My T-Shirt Causes Me To Rant
It’s funny, I just finished at work about an hour ago-came home, jumped in the magic rain box and scrubbed the kitchen smell out of my hide..and then I threw on a pair of ghettos and my “official blogging t-shirt”. I’m generally not the superstitious type, however I do have a regular fetish t-shirt just for blogging. It’s actually my wife’s, but I pretty much appropriated it. It’s an old Pink Floyd 94 tour t-shirt she dug out of the attic at her fathers old house. It’s kind of ironic that it would become my security blanket type thing for when I type here, since I’ve never really been much of a Pink Floyd fan at all actually. Too Wagnerian for my musical predilections. Or something.
At any rate, somehow I wound up wearing this shirt a couple of times when I hammered out really (over)long posts. Being that I’m just an average person and quite liable to confuse causality with coincidence…well, fuck, it was obvious that the Pink Floyd t-shirt possessed magical powers, right? So now I put it on when I sit down to type. Not all the time, like every single time I go to write something here; but enough that it’s fairly apparent, at least to me, that I do have a superstitious relationship with this old t-shirt.
Anyways, with that out of the way. I was sitting here, and I started looking through my photos because I thought I could find a picture that would spur something for me to write about. I saw a photo I took the other night, it’s just a picture of the side door to this jewelry store on Main street and a streetlight…and at the time for some reason I just thought it looked cool so I took a picture of it.
Sometimes, perhaps many times if you’re me, you’ll see something and it’ll look interesting for whatever reason-and you’ll take a photo of it, and it turns out that its just a door, some stairs and part of parking lot or whatever. I’ve seen a lot of photographs of stuff that was just stuff…but the photographer somehow made it out to be like it was some real deep and meaningful shit. The best example of this was one time I was in New York City back in the 90′s and I was in some little avant type gallery in the village…and one of the things being shown there was a collection of fucking Polaroids that some guy took-and they were like photos of his windowsill and refrigerator and his cat. And there were like these serious looking art people who were taking the shit way seriously. And these Polaroids had like a serious fucking price tag. I think the gallery was selling a photo of this fucking guys windowsill for eight hundred bucks. I couldn’t believe it. Shock and awe type shit, for real. I was expecting to be let in on some kind of joke, but these motherfuckers were dead serious about these goddam Polaroids.
So me and my friends laughed about it all the way to Bleecker Bob’s records where I bought a first pressing of The Return of Martha Splatterhead lp by the Accused for fifty bucks. I couldn’t help but wonder how many records I could buy with a minimal investment in an old instant camera and some film. Y’know, if I was a real artistic photographer n’shit.
I mean, don’t get me wrong-there is plenty of photography worth actually buying. I would pay money for a Diane Arbus grenade boy print, I would pay money for some of Christine Boarts-Larson’s photography, I’m hoping to find a way to buy a print of Leanne Cole’s amazing work, and I would certainly pay for Kalpana Kartik’s photography or something epic by Ansel Adams. But eight hundred fucking dollars for a Polaroid of a cat next to a goddam flower pot?
But I guess anything can be foisted off as art. You just present it in a way that it looks like the viewer is supposed to “get” it, and if they don’t it’s because they’re lame and unhip to the “scene”. It’s kind of like that band The Locust and the whole, thankfully over now, “noise punk” fad I guess, or Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music album. So what always winds up happening is like half the people, no, way more than half the people who look at the photo of a piece of duct tape stuck to a live hamster on an exercise wheel or whatever…they’ll be like “Uhm, what the fuck exactly is this?” While there’s this minority faction of total schlubs there will be all “OOOHH, AHHH, how trancendant!” Eventhough they sure as shit know its just a fucking piece of duct tape stuck to a goddam hamster running on a wheel. Then, with the sure tyranny of a small minority of people acting like they know what’s up-and the rest just wanting to be in on shit…pretty soon you’ve got a room full of motherfuckers OOHing and AHHing. And next thing you know, the checkbooks come out. And then the next week in whatever hip rag or on whatever hip Brooklyn blog, there’s the Trancendant Hamster write up and how the photographer captures the essence of post-pseudo modernist evertythingism or whatever.
It’s a lot like political punditry. Nobody has a fucking clue, but everyone is inclined to follow whoever can pull off the best act like they have some sort of super fucking informed opinion.