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my hearties! Being, as I am, an undisputed expert on art—mainly
because I've only just said it and no one has had time to dispute
it (but if they did, I could then be an eminently qualified
expert, which no one can dispute, because if they did, I could
dispute their qualifications, which are likely gaudy
fabrications and base lies, and I would dispute them,
being, as I am, an imminently qualified attorney). To start over,
being such a peerless expert on art, I feel it is my civic and,
may I say, historical duty to expound at length on any art that
comes within my purview or ken, leaping upon it like a lion and
analyzing it into little, bitesize pieces for your edification.
With all that in mind, I
recently went to a glitzy opening reception at a downtown
gallery, planning to consume large quantities of raw culture (and
perhaps a finger or two of whiskey) which I could then bestow
later, after I woke up, upon my upwardly-mobile but marginally
literate readers, already digested ("already digested"
referring in this sentence to "raw culture," not
"readers." I think.) Leaving my cape and winged helmet
with the cloakgirl, I signed the register with a pseudonym, but
to no avail. I was immediately recognized, of course, as that
literary icon and word finesser, Tom Turtle. As a member of the
media I was offered undisclosed body parts from every point on
the compass in exchange for my annointment. Without pausing to
genuflect, I trampled on these pathetic personages and their
tiny, yapping dogages, making my way directly to the artage.
I need not tell you (since you
plan to vote Republican anyway) that the sensations were so
overwhelming, viscerally, that I found it impossible to keep my
legs from going noodly without another finger or three of scotch.
It was at this juncture that the universality of the artist's
beautiful message began to seep in. Where others, blinded by
their bourgeois preconceptions, saw only paint and canvas, I saw
huge, emotive, emotional, passionate, you know, thingamabobs.
Where blundering amateurs, snorting their canapes and spritzers,
saw only metal and stone, I saw deep, dark secrets of the most
personal and intimate nature, a subtle depiction of the soul—like
on TV. Where bloated others saw only cheesesticks and olives, I
saw a half-empty bottle of Jack with my name on it, and escaped
through a side door to soothe my battered spirit.
After a few moments, a young woman approached me diffidently,
almost fearfully, and I could tell she had a question. I fingered
my truncheon and held my ground.
"I'm one of the artists," she said, taking a moment
between piercings to speak. "I just wondered what you
thought of my work."
"Danderific," I replied. "Excreetimous.
Post-Seussian. A sight of sore eyes. Reclittable to the point
where a weaker man than I might have experienced dropsy. It truly
induces in one a vision of the dance of St. Vitus."
"Cool," she said, clanking her chains and breathing
heavily through her jewelry. "Which one did you like the
question, The Disembowelment of Beatrix Potter."
At that point we were approached by a slouching beast, variously
colored, who, I noticed, never for a moment in our conversation
faced Mecca. The young woman, whose name I refrain from giving to
protect the undead, introduced her new companion, with a lover's
squeeze, as "Satan Baby."
"Dude. Love yer stuff. Like totally comic," he
proferred to me goatishly, a Mona Lisa smile to hide the
"And I, yours.
Especially Ixion on that wheel of fire. Four stars. Two thumbs
excused myself unnervously, rummaging my pockets for a silver
crucifix, and decided to try the garlic pate after all.
And now the part of the article where I tell you what it all
means. Where I expound on art's undeniable social relevance: its
ability to reveal the true shapes that cast mere shadows on the
cave wall that is our world; its ability to link, like a hero
with a thousand faces, cultures all over the world; its ability
to step behind the curtain, catching Dorothy and the Wizard in an
embrace illegal in 48 states. Yes, only art can give us such a
gift, boldly transgressing the stale conventions of good taste,
of beauty, of intelligence, to offer us a sight of the great
beyond, bent over and flexing. I for one can't be taxed enough in
support of such ambition. So run, do not walk; skip, do not hop
(with a roly poly gammon and spinach) to your nearest art outlet,
where you will no doubt find Yours-truly, basking in the
reflected glow of genius, sharpening my stake.
In a pile
Over the water
Third from the bottom
own hard shell
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