At least I think it is. Based on this assumption I had quite a healthy day yesterday. If consuming Art is anything like consuming vitamin C, it’s really hard to get too much of it. ELO says that “love is like oxygen. You get too much; you get too high. Not enough and you’re gonna die.” I don’t necessarily agree with this statement but it is a catchy song. In any case, whether love is like oxygen isn’t the question; the question is whether Art is more like oxygen or vitamin C. I vote for its resemblance to vitamin C—almost unequivocally good for you. How much excessive vitamin C did Patrick say his dad told him you had to consume before you started seeing adverse effects? Nine thousand per cent the recommended daily value?
In the interest of bolstering my aesthetic immune system I spent yesterday consuming Art. Being one of my days off, it got off to a late start. After waking I was lounging around in my pajamas reading articles on Slate’s online magazine, because I enjoy doing that occasionally and I was feeling generally out of the loop with talk of Silvio Berlusconi stepping down and French people inquiring whether my family was negatively impacted by “all that snow” that hit the northeast, which I had heard about, sure, but which I didn’t know was causing problems. (Is it?) So the short and long of it is that I was reading articles because I felt like an ignoramus, and since straight news articles are flavorless to me I read them on Slate so I can get some mixed opinion to add some spice.
I came across one article that contained various people’s nominations for the things that came into existence in the first 11 years of this millennium which will attain the lofty height of “Classic.” While Art, visual, auditory, and literary, is discussed, there are people who are also nominated (like Roger Federer), and technology (the ipod), and fashion (the Ugg). Also mentioned are The Black-Eyed Peas, David Lynch, The Wire, Bob Dylan (as an author), viral videos, and even typefaces. I would recommend the article and taking the time (if you have it) to explore thoroughly the various hyperlinks explicating the arguments for their nominations. Included you will find youtube videos, an article by DFW (that’s David Foster Wallace for all you uninitiated people out there), other op-eds, and…did I mention youtube? So you should definitely read The New Classics.
But the plan upon waking had been to go to the Louvre. I managed to get ready in flurry and catch the 12:35 train, putting me in front of the Pyramids around 1:45. The Louvre is simply astounding. People would visit it just for the artwork that already exists on the walls and ceilings and is almost completely ignored in comparison to the priceless treasures that inundate the interior. (Being such a vast interior, inundation, though improbable—unimaginable even—actually occurs.) It’s almost like the “total noise” that The New Classics mentions. Masterpieces and priceless artifacts are
practically cluttering the hallways. Truly stupefying. Whereas a single Grecian urn would be an incredible centerpiece for any one person’s or family’s home, the entire wing of Etruscan pottery is almost desolate and neglected compared to the other areas of the Museum (at least in mid-autumn). I spent four hours in there consuming as much as I could, not rushing, but not going slow either—pacing myself—and there’s still more.
I felt so much healthier and cleaner afterwards. But then I got on the Paris metro at rush hour… giving me a whole new
appreciation for (fear of?) germs and epidemics.