Un-quotable

Sunday, 16 January 2005

I started a quote database project recently. I’m spending real cash money to get it going. That’s how serious I am. I eat instant macaroni and $2 Vietnamese sandwiches of leftovers on baguettes for lunch to save money but I’m paying editors to gather quotes. Well, “paying” is a bit strong. Money is changing hands though.

I remarked in an email to one of them that I used to write art reviews for The Taos News for a dollar a column inch. I always thought they’d fire me for the unflattering reviews I wrote. There are 120 galleries in a town of 10,000. It isn’t even airport quality. For example, there was a $9,000 painting by Bill Rane in the Taos Inn lobby that looked like it was framed by rolling it in mud and kindling.1

They semi-fired me after all. They said it wasn’t because I had irritated many millionaires making money by rolling ducking in trash and colored glue but because I write in incomplete sentences. Like Steinbeck. Or Shakespeare.2 It’s especially amusing if you’ve read the paper.

Barnaby called majenta unquotable, yet a quote from his entry into issue #8, “Reactionary Fungi,” was the third quote added to the database. Contrary to what Todd Dead White Mountain might have you believe, I’m not a crypto-fascist, however, if it were in my power to physically compel every adult in the temporarily-un-free world to read that essay, I probably would.

Maybe Oscar Wilde could get away with playing the quotable game shamelessly—or maybe he didn’t after all—I can’t. So I must call attention to it. Reverse psychology. Fragmented. Sentence.

I used to make a dollar an inch. I guess for some people that wouldn’t be much but it worked out okay for me.

1While accurate, this is unfair. I think charging Nine Large for a painting that looks as if it were framed by the underachiever in the special ed class is pseudo-criminal but Mr Rane has done some striking and pleasant, if somewhat derivative and repetitive, work. Had the work been well framed I would have appraised it at $2,500, perhaps; he’s done better stuff.

2Not to imply that this confers automatic greatness upon these works but merely to illustrate that anyone asserting that rigid adherence to currently, and temporarily, held grammatical guides is requisite for good works is, to use the technical term, fucktarded.

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