Art for Football’s Sake

As a native of Eugene, Oregon, home of America’s Collegiate Losers, we’ve always had a wary perspective about the Autumn Attention Whore. During our blessed youth, the local team sucked, which was fine by us: Plenty else to do rather than worry about the results of sporting contests you can’t control.

But this is, alas, America, and even art museums can’t resist betting on the outcome of a match between two professional teams whose combined annual salaries surely dwarf their capital endowments:

Both museums are offering up significant impressionist paintings: The Carnegie Museum of Art has wagered Pierre Renoir’s playful, fleshy Bathers with a Crab (circa 1890-99) on a Pittsburgh Steelers victory. The Milwaukee Art Museum has put on the line Gustave Caillebotte’s serene Boating on the Yerres (1877).

Now before you start ranting about The End of Civilization As We Know It, bear in mind that the bet involves loans, not exchanges of possession. And if you’re wondering when the Packers moved to Milwaukee, there’s a simple explanation:

Green Bay doesn’t have an art museum.

We have a Super Bowl bet! [ArtInfo, via Kottke]

Why couldn’t they just exchange local cuisine/booze like any other normal football rivals?

@Nojo: “Green Bay doesn’t have an art museum.”

Yeah, but they have a professional football team, unlike El Ay.

Is it the Super Bowl again? So soon? I thought basketball season started in May…

I, for one, am staking all my football bets this year on the Puppy Bowl. Go, Shiba Inus, go!

I can’t be bothered about Sport v Art. I spent the evening watching Happy Villagers sailing to that fabled land of happiness, NYC, on the SS Jazzhands. It began right at the top in the World of the Show number which was set in a TV studio. The Villagers, aka crew, got so excited about the heroine’s fabulous life that at one point they had to go into double time, get in a line and kick. I’m exhausted.

Tip: Musicals are a lot more fun when you can’t understand the language. Also, never give a boy dancer a pipe and let him pretend he’s a sailor. He will act like Popeye. Also, Swarovski crystals are not good against skin – as I’m sure Catt would agree. Let the boys wear shirts. I think I’m blind in one eye.

@ManchuCandidate: Agreed, although that’s probably what the respective mayors and/or governors will do. The ‘burgh has a few abandonedslightly used steel mills it could swap for…cheese shops (what do they make in Green Bay?).

But it really should be about what these places truly have in common: beer.

@Tommmcatt is with Karin Marie on This One: There was a very interesting gay couple: campy blond and butch brunet – as is often the way with our people. In one of the endless big numbers in the 2nd act the dark guy’s family erupted out of the bar which transformed into a hut – speaking of Happy Villagers – and all the men got together to do a rip-off of the great Bottle Dance from Fiddler. Number ended with the two guys mouth-to-mouth while the crowd cheered. And at the final finale (there were several, I got hit by shrapnel at one of them) as the SS Jazzhands steamed proudly past the Statue of Liberty they were one of the three married couples. You could have knocked me down with a dance belt.

@Snorri Haraldsson: What was the name of this piece? You wouldn’t see that on Broadway, even nowdays.

@Tommmcatt is with Karin Marie on This One:

You can like the life you’re living,
You can live the life you like…

Oops, sorry. I’m not supposed to know that.

@Tommmcatt is with Karin Marie on This One: “If they must sparkle, let it be glitter.”

Words to live by.

@Tommmcatt is with Karin Marie on This One: It is called Ich war noch niemals in New York at the Raimund. Here. The title translates loosely to I’ve gone deaf, where can I find a taxi? The show has come from Hamburg but the gay story took me completely by surprise. Both the guys are very good when they’re allowed to settle down.

Heads up to noje, the Ronacher has a big revival of Jesus Christ, Superstar coming soon. Worth using those miles you’ve got saved?? I think it might be.

Meanwhile, poor Charlie Sheen has been hospitalized with “abdominal pains” after yet another all-night orgy.

Guess we’re about to find out if it really is possible to fuck to death, like in that Madonna movie.

I’m fine with betting on sports, but what’s up with this loan business? Losing a pride bet should hurt.

@Snorri Haraldsson: The only German musicals I know are Brecht. That sounds a touch different.

@Dodgerblue: This bet is going to be very painful to maybe a half-dozen devotees of the Impressionists in Pittsburgh or the two or three in the entire state of Wisconsin. Nobody else will ever notice, but they’ll quickly memorize all of the new Budweiser commercials.

@mellbell: Brecht “musicals” are actually “Plays with Music”…it seems a small point, but he would argue, I think, that it is an important one.

@Dodgerblue: I don’t mean to lecture, just discuss. Brecht is one of my favorites.

Ed Schultz: “These stories are hittin’ my hot button at this hour!”

And immediately, my hot button hits last night’s Conan.

@Tommmcatt is with Karin Marie on This One: @Dodgerblue: He was an interesting fellow. In later years he kept many of his poems under lock and key for fear of backlash from the authorities, which was really quite telling. If even a darling of the Communists like Brecht was afraid of the government, that didn’t leave much hope for anyone else.

@mellbell: Did you ever hear the anecdote about how he would keep a copy of a Daschell Hammet book by his bedside in the dust jacket of Das Kapital? I find it particularly apt, and I’ve always wondered if it were true.

@Tommmcatt is with Karin Marie on This One: The Vampire one is all kinds of awesome. I saw it last year. Highlights are Leather Night at the Transylvania Gay Disco and Total Eclipse of My Heart.

I would call Happy End a musical. I was in it once and am inclined to lapse into That Old Bilbao Moon at the drop of a hat.

@mellbell: Imagine what they must have promised him to get him to go back? Or maybe he couldn’t deal with not being important in the West? He had a very big influence on lefty playwrights in the UK.

@Snorri Haraldsson: He was ashamed of Happy End, for some reason. He let his secretary put her name on it.

I had a small part in Happy End at South Coast Repertory back in the day. Good times.

ADD: I love the lyrics in the Bilbao Song. And also the opening number:

May God bless Rockefeller,
May God bless Henry Ford,
God Bless big coal and oil and steel,
Give them their just reward!
May God bless sex appeal,
When wealthy men get bored,

God keep their faith and spirits high,
And though the Poor may starve and die,
Make sure no earthly court will try
The Rich, Oh Lord!

@Tommmcatt is with Karin Marie on This One: I’d forgotten that. We had a fresh exciting new translation. You were probably working from older texts. Then it went :

Look all around you,
De rum ti tum ti tum.

I always thought Weill was the talent and that Brecht’s politics were really tiresome. But it is a glorious score. Surabaya Johnny is the perfect tenor song to sing when you’ve had a few.

I am now home after just about the worst trip from JFK evah. It involved shattered auto glass that had to be replaced and the Cross Bronx Expressway.

@Snorri Haraldsson: Wait a second, you went to Austria for two days and you’re already back in the USA? Wow.

@SanFranLefty: I was on an emergency Musical Theatre mission. It’s ugly in the third world. They’ve got a revival of Evita, the theatre’s equivalent of stagflation.

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