Category Archives: what is art

I am still not Voltaire

“To hold a camera is to be at war.” – Tony Comstock

Monday Morning Artistic Merit

Artist’s Shit, aka Shit in a Can

More Artistic Merit

Two museum goers contemplate photos by artist Jeff Koons

Jim Thorpe, Amateurism, and the Poisonous Elitism of Alison Croggon

When engaged in a debate there is a risk that you will arrive at a point when you realize that your opponent is not only incurious and ill-informed, but also willing to say almost anything, no matter how irrelevant and inflammatory, to score rhetorical points. When that point is reached, you realize that any light [...]

“Artistic Merit”

I’m afraid things are not going well between me and Alison Croggon.She is a critic, and as such she is deeply wedded to the parsing of “artistic merit.” Debate about the merits of one work or another is, after all, the meat and potatoes of a critics life. I have offered my own excoriating criticism [...]


Alison Croggon is an Australian writer and critic. She is also the driving force behind the 2020 Open Letter in Support of Bill Henson, a letter signed on to by a couple dozen luminaries of the Australian arts and culture scene. The night before last I decided I would e-mail her, and she’s been kind enough to assent [...]

Burning Bridges/Building Bridges (Essin’Em Reviews DAMON AND HUNTER)

Another really nice review of one of our films from Essin’Em. Last time it was ASHLEY AND KISHA, this time it’s DAMON AND HUNTER. It’s a very positive, dare I say insightful review. This is my favorite part: Oral, hand jobs, anal, general fucking, kissing; you name it, these boys are doing it. After hearing [...]

Love Letters…

“a love for you allows me to pray to the spirit of eternal beauty and tenderness mirrored in your eyes… it allows me to burst into tears of pity and love at some slight word…while my head is wedged in between your fat thighs, my hands clutching the round cushions of your bum and my [...]

2257, Obscenity, and the Magic Camera

“Adult sexual conduct is not illegal and it is in fact constitutionally protected. See, e.g., Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003). The regulation of visual depictions of adult sexual activity is not based on its intrinsic relation to illegal conduct.” That’s from the Sixth Circuit Court’s ruling 2257 regulations unconstitutional, and gets to the [...]

Art vs. Porn, Part 574

Controversial and explicit documentary explores the moral and social conflict over terminations: “The most shocking section of the 152-minute film is footage shot by Kaye himself of the abortion of a 20-week foetus. It shows the foetus’s head and eye staring straight at the camera, its hand in a metal collecting tray and its foot [...]