Saturday, July 5, 2008

How to Defecate on an Art Project and on My Life

So, this month at the Arsenal Center for the Arts, the focus of the student-created art in the lobbies is "community". This theme manifests itself in a community knitting project, a how-to DVD on paper cranes, and an "I AM" bulletin board just outside the entrance to the theatre under which there is a basket of paper scraps, pencils and thumb-tacks. One is, apparently, supposed to take a self-affirming moment to write what one is. I don't know. It's tacky, but like those diaries they sell in Barnes & Noble called "All About Me", I kind of have a soft spot for those sorts of things. So, while I waited after the five-minute warning to open the doors after Act I, I read a few. They were mostly from kids, but a few adults had contributed as well:

"I am an artist and I love classic rock"
"I am five and I am smart. I am going to be a doctor."
"I am someone who loves."
"I am someone who lives with the best dog in the world."

So this was charming. And it made me smile a little bit while I was waiting to open the doors.

And then I saw it.

I've been thinking lately how I may need to get out of patron services, a sort of soul-sucking profession into which I got entirely by accident. I will just go ahead and say that what I saw at that moment may have just been an engraved invitation to do just that.

Some crusty, dried up, old bitch had written, "I came 1,000 miles to see 'According to Tip' and there are no fresh cookies?? You lost my vote!!"

We serve Mrs. Fields cookies. They're fine. They just come in fucking wrappers because we spend most of our time thinking about how to produce good theatre. I am sorry if I fail to see the humor in his/her little "joke". It kind of makes me want to vomit blood that this person would actually take up space on a community art project, decorated mostly with sweet little statements by children or adults who trying to be positive and creative, to BITCH ABOUT THE REFRESHEMNTS NEW REP SELLS. How fucking sad is that?! How fucking selfish?!

I know you might think ... "It's just a lame art project in Watertown. It's not like she's writing her grocery list all over the Mona Lisa". And I know that. But what happened to "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all"? Why do people who want to look at a community art project have to listen to some crusty old bitch whining about a pre-packaged cookie? And why the fuck is that cookie so important?! What about the fucking theatre that she apparently came 1,000 miles to see??

Worst of all, there's a Panera RIGHT NEXT DOOR. They have an assortment of fresh cookies because they are purveyors of baked goods. Fuck.

So I wrote, "I am someone who tries to be here now", took a deep breath, thought about making it through July, and opened the doors at the blackout so they could all come pouring out.


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