Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Fish prints

Today Son #3 and Son #4 are going to be making fish print t-shirts at the Bay ecology class they're taking. Son #4 is game. Son #3, however, thinks it is creepy to kill something, dip it in paint, and press it to your shirt.

"I don't mind killing a fish to eat it, but I don't want to kill something to make art."

I gave him the classic "this is what your teacher has planned, the fish is already dead, you can't make the fish be UNdead by not using it on your t-shirt, it'll be ok," song and dance that we as parents give our kids. But in my heart, I agree with him completely. I wouldn't have planned this, and I feel bad for the fish.

It's funny: since we don't send our kids to school anymore, these moral quandaries have not come up in a long time.

Also funny: just when I think we are becoming bloodless uber-conservatives, something like this happens to remind us of the mile-wide hippie streak in our souls.

Eh, watch us show up this afternoon and they'll be using fake fish...


It was, indeed, actual dead fish. And knowing she had several conscientious objectors in the group, the teacher provided shells, sea grass, and other cool things to print with. So we are now the proud owners of two horrendously ugly t-shirts that my kids don't particularly like and I am afraid to wash with other clothes, but at least Son #3 did not have to disrespect the life of a former fish. All's well that ends well.


Ellie B said...

Christine, art is food for the mind. Sons can feel just as good about making art out of the fish as eating it.

Your strange artist friend,

Christine said...

Yup. And perhaps, sometimes, art is all about getting past whatever makes you squeamish...