Entertaining four letter word

Funny website for lots more of these, and T-shirts!

fuck off switch

2 hour minimum

Somebody on Amazon wrote this review about the FuckThisWebsite book. It’s such a good review I had to re-post it here. And – what a lot to write for an Amazon review! Who has time to do this stuff? I’m probably going to have to buy it for the coffee table. Or send it to my mother. The book, not the review (below).

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This is a funny and clever book. But it’s much more than that. Let me start by saying that when I originally saw the first few pictures, I thought, “Okay, nice idea, it’s done now, it need not go on.” Wrong. The variety in this book is amazing; there is not one repetition in the nearly one hundred images! Yes, they’re all amusing; but some are ambiguous, which even adds to their humor. Some actually change a mundane sign into something not just provocative but profound — while still being uproariously funny.

Artistically, the book is situationist and interventionist. May I explain? The signs belong only in certain environments (situations); the superimposed stickers, always a mere single syllable, intervene on the mundane thoughts which the utilitarian signs usually generate. At the same time, the stickers bring the signs to life like turning so many inert puppets into real people. With one single action, the stickers force removal of the original meaning, but not entirely: hence the jokes. Marcel Duchamp, anyone? He would have loved it.

The book also records performance art. Unlike most such art, there are no people here. That they don’t show up in the photos actually enriches the result; we are left to respond to the photos in our own way, without restriction of others’ actions.

This collection is an extraordinary cultural commentary. In a singular way, it encapsulates the sexualization in pop culture. So what will parents do when they and their children encounter this book in a store? I’d like to be there right then, just to witness the result. You know those T-shirts people wear (especially young people) that have incongruous, mysterious, or challenging words on them, unrelated to what their wearers may be doing at that moment? Pare that down to its essence, and you have this book.

Yet the book itself is the opposite of pared down: it is rich, and deeply so. Or consider the possibility of going about ordinary business and suddenly encountering people also doing ordinary things — but entirely naked. That, of course, has often been tried with much success, and is a relative of this book too. That the stickers are obviously homemade is important. The book does not suggest that there is a culture somewhere with perfect, machine-printed signs offering funny messages. It does not engage in dreams. It does suggest that there is a kind of anti-Santa out there striking down the very infrastructures the signs originally represented. Graffiti art? This is it in its purest form.

Another imaginative twist: the half-title of the book reads simply “buy this book”! Momentarily we think, Is that the real title? We may also see, in that one unadulterated “sign” in the whole book, the irony laid bare: any commercialism behind the original signs is wrecked by one little word. Instead of a world infused with “Buy!”stickers, in the book’s world, that command is covered.

An entire world is challenged and inverted by a simple action. Who would have thought that the worst taboo word in English could provide so much social philosophy? The book’s website provides still more, as the author invites all to participate. Subversion not only of language but of authority is a game which any number may play. This book is brilliant. You may be miffed by it. You may be alarmed. But with even a half-open mind, you will be enriched beyond all expectation.
– via amazon.com

2 thoughts on “Entertaining four letter word

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