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Sex, I'm your gutter slut

by anna at 05:53 PM on October 06, 2003

Winter is almost upon us and you know what that means: fashion designers trotting out their spring collections. Haughty junkies who subsist on a steady diet of pocket lint and cum will parade along the catwalks clad in outlandish costumes nobody with even a trace of human DNA would be caught dead in. They'll grimace as if hot fireplace pokers were being jammed up their asses, under the weight of handbags big enough to hold a lipstick case. Hips will swivel, bra straps will show. You and I shall remain clueless about all of this.

Ah but we mustn't criticize let alone dismiss the endlessly gaudy display. As with modern art and fine wine, to do so would be to reveal yourself as a boorish clod. It's okay for learned critics to quibble with certain details, however. They can protest that the colors are all wrong. They can lament the raising or lowering of hemlines. Yet no one will step back and jeer at the entire haute couture industry.

Thus it shall live on forever, in a parallel universe unrelated to the one we inhabit. Even when someone caps a designer as happened a few years back, his sister will take the reigns to ensure that the preposterous getups continue to be churned out.

We drink enough wine around here to float a battleship. I go to Total Wine and examine the bottles with 3 criteria in mind: 1) Price. 2) Is it Merlot? 3) Is it French? I don't consider how sassy or exuberant it is. Nor do I care if it boasts the texture of fine cashmere. Yet wine critics routinely bandy such esoteric terms about, describing fermented grapes that have been stomped upon by dirty-footed peasantry.

Lest the rest of us appear ignorant at wine-tasting soirees, we nod our heads knowingly at this gibberish. The wine guy hands us a tiny Dixie cup with some remark about how "oaken" or "silky" it is. No one thinks to grab the bottle and take a long swig. It just isn't done, dahling.

Like pearls cooped up in a slimy oyster, every so often we resolve to become more cultured. We'll take a jaunt down to the National Gallery of Art, where you have to step gingerly over surly homeless men who doze on the steps. Once inside, there is art. Mad art, none of which is any good because those European museums insist on hoarding all the priceless Rembrants, Monets and Michelangelo works. Artsy types stare at it with their heads tilted, as if trying to will some meaning into an incoherent bunch of squiggly lines on canvass. They speak in the hushed tones of golf announcers but no one thinks to point out that they've got better art stuck to their refrigerators with cheesy magnets. For we wouldn't want to be mistaken for culture-challenged rubes, now would we? Instead we line up with the experts and tilt our heads in that same curious way. Then we head home to swill wine from bottles with screw-off caps or better yet, boxes.

All you need to know about modern art is that something called The Lights Going On and Off won a $30,000 prize from the famed Tate Gallery a couple years ago. It is pretty much self-explanatory, but this guy seemed to read more into it.

Oh and you should also be aware that some fool rolling around in cow dung onstage isn't art, it's a fashion statement just like track marks.

comments (9)

Well, while haute couture is often a little beyond me, I must say that the Tate Modern is one of my favorite museums in the world. But I think I'm one of those arts types who stare at things with my head tilted, so just ignore me.

by snaggle at October 7, 2003 4:18 PM

Actually Snag (can I call you Snag?) I was pretty taken with some of the art on Tate's website, which is where one of the links came from. And how can I ignore you, you're the only one to comment on this piece so far. For some reason, when I put some work into a post, no one tends to comment. The throwaway posts typed on the fly seem to attract more interest.

by anna at October 7, 2003 5:07 PM

yeah, we like it more when your id comes out anna.

i'm on the fence when it comes to this kind of stuff. high fashion, though impractical, would make for an unbelievably vivid cultural appearance; akin to living in movies like 'the cell'. which probably looks more interesting than living in say....gary, indiana.

as for wine....it comes in bottles?

by lajoie at October 7, 2003 6:40 PM

culture... I remember a old Michelle Shocked song where she talked about what makes cultured pearls cultured:

Cultured pearls
(They's the kind that sip lots of tea and they read lots of poetry
Got culture in 'em)

(Necktie - http://members.lycos.co.uk/glimbo/lindex.htm)

by chuckwoolery at October 7, 2003 10:03 PM

Lajo, since you type in lower case I can't tell if you meant id as in short for identity or that Freudian thing nobody understands. I do agree about living in the hellish world depicted in The Cell. What a wicked (in a good way) life that would be! Chuck, love the lyric. Sounds like something Mark Twain might have said. It also reminds me of the Counting Crows line from Long December: The feeling that it's all a lot of oysters but no pearls.

by anna at October 8, 2003 6:57 AM

That Counting Crows lyric - for some reason I learned the line, and can't unlearn it, as "It's all a lot of oysters, but no clams."

by mg at October 8, 2003 9:51 AM

Ditto for, "Excuse me while I kiss this guy" from that old Hendrix song.

by anna at October 8, 2003 12:05 PM

id as in the unconscious. excuse my vaguery. i'm just going to go over here and pretend i'm a woman.

by lajoie at October 8, 2003 12:17 PM

I skimmed that "Lights Going On and Off" commentary, and it seems like the work is a one-trick pony to me. There's no subtlety or nuance to it. Sure, maybe you can hear about or see the installation and think for a second, "Hmm, things in life come and go," but if the work occupies anyone for more than just a minute or two... really now, come on! I can't imagine anyone saying, years from now, "Wow, that Creed piece really changed my life. I still think about it now." Not anyone, except some pretentious artiste.

by jean at October 9, 2003 2:47 AM

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