Fri, 12 Mar 1999

Dear Miss T. R. Wonderful,

A painter named Whistler once gave a long lecture about how Art is superior to Nature. He held that the wonders of Nature are as the keys of a piano, not really notable (so to speak) until an Artist comes along and makes of them a lovely arrangement. Is this true, or is it merely another sign of the deep arrogance characteristic of famous painters and other human-types?




Dear And-then-there's-you,

Speaking as one of the most deeply arrogant characters you are ever likely to encounter, I would say that Whistler has it right on the money there. Nature is, quite frankly, a dump.

First off, they let anyone in. No dress code for Nature, no doorman, no 21-and-over shows. My gods, you go out in Nature and you could be overrun by snotty, Pokemon-clutching adolescents in lime-green Hanson

T-shirts at any moment.

Aside from that, it's just sort of there. Like your unemployed cousin who doesn't bother to pick up the stained nudie magazines from the floor of his trailer when you visit, Nature expects you to make all the effort. Nature has no taste! It has no sense of decor! No standards! The twigs blatantly lie there, all jumbled together and covered in birdshit! I know! I've been to Nature once or twice, and It Is Not Pretty.

The only trouble with Mister Whistler's lecture is that it was not long enough.