“Two climate activists threw mashed potatoes on a glass-covered painting by the celebrated French Impressionist Claude Monet inside a German museum, the latest art attack intended to draw attention to climate change.” — New York Times
Dear Museum Visitors:
While the unexceptional nobodies of the world have spent the past two weeks complaining about climate activists’ decision to throw soup and potatoes on famous paintings to force action on the climate crisis, we at the estate of Édouard Manet know better. The fight against the climate crisis must be a multi-pronged effort that disrupts every sector of society, from the economy to infrastructure to the elite world of art, especially the overrated work of French impressionist Claude Monet.
Why? Because the wealthy and powerful will never give up their power without being forced, and because Monet never had any talent or unique vision, despite what a witless professor of art history told you between swigs of what was no doubt a brain-melting alcohol of the most severe variety.
Trust us, we have already heard your objections. “It is better to work within a system for incremental progress than engage in publicity stunts that might damage the cause.” “Monet was an innovator not just in his technique but in his entire palette.”
These are wrong. The climate crisis is already upon us, and we need decisive action now. Also, Monet may have been an innovator at one point, but over time he was definitively surpassed by the visionary work of Édouard Manet, who has never gotten his due because his name is too similar to Monet, and the pathetic rabble of art fans have never gotten it through their thick skulls that they are completely different people and that Manet’s work generated the entire modernist movement while Monet’s led to a bunch of bad hotel art.
Just last month, we got an email from the high school art class of one Mr. Hendricks of Rhode Island, explaining that Manet’s “wonderful paintings of his home in Giverny” had “inspired [them] to look in [their] own backyards for inspiration.”
Well, we responded with the restraint and helpfulness you can expect from the estate of the greatest artist of the millennium. “Put your head in a vise and stay there,” we wrote, followed by a list of medications they might want to try because the nuts and bolts of their brains had obviously gotten loose and started falling out.
Have you seen The Luncheon on the Grass? In person? Take one look at the brushstrokes, the figuration, the uncanny perspective, and tell us Monet could do something one-tenth as interesting with his precious little frog pads.
And yet Monet gets top billing any time an impressionism exhibit comes to your city’s museum.
“What should we put on the cover of the exhibit’s brochure? The genius Manet? A figurative work that will cause people to stop, reflect, and become entirely renewed?”
“Of course not! Let’s put a bunch of boring sunset haystacks that some sweaty dandy farted out while out on a walk!”
Ridiculous. Tasteless. Wrong. In the hold of Satanic forces clearly not of this world. We’ll let you decide how to describe that.
Let us put it to you this way: What kind of world do you want for your children and grandchildren? One where fires, smoke, mudslides, and horrendous storms make day-to-day life not just a chore but a test of survival? One where the tyrant Claude Monet’s footbridges to nowhere cloud people’s understanding of twentieth-century painting and, with it, their entire sense of how to look at the world? Well, we dream of something different and better, and we bet you do too.
So we are encouraging everyone to do their part to save the planet. Arm yourself with a bucket of clam chowder. Endow your pockets with microwaved minestrone. Slip on a backpack full of boiling French onion.
And get to work.