Sunday, February 27, 2005




platypus with an attitude

we are all afraid of the sublime.

those who can see it are terrified by the possibility of achievement but the knowledge of that everyone is incapable. but it that whole shoot for the moon thing. cant’ reach it if you don’t try. *

angels are terrifying—to those of us who see them--because they represent something so far beyond what we find possible. the fear is the failure to exalt.

Those who can’t recognize beautiful forms as angels can see only see ghosts—scary things that don’t make sense and therefore frighten and those non-angel identifying folks to combat the angels with every foot solder of mediocrity they have. better to make armies of the average than to face the unknown or the powerful.

if you can see it, you can’t give up, even if you know you can never quite reach it even if you know how elusive the angel and how far away is the moon.
So what.
you keep trying.

you know it exists. you’ve seen the sublime in a subway car seen through the window of a subway car through a door of a subway car over the heads of a long haired laughing boy in boots talking to a bearded blonde in vans. you’ve seen it when the lights changed on fifth avenue. you’ve seen pigtails fly when girls in backpacks were late for kindergarten. you’ve heard it in the bridge of the song. you’ve seen it in the light shining from the blue sky through the fast flying pigeons over the red brick buildings of willamsburg. you’ve read it in the perfect words.

you’ve seen an artist make it happen for you, even if it can never be good enough for the artist, it can be good enough for the viewer.

that’s why the origin of irony--seeing beauty in life’s constant delivery of the opposite of what we need-- meant the right thing, but the lazy use irony as a passive tool to be sophomorically cynical. base cynicism is useless. there is no point to demeaning the banal. it is that already, it loses nothing by our wasting our time on it, or demanding it to be better. obsessing about the repetition of the ordinary is true failure. it’s complaining about boys in khaki’s listening to classic rock. so what. move on. and then complaining by fighting with the “be different” trucker cap that proceeded to become the khakis of the “being different” within the box. so what. the intention was pure or the intention was pedestrian. either way it can’t matter.

* (the whole moon as sublime now looks like a really obvious metaphor that artists—or maybe art historians--used-to illustrate what they meant, but perhaps before it was banal, it meant something…like the beginning of the trucker hat or the ironic t-shirt—finding beauty in the unexpected and un observed—but then becomes so overdone that it’s trite—like the moon as sublime.)