The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'cruelty'
Costa Rican artist Guillermo Habacus Vargas caused an uproar after announcing an art exhibition in which a dog was starved to death. The world was informed that a stray dog named Natividad was chained in an exhibition space, with a pot of food on the other side, out of reach, and kept there until it starved to death. As you can undoubtedly imagine, there was mass outrage worldwide, with galleries dealing with Vargas/Habacus receiving death threats and a petition against him collecting two million signatures. Then it emerged that the whole thing was a hoax: the dog was "starved" only for three hours at a time, and during the rest of the time was fed by the artist.
It has now emerged, however, that artist Guillermo Habacuc Vargas intended the work to be a stunt to show how a starving dog suddenly becomes the centre of attention when it is in a gallery, but not when it is on the street. The work was intended to expose people for what they really are - "hypocritical sheep". He said that in order for the work to be valid, he and the gallery had to give the impression that the dog was genuinely starving to death and that it died.
An article interviewing some of the people taken in by Borat; some of them are sanguine about the experience, whilst others are angry:
"They were exercising a First Amendment right," said Haggerty, adding that he enjoyed the movie. "And this Sacha Cohen guy's going to make 87 gazillion dollars. You know, good for him. I'm just sorry that he had to do it in such a way that he allowed people to make jerks out of themselves exposing their character flaws."
Kathie Martin, who runs an etiquette school in Birmingham, Alabama, was also left out of the joke. Even though she was gracious and calm when Borat showed her nude photos of his son, Martin admitted she was "taken aback" by his routine during their on-camera meeting. "Unless you can figure it out for yourself, you have no way of knowing you have been tricked into being part of a childish prank with an R rating attached," she told the AP via email.
Ronald Miller, of Natchez, Mississippi, was baffled by the ruse. He and his wife attended a dinner at a plantation house, which they were told would be an interview with an "Eastern European television reporter coming to Natchez to film social customs in the South", he said.
Objectivists, psychopaths and believers in the virtues of cruelty and pollution rejoice: there's now an anti-ethical investment fund tailored to your values. The Free Enterprise Action Fund specifically invests in companies who refuse to be intimidated by pressure from "leftists":
"What we're trying to create is a grassroots, investor-based movement to pressure corporations to resist the activists," Milloy said, adding that the Free Enterprise Action Fund is "the first and only" of its kind and "definitely the first to be doing this as shareholders."
Milloy also said the Free Enterprise Action Fund will encourage corporations not to be intimidated by the left and to hire people with the same philosophy. "If you're going to hire these people that can't stand the heat, they shouldn't be in the kitchen. What I can stop is corporate management trying to appease these [activist groups], thinking that it will make the problem go away," he added.
The Free Enterprise Action Fund refuses to disclose which companies they have invested in, but says that some of them are tobacco companies. I imagine that weapons manufacturers would be another profitable sector in today's global environment.
Meanwhile, activist pressure seems to have worked on Nike; the company, once synonymous with labour exploitation, has now become the first major company to disclose its full list of suppliers and contract factories, theoretically allowing them to be held to account more effectively over employment practices. While it's still too early to praise Nike as a model citizen (one would have to see results for that), now one no longer has to feel bad about buying a pair of Converse All-Stars. Unless, of course, one is an Objectivist or similar.
Spare a thought for Ghyslain Raza, probably better known as the "Star Wars Kid" (though not to his friends). He got his Warholian 15 minutes when some classmates stole a videotape of him mimicking a Star Wars character, digitised it and uploaded it to the internet. The armchair bullies of the world soon smelt blood in the water and started doing their own masterly remixes of it, adding titles like "Dork Clones" and artistic enhancements such as sounds of flatulence. All this fame was too much for Ghyslain, who was forced to drop out from his private high school. It is claimed that he "will be under psychiatric care for an indefinite amount of time" and may be obliged to change his name to have any hope of a normal life.
Meanwhile, the four classmates who digitised and posted the video were last seen in an Internet chatroom plotting ways to get an iPod donated to Ghyslain redirected to them (they, and not that dork, are the ones who really deserve it, the reasoning goes; after all, they launched the video into the net, and all he did was carelessly leave a video tape lying around). (via NWD)
They look so peaceful, don't they? A NBC investigative reporter has found out that an alarmingly high proportion of the toy cat figurines sold in the US are made from real cat fur. Various Chinese factories slaughter cats and dogs and use the fur to make those cute stuffed toys you see in shops; though sometimes this is intentionally mislabelled as rabbit fur as not to upset consumer sensitivities.
`What you're actually looking at there is what was a cat, killed in the most inhumane manner you can imagine, so that the fur could be glued to this plastic figurine. It's grotesque.'
(via Boing Boing)
Cruel patent of the day: US4150505: Bird trap and cat feeder:
A bird trap and cat feeder for catching birds and feeding the birds to a cat. The trap designed to catch birds the size of a sparrow while releasing smaller song birds, wrens, swallows, or the like. The feeder providing means for continuously supplying a cat or neighborhood cats with sparrows to eat.