Cards Against Humanity, a popular card game about sex positions and Mecha-Hitler, is known for its annual holiday promotions, which range from mocking Kwanzaa and selling boxes of actual poop to selling absolutely nothing (for $5 per nothing). Sometimes they do good things with the proceeds. Sometimes they buy a Picasso and ask backers to vote on whether or not to destroy it.
In a stunt that BoingBoing describes as “a high-stake bet on morality vs. lulz,” the CAH crew has acquired Picasso’s 1962 Tête de Faune. It’s a minor, but still museum-worthy, work valued at around $14,000. But whether it ends up in the Art Institute of Chicago or gets laser-cut into 150,000 tiny pieces and mailed out to Cards Against Humanity fans is up to people who bought into this year’s Hanukkah promotion. (They think “Pac-Man uncontrollably guzzling cum” is hilarious. And they vote!)
There are a handful of possible hot takes on whether holding a Picasso hostage is a good or funny use of time and money, and none of them are particularly interesting. At level zero, we have the two most basic opinions: “this is an outrage” and “lol.”
One meta-opinion up, at level one, you’ll find “this is an interesting social experiment and/or ethics exam for people who enjoy misanthropic humor,” and “this is a commentary on how Picasso is overrated and/or the value of his work is subjective.”
At meta-meta level two, we have “manipulating customers in this way is unethical, but it’s being done in the same ironic spirit as the name ‘Cards Against Humanity’: “If you want to prove Picasso is overrated, buying his work might not be the way to go about it,” and “this experiment is, in itself, art.”
The correct take is, of course, “none of the above, this is dumb.”