Art Museum in Utopia

Visitor: Hi, excuse me. I’m sorry. But I was wondering if you have any better art.

Tour Guide: Better art?

Visitor: I mean, take that sculpture over there. The happy, fit, attractive person depicted in a totally positive and humanizing light.

Tour Guide: Which one?

Visitor: Exactly! All the sculptures are like that. Or look at that painting of people just napping, while the others give each other backrubs and prepare salads.

Tour Guide: You mean “The Serenity of Having No Problems”? Is there something wrong with it?

Visitor: It’s just not… very… interesting. Don’t you have anything by tortured geniuses?

Tour Guide: Excuse me?

Visitor: You know, like somebody with severe bipolar disorder who chopped off his own ear? Or a miserable, single-minded savant who toiled in poverty in order to follow her muse?

Tour Guide: No… nothing like that… All our artists live very happy lives.

Visitor: See, that’s what I was afraid of. What about oppression? Any artists from oppressed and tormented groups? Whose music or painting offered them a rare chance to forge an identity beyond the narrow confines of their societally prescribed role?

Tour Guide: I’m sorry, but in Utopia there’s no oppression.

Visitor: C’mon, there must be some oppression. Who do you marginalize?

Tour Guide: Nobody…?

Visitor: But who do you rag on? Like, who do you stereotype negatively? Who’s underrepresented in government and media? Or… ooh! Here’s the right question: Who has to suppress their language and culture to achieve any financial success in society?

Tour Guide: I don’t think you understand. Every community in Utopia is honored and valued.

Visitor: Ugh. You people.

Tour Guide: If you’re disappointed with the museum, we’d be happy to offer you a full refund.

Visitor: But it was free! Everything here is free!

Tour Guide: Well, we still like to offer.

13 thoughts on “Art Museum in Utopia

      1. My dad once said he considered studying to be a mathematician but ditched that idea as the mathematicians he knew were all “kooks”. He got a PhD in Chem E. instead.

  1. I honestly don’t know if Utopia is possible. Struggle is in our blood, and people tend to create their own obstacles when none are in their path.

    1. I think that some communities are healthier and better places to live than others – but I’m mostly with you. I don’t expect human history to end with “and they all lived happily ever after.”

      1. Well, there’s still just blank space between your quotation marks–so I’d say you’ve still retained your sense of mystery. Now I’m intrigued to hear what WordPress has twice censored.

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