The Pit of the Pretentious Prat

Thursday, 25 April 2013

The Luncheon on the Grass - Edouard Manet
I don't know about you, but despite the fact that I don't know a whole lot about art, I love it ~ I love looking at it and the jolt that (sometimes) comes when I get a feel for what I'm looking at.  And I also don't know about you, but I am forever fascinated by the back-story ~ what it was that drove the artist to spend all of those hours making that particular object.  I suspect lots of us are fascinated by that mysterious space where everyday people make stuff out of nothing.   That's why we pedestal artists, creators and mothers to high spaces (and why we cannot define our society as "civilised" until they are all getting paid higher than laywers).  'Tis a bit magic making something out of nothing ... but really actually very mundane, when you think about it!

If you wish to learn more about what the artist might have intended or what a piece of art might mean, then that's where art experts might come in, if you dare.  But that's also where the anxiety comes in too.  Because art experts sound pretentious often enough that it's a cliche.  And they make me feel like I shouldn't talk about art if I don't know a whole lot about it because they've done the hard yards and what do I know if I haven't studied art for 916 years like they have?  But raspberries to that, and raspberries to their formal education.  Because the problem with formal education is that it crusts up your edges and makes you unable to see other options.  And because of that, I take what resonates and leave the rest.

Learning about art can easily make you feel like you're in a classroom where all the mystery and fun about something is deconstructed into 187 different pieces so that the thing that you loved a little before you analysed it now resembles the texture of last night's used condom (sorry about that visual).  One more interesting thing whose essence is splattered by TMI.

That's why I was a little uneasy about going to see Exhibition: Great Art on Screen last night at the Nova.  This was a movie about an art exhibition - Manet: Portraying Life, which recently finished after playing  for three months at the Royal Academy in London.  But it was really ultimately just a documentary about Manet with the fact that it was filmed as part of the exhibition being a bit of a redundancy.  But that's okay.  I'm willing to give the other films in the series a shot too (especially if Weekend Notes gives me tix for nix).

And so I was worried about seeing this movie that there would be a lot of prattery and twattery but in the end there were only a couple of times in the movie that I wanted to whisper "Wanker" under my breath.  So that's a pretty good outcome in the end, I think.

Image by Sethlamden
But what does that say?  If you got 100 people in a room and said, "How many times did those people sound pompus and assey?" what would happen if 99 people said, "Twenty-six times" and I say, "Three"?  What happens if the world is getting so damn stupid on GMO food that soon we won't be able to talk about anything other than Beyonce's rack without sounding like we're up ourselves?  I don't like that idea either!

But really, I don't like pretentious prattishness.  It's vulgar.  The thought that I might come across like that to some people is ... well, it hurts a bit because what if it's true?  After all, I am the owner of an ego which wants me to look awesome to everyone at all times.  I also want to demonstrate my knowledge and my opinions about something.  And being human, that can easily translate to being a knob.  That is the sort of class they should have at school - how, if you are passionate about something, some people will think you are a twat, and how to learn to not appear like a knob.  I would sign up for that class.

I had my astrological birth profile done a few weeks ago.  For a bit of fun and out of curiosity.  But wow, you know what?  It's actually surprisingly accurate.  Like this bit, for example, apparently all because my Moon is in Capricorn:

The Capricornian part of you needs to begin by asking itself one critical question:  In the part of my life touched by the Sea-Goat, what is the highest truth I know?  The rest is simple ... at least simple to understand.  Just live it.  Keep a stiff upper lip and do what's right.  But be careful.  There's nothing wrong with expressing feelings as long as they're not doing your decision-making for you.  If you're tempted to do something wicked, don't be afraid to mention it.  Otherwise, half the world will think you're a saint while the other half thinks you're a pompous ass.  And neither half will get within a light-year of your human heart."
 So there you go.  I claim the moon as my defence.  You might think I'm a pretentious prat - but that's not within a light-year of my human heart.  My ego though, that's another story :)

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