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. 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.

    • 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.”

      • 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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