Adam Overton – I Apologise To You On Behalf Of Humankind

Usually I don’t write specific rants, I generally ramble about a broad topic, but today I have to flay the keyboard in disgust over the way people have become ignorant sheep. This morning my Facebook newsfeed showed that my friend Sophie had registered her opinion on a photo featured in BuzzFeed.

The photo was entitled “Terrifying Photo From Vacation Bible School” and features a man seemingly dressed as “Adam”, with 3 young girls, who look kind of awkward. Various comments underneath the photo include “All the creeps, pervs, inadequates and religious fuckwits just can’t leave other people’s kids alone can they?” and “The fuck? Okay that’s child endangerment/abuse, someone shut that pedo-fest down.” Another accuses the man of being “a sick pedo who uses “cute bible stories” to justify his actions.” The comments continue on like this, until a few people point out the source of the photo, which is NOT Vacation Bible School, nor is the man dressed as Adam. In fact, this costume has no religious connotations whatsoever. Some more ridiculous comments ensue, all the while a few people are still providing links to the source of the photo’s purpose. People aren’t listening to the facts, they are just enjoying jumping on their prosecution-wagon and spending their ignorant, bible-bashing American 2c (no offense Emily).

Here is the real story that many chose to ignore, I guess because it meant that they couldn’t be outraged. The photo was taken at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Adam Overton was a walking exhibit entitled “California Nature Boy” as a part of “Let Them Eat LAMCA“, a day-long event exploring art, food, culture and politics.

“Oh no, someone get this predator out of the museum, quick! Those other people clearly look worried at his totally indecent and out-of-context state of undress!” (photo taken by George Mikhail)

From my brief Facebook stalking, it seems as though Adam Overton is a true artist. He belongs to contemporary physical performance groups and other artistic endeavours. I’m pretty pissed off that this photo is now out there: Although Overton is probably mature enough to not give it too much worry, how do we know that some idiotic over-zealous mother in his neighbourhood doesn’t start some crappy petition to get him ousted? Although it wouldn’t wash, the stigma would still remain. And that is the problem with so many people these days. Here is an example. I commented on the Buzzfeed thread: “Sophie is right. As has been clearly explained below by a few people, He was a walking exhibit for a museum gallery day – “California Nature Boy”. Those kids’ parents were probably like, “hey kids! Stand next to the funny nature man so we can get a photo!” and the kids are probably looking like that because that’s how I always looked when my dad made me be in a tourist photo with something random that I didn’t fully understand, (like when Dad took my photo aged 8 with the Blues-Mobile at Universal Studios) – I had the same look on my face.
You people need to stop being outraged at every little thing that you see before you take the time to truly understand what is happening in this picture. Also, your witch-hunt-like mentality takes creedence away from the real issues with predators out there.
I feel really bummed for this guy who now is probably going to be in a bunch of shitty memes because of a few stupid idiots.”

This meme exists because people are fucking ignorant.

Guess what; someone replied! “Okay. No It’s wrong on many levels no matter the reasoning behind it. Plus if it is just a tourist photo why are they labelled “bitter’ and “sweet”?” Hey lady, you obviously didn’t actually read my comment at all, you just got annoyed that it wasn’t part of the “burn the pedo” campaign, so you stated, well, not really a point at all.

My reply was as follows: “If you bothered to actually read the links that have been provided by many people in this thread, you will see that the museum event that Adam Overton is performing in is called “Let Them Eat LACMA”, which was a day-long event exploring art, food, culture and politics. I am sure that the “bitter” and “sweet” labels were some form of gimmick on that day to encourage participation in what looks to be a contemporary interactive exhibition.
I didn’t say that THIS photo was a tourist photo, I used “tourist photo” in context with when I was often posed with seemingly random things that my parents thought would make a good snapshot.
Also, it’s not “wrong on many levels” because it is a walking art exhibition, as approved by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. If you have any issues with the way that the man is dressed, then you should probably contact the LACMA, instead of posting uninformed comments on photos of people who are completely innocent.
Just to clarify: This photo was NOT taken at a Bible School, nor ANY other religious event. Also, these kids didn’t wander into an art museum of their own accord – I would bet money on the fact that their parents brought them to the exhibition, and the parents probably thought that this was an interesting exhibit, and took a photo. Those parents obviously don’t have a problem with their children seeing this exhibit, because they were there to explain the context to their children like responsible parents. It would be nice to see more parents guiding their kids and teaching them about various cultural things instead of letting them watch TV all day while they censor everything and give religious reasons for decisions rather than take the time to teach their children how to think like rational adults.
If you, as a parent, wouldn’t like your children to see an artistic portrayal of “California Nature Boy” then by all means, don’t take your children to any exhibits like this. Nobody is forcing you to. Just don’t condemn those that choose to allow their children to see cultural differences. Also, remember that this man is just one very small part of what would have been a large, fun and educationally enriching experience for people of all ages. Don’t be so close-minded and ignorant.”

The sad thing is, she will probably reply once more, with pretty much the same statement, or perhaps she will resort to personal insults.

And THAT is what is wrong with an alarmingly high number of the human race these days. Adam Overton, I am so sorry that you were the latest poster boy for religious zealots and bandwagon-jumpers.

Love, Chelle xoxoxoxooxoxoxox

15 thoughts on “Adam Overton – I Apologise To You On Behalf Of Humankind

  1. No offense taken! Aside from the fact that it is an art exhibit, last time I checked, standing near some girls in a costume does not make you a pedo. It’s not as if any of his genitals are exposed, and it’s not as if he is making the girls perform sexual acts of any kind. Chill the fuck out people, for real.

    • Aurghh, I KNOW!!!
      Jeez. My dad used to walk down the hall to the loo in the morning in his jocks and it hardly scarred me for life! People need to seriously calm down aye. Not all men are rapists/pedos, get past that ploise! It’s a degrading pattern of thought towards men.

  2. “Some idiot bitch replied,”

    “The sad thing is, she will probably . . . resort to personal insults.”

    This is so funny. I agree with your stance on the matter, but you are still a dumb bitch.

    • Thanks Yahid! Yes it was quite stupid of me to call someone an “idiot bitch” and then refer to personal insults in the same breath. I was pretty angry when I wrote this post and didn’t really prrof it before posting. So thank you, for pointing out that I am a “dumb bitch”. I hope you have a wonderful week Yahid :D

  3. Awesome post. Thank you for doing your part to try and correct yet another aberrant stream of misinformation. It’s a small gesture, but speaks volumes. Fighting ignorance, one caps-locked typo-flailing overprotective hysterical mother at a time. Cheers from Australia.

  4. Adam is an artist through-and-through. Don’t want to speak for him but I think he is always prepared for consequences. LACMA is a safe environment, the Internet is not, so I am cheered to see you/others speaking out on his behalf.

    • Hi Suzan, thanks very much for the comment – No doubt that Adam rises above this kind of thing … I sort of made an example of his case however the point was much bigger that a single person/case :D
      Sometimes I wonder whether the internet is a good or bad thing :P

  5. Well Done! Adam is a friend of mine and my daughter’s. We were there that day and took a very similar picture with him. It was a really fun piece and he has a wonderfully creative and inquisitive spirit that inspires both adults and children. Nobody mentioned that he also lead a “belly listening” activity. He encouraged people to lie down on museum benches and listen to each other’s bellies. Of course kids totally loved the piece, especially in the context of a quiet and stoic museum gallery. The best part is that Adam has such an awesome outlook on art and social behaviors, that he would probably never accuse or condemn anyone for anything at all, even when they are ignorantly cruel. He’ll just make more great art about it!

    • Hi Jen – I did see something that must have been “belly listening” in the LACMA gallery but didn’t include it as I didn’t know enough about it and didn’t want to post any misinformation. I couldn’t believe the amount of people that seemed to think that there was something really wrong with kids seeing a man in shrubbery at a museum. There is much more graphic nudity in music videos, I think! I also believe that many of the parents on that thread probably never take their children to any cultural events … Thanks for commenting!

  6. He may be a nice man and Artist….but he still knew the Implicacions of that pose,if he didn’t then he is still mad,in the name of Art why were passing children on there?

  7. I’m curious as to who uploaded that picture and if they had anyone’s approval involved. If it was taken less than two years ago, the girls could be way more embarrassed than Adam and they certainly aren’t at an age to understand the full implications of becoming an overnight meme sensation. I hate the fact that they will probably end up taking the kind of beating we all just witnessed Miley getting.
    As you have stated, “the kids are probably looking like that because that’s how I always looked when my dad made me be in a tourist photo with something random that I didn’t fully understand…” We know how cruel kids can be and it is a shame that someone’s foolishness in posting that not only hurt Adam, but it certainly won’t be a picnic for those girls either.
    It’s a site called “Awkward Family Photos” for a reason, so I’m not sure why people finding it creepy seems so strange and intolerant. My gut reaction was the same when it came across my newsfeed. Art exhibit or not, it certainly has turned into something quite different. I’m sorry if you think I’m a fuckwit, but since I work with kids in the foster care program, I do have a little insight on abuse. In my experience, a photograph like this won’t just make a fuckwit uncomfortable, but it will be a trigger for anybody who has sexual abuse in their past, no matter the original context of the photo.
    Anyway, I’m glad that I came across the link for your blog because you do make a good point about people jumping to conclusions. As for me, I get it, but still stand by my original gut reaction of disgust; just now for the plight of Adam, the kids in the photo, and the sake of anyone that had a justifiable, not moral, bad reaction to it. Some awkward family photos should stay in the album where they belong.

    • An excellent point, I’m not sure how it came to be online, perhaps it was a photo taken by the event staff and was part of an album of photos from the day. I see your point about the immediate reaction and possibility of triggering too. Thanks for commenting your point of view, another thing to think about :D

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