Gonzo Marketing:Winning Through Worst Practices The Bombast Transcripts: Rants and Screeds of RageBoy
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Tuesday, September 02, 2003

"the difference between decoration and art"

Some people seem to go trippy all over when it comes to ART. These people tend to think of themselves as artists. It's a big deal for them to be artists, because then they can tell other artists that they're artists too. Then they all talk about how heavy their art is and how they're getting these way deep insights and shit. To me, it seems a bit embarrassing. But you know my philosophy: live and let live. That's right. I mean, it's not like these individuals are actually hurting anyone with their meaningless bullshit about numinous archetypal this and that. But I have to say that this is why I am currently so fascinated by spam. It's definitely not ART, which to me, is a good thing. I fuck around with it and make it into anti-art. There's a long tradition of this sort of thing, not that I see myself as following in anybody's footsteps in this regard. I mean, in Tristan Tzara's day, they didn't even have spam. And yet, he said, "Art is not the most precious manifestation of life. Art has not the celestial and universal value that people like to attribute to it. Life is far more interesting." Yes, I would have to agree with the dead gentleman from Zürich. Yes indeed. His brouhaha precedes him. So back then, they had to use toilets and stuff like that. Urinals. Brides descending staircases in wireframe guilelessness. The fact of the matter, if you really want to know, is that I fucking hate art. I think it sucks. I would rather go to a Monster Truck rally than to the frigging Musee du Louvre (however you say that). Buncha what? Pyramids and curious little objets d'art. "Oh, Walter! Isn't that cloisinee brooch just darling?" You know? Truck rally's more lively. More shouting is THIS art, then? and everybody pretty much stinking drunk. It's an American thing, I guess. Or take this guy here. A nut case, in all likelihood. But an entertaining nutcase. Possibly with a sense of humor. Possibly not. But still. Is it art? Is it decoration? 'the fuck should I know? It's there. Isn't that enough? Being there now. Right? It is ALL-ONE, ALL-ONE, just like Dr. Bronner says. Dr. Bronner, whoever the fuck he was, was also seriously cracked. Life is crawling with whackos. Are they merely decorating our mental space? Perhaps. Actually, what got me started on all this tonight, this morning, whatever it is now, was a request from Dave Winer, the now-1600-lb gorilla of blogdom, to say something about art. I know he's been wondering why I haven't responded for so long. But the reason is that I didn't want to tell him -- or Halley, for that matter, since I'm pretty sure she's behind the whole thing; in fact, I'm beginning to suspect that Halley is really God, as she points to something about a New Age Boot Camp (quite wonderful) by one Dervala, who mentions en passant "disgusting: pineapple-flavored frogspawn"; pretty good! -- was because, as I've already said, I fucking hate art. And this is likely to be interpreted as demonstrating an overall bad attitude. Which I would be the first to admit, and often do. Can I get a witness? Can I get an Amen, brothers and sisters? But anyway, I didn't just want to say this straight out to Winer, because I thought he might come over here and hit me or something, and I don't deal well with conflict. On the other hand, maybe he'll understand. I bet he will. Because, you see, that's why I like the web, in general, and blogging in specific. The ARTISTS are too much legends in their own minds to screw around with this stuff. They want to be in one-man/one-woman shows and in galleries and museums, and places like that where their WORK can be fully appreciated. Its subtlety, its depth of feeling, its utter self-absorbtion. And there are way too many people here online. Some of whom are so far beneath the notice of these sensitively attuned Children of the Universe that, well... they don't want to, you know, like sully themselves with us common rabble. Now, I don't mind telling you that this pisses me off. A great deal. But it's a small price to pay, I suppose, to keep this arty riffraff out of my world. I once said something about all this in an EGR send. "...and here's what I think," I wrote. "That I will not last, no matter how fearless my speech. That the great is in the small. That real? What is real? And to whom? And why? That I think too much. Which is why. And to you. Which is whom. Flashes of ee cummings, bird by snow and stir by still. And still, I will not last and I know it. I have no standards. No higher calling. No shame. Didn't anybody tell you? I plagiarize freely. I can steal but I cannot rob. I want what I write to be more like a car crash than a work of art. More like a street corner than a museum. So I fuck it up on purpose. Not to be admired. To be loved. What do I care what happens when I'm dead?" And further on, at the end of that piece, which had some sad and some angry parts in the middle, I wrote this: "A rumble down the tracks a mile away. I can feel it coming. A train. I used to brake on the Penn Central when I was a kid, eighteen. Nights so cold out along Lake Erie I thought I'd die right there. Windchill thirty, maybe forty below some nights. A train is coming, passing along beside the creek now. Boxcars, tank cars, oil probably. Gondolas: steel, lumber, piggyback cargo trucks, tanks -- the military kind. Eight of them, headed guess where... I get up from the creekside and walk over as close as I can get. It's picking up speed now, past the limits of crossings and signals and switches. Big noise! Like a car crash. Like a way of saying it's not just something in the water. Like a flag, like a flash of lightning. Picking up speed and gone just like that. Like a stab in the heart. Like a cry. Like a cheer going up for the world." So see? When I do this stuff with the spam, like I'm doing here, it really does have a point. For instance, in that big one at the top? The message there is that the woman has just had an earth-shaking sexual experience, and she's sort of shell shocked, as she didn't quite believe RB had it in him. But he did. And more importantly, he does. The message is that you too, if you are a woman of my general species with similar sex-positive attitudes, well... I can supply references. Just click where it says Click Here. Duh. Or call (720) 304-8077. DO IT TODAY! Is this art? Are we not men? Fortunately, no, not all of us. And so that is why I fixed up the spammish grafik and yes, I'll admit, did decorate it so as to be pleasing to the eye, with a double #CC0000-red border and everything (did you notice? did you click everything?). And yes, I made the little rubber ducky appear and disappear. And the other woman to look in the guy's pants to see what he's got in there. Because why? (as eminem might say) Because she's interested in what he's got in there, is why. The spammers know this, of course. Nothing sells like what we've all got in our pants. And of course, they want you to buy something. I don't want you to buy anything (except tons of books from my myriad Amazon links, consistency being the hobgoblin of small minds). I am merely pointing out that when taken out of their usual and expected context, these images speak a different language. Speaking of which, the language in which they are embedded is critical as well. It must, first and foremost, be funny. Or, failing that, vaguely ontological. But it cannot afford the pretense of the numinous, the spiritual, the aesthetic, nor does it seek any truck with the veiled suggestion that There Is Something More. There is not anything more. And yet -- are you ready for the mystery of life? -- there is. The woman looks amazed at her wonderful orgasm. The woman makes a rubber duck appear. The woman looks into her friend's swimming trunks, presumably to get a good look at his penis. And that's it. That's all it needs to be. That's all she wrote.

8:20 AM | link |

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"RageBoy: Giving being fucking nuts a good name since 1985."
~D. Weinberger
28 October 2004

Chris Locke's photos More of Chris Locke's photos

Until a minute ago, I had no photos. I still have no photos to speak of. I don't even have a camera. But all these people were linking to "my photos." It was embarassing. It's still embarassing. But I'm used to that.

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