So, you’re disagreeing on my semantics, not my actual perspective on the subject (from what you said). “Modern art” is a term that inevitably has wide and relative implications since its early coinage, no matter what the official definition, but I think my usage was clear enough in referring to mid- to late-20th century movements while adding context to my intolerance for contemporary works. (Quick edit for further clarity for those who don’t feel like Googling: the official definition for modern art spans from the 1850s to the 1970s, covering Dadaism, Pollock, and the like just fine.)
What I criticized is still colloquially categorized as “modern art,” it’s just a matter of clarity or pedantry that I would further clarify it to lesser-known, if more artistically accurate classifications. After all, most of the works I revile are still housed in “Modern Art” museums, so I consider it fair game as a term.
And for the record, I love Impressionism and respect all of its rebellious context. That, apart from German Expressionism, marks the last “art movement” I’ve ever felt a strong passion for. I love art, but I no longer enjoy its recent “movements.”
You can always be more prepared, of course.
And it depends on which type of fairies, but in cases of Fairy Emergency, my general policy is thus:
- Be polite, but not thankful; generally, they don’t like that.
- Don’t step on any toadstools or in any fairy rings and respect the nature around you.
- Don’t take anything of theirs, not even a bramble on your clothing or a leaf in your hair.
- Leave something of yours (that is of value) for them.
- If lost, turn shirt inside out and put it on backwards to find your way again.
- If you have anything edible, offer it or leave it behind.
- Do NOT eat/drink anything offered, but decline with a simple “I couldn’t.” This is polite but doesn’t insist that other food is better/makes you fuller/all you’ll eat.
- Don’t make any wagers, bets, or play any games. Especially don’t answer riddles.
- Never, ever dance.
- If they do something nice for you, leave out milk and a candle for three nights — either in the place they were last seen (at day break) or for the next three New Moons in a north facing window.
- Don’t ever mention the encounter to anyone.
There are a few tips I’m missing, but it wouldn’t be polite to mention them.
I don’t know how I’m in a place in my life where I could not only agree to but confirm most of these steps.
The funny thing is: I have an extremely open mind about art, in whatever form it needs to take. I even appreciate art that pisses me off, because art is meant to invoke a feeling, which doesn’t mean it has to be a good one.
What pisses me off about so much of so-called modern art are the people who abuse the concept, make something thoughtlessly, and then their entire premise for it is summed up by "I don’t know, what do you think it means?”
That’s not art. That’s a Rorschach, but with even less meaning.
Furthermore, I detest the popular reliance upon the nonsensical modern art movement, because it’s either people aping Dadaism or who are completely unaware of modern art’s biggest supporter: the 1950s-era CIA. Oh yes, I’m afraid the much-beloved Pollock, Rothko, ad their ilk were secretly boosted to fame simply to demoralize the Russians, whose art movements at the time leaned toward classical realism.
So, I guess I’m a cynic. In a twist of irony, I suppose their (and similar modern) art does inspire some feelings in me, which was my original protocol for deeming something art, yet I can further define it: I only call something, anything, art if the creator had any actual vision, plan, and effort behind it. If the artist I had previously critiqued said “I was making a bear/crystal cacti/the feeling of anxiety,” I would be perfectly happy. It’s the fact that their statement, like most others, is simply “I don’t know.”
At that rate, any piece of garbage you find on the side of the road is instantly art, if you demand your audience infuses it with meaning instead of you. At least try to offer something or else you’re just as much a passive observer as anyone else, in which case, why call yourself an artist?
We keep our home pretty clean in general, the cats have full run of the house every day and are allowed in every room, so it’s best for us to be neat freaks. Most people are surprised to learn we have cats because it doesn’t smell “cat like” in our home. (We also light a lot of incense, but that’s beside the point. In my experience, cat funk overpowers most incense.)
Peter sheds something fierce (to be fair, so do I), so we usually vacuum or sweep every 3-4 days, maybe with a light sweeping in between, and brushing down our fabric surfaces with a rubber or wool fur pick-up. Our couch is microsuede, a good material to have around cats because you can wipe it clean and scrape any errant claw marks out of it.
We feed them a nice diet of grain-free food with supplemental oil for their coats. It’s important to keep their dishes very clean, too — aside from the obvious health concerns, they can also develop acne on their muzzles from having dirty bowls. Their dishes are usually cleaner than ours. Otherwise, we give the whole house a scrub-down weekly (or twice weekly) and a deep-clean monthly.
Their litter station is on a tile floor and stocked with a litter locker, dust buster (for stray litter) and disinfecting wipes. I would recommend getting some Nature’s Miracle pet spray to combat any messes, as it’s safe for kitties. Luckily, we keep the litter box very clean, so there haven’t been messes in ages. If you won’t be home to clean the litter very often, I’d recommend getting an automatic litter box that cleans itself. You still have to empty it (best done daily if you don’t want poop/pee smells infusing your home).
As for securing precious objects: definitely do that. Every cat is different, but most are curious, athletic little bastards. Konstantin broke a two-century old tea cup the first day he was here. If there is a surface for them to explore/wiggle into/jump onto/etc., they probably will. They don’t know any better, so it’s up to you to teach them. I usually give our cats verbal warnings (with maybe a clap to get their attention) and then gently remove them from the surface, followed by positive reinforcement (petting/treats). As many times as it takes. This method has worked for both Konstantin and Peter, who know not to jump on counters, mantles, dressers, stoves, heaters, sinks, cupboards, etc., etc. and has the benefit that they respond to my verbal warnings quickly and without fail, a great tool for their safety. Jiji is picking up on it, he’s still a kitten.
Also, plants — they will find and eat your plants, so be sure to only grow cat-safe plants indoors. Cat grass aids in digestion and looks adorable, too. And be attentive to any dangerous chemicals, etc. they could get into; our cats have opened cupboard doors, pantries and closets with ease.
And please, please, please keep cats indoors. As much of a health and safety risk (for animals and humans) it is to have free-roaming outdoor cats, it’s also rapidly depleting native bird populations. (And no, don’t argue with me about outdoor cats, I won’t change my mind, not ever.) Get your kitty a microchip implant just in case it should get out and possibly a breakaway collar with their info on it — I prefer the ones that say “I’m Lost!” instead of their name.
And don’t declaw your cats. That’s amputation and is usually permanently painful. In a lot of countries it’s illegal because it’s considered inhumane. If you don’t want a creature clawing up your furniture/clothes/whatever, don’t get a cat — it will inevitably happen. RIP my favorite pants.
Otherwise, our home is stocked with scratching surfaces, enough toys that the floors look positively sprinkled with them and plenty of soft surfaces (and boxes) to keep the kitties comfy.
It’s good for your health and theirs to keep everything clean and shiny, so be careful to know what you’re getting into and the amount of work (and money — good food, vet visits, flea treatments, etc.) it might take before you dive into pet ownership. A cat isn’t a decorative object; it’s a living, breathing, dumb little turdhat you are responsible for. If you treat it as such, you shouldn’t have a hard time at all keeping everything in its right place.
Some excellent cat advice from K to compliment a very cat-themed couple of days!