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Art is your friend

Heigh-ho, my hearties! Being, as I am, an undisputed expert on art—mainly because I've only just said it and no one has had time to dispute it (but if they did, I could then be an eminently qualified expert, which no one can dispute, because if they did, I could dispute their qualifications, which are likely gaudy fabrications and base lies, and I would dispute them, being, as I am, an imminently qualified attorney). To start over, being such a peerless expert on art, I feel it is my civic and, may I say, historical duty to expound at length on any art that comes within my purview or ken, leaping upon it like a lion and analyzing it into little, bitesize pieces for your edification.
      With all that in mind, I recently went to a glitzy opening reception at a downtown gallery, planning to consume large quantities of raw culture (and perhaps a finger or two of whiskey) which I could then bestow later, after I woke up, upon my upwardly-mobile but marginally literate readers, already digested ("already digested" referring in this sentence to "raw culture," not "readers." I think.) Leaving my cape and winged helmet with the cloakgirl, I signed the register with a pseudonym, but to no avail. I was immediately recognized, of course, as that literary icon and word finesser, Tom Turtle. As a member of the media I was offered undisclosed body parts from every point on the compass in exchange for my annointment. Without pausing to genuflect, I trampled on these pathetic personages and their tiny, yapping dogages, making my way directly to the artage.
      I need not tell you (since you plan to vote Republican anyway) that the sensations were so overwhelming, viscerally, that I found it impossible to keep my legs from going noodly without another finger or three of scotch. It was at this juncture that the universality of the artist's beautiful message began to seep in. Where others, blinded by their bourgeois preconceptions, saw only paint and canvas, I saw huge, emotive, emotional, passionate, you know, thingamabobs. Where blundering amateurs, snorting their canapes and spritzers, saw only metal and stone, I saw deep, dark secrets of the most personal and intimate nature, a subtle depiction of the soul—like on TV. Where bloated others saw only cheesesticks and olives, I saw a half-empty bottle of Jack with my name on it, and escaped through a side door to soothe my battered spirit.
      After a few moments, a young woman approached me diffidently, almost fearfully, and I could tell she had a question. I fingered my truncheon and held my ground.
      "I'm one of the artists," she said, taking a moment between piercings to speak. "I just wondered what you thought of my work."
      "Danderific," I replied. "Excreetimous. Post-Seussian. A sight of sore eyes. Reclittable to the point where a weaker man than I might have experienced dropsy. It truly induces in one a vision of the dance of St. Vitus."
      "Cool," she said, clanking her chains and breathing heavily through her jewelry. "Which one did you like the best?"
      "Oh, no question, The Disembowelment of Beatrix Potter."
      At that point we were approached by a slouching beast, variously colored, who, I noticed, never for a moment in our conversation faced Mecca. The young woman, whose name I refrain from giving to protect the undead, introduced her new companion, with a lover's squeeze, as "Satan Baby."
      "Dude. Love yer stuff. Like totally comic," he proferred to me goatishly, a Mona Lisa smile to hide the fangs.
      "And I, yours. Especially Ixion on that wheel of fire. Four stars. Two thumbs up."
      "Oh, Nothing."
      I excused myself unnervously, rummaging my pockets for a silver crucifix, and decided to try the garlic pate after all.
      And now the part of the article where I tell you what it all means. Where I expound on art's undeniable social relevance: its ability to reveal the true shapes that cast mere shadows on the cave wall that is our world; its ability to link, like a hero with a thousand faces, cultures all over the world; its ability to step behind the curtain, catching Dorothy and the Wizard in an embrace illegal in 48 states. Yes, only art can give us such a gift, boldly transgressing the stale conventions of good taste, of beauty, of intelligence, to offer us a sight of the great beyond, bent over and flexing. I for one can't be taxed enough in support of such ambition. So run, do not walk; skip, do not hop (with a roly poly gammon and spinach) to your nearest art outlet, where you will no doubt find Yours-truly, basking in the reflected glow of genius, sharpening my stake.
In a pile
Upon a log
Over the water
Third from the bottom
Secreting my own hard shell
Tom Turtle

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