The Pakuri Debate: Noda vs. Aida

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I’m a bit late getting to this topic, but over on the Japanese internet, there has been a decent-sized debate raging about the art director/graphic designer Noda Nagi and her cover for Halcali’s album Ongaku no Susume (viewable here) blatantly ripping-off fine artist Aida Makoto painting “Aze Michi” (viewable here).

Noda’s work could be easily passed off as a “tribute” or “homage” to the original, but her detractors see this as one in a whole series of suspicious borrowings. Noda’s artwork systematically steals artistic elements from other sources, like Bjork for example, which if done with the right “ironic wink,” could be fine, but the bigger question is, is it okay for Noda pick up fat paychecks and numerous awards in the commercial arena for art direction that is heavily based on works by contemporary artists?

The Japanese press, of course, generally stays silent about these kinds of controversies, even though a Newsweek-type “Separated at Birth?” piece probably wouldn’t hurt anybody. Meanwhile in the virtual sewers of 2-ch, tempers are flared and Noda is called things like “the Rip-Off Genius.”

Taking a step out of the ideological battle itself, I’m interested in reappraising past declarations of the general Japanese philosophy towards artistic imitation and theft (i.e., pakuri). When viewed from the outside looking in, it often appears that Japanese artists have no ethical qualms about blatantly ripping off other works, and the Japanese media also doesn’t seem to mind. However, there is enough resistance on the Internet and in maverick magazines like Cyzo to assume that anti-pakuri is actually the more subversive position. Since we’ve just lived through a couple decades of postmodern art intentionally questioning the notions of creativity and authenticity through copying/sampling, we are quick to confuse Japanese pakuri with the Western ironic version. The simple truth is that many Japanese creators are ripping off other works for their own benefit, hoping they don’t get caught — confident the Japanese media won’t expose the truth and the Western media (or the original artist) won’t discover the copyright violation.

As an “art director/graphic designer” working commercial jobs, Noda is straddling the line between the two approaches, and I personally can’t make a final judgment on her pakuri problem without knowing how much she acknowledges her own technique. There are plenty of Japanese, however, who unequivocally think she’s building her career on the backs of other fine artists. With the Internet massively liberalizing the space for public comment here in Japan, one can only assume that those engaged in commercial pakuri will soon have to answer for themselves.

W. David MARX (Marxy)
April 30, 2005

Marxy wrote a lot of essays back on his old site Néomarxisme. This is one of them.

35 Responses

  1. r. Says:

    i think the first step would be to broaden your translation of the word ‘pakuri’ to include the nuance ‘borrowing’ or at least ‘appropriation’ which it has in japanese.

  2. torukajin Says:

    What the f*** about this “politically correct” debate!

    If “pakuri” didn’t exist in Japan long time ago, we never see the first manga and anime series…

    God saves “pakuri”! ^o^

  3. Chris_B Says:

    torukajin: say what? if you mean the local copies of Steamboat Willie say so. If not dont bother

    marxy: ever notice how samples of older American pop show up all the time on late night TV shows? I hear lots of Run DMC samples in these shows particularly. I’ve always wondered if those are cleared or not.

  4. akemi Says:

    Feel slightly foolish to ask but could someone back up a few paces for me and explain the origin of the word “pakuri”? I’m guessing it’s some amalgamation, but of what?

  5. dzima Says:

    After all, copyright laws are a universal principle that should be exported to all nations on the globe just like democracy. “Hey, you’re not allowed to create a new dish with this rice! Monsanto would sue you for ripping them off because they own the copyright of rice’s DNA”

  6. r. Says:

    what dzima stated with irony i’ll try and state as a REAL WORLD problem.
    read this:
    http://www.commondreams.org/headlines05/0323-04.htm
    …and then SOMEONE please try and convince me that ‘universal copyright’ is something that i should be worried about defending.
    now of course, i’m being unfair. poor david was just trying to make a statement related to artistic and/or musical ‘pakuri’…
    just for the record i have NO PROBLEM WHATSOEVER with this either. if pressed, i might even say that i encourage it.

  7. marxy Says:

    First of all, “pakuru” is a verb for “steal, filch, rip off” – probably originally in the sense of stealing actual physical objects. It definitely has a negative nuance, and I would like to see further proof that it means “borrowing” in a neutral way.

    There are clearly tons of copyright violations in Japan, and that’s not my point. The question is: Does Japanese pakuri come from a fundamental belief that copying is okay (the “orthopraxy explanation”) or do these artists and the audiences know that it’s “wrong” but do it anyway? There is lots of evidence for both arguments.

    Now, I don’t mind the idea of borrowing in order to help the world (generic drugs) or for personal non-profit use (DIY music with sampling), but I do think it’s suspect when artists take other artists’ ideas and turn them into commecial success. If Noda Nagi had made a piece of public art based on Aida’s work, then we’d have a more intertesting situation. But instead she used Aida’s work for a commercial assignment for which she received money, and in other examples, awards.

  8. marxy Says:

    By the way, this (http://www.halcali.blogspot.com/) is the world’s best English halcali site.

  9. r. Says:

    back to the def. issue: when i asked you to broaden your translation, i was saying that it INCLUDES this nuance, but it looks like you took this to mean that i’m saying that’s the ONLY def.! not so. again, in ADDITION to the idea of ‘stealing’ (the one you are focusing on, which is of course pejorative) it also has this kind of innocent, perhaps even whimsical useage: when comedians ‘do’ other comedians ‘neta’ as a parody…this is one example of ‘pakuri’ that is all in good fun and has none of the ‘negative nuance’ that you mention.

    >Does Japanese pakuri come from a fundamental
    >belief that copying is okay (the “orthopraxy
    >explanation”) or do these artists and the
    >audiences know that it’s “wrong” but do it
    >anyway? There is lots of evidence for both
    >arguments.

    i think this issue can’t be resolved unless you take into consideration the CONTEXT and the relationship of the artists, their fans, and the milieu.

    if the artist are doing ‘pakuri’ while giving a telling wink to the fans, then this puts it beyond reproach as far as i’m concerned.

    if the artist is simply being ‘dishonest’ and trying to pass A off as B, then i’m not beyond being willing to call ‘bullshit’ on them…keeping in mind that art itself is its own truth insofar at art is always calling ‘bullshit’ on art, and probably has a natural tendancy to ‘plunder’ itself in search of a ‘lateral’ freshness. even the ‘vertical’ cool, self-styled ‘pioneers’ of art have always relied on going back to the ‘street’ to get re-infused with fresh artistic DNA.

    but these are considerations of a higher order than i think what you are talking about, no?

    >Does Japanese pakuri come from a fundamental
    >belief that copying is okay (the “orthopraxy
    >explanation”)

    i’m concerned that your recent default mode for explaining almost every cultural phenomenon you encounter in japan relies on praxy/doxy paradigm. granted this mode of thinking is useful, but only up to the point where it fails to include hybrid ways of thinking about this situation, not to mention the impending dialectic reversal that might prove a ready foil to this rather blockish analysis.

    when you ponder if ‘copying is ok’ again, i have to question the context. all of my japanese friends have filled their ipods with countless pirate versions of media content (mp3s, pics, etc.) in this sense, probably no one in a modern, 21st century developed country under the age of 35 really cares anymore about this kind of ‘ethics’ of copying.

    as far as material goods, it is probably a question of DEGREE.
    mankind as effectively ‘copyrighted’ the lowest order of his physical being by putting a patent on the structure of DNA.
    the ‘right’ of ownership/possession in this situation is simply a kind of molecular/biological ‘frontiersmanship’: “(i was here first and so therefore) i stake my claim to this genetic terra firma.”
    research ‘might’ engendered thru dollar power has never seemed to making something more ‘right’..sadly.

    now, let’s shift things back over to music. it isn’t simply a matter of precedent, but of REGISTERED precedent. the concept of ‘indigenous’ means little here. well of COURSE Bach probably has contained in his compositions almost every chord progression known and used in pop music. sorry that he wasn’t around to register it…or why stop there? how far do we extend the net of copyrightability? can varese copyright his timbres? can we copyright a rhythm? what about all of the indigenous, ethnic musics that these western pop artist are doing ‘pakuri’ on in the first place? can the nation of africa sue paul simon for making a killing with his ‘pakuri’? can paul simon sue (and win) a japanese ‘wide show’ for playing his tune during a CM break? i’m interested in expanding the scope a bit here.

    >or do these artists and the
    >audiences know that it’s “wrong” but do it
    >anyway?

    this sounds patronizing…or actually i should say, not quite patronizing enough. i think the japanese are much more naive than you give them credit for being…

  10. marxy Says:

    this is one example of ‘pakuri’ that is all in good fun and has none of the ‘negative nuance’ that you mention.

    There’s other ways to talk about “borrowing” or “sampling” in Japan without using that word, and unless prompted by some kind of “knowing wink,” pakuri is usually something artists are accused of.

    if the artist are doing ‘pakuri’ while giving a telling wink to the fans, then this puts it beyond reproach as far as i’m concerned.

    Of course, but in so many instances, it’s clear that the artists don’t want anyone to know the original sources. Supposedly, Konishi from Pizzicato Five hates all those fans sites/books that list the original melodies from which he’s stolen.

    As for “orthopraxy/orthodoxy,” I think it explains the starting point from which Japanese culture is moving – but not the process of movement itself, NOR the current condition. That’s to say – Japanese art originally valued strict imitation over individual creation, and we should take that into account when explaining modern pakuri.

    in this sense, probably no one in a modern, 21st century developed country under the age of 35 really cares anymore about this kind of ‘ethics’ of copying.

    Right, but the issue is not Noda Nagi hanging a print-out of Aida’s work on her wall: she is selling her clients a work with ideas pilfered from other artists. It’s once you put pakuri in an exchange market as an original good that it becomes socially questionable.

    i think the japanese are much more naive than you give them credit for being…

    Yes, but if someone is hiding intentional theft behind false naivete, that’s worth exposing.

  11. dzima Says:

    Now I’m going to pakuri what a famous philosopher once said about you and the problems behind your theories:

    “I think it would greatly benefit David’s arguments if he would start thinking more INTERnationally (or if he is already, sharing these thoughts with us) by zooming out to comment on Japan’s place in the WORLD, rather than just contenting himself with a kind of ‘provincial’ doomsaying…even as justified by reality as it may seem.”

    What about Tarantino, The Matrix and all those Hollywood homages to Asian cinema? The pakuris are everywhere!

  12. marxy Says:

    Look, there’s a massive history of influences, sampling, borrowing, homage, tribute, pastiche, etc. in modern international culture, and I’m not trying to say that the Japanese are the only ones to make new works based on old ones. For the following argument, I shall define pakuri as such: an artistic use of creative elements from other works used within a similar context without acknowledgment of the original.

    Sampling a phrase for a work in a different genre or with a new structural framework (“My Sharona” in Run DMC’s “Tricky” for example) is not pakuri, but borrowing a pop melody for a similarly-sounding pop song presented as a “new work” is pakuri. (Why Orange Range gets so much flak from everyone…)

    I’m sure that Tarantino and the creators of the Matrix would LOVE to talk to you about the films they’ve copied, and could you say that those two works borrow ideas from Asian cinema and then repackage them into the same framework as Asian cinema? As much as Pulp Fiction borrows, it’s a highly interesting, innovative, unique work. I feel the same way about Cornelius’ Fantasma – his framework is original and he clearly acknowledges his borrowing.

    The Japanese are also fully aware of these ideas, but the question is: do they know when artists cross that line or do they not have a version of the “line” in their own conceptions of art?

  13. r. Says:

    but i think this is were we have to go back to the idea behind that URL i posted about the doctors in INDIA making ‘pakuri’ drugs to fight AIDS. what’s the reason that’s OK with all of us here? simple. it saves lives, and fights the ‘greed’ of U.S. companies that COULD sell their drugs in Africa at a loss but in so doing, offset greatly the loss of life in the countries in question. now of course this is a rough analogy, but i would venture to say that ‘pakuri’ in the ‘right’ mode of operation, does in fact fight the ‘establishment’ (the record industry, which, although in recession, is still quite strong, and gearing up for an extended fight), since i see music itself in a post-digital age as an essentially ‘free’ agent that is actually, due to the format, no longer capable of being copied. analog formats can be ‘copied’…digital formats produce simulacrums. and in fact, with the right programming, we can make self-replicating cds or environments…thus imposing one layer of ‘in-decision’ between us and the final judgement of coming to terms with the ‘pakuri’ problem. now to distend the analogy even further, can ‘pakuri’, as in the case of that generic AIDS drug, help someone with their mortal being? hummm…well, if we take Bjork –who of course has never done any ‘pakuri’ ever– at her word [from headphones]:

    genius to fall asleep to your tape last night…
    my headphones
    they saved my life
    your tape
    it lulled me to sleep…
    nothing will be the same
    it elevates me
    i don’t recognize myself
    this is very interesting
    my headphones
    they saved my life
    your tape
    it lulled me to sleep
    my headphones
    they saved my life…

    i think that ALLOWING for ‘pakuri’ allows for a lot of terrible ‘pakuri’ (probably what david has in mind here with this post), but i’m willing to take all of the shity, terrible, ‘theft-ish’ ‘pakrui’ in stride, AS LONG AS, in so doing, room has been made for this kind of beautifully disturbed musical kleptomania that, by any means necessary, can and WILL save someone’s life somewhere. that possiblity alone makes it all worth it.

  14. r. Says:

    david said:

    >It’s once you put pakuri in an exchange market
    >as an original good that it becomes socially
    >questionable.

    and i say: this provides an interesting ‘foil’ to the idea of japanese generally valuing ‘authenticity’ in consumer goods. (“if that bad isn’t a genuine LV, then i don’t want it!”) or if it could be said that somehow music doesn’t ‘fit’ in the same cagetory where ‘the real McCoy’ matters, then that provides a novel way of shedding light on a previouly adumbrated area of japanese consumption.
    but then again, and on a much simpler level, if the consumer isn’t nuanced enough as a listener to KNOW that what is being proffered as real ISN’T, then are they really losing anything at all? it isn’t as if their ‘enjoyment’ is being debased at an inverse ratio to the amount of the ‘pakuri factor’ (i.e. more ‘pakuri’ = less enjoyability). on the contrary, they may love it even more, since it ‘sounds’ even that much more ‘familiar’ to them. the ultimate authenticity of the music may not matter at all in the end, on a sheer sensual, auditory level.
    to ‘pakuri’ a phrase from a famous french composer (who will remain un-named just for kicks):

    “there is no theory, pleasure is the law.”

    (the composer in question had just been awarded the first prize in theory at a famous paris university)

    now is a good time to throw a curve…
    what about ‘pakuri’ on a more structural level?
    say, instead of lifting a melody, lyric, whatever, the idea of pulling a full ‘pakuri’ on an entire BAND itself? (there are numerous ‘carbon copy’ japanese bands formed under ‘mr. Mxyzptlk’-like producers who are set on BECOMING the japanese version of a western band right from the beginning…and little else.)
    what’s your take on this, david?

  15. marxy Says:

    this provides an interesting ‘foil’ to the idea of japanese generally valuing ‘authenticity’ in consumer goods

    Well, I think you said it right – they don’t know they’re “fake” or “unoriginal” because one of the conditions of pakuri is non-acknowledgement. It’s only pakuri once they get caught, and the Japanese media isn’t exactly out to catch anyone. The Noda and Aida similarities are such a nobrainer, and as far as I know, no one picked up that story or mentioned “Aze Michi” in talking about the Halcali album.

    Making generic medicine is not pakuri because they are acknowledging what they’re doing – making fake medicine for a reason. They’re not trying to pass off the invention of new drugs as their own work.

    what about ‘pakuri’ on a more structural level?

    Sure, this exists. B’z being the “Japanese Aerosmith” is the famous example. Again, they have taken creative elements from someone else and without self-acknowledgement (they aren’t a tribute band nor cover band nor pastiche project), use these elements in the exact same context (a rock band).

  16. marxy Says:

    I just was talking to a Japanese person about Noda Nagi, and she has just talked to her artist friends complaining about Noda Nagi. And what she said is (paraphrased):

    “What’s scary about Noda is that she might not even get what art really is, nor what she’s doing is wrong. She may think that Aida’s work was his actual painting procedure and not the idea of the work.”

  17. r. Says:

    focusing on the ‘structural pakuri’ for a moment, if the bands are such vapid zombies (as i believe the vast majority here ARE) can we directly indict THEM, or should the real ‘pakuri’ beef be with the producers themselves, who are masterminding the whole thing behind, or in some cases (here i have Tunku in mind) in FRONT of the scenes.

  18. Chris_B Says:

    r, dzima: y’all need to stop drinking the MIT “information wants to be free” koolaid for a little while. Anyone can see there is a difference between homage or quotation and outright “theft” of concept. Marxy has a valid point here and the hair splitting doesnt add anything. However, r’s foil was quite valid in terms of the overall question which weaves through this web page’s discussions vis a vis praxy vs doxy (marxy: you mind if I lift that for a song title? ^_^)

  19. r. Says:

    if i have to make a choice between setting music free or enslaving it, guess which one i’ll pick.

  20. r. Says:

    now if Noda decides to enslave her own sense of dignity by refusing to at least footnote her artistic assimilations, that’s her choice. if i care enough to continue with things, then the next question i have to ask myself is: is she adding ANYTHING at all to what she is borrowing/stealing. when i look at her work (and of course, this is a simple judgement call on my part) the answer is a resounding ‘no’. if it where anything other than that, i’d probably have to err on the side of letting her enjoy the capital of her newly pilfered artistic booty until it runs out.

    of course, the devil in me who wants to be a visual artist would probably give a medal to the first artist who took BOTH of the pictures that marxy has up on this thread and painted a little ‘cornrow’ connection, via a girl pictured in a third poster, from aida makoto’s girl on the left to the folks pictured in the noda nagi poster on the right. oh heck, we could even use an ‘bar-code’ oyaji just to thicken the plot, since the number of poossible follicle-based connection
    would grow exponentially!

    hairstyles and attitudes…

  21. jariten Says:

    Thank God for those underground artists, producing their innovative ideas in near obscurity. After all without them, where oh where would the mainstream bigwigs get their ideas, paychecks, and praise from?

  22. r. Says:

    http://halcali.blogspot.com/2005/04/halcali-and-pakuri.html

  23. r. Says:

    whoops! i didn’t see that you had already posted while i was typing! sorry about that redundant link .

  24. dzima Says:

    One thing that I don’t understand about Marxy’s and Chris_B’s ideas is the fact that they seem to want to implement a ‘code of chivalry’ when it comes to sampling/borrowing/stealing/ripping off. In order to do that do I need to acknowledge my sources, pay them what I think they’re worth, be willing to talk wholeheartedly about them or just shush and get my paycheck not worrying about the anything?

    As far I’m concerned, Tarantino has never paid one quid to Godard for naming his film company after “A Band Apart”, even though he’s a poor man these days. There are also stories about Thurston Moore sampling Masonna, Gerogerigege, Hijokaidan and other Japanese noise artists and only letting them know after he got paid for his borrowing. Of course, none of the artists concerned minded having been sampled by him. But who owns an apartment in Soho and jet sets and who rents a 1R in Kichijouji while being stuck in a suburb of Tokyo/Osaka?

    In the end, I think this whole matter comes down to whether Aida knows/cares about his work being pakuried by Noda Nagi. Every case is different and sometimes information wants to be free; sometimes it’s not allowed to.

  25. jariten Says:

    Imagine this scenario- Noda chooses to fully acknowledge her liberal borrowing from Aida for the cover of Ongaku (rather than intentionally covering it up as she has done). Then Noda still gets her cover, Aida gets instant exposure, recognition and access to a much broader audience, the pakuri debate is squashed, and everyone goes home happy. This way at least, I might still have some respect for the artist in question.

  26. marxy Says:

    Sure, I think that would be a solution, but we’d all probably walk away saying, “Why did Noda rip off Aida instead of just making her own artwork?”

    As for the “code of chivalry” idea, I understand your criticisms of Thurston Moore etc., but my interest is broader than finding a solution to pakuri. In some ways, it’s fine if people want to rip-off other people as long as there’s an independent media to catch it. In other words, if this had been the US or UK, bloggers would have written about it and it would have ended up making Rolling Stone or The Fader (seeing that Halcali is a major pop act).

    In Japan, the music/pop culture media is NOT allowed to bring these kinds of questions into the public sphere, so everyone gets away with pakuri all the time. Would Noda’s stock go down if she constantly got called on her borrowings? Of course, but she’s probably also knock it off.

  27. r. Says:

    as far as this ‘chivalric code of pakuri’ goes, if we distend the metaphor a bit, david would be a kind of ethical don quixote. chirs_b would be his sidekick, sancho panza. this blog is the ‘trusty’ mount that he sorties about on. the windmill they are tilting at is the ethically vacuous japanese culture, and the most amusing thing is, despite their best efforts, they just might succeed in this chimerical undertaking. i’ll be rooting for the home team (whoever THAT is) on the sidelines eating an ‘american dog’…

  28. dzima Says:

    It was about time that the “Resident Evil” of Japan, the government and the media, made its appearance again.

    Should I trust Pico-san when he recommends me to wear this certain outfit when I know that his taste in clothes might be influenced by the Yakuza, Nakasone and others blokes ‘up there’?

  29. dzima Says:

    Being a bit more serious now: I was on a Monbusho scholarship and I know what you mean when you come up with some ‘conspiracy theory’ involving the government. I could see that some of the teachers at both schools I frequented were following an agenda that had been layed out by the government (One of the more patriotic teachers once came up with that old story about the Japanese brain being different from the rest of the world). “We’ll bring students from our poor neighboor countries, pay them money, show them that Japan is good, hard working country and generous towards Asia. When they go back, they’ll serve as embassadors for Japan overseas”. Some teachers were like that, but not all of them. It’s the same everywhere: whoever’s got power, has also got an agenda that they will try to impose onto others and you choose to follow it or not.

    I became an embassador for Japan too, but not for what they wanted me to or the way they wanted me to be. What about those music labels I posted the links to the other day? They are opposing the media and the government with what they do, it’s some different and slightly subversive. But they don’t need to go out on the streets with banners to oppose the status quo. Don’t you think that this is also an option?

  30. r. Says:

    dzima said: you come up with some ‘conspiracy theory’ involving the government. I could see that some of the teachers at both schools I frequented were following an agenda that had been layed out by the government

    and i say: the fact that most Japanese seriously believe that ‘hegemon’ is a friend of ‘doraimon’ leads me to maintain a default setting in which i tend to side with david on almost all conspiracy-theory issues…UNLESS (as is sometimes the case) his flights of fancy take us to X-flies level.

  31. marxy Says:

    They are opposing the media and the government with what they do, it’s some different and slightly subversive.

    I’d be careful here. One of the things that’s deeply unsettling to me (as someone whose values were created in an American context) is how much communities outside of the mainstream in Japan being oppressed by the mainstream share the same values as those in the mainstream and do NOT have a subversive agenda. That is to say, just because you’re a small indie label doesn’t mean your “anti-major.” This used to be true in the 80s and early 90s, but most of the “indie” labels just want their own shot at stardom. As Steve Albini said, the worst thing about the 90s (and this also applies to Japan), was that bands who do weird music now think that they can make money from it.

    Of course, in US/UK there are a lot of bands/artists with the same agenda masked under an anti-establishment rhetoric, but I wouldn’t just assume that these small indie labels are subversive by their nature of being small.

    They don’t need to go out on the streets with banners to oppose the status quo.

    No, but without a free media, the Japanese (and us foreigners looking in) have no idea about alternative opinions or the backroom deals that really decide politics in Japan. How did you know that a lot of Americans were against the Iraq war? Because we were out on the streets or because you could read several dozen opinions against the war from mainstream sources?

    On the 350th episode of the Simpsons from last night, the end credits had Homer and Ray Romano plugging Everybody Loves Raymond incessantly — even with the channel and time information. Can you imagine any Japanese show deconstructing television promotion on the show itself and then giving free advertising to a rival network?

  32. James Butts Says:

    Contextually, this whole thing might be interesting if it weren’t for the Paula Scher/Herbert Matter debate 20 yeaqrs ago. Time to get over it, ladies.

  33. marxy Says:

    Yeah, people! If you aren’t up on Swiss tourist poster designers, YOU – ARE – LAME.

    We are painfully so not over it, unfortunately, and seeing that nothing like this over-well-known Scher-Matter debate has ever been discussed within the Japanese public sphere, I think it’s worth mulling over.

  34. r. Says:

    touche!
    (btw, did you notice that guy’s last name was butts and WHERE his URL link takes us? meow, meow, meow…)

  35. James Butts Says:

    This type of thing has been discussed within the Japanese public sphere over the past year due to Keiiichi Tanaami’s work recently being lifted for certain Parisian apparel designs. There were big articles in the Asahi Shimbun, as well as the NY Times.

    And as for Matter and Scher, take a a gander at the article written on the topic in Steven Heller’s Looking Closer series published by Allworth Press for a pretty insightful investigation into visual ‘theft’ and the ramifications thereof.

    I apologize for being flippant and dismissive. That was rude, as well as shortsighted, as I got all hot & bothered and ignored the cultural context. I will play nice from here on out. And I won’t call you “ladies” again. Scout’s honor.

    Back to Matter and Scher for a moment, though- this was actually big news in the 80s when it happened, and as it was the impetus for a few peoples’ thesis writings. It might be worth investigating a bit more before disregarding, as well.

    And that’s MR. Butts to you, good sir.