After spending five days forensicating in Athens, Ohio, the return to WKU was marked by none other than the religious right. I’m not certain on the timeline of events here, but apparently, the story plays out like the following:
Pro-life (Hilltoppers for Life, here’s their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hilltoppers-for-Life/288771708370 or one of them at least)student group sets up field of crosses to represent abortions that happen each day.
That’s neat, I suppose. Brutal, if you’re going for a death metal band. Is Graveyard Abortions taken as a band name already? I know the album cover is (http://cd.metallicaworld.eu/files/m_front.jpg)
Shortly thereafter, an art student gets an installation project approved to place condoms over the crosses on the last day of the installment. Said pro-lifers were camped out, watched her and her boyfriend place condoms over crosses, called the police and have since been throwing endless fits about their freedoms. The story is a bit more detailed, but it has already been covered by others and can be easily googled. For a similar blogpost, check out Dr. Kerby at WKU (http://molly.kerby.blog.wku.edu/)
The point of this post, then, is to point out, and really, make fun of the discussion surrounding it. Why? Because I suddenly have too much free time. Deriding follows.
Let’s start with this LifeNews Article (http://www.lifenews.com/2012/04/20/police-refuse-to-stop-vandals-desecrating-pro-life-cross-display/)
3 paragraphs in:
“Claiming vandalism as art is disingenuous and disturbing at best. The desecration of the crosses at WKU is sacrilegious, offensive, and borders on a hate crime. While we have seen vandalism before at other campuses across the nation, it is not uncommon for students to face opposition of this nature but usually the campus police do help out and stop the vandalism rather than hide behind some ‘artistic expression’ excuse.”
I guess there are different interpretations of art, but if the student succeeds in prompting such a reaction—it’s probably art, and not vandalism. See also: Banksy. Additionally, it’s disturbing to think that a public university could be criticized for something deemed sacrilegious when it ought to (keyword) have no religious affiliation. That is probably another topic in itself. I’m also glad that the author of this piece decided to criticize the police for not dismantling an installation…it’s not like police officers have been particularly busy increasing their presence to prevent the ever more frequent crimes from occurring on campus.
“John Sohl, President of WKU Hilltoppers for Life relays his first hand account here:
“All I wanted to do was take a nap during the last night of a very successful Life Week at WKU. But just as I was dozing off, my brother spotted two people dressed in dark clothing, hanging something in front of our display! Well, it didn’t take long to figure out what they were doing because we had been waiting for something like this all week long. Yes…they were vandalizing our Cemetery of the Innocents.”
Hahah, wow. Allow me to pity you for just a moment, John. Your life is clearly so stressful defending your freedom of speech which vandals are clearly interrupting so you have a bad day. Also, Cemetery of the Innocents? Helllo album title for Graveyard Abortions.
These are the highlights here…and the fact that the article inaccurately listed a faculty member as some one to call.
Here, http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/western-kentucky-u-student-i-did-not-apologize-for-desecrating-crosses, Kristan Hawkins, of Students for Life, claimed the art student in question was “armed with enough condoms to cover all the crosses…”
I’m just going to put the lid on armed with condoms (second album title?) and let the implications of such language simmer for a while.
Another Sohl gem from WKBO (http://www.wbko.com/news/headlines/WKU_Student_Accused_of_Desecrating_Pro-Life_Cross_Display_Speaks_Up_148598445.html):
“You do not respond to art work by altering that art work. It would be the same as if i went into the National Art Gallery, looked at the Mona Lisa and said, I don’t like the color of her hair and then I proceeded to color it a different color,” Sohl says.
1)I would like to know where these art guidelines are as to how to create art. 2) You put crosses in a football stand. To represent aborted fetuses. You are not the Mona Lisa. Nor anything close. 3) If you went into the National Art Gallery, you would not find the Mona Lisa. The Lourve, maybe. The National Art Gallery? Unlikely. And let’s not forget the work of Surrealists and Dadaists, (easy google: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mona_Lisa#Legacy)
I’ll leave it at that because it’ll only become more incomprehensible and centered upon my own entertainment.