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From the Redwood Times article it seems like it’s most likely just one angry person making the fuss. The objectionable material is apparently a anatomically detailed squirrel peeing, two rats going at it, and some naked women doing something or another with a cloud being, either “deific or demonic.”
At least it looked demonic to the person who posted an anonymous note in the Miranda Post Office. Among other things, the writer objected to women “having relations with cloud demons.” There was also a letter objecting to the mural’s content in the Independent newspaper, and an email was sent to the Redwood Times drawing attention to the nudity, the lascivious rats, and the naked women.
You know…, well, whatever. The article is accompanied by a photo which for some reason doesn’t depict the portions of the mural under controversy, but instead a tree with octopus tentacles for roots. I haven’t seen the painting as a whole, but the subject matter in question obviously didn’t make it past the Redwood Times censors.
Dave Arnold, the artist, appears to be willing to turn the art over to some quasi-democratic process. But that’s a horrible proposition for an artist trying to express whatever it is he’s trying to express.
Either way, I hope this doesn’t degenerate into a cold forces of Inquisition-inspired censorship vs. the decline of western civilization into the chaotic abuses of the moral relativism of hedonistic paganism frame. We’ve got enough to scream about lately.
The Times-Standard wants bygones to be bygones, but wtf???
Different versions of what exactly happened are floating out there, and we’re not judging which is more accurate, since none of the dozens of the high-powered people attending the event — a Chamber mixer hosted by the Coastal Commission — would speak on the record about what they heard or saw.
That’s like something you’d expect from teenage gangsters. Whatever happens, mum’s the word when the authorities knock on your door. And these are our civic leaders in commerce and government – our movers and shakers? They could clarify right this minute, but it sounds like even the Times-Standard suffers from a profound lack of curiosity – an enabler in the code of silence.
Update: Heraldo is discussing the issue as well. For me, right now, the issue is the people who were there. I find the silence rather bizarre. If they truly want to “move on,” this isn’t the way to do it.
In a thread below somebody was arguing the futility of the Mateel Community Center programs, suggesting that the nonprofit should simply keep the hall open, clean, and in good repair for other groups and individuals to make use to the community benefit. A question was asked, “just how many students participate in Recycled Youth anyway?” When the question was answered (28 this year), a suggestion was made that the concert parties which various groups throw on Friday nights serve so many more people that maybe they should be the focus and presumably that Recycled Youth is an inefficient waste of resources.
Well, one item the poster should consider is that while the “participants” may number fewer than 30, the audiences include three nights at 300 plus the entire high school. But more importantly, the actual participants are learning skills as well as self-expression. The participants in the past have tended to be those on the margins of the school’s social hierarchy for whatever reason, and on their first performance at the school 10 years ago the “in crowd” booed them. Fortunately, the school performance is followed up by general public performances where the same group received standing ovations. Over the years they’ve taken on various issues from teen perspectives, sometimes pushing the audience comfort levels just a little bit – in a healthy way.
Last night I spoke to one of the repeat participants. She tells me Recycled Youth will be taking on several issues this year, including one or two issues such as the death penalty. Apparently the recent felony-murder rule execution in Texas made an impression on them. As one who believes the felony-murder rule itself should be abolished, I look forward to the skit.
But Recycled Youth this year will be addressing issues closer to home as well. They intend to perform a Romeo and Juliette adaption for the Reggae War, emphasizing the impact of the conflict on the community’s teens – something which has not been discussed. I’ve heard about kids not being invited to birthday parties where the parents are on rival sides. Kids have been forced to hear nasty things said about their parents. My understanding is that for the most part there’s a taboo at the high school against just talking about it.
I’ve made the analogy before. In Farewell to Manzanar the father was being interrogated after being brought to the Japanese-American internment camp and was asked, “which country would you prefer to win the war?” Jeanne Houston’s father responds, “if your parents were fighting, would you want one to kill the other, or would you just want them to stop fighting?”