Eyebombing Is Not 'the Latest Thing,' So Don't Call It That

If you've spent your day on the Internet, then you might have heard about Eyebombing: a website dedicated to pictures of inanimate objects decorated with plastic googly eyes. Links to several posts about the site have been getting passed around some on Twitter, with many people referring to it as the "website of the day."

What is this eyebombing business all about, you surely wonder. According to Eyebombing's official About page, the practice is "the act of setting googly eyes on inanimate things in the public space." The point of this activity is "to humanize the streets, and bring sunshine to people passing by." There are two main rules: the eyes must be of the wiggly/googly ilk, and all images posted to the group's Flickr pool must have been shot in public. If you aren't sure about the best googly eyes on the market (or harbor a strange phobia toward craft stores), the website tells you where you can buy "starter kits"—packs of eyes by the dozen, which ensure hours and hours of Eyebombing pleasure.

So Eyebombing is "the latest Internet craze," right? No. First, Remember what Adrian told us about Internet crazes. Secondly, the Internet provides plenty of evidence proving that people have "eyebombed" for years. The above photo of an eyebombed shopping cart sign was posted on July 22, 2006 by Flickr user bestbib&tucker, and is one of a series. This picture of a googly-eyed urinal by Flickr user Abulic Monkey was posted on May 24, 2008; the eccentric Dr. Stapler, christened by Flickr user rkeller (disputably public, if located in an office) showed up online on March 6, 2009; and this U.S. Googlybuck was created by katerha in 2010. Many other examples abound. bestbib&tucker even ventured a name for her activities: "The Great Googly Eye Caper," which probably never took off as a name because it sounds 1970s-inspired. It's definitely got nothing on Eyebombing, with its suggestion of violence and anarchy.

Eyebombing is a perfectly charming and whimsical activity that gives personality to hunks of cold, soulless metal. When you glue googly eyes onto a trash receptacle and transform it into an adorable garbage-munching monster, it makes the world seem somewhat less mechanical. Ditto for gluing eyes on paper towel dispensers (the towel becomes like a long tongue), the end of a winding metal banister (a secret snake!), or any number of objects in our urban environment. So eyebomb with my blessing. Just don't call it "new." If you spot an article that refers to it as a "new" activity, please shake your head, adopt your most sarcastic tone, and say, "yeah, right." Then order some more eyes from the craft store.

[Eyebombing. Image bestbib&tucker/Flickr]