Checked my grades this morning, and I’m officially holding a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Art Studio, with minors in Psychology and Art History. Last week I was telling a friend of mine about the senior art exhibit I was in at the end of high school: I had an ink piece and a graphite piece, and the day we went to hang them I found out there were only 2 entries in the fiber category- and 3 monetary prizes.
So I figured, “Hey, free ten bucks”, and stuck some pocket lint and string on the table and made a title card that said “paper bug”. I wound up taking first place (25 bucks, not too shabby), but thoroughly pissed of Jason (who still gets mad if I bring it up), since he wound up taking second. I thought the whole thing was absurd, and I wasn’t happy since the two actual pieces I put in didn’t even get a look. That’s when I decided not to go to art school.
And 13 years later, here I am with an art degree and occasionally I wonder if I’m just making up for that bullshit. Not that it matters, whatever the motivation is.
And because everyone I stick close to current events with the occasional pop culture thought, here’s something about yesterday: I don’t know anyone from Connecticut. Sometimes people do stupid things with guns, and sometime large numbers of people die, and sometimes those people are children. In the Phillipines, a tsunami has killed 700 people at last count- many of whom are probably also children. I don’t know anyone there either, but I’m betting most Americans missed that one.
I do know two things: we are far too polarized a culture to leave politics and public debate out of such an event, and that exhausting coverage of things like this is grotesque and servers no purpose other than greed. This was a sad event at noon yesterday. By one, it was a god damned spectacle. The word “tragedy” itself is so loaded I can’t even use it. Tragedy now is Princess Di and 9/11 and celebrity overdoses and the latest Nancy Grace clip; it takes away what is happening and replaces it with banal sound bites and grainy images. And people, a lot of people, are inexplicably drawn to this because that’s what TV says we’re supposed to do. Or that’s the only time emotions seem real, or they just can’t stop thinking of the children, or what the fuck ever. The larger world will look at this event turned banality and spout their opinions and point fingers, and meanwhile a whole bunch of people in Connecticut right now need to be left the fuck alone to grieve.