OK, kiddo! Here are all the fantastically amazing posts tagged with Vandalism
“Two Tahitian Women,” a painting created by French impressionist Paul Gauguin in 1899, was attacked during an exhibition at the National Gallery in Washington last week. The work of art, worth an estimated 80 million dollars, depicts two native Tahitian women, both topless, with mango blossoms.
I happen to think the painting is magnificently executed, but one woman was slightly more critical. Startling gallery visitors with a loud shriek, she marched up to the painting and began screaming “this is evil” before attempting to pull it from the wall, pounding its protective plexiglass shield with her fists.
The assailant, identified as Susan Burns, was eventually detained by security and has been charged with attempted theft and destruction of property. Her court documents offered the following explanation:
I feel that Gauguin is evil. He has nudity and it is bad for the children. He has two women in the painting and it’s very homosexual.
Personally, I hadn’t assumed the painting depicts a lesbian relationship, but part of the beauty of art lies in its interpretation. I guess Susan just isn’t very impressed by impressionists. She’s more into surreal expressionism, I’d say.
- ‘Nudity, homosexuality’ sparked Gauguin attack: court [Agence France-Presse]
- National Gallery visitor attacks Gauguin painting, officials say [Washington Post]
Hundreds of dollars worth of gay-themed library books that were found soaked in urine at Harvard is no longer being treated as a hate crime, according to university investigators.
The 36 books, which covered GLBT topics ranging from coming out to equal marriage rights, were found by a library staff member in late November. Urine had been poured over each of the books, ruining them completely. An almost empty bottle (the smoking gun, so to speak) was found nearby.
The Harvard University Police Department reacted quickly, launching an investigation. Their findings: The damage was an accident, caused by a library staff member who inadvertently tipped over a bottle of urine that was sitting on the bookshelf. With the conclusion of their investigation, the incident is no longer being considered an act of vandalism or a hate crime.
Ah. Case closed, then. Good work.
A mishap like this was probably inevitable, actually, considering how libraries always store their bookshelf urine in inordinately tall bottles with rounded bottoms. A bump is all it takes.
I’m not even sure why they store that stuff there in the first place, come to think of it.
- Damaged LGBT Books in Lamont Not Result of Hate Crime, Dean Says [The Harvard Crimson]
Xtra, a gay community newspaper published by Pink Triangle Press and distributed nationwide, has been targeted by vandals in the Toronto area. Several distribution boxes have been spray painted with homophobic slurs, glued shut, turned upside down, filled with garbage, and set on fire.
This isn’t the first time the publisher has been hit by homophobic vandals. “This has been going on since 1993 or 1994,” noted Ted Hawkins, a distributer for the newspaper. “It seems to be a crazy homophobic group that has a vendetta for our magazines,” he said.
Sounds like a costly problem. My suggestion: Make the boxes look like adorable, fluffy kittens with big, watery eyes. They’ll meow softly and paw at your legs each time someone takes an issue. Don’t get me wrong: Violent homophobes are probably just as likely to burn kittens, but it should look sufficiently horrifying that witnesses would be more likely to report it.
Just an idea.
An attempt to designate a section of a Calgary skate park as a legal spraypainting zone backfired last month, in what one alderman has called “a barrage of visual diarrhea.”
I love street art, but from the sounds of this CBC article, the work of these budding young artists wasn’t exactly gallery-worthy:
[Alderman John Mar] said it appears “mayhem ensued,” and people descended on the park with spray paint, covering every surface with tags, profanity and homophobic and anti-police statements, including urinals in the men’s washroom.
“We can’t have anti-homosexual slogans. We can’t have profanity. What we have done now is taken the park back for the citizens of Calgary and the youth that want to use it in a clean and friendly matter.”
Yikes! Not exactly a raging success, was it? At least the city has the good sense to correct it. After a quick order, city workers are reportedly busy scrubbing all the homophobic slogans off the Landmark building, keeping that sort of sentiment squarely in the mouths of politicians, media commentators, and church officials—you know, where it has always been.
I guess someone in Amherst, Nova Scotia isn’t too fond of rainbows.
A Pride flag that was being flown in front of Amherst’s city hall to celebrate the Cumberland Gay Pride week was removed and slashed by vandals on Thursday. The Mayor, Robert Angel, said he’s disappointed about the vandalism, and quickly had the flag replaced.
Cumberland Pride’s chair, Gerard Velhoven, expressed his disappointment to the press:
Amherst is a very positive town. We had such a great event here Monday that made everyone feel so good, then a couple of days later you get a call from the town that your flag has been vandalised.
It makes me feel awful, but having said that I’m hoping this is an isolated incident.
The saddest part of all this is that the vandalism totally worked: After hearing about the vandalism, all of Amherst’s gay population reportedly turned straight.
- Gay pride flag slashed [Chronicle Herald]
After reading about an anonymous vandal who wrote anti-gay slurs all over a gay MP’s election posters, I got to thinking a little bit about election sign vandalism in general.
I’m not a fan of election signs, to understate the matter a tad. Election season is visual mayhem at its most mayhem-y. It’s like if Satan, Attila the Hun, and Cruella de Vil all got together to form an advertising enterprise, enslaved humanity in the corrugated plastic mines, and used all their resources in a conspiracy to eliminate depth-of-field. Trees? Think of them as nature’s signposts! Lampposts are just long necks for headshots. Heck, why not use election sign pillars as a post for even more election signs?
That said, I can’t say I understand the purpose of vandalizing election property.
For one, vandalism actually makes the signs uglier. Second, as far as communicating one’s political leanings goes, it’s not worth the effort. I mean, say you really, really disagree with an election candidate. Will painting an eyepatch on him sway voters? Would anyone walking along the road suddenly believe the candidate has switched gears partway though the election to reveal himself as a fearsome, swashbuckling pirate? (Whatever swashbuckling means, anyway.)
There’s also a chance that sign-seers would feel compassion for the vandalees. While all parties are surely victims when it comes to poster-haters, those that draw the most shocking or widespread vandalism could garner at least some sympathy, maybe even in the form of votes. That’s why vandalism as a means of political expression is fundamentally counterproductive.
Personally, I think seeing the word “fag” scrawled over Scott Brison’s signs should be cause enough to remind people that homophobia is very much alive and well, and has definitely reminded me why we absolutely need gay representatives and supporters who will help put a stop to it.
So, for those of you who absolutely feel compelled to damage, cut, or otherwise modify election property, may I suggest that you just indiscriminately remove the freakin’ eyesores altogether and write a letter to the editor instead. The horizon will thank you.
- Vandals hit Nova Scotia ridings [Globe and Mail]
It looks like some rural Albertan vandals have met the Rasputin of gay signage.
Dan Francis’ hand-painted “Rainbow Acres” sign was shot multiple times from a distance, shot some more from point-blank range, dragged across the road, and beaten with a hockey stick over two non-consecutive nights.
The unfortunately fated sign was a driveway marker for Dan and his fiancé’s home just outside of Milo, Alberta.
While Mr. Francis expressed disappointment over the unusual and continuing vandalism of his property, he also defended the area as being tolerant—most of the time:
I’ve lived in the area for pretty much my entire life. [...] I realized that not everybody approves of me, but I haven’t felt unwelcome in any respect.
[The vandals are] expressing their anger in a very poor way. Personally, I’ve been praying for the person who did this. I’m hoping this person or persons hear from friends and family that this sort of behaviour isn’t acceptable.
Politely put, given the circumstances.
Let’s hope the vandals appreciate Dan’s class and show some remorse over the vandalism. Otherwise, if films have taught me anything, they might be dealing with some vengeful, zombie signage in the near future.
- Gay pride sign damaged [Vulcan Advocate]
A St. John’s family was shocked and disturbed Thursday morning to find their home and vehicle defaced with homophobic graffiti. The words “fag,” “queer,” and various other profanities were spray-painted across the family’s property in large, black letters. The kicker: no one in the home identifies as gay.
Patricia Courage, the family’s mother, was horrified by the cruelty:
It’s very, very disheartening to think that Newfoundlanders would do such a horrible, horrible act of crime. [The vandals] are very low people to [do] such horrible things.
This is hardly the first time Eastern Canadians have been subjected to homophobia by mistake. Earlier last month, a Nova Scotia woman with the same name as gay rights rally organizer was shocked by a sudden wave of abusive, homophobic telephone calls.
So there you go: Being gay clearly isn’t a prerequisite to being a victim of homophobia.
- Hateful graffiti disturbs St. John’s family [CBC News]
An Ottawa vandal has been searching out and defacing posters promoting the city’s annual Dyke March. The posters, which encouraged people to support the march and attend the family BBQ and concert afterwards, had crosses scratched over faces in black marker, accompanied by the words “sin” and “repent.”
Attendance of the march was decimated due to the vandal’s actions.
Nah, I’m totally kidding! The vandal wasted a Sharpie.
- More posters vandalized in leadup to big weekend [Capital Xtra]
Let’s do the follow-up thing today:
- Alvaro Orozco, the refugee who was denied Canadian citizenship because he didn’t look “gay enough” is still facing deportation to Nicaragua where homosexuality is illegal. The application to re-open his case was dismissed, but there’s still a chance he could file a standard application for immigration from within Canada on humanitarian grounds. Sadly, pretending to be gay to obtain refugee status is not uncommon, but the circumstances under which Orozco’s application was denied were downright silly.
- Niagara Falls officials have replaced the Pride flag that mysteriously vanished less than four hours after its raising ceremony. Thankfully they have “some ideas” to make sure this one stays put. At the top of the list: piping in Kylie Minogue to create an appropriate anti-heterosexual radius.
- The City of Ottawa has adopted policies ensuring that Capital Xtra, a gay community newspaper, cannot be censored from city community centres. The paper was removed from a public facility after Greg Evans, a local man, complained that his son could have seen it at basketball practice. Though the paper’s censorship was illegal, I can attest to the dangers of gay community newspapers: The last time I picked one up, I got a paper cut.
- The federal conservatives’ scrapping of the gay-friendly Court Challenges Program has turned out to be illegal. According to a report by the official languages commissioner, removing public funding to challenge unconstitutional laws violated Officials Languages Act. The government, in the interests of transparency and accountability, has not responded.
Well, have a great weekend kiddos!
Officials and community members in Niagara Falls have been left scratching their heads after the first-ever gay pride flag to be flown over city hall went missing a mere four hours after its raising ceremony.
So far, there’s no word on what happened to the flag or if it has been replaced. Although, after years of following these sorts of stories, I think it’s clear who took it: Mutant seagulls.
Poor Capital Xtra. The popular gay community newspaper just can’t get a break from vandalism. In the past few years, their distribution boxes have been spray painted, covered in slurs, bolted shut, robbed, illegally removed from public facilities, and now burned!
Over the Victoria Day long weekend, a vandal set fire to some of the magazine’s distribution boxes, ruining about 80 issues and damaging the metal and plexiglas.
In response to the continued defacements, the magazine has started a “very informal” adopt-a-box program. Each of the adorable purple boxes will get a reader volunteer to check up on it from time to time. As with real children, adoptive parents are to report back if their baby gets spray painted, covered in slurs, bolted shut, robbed, illegally removed from public facilities, or burned.
- Vandals set Capital Xtra boxes on fire [Capital Xtra]
Poor Capital Xtra—the weekly, non-profit gay newspaper is being attacked again! Just one year after a 47-year old man was fined for bolting the publisher’s distribution boxes shut with power tools, dousing them in brown paint, and spray-painting “HIV” and swastikas on them, the paper’s distribution channel has been targeted again. This time, thousands of copies of the paper are being stolen from Ottawa’s downtown locations.
Gareth Kirkby, the managing editor of Xtra, invited the vandal or vandals to seek other channels for their message:
What is not right is for them to impose their views on our readership by restricting access to the papers. We have challenged them to write a letter to get it off their chest. We’ll even give them a column if they want.
In the meantime, readers are welcome to read Xtra online, or seek alternate publications for their news, such as, oh… I don’t know—Slap Upside The Head!
Uh, incidentally, I was at home at the time of the thefts. I don’t live in Ottawa. That’s pen ink on my fingers, not newsprint. My beautiful Xtra mosaic ceiling was assembled from issues donated by recycling centres. This interrogation is over!
- Gay weekly complains of hate crimes again [Ottawa Citizen]