•The family of eight who generate three–quarters of a cupful of trash to put in the garbage every week, use no plastic of any description for any purpose, grow all their own food in a 2-square-foot worm garden, shoot anyone suspected of bringing sugar onto their property, and have trained their cat and two dogs to live on rutabaga and chopped kale.
•The man of 92 who runs 36 miles a day to train for the 29 marathons which he flies all over the country every year to run in, along with the woman of 105 who does 500 push-ups before breakfast. After breakfast (a cup of black coffee and a square of sugarless 180% Nigerian chocolate) she works out until noon with her personal trainer, skips lunch, and powerwalks till dinner (Vegan, with one half glass of red wine). She then meditates for five hours, sleeps for four, and gets up at 4.30 sharp to begin her push-ups.
•The artist who was paid 55 million dollars for an installation consisting of a dead cat on a sawhorse. While the concept is of course entirely the artist’s, the sawhorse and cat were provided and arranged by his two assistants, who are paid $20 an hour. The sculpture is particularly noted for its kinetic and interactive elements. These consist of the decay of the cat from day to day and the resulting changes in the appearance of the corpse; the relative position of corpse and sawhorse; and the variations in quality and intensity of odor. Titled “Intimations of Tit-Fingering in the Mind of a Genius – IV” the piece, on display at the Tate Modern, has been universally admired by art critics as a stunningly authentic statement of what it states. The assistants replace the dead cat every six to eight weeks, depending on its kinetic interactivity.
•The world-famous chef of Introuvable, a two-table restaurant in a remote French village, Cul d’Airain, where a ten-course dinner costs upward of 22,000 euros. The food consists of tiny fragments of unidentifiable substances sliced tissue-paper thin and arranged in complex aesthetic patterns on gold leaf by the chef’s assistants, who pay him 4,000 euros an hour for the privilege of executing his culinary presentations.
•The Presidential candidate with a gold-plated dog carrier strapped to the roof of his Mercedes with a diamond-studded bunjee cord, who frequently has sex with corporations because, to him, corporations are people. He feels the pain of the American middle class. He does not feel the pain of the American poor, because the poor are fine, because they have a safety net under them, which he has promised his friends the corporations to remove, once he’s elected by a 5 to 4 vote of the Supreme Court (i.e., the five-ninths of the judges who are wholly owned subsidiaries of various corporations plus the Vatican.)
•Celebrities. Such as Chelsi and Battersi, the Soho twins, who appeared for 48 seconds on reality TV in 2009, and are now suing each other for identity theft.
Or Dingi Remora, whose mother says she’s “doing just a wonderful, hard, brave, heartwarming job of soul redemption” working out her twelfth sentence for shoplifting while stoned out of her head by going once a week to be photographed by the press in the entrance of the Beverly Hills Childrens Hospital while stoned out of her head.
Or Brandi Weinwein and Brusk Sullen, who married in January, divorced in late January, had whirlwind affairs with American Idol idol Pupi Moab and rap star Bad Bad BAD Dog, announced they were madly in love again with each other last Saturday, and would have been remarried this Sunday if Brandi hadn’t been arrested for driving naked at 188 mph on Mulholland and Brusk hadn’t shot his cocaine dealer dead at a party in Redondo Beach.
City of the Plain, by Ursula K. Le Guin
A poem from The Wild Girls, by Ursula K. Le Guin
Play the Podcast of “City of the Plain.”
PM Press Outspoken Authors #06, May 1, 2011