More Art Less War said the bumper sticker on the back of a truck driving down Ocean Park Boulevard. I had several blocks to reflect on this phrase since the truck was safely driving the speed limit before making a right turn onto 14th.
More Art Less War. With all the political division in this country, I was impressed that the bumper sticker didn't have exclamation points. More Art! Less War! That just seems so melodramatic. Create! Don't Destroy! Blah, blah, blah. No, it's a very simple phrase---four letter word, three letter word, four letter word, three letter word. No superlatives. Not Most Art Least War.
More Art Less War. Simple. I buy it, and I don't have to spend a dime. More needs to be made. Less needs to be destroyed and consumed. But. . . .it's a nation of consumers
This holiday season, I've realized how much I hate shopping. I'm not a big fan of shopping other time of the year, but at Christmas time, I get particularly edgy and vexed.
I walk into a store. Christmas music is blaring. The lights are bright. Everyone is selling brightly colored cotton scarves. I'm looking around and then IT happens.
‘Hello, how are you today?' a salesgirl stacking sweaters asks.
‘Really good.' I answer in a voice pitched higher than usual.
‘Can I help you find something?' salesgirl asks.
‘No, that's all right. Just looking.' I answer. The salesgirl never answers that and usually goes back to her sweater stack. If I've been shopping for awhile, I probably experience this dialogue four or five times. It never changes.
Yes, I know salesgirl is trying to be friendly and helpful and look busy so her manager doesn't fire her ass, but her manager won't fire her ass because it's the holiday season and her eight dollar an hour help is necessary. Besides, I like it when sweaters are neatly stacked. I understand that need for order, but please salesgirl, I don't know what I'm looking for, so I doubt you will be able to help me find it.
Speaking of shopping. . .
I was recently in an Old Navy shop in the hopes of stocking up on cotton tank tops. I like my cotton tank tops.
When I picked one off a table, I was shocked by how large it was. I went down the size chain and finally found an S which fit perfectly fine.
How did this happen? How did I become a Small? I am five foot eight. I have been content with being a Medium for decades. It's always the first size to disappear off the sales rack. What's going on? Have I become smaller?
Or is everyone else getting bigger?
Thinness use to be a sign of poverty. You were poor, so you weren't eating, so were thin. My Mom use to tell me that as she gave me a second helping of mash potatoes.
My Wise Aunt believes that people are stocking up for the next famine.
Maybe all this eating is happening because there's nothing else to do.
Maybe people are afraid of disappearing. They drive SUVs, so they don't get run over by other SUVs driven by other people afraid of disappearing.
I drive a compact. I guess I will continue to get smaller while driven to make more stuff (dare I call it, art????) before I've spent my wad and disappear. We all disappear eventually. I guess that's the cosmic joke of it all.