BFP Volume 4


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Trobaugh Photos Banned in Alabama

Spring 2004

by Stephen Smith
Local photographer John Trobaugh exhibitions entitled Double Duty and Childhood Memories were removed from a public gallery at Shelton State because of their controversial subject matter. According to the Tuscaloosa News Shelton State President Rick Rogers called the photographs "inappropriate" and didn't want them on display when children and families attended a production of Arsenic and Old Lace in the same location. The University of Alabama Faculty Senate came to Trobaugh's defense and passed a resolution by a 23-13 vote to "Defend Academic Freedom at Shelton State." One could make the argument that it's none of UA's business what kind of art Shelton State wants to hang in it's gallery. But I guess they're acting on behalf of all Alabama citizens who just don't have the get-up-and-go it takes to get together and pass a resolution.

Trobaugh maintained that the administration at Shelton State read a homoerotic meaning into the photos. Seeing that the artwork's subject matter is G.I. Joe dolls in streetwalker makeup climbing all over Ken dolls, I think a homoerotic interpretation is justified. By Artworld standards Trobaugh's work is pretty tame. It's actually very reminiscent of David Levinthal who's Barbie photos where exhibited with great fanfare at the Birmingham Museum of Art as part of a two-year national tour.


Actually I like Trobaugh's photos more than Levinthal's. They're technically just as good and the homoeroticism really adds to the overall effect. Nothing is more subjective than art and nothing is more common in art than homoeroticism. One might even say my portrait of Trobaugh above is homoerotic because the smile of a handsome fella' like him might get all the gay guys hot and bothered.

Both me and our sports columnist, Stephen Milstead, used to work at an Internet startup with John Trobaugh. He's a smart man and knows photography in all of its aspects. Trobaugh studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York City and eventually received an MA from the University of Alabama.

Moore Stays in Headlines Despite High Court Rejections Greyhound Killed by Fake Bone

by Stephen Smith
Time Magazine, the Today Show, Alabama hasn't had a celeb this big since Bear Bryant. Disagreeing with virtually all legal professionals in the country Roy Moore believes his right to acknowledge "God" has been denied him. Here in Alabama you can't turn on the TV or radio without hearing Roy Moore acknowledging his God. The problem is he won't stop talking about his God and get back to work. The Ten Commandments issue has been exhaustively dealt with by the Supreme Court over the past few years. In America anyone can worship anything and call it his God. And we do. If you want to put a monument to your belief system on public property you have to allow equal time for all the others.

If Moore had allowed the Atheist statue and the Martin Luther King monument in the Judicial Building he would have been allowed to keep his Commandments and his job. But the former Chief Justice believed he was the exception to the rule for three reasons: 1. he acted as landlord over the building, 2.the Supreme Court declared the United States a Christian country and thus a theocracy in 1892, 3. this particular monument represents an ultimate "Truth" straight from the creator of the universe and usurps any of mankind's pitiful attempts to govern himself. The first point is well taken but obviously didn't cut the mustard with his fellow justices. The second point is widely held among Primitive Baptist preachers but few lawyers. The third needs to be fleshed out a little.

by Stephen Smith
Three year old greyhound, Gallant Dixie was recently electrocuted to death at the Mobile dog track. While chasing after the large artificial bone affixed to a pole that serves as a lure for the racing dogs Gallant Dixie collided with another dog. Disoriented, she stumbled into the electrically charged rail that shuttles the bone around the track. Employees immediately shut off the power to the fake bone but it continued around for another lap and severed one of Gallant Dixie's legs.

Times are hard for the greyhounds here in the Heart of Dixie. The Humane Society is calling for investigations into the discovery of thousands of greyhound corpses at a farm in Lillian, Alabama. Robert Rhodes, who owns the property, admitted to authorities that he has shot and killed dogs brought to him by greyhound trainers from the Pensacola Greyhound Park. It seems that not all greyhounds are built for speed. The slow pokes are nothing but a nuisance which the serious owner auditions and rejects. Greyhounds that lack the eye of the tiger are expendable and accumulate fast. It seems if you're just going to execute all those dogs you might at least eat them. That way it doesn't seem so senseless.

The Humane Society makes it easy to adopt one of these racetrack rejects. You can pick one up for a song, maybe name him Santa's Little Helper. That's a Simson's reference, of which there are far too few of in this publication. That's a situation we're tirelessly dedicated to remedying.