The Null Device

Forbidden thoughts

Forbidden thoughts on 9/11, ranging from political thoughtcrime and hate-mongering to just people getting in touch with their inner sociopath.
"I used to think all firemen were hot. I now think they are slimy. At least four times last October I was in a bar where a fireman was so forward and sleazy, saying things like 'It's been so hard. You can't believe it' while pawing me. I'm sure his buddy who died running into a building on fire would feel vindicated by this slimeball getting laid, but I'm not going to participate." -- Anne, 31, an advertising sales manager in New York
I read [the New York Times'] 'Portraits of Grief'... as object lessons in why one should never aspire to be a model employee.
"The day of 9/11, [my friend and I] spoke frequently, as we always did, being that we were inseparably close. The next day she called and said that she was walking in her neighborhood and some 'Indians wearing saris' were walking down the street and she spit on them -- it was her patriotic duty."

And then there's the response of British artist Damian Hirst, best known for chainsawing cows in half, who acclaimed the terrorist attacks as a work of art; echoing what Laurie Anderson said (many years ago), that terrorists are the last true performance artists. (Wonder what will happen when Hirst next sets foot in New York; I imagine quite a few people would see it as their patriotic duty to grab a Louisville Slugger and form a welcoming committee for him.)

There are 8 comments on "Forbidden thoughts":

Posted by: alex Fri Sep 13 00:53:57 2002

wasn't it the dadaists who said the most artistic thing anyone could do these days was walk into a crowd of people and start shooting them at random?

after watching last night's smallpox outbreak hypothesis i'm wondering who would champion walking into a crowd of people and infecting them all with something nasty without saying a word or mentioning a manifesto.


alt.slack have a good assortment of comments, respectfully irreverent, that make a good counterpoint to the shit Ray was shovelling the other night. just search for 9/11 y'all.

Posted by: Luke Fri Sep 13 05:10:16 2002

Once more, Hirst's flogging a dead horse: Karlheinz Stockhausen got his arse busted for saying that last year, about a week after the attacks. Catch up, Damien.

Posted by: acb Fri Sep 13 05:29:33 2002

I think it was Andre Breton who made the original Dadaist statement.

Posted by: Ed Fri Sep 13 09:35:58 2002

To put the "work of art" thing into context, it was indeed Stockhausen who said it first, although he was widely misquoted by the German press. He said that 911 was "the work of art of the devil."

Posted by: acb Fri Sep 13 10:05:15 2002

A few years ago, I was toying with the idea of a story about an artist becoming disillusioned with the range of ordinary art and taking up terrorism for purely artistic purposes. I never actually got around to writing it though.

Posted by: alex Sat Sep 14 08:11:18 2002

quick, do it before someone else does. Your 15 standard earth units of fame are assured. caveat: you may end up sparking some kind of bible-belt real-life fight-club imitation scenario. energise legal array! set biro to stun!

Posted by: acb Sat Sep 14 10:19:32 2002

I don't think I'll do it; I'd just end up sounding like a second-rate Chuck Palahniuk imitator.

Posted by: Maurice Sun Sep 15 00:14:44 2002

Y'know, there was also Artaud's Theatre of Cruelty, which might be the appropriate precedent here. And within those terms the Louisville Slugger Welcoming Committee might not be so far out of bounds.