October 17, 2002
Stupid Letters

Moral equivalence from one of Seattle's dimmer lights.

If a president decides bombs are the answer, that's "leadership." But if somebody else decides bombs are the answer, that's "cowardly"? ("Indonesia links nightclub bombing to al-Qaida," News, Oct. 14.)
It's enough to make me say "Hmmm."
Joy Shayne Laughter, Seattle

Let's see—Bush wants to bomb MILITARY TARGETS; Al-Qaida wants to bomb CIVILIAN TARGETS. Bush's bombing campaign will prevent Iraq from waging war on its neighbors and ethnic minorities; Al-Qaida's bombing campaign will prevent tourists from dancing.

I can see the difference; it's too bad that Ms. Joy Laughter cannot.

A google search of her name came up with this repulsive little missive (it's near the bottom; scroll down to view) on the Andres Serrano "artwork" entitled "Piss Christ" (the infamous photo of a crucifix submerged upside down in a jar of urine):

February 26, 1998

I'd like to clarify some points about the Andres Serrano photograph, "Piss Christ," that actually brings more dimensions of the topic into view:

The crucifix in the photo is plastic and less than six inches long. It's a cheap, mass-produced product of the petroleum earth-rape culture, one of millions punched out in slave-wage factories somewhere in Mexico or Asia. So, what part of the righteous, pristine, all-holy Christian "morality" does this object reflect? Do you see that actually knowing the facts about the materials used can change what the art is "about"?
And did you ever think that urine would ever photograph so beautifully?
For me, seeing "Piss Christ" was a religious experience. The image from a religious story has been cheapened and trivialized by commerce, not by urine. Urine is part of God's plan, part of the miracle of our bodies (which includes Jesus' body, human thing that ate, shat, farted and peed), part of the complete ecological system of nature. "Piss Christ" reminded me that the essence of Jesus and the Holy Spirit (or whatever names you want to call the Creator Power) are present in urine, maybe more so than in a chip of plastic intended to make a profit from spiritual hunger and fear.
Joy Shayne Laughter, Seattle, WA, shayne@speakeasy.org

Oh.My.God. I am not a particularly religious person, but the Serrano photo was offensive in the extreme, and here she manages to deify it, and work in a diatribe against the "petroleum earth-rape culture". Of course, coming from one who can't tell the difference between a nightclub and a weapons bunker, I shouldn't be surprised.

posted on October 17, 2002 06:10 PM


I want to see Serrano collaborate with Karen Finley, the performance artist. She could play the crucifix.

I also wondered about the famous Robert Mapplethorpe pictures we all paid for, especially the one with the bullwhip in his bung. I figured it would have been even more artistic if they had stuffed it in further.

posted by J Bowen on October 18, 2002 05:14 AM

I wonder if I could get an NEA grant to put a copy of the Koran upside down into a bottle of piss?
Nah, that would be a "hate crime," doncha know.

posted by Toren on October 19, 2002 11:42 AM

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