A Detroit news station needed Facebook to explain this sex act

Hint: It involves Crisco. 

 

Miles Klee

Internet Culture

Published Jul 31, 2013   Updated Jun 1, 2021, 10:18 am CDT

Detroit artist Jerry Vile created an emphatic sculptural tableau to commemorate the city’s bankruptcy—but it was just vague enough that a local Fox affiliate had to ask the Internet to decipher it. 

Featured Video Hide

The answer wasn’t pretty.

Advertisement Hide

In a Facebook post, Fox 2 Detroit posted an image of the public piece, titled “A Vessel of Hope,” noting that it was supposed to “in someway [sic] ease the pain of having the Detroit bankruptcy shoved into our faces.”

“Can anyone explain what this means???” the news station wondered.

Indeed, many were quick to parse the message. The work sat next to an existing statue of boxer Joe Louis’ giant, suspended forearm, with a boulder-like fist at one end. Vile’s mischief was to position a huge bucket of Crisco all-vegetable shortening in front of it. 

Advertisement Hide

The clear implication was that Detroit’s economic realities are bound to feel somewhat like getting fisted—i.e., having an entire fist shoved up one’s rectum (in this case, with the consideration of lube, which is really the least the fister can do). 

The comment thread exploded with everything from candid anatomy lessons to accusations of the artist’s racism (for allegedly co-opting the black power salute) to suggestions that Fox 2 knew exactly what they were posting. Others saw significance in the idea of “greased palms,” and figured Vile was making a less pornographic remark about corruption in the city. 

For its part, Fox 2 maintained its total innocence of the sex act evoked.

Advertisement Hide

City officials removed the Crisco can yesterday, but it’s still around… on Facebook.

Photo by Kaleidico Digital Marketing/Flickr

Share this article
*First Published: Jul 31, 2013, 2:56 pm CDT