If I were Steve Martin, I would’ve set something on fire by now.
My feathers don’t ruffle easily. Not even traffic on the 405 can raise my hackles. (Saint-like, I know.) But this 92nd St. Y business is just, pardon the language, a bunch of claptrap flapdoodle bunkum.
In case you missed it, Steve Martin wrote a book about the art world. The 92nd St. Y invited him to come speak about it. They booked an art critic to interview him. She asked him about art. He answered her. Discussion ensued. The 900-person audience, some of whom were watching via closed-circuit TV across the nation, e-mailed to complain that – in essence – Mr. Martin was just a little too smart, and couldn’t he do that King Tut thing?
And then – AND THEN – the Y sent an employee ON STAGE to request they stop talking about art and start talking about The Jerk. Apparently, writers are now the equivalent of Dancing With the Stars contests. We’re all just going to vote on what comes out of their mouths because heaven forbid we should be subject to independent thought and intellectual discourse.
And because my head had not yet exploded, the Y then went on to offer a REFUND to paying audience members because Mr. Martin, when asked to talk about art, did just that instead of running around on the stage like some sort of a monkey in clown pants.
Just to be clear, this organization, which describes itself as a “premiere platform of civic dialogue and intellectual discourse,” publicly chastised an artist for being too intellectual.
Excuse me for a moment, I am so upset I have to go bite a pillow.
By coincidence, I also just finished writing a book set in the art world – also in Tijuana, a coffin showroom and the IRS headquarters. I expect that at some point someone will ask me about the art. I intend to answer them. I have things to say about it. And the 92nd St. Y can just kiss my tail feathers.