Saturday, December 11, 2010

When the guardians of moral purity outfox themselves (2)

In discussing two flaps over the work of David Wojnarowicz, in 1990 and regarding the National Portrait Gallery Today, New York Times art critic Holland Cotter writes:
One big change from 1990, however, is the nearly universal presence of the Internet. Word of the self-censorship instantly spread, and the video itself, titled “A Fire in My Belly,” went viral, turning up on a number of Web sites, including YouTube. Untold numbers of people could now see something that, without the publicity generated by the dispute, they never would have known existed.
Yes and no. It's undeniably true that the ubiquity of the Internet doesn't help the guardians of right-wing political correctness, and it's also undeniably true that they deserve the credit for making Mr. Wojnarowicz's name a household word. On the other hand, such epic self-pwnage didn't start in the Internet age; bishops railing against Sarah Bernhardt gave her invaluable publicity.

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