For newcomers, more items from the archives:
Our betters sail north at taxpayer expense. Gas is released courageously.
Such was the level of inspiration, some of the assembled artists began to work their creative magic immediately: “Tracy Rowledge constructed three series of ‘automated’ physical drawings, mapping the movement of the boat during the expedition.” For readers of a technical inclination, these ‘automated’ drawings involved suspending a felt-tip pen from the underside of a chair, resulting in random scribble on numerous sheets of paper positioned underneath. This feat was “REALLY exciting,” we learn, as it “explored movement, time, place and permanence.” The radical innovation also freed the artist to leave the dangling pen and do something more interesting. According to her two brief blog entries, the sum total of her commentary, Ms Rowledge spent much of this liberated time struggling with Greenlandic place names and making sure her fellow passengers knew how “overwhelmed” she was.
On the routine vainglory of the academic left.
Professor Surber’s self-regard continues to tumesce. He has fathomed all of history and it validates him. Liberal-arts professors tend to be leftwing, we’re told, “because we liberal-arts professors... have carefully studied the actual dynamics of history and culture; and we have trained ourselves to think in complex, nuanced, and productive ways.” In short, if you haven’t reached a similarly leftwing conclusion, then you haven’t achieved sufficient complexity and nuance in your thinking, you peasant. Luckily, we can count on Professor Surber and his peers to guide us to the light, such is their benign magnificence. They may be cruelly underappreciated, but by God they’re better than us and they will save us from ourselves.
The unhappy sights at San Francisco’s 2012 radical nude-in:
The standard blather about “civil rights” and “body image” isn’t very convincing. One doesn’t have to have “unrealistic issues of body shame” to find the exhibitionism tiresome or inappropriate. And the denials of any sexual aspect are also unconvincing, especially given that so many of the participants are enthusiasts of fetish clubs and websites catering to people who like public sex and scandalising others, and for whom the whole point is to have an audience, whether titillated or repelled. It’s rather like how the people at last year’s ‘protest’ claimed they just wanted to be left alone - while squealing for attention on a traffic island in the middle of a busy intersection.
Setting aside the issues of exposing oneself to children, the impact on local businesses, etc., what’s objectionable is that random people are being made participants in the exhibitionists’ psychodrama, whether they wish to be or not. For many, if not most, of the ‘activists’, this isn’t even about an enjoyment of being naked per se. It’s about confronting other people with unsolicited nakedness. Being nude in private or among consenting nudists in dedicated bars, clubs, spas, on nature trails, at specialist beaches, etc - of which San Francisco has plenty - doesn’t give the ‘activists’ enough of a thrill because the people there are willing. Hence the demand to display their genitals in front of random passers-by. An audience is required in order to feel transgressive and it’s pretty obvious that’s what matters. They want to be naked near you.
There’s more, should you crave it, in the greatest hits.
Also, open thread.