[Next few days' postings may be abbreviated, since I'll be engaged in final preparations for and then attendance at "The Nude in Minnesota III," Gallery 332, Northrup-King Building, 1500 Jackson St. NE, in Minneapolis. Opening at 7 p.m. on Friday. Y'all come!]
Speaking of our show, ya’ gotta wonder about some people, or at least about the companies for which they work. As is my wont, I sent reminders to people on my extensive email list reminding them of the show’s dates and saying I hoped to see them at the opening. No graphics in the email, but the subject did read, “The Nude in Minnesota III.”
Back came this message from one recipient:
PLEASE REMOVE MY NAME FROM YOUR MAILING LIST.
I DO NOT wish to receive ANY emails from you, especially ones that
contain the word NUDE in the subject line (I use this email address at
Oh, my! For what kind of puritanical company does she work that the word “nude” in the subject line might lead to the wrath of righteousness descending on her poor neck? People simply don’t know how to deal with this kind of thing. A simple message asking me to remove her from the my email list would have sufficed. Now I have to worry about this poor woman’s soul and whether she or her bosses may hunt me down some night with a shotgun.
Finally regarding preparations for the show, I discovered a bag of Chinese fortune cookies left over from the Leeann Chin delivery to last year’s show (Yes! We’ll have Leeann Chin again this year!). Opened and ate a couple of them. A bit stale, but, well, essentially as good a fortune cookie as any with a Chinese dinner eaten yesterday, which only proved what I’ve believed since opening a fortune cookie at a restaurant in NYC’s Chinatown ca. 1980 that read, “Buy bonds, sink subs”: they are timeless.
Taking on the Cops Department
A brief but interesting interview with NYC photographer Clayton Patterson, who has been documenting life and fortunes of denizens of NYC’s Lower East Side (an area that has recently come from grungy poverty to upscale renaissance). Patterson has been arrested fourteen times, so knows well how his form of street photography is bound to piss off authorities, and what to do when it does.
South Park, the Sequel Department
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the extraordinary Dutch-Muslim writer and former member of the Dutch Parliament who has been honored with, among other things, lectureships at the Kennedy School of Government, wrote in The Wall Street Journal regarding the continuing travesty of the implied threats levied against South Park creators/authors for their depiction of Muhammad. Her central message:
[H]ow worried should the creators of “South Park” be about the “marginal figures” who now threaten them? Very. In essence, Mr. Amrikee’s posting is an informal fatwa. Here’s how it works:
There is a basic principle in Islamic scripture — unknown to most not-so-observant Muslims and most non-Muslims — called “commanding right and forbidding wrong.” It obligates Muslim males to police behavior seen to be wrong and personally deal out the appropriate punishment as stated in scripture. In its mildest form, devout people give friendly advice to abstain from wrongdoing. Less mild is the practice whereby Afghan men feel empowered to beat women who are not veiled.
By publicizing the supposed sins of Messrs. Stone and Parker, Mr. Amrikee undoubtedly believes he is fulfilling his duty to command right and forbid wrong. His message is not just an opinion. It will appeal to like-minded individuals who, even though they are a minority, are a large and random enough group to carry out the divine punishment. The best illustration of this was demonstrated by the Somali man who broke into Mr. Westergaard’s home in January carrying an axe and a knife.
Any Muslim, male or female, who knows about the “offense” may decide to perform the duty of killing those who insult the prophet. So what can be done to help Mr. Parker and Mr. Stone?
Ms. Ali’s article goes on to discuss precautions the South Park creators should take, and ways to blunt the informal fatwa’s impact.
My own take on this: why are not the Muslim idiot Abu Talhah Al-Amrikee’s remarks the equivalent of “fighting words,” leading to a tort action by Messrs. Parker and Stone against him? Although what Al-Amrikee has said may be protected from criminal prosecution by the First Amendment, no such protection extends to private rights of action. If what he has said has caused fear for their lives and a necessity for extended precautions against personal harm, it would seem to be grounds for a private action against him. My analysis/suggestion is without benefit of more than legal speculation, and probably has no merit, but surely someone can come up with a private action that will serve to quash the kind of harmful and irresponsible writing in which Al-Amrikee has engaged.
News of the Absurd Department
You are seventy-four years old and a citizen of Canada. You once resided in New York. You wish to enter the U.S. Immigration officials search and find a thirty-year-old outstanding New York warrant for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. You are arrested and extradited to New York.
Ah, the long arm of the law.
Have I mentioned before that you want to end up on as few databases as possible? Computers may have dementia, but never memory loss.
I Have a Theory Department
It’s the nekkid chix who scare them off. Given my liberal and libertarian viewpoints, about which I am seldom reticent, one would think that Tea Partyers, rabid Republicans, religious zealots, and their fellow travelers would flood this blog with comments, derision and thinly veiled threats. None. None. I seem to stand immune.
The only conclusion I draw is that a nude woman seen at the top of each posting serves as a hex, to ward off these evil personages and their intemperate vomit.
I’m not so lucky as James Bovard of The Christian Science Monitor, whose recent railings against the Tea Party brought forth a virtual vol
cano of right-wing excrement.
Female Mutilation Department
What woman could be twice decapitated, have her arm torn off, disfigured, and finally blown up by explosives, yet survive? Why, “The Little Mermaid” of Copenhagen. It appears now that she has been peacefully removed from her perch in Copenhagen harbor, secretly conveyed across two continents, and presently resides in the Danish pavilion in the soon-to-be opened Shanghai World Expo.
A fun story, especially for those like me who have actually seen her in situ.
Violence Against Women Department
If the foregoing was written in jest, this is not.
The Utah legislature has enacted a law requiring that any man seeking employment in any Utah state office submit to an exam to determine if he has any rectal tearing, which the legislature has determined is prima facie evidence that the man is homosexual and therefore will be denied employment.
Maybe not, but yes, it is fiction.
Yet consider the recent law enacted in Oklahoma (over the governor’s veto) that “prohibits a woman from getting an abortion unless she first has an ultrasound, is shown the ultrasound image and listens to her doctor describe the image in detail.” According to one source, the law requires that the “woman undergo a vaginal ultrasound, using an invasive probe device.” The Center for Reproductive Rights immediately sued to overturn the statute.
I do not understand the fathers of daughters, or mothers of daughters, or persons who could be either, who so denigrate the female citizens of our country. Why is violative intrusion into a woman’s body any less offensive than that posited by my fictional (but perhaps believable) Utah statute? What is it about the abortion issue that permits otherwise rational persons who would not intentionally hurt another human being go to such lengths?
Allison from our second year working together; she returned again only a couple weeks ago, to wonderful effect.