Three Black Irishmen (R)
At the National Art Gallery in Dublin, Ireland, a husband and wife were staring at a portrait that had them completely confused.
The painting depicted three black men totally naked sitting on a park bench. Two of the figures had black willies, but the one in the middle had a pink willy.
The curator of the gallery realized that they were having trouble interpreting the painting and offered his assessment. He went on for over half an hour explaining how it depicted the sexual emasculation of black men in a predominately white, patriarchal society. 'In fact,' he pointed out, 'some serious critics believe that the pink willy also reflects the cultural and sociological oppression experienced by gay men in contemporary society.'
After the curator left, an Irishman, approached the couple and said, 'Would you like to know what the painting is really about?'
'Now why would you claim to be more of an expert than the curator of the gallery?' asked the couple.
'Because I'm the guy who painted it,' he replied.
'In fact, there are no black men depicted at all! They're just three Irish coal miners. The guy in the middle went home for lunch.'
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Mundane Journeys through an Amazing World
begins with Interstate 80. Not the most engaging topic, I know, but when you think about it, I-80 runs all the way across the North American continent linking San Francisco and New York. It's not just a ribbon of asphalt, it's a portal to far away, almost magical places.
My visits to major cities like Tokyo, London and Washington DC have been business affairs. I haven't rode a lot of roller coasters or ridden in open air buses, but I have visited with senators, bought yams from the back of a truck and barely escaped complete embarrassment when I was introduced to Matt Wiener in Vegas.
As I wrote the book I realized that over the years exotic, distant places have become more like the mundane places I've called home. But, as it turns out, there really aren't any mundane places, only mundane ways of looking at things.
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Today's blog: Tribal Amnesia
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