June 21, 2007
Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. James Lileks
There's no finer word in the modern artist’s lexicon. That’s the role of art: to resist the affirmation of societal confidence, because it leads to things like war and big cars and bigger houses in cul-del-sac burbs where pot-bellied yobs have an entire room for their NASCAR cap collection. This cannot stand; the center must not hold. That rough beast isn’t going to birth itself, you know; we have to rip it out, saddle it up and ride all the way to Bethelem so we can get on with whatever comes next. And whatever it might be it has to be better than this, because THIS is television-as-anesthesia, food packed in tinfoil, guns in all the wrong hands (citizens and soliders, neither of whom can be trusted) and a general willful refusal of everyone else to understand that this is possibly the nadir of human civilization right here, and if they’d stop enjoying their life for one – single – second for a change, they’d realize it. Over here, look at us! We are provoking you! Come and give us a grant, or we shall be forced to provoke you again with a play in which the Pope wears a suit made out of wet fresh placentas and goose-steps around the stage singing Lili Marlene!