Campus Free Speech

University Keeps Painting of Sexy Captain America Beheading President Trump, As Well It Should

Hillary Clinton makes a cameo.

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Painting
KTUU screenshot

The University of Alaska Anchorage has taken no action against a professor's painting, which depicts a shirtless Chris Evans—the actor who plays Captain America in the Marvel films—holding the severed head of President Trump as Hillary Clinton clings to Evans' leg.

Good.

Though the painting makes some people uncomfortable—for a variety of reasons—good art is supposed to challenge accepted notions and unsettle social norms. It has an important role to play in mocking powerful people, particularly government figures. That's doubly true for art housed at a public university, where free expression is an ironclad value.

And yet, according to Campus Reform, the painting—which currently can be found in the university's fine art gallery—has generated numerous complaints. Paul Berger, a former UAA professor who identifies as a conservative, told a local news station that he questioned whether it was appropriate.

"Had the roles been reversed, and it was Obama's head hanging there, I think the outrage would be fantastic," said Berger. "As a free speech advocate, everyone has a right to express their opinion the way they want to express them. But as a parent and a citizen, there's a discussion. In a university setting, what's appropriate?"

Well, who's the snowflake now?

Conservatives like to chide liberal students for getting offended about everything. But many conservative members of campus are easily offended as well. If someone claimed that a painting of Trump being beheaded was triggering, or made the person feel unsafe, it would be just as ridiculous as someone else claiming that chalk messages like "build the wall" and "stop islam" were triggering or emblematic of an unsafe campus.

Kudos to UAA for not bowing to pressure, and keeping the painting—which, by the way, is kind of awesome.

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  1. good art is supposed to challenge accepted notions and unsettle social norms.

    What is bad art supposed to do? Because that thing looks ridiculous.

    1. which, by the way, is kind of awesome

      That’s it, Rico. I’m never sticking up for you again.

      1. It’s kind of awesome in a “holy shit, what the hell is wrong with people” sort of way. But I don’t know if that’s what he meant. It would certainly fit in well in one of those “bad art” books.

    2. Reminds me of a drawing on a 9th grader’s notebook.

  2. This is disturbing and should be taken down immediately. That is clearly Fantastic Four Chris Evans.

    1. That’s actually hilarious.

  3. The cunt would rather just cut off the captain’s unit.

  4. I don’t know, it looks a little more than “shirtless” to me…

    1. Not complaining though

  5. good art is supposed to challenge accepted notions and unsettle social norms.

    One wonders if we’ll start seeing art that actually does this.

    1. I wonder if Robby considers all those landscapes, fruit bowls, and nature pieces done by the “masters of art” are not any good or bad art? Mona Lisa will be so disappointed.

      1. Most of those old masterworks were quite revolutionary in their time challenging the dominant aesthetic framework and creating new ones.

  6. Well, who’s the snowflake now?

    You are, cupcake. Tell us about how Milo is “beyond the pale” one more time.

    Oh, have I given you my condolences over your guy David Tossoff not getting to 50%? ROFL. Here, have a hanky and dry those tears, Sally.

    1. Way to go, Weigel. You sure told him off.

    2. Protip Robby: Don’t touch any handkerchief that Mike hands you.

    3. Fact: when Simple Mikey types “ROFL,” it isn’t actually an acronym for anything; it’s just an artifact of hand spasms caused by his many severe neurological deficits.

      That said, “David Tossoff” is one of his more cogent nicknames.

    4. Tell us about how Milo is “beyond the pale” one more time.

      Apparently, once is more than enough.

  7. Did Chris pose personally? He, of course, has no moral right to the ownership of his persona. Or does he? I keep listening to alternate Mises.org recordings and get confused. Intellectual property is theft. Check. Is a media identity intellectual property? Yes. So it too is theft. So he is stuck with his imagined nudity. It may be an insult. It may be a relief. We need wait only until discovery proceedings to commence. Then the “junk” science begins.

  8. I’m no art critic, but that’s a naked man, not Captain America

  9. “Had the roles been reversed, and it was Obama’s head hanging there, I think the outrage would be fantastic,” said Berger.

    Toss one depicting that up there next to this one and see what happens then.

    1. Look he’s probably already been to the alternate universe where that happened, so let’s just go with him on this one, okay?

    2. I think we can guess pretty accurately.

      Assuming the University administrators even allowed it to be displayed to begin with (which is doubtful), the campus leftists would have done their version of a protest (that is, damage some property and perhaps rough some people up) and the administrators would have pulled it from display citing ‘threats to safety of students and faculty’

  10. That painting is almost as bad as “Chocolate Jeebus on Unicorn Saving the World From Boosh” that used to hang in the White House.

  11. They left out the biggest fact in the entire story: the painting’s official title is The Erotic Dreams of Robby Soave.

    1. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! Well played, sir. Well played.

  12. The fairy gripping the leg… She should’ve been replaced with a depiction of the prophet Muhammed with a long saliva-dripping tongue lapping at the turgid tip of the beheader’s cock… Now that might’ve cause some actual discomfort on campy-campus.

    1. I thought that was Gollum holding onto his leg not Hillary. Works either way, they both want the power.

  13. btw, for the philistine rabble here (including Soave) =

    the picture is a reference to “Perseus and Medusa

    its possible the artist was only familiar with the Harry Hamlin, “Clash of the Titans” version by the pose. I assume the birds around his head are also some vague Perseus reference. i thought they were supposed to be eating his liver tho.

    1. *my bad. mixed up w/ prometheus.

  14. Why would any conservative object to this? Perhaps they’ve never heard the saying, “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.” Seems to me that anyone who’s not a “progressive” would want this to be seen as widely as possible, while saying, “Look, this is what progressives are like.”

    1. Why would any conservative object to this?

      Even the single person quoted seemed to object to the piece on the basis of the *hypocrisy* of the Left’s attitude re: appropriate speech, not the inherently offensive characteristics of the piece.

      Fortunately, no one who writes for Reason would ever engage in hypocritical selective-offense-mongering

  15. I’m fine with it but let’s not pretend the professor is “challenging” anything by putting this up on a campus. That’s about as cutting edge as yelling “Go Bucks” in Columbus. He has everything to gain and nothing to lose within his work and social circle.

    1. Great point. I think it is far past time to be reporting on the goings on at American educational institutions.

      They are like the media.
      Proven to be utterly irrelevant, devoid of rational and intelligent thought, and proven to be a mass of lemmings who drank the cool aid at such willing haste that they took two whole generations of young skulls and ruined most of their chances of ever knowing the truth or certainly understanding how great liberty and free markets are.

  16. I can’t quite make out the sign, but it looks like it says “Man does not weave the web of life, he is just a thread…” or something like that. I don’t see how it connects to anything in any way whatsoever, except that maybe it sounds Deep to a 19 year old.

    1. All philosophy and the arrogant quotes that come with it is designed to be deep to 19 year olds.

      Anything that has to be said in more than about 4 sentences is usually pretentious derp.

    2. it looks like it says “Man does not weave the web of life, he is just a thread…” or something like that. I don’t see how it connects to anything in any way whatsoever, except that maybe it sounds Deep to a 19 year old.

      it turns out that the quote is a fake, commonly attributed to this indian-chief guy

      “‘The following quotes, purportedly taken from a letter, in which Seattle pleaded that his name should die with the ceding of the Washington State territories, was shown in 1992 to have been a forgery, devised by television scriptwriter Ted Perry for a historical epic in 1971. See “Chief Seattle”, Snopes (Sept. 26, 2007).


      – ‘Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.””””

  17. Conservatives ren’t objecting to the painting, they’re actually objecting to this–

    “Had the roles been reversed, and it was Obama’s head hanging there, I think the outrage would be fantastic,”

    Had it been Obama’s head, or Hillary’s head or any leftist icon’s head the picture would be in no gallery and the painter and the person who tried to hang it would be jobless.

    That’s the objection.

    Because art is only allowed to challenge accepted issues and unsettle the right social norms. Failure to comply with leftist dogma is a career killer for one starting out–and a severe detriment to an established individual.

    That’s what’s REALLY being objected to.

    1. After all, there is no art being made of fraccers after a long day or small business owners working late then going home to pay their quarterly taxes for fear of the government ruining their lives. Is there?

      Where is that art that depicts the toil of capitalists like the art that nauseatingly depicts the plight of the oppressed and exploited.

      Capitalist are the ones who are exploited because they are made to be the enemy while they provide for everyone.

    2. Exactly. Conservative outrage is never about artwork, or what was said, or what somebody did. Conservative outrage is almost always about the blatant hypocrisy and the fact that had the roles been reversed, there would be national outrage, coverage on every major news network, and whomever was responsible for the painting would be fired and have their life ruined.

      1. Correct that conservative outrage is about hypocrisy but conservative media certainly look the other way when repubs are blowing up spending, starting wars, spending lavishly on government junkets, cronyism, etc…
        Basically, most of the egregious crap that Obama did, and that fox was correct to criticize has not been talked about much via trump.

        Funny how people stick to their guns on who they voted for no matter how much of a fraud they are.

        I voted for Bush twice and could not believe I did the second time after about 4 months into his second term. That was a dumbass waste of a vote for a guy that is the same as Clinton, Obama, and likely Trump.

    3. Conservatives aren’t objecting to the painting?

      As a free speech advocate, everyone has a right to express their opinion the way they want to express them. But as a parent and a citizen, there’s a discussion. In a university setting, what’s appropriate?

      That’s what Berger also said. It was right after what you quoted. You didn’t miss it, did you?

      1. You have to be careful with reason just like any other publication. I think they are positioning themselves to grow rapidly and I have noticed several times that they sway their articles for effect.

        They certainly are not any better bastion of truth than any other publication.

        I do find them better than most. But they damn sure have an agenda.

        1. I don’t understand how your comment is related to mine.

  18. “Conservatives like to chide liberal students for getting offended about everything. But many conservative members of campus are easily offended as well. ”

    The offensiveness of a painting of the POTUS being assassinated is equated with the soccer team having a “taco night” party.

    Personally I don’t give a flying fuck about any of it but you’re retarded if you think snowflakes are equally distributed between the political wings.

    1. ^^^ This! ^^^

      Perfectly stated. Liberals will get offended if someone’s fart doesn’t appease their personal preferences.

  19. I’m perfectly ok with him painting it, I’m just not sure it qualifies as “fine art”.

    I would never had guessed that is Chris Evans and Hillary Clinton had they not been named in the piece.

  20. The UAA Chancellor and President doubled down on the school’s decision to keep the painting in the Kimura Gallery in two emails to the university community.

    Chancellor Tom Case said that the artwork has “sparked spirited discussions on the appropriateness of displaying a piece of art such as this” but is protected expression nonetheless.

    “We understand that some may not support this exhibit, but universities–including UAA–are a place for free exchange of ideas, diversity of thoughts and of opinions, and ideally, a place for conversation to occur around our differences and similarities,” Case wrote.

    University President Jim Johnsen reiterated the school’s commitment to free speech, writing, “A vital and vibrant university, regardless of the campus, must be a place of ideas, opinion, and debate.”

    I presume Milo will be soliciting an invite to speak ASAP

    A brief history of UAA’s selective-censorship/defense of “offensive” art

    1. Good find, Gilmore. You would have thought the journalist writing the piece you are responding to would have found it first.

      1. You would have thought the journalist

        I don’t think of them that way.

  21. The “conservatives are snowflakes, too” thing is utter bullshit, Robby. Their outrage is an entirely different type of outrage, and much more valid.

    Nobody gives a shit about the painting. They only care about the blatant fucking hypocrisy of it all. This guy doesn’t say it needs to be taken down. He doesn’t say it threatens the safety of his students. He’s not angry. He’s just rationally and calmly pointing out the hypocrisy.

    Conservatives are very rarely outraged over an actual incident or quote or person. 99% of the outrage is because everybody knows that had the shoe been on the other foot there would be national hysterical outrage and the people responsible would instantly be fired or have their lives ruined.

    1. +1 “Bash the fash”

      1. How anybody can’t see the absolute insanity of claiming to be anti-fascists while dressing in all black with masks and violently suppressed a permitted public rally I have no idea. It’s unbelievable how AntiFa is getting away with this shit, all while the press is portraying Trump supporters, the ones without masks to hide their identities, as the source of most of the violence.

    2. Also, as a capitalist, I would never protest, burn or otherwise destroy someone’s property. I also would not try to hurt someone.

      You know why, because I am a capitalist and I would never hinder a potential customer’s ability to one day trade value for benefit with me so I could profit.

      And as a business owner, I would not take the time to give a shit about such trivial musings of retarded fags.

      1. Once upon a time when Sarah Silverman was somewhat funny (just concede the point for the sake of this post):

        She had a bit about how stupid it was that German auto companies like BMW were complicit with the Nazis to kill millions of Jews. Basically destroying millions of future customers.
        As she put it: “Even a Jew will tell you that’s just bad business”.

        1. that whole bit she does where she does Nazi/Hitler/Holocaust jokes is probably her only half-decent standup

          which just goes to show how weak the rest of her material is. if you need hitler to make your joke work, you’re scraping the bottom

          1. But she does have nice tits.

  22. But aren’t we also supposed to question the motives and judgment of the artist who deliberately chose to display such a painting, knowing the type of reaction it would provoke? I could have sworn I was once told here that such questioning is necessary for a fair assessment of the situation.

  23. Thugs veto, it works:

    Berkeley just cancelled upcoming speech by Ann Coulter over fears of violence.

  24. Suck a dick Robbie. As an Alaskan, and UA alum who has been to that gallery many, many times, I can tell you that the outrage is
    1. not so outrageous as you make it out to be;
    2. not about the imagery so much as it is about the hypocrisy. As Paul Berger points out. If there had been a similar image of Obama the reaction would’ve been tremendous. You’re delusional if you don’t admit that.

    As for the nutfuckery of your conservative snowflake comment: ” But many conservative members of campus are easily offended as well. If someone claimed that a painting of Trump being beheaded was triggering, or made the person feel unsafe, it would be just as ridiculous as someone else claiming that chalk messages like “build the wall” and “stop islam” were triggering or emblematic of an unsafe campus.”

    IF someone had claimed that this painting made them feel unsafe, you’d have a point. But they’re not. This doesn’t make me feel unsafe. Just pissed. The fact that you feel the need to make such dumbass, completely imaginary statement makes me more pissed. Your false equivalence pisses me off even more.

    No is triggered by this (admittedly hilarious) painting. They’re just fucking incensed by anyone, say a columnist for a libertarian magazine, declaring this is in any way similar to some SJW Ivy League asshole being triggered by sidewalk paint.

    In summary, fuck yourself.

  25. But many conservative members of campus are easily offended as well. If someone claimed that a painting of Trump being beheaded was triggering, or made the person feel unsafe, it would be just as ridiculous as someone else claiming that chalk messages like “build the wall” and “stop islam” were triggering or emblematic of an unsafe campus.

    Apparently in his zeal for equivalence Robbie didn’t realize he had to put if in front of one of these equivalent statements.

  26. Isn’t this the very sort of “extreme rhetoric” that the left once blamed for the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords?

  27. What does twitter say about the painting?

  28. . . . good art is supposed to challenge accepted notions and unsettle social norms

    citation needed.

  29. Lolol XD

    I love how the author tries to spin the whole “snowflake” thing – without even touching the fact that liberals would start a war if this painting featured Obama’s head, or some other virtue signaling cuck from the Left. Lol

    I also love how the author still sounds like a triggered drama queen lol. Liberals get triggered over everything, even when “conservatives” get “triggered” lol. Ahhh, liberals….an entertaining cesspool of hysteria, anger, drama, hypocrisy, and virtue signaling lunacy.

  30. I like this one, think they’ll hang it up?: http://tinyurl.com/kluzzz2

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