Culture By Lowest Common Denominator, Taking Credit From Whence Credit is Due, Call Things By Their Right Names!
Thursday, November 8, 2001
Painter SNICK FARKAS (that name makes Squid green with envy) took down Inanna in a Half Shell after a profusely apologetic COLLEEN LINGENFELTER, Seaside Arts Commissioner, told him to remove the painting. Seems some prim citizen failed to appreciate Farkas'' art, a Botticelli-inspired image of a zaftig young woman running her hands through her lustrous tresses.
"People are just livid about this," Farkas seethes, "the fact that one person can dictate taste for an entire city."
Squid can only imagine that Farkas makes those little air quotation marks with his fingers when he says "taste." Squid''s depressed about this demonstration of an apparent lack of sophistication in Seaside, which, after all, is going to be receiving the Olympic Torch! It took elephant dung on the Virgin Mary to get folks in New York--or at least one very pugnacious anti-jaywalking mayor--riled up. In LA there''s talk of censorship in a public arts facility, too, but what fueled it? Images of LAPD officers homoerotically dancing with gangsters. Now that''s a conflict a city can be proud of!
The fuss isn''t over yet. Artist TERRENCE ZITO, whose painting L''Automne a Notre Dame is in the show as well, is planning to stage a protest on Friday evening in front of City Hall before the show''s awards ceremony. "And then I''m going to tromp in there and tell them I don''t want my painting hanging there," sniffs Zito. "I really think things like this shouldn''t be allowed to happen. Artists have to stick together," he says. "Sooner or later it''s gonna be you they''re coming after."
TAKING CREDIT FROM WHENCE CREDIT IS DUE...PACIFIC GAS AND ELECTRIC, the company that won a government bail-out during a year of record-profits and poor service, is not too proud to pat itself on the back for a good deed it didn''t do.
Squid''s eyes were rolling in its pretty, pointy head when a press release came squirting out of the fax machine with the following wordy and smarmy feel-good headine: "Pacific Gas and Electric Company Reaches Out to 600,000 Customers Eligible for CARE Discounts."
The first page of the release goes on about how PG&E is "calling on civic leaders" to let low-income residents know about the CARE program, which helps pay power bills. It goes on to brag: "On Sunday, PG&E will enroll eligible customers" at Kmart in Salinas, and to chirp that everyone who enrolls gets entered in a raffle for a refrigerator. "We are absolutely committed to making sure that every eligible customer is en-rolled in CARE," the PG&Eflack purrs.
Buried on page two is a fact that many readers may not know: far from being a PG&E charity, CARE is a California state program, paid for with $100 million of taxpayer money. And who gets that money when eligible PG&E customers sign up? You guessed it: our concerned friends at PG&E.
CALL THINGS BY THEIR RIGHT NAMES! The other night Squid heard that PRESIDENT BUSH''s plea for good American boys and girls to send money to the White House to benefit Afghan children has been a booming success. So far America''s generous progeny has raised $1 million. Squid was relieved to hear a government official guarantee that all funds would strictly benefit children, but that got Squid thinking: How do we ensure that children are the sole recipients of the money? Then the answer came, and now Squid would like to propose a name for the fund: "The American Children''s Fund for the Future Orphans of Afghanistan."
Send Squid a dollar: firstname.lastname@example.org