Lindsay Perigo
Lindsay Perigo

The Politically Incorrect Show - 03/08/2000

[Music - Die Fledermaus]

Good afternoon, KAYA ORAAAA & welcome to the Politically Incorrect Show on the free speech network, Radio Pacific, for Thursday August 3, proudly sponsored by Neanderton Nicotine Ltd, the show that says bugger the politicians & bureaucrats & all the other bossyboot busybodies who try to run our lives with our money; that stands tall for free enterprise, achievement, profit & excellence against the state-worshippers in our midst; that stands above all for the most sacred thing in the universe, the liberty of the human individual.

[Music up, music down]

There have been two significant art thefts in Auckland recently - the removal of a Goldie painting from the War Memorial Museum, & the parking of two trucks masquerading as an art work at the Viaduct Basin. Why do I call the latter theft? Because Auckland ratepayers involuntarily contributed $15,500 to this exercise in pretentious nihilism. As the Herald told the story:

"That's an artwork?" Gordon Haarıs question is a mixture of incredulity & scorn. The tone of the waterfront workerıs voice turns to one of outrage when he is told the artwork involving two tip-up trucks, lights & spinnaker cloth will cost about $50,000. Called Skylight IV, the installation in question is the work of Dunedin artist Ralph Hotere & European-based sculptor Bill Culbert. Skylight IV, attracting a $15,500 payment from Auckland City Council, with the rest met by sponsorship, is the first in a series of temporary sculptures to go up at the Viaduct Basin to add sparkle & spawn debate. The chairwoman of the Artworks Appraisal Group, city councillor Kay McKelvie, said the temporary artworks were meant to be a bit of fun. "When I was in New York recently there was a series of cows made of polystyrene all over town, upside down, in fountains. It was great fun.ı Herald art critic T. J. McNamara said the truck sculpture was probably a very good idea, even if the public found it hard to understand."

What, I wonder, is there to understand, other than that ratepayers' money has been used to sponsor nonsense? The willing patronage of private sponsors is to be lamented, but is scarcely surprising, given the previous applause of Aotearoa arty-farties like Dame Juniper Damp-Squibs for exhibitions of semen-stained blankets & used toilet tissue - literal testimony to the fact that, esthetically speaking, this is indeed an Age of Crap.

In The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand pillories serious literature's descent into willful incoherence in the character of Lois Cook, pin-up girl of the literati, who pens such fashionably stream-of-consciousness pearls as,"TOOTHBRUSH IN THE JAW TOOTHBRUSH BRUSH BRUSH . . . tooth jaw foam dome in the foam Roman dome come home home in the jaw Rome dome tooth toothbrush toothpick pickpocket socket rocket ..." Critic Ellsworth Toohey, a sort of all-purpose, rich man's T. J. McNamara, eulogises Cook's "writing" as "style as a revolt against style ... only the finest spirit can appreciate it."

It's astonishing what fools some people are prepared to make of themselves in their efforts to be "cool," to demonstrate to other fools that their spirits are fine. A friend of mine who should know better once visited Dame Juniper's modern art gallery. The first thing he saw was a vacuum cleaner on the floor. He assumed that it was an exhibit, & was just getting ready to appreciate it when its owner, a cleaner, appeared - & started vacuuming with it.

Well, I'm here to tell you that the emperor has no clothes. The poseurs responsible for the parking of the two trucks at the Viaduct Basin are not artists, & this is not art (notwithstanding that trucks are a wonderful creation). The only art that is being demonstrated here is the art of the con-man - and YOU are the ones being taken for a truck-ride.

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