(IsaacGraceLily.blogspot.com/2011/03/rock-on.html) The after-effects of Exit Through the Gift Shop, the Oscar-nominated Banksy documentary that made Mr. Brainwash a melancholy fact of our lives, may well reverberate through our culture for years. On the one hand, the film does much to legitimize the deserving members of the wheatpaste-and-can-control set—but on the other hand, it’s almost sure to fuel a generation of dinks who will tag your house with their own 10-foot-tall name, then issue a press release about it. In the positive column, though, it did inspire Isaac, Grace, Lilly and Elijah—the four children whose wonderful artwork comprises Chicken Nugget Lemon Tooty, a terrific art blog that’s curated by their justifiably proud father—to paint a bunch of rocks with comic expressions and leave them in high-visibility areas around their waterfront town. “Do not step on me,” one rock pleads. I’d just as soon put my bootprint on a Banksy than disrespect the work of these stone-cold street masters.
A TALE OF TWO BOXES
(www.UnstBusShelter.shetland.co.uk) A number of years ago, the interwebs went crazy for a phone booth in the middle of the California desert. It was nearly 10 miles from the nearest paved road, and a parade of backpackers, IT geeks and Burning Man regulars beat a path to it until the phone company removed it in May 2000. The only thing special about the booth was its location; it had no special qualities, and I’m pretty sure at least one weary traveler used it as a bathroom. We’re better rid of it. Now, I wanted to tell you about the Mojave phone booth so I could tell you about the Unst Bus Shelter. Unst, a Scottish isle with a population of 720 people, is home to a number of historic lighthouses, a pioneering clean energy project and the nicest bus shelter in the known world. Located near the village of Baltasound and maintained by locals, the shelter boasts all the conveniences of home: a heater, a sofa, a television, a bookshelf and framed art. It’s even carpeted; that’s how committed the locals are to making the tenuous wait for public transportation a comfortable one. Now, I don’t mean to throw rocks at your desert phone booth, but if ever there was an example of how Old-World eccentricities kick the crap out of our New-World foolishness, the Unst Bus Shelter is it. Carpeting, for heaven’s sake.
RIDE ’EM PAULA
(PaulaDeenRidingThings.com) This page is just plain stupid. I don’t mean that as an insult; I’ve rarely resisted an opportunity to get stupid, either in public or private life. But a page full of user-submitted pictures of Paula Deen, that sassy, silver-haired Food Network superstar, riding various things—Britney Spears, the Kardashians’ family photo, the Leaning Tower of Pisa—with an insouciant expression on her face and a sloshing glass of wine clutched in her fist … well, it’s stupid. There’s no other way to describe Paula Deen Riding Things, except perhaps as “brilliant,” and friends tell me I use that word too often. So, it’s a stupid page. Though not really.
Geoff Carter is a Las Vegan rehydrating in Seattle. Follow him @Geoff_Carter.