Tuesday, December 12, 2006

"I'm certainly proud of the ass painting"

Whoever said that a fool and his money are soon parted was absolutely right. Case in point:
To hear the students tell it, Stephen Murmer is a fun, popular art teacher who is always quick to crack a joke. But there is another side to Murmer. A side that has agitated school officials and resulted in his suspension. A side that focuses, almost entirely, on the crack in his backside.

Outside of class and under an alter ego, the self-proclaimed "butt-printing artist" creates floral and abstract art by plastering his posterior and genitals with paint and pressing them against canvas. His cheeky creations sell for hundreds of dollars.
People pay hundreds of dollars to buy paintings that this guy makes with his ass and junk? I'm definitely in the wrong line of work.

Anyway, the school district got wind of his extracurricular activities and suspended him. The ACLU is involved, of course.
Murmer went to great lengths to keep his work life separate from his activities as an artist, said ACLU executive director Kent Willis. As a butt-printing artist, he goes by the name "Stan Murmur," and appears in disguise in photographs and videos promoting his art.

"As a public employee, he has constitutional rights, and he certainly has the right to engage in private legal activities protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution," Willis said.

A nearly naked Murmer expressed concern about remaining incognito during a 2003 appearance on the now-canceled cable television talk show, "Unscrewed With Martin Sargent." In a clip from the show, available on YouTube.com, Murmer dons a fake nose and glasses, a towel on his head, a black thong - and nothing else.

"I'm certainly proud of the ass painting," Murmer said in response to questions about his disguise. "I do have a real job where I do have real clients and I don't think they'd be too understanding if I was also the guy who painted with my ass."
Well, I guess he was right, wasn't he?

But slightly changing his name and going on a talk show nearly naked doesn't really sound like going to "great lengths" to protect his secret identity.

Frankly, I'm not sure whose side I fall on with this one. I'm pretty much still trying to wrap my head around the fact that people actually pay hundreds of dollars for paintings this guy makes with his ass.

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