Airline Atheists, Captivemasons and It’s a Square!
Posted on July 15, 2013
I’m about to stagger you with my brilliant ignorance. And please try to keep that less-than-surprised look off of your face. There’s been a lot going on lately and I’m not entirely at my best right now. First, home renovations are continuing and look to continue at an accelerated rate over the next couple of days. Second, I may have hurt myself during the home renovations, so a trip to the doctor sometime very soon may be prudent. Third, my husband has been keeping me on my toes assisting with things he needs done, so I am, quite frankly, exhausted. Finally, I played host for a couple of whirlwind days with friends visiting from Australia. Yes, I can be social in a good way. Try not to faint. Sadly, I see you trying to put it together in your mind as to which of those scenarios I excelled in the aforementioned brilliant ignorance. Don’t you just hate multiple choice?
The most I’ll say about potentially hurting myself is that I’ve been moving boxes, beds, dressers, etc. upstairs and downstairs for the past two months. It’s entirely possible I picked something up I shouldn’t have. And then repeated it several more times. Like I said, we’ll see what the doctor has to say. There’s no actual pain, so it’s not like I knew something might be wrong. I therefore cannot fault me for that. My husband would love to offer some suggestions as to my brilliant ignorance, only he sees the work I’m doing and realizes he’d have to do it himself if there’s anything wrong, so he’s currently refraining.
As for my visitors…
They’ve been visiting a couple of places before coming to Detroit, so this wasn’t their first stop. And do any of you remember that horrific weather we had last week that screwed Toronto up as well as many major airports throughout the US? Well, their flight into Chicago made it, only most of the Chicago flights out were canceled, including their connecting one to Detroit. The kicker is that the airlines weren’t offering accommodations because of it. Why? The weather is an act of God.
I put it back to the airlines; what if you’re an atheist? They haven’t replied yet.
So my friend calls me up as he’s talking to one of the nice counter people at United and when she asks “We have something available leaving in ten minutes for Lansing. Would you like to fly in there?” He accepts. He has no idea where Lansing actually is, but it does get them closer to Detroit. We had a really good laugh about it and I know they were just happy to get to their final destination by hook or by crook. And hey, they got to see part of the state they wouldn’t otherwise have had the opportunity to.
They enjoyed looking through John King Books, riding through Detroit in our armored car, fully fueled and recently installed bulletproof glass, dinner in Royal Oak, being introduced to Vernors, Coney Island, munching on a bagel and then dinner at P.F. Chang’s. Many conversations took place during this time and each learned a bit about the other culture. It also turns out my friend is a Freemason.
This honestly begged a question; what’s the difference between a Freemason and a Captivemason? He hasn’t replied yet.
The other place I took them was the Detroit Institute of Arts and here, dear friends, is where I show a staggering amount of ignorance. I understand some art. I enjoy looking at paintings, especially of American scenery before 1900. Love these and they hold a special interest for me. I can also see the difference in what was ‘in’ and how it evolved in terms of furniture and utensils when certain European styles influenced the world. I get it. It doesn’t always interest me, but I get it.
However, when I walk into an exhibit and read descriptions of how the artist used natural forms, started off using black before committing to a color, used exacting standards in adjusting sizes of his abstract shapes, precisely mixing colors for the ink, determining if it’ll be flat, immaculate and with no streaks, I honestly cannot help but look at the piece and mutter “It’s a fucking square!”
You’re telling me than an equal sign or three large lines going from top to bottom in three different colors took that much contemplation and execution? Are you kidding me with this? My reaction dictated that I visit the Modern Art section for an even larger headache.
I can’t recall the name of the piece, but it was inspired by daily drive down a freeway. They were various colors in placed in random brush strokes across the canvas. An explanation would have been appreciated. Of course, let’s not forget the random black brush strokes across another canvas that someone I believed described as the artist conveying incredible depth and anger at specific societal woes that somehow brilliantly came through in ways I couldn’t see in a picture I couldn’t understand.
Seriously. Critics who say things like that are either blowing smoke up our asses or they see something I simply cannot. I’m inclined to say they’re full of shit, only I’ve been proven wrong too many times in the past to discount that I may be blind to some forms of art. I think the artists should be requested to appear at certain times so they can be asked to explain their work. I for one would show to hear it.
But come on. It was a fucking square!
Anybody else ever have trouble with this kind of thing?
Kristoffer Gair (who formerly wrote under the pseudonym Kage Alan) is the Detroit-based author of Honor Unbound, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To My Sexual Orientation, Andy Stevenson Vs. The Lord Of The Loins, Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell, several short stories featured in anthologies (to be combined in a forthcoming book), the recently re-published novella Falling Awake, its sequel, Falling Awake II: Revenant and Falling Awake III: Requiem.
8 Responses to “Airline Atheists, Captivemasons and It’s a Square!”
July 15, 2013 at 9:09 am
Glad your friends came for a visit. It is good you are learning something about art and as for your injury I won’t say I told you so. Get well ohh tall tree of wisdom
July 15, 2013 at 10:34 am
I learned something very important about art; half of it annoys me. The other half I kinda like. And they have a very good lunch menu at the DIA, so that’s a plus.
Katherine T. says:
July 15, 2013 at 9:14 am
Ha, ha, ha! You just expressed what most people fjink when they look at modern art, but don’t say because they are afraid of appearing ignorant to everyone else. I thonk the artists count on that (and the supposed art intellectuals who spin some fancy yarn about what the artist is trying to convey). Like you said—— it’s a f***ing square.
I’m glad you too some time to enjoy yourself over the weekend. You need a break from all that renovating stuff you are doing. Good luck with the possible injury. I hope it tirnz out to ne aomething fairly minor.
July 15, 2013 at 10:36 am
I may just treat myself to a really, really, really nice long night of sleep tonight. We’ll see. I’m hopeful. lol
I do wonder how many people at the museum heard me muttering whilst walking around. It truly wasn’t pretty.
July 15, 2013 at 9:54 am
I totally get it. My first job out of college was with the Academy of Fine Arts. No, it’s not as grand as it sounds or as it once was. It’s actually a 1905 Beaux Arts music theater they’re trying to restore. Anyway, they have a gallery, and trust me I saw some weird stuff. But what got me was the show with a painting of blocks. You could see the pencil lines the artist had drawn to make it square through the paint. I would stare at it once a week for the month it was there and think ‘I could do this.’
At least you had a good weekend. Hope nothing is seriously injured.
July 15, 2013 at 10:37 am
You know, anybody else could paint something abstract and the public would call it art. I’d paint something abstract and it would be hailed as ‘firewood’.
July 15, 2013 at 11:56 am
As our resident artist, it is crazy how hard it can be to paint a solid, flat line. That being said, I have problems sometimes with modern art.
July 15, 2013 at 2:39 pm
If I come to town will you take me around to places of interest? Places out of the ordinary, off the beaten path? Hope you’re feeling better real soon. I’m getting hungry.