12 Days of Tubgirl and Goatse

My wife and I photographed a series of holiday-themed pictures starring 3D prints of the infamous shock memes, Goatse and Tubgirl.

 

In an article for 3D Printing Industry, I describe the process of getting the models made by an anonymous artist that goes by DotCX and getting them 3D printed.  After unsuccessfully trying large 3D printing service bureaus, I resorted to distributed printing network 3D Hubs and a Zcorp 3D printer owner named Mark.  Also in the article, I ponder the meaning of Goatse and Tubgirl from a social and philosophical context.  Here is a brief excerpt of the conclusions I draw:

 

This thought kept running through my head: “What’s all this taboo surrounding a man stretching his butt farther than previously thought possible and hurting no one but himself?”

 

Laying awake at night, the answer revealed itself: The Goatman’s butt represents the incomprehensible – an unraveling of social constructs and mental concepts enforced by the dominant society to hold together our status quo perceptions of reality.  The Goatman is a rebel performing the ultimate mooning because, once you Goatsee you can’t unsee and suddenly those views about sex and nature taught to you in health class go out the window.  Sex is no longer a mundane heterosexual act performed by a man and a woman for the sole purpose of procreation. And the butt is no longer just for pooping.

 

And that’s why Goatse and Tubgirl are so important, on a sociological and historical level, too.  They symbolize the collective loss of innocence of our species brought about by the invention of the Internet. The Pandora’s Box of the Internet spewed out a brown stream of, for all intents and purposes, infinite knowledge to be digested by our meager human faculties and, with that fountain, we were gifted with the good and the bad. On the one hand, we have access to almost every piece of literature ever recorded, but also the hatred spewed by murderers like Elliot Rodger.  We have avenues for espousing human rights and justice, but we also see acts of sexual violence shared on social media by high school students. We have the open source 3D printing movement, responsible for triggering the current 3D printing revolution and spreading the technology across the globe.  We also have Goatse and Tubgirl and a flood of information challenging us to question the structure of reality imposed upon us by dominant forces and our own small minds.

 

With all of reality staring back at you from that gaping hole of nothingness, the uncertainty about what it all means becomes clear.  With the destruction of the constructs used to frame reality, the realization sinks in that we are not apes. Nor are we quite gods.  Instead we are somewhere in between: just a bunch of Tubgirls and Goatmen in one big Lemon Party.  But, if you don’t look away and you keep staring, you become numb to it.  The world doesn’t end.  It just keeps going and going and you understand that there will be plenty of shock sights in the future.  In fact, some people have to deal with shocking things every day.  The list of horrifying instances of human suffering taking place across the planet is so long that it’s useless to choose a single example, but no one should have trouble calling one to mind.

 

Yesterday, when Danielle and I were talking about people’s reactions to the 3D printing of Goatse and Tubgirl, bewildered she would ask, “Why are people so afraid of these little figurines? Cops aren’t going to trial for killing people and everyone’s scared of lil’ Goatse and Tubgirl?”