Art Under Attack By Bratty Ecoterrorists
Art Under Attack By Bratty Ecoterrorists
The British group “Just Stop Oil” is an attention-seeking group of political toddlers who are out to deface priceless pieces of art in order to get eyeballs on their temper tantrums.
Their stunts have not yet risen to the actual destruction of art, but they are getting ever closer to doing so, despite their claims that they are trying to “preserve” art by demanding that the United Kingdom stop buying oil. This must make sense to the coddled and privileged young twentysomethings who have yet to actually do anything of meaning with their lives, because the average observer sees nothing but spoiled brats who didn’t get enough discipline. Their first well-publicized stunts happened in March, when the “Just Stop Oil” group, which was apparently created just this year, decided to protest by tying themselves to goalposts during soccer matches. Here is how the BBC described them back in March:
The group that has claimed responsibility is called Just Stop Oil.”
They describe themselves as a “coalition of groups working together” to demand the government stop the exploration, development and production of fossil fuels like oil, gas and coal in the UK.”
“We must urgently end our reliance on fossil fuels to avoid irreversible changes in the earth’s climate system,” their website says.”
The group says it wants action both in the short and long-term to reduce demand for fossil fuel energy – such as home insulation and renewable energy.”
Okay, these are your average eco-activists in search of attention for their cause. I have also never understood why the police feel the need to remove the protesters from their chosen spot. After all, if they happen to get hit in the head by a ball, isn’t that their fault for deciding to tie themselves to the goalposts in the first place? As a parent, I am a big fan of natural consequences. If you do something dangerous or stupid, then the end result will likely be not a good one. Sometimes it’s as simple as learning why you don’t throw a block at your brother’s head. Other times, it might be learning that a race car might run you over if you decide to sit on the track – which is ALSO something that “Just Stop Oil” did in July during the British Grand Prix. (Language warning on the video – the spectators were not happy about the race being stopped on account of these jackasses.)
Again, I am in favor of natural consequences, and getting run over at full speed would have been a natural consequence – but it likely would have gotten a Formula One driver injured, if not killed. Which is something that F1 driver Lewis Hamilton failed to take into account when he gave these idiots his approval, before getting slapped down by his sponsor.
When told about the protest after the race in the press conference for the top three finishers Lewis Hamilton appeared to issue support, saying: “Big up to them”.
He went on to explain: “I didn’t know what the protestors were for, so I only just found out. I just said big up the protestors. I love that people are fighting for the planet. So we need more people like them.”
Mercedes later clarified Hamilton had been “endorsing their right to protest but not the method that they chose, which compromised their safety and that of others”.
So we’ve established that these dumbasses are young and think that they are immortal, or at least important enough to stop soccer games and Formula One races. They then moved into art vandalism and attempted destruction, beginning with John Constable’s The Hay Wain. This stunt happened the DAY after the British Grand Prix. One has to wonder if they would have gone through with it if a few of their members had ended up in the hospital the day before.
The Just Stop Oil (JSO) protesters also attached their own image of “an apocalyptic vision of the future” of the landscape, on three large sheets of paper, featuring an old car dumped in front of the Mill and the Hay Wain cart carrying an old washing machine.”
The protesters struck at central London’s National Gallery (NG) on Monday, forcing the evacuation of art lovers, tourists and a class of 11-year-old children on a school trip from the room where the painting hangs.”
They were later named by JSO as music student Eben Lazarus, 22, and psychology student Hannah Hunt, 23, both of Brighton.”
They wore white T-shirts with the logo Just Stop Oil, stepped over a rope barrier and then placed the printed coloured paper on to the front of the painting.”
Each also placed a hand on the frame of the painting and kneeled beneath it before loudly outlining their concerns as visitors were ushered out by security staff.”
During the protest Lazarus, who described himself himself as an art lover, said: “Art is important. It should be held for future generations to see, but when there is no food what use is art.”
“When there is no water, what use is art. When billions of people are in pain and suffering, what use then is art.”
Ah yes, the self-righteous twentysomething college students have spoken, everyone. They LOVE art, so they’re going to deface it and glue themselves to the frame in order to save it! It’s the kind of logical reasoning that only a college professor could love. Well, these two brain trusts were charged with criminal damage, but until there is some severe punishment, these idiots aren’t going to stop. The group had five of their eco-nuts glue themselves to a replica of The Last Supper the next day. And they inspired a copycat!
Yesterday, the #MonaLisa was smeared with cake, at the Louvre Museum in Paris (by an individual not part of JSO).
They took this act of resistance to highlight the destruction of our only home.
— Just Stop Oil (@JustStop_Oil) May 30, 2022
— Safir (@safiranand) October 14, 2022
While we can be glad that Sunflowers was protected by a sheet of glass, it’s clear that these vandals are just going to keep going. And even liberal outlets that might be sympathetic to their wild-eyed green goals are telling them that this is getting overdone.
Such assaults are now so common that the Mona Lisa – most recently pelted with cake at the Louvre in Paris back in May – now smiles on from behind a pane of bullet-proof glass. The sunflowers themselves are unlikely to have suffered any damage, beyond the indignity of being eclipsed by a brighter shade of orange. The protesters will have known this, and there is a certain situationist wit in their choice of weapon – not a spray can but a tin of tomato soup, as immortalised by Andy Warhol, in the pop artist’s critique of exactly the sort of industrialisation that Just Stop Oil sees as responsible for the destruction of the planet.”
But cliche is not a good look for activists intent on landing an urgent message, and I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking, on hearing the news, not “how shocking”, but “here we go again”. Theatre it may be, but it all looks a bit predictable, a little tame. “What is worth more, art or life?” asked one of the protesters. Well, since you ask, it’s complicated. Art is not really their target, anyway, but the fetishisation of it, and in this context, it could be argued that they chose their target well: you only have to look at the Van Gogh Experience – content-free, immersive light shows that have been proliferating around the world – to realise that the Flemish artist himself has become a commodity, the subject of relentless capitalist exploitation.”
Of course, telling a group like “Just Stop Oil” that they are becoming a cliche is just an invitation for them to escalate. Which means that unless the authorities allow these fools to feel the full consequences of their actions, then this just keeps going. So, the next time they do something like throw soup at a van Gogh and glue themselves to the frame, if the painting is not in immediate danger, LEAVE THEM THERE. Clear the room, pat them down to make sure they don’t have anything else on them, put armed security in there with them, and then bring in a catered lunch for security. Preferably something with roasted meat. Nope, you can’t have any, your hand is glued to the frame. Oh, you need to use the bathroom? We’ll get you off at some point after we’re done here. The natural consequences have to be immediate. These coddled brats are too used to being protected from the end results of their actions. It’s well past time to let them see and feel what happens next – even if that means several hours without food, water, or a toilet. After all, isn’t the cause worth some soiled underwear, kids?
And if there aren’t some real and natural consequences for these dummies very soon, their next actions will likely end up causing actual bodily harm to someone other than themselves. Of course, here in the United States in a Democrat administration, eco-terrorists get government paychecks. So much for natural consequences, hmmm?
Featured image: Vincent van Gogh’s “vase with twelve Sunflowers” via Wikimedia Commons, cropped, public domain