The art of knowing what we really want

People accuse me of being ignorant and I am very proud of that, not that I've actually heard anyone say it, but I'm sure someone must have.

Being ignorant leads me to the subject of art and makes me something of an expert on the subject by local standards.

I personally hate art and I don't think I'm alone.

I'm also anti its close relative, architecture. There's an old saying my grandfather taught me: "Art and architecture boy, you must treat those two imposters just the same."

Artists and architects make life intolerable for ignorant people. They both come up with endless designs and tasks that need not be done.

What could possibly be wrong with a square building with square windows and a rectangular door?

We could have rows and rows of them, easy to build, and all the people could live in them.

I think they even wrote a song about them that goes something like, "little boxes, little boxes and they're all made out of ticky tacky . . ."

But songs are a form of art, so I hate them too and don't listen to them.

If we had to have art it should be cheap.

The government could have an art department who could make art, which the prime minister could sign, and which we could copy if we felt the need. They could operate within strict rules so that any art was actually functional and they'd have to be pretty tough on colours too, staying within the primary colours only.

Garages would all be one size so car manufacturers could save a lot of money by making their cars identical.

Actually, I think they've seen that one coming and have already moved in that direction. Flowers, lawns and shrubbery are only excuses to be arty farty so their appearance should be tightly controlled so as not to offend the eye of the beholder. If I had my way every section would be concreted from (ski) fence to windows, with no noisy lawnmowers on Saturdays.

We're moving very close to an ideal and art-free society now - hot rods, customised cars and motorcycles are banned, especially those loud Harley-Davidson mufflers which also sound like art. No mag wheels, no LED strips, no custom paint, no polish, no Brasso, it's all art. No bling at all.

I can feel you agreeing with me on this, but I can also feel you thinking areas within your own taste preferences should be excused, that your custom car is not really art but the rest of it is.

Your elegant lawns, shrubs and tastefully clipped hedges are not art, they are just extensions of your personality and demonstrate that to the world, but the rest is art and you don't want it.

You like your distinctive house with low-sloping roof and that's not art, it's functional in your mind, but you hate the mishmash of colours and shapes that is Puke Ariki.

You want to feel good at the compliments you receive about how fantastic the city is looking these days. You know that has nothing to do with art or architecture of course, it's just the mountain and the sea and they've always been there.

You want your industry to stay local but you need skilled, creative people to live here and work in it so you agree there should be certain facilities which might attract them but only ones you personally like, eh.

Len Lye is a loser of monumental proportions and nothing he ever made or conceived of is actually needed to function.

Sitting around years ago dreaming up things that couldn't even be made until our modern technology allowed it is no skill, just idleness.

He should have had a proper job so he could pay to get into the local art gallery if he wanted to see art.

Ultimately, despite you bunch of bloody rabble arty types who live here in our district, we haven't done too badly really.

It's quite a nice place. I'd even go as far as to say it's one of the best cities in the world, certainly the biggest.

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Taranaki Daily News