, 1924. // A guide to British industrial history. // I question the geography. // What happens to marshmallows in a vacuum? // Vienna. // I’m pretty sure a thing like that shouldn’t be in there. // And great scenery + toilet = good times.

Elsewhere (190)

Further to this, Juan Carlos Hidalgo on the vanity and horror of Venezuelan socialism: 

A couple of years ago, the then minister of education admitted that the aim of the regime’s policies was “not to take the people out of poverty so they become middle class and then turn into escuálidos” (a derogatory term to denote opposition members). In other words, the government wanted grateful, dependent voters, not prosperous Venezuelans.

As noted many times, the left’s self-imagined radicals have little to gain from successful, independent people. Because success and independence – independence of them makes you the enemy.  

And Thomas Sowell on socialist thinking as sleight-of-hand: 

Free college of course has an appeal to the young, especially those who have never studied economics. But college cannot possibly be free. It would not be free even if there was no such thing as money… Those young people who understand this, whether clearly or vaguely, are not likely to be deterred from wanting socialism. Because what they really want is for somebody else to pay for their decision to go to college.

British readers may recall the student rioting of 2010, during which students took thuggish umbrage at the thought of being expected to pay for their own choices, like adults, albeit with generous credit, and while depicting themselves as “slaves.” A bold choice of words for people so engorged with entitlement that they assume an unassailable right to other people’s earnings. Stripped of its threats and theatrical pretensions, the students’ message was: “I don’t think the degree course I’ve chosen is worth paying for and yet I refuse to do without, therefore someone else should be forced to pay for it instead.”

And by happy coincidence, these little clownlings are currently ‘occupying’ a lecture hall at Sheffield University and demanding a “free, non-hierarchical” university education. Because choosing to take a degree course that they don’t want to pay for, and don’t think is worth paying for, is apparently “a radical act,” and because, being so fabulous, so incredibly radical, they have a “right” to the money that other people had to earn by doing something of value. According to the occupiers and their supporters, learning useful skills and thereby becoming employable “is exactly what education shouldn’t be [about].” Which suggests they probably aren’t the engineers and biochemists of tomorrow.

Feel free to share your own links and snippets in the comments. It’s what these posts are for.