Daily Bafflements

The BafflerDecember 31, 2014

• This AP report on the controversial “opossum drop” in North Carolina just absolutely must be read in full. Happy New Year!

• “As art was institutionalized, so, inevitably, was the artist,” writes William Deresiewicz in a brief history of the commodification of the artist. “The genius became the professional. Now you didn’t go off to Paris and hole up in a garret to produce your masterpiece…. Like a doctor or lawyer, you went to graduate school—M.F.A. programs were also proliferating—and then tried to find a position….. The training was professional, and so was the work it produced.”

• A man who worked to paint and restore Google CEO Larry Page’s yacht is suing Page because he was forced to work “12-hour shifts, with inadequate equipment, and ended up collapsing, vomiting, and bleeding from the eyes, ears, and anus as a result of toxic chemicals in the paint and supplies he used.” When he asked for safety equipment, he was apparently told to “get back down there and do the work.” (Via Corey Pein.)

• Today in Labor Strikes: airline workers in France, warehouse workers in the UK, electrical and communications workers in Maine, trash collectors in Maryland, and taxi drivers in North Carolina.