The Public Eye

printed 05/22/2020

After years of thinking, and maybe even accepting, that I might be a little off center, it turns out it’s not me but the rest of the world whose plumb is bobbing in the wrong direction.

I didn’t realize this in a flash of instant insight, as in one of those shower-thought epiphanies that normally occur when you’re thinking of something entirely unrelated.

We all know how those things work: you reach for a towel that isn’t there because you forgot to replace the one you threw in the laundry pile and — wham, a burst of clarity — “Oh, that’s right,” you say, “E does equal mc2!”

It beats me why shower thoughts work that way, but it is how I came to comprehend the painting approach known as “Cubism,” or, to put it another way, why some of the people in Picasso’s paintings look like flounder, with both eyes on the same side.

I still remember that moment of realization. I was in the mental meandering phase of lathering up when it just whapped me in the back of the head: “Oh, now I get it …!”

Seconds later, I was running downstairs, clothes in various stages of assembly on my person, yelling, “Guess what? I understand Cubism!”

Now there are many things one might inexplicably realize that would evoke an excited response from the party with whom you are sharing this information. Announcing your grasp of Cubism isn’t one of them.

I imagine, for instance, that Aristotle got an excited response when he ran downstairs from his shower and declared, “Hey! Guess what? The earth is round!”

“Noooooo, really?” Mrs. Aristotle replied. “Wow!”

But reporting on one’s illumination on the concept of Cubism doesn’t make the bells ring in my house. Not even a tinkle, unless you count the dog, and that only happens when she’s nervous.

“Cubism! I get it!” I proclaimed. “I mean, I really get what the artist was doing!”

“Well,” she says without looking at me, “Aren’t you something?”

Okay, so she has a fine arts degree. How am I supposed to remember everything?

But that was one of those circumstances that, along with many others, reinforced my long-held belief that I might have a chip in one or two of my marbles.

That is until I read this week’s papers. It seems that everyone’s nuts these days, from mildly loopy to bat-doo-doo crazy to being one runner short of a sled.

The story that made my day and rethink my mental latitude and longitude came from South Korea, where a soccer match was being played in an empty stadium between FC Seoul and Gwangju FC.

FC Seoul, being the home team, I guess, decided the stadium wouldn’t look so dreary if it filled some of the empty seats, which they did with “premium mannequins.”

Which, apparently, is a nice way of saying “inflatable sex dolls.”

Here’s what’s so crazy about that: It says something about the world today when a sports team gets fined $81,000 by its league for blowing up its fans even before the game began.

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