Steven Jones gives Chicken John some press in this San Francisco Bay Guardian article on Burning Man that centers mostly on the Paul Addis' arson of the man and reactions to it. Jones explains how Chicken John and Addis have known each other since 1995, and that CJ even kicked Addis out of his Odeon bar a couple times. No surprises there, since San Francisco is a small town, and the core of old-skool burners is even smaller. But then there's this lovely quote from Chicken John:
"[Addis is] a hero. He did the thing that we've been talking about doing for a decade," Rinaldi said. "No matter how misguided he was, his intention was to facilitate art."
Umm, how does that work exactly, facilitating art by destroying something that someone else has created? I guess I'm just a grump, but I don't see where Addis' action is facilitative, helpful, or even a good prank, because it involved the destruction of something created by someone else. To me, it's akin to burning a book, destroying someone else's creation because you don't like what it represents (and no, it's not the same as that iconic gesture of flag burning, because a flag is a reproduction, not an original work - how would we feel about some slashing a Van Gogh to make a statement?).
In an earlier post I talked about why I have trouble with Chicken John's campaign, but now we have someone who is holding himself up as a guardian and supporter of the arts commending Addis as a "hero" for destroying someone else's work. Does Chicken John think it's okay to destroy art if you don't agree with it? Is that how he's going to improve the condition of the arts community in San Francisco?