Furthest Right

Cue the false outrage

We see these stories so much they’re a cliche:

Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts, the sewing and scrapbooking mega-chain with several locations in the Washington area, opted not to carry the sordid edition — a little “too hot” for Jo-Ann is what Lipinski says his distributor told him. Phone calls to Darrell Webb, chief executive of Jo-Ann, and Lisa Greb, public relations director, were not returned. “Good grief! What year is this???”

Get with the dominant illusion here, folks. To avoid noticing that our species still faces the same problems it did 5,000 years ago, and avoid facing that most of us lead disorganized, neurotic lives, we have to find an enemy. Government or big stores are to blame; they’re censoring us! It’s 2009, we should have the right to see anything we want any time! Cue the mock outrage. Cue the righteous indignation. Cue the feeling important because now you’ve going a fight for a universal, absolute, God-or-unGod-given thing, the right to see whatever risque images are there. Right?

What is this quality art?

Behold, seven straight pages of shocking quilts. We’re talking fabric phalluses. Gun-toting Jesuses. A newborn peering out from his mother’s lady parts (constructed out of lots of soft, embroidered orange cloth).

Some of the images are disturbing — and moving — like quilter Gwen Magee’s “Southern Heritage/Southern Shame,” which depicts five lynching victims hanging in front of a Confederate flag.

Others are whimsical. Consider “Helping Hands,” a Charlottesville quilter’s ode to Viagra. The work was inspired by a present from a friend: “A fat quarter of fabrics with all these itty-bitty penises and sperm,” says Mary Beth Bellah, describing the pile of remnants with delight.


That sounds essential. It will enhance us culturally. It must be important. It’s groundbreaking. Do we have enough cliches yet?

These quilts are crap. The artists lacked a real concept, so they make the offensive/tear-jerking/weird and hoped that no one would notice.

What kind of well-balanced person wants to deal with this crap? In the meantime, the publisher is ejaculating mock outrage because he planned the whole thing as a publicity stunt in the first place.

No kidding, Sherlock — family stores don’t want disturbing imagery. They leave it up to the family to decide when to expose itself to shocking imagery, and they don’t sell it. But you won’t be happy until every store on earth is selling images of phalluses and death, will you?

What an idiot.


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