Banksy's 'Ballerina'

Banksy's 'Ballerina'

Bobby Solomon for The Fox Is Black:

Dare I say this piece is elegant, or even beautiful? Could I be bold enough to say that if Degas had used spray paint rather than oils it may have looked like something like this? I could, but that might rile too many people up. Instead I’ll simply say how nice this looks, and that it’s interesting to see Banksy making commentary on fine art culture in such a lovely way.

Despite the inevitable criticisms of his mainstream presence, pieces such as the ‘Ballerina’ remind me of precisely how Banksy has risen to such prominence.

Presidential "Doomsday Speeches"

Ever wonder what might've happened if the Apollo 11 mission had gone awry? Or if the D-Day landings had failed?

Thankfully these are things we don't have to consider, but presidential speechwriters, on the other hand, are paid focus on precisely such topics. Tasked with imagining the worst possible outcome, and writing the words set to comfort a grieving nation, presidential speechwriters have quietly written alternate speeches for some of the world's greatest achievements over the past century.

The Atlantic takes a look at some of these unheard speeches, including Bill Safire's planned words planned for the possible failure of Apollo 11:


Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace.

These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice.

These two men are laying down their lives in mankind's most noble goal: the search for truth and understanding.

They will be mourned by their families and friends; they will be mourned by their nation; they will be mourned by the people of the world; they will be mourned by a Mother Earth that dared send two of her sons into the unknown.

In their exploration, they stirred the people of the world to feel as one; in their sacrifice, they bind more tightly the brotherhood of man.

In ancient days, men looked at stars and saw their heroes in the constellations. In modern times, we do much the same, but our heroes are epic men of flesh and blood.

Others will follow and surely find their way home. Man's search will not be denied. But these men were the first, and they will remain the foremost in our hearts.

For every human being who looks up at the moon in the nights to come will know that there is some corner of another world that is forever mankind.

PRIOR TO THE PRESIDENT'S STATEMENT: The president should telephone each of the widows-to-be.

AFTER THE PRESIDENT'S STATEMENT, at the point when NASA ends communications with the men: A clergyman should adopt the same procedure as a burial at sea, commending their souls to "the deepest of the deep," concluding with the Lord's Prayer.