"The 79-foot-high inflatable green exhibit was called 'Tree' because it looked vaguely like a Christmas tree, but the American artist, Paul McCarthy, told Le Monde newspaper that it was inspired by a sex toy known as an anal plug and was meant 'as a joke'."
This isn't the first time Paul McCarthy has caused international scandal by combining the holiday season, public art, and sex toys. In 2001 he created Santa Claus, a statue originally commissioned to be placed next to the concert hall in Schouburgplein square in the Netherlands.
After its creation, the statue (pictured here - 2nd image) caused so much controversy that it was never placed there and came to be nicknamed the Butt Plug Gnome. Thankfully the citizens of the Netherlands have enough of a sense of humor that by 2005 they came to accept its permanent placement in the less-famous Eendrachtsplein square.
Apparently a minority of Parisians are angry enough to not only vandalize, but also physically assault the artist (he was slapped several times in the face) over this temporary sculpture. Neither the artist nor the officials are willing to re-erect Tree. So I guess humorless, dull-minded thugs win this round.
But, gee wiz, ain't it great that no innocent, little kids will be exposed to such a racy double-entendre? I mean, my goodness, it's not like there's any other kinds of overtly sexual imagery found out in the public.
My gosh, there's so many innocents who would of course instantly recognize the obvious resemblance Tree has to a sex toy. After all, kids encounter sex toys that look just like this far more often than they encounter other abstractions of plant-life in, say, plastic or wooden children's toys, video games, or company logos.
By golly, I'll go so far as to say this so-called sculpture isn't even really art. I mean, we all know that art elevates and enlightens the human condition. It isn't just something that people would gawk and snicker at while thinking dirty thoughts. Just imagine what a city would look like if we replaced commercial advertising with art that we all agree is truly masterful, like classical paintings!
None of this "humiliating" butt plug nonsense. Butt plugs are just disgusting and immoral. They certainly aren't a safe, healthy aid for stimulating sexual pleasure that comes in a fun and exciting variety of shapes, sizes, and colors.
Comparing a butt plug to a Christmas tree, a symbol of a sacred and ancient holiday that has been celebrated with drunken revelry and consumer excess, er, I mean with solemn prayer and worship, that's just humiliating to the French people, and if you think about it, all of humanity. Oh, for shame!