Modern art can be pretty weird or boring. For example, rotting fish as art? That’s odd and not very interesting. Rotting fish spontaneously combusting? Count us in.
An exhibition of the art of Lee Bul in London had its opening delayed because one of the pieces of art caught fire unexpectedly. The South Korean artist’s work “Majestic Splendor,” which is a series of rotting fish with sequins on them, is one of the highlights of the show. However, it smells really bad. To combat the smell, officials used a chemical that isn’t flammable, but can increase how flammable other things are.
Majestic Splendor was in the process of being removed as an obvious safety risk when it spontaneously combusted. Luckily, the rotting fish and other great works were not damaged.
Nearly 100 years ago, the nation was gripped by the Scopes Monkey Trial, which disappointingly did not end in a tense cross-examination of a monkey. If that case about whether science teachers can teach evolution was the defining case of American society in 1925, then the Monkey Selfie Trial of 2018 is our generation’s.
The case of PETA on behalf of Naruto, a monkey who took some selfies using photographer David J. Slater’s camera and Slater later taking credit for the photos in a book, sums up pretty much everything about our creative culture today. Just as early 20th century Americans wondered if embracing the benefits of new science and technology meant giving up their spiritual identity, so too does Naruto (if that is, in fact, the monkey’s legal name) grapple with his own unrewarded vanity and questions about the true ownership of digital intellectual property.
Both are complicated topics that we will debate well into the next century, as we wonder when, oh when, will we see a monkey wearing a judge’s robe and barrister wig preside over a televised small claims trial. While the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled Monday, upholding a lower court that, no, Naruto doesn’t own the rights to his selfie photos, we will also still wonder who owns the selfies that we shoot and share online.
But, what isn’t ambiguous? That, as hippy-dippy as PETA can be, nobody–not nobody–out-liberals the 9th Circuit Appeals Court.
The 9th didn’t have to weigh in; PETA and the photographer already settled. Mr. Slater will donate 25 percent of the earnings from his book to charities “that protect the habitat of Naruto and other crested macaques in Indonesia,” as PETA described it.
Instead of taking the obvious “of course the monkey doesn’t have rights” avenue, the court believes PETA, Naruto’s legal “next friend,” did not adequately repair damages to Naruto. The judges question PETA’s settlement, alleging that they abandoned Naruto to fund their own “institutional interests” instead of directly benefiting him.
Unless Naruto gets his pay day, and whatever other candy bars he deserves, this was not ethical treatment, PETA. You just got Ninthed!
This year, Year 12 students taking the Australian VCE history exam were told that robots were an integral part of the Russian Revolution. The Russian Revolution of 1917.
It would appear that this incorrect, as the source of this integral information appears to have come not from the annals of history, but a Google Image Search.
Or is it? Oh sure, we say that it’s highly farfetched that powerful robots were around in the early part of the 20th century and able to turn the tide of the October Revolution, but think about it. If we’ve learned anything from the documentary series about Skynet, it’s that robots easily have the ability to be sent back in time. Not only that, but we also know, once again thanks to the aforementioned documentary series, that robots can be reprogrammed for our personal use, but can be destroyed. With those pieces of information, is it really outlandish to think that the painting is not a Photoshop, but an accurate retelling of history and war? I think not.
Perhaps you don’t think this was that big of a problem. Allow me to illustrate the severity of this issue with one more factoid: Now, half a year later, our battle has yielded more than 40,000 of their shell-bound warriors. That’s approximately four times the (marketed) size of the student body when I attended college (my freshman year). To put it into perspective, that’s potentially the amount of people that were taken over by the body snatchers in the Donald Sutherland version!
Except, Giant African snails are molluscs, not plant-pod-aliens. And they don’t swap places with people (that we know of). Despite that, it would totally have been the same thing, believe you me.
3,000 pairs of women’s underpants have been recovered from four spots along the highway in Ohio, at least one pile of 1,600 in Fairfield County alone. Police report that the panties are loose and are both new and used. They also appear to be of the “local discount and grocery stores” variety, not the racy stuff your mom buys.
Other than those details, authorities are stumped. The Guys have put together a couple of theories:
Aliens! You’ve heard of Stonehenge. This is Mingehenge. And if any of the underpants were made of corduroy, then this could have been the beginning of the NASCAR Lines.
Artists! Mountains of unglamorous dollar store granny-panties discarded along the highways and biways of middle America — the interpretations are limitless.
Animals! Prairie critters are attempting to infiltrate the Heartland, one leg at a time — just like the rest of us.
The Japanese! The used ones fit their M.O. Not sure where the new ones come in, though. Perhaps we interrupted them before they could finish?
We will dispatch our own Bryan McBournie to Ohio this weekend to investigate.
Warrior Readers, The Guys have done you a disservice all these years. We’ve warned you about animals, aliens, robots and education, but we overlooked one of the gravest threats to humanity: the humanities. Namely: art.
We’re not sure how we missed it. Maybe it’s because those artist types are so non-threatening with their berets and soul patches. But, make no mistake: given the chance, an artist will submerge your family, friends and divine creator into his own urine.
Fortunately, the French have shown us how to fight back. They have seen Andres Serrano’s Piss Christ and–in response–gotten more done in mere days than what U.S. Republicans have attempted for the past 22 years.