Well, the climate activists have done it again. Just days after tossing tomato soup onto Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, protestors threw liquefied mashed potatoes on Monet’s Haystacks and glued themselves to the wall.
I am absolutely furious. Not because they keep throwing Thanksgiving foods at pastoral paintings, nor because they’re trying to talk about global warming. Because they’re blatantly ripping off what I did last year at my daughter’s elementary school art fair.
I’ve always cared about climate change, but once I became a parent, I knew I needed to turn thoughts into action. I want my daughter to inherit a planet with clean air and polar bears, one where she can raise a family of her own. When I saw her artwork on the classroom wall—her and I, smiling and holding little stick figure hands—it broke my heart to think of how global warming could take all of that away.
Which is why I grabbed a can of SpaghettiOs and whipped it at her drawing like a World Series pitcher.
Make no mistake: vandalizing artwork to raise awareness of climate change was my idea. I knew blanketing a third-grade class’s first-ever art exhibition with cans of cheap pasta would be controversial, but that’s why I did it: to elicit shock and awe about our climate crisis. Not to get outdone by some European pricks who wanted their fifteen minutes of fame.
And yet, they’re the ones that’ll get all the credit. Sure, the pieces that I vandalized aren’t Monets or Van Goghs (the understatement of the century given how awful an artist my daughter is). But how ironic that, in the world of art where originality is king, their plagiarized protest makes them stars while my ingenuity and panache got me six months of community service.
I think what bothers me most is how lazy it is. Not just the fact that they stole my idea, but that they all only targeted one painting. I could’ve quit after I spaghetti-bombed my daughter’s weak representation of familial love. And they begged me to stop when I ripped six pieces from the walls and stomped on them to visualize my “carbonara footprint.” But I didn’t. I grabbed some Chef Boyardee Beefaroni and smeared the rest of those fuckers because I actually care about our planet.
And besides, what did they even accomplish? The museum paintings are covered by glass; nothing got damaged at all. But I coated every single drawing with whatever I could find in their food drive box and watched the paper wilt while the children screamed. I even gave the Republican school board the final excuse they needed to cut art classes altogether. How’s that for impact?
When their little “demonstration” was done, all of the activists glued themselves to the wall. Here’s yet another example of their cowardice. When I finally hit the last piece, I drank an entire bottle of Elmer’s and gurgle-shrieked, “THIS IS HOW THE TURTLES FEEL WHEN THEY EAT YOUR STYROFOAM TRAYS.” Maybe these protestors think they’re being brave, but they clearly don’t care about making an actual statement.
Unsurprisingly, I’ve gotten a lot of criticism for my methods. I’ve heard it all: I’m “discouraging kids from being creative,” I’m “setting a bad example,” I’m “ruining our daughter’s big day.” Maybe if you all channeled that energy into fighting for our planet, I wouldn’t have to do things like this in the first place.
And as for supporting my daughter’s creativity, I’ve been nothing short of a model parent. Despite her clear lack of talent, whenever she brings home a doodle, I always make sure to tape it to the fridge. Do I also direct our dog to piss on the drawing while she watches? Sure, but only to demonstrate how little this art matters when our ice caps are melting.
In the end, the only thing I’m guilty of is caring too much (and, technically, fourteen counts of vandalism). These so-called activists, meanwhile, are nothing more than self-serving frauds. If this is what the world has come to, maybe it’s better if climate change takes us all.
Which is the message I’m hoping to spread at tomorrow’s Painting to End Pediatric Cancer fundraiser. Grab your non-perishables and come see what real change looks like.