Monday, August 11, 2008

In defense of Simon Blint

To my knowledge, neither SF MoMA nor Simon Blint have made an official statement regarding the altercation between Blint and Thomas Hawk on Friday. (See my previous post.)

But John Harrington linked to a blog post by Simon Read. Excerpts:

On Friday, Blint asked a patron to stop taking what appeared to be some inappropriate photographs. When the man refused and continued shooting, Blint was forced to ask him to leave.

Note that Hawk would argue that he gave Blint the opportunity to review the photographs to determine if they were inappropriate or not.

I’ve known Simon Blint for years and know what a great guy he is.

Read then argues, as others have, that Hawk should not have called Blint an a-hole. However, Read goes further and says that the subject should not have been raised online at all:

Regardless of who was right or wrong, Peterson/Hawk has crossed the line. A rational human being would have simply written a letter to museum management, stating his case and asking for the situation to be put right.

But does Read practice what he preaches? Let's look at the previous post in his blog, a movie review:

I'm not entirely sure what series creator Chris Carter was gunning for when he penned the script....

Had Carter focused more on the serial-killer aspect and not dwelt so long on matters of faith and religion, he would have had a first-rate thriller on his hands. Instead, we're left with a movie that can't decide what it wants to be.

A rational human being would have simply written a letter to movie management, stating his case and asking for the situation to be put right. In other words, don't dis Chris.

Back to Hawk. Harrington also had a problem with Read's suggested solution:

Perhaps Blint should treat all his museums' visitors as if they will shout from the rooftops about bad experiences they might have. Heck gets the new world order concept in their latest ad campaign where hotel staff are concerned about the review they might get on the website....A letter to museum management would have received some apologetic form letter, and little else.

The mention of got me curious - what was SF MoMA's rating on As of now, it's a fairly high 4 star rating. The two ratings since Friday concerned the Frida Kahlo exhibit, and both were 4 star ratings (they would have been 5 stars, but the lines were very long).

And, for the record, I wouldn't recommend that everyone and their mother go and give MoMA one star ratings on yelp. To truly give a rating, you have to visit the site, and so far only Hawk has run into problems there.

However, I shudder to think what would happen if Improv Everywhere were to head out west, cameras in hand.

Hmm...there is a San Francisco-based group that could do such a thing. And someone associated with the group is sponsoring this:

We need you to network a global party on Thursday 28th August 2008; the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s 'I Have a Dream' speech.

Thursday 28th Aug

If you’re a DJ, club promoter or party thrower, then all we ask of you is to build a special climactic sequence into your mix on the night of the 28th of August or anytime over the following Friday night/weekend, knowing that at the high point the audience will be ready to raise their hands to make the 'Free At Last' exclamation.

And, of course, the event must be photographically documented...

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