In my defense, though, I must say that things have been singularly quiet here in our happy little burg, so there hasn’t been a lot to write about. This past week the city conducted its annual homage to the awesome power of Gina DiNapoli’s breasts* and the egregious mold pit wherein I labor for a pittance found itself at the center of a very small-scale art scandal. One of our local shockers of the bourgeoisie managed to do just that by hanging an American flag in our front window. This work came complete with a CD player wherein the observer could look upon the flag while listening to someone recite Walt Whitman’s I hear America singing, a poem written before the advent of American Idol and cell phones, and today, unfortunately, there is no one of Whitman’s stature to write the modern response, I wish to Christ I heard America shutting the hell up, for crying out loud. Most people did not know about the existence of the CD player, as that would necessitate actually coming into the building, and chose to base their perceptions on the flag itself, which the artist chose to reimagine in heavy plastic with green and clear stripes and a pink canton. This change in hue upset a good many local veterans, or at least a good many local veterans’ groups, which is not the same thing, who held that if red, white, and blue was good enough for them it ought to be good enough for everyone. So there was a fair amount of wrapping oneself in Old Glory this past week and some overheated rhetoric in the letters to the editor column of the local weekly, and as a result the flag now resides in a window down the street that does not depend on the taxpaying public for its bread and butter. I have no real opinion about this matter one way or the other, although this particular work hung in the reference room window for a couple of weeks. I did notice, however, that if you stared at the flag for a while, and then looked away quickly, you could see the Stars and Stripes in its original colors for a moment on your retina. As to the kerfuffle, well, a little patriotic outrage now and again isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and wrapping lame duck in a plastic flag will keep it fresher than wrapping it in tin foil will, so I guess we can all be thankful for the free cooking advice.
In other not so terribly important news, the director now has a pair of parakeets in her office. They are very nice looking birds, if you like parakeets, and they will form a very nice complement to the pigeons, sparrows, and finches that live in various parts of this place’s roof and façade. I don’t know if it is possible, but if our budget goes down next year as well, we could always investigate the possibility of reopening the library as a legally protected bird sanctuary. I suppose if we went whole hog on this thing, we could use some of our regular patrons as the wildlife and conduct photographic safaris for the tourists into the exotic and vibrant ecosystem we maintain here on Main Street, which would do wonders for our bottom line, I think. Nothing will come of this idea, of course; it would require the civil service to think outside the box, and if there’s anything that civil servants will not willingly do, not if their lives depended on it, is think outside the box. Ah well, it was a nice idea while it lasted.
*Since all attempts to actually make this link work have failed miserably, I am posting the piece about Gina and her most prominent features in the Blogger comments section. No one ever uses the thing and putting the piece there is more convenient for readers and for me as well.