I know it's barely been a day since I mentioned the lovely Ruth Fowler as my favourite Erisian avatar of the now, but I thought I should mention this as well, since the whole event has been kicking up a storm state-side.
I speak of the Yale University artist Aliza Shvarts, who recently ignited an online flame war of epic proportions when it turned out she had apparently used aborted fetuses in the creation of her art. Naturally, the 'pro-life' brigade went apeshit, in the same way as they did over Stop My Abortion, and it seemed all very commendable, but rather passe, in the way trolling Christians who freak out at practically anything at all is.
And then, Yale University came out and said not to worry, because it was all performance art anyway and clearly fake and so nothing to worry about. So the pro-lifer's continued to give her shit for being sick in the head or something and the pro-choicer's started taking shots too, for trivializing abortion (strange, if had actually been art, would that have still been their position). And of course, by this point, the media is involved as well. So now its the pro-life lot, pro-choice lot and the media in general who have been trolled.
But then....ANOTHER TWIST! It turns out that Aliza did in fact use the technique originally described, or so she claims. It could, of course, just be another way of continuing the drama and media hysteria over the artwork. It could be drawing people further into a different form of creative fiction than the one Yale University had in mind, one in which all the participants are real, and think it is real, but where the content matter is faked, passed on through varying points of view and interpretation, all with Aliza pulling the strings. Or it could actually be that way. Whichever.
Either way, my congratulations and respect go to her, for taking a rather dull way of promoting art (pissing off the Fundies) and applying a good level of creativity to it. Even more, I express admiration at her ability to both annoy the University and the pro-choice group into the deal.
I am certainly impressed enough to send Ms Shvarts an email to thank and congratulate her for her services to making people hysterically overreact. I'm sure she's recieving a lot of mail (probably most of it from mentally deranged individuals and filled with all sorts of unpleasant material) so its very possible she may not respond, but if she does, and I have her permission to reprint, I will let you know.
And finally, I leave you with some of the humourless reactions of the blogosphere (culled from ED), for your enjoyment.
If you want to do a comparative study of abomination, at least the Nazis of the Third Reich had going for them the mitigating factor of having committed unspeakable evil in a quixotic, whack scheme to "better humanity." At least as they understood it.
I have a certificate of mental illness right here waiting for your signatures. First, we arrest her, then find her incompetent to stand trial, she goes to the mental institution. Let her out to attend trail in about two years, after lots of neuroleptic medication, then fond her guilty of public indecency, she goes to the can for a month, but then we invoke Hendrix V> Kansas, and stick her back in the nut house for another five years. When she come out she has tardive diskensia and looks like a old hag making faces. I call that a just punishment.
Hey, it is my art project
Whether you really will be watching Aliza Shvarts kill her unborn children, or you will be watching Aliza Shvarts pretend to kill her unborn children, you will be watching Aliza Shvarts deny her humanity and present herself as a barbarian, to barbarians. Pia Lindman, you too should be ashamed of yourself. The entire university should. Utterly diabolical. Sick, Nazi-style stuff. The idea that this sort of thing is even conceivable, and at one of the nation's elite universities, shows how far the culture of death has come