. . . ask the girl

. . .

But if you want to raise a young executive, it's probably best to accustom him to indulgence from the start. How can anyone who's scrubbed a toilet manage a decent vision statement? "Visions" (that aren't visions) and "toys" (that aren't toys) are what the "boys" (that aren't boys) need to save themselves for; as for dealing with that-which-is, The Girl will do that for us.

A while ago, I sat in a white-collar-crimes grand jury and heard a year-and-a-half of buffoonish CEOs deny their own competence (more plausibly than they might think) with a formula so consistent that it must be part of the MBA program: no decision had ever been made by them, no memory had ever been set; they were no more than perpetually adorable infants fed and changed by "The Girl." "Sorry, but I let The Girl take care of that kind of thing." "I have no idea, but The Girl would be able to tell you what went on." "Oh, that's over my head; you'd have to ask The Girl."

Grand jurors are allowed to question witnesses, and so the obvious question was occasionally put: "If 'The Girl' does all the work, how come you make all the money?" Though we might briefly eclipse their winsome twinkles, our curiosity was never satisfied, and finally, like everyone else, we got tired of asking.

. . .

Art for avoidance's sake

"Walker Evans"
SFMOMA, September 30, 2017–February 4, 2018

From walltext quotes and wall-mounted video screens, we saw Walker Evans repeatedly pledge disallegiance to political action, although you'd think he could've avoided the issue easily enough by, like, just doing studio portraits of orchids or penises or such. But we can dig it; "Activist" or "Feminist" are neon signage, "24 HOUR DISPUTES - ALL ARGUMENTS WELCOME." If you don't want to get the business, you hang a different sign. (Well, OK, most of us just board up our shop window. But other interests sometime make that impractical.)

Whereas "Artist" or "Hack" or "Not-a-feminist" are free for anyone to block potential distractions or distracting potentialities: that's not my department; other identities will take care of those; you'd have to ask The Girl. I remember unfondly how well a jejune self-identification as "poet" preempted questions about the harm I might be doing to those around me or what an ass I might be making of myself. And I can understand why Evans might want to avoid questions of comparative utility or criticism of real-world results; he was kinda busy with other stuff.


Copyright to contributed work and quoted correspondence remains with the original authors.
Public domain work remains in the public domain.
All other material: Copyright 2015 Ray Davis.