Hoax-a-Licious Links

** Time magazine’s 25 Crimes of the Century (released for the 75th anniversary of the Lindbergh kidnapping) includes art theft, bank robberies, murders, and abductions. But the only hoax to make it onto the list is Piltdown Man. Fair enough: It was a hoax that struck at the very core of who we are as humans. Can’t say quite the same for the Hitler Diaries or the Shaved Monkey UFOnaut Hoax.
Picture: The “world’s first cricket bat”, found near the bogus remains of Piltdown Man.
** The Blogsquatcher has a fascinating post, “Hoaxes and the Hoaxing Hoaxers Who Hoax Them”, on a hoax that affected him directly: “it refers to a moment in time when I found out that someone I thought I knew, someone I trusted and liked, was purposely deceiving me. It’s the sort of revelation that is hard on you in any circumstances. In the world of bigfoot research, it’s got that extra twinge in it on account of ruining your credibility.” (Forgive me for being patronizing, but I find it just flat-out cute that Sasquatch-hunters worry about hoaxes ruining their credibility!)
** As you may know if, like me, you’re somewhat addicted to seedy true-crime shows and/or the glorious trainwreck that is Intervention, Sony Pictures and A&E Films have released My Kid Could Paint That. This documentary chronicles the controversy surrounding abstract painter Marla Olmstead, an artist whose Pollock-like canvasses sell for outrageous sums. The catch? Marla is 7.
Since 2005, when 60 Minutes II did a hidden-camera investigation into Marla’s work, there have been questions about whether Marla is really an artistic savante or just a painterly pint-sized Joyce Hatto, being coached and prodded by her father. Mark Olmstead is also a painter.
I’m looking forward to this one. A&E Indie Films has released such classics as the Oscar-nominated Murderball and Jesus Camp, and of course Zen and the Art of Competitive Eating.
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4 thoughts on “Hoax-a-Licious Links

  1. No problem; thank you for writing it. I agree that hoaxing only (usually, anyway) undermines the credibility of the hoaxers, not the hoaxed. And being hoaxed has an emotional toll that is often overlooked, so posts such as your own are very valuable.I find Bigfoot research in general unbearably adorable. I picture Elmer Fudd with a camera instead of a gun sneaking through the trees: “Be vewy, vewy quiet! I’m huntin’ Bigfoot!”

  2. About My Kid Could Paint That, I almost cried when I saw the trailer. As an artist myself, I wouldn’t say I’m offended, but… well, I find it extremely ridiculous that this would even be a controversy. It’s basically just a seven-year-old kid with finger paints. What kid hasn’t painted something that looked like that in their life?This is basically the entire reason why “modern art” is so ridiculous.

  3. I had a similar reaction to the whole Olmstead kerfuffle. If falling-down drunks can paint abstract art, why not a 4-year-old? If her dad is subtly guiding or coaxing her, it wouldn’t be much different from Lee Krasner nudging Pollock, IMO…

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