Paul McCarntey and Nicolas Sarkozy star in Art Gone Asunder

Two fabulous headlines for your Wednesday morning: Paul McCartney left his head on a train and Sarkozy is ‘needled’ by voodoo doll.

Ahhhh…Wednesday morning news…
Paul McCartney’s Head?
Yes, it’s true. McCartney’s head has been lost, rather, the ape-like wax representation of it. Professional transporter/grand bobby Joby Carter was taking it to an auction in Berkshire, England, where it was estimated to fetch up to 10,000 pounds. Then Carter, similar to Mrs. Prism in The Importance of Being Earnest, left the baby, ahem, the head. The BBC reports: “The head was left in a bag under a seat on a train from London at Maidenhead station in Berkshire on Thursday. The service would have terminated at Reading.”
I suspect McCartney paid him so that nobody would ever connect him with that terrible head again. And speaking of unwanted likenesses, Sarkozy’s in a bit of a stitch across the channel. Oh the power of the public image! Oh life as art! Oh unwanted portraiture! Oh the horror!
Nicolas Sarkozy is not amused.
As one can tell from the image of the French President, left, Sarkozy is not amused to have been transformed into a voodoo doll. BBC reports that “Sarkozy has threatened to sue a publishing company if it does not withdraw from shops a ‘voodoo doll’ in his image.” It even comes with pins! According to BBC, “The publisher said Mr Sarkozy’s reaction was ‘totally disproportionate’ and has so far refused to pull the doll from shops.” Vive la revolution!
Ah, life and art don’t really change, do they? As I wrote in an earlier post, a voodoo doll bears a remarkable similarity to a medieval portrait, and here we see the voodoo doll as portrait. In the Medieval ages after a regime change, the new rulers would scratch out the eyes in portraits of previous rulers.
So what conclusions can be drawn from this morning’s news? If you are a public figure, people will do terrible things to your likeness, in which case you must either steal or sue the maker. Then after passing your hands three times over the false image, you must suck the tiny bit of your soul that is trapped in it out. (I recommend the breath they teach in Lamaze class.) Then you must burn the false, soul-sucking idol. Add its charred remains to the images you create of your enemies for a little extra oomph.

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