Rosetta Shirt drives the nail into High Art coffin

“Zero loves dividing big numbers ’cause it gets the same kinda error, no matter how big the number was”, said the professor. Then, he looked up, “Zero can make any big number lose its identity”.

“Is this why the Apocalypse is the product of Infinity divided by zero?” asked one of the tongue-in-cheek kind of students that sit at the back while seeking attention of the girls at the front.

“No. That’s simply an old joke.” The professor smiled, and murmured, “This is why stupid people love picking on clever ones”.

It is hard to find anyone oblivious of the #shirtstorm scandal, when a 3rd-wave feminist blogger accused Matt Taylor, the science boss of the team that landed a spaceship on a comet, of wearing a misogynic shirt, and drove the tattooed giant genius to tears and apologies. Since then, the internet has kicked back at the feminist trolls who orchestrated the campaign proving that sane people still exist. So, I won’t be talking about this scandal. The professor above said it all: zeros love harassing big numbers.

But I still have a question for you.

How is this shirt related to art, and the concept of High Art (as opposite to Low Art), in particular? The same idea goes by the name of Art with a capital “A” vs. simply art. You may be surprised, but it is great art in the same way the band “Cannibal Corpse” is great music.

Important notice: if you are blessed to be unaware of the music and songs played by Cannibal Corpse band, DO NOT ENLIGHTEN YOURSELF NOW. Or ever.

People who believe art can be high or low, often justify the division saying that High Art inspires great thinkers in professions relevant to the survival of mankind, while low art is only produced to entertain and subjugate uneducated “masses”, still necessary to operate gas pumps, run deliveries, and make things, generally.

So, great/high art is great/high because ultimately it is instrumental in helping mankind to achieve new heights in its development.

There’s logic to it, right?

No one would argue that sending ships to space and landing probes on comets is as important for our survival as never leaving home without Amex is for Amex. We’d have to evacuate this planet at some point to survive.

Given that Dr Matt Taylor is inspired by this shirt, as well as by songs produced by Cannibal Corpse band that YOU DON’T GOOGLE TO SEE FOR YOURSELF, both are examples of High Art.

It means Tate Modern or the MoMA must reach out to Dr Taylor and beg him to give them the shirt, because it has been proven it works. The London Symphonic Orchestra has to include Cannibal Corpse music in their performances.

Alternatively, we can finally put the idea of High vs. Low art to rest, and thank Dr Matt Taylor for this ultimately convincing argument.


  1. Excellent blog, it amazes me how are society can focus on the wearing of a t-shirt over the accolade itself. He landed a spaceship on an asteroid!!! That’s fascinating and game changing feat, I could care less if he was wearing a pink Hello Kitty while he did it. 😃

      1. It’s too bad he couldn’t cash in on this by making his own shirt line. That would show those trolling feminists. I was shocked that it brought this titan to tears. Just goes to show the power of social media. I’m sure he will be better off once he looks back at this and sees how really silly it all was.

    1. Yes, feminist trolls, very similar to Christian Orthodox trolls in Russia, who get offended at anything and everything and even something they don’t get to see. And no, they are not offended in fact, and it can be shown in court – if you remember Pussy Riot trial. They just love be to seen that way and harass others into following their ideology/standards.

      The post was not about them.

      And you are not my history teacher to tell me “Ugh, so beyond diappointing” in this dismissive way.

      You surprised me with this remark. Not with your opinion, which can be very much opposite to mine, but with this remark. Sad.

      1. It was beyond disappointing to see a legitimate grievance dismissed as some disingenuous/hypersensitive trolling from a blogger I generally like and respect.

        1. Well, that’s way less dismissive, thank you. And no, I don’t believe the hate campaign in question can be called “a legitimate greivance”. I don’t believe the interview and article that kicked it off was an expression of grievance. It was an uneducated harassment. If this is a disappointment for you, I’d appreciate it being less charged emotionally.

    1. Imagine all those people with too much time on their hands had brains to direct their efforts to, say, winding up dynamo machines… We’d have clean energy all year round.

    2. This guy wasnt chilling on the beach in this shirt but presenting a milestone scientific moment in front of a huge international audience. Female TV presenters get parsed for wearing a particular color or their hair a certain way. Female bankers have to stick to suits essentially derived from men’s fashion in color, fabric and style lest they are deemed unprofessional. But to show up at televised international conference with some titties on your shirt? Totally acceptable, nobody should feel offended at all! And clearly the science journalist who writes for the BBC and the Atlantic (and who tweeted the photo) is just someone with “too much time” on her hands.

        1. You made your post about it, by framing it not as “so, there was this controversy about this guy wearing this shirt, I wont say on which side I am because what I want to talk about the high/low art vis a vis this shirt” but incorporating the derisive “third wave feminist” (really, just “feminist” wouldnt cut it? or “woman”?) and “feminist trolls” into your preface of the art discussion, then tried to guard yourself against any criticism by saying that you “won’t be talking about this scandal.” You just did. It’s like if I prefaced my Crimea travel posts with “Ukrainian Nazis have usurped this beautiful land for two and a half decades and God bless Putin for returning this land into Russia’s fold, but NO NO my post is not about politics, it’s about Crimea’s mountains and beaches!” You can’t have it both ways.

          1. No, my post was about High vs. Low art controversy. And I don’t want to discuss the shirt “controversy” because it has been thoroughly discussed by other people, and I provide links to the opinions that sum it up in my view. Yet, I want to state my attitude to the event. I don’t want to discuss my attitude, I want to discuss the funny conclusion that follows from the scandal.

            And to avoid a discussion of my attitude to 3rd wave feminism (not just feminism) I say I don’t want to discuss it.

            That’s pure mathematical logic, and it can even be expressed with math notation. If I dig out my lectures, of course.

            PS If you wrote about Ukrainian Nazis, I would choose not to read the Crimean posts, or at least not to dismiss you with my disappointment.

      1. Silly ‘society norms’ – if you don’t conform you must be wrong. (Happily some of us do not choose to live by them.)
        ArtMoscow thank you for the thought provoking posting.

It would be grand to hear from you now!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: