Monday, December 18, 2006

Talking out of your a**

The ACLU has spoken out on behalf of a Virgina art teacher who was suspended after students found a YouTube video of him demonstrating his rather unique artistic methodology. Stephen Murmur apparently paints with his derriere. According to an ACLCU press release:

Using the pseudonym Stan Murmur, the art teacher uses parts of his body, painted and pressed on canvas, to recreate flowers, butterflies, and other objects from nature. Some of his paintings are nonrepresentational abstracts that also rely on paint transferred from body parts for their shape and texture.

The video apparently shows him in a thong doing just that. People pay $400-$900 for this ... (no, I don't even want to say it).

If dipping your butt in paint and smearing it on canvas can be considered "speech" (and it probably can), then Murmur may have a case although, under the law as generally applied, it will have to show that the speech pertains to a matter of public concern and it's not clear that pondering just what an imprint of Mr.Murmur's nether region looks like has people up at night. Even if we get past that, the district may discipline him if the expressive activity substantially interferes with his job performance, such as students suggesting that his work is a bit anally retentive or a tad cheeky.

He certainly has a right to do this. He may even have a right to do it and keep his job. What puzzles me is how completely self absorbed one must be to think this is art and how jejune your tastes must be to regard it as interesting.

Do you think he disinfects the stuff before he sells it?


Anonymous said...

How asinine.

Anonymous said...

This cracks me up...I bet he has a real ball.

Anonymous said...

There has been body art before. What is the big deal. It's not like he's showing a picture of his private parts. I was suprised to find a full frontal male nudity once in a public newspaper that was avalible to kids. I called my local representitive about it and they said there was nothing they could do. It was considered freedom of speech with the first amendment and that print publications were able to get away with this disgusting sado mastic pictures that were in this publication. Laws need to be changed with the times!