Thursday, February 11, 2016


We New Yorkers take a backseat to no one when it comes to sophisticated thinking. Unfortunately, there are others -- all under 35 -- who take offense at anything as easily as they do soy milk in their grande latte. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, please meet 33 year-old Justin Renel Joseph, who's suing the Metropolitan Museum of Art because:

Would you sue over this painting?
Now, there are other reasons to take offense at the Met. Like the employees who give you dirty looks if you offer anything less than the "suggested" $20 entry fee. Or those sticky tags that you have to wear in your lapel proving that you forked over your money. And while we're at it, what about the ham-and-cheese omelette -- excuse me, souffle -- for 24 bucks at the Met's restaurant? That's worth suing over. 

Let's learn a little more about our plaintiff.

Christian, bi-racial male of Hebrew and African descent -- man, that's a double hat-trick of offense just waiting to happen. And all over a bunch of obscure paintings by artists nobody knows whose names can't be pronounced without sounding like Daffy Duck. 

Thanks to the Whitney,
balloon animals are now considered
Not that I don't get what this guy is feeling. I take offense at most of what I see at the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney -- New York's two major depositories for what their curators don't realize is a gigantic in-joke at their expense. It's kind of psychological trompe l'oiel

But I react by avoiding those fun-houses. Joseph's reaction? 

OK, so I feel kind of rejected and unaccepted by society when I call out most of modern art for the bullshit that it is. That's fine. In fact, my self-esteem rises in reaction to society's rejection. I feel quite comfortable and enjoy much contentment as a result. Justin, you don't like the artwork? Don't go to the museum. 

In case you were wondering, Justin Renel Joseph is described on his Twitter feed as a "Philosopher" -- apparently the philosophy of Too Much Time on My Hands -- and "Writer of the book, The Universe from Nothing to Love." If you're interested, you can download it to your Kindle for a mere 99 cents. There are no reviews, so your purchase might be something of a crapshoot. 

What's more interesting is that Joseph runs something called Humanity Project, which, according to its site, "advocates for the underprivileged members of our global community, no matter their color, gender, sexual orientation, place of birth, beliefs or age." I bet that doesn't include Renaissance-era artists.

Still, Humanity Project looks like a good and noble idea -- even if its Facebook page hasn't been updated since mid-December -- the same week, in fact, Joseph stopped updating his Twitter feed (two followers!) and not long after he sued the Met. Lawsuits take a lot of time away from saving the world.


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