idiotprufs

Illegal in 38 states–frowned upon in the rest.

Archive for the tag “art”

Purple Pilgrims and the Death of Artistic Choice

pilgrims

The way Pilgrims are supposed to look…if you have no creativity.

As a child you learn many lessons:

  • Regardless of how far your garden hose sprays, you’re still too close to the hornet’s nest.
  • You never want to discover the quantitative value for the phrase “mad as a hornet.”
  • Regardless of how sturdy it seems, an umbrella is not an adequate substitute for a parachute.
  • Your cousins lie.
  • You can be lying in a crumpled heap, several bones broken, some of them relatively important, and the first thing any adult will think to say is: “look at what you did to my umbrella.”
  • Even though most varieties of snakes are not venomous, you still don’t want them to bite you.
  • Convincing your cousin to let a snake bite him so that you find out whether or not it’s venomous, seems like a good idea, but it will really piss-off your aunt.
  • Did I mention cousins lie.
  • Never utter the phrase “sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never harm me,” to someone who is in possession of sticks or stones. In the savage jungle of playground justice, you will be pelted with a barrage of sticks and stones.
  • When adults say cheaters never prosper, they’re full of it. Cheaters prosper all of the time, mostly because they’re cheating.
  • Don’t melt Play-Doh on the stove. What seems like a voyage of scientific discovery to you, is just wanton destruction to some people.
  • Burning Play-Doh emits a noxious smoke.
  • Smoke alarms are startlingly loud.
  • Melting crayons on the radiator is fun, until your mom finds them.
  • And finally: artistic creativity is not always welcomed.

It happened when I was a first-grader at R.R. Rogers Elementary School in Jamestown, NY.

Our class was making a Thanksgiving Day mural from construction paper. We were broken into groups, my group was tasked with making the Pilgrims.

We immediately found there to be a dearth of orange construction paper, the color used to make the Pilgrims’ faces and hands.

I made a command decision: we’ll use purple construction paper for the Pilgrims faces and hands. “It’ll be avant-garde,” I said.

Note: I’ll bet you don’t think a six-year old would use the word avant-garde. It’s my story, and I’ll tell it the way I want.

Tracy the tattletale strongly objected and ran to inform the teacher, (Tracy was such a conformist) but as a renown tattletale, the teacher simply told her to hush, and just work with the others.

Note: not only was our group saddled with Tracy the tattletale, we also had Keith the paste-eater. It was a nightmare.

We completed our project and handed it in with a great sense of pride and accomplishment.

Our teacher was displeased. It’s difficult to overemphasize just how displeased she was.

“They’re purple,” she shrieked, as if we were a bunch of colorblind idiots.

“We know they’re purple,” we told her, “we’re not kindergarteners.”

As it happened, the mural was going up on the wall for a big parent/teacher thing that night. She’d left that bit of information out of the instructions.

Note: on the heels of Halloween, and our pumpkin making spree, she should have known we’d be low on orange construction paper, which brings me to another important lesson learned: when at all possible, deflect blame.

It was the end of the day, and there was no time to do anything about it, so up they went.

In the end the parents were simply amused by the purple Pilgrims; it seems adults really don’t expect a lot from six-year old children.

Addendum:

I wonder if Salvador Dali’s teacher criticized him for drawing everything all floppy.

floppy watches

At least he didn’t have the gall to make Pilgrims purple.

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Dear Overbearing Parents,

brat kid

What a precious child.

Please stop showing me pictures of your baby.

The first fifty pictures of your little bundle of joy were all pretty much the same. If you’re going to inundate me with this barrage of maternal pride, at least mix it up a little. Dress the kid up like a gladiator or a pirate; give me a reason to at least feign interest.

I know you believe every human on the planet desires to see endless streams of photos of your child. You believe we have an innate need to gush over your child, and shower him or her with flowery praise.

We do not.

What people say: what a beautiful baby you have.

What people are actually thinking: holy crap your baby looks like a lizard. His skin is weird and his face is all smushed. Is his father a sleestack?

sleestack

Daddy?

 

I know it’s popular to refer to your child as a miracle, but getting pregnant because your half-wit boyfriend doesn’t like to use a condom–not exactly the Virgin Birth.

The ugly truth: children grow up to be people, and people suck. In fact, I know your kid’s father, and he’s a jackass. That poor kid’s wading out of a gene pool that’s shallow, stagnant, and filled with parasites.

And stop acting like everything your child does is precious.

Your child dumped mustard in the fish tank: not precious.

Your child shaved the dog: not precious.

Your child peed on the cat: not precious

Your child got into the permanent markers and covered your living room wall with what appeared to be clowns and penises: honestly, this one’s funny.

And keep that notion in your head it’s advantageous to never discipline your child, because who doesn’t love a good “my child did the cutest thing in juvenile court today” story.

Maybe if Jeffrey Dahmer’s parents had made him eat his vegetables, things would have turned out differently.

Let’s all get together and stop praising our children for things that are clearly not praiseworthy.

Your child’s artwork is dreadful. It’s fine to hang it on your refrdgerator with a due amount of parental pride. Just don’t expect me to gush over it like it’s the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Seriously, from what I can tell, it’s a drawing of a clown and a penis on the back of a misshapen unicorn. (And I’m starting to sense a disturbing trend in your child’s artwork.)

Do you know what happens when you constantly praise your child for things she’s bad at? She wastes three years at college majoring in art, when she’s clearly crap at it. Then she comes home with a giant face tattoo, and informs you she’s dropped out of school to focus on her poetry…which she’s also crap at.

Then when she can’t get anyone to publish any of her poems about clowns and penises, she tries to find a real job, and the following happens:

Interviewer: Your application seems fine, and we’d like to hire you, but there’s the issue of your face tattoo.

Her: What do mean? This tattoo is an expression of me, and who I am.

Interviewer: I’m not saying it’s not a brilliant tattoo of a clown and a penis, but here at Chuck E. Cheese, I’m not sure it would fit our image.

Her: My mother says this tattoo is precious. She says everything I’ve ever done is precious. She even refers to me as “her precious.”

Interviewer: It also bothers us that your mother appears to be Gollum.

gollum

Mommy?

 

Let me be clear, I don’t think you should squelch the dreams and aspirations of children. You should squelch the delusions of overbearing parents.

And please please please stop pointing to your children and saying, “there’s our future.” There is enough scary shit in the world already.

fire

The future?

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