Dominatrix Whips Cow in New York
2000-06-30 12:45:59

Art Fux
Also, when I was your age, we walked ten miles each way to school in smog as thick as pipe smoke, wearing respirators, through mudslides, while being chased by serial killers. And we LIKED it that way.
-- Tjames Madison


Two New York dominatrixes flogged a fiberglass cow in New York City. The cow -- which cost $10,000 -- stands at the center of a raging controversy...and a big lawsuit.

The New York Post attributed the whipping to "Peeved PETA 'Cow' Girls." ("Parkgoers stopped in their tracks and stared like mindless cattle...") PETA is suing New York because the city rejected their cow from an ongoing exhibit of several hundred other fiberglass cows. The cow-whipping was a publicity stunt to publicize the suit -- and the stunt was apparently successful. "It's very enjoyable," one Queens spectator told the paper. "Especially with the whips!"

PETA's cow was covered with slogans like "Eating meat causes impotence..." And their web site argues they performed a public service. "As someone struggling with prostate cancer, Mayor Giuliani should be thrilled that PETA is educating New Yorkers about meat's connection to fatal diseases."

Instead we're living in a world dominated by a few powerful players. To display a cow, a group has to pony up $15,000. A similar exhibit in Chicago resulted in lame corporate press releases like "Ameritech Employees Unveil Latest Addition to Cows on Parade" -- the "people make the difference" cow. PETA's lawyer told the Post that the government-sanctioned cows in New York represented mindless art.

The episode shows the emptiness of feel-good civic art projects. ("Buy the book today!" one site urges.) The official Cow Parade site says the hype has spread to cities in Connecticut and New Jersey, all apparently inspired by Chicago's earlier exhibit. Though 262 cows appear on its Cow Master List, some of them are pretty weird. Celebrate the Fourth of July with the red, white and blue cow -- a blue cow covered with white stars, and red and white stripes leading down to its udder.

Vandals in Holland are already vandalizing the city's "Pigs on Parade" sculptures. But the greater danger lies in distracting citizens from important and overlooked issues of the day. The Roman philosopher Juvenal warned that democracies which once bestowed power now wanted only bread and circuses.

And cows.

Over.  End of Story.  Go home now.


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