Every week, New York City’s own party messiah takes your life questions and sets you safely down the right path to a solution in his new weekly advice column in The Village Voice. Read the latest edition of Ask Andrew W.K. below or by clicking HERE.
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Dear Andrew W.K.,
What up, dude? Love your advice column, so I’m hoping you can help me here. I’m in college and one of my classes has a big poster of that famous Leonardo da Vinci “Man” drawing with the naked dude in the circle with his arms out. I’m sure you’ve seen it.
Anyway, I realize it’s a famous piece of art, but I don’t particularly like this naked guy’s junk staring at me all day. It’s offensive and distracting for a classroom environment. It’s just not appropriate to have some naked dude up on a wall when I’m trying to learn.
I’m sure you see where I’m coming from, so my question is, how do I get it removed? Do I just tell my teacher that staring at a naked man all day is distracting and gross? Or do I just ask her to take it down? Or do I take it down when no one is looking and throw it away? Or do I try talking to the Dean about it? Or do I just cover it with a sticker or something? I don’t really want to start trouble, I just don’t feel like looking at this guy’s junk anymore and I don’t feel like I should have to. Am I stupid?
Fed Up And Grossed Out
Dear Fed Up And Grossed Out,
You’re not stupid. And you certainly don’t have to look at it. You don’t even have to look at anything anywhere, ever. You could wear blinders or even full-on blind yourself surgically. Or you could start a campaign to try and eliminate that particular drawing and every other drawing you don’t like from the face of the earth. It would take a lot of work, and in the end you’d probably end up looking at, thinking about, and obsessing over the image you’re trying to get rid of more than ever before. Maybe eventually you could figure out a way to never see it, hear about it, or think about it again. Or maybe there’s another way…
It’s clear that certain images, even very valuable and historically significant masterworks of art, can be offensive to certain people. For every single thing that exists on earth, there’s probably a person who is specifically offended by that thing. We unfortunately build much of our identity around what we think we like, don’t like, love, hate, approve of, or are offended by. We consider it part of our individuality. In fact, upon deeper contemplation, it becomes clear that in most cases, our opinions really have very little to do with who we really are as human beings.
Photo by David Riu