Everything about this situation is sad and hilarious on multiple levels, but at least one lesson can be had here: All public art isn't worth the fawning media coverage.

Public art is the bell for Pavlov's local journalists these days; when Banksy was in town, I'm pretty sure the acidity of the Detroit River rose exponentially due to all the pants-wetting. Put a couple of stuffed animals and wheel covers up on an abandoned building on Monday and you'll be the next Tyree Guyton on Tuesday.


But no doubt the city's municipal bankruptcy was going to inspire some creative expression, something local artist Jerry Vile took full advantage of by placing a giant can of Crisco in front of the Joe Louis fist (no. 12 on the List of Easily Photographed Things That Identify Detroit).

I don't have to spell out "fist" and "food-based lubricant" for you, but when Fox 2 (Charlie LeDuff's employer; may or may not have aired a dead body on television; loves to exploit stereotypes for laughs) posted a photo of Vile's Crisco creation on its Facebook page this morning, commenters there did exactly that.


"He hopes it may in someway ease the pain of having the Detroit bankruptcy shoved into our faces," Fox 2 writes. If only we all were blessed with such naivete.


A quick googling of Vile, who runs an erotic art exhibition called "The Dirty Show," shows that he's always up to some pranks, but who's got time for a basic Internet search?

Fox 2 immediately realized their error when they were clued in. Might we suggest LeDuff organize a training session for the station's Web staff on how to spot sarcasm, cynicism and bullshit?