Have Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen completely lost their minds?
Behold their latest brainchild, a collaboration between the twins’ label, The Row, Brit artist Damien Hirst, and Just One Eye, purveyor of “one-of-a-kind collaborations” and “thoughtful artistic exploration.”
And by thoughtful artistic exploration, they mean $55,000 worth of dead Nile crocodile, covered in faux prescription pills, and signed by Damien Hirst. Oh, the hubris.*
But wait. It gets better.
According to Refinery 29 (which published the ridiculous price Just One Eye apparently does not have the two cojones necessary to post alongside the bag on its site):
“A portion of the proceeds go to UNICEF, so that’s nice. What portion, you ask? Well, we had the same question when we called to inquire about the price, and were told that the donation amount is “at Damien’s discretion.”
At Damien’s discretion. Again, the hubris.
Am I alone in thinking that the overall message of this bag is absolutely grotesque? Not only are all the parties agreeing to push a backpack for a whopping $55,000, but they also make a mockery of the animal that died for this bag by studding its skin with “multicolored prescription pill appliqués”? Prescription pills? Really? Is that what we need to push even more deeply into our collective psyche? I guess I should be grateful that the croc is at least visually palatable, rather than severed, dissected, presented in formaldehyde or covered in maggots—but I digress. (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, Google Damien Hirst.)
I’m all for quality goods and craftsmanship, and obviously, we all have the option to spend our money as we damn well please. But unless $54,999 actually goes to UNICEF, this whole endeavor is lost on me.
Got $55,000? Spend it on Villalobos Rescue Center or The Fort.
If any of you out there feel the need to spend $55,000 for something as hideously excessive and flagrant as this bag, may I suggest two of millions of alternatives you have for charitable giving.
Villalobos Rescue Center
I’m sure most of you have heard of Pit Bulls & Parolees, but just in case you haven’t, it’s a U.S.-based reality show about the Villalobos Rescue Center (VRC), which gives prison parolees and abused/abandoned Pit Bulls a second chance at better life. Not only does VRC hire parolees and take in and adopt out needy Pit Bulls, it also helps raise awareness about the oft-misunderstood Pit Bull breed, and works to educate and fight anti-Pit Bull legislation/regulation.
As you can see from the Villalobos Facts image, it costs $1,000 a day to run VRC, and out-of-pocket expenses for each dog taken in is about $700.
$55,000 would run VRC for 55 days, or spay/neuter, chip, and medicate 78 dogs.
Dogs that come from situations like this, and much, much worse:
One particular parolee, Jake Gardner, found his footing—and his true calling—when he went to work for VRC founder Tia Torres. Over the last couple of years, he’s been a steady, reliable presence on the show and at VRC, and the time finally came for him to spread his wings and fly again. He recently left VRC, moved to North Carolina, and started his own non-profit, no-kill dog rescue, The Fort—Fortitudine Vincimus Rescue Center:
Fortitudine Vincimus, Latin for, “By Endurance We Conquer.” The Fort is a non-discriminatory Pit Bull rescue. While our focus is primarily The American Pit Bull Terrier, a life is a life and we will never discriminate against a dog based on breed.
Jake is committed to saving abandoned and abused animals from the streets and kill shelters, and he needs help. In his last episode of Pit Bulls & Parolees, he tells Tia that he could never pay her back for all she did to help him, but he can pay it forward.
$55,000 would help Jake get The Fort established and pay it forward.
Donate or foster a rescue dog in North Carolina by contacting The Fort at:
P.O. Box 296
Asheboro, North Carolina 27204
* “Hubris (ˈhjuːbrɪs), also hybris, from ancient Greek ὕβρις, means extreme pride or arrogance. Hubris often indicates a loss of contact with reality…” via http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubris