Monday, September 06, 2004

"Casuistry: The Art of Spanking a Raccoon"

I have been recently outraged when I learned earlier this week that this years Toronto Film Festival will be including a 90 minute documentary film entitled “Casuistry: The Art of Killing a Cat” despite an outcry from animal rights activists. The film explores the torture and death in May 2001 of a stray cat named Kensington by renegade “film makers” * Jesse Power, Anthony Wennekers, and Matthew Kaczorowski, all in their early 20’s.

The three videotaped the incident in which the poor beast was tortured, disemboweled, and skinned alive with knives and an assortment of power and dental tools in a 15 minute proceeding that would make even the most desensitized Nazi doctor cringe in disgust. The video, in true stylish terrorist fashion, was beheaded at the end of the video in what would sadly become the most humane moment of this grizzly debacle since it finally ended the wretched beasts torment once and for all.

The defense presented that the video was made for artistic purposes as a project showing that it was hypocritical for society to kill some animals for meat, but not others. What the fuck? Is this the best the defense can come up with? I would say that there is a huge difference** between the systematic raising and debatably humane slaughter of cows and chickens for human consumption to tacking a live cat to a wall with a buck knife and dismembering it. When did “sick fuck” become misconstrued as “artist”? What then can’t you do in the name of “art”? If this is to be considered as “art”, then I say let’s make a real statement and film these film student wannabe’s getting sodomized by a herd of bull elephants and then release the footage to the public. We’ll see who wants to debate “artistic integrity” then! Lets rip their ears off with a pair of pliers and gouge out their eyeballs with a dental pick. Hell, it’ll be every much at artful as the kitty snuff film these jackasses created. But why stop here? Maybe we should film other taboo artistic statements, like fisting baby chipmunks or lighting puppies on fire. Shit, we’ll win an Oscar for sure!

Jesse Power, during his court appeal, even went so far as to attempt to explain away his actions as expressing a “form of giving thanks”. GIVING THANKS? What kind of sick twisted fuck are we dealing with here? I bet the cat was absolutely ecstatic with appreciation over what was occurring to him at the time: “All I ever wanted was a little milk, maybe a little tuna. But these nice, compassionate boys instead disemboweled me with power tools and skinned me alive. Thanks guys! Now I have my 15 minutes of fame!”

Power, a 22 year old student at the Ontario College of Art underwent a complete psychological evaluation during his court appeal and was diagnosed as “rejection-sensitive” and an attention seeker, prone to “look-at-me” behavior. Sure, what better way to make a positive and lasting impression by your peers, and guarantee your full acceptance by the cool crowd than to video yourself needlessly torturing one of God’s innocent creatures? That’ll sure win you the respect and admiration by the trunk full, I’m sure. Who is he trying to impress anyway? Jeffrey Dahmer? “Sure, he’s sane. Let’s let him join our Club.”

These butchers were only sentenced back in 2001 to 18 months house arrest and 90 days in custody on the weekends. Pardon? Eighteen months of being forced to stay home and watch Montel Williams on television? That’s not justice! I say this was much too lenient a sentence. I’m all for stringing them up by the balls with piano wire and publicly flogging them with cat-o-nine-tails, being sure to capture it all on film in an artistic attempt to show the hypocrisy of punishing some murderers, but not others.

Of course, as I write this I am guilty in participating in an act of animal cruelty of my own. So who am I to judge I guess? I stayed awake all night in order to catch the raiding raccoon that keeps vandalizing my back porch garden. Once his thieving ass came snooping around again, I surprised him by cornering him and proceeding to give his furry masked ass a severe spanking with a bamboo garden pole as he stumble-fucked his way back over the porch fence from whence he came. My only mistake was not catching the whole naughty coon spanking on film for the benefit of showing it at the Toronto Film Festival. “Casuistry: The Art of Spanking a Raccoon”. A film that even Alan Smithee can be proud of!

I’m an artist and don’t even know it!

* And I use this term loosely, as I would “sane” or “well-adjusted”.

** Like that of comparing apples to vintage sports cars.


Blogger Benjy said...

There has been a lot of "outrage" (not to mention "anger," "fury," "disgust," "horror," etc. etc.) over "Casuistry: The Art of Killing a Cat." Unfortunately, most of these visceral responses come from people who haven't seen the film. I HAVE seen the film, so I feel somewhat obligated to clear up misconceptions when they come up.

First "Casuistry..." isn't the cat-killing video itself. It's a documentary ABOUT the video and, more precisely, about the people who made it. It doesn't show any animal torture at any point. It examines why those students made the torture video and what the public reaction has been, and it explores personal and social definitions of art, and whether things like horrible videos of animal torture can be construed as art in any context.

The word "casuistry" itself, which many people don't bother looking up, is defined as "specious or excessively subtle reasoning intended to rationalize or mislead." In many ways, the film is about exactly the kind of specious reasoning that these "artists" (and I use that term as derisively in this context as you do) use to justify their project.

For the most part, I agree with your assessment of Jesse Power and his pals, but anyone who's seen the TIFF documentary -- especially animal rights activists -- wouldn't be raising a ruckus and demanding that someone ban the film. They'd praise it as an important film about a disturbing subject.

Just wanted to clear up what appeared to me to be a misunderstanding about the film.

9:07 PM  
Blogger crazytigerrabbitman said...

Thank you 'Siskel & Benji'.

10:12 AM  

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