Arts A Coney Island of the Mindfuck
posted by August 6 at 16:10 PMon
New on Coney Island, as reported in the New York Times:
It looks at first like any other shuttered storefront near the boardwalk: some garish lettering and a cartoonish invitation to a delight or a scam — in this case there’s SpongeBob SquarePants saying, “It don’t Gitmo better!”
Inside, artist Steve Powers has designed a “Waterboard Thrill Ride” where you stuff a dollar into a slot and watch animatronic figures torture each other.
The whole recreational waterboarding thing is as old as the hills, whether for the purposes of kink (hello, ancient Japanese porn) or publicity (hello, Christopher Hitchens). Just a few weeks ago, Jen Graves wrote about Jon Haddock, an artist from Arizona who makes animatronic torture figures.
But that’s the point—torture is nothing shocking.
Remember the days—circa Halloween, 2004—when people got all worked up about this?
Those days are done.
Back to the Coney Island article:
“I love it,” said Ricki Rosen, the mother of the family. “Hilarious!” Her daughter asked what it was all about, and Ms. Rosen responded: “Waterboarding, Sweetie, is a kind of torture where they pour water on people’s faces so they feel like they’re drowning. But then there was a big controversy because a lot of Americans are saying you shouldn’t torture people even if they are terrorists.” She paused. “The baby is hilarious!”
“Waterboarding, Sweetie, is a kind of torture.”
That phrase is now burned on my brain.