'Cats' Butthole And Pee Cut Obsession's Historical Precedent

There's no denying things are absolutely insane right now. The coronavirus continues to spread worldwide, and many governments -- America's especially -- seem woefully ill-prepared to handle the threat. Hell, it's already reached such a desperate point in Italy they're literally stacking coffins on top of each other awaiting funerals that are currently banned. That's some Contagion-level shit.

And yet, somehow, even this world-destroying virus doesn't feel like the strangest thing we're dealing with at the moment. No, that dubious award goes to the movie Cats trending #ReleaseTheButtholeCut ... which now may have evolved into #ReleaseThePeeCut.

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Does either exist? It doesn't matter, because every site in the world is reporting on the Butthole Cut as if it were a real thing "The Man" is withholding from us. In a similar vein, many of these same sites have excitedly reported on the story of Seth Rogen getting high and watching Cats (sans-buttholes). Guys. Seth Rogen is always high. He owns a weed company. It'd be more newsworthy if he wasn't high and merely had a quiet evening in to watch Cats with some close personal friends and family. So, like, why is everybody breathlessly busting out articles on all this unfounded -- and decidedly un-newsworthy -- Cats nonsense, anyway?

Besides simple curiosity as to what master negotiator talked Judi Dench into a prosthetic cat ass.Universal PicturesBesides simple curiosity as to what master negotiator talked Judi Dench into a prosthetic cat ass.

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Although Taylor Swift singing in a CG catsuit with a hyper-realistic butthole while furry Rebel Wilson pees onto a camera sounds like some coked-out Tik-Tok dream, there's actually some pretty solid historical precedent there. Your great-grandad was into the exact same stuff, is what I'm trying to say.

See, in the early 1900s, Europe -- and pretty much the whole world -- was falling apart. People and countries were ripped apart by wars and political revolutions and horrifying viral diseases. Sound familiar?

They may not have possessed the computing technology to put a cat ass on a human body, but they did launch a new art form almost as absurd. As the world around grew more and more terrifying, artist Marcel Duchamp decided to do away with the limitations of traditional painting and decided instead to "fasten a bicycle wheel to a kitchen stool and watch it turn." You may recognize this as less high art and more dumb dumpster crafts project, but it sparked something. From there, Duchamp and others like him launched an art movement called Dada (which means ... nothing really). Some high-water marks of this era included submitting a normal urinal to a museum as art, writing poems in actual gibberish, and scribbling a mustache on the Mona Lisa and writing "She has hot pants." The whole point was there was no point -- and also finally revealing what Mona was wearing down there.

Like you've never clashed on laundry day.Via Wikimedia Commons"Like you've never clashed on laundry day."

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And now, 100 years later, Cats and our fascination with it is the same damn thing. Cats also arrived just as society was collapsing. Cats is also so profoundly strange and seemingly misguided it appears to be essentially anti-art. Cats, like a urinal in a musuem, is so thoroughly stupid, it could very well be brilliant.

In a world full of highly calculated Marvel sequels from insanely wealthy, over-powerful corporations, and non-stop lies and misdirection from powerful politicians it's kind of refreshing for somebody to spend 100 million dollars just to say, "Get out of here with all that mainstream shit like commercial success or deep explorations of themes. Here's a bunch of humans dressed as cats dancing and singing songs about Jellicles. And, you know what? Some may even have buttholes and watersports."

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It may not cure anybody of coronavirus, and it may not change the way you think about death, but damn if Cats doesn't remind us that sometimes, life is just stupid nonsense. And sometimes, that's okay.

Also, buttholes are hilarious (Pee only 70% of the time).

Jordan Breeding also writes for a whole mess of other people, the Twitter, and also while you're here, in my research for this article I discovered stuffing a potato up your butt does NOT cure hemorrhoids. You're welcome.

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