They all make the same face.
Brows knitted in a hybrid of confusion and fear. The efforts of various facial muscles combine to say,
Their tongues say,
Derision seems to drip from their part-curled lips.
This is the reaction of friends, family and colleagues, to the mention of certain personal passions. Sometimes it involves more words, sometimes it’s just a look. That look like I said something dirty enough to make Grandma shrivel in abject horror.
I do not harbour a deep love for stamp collecting nor have a fetish for some filth or other. I’m pretty mainstream. At least I thought so.
Apparently having fun in a museum, attending spoken word events and talking about art exhibitions is not mainstream. It is something to be ridiculed. Outside of arty circles the response is almost universal. Look closely into their eyes when they’re taking the piss. See that?
The dull corneal light that says,
This isn’t for me. I don’t understand it, it’s too complicated. It is boring. Isn’t it for hippies and beardy literature grads?
Their tone of voice is saying,
I’d rather turn my brain to mush by watching a straight 3 hours of Storage Hunters on some malnutritious Freeview channel, 35 clicks away from BBC1.
Each to their own I suppose.
But, The Housemate contorting her face in such a way makes me feel sad.
(She had the same expression when The Other F Word was mentioned but that is another story).
She’s missing out. They are missing out.
If I can understand what it is that turns her and everyone else off about art, poetry and museums then maybe, just maybe, we can get people excited about it. If people could understand it better, if they were open to it, if the idea was sold to them in just the right way… maybe they would love it too.
Because that is what I would really love.
To share the love.
To help people understand the simple pleasure of admiring the emotional depth in a brush stroke or the way a poet slots a sentence together to devastating effect. I want to tell them the story behind museum objects, to humanise an alien house of collected goods and chattels. I want to tell them why it is important and why it’s fucking cool. (It is cool I swear, would I lie to you?)
I want to hear that squee of joy and see something other than the square of television light reflected in their eyes.
It all starts with bit of education and a lot of marketing. Time to crack open some minds and break down some prejudices. *she says, mounting her short pony*