Metal Underpants and Nostalgia
Today was the last day in New York for a while and I decided it was finally time to check out the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I love museums but on this adventure I tend to avoid touristy stuff (as much out of budget concerns as a desire to see all the stuff that most people don’t get the opportunity to) so it’s always kind of a special treat to get to partake. Sometimes it’s an EXTRA special treat.
One of the new exhibits at the Met this month was a show on Super Heroes and their influence on fashion design! They even had original costumes from several movies (1978 Superman, The Dark Knight, Linda Carter’s Wonder Woman, Iron Man, Catwoman…it was some really cool stuff)! I couldn’t help but think, “Wow, those look even less comfortable in real life.”
I’d love to try one of those costumes on just to see how irritating it would be to try to film a movie in one. (Hmm…someone write that down for Amtrekker 2.0.) Can you even imagine stumbling to the craft services table wearing the Iron Man costume and trying to shove a blueberry muffin through that face hole? Or WORSE, imagine having to go to the bathroom and not being able to get your metal underpants off fast enough. You can’t hide the sound of urine on metal. It would sound just like when you pee in those giant troughs at old ballparks. (Ladies, you’ll have to go check it out. They’re nothing short of miracles of 20th Century society.)
My old college roommate, Brett (a.k.a. Stacy for the sake of a lack of confusion), and I wandered the better part of the museum after our tour of really expensive pajamas and one thing that caught my eye more than any other was a Norman Rockwell painting.
(Now, remember for a moment that in real life I’m actually a designer and I’ve gone through more than my fair share of art history classes and been lectured time and again about the saccharine sweet nostalgia of a Norman Rockwell painting.) A lot of people will have you believe that with a knowledge of art should come a kind of condescension for his paintings. He’s been relegated to the land of Franklin Mint plates and Saturday Evening Post reprints and frankly I was kind of amazed to even see one of his paintings hanging.
But when push comes to shove the only condescension I ever learned to toss around was towards people that get a little too hoity-toity once they memorize the names of a few Renaissance artists. The bottom line is I may be guiltier than most when it comes to how much effect nostalgia can have on me. I’ve explained before that many of the items on my list only exist because I was born in the wrong time or the wrong place to experience them and I even gave you my definition of “patriotism” and where I fit in.
So here’s the deal: The painting’s name is “Town Meeting” and it’s not just the painting that caught my eye. It was this dude in particular. I can’t explain myself very well here except to say that when I saw it I WANTED TO BE that guy. Not, “I wanted to have this painting hanging in my home” because 1) I’m homeless and 2) it’s not my taste (…I prefer something a little more hoity-toity). BUT I, no joke, wanted nothing more than to be that dude standing there with total confidence ready to speak his mind no matter what was on it. Yeah, I guess I’m kind of a sucker for nostalgia…but more importantly I’m just as big a sucker for the future and I can’t wait until “we the people” get our confidence to speak our mind back.
Like nostalgia? Remember those good ol’ days when I could afford dinner?
Don’t let me stop you.
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