The Scream is so 90's . . . 1890's


Some lunatic paid 119.9 million dollars for Edward Munch's "The Scream" last night, and I don't think that's a very wise investment, as the image-- which was the ubiquitous icon of anxiety and angst for the 20th Century-- has lost its relevance . . . that screaming face doesn't do it for us in the 21st Century, because we don't have that kind of emotional energy to waste, we don't have the wherewithal to scream at the multiplex of horrors we face every waking moment-- horrors from our own lives, horrors from the lives of others, horrors from around the world, digital horrors multiplied a million times over . . . a constant barrage, an infinite deluge of horrible, contradictory, complex, awkward and terrible information . . . Joseph Kony is abducting children! Greece is going to default! My LDL cholesterol count is 340! Angelina and Brad are on the rocks! Eddie Money is still touring! I need to refinance! The sea levels are rising! . . . we'd be screaming all the time . . . we'd lose our voice; in fact, we don't have even have enough emotion left to utter a Homer-esque "Doh!"-- that's so '90's--  instead the essential reaction to the 21st Century, the facial expression for our times is Jim Halpert's ironic half-smirk . . . one of these : /  because how else can you react to the inconceivable? . . . I am afraid that the "The Scream" is destined to be lumped with King Lear and Oedipus Rex: an evocative piece tragic art, but also full of antiquated outpourings of melodrama and emotion . . . I wish I could paint so I could update the idea-- I would call it "The Smirk"-- not that there needs to be more parodies of this thing, which-- like I said-- has run its course, but I really do wish I could paint (mainly so I could paint a giant squid battling a sperm whale on my bedroom wall, a suggestion that my wife vetoed, probably because I can't paint).

6 comments:

zman said...

My wife vetoes all sentences that include the words sperm, paint, and wall.

Dave said...

when you put it that way . . .

Igor said...

Maybe if you included "giant" she would go for it.

zman said...

Then she'd know I was lying. Or laying? Dave, let me know.

Dave said...

with this topic, sounds like either verb would fit the bill.

Igor said...

Lying about laying has been in existence since before there was an English language.

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