Friday November 28, 2014

Bill Cosby should have gone down as a loser
Read Full Column on NYPOST.com

By Andrea Peyser
November 24, 2014

How a feminist's artwork was inspired by a Borat prank

This epic art project was made possible by Borat.

In 2005, serious feminist artist Linda Stein was punked by British comic actor Sacha Baron Cohen. While in character as the bumbling, misogynistic, anti-Semitic, homophobic journalist from Kazakhstan named Borat Sagdiyev, he visited Stein’s New York City art studio, ostensibly to film a documentary that was to help the plight of women in Third World countries.

She fell for the gag.

In footage that appears in the Jewish actor’s wacky 2006 movie, “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan,’’ Borat/Baron Cohen spoke to three members of the Veteran Feminists of America, including Stein, who is on the organization’s board of directors.

He called Condoleezza Rice, then US secretary of state, “chocolate baby.” “Is it not a problem that a woman have a smaller brain than a man?” he asked.

“That’s it! I’ve had it!” Stein yelled as she marched out of camera range. She struck back after the “Borat” movie was released, creating a sculpture on which she drew a tiny penis on the crotch of an image of Borat/Baron Cohen in a thong mankini. Now, she has turned the experience into an exhibition — depicting heroic females who saved lives during the Holocaust while risking, or losing, their own.

“I call this whole episode ‘the four B’s,’ ” Stein told me. “There’s the bully, the bullied, the bystander and the brave upstander. Borat was a bully claiming to be an upstander” — one who stands up for the oppressed. “Bull[bleep]!”

“He had the boys laughing with him, not at him. He had the anti-Semites laughing against the Jews, not with them.” And Stein says she’s his fan.

Stein was inspired to right a historical injustice. The stories of female bravery during the reign of Adolf Hitler and the rest of the World War II-era Jew-killers have not won the attention given to those of men. The tale of Oskar

Schindler, the Nazi party member who saved the lives of 1,200 Jewish prisoners of war, has been enshrined in popular culture in the Oscar-winning 1993 movie “Schindler’s List,” directed and co-produced by Steven Spielberg.

Determined to honor the heroines of the Holocaust, Stein created 10 eye-popping tapestries collectively titled “Holocaust Heroes: Fierce Females, the Tapestries of Linda Stein.”

One of the fierce females, Anne Frank, is well known for her “Diary of a Young Girl,” published around the world, in which she described her teen years spent hiding in Nazi-occupied Holland, before she was arrested and died of typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

Less well-known is Yukiko Sugihara, the wife of Japan’s wartime consul to Lithuania, who helped persuade her husband to rescue 6,000 Jews, granting them visas allowing them to enter Japan.

Noor Inayat Khan, a Muslim, sent radio signals to allies in Nazi-occupied France for four months at a time when the life expectancies of radio operators was six weeks, said Stein. Executed at the Dachau concentration camp at age 30, she made one last, defiant utterance before being shot to death — the French word “liberté.”

Only one, Ruth Gruber, is still alive today, at age 103. A journalist and US government official during World War II, she helped displaced postwar Jewish refugees by writing their stories and photographing them while on assignment for the New York Post.

The artworks, each of which measures 5 feet by 5 feet, incorporate leather and metal to give them a three-dimensional look, photographs, plus pictures taken from 1940s comic books of the superhero Wonder Woman. The tapestries, which will set you back $25,000 apiece, or $12,000 each for limited-edition copies, are set to be unveiled Dec. 11 at the Flomenhaft Gallery in Manhattan. (Stein plans to donate a third of the profits to Have Art: Will Travel! Inc., a nonprofit group for which she’s founder and president and which promotes women’s “empowerment.’’) After Feb. 21, 2015, plans are under way to exhibit the works around the country and the world.

Stein has made peace with Sacha Baron Cohen. “I enjoy his work as an actor very much. He definitely inspired my art.

“He also inspired me to think about the ways that people can address bigotry.”

He’s also wickedly funny. His influence has led to the creation of fabulous tapestries.

As Borat would say, “Very nice!”

Read Full Column on NYPOST.com

Andrea Peyser



New York Post Archive

Andrea's Recent Columns archived on andreapeyser.com

British monarchy’s insistence on media dress code is classist and sexist

Those of us in the media have been told to avoid wearing blue jeans or “trainers” — that’s British for sneakers, commoners — while covering Prince William and his pregnant wife, Kate, as they grace New York City and Wills travels solo to Washington, DC, next month. The royal romp of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge is to include a stop at the Barclays Center for a basketball match between LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers and the Brooklyn Nets.

“Those wearing jeans or trainers will not be admitted, and casually dressed members of the media will be turned away. This also applies to technicians . . . Smart attire for men includes the wearing of a jacket and tie, and for women, a trouser or skirts suit,” sniffed sexist, classist and lookist fashion rules posted on the official Web site of the British monarchy. We are not amused.

Lammily dolls come with stretch mark and acne stickers

Makers of the new Lammily doll are fighting eating disorders among the young, selling miniature humans whose plastic bodies are rounder than those of skinny Barbie dolls. The company’s slogan is “Average is beautiful.’’ Needs work.

But dollmakers, who hawk the toys online for $25 a pop, also sell stickers that resemble cellulite, stretch marks, acne, scars and other imperfections that youngsters can adhere to Lammilys. Talk about giving kids body issues.

Horror over Meredith Vieira preferring to go commando

Meredith Vieira, 60, doesn’t like wearing underpants, she confesses in More magazine. But she fails to go commando when she wears pantyhose, which have built-in undies. Try as I might, I cannot unsee the disturbing mental image.

Casinos continue to cancel Bill Cosby shows as accusations pour in

Casinos in Las Vegas and Tucson, Ariz., and venues in Virginia, Washington state and South Carolina have canceled stand-up comedy shows that were to be headlined by Bill Cosby as the 77-year-old comedian keeps getting hit with allegations of sexual assault. But Cosby performed to a standing ovation at a sold-out show in Florida on Friday.

Lawyer Martin Singer sent me e-mail messages last week calling the latest accusations “ridiculous.” He sent me a mug shot and details of the Florida criminal history of Linda Joy Traitz, 63, who accused Cosby of drugging and assaulting her when she was 19.

Traitz is an example “of people coming out of the woodwork with fabricated or unsubstantiated stories about my client,’’ he wrote.

Among others, Singer slammed Carla Ferrigno, wife of “The Incredible Hulk’’ TV star and movie actor Lou Ferrigno, who claims that Cosby forcefully kissed her as a teen in his Los Angeles house in 1967 after his wife, Camille, went to bed. The 47-year-old smacker was “grossly mischaracterized as a ‘sexual assault,’ ” Singer wrote.

Does it make sense that so many women are lying or exaggerating?

 

Buy Now!
AVAILABLE from:
Barnes and Noble

Andrea Tells it as only she can!

Celebutards –The Hollywood Hacks, Limousine Liberals, and Pandering Politicians Who Are Destroying America

Andrea Peyser is a columnist for the New York Post, writing on the social and political issues important to Americans.

Her commentary has brought her awards from the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and Columnist of the Year from the New York State Associated Press for 2005.

 

Celebutards in paperback

Celebutards: The Hollywood Hacks, Limousine Liberals and Pandering Politicians Who Are Destroying America (Kensington) is now available in paperback on Barnes and Noble.

15 years ago...........

My first book was released, Mother Love, Deadly Love, and now Susan Smith is back in the news attempting to gain a retrial.

Mother Love, Deadly Love

©2007-2014 Andrea Peyser and andreapeyser.com; No Reuse without permission.
Contact Us    •Site Map    •Biography    •Appearances    •Book Excerpt    •Archive