Hearts filled with love and garbage
November 16, 2018 10:53 AM   Subscribe

Art students at SUNY Purchase had a good thing going behind a paper towel dispenser in a bathroom, until someone tweeted about the Danny DeVito shrine hidden back there and it went viral. Despite the school issuing a statement praising their students' creativity, the shrine has been shut down because we cannot have good things. However, DeVito himself has addressed the matter with some words and a mission for us all.
posted by rewil (37 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
Between this and the burger post today is Stop Calling Out Awesome Stuff Day on Metafilter.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:56 AM on November 16 [25 favorites]


All traces of creativity, originality, and fun must be ruthlessly stomped out in the name of "safety." We will not be safe until the entire world is reduced to a soft, smooth field of warm, quivering grey.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 11:01 AM on November 16 [17 favorites]


Quivering may be perceived as too sexual, the grey must be languid.
posted by TwelveTwo at 11:03 AM on November 16 [19 favorites]


Louie De Palma : What're you listening to, Banta?
Tony Banta : I can be here if I want to.
Louie De Palma : No, you can't.
Tony Banta : This is America, Louie.
Louie De Palma : No, it isn't.
Tony Banta : It isn't?
Louie De Palma : No! This is Louieland. You want America, go outside!


Like the man said, you want America, go outside.
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:04 AM on November 16 [2 favorites]


So there is an unused, enormous void behind a paper towel dispenser in a bathroom. Some students discovered the void and put a shrine in it. Other students used it as a graffiti den. It appears to be empty save for some rubble, but could potentially contain traces of stuff like asbestos. And someone could go in there, close the entrance behind themselves, and have a medical emergency with nobody any the wiser.

I can totally see why students love it and can also see why those upon whom the liability would fall if such a scenario as outlined above happened to occur would want it closed off, stat.
posted by grumpybear69 at 11:10 AM on November 16 [9 favorites]


The internet is poison.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 11:18 AM on November 16 [7 favorites]


After shootings and fires, this is the story that warms my heart. There is good in the world. Thank you metafilter.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 11:18 AM on November 16


It's a shame that DeVitists have to worship in secret, like early Christians, and it distresses me greatly to learn of the closure and destruction of their shrines by the authorities.
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:25 AM on November 16 [56 favorites]


Yay, SUNY Purchase. You didn't accept me into your loving embrace, but I still have some fondness for what was going on there, even though I couldn't find a way in.
posted by bleep at 11:26 AM on November 16 [3 favorites]


Also, the techniker has been informed.
posted by bleep at 11:27 AM on November 16 [1 favorite]


The fundamental rule is: never tweet. Especially not your DeVito shrine. My school had all sorts of hidden nooks that I heard about, and did I tweet them? No, I did not.

Reminds me of my time at college when 1) a group of students non-destructively decorated the outside of a campus building as a prank, 2) the administration got really mad and had it taken down immediately, 3) the Admissions office used pictures of the prank to advertise how creative and cool the student body is.
posted by BungaDunga at 11:28 AM on November 16 [32 favorites]


stories like these make me wonder how the undergrads at my old alma mater must be getting on in this Age Of Tweets. if even a small fraction of the weirdness in which most of us engaged could have been documented via social media, it simply would never have happened in the first place. how much poorer we'd all have been for that.
posted by halation at 11:33 AM on November 16 [1 favorite]


The pranks at MIT are legendary, especially the police car on the domed roof in 1994. IIRC, the security guards not only looked the other way when the students snuck up to the roof, but also called out to them later to say that they'd left some of their tools up there.
posted by Melismata at 11:35 AM on November 16 [4 favorites]


Perhaps an homage to the couch episode (nsfw).
posted by Brian B. at 12:17 PM on November 16 [1 favorite]


Thank goodness I was an undergrad long before Twitter/Insta/etc. I did a lot of reasonably dangerous things (carefully) in places the people who gave me the keys probably didn't know about.

(I was a sophomore not far from MIT in May 1994 - I saw it, it was pretty awesome.)
posted by wellred at 12:20 PM on November 16 [1 favorite]


I was fortunate to attend college in the late 70s, on a small campus with an abundance of funky old buildings. My personal favorite hangout was the tower of a condemned, castle-like stone building where the view was insane, accessed using a secret route shown me by a graduating upperclassman (in four years I never saw another soul there). The campus arts complex had rooms known to but a few, with keys and passageways carefully shared. There were priceless museum collections displayed carelessly in dusty hallways accessible at all hours—only the most curious students bothered to discover these, after which knowledge of them was jealously guarded.

Most of my favorite memories of college, it seems, are of things that could not possibly exist now. Prior to the Internet secrets were a whole lot easier to keep.
posted by kinnakeet at 12:28 PM on November 16 [12 favorites]


If you love something, tell your friends about it.

The Internet is not your friend.
posted by straight at 12:30 PM on November 16 [6 favorites]


o my god that little triangle hidden room full of plastic and paper towels and students was the worst fire hazard I've seen in my life
posted by glasseyes at 1:00 PM on November 16 [2 favorites]


It's a shame that DeVitists have to worship in secret

DeVitotees, surely?
posted by kristi at 1:20 PM on November 16 [24 favorites]


My daughter has patiently introduced me to It's Always Sunny.
Now I understand this shrine in its terror, awe, and doomed nature.
posted by doctornemo at 1:34 PM on November 16 [1 favorite]


But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy water closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
Book of Danny, chapter 6: verse 6
posted by Atom Eyes at 1:40 PM on November 16 [3 favorites]


o my god that little triangle hidden room full of plastic and paper towels and students was the worst fire hazard I've seen in my life

that doesn't make top-ten fire hazards on any campus i've ever been on; honestly, the average faculty office is worse. one specific prof i TA'd for gave the fire marshal the worst case of the howling fantods, but anyone with an archive (so, most of the humanities) is going to fail safety inspections on the regular. (we were often given action sheets that told us to 'remove papers and books' and lol nope.) this isn't even the worst i've seen at specifically a SUNY. at least you can see wall and floor.

LET THE CHILDREN PRAY
posted by halation at 1:49 PM on November 16 [8 favorites]


yeah but get a rum ham in there for the eucharist and now there's an accelerant to worry about
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:59 PM on November 16 [6 favorites]


now there's an accelerant to worry about

i mean
i've seen what was essentially a crate of half-assed molotovs in a grad student office because they wanted to save the half-full and third-full bottles of wine leftover from a keynote reception and no one kept the corks so they stuck napkins in the bottle's tops
they stored it behind the covered-in-stacks-of-old-exams couch that i'm pretty sure someone was using in lieu of an actual home with a bed (sometimes he hung his laundry on it)
((the fire marshal eventually insisted that the couch be removed))
posted by halation at 2:06 PM on November 16 [3 favorites]


We will not be safe until the entire world is reduced to a soft, smooth field of warm, quivering grey.

Stop shaming those of us who are best described as “soft, smooth fields of warm, quivering grey.” We are people, too! Soft, smooth, warm, quivering grey people.
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:18 PM on November 16 [8 favorites]


Nothing lasts forever--not love, not friendship, not even hidden shrines to well-known character actors.
posted by betweenthebars at 3:19 PM on November 16 [2 favorites]


I regret that my campus was too new for any of these shenanigans. We did have a student that slept on the top of a shelf.
posted by thegirlwiththehat at 3:20 PM on November 16 [4 favorites]


that doesn't make top-ten fire hazards on any campus i've ever been on; honestly, the average faculty office is worse.

Several years ago, I inherited an office from an emeritus faculty member that really was so dangerous (gigantic stacks of books and papers affecting egress and threatening to fall on people's heads, etc.) that the dean finally told the guy that either all that stuff got cleared out posthaste, or the dean would personally authorize the custodians to come in there with a dumpster. (The stuff got cleared out posthaste.) One of my undergraduate professors at UC Irvine had a genuinely terrifying office that was a ceiling-high labyrinth of bookcases, fastened together with dubious effectiveness. This added extra spice to office hours, as I always worried that I would suffer a Howards End-type fate in case of an earthquake.
posted by thomas j wise at 5:28 PM on November 16 [5 favorites]


i've seen what was essentially a crate of half-assed molotovs in a grad student office because they wanted to save the half-full and third-full bottles of wine leftover from a keynote reception and no one kept the corks so they stuck napkins in the bottle's tops
The only way this would be dangerous instead of just disgusting would be if they were spirits bottles. Wine won't burn, even with a wick in the neck. Full disclosure: I haven't actually tried this.
posted by Gilgamesh's Chauffeur at 6:41 PM on November 16 [2 favorites]


This pairs well with, I Found The Best Burger Place In America And Killed It posted below.

Actually, I think this is great, but not like, that big a deal. I'm glad it existed. All hail Danny Devito who I once had a sex dream about.
posted by latkes at 7:16 PM on November 16 [5 favorites]


the shrine has been shut down because we cannot have good things.

Oh, I don’t know - the ephemeral nature of things like this makes them an even more delightful surprise when you find them. It’s basically a trash hole, not a permanent installation.
posted by 41swans at 7:43 PM on November 16 [3 favorites]


I have very fond memories of Purchase. The weekends I spent there in 1997-1998 were the closest thing I had to the traditional college experience. (I have two degrees, but never lived in a dorm or spent a lot of time in class when I was enrolled as a traditionally aged student. I’m sorta living my life backwards in some respects and am now at the point where I have a ton of vicarious high school spirit through my friends’ kids, the likes of which I never had when I was in high school.)
posted by Ruki at 9:22 PM on November 16 [1 favorite]


They do say they're hoping to re-install the shrine elsewhere on campus. Take that with whatever feels the appropriate mix of hope/cynicism for corporate twitter accounts making promises to the internet.
posted by gesso at 1:59 AM on November 17


Evangelist coolhunters destroy all that is genuine.
posted by sonascope at 8:10 AM on November 17 [1 favorite]


Shutting the shrine down is better than one alternative: the school officially endorsing it, making it a university project, and putting it on their website to promote the school.
posted by daisystomper at 9:16 AM on November 17 [3 favorites]


There's a 50% chance they'll put it it on the school website to promote the school anyway.
posted by BungaDunga at 1:52 PM on November 17


It's a shame that DeVitists have to worship in secret, like early Christians
And the next thing you know there's a schism between the Taxians and the Sunnys, and that lets in all the heretics who believe in such abominations as talking dogs, pregnant men, and that What's The Worst That Could Happen? was a good movie.
posted by dannyboybell at 6:23 AM on November 19 [2 favorites]


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