Sunday, July 19, 2009


One of my favorite hobbies is listening to other people's conversations. This has become a more fruitful pastime since moving to Charles Village, which is populated by a delightful mix of hippies, hipsters, douchebags, and academics. So, I decided that another thing I can do with this blog is start writing down the things I overhear. I have this wonderful lab notebook with numbered pages which I was using to take notes for my thesis, but now that that is finished I can use it to transcribe conversations and then copy them here.

This one is from today. I was sitting in the sculpture garden at the BMA and reading, and this group of four people came and sat down next to me. They were probably in their mid/late 30s. They looked... earthy. Probably all of their clothes were organic. There were two couples, I will call them A&B and Y&Z. A&Y were the men. A&Z were doing most of the talking. I think there was some kind of frustrated love connection between the two of them. Their respective partners were not talking much. Actually, Y did not talk at all. B talked a little bit, and of the three of them, I liked her the best.

This particular exchange started with them talking about how they "hate" it when people refer to them as "arty" or "artsy" (they obviously did not really hate this at all).

A: I don't really think I'm 'arty'... I think most of it is just noticing the obvious things. I mean, if people just thought more about it, they'd have the same responses I do. Most people don't even think about things.
Z: Yeah, like [some woman's name]. I've tried to explain to her... she just doesn't get it.
B: Well, [woman] doesn't get a lot of things.
A: She always says she doesn't like something because it looks as if 'a 7-year-old could do it.' Those are her exact words. I'm always like, 'wow, that 7-year-old has gotten pretty good over the years! That's one talented 7-year-old!' HAHAHAHA.
B: Yeah, but the point is that someone did do it.
Z: I know, like I was telling her about the one exhibit that [artist] did, where there's a room that is just full of white canvases, like, canvases painted white. And she thought that was, like, the stupidest thing she'd ever heard.
B: Oh, the one in New York?
Z: I think so.
A: I loved that. I don't know, I could just stare at that all day.
B: Then there's that whole thing with the actual 7-year-old, where they took some paintings that a real kid did and took them around without saying who did them, and I guess people were flipping their shit over them. But that's been, like, discredited or something.
Z: Yeah, because some of the paintings were actually really good.
A: It's true; there was some really interesting stuff going on with the spatial relationships in the paintings. I mean, it's obviously, like 7-year-old-style abstractions, but she's actually quite talented.
B: Maybe she is autistic.

From there, they went on to discuss the following points:
  • The non-existance of autism ("Just think of how many great minds we would have lost due to medication if they'd thought that way back then.")
  • The evils of modern medicine, including OTC pain relievers, which they all agreed were a great bane on society.
  • The benefits of drinking female urine.

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