The Unbearable Banishment: Defective

Monday, November 19, 2012


I think I have a defective chip. Or a blown gasket. Or a logic board that’s been seared. What is the terrible dichotomy inside my head that simultaneously allows me to walk up 6th Avenue and be genuinely moved by Ella Fitzgerald’s rendition of Midnight Sun and yet, at that exact moment, be so overwhelmed with irritation at the idiot walking next to me who is yammering into his cell phone so loud I can hear him through my ear buds, that it takes all my will power to not shove him into the Avenue in front of an uptown bus? How can these two extremes exist at the exact same moment? What the hell is wrong with me, anyway?

Sooohaaammm. Sooohaaammm.

It ain't working, kids.

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I've added most of the prices realized to the paintings sold at the Impressionists and Modern Art auction at Christie's last week. Just scroll down [or click here]. All posted prices include the buyer's premium. The New York Times gushed that the bidding was "relentless" and that the prices were "record setting." I am overwhelmed with my usual equal mixture of outrage and envy.

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I was out walking the dog the other night and I saw a shooting star. Beautiful. A long, sparkly tail and a nice, slow burn-out. There's a tremendous amount of light pollution where I live, so in order to see a meteorite it has to be a pretty big rock. I used to study astronomy in high school. Our instructor, Mr. Linderman, would lend us his telescope and we'd take it to a farm out in the middle of the black Ohio nowhere to study the heavens. Have you ever seen Saturn's rings or Jupiter surrounded by some of her moons through a really powerful telescope? It's impressive stuff. It really is. If he knew how much weed we consumed in conjunction with these sojourns, he probably wouldn't have been so agreeable about lending out an expensive piece of equipment. I made a wish on the shooting star. I wished that I'd be hired on staff where I'm working and put an end this consulting horror show.

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Here's a trifle from the big atrium at MoMA. This exhibit was up for a very short while. I think it was just filler between other, more major works.

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And here's the tree in my back yard that Hurricane Sandy didn't get her big meathooks into and rip to splinters. Again, straight from my iPhone. No color adjustments applied. True to life!


Blogger mapstew said...

I had to do a 200KM round trip in the wind & rain last night to pick up a friend. Traffic was heavy and slow, and yet, as I listened to some wonderful crooning on my radio some asshole was six inches behind me. I feel your pain. I pulled in, waited a few minutes, let asshole get ahead and continued on my journey, slowly and happily. I'm learning.


November 19, 2012 at 1:48 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Och, you two need to bypass patience and go straight for the flat backhander across the bridge of the nose.

November 19, 2012 at 2:21 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

map: That's very Zen of you. But doesn't it all come to a boiling point? What to do when that occurs? My meditation is failing me.

Chef: I have elaborate fantasies of doing just that. To date, I haven't acting on any of these whimseys. I don't suppose it's worth the price I'd pay, but I'm thinking it over.

November 19, 2012 at 2:33 PM  
Blogger mapstew said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

November 19, 2012 at 2:41 PM  
Blogger dinahmow said...

I know how you feel. I'm generally a happy old broad and don't like being around negative people. But...sometimes I can't, just CAN'T find any way to excuse, mitigate, justify some stupidity.
I have a's to do with our(humans) having so much. Once, we had very little and quality was valued. Now, we're awash in rubbish and some of us want quality back.
An extension of this is our overcrowding and war zones.
Deep, sir, have a beautiful tree.
(No images on my monitor)

November 19, 2012 at 2:48 PM  
Blogger Gorilla Bananas said...

So you got annoyed, but it didn't last long, did it? The cosmos is visually more spectacular than all those works of art and it's free, so you're up on the deal by my reckoning.

November 19, 2012 at 3:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think as you get a bit older the chatter and static loses its allure, and you crave more meaningful moments. Or at least to not be surrounded by douchebags broadcasting their conversations to the world

November 19, 2012 at 3:37 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

dinah: I'm happy to hear that this sort of tomfoolery occurs outside of New York. Sometimes I think that NYC is a hermetically sealed vacuum of idiocy. Nobody likes to suffer alone.

GB: You make an excellent point. If you take the totality of my post, most of it is positive. I always like to start off with a proper rant. It draws the reader in. Doesn't it?

Winopants: I don't know if it's a matter of maturity, per se. All the idiots I see yammering in the streets look to be well beyond they're 20s. People need to get over their devices and attachment addiction. Technology was supposed to set us free. It didn't.

November 19, 2012 at 3:55 PM  
Blogger Eryl said...

I have no idea how you can be delighted and enraged at the same time, consider it a skill.

I'm glad you survived the storms. I've just had a good trawl through your last several posts and was reminded that I really did mean to send you a line at the time to say hope you're ok.

I like Basquiat's stuff, something about his use of colour, I think.

November 19, 2012 at 6:10 PM  
Anonymous paulo1 said...

Ques que ce ? 'Scrolling, scrolling,scrolling, keep them dogies scrolling' but I never get to the paintings and prices. What's up brother?

November 19, 2012 at 7:52 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Eryl: Thanks for your good wishes. We're off the front pages, but this area is still a big, hot mess. Many quaint, seashore neighborhoods have been wiped off the map. My "skill" feels a bit more like a curse!

paulo: Strange. Try clicking here. Prices realized are in BOLD.

November 19, 2012 at 8:11 PM  
Blogger savannah said...

i have found that once i say (quietly, of course) "one more word and i will reach down and pull your vocal cords OUT" i feel so much better, sugar! and if i can't say it out loud (quietly, of course), just thinking it releases the anger and tension. :~)

re the "trifle" ... that ain't right! (i laughed out loud!)

my 7 yr old razr cellphone died on thursday. i have not replaced it. i might not replce. i have decided. xoxoxox

November 19, 2012 at 9:40 PM  
Anonymous daisyfae said...

i wonder just how old i'll have to be before i can get away with saying horribly rude and direct things to assholes and completely get away with it. if an 89 year old broad called that assmonkey to task for ruining your moment with Ella, no one would bat an eye...

oh, and the trifle? um... do you have any leads on where i could do a performance art piece in Odorama? Fart-based performance art is a specialty, and if that gentleman cna get paid for standing on glass over a camera, then my farts are probably worth gold.

November 19, 2012 at 10:14 PM  
Blogger Pat said...

You have to accept the fact that you are not a saint, you are human and you live/work in a city where urban rage is prevalent.
You have plenty of pluses besides the beautiful tree - which you don't need me to remind you of.

November 20, 2012 at 4:36 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Sav: You MUST replace that razr. For all my bitchin' I wouldn't be without one. They're excellent, handy little devices. And fun! But they can be abused.

Daisy: The exhibit was little publicized, which should tell you what MoMA thought about it. But some performance art is absolutely worth it.

November 20, 2012 at 6:52 AM  
Blogger Kono said...

Mr. Linderman? no way, i think you're making that up, that name is so suburban Cleveland astronomy teacher i laughed out loud when i read it, and then you got to part about smoking copious amounts of ganja and i knew it was true, true like the rings of Saturn and Jupiters moon you old stoner.

November 20, 2012 at 3:57 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Kono: It gets better. He was bald. He was the majordomo of the Midpark planetarium. [Ha. See what I did there?]

November 20, 2012 at 4:42 PM  
Anonymous paulo1 said...


November 20, 2012 at 6:47 PM  
Anonymous looby said...

I find it a bit sad that so many people walk around with Ipods though. As annoying as urban life can be, I don't like seeing people walking around in their little cocoons of music.

Thanks for the updated prices. Was very surprised that the Richter didn't sell. You can hardly open a glossy magazine over here without him being puffed up.

November 24, 2012 at 8:52 AM  

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