Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Actor Thinker

The other day I went to an artshow at The Celebrity Scientology Center in Hollywood. I love going to the celeb center because I can always boost my excitement for life by spotting a minor D list celeb like the fat guy from Lost or Tom Cruise's mom. This way I feel important myself, like hey, I saw that guy, which is kind of like I know him. He has probably stood by someone important before, which is kind of like I know someone important myself, which is kind of like I myself am important. I feel all of this without actually achieving anything, which I find more satisfying than outright achieving importance myself. Call me American, because in our culture the allusion of success is just as important, if not MORE important than success itself.

So anyways, I was getting my bi-weekly celebrity cult fix when I spotted this red headed, heavily bearded man deep in ponderous thought over a painting of a ship on troubled water. He wore a hat from another century which made him look smart. He wore a flannel shirt like a lumberjack or somebody who had built their own cabin in the woods with their bare hands. He wore big black workman's boots caked in mud and grass. In fact mud and grass had trailed behind him all over the creepy Scientology Persian rug, living his muddy imprint everywhere he walked.

I immediately began making snap judgments about this ruddy red man, so deep in thought over a mere painting. I mean he was INTENSELY thinking. Like his fist was balled up against his mouth and his eyes were narrowed like a tiger going in for a kill...but he wasn't a tiger. He was merely a man, looking at a painting.

I wondered how long he had been standing there. It looked like years, centuries perhaps. Perhaps he had never moved since he first saw that painting...I began to believe this painting alone, like Scientology, answered all questions about reality and existence.

I had to move into the painting for a closer look, I wanted to be moved as much as this strange Sam Adams look-alike man, shocked into deep, all encompassing thought.

Here is what i saw:

The painting was of a ship in the ocean at night time. The water looked kind of rough but not too rough. There were no people on the boat. It kind of looked like any image of a boat on the ocean at night. If you google imaged: Night Boat, right now, I am sure you would find an image that was even more engaging than this image. In fact, it looked like a screenshot of a boring, deleted scene from The Perfect Storm,  where the crew stared at the wall counting wood grains,

It was the stupidest painting ever. A blind man who never had seen a boat, or the night, could have painted a cooler picture than this dumb ass painting. Helen Keller could have effortlessly surpassed this meager display of talent.

What the hell was this man so intrigued by? The idea of the ocean? How ancient man managed to build a boat?

No. Perhaps he was much smarter than I had originally believed. I mean his hat was vintage and his boots where dirty. Smart people always wear clothes like that. In fact he kind of looked like Henry David Thoreau after finally finishing up his Walden cabin. Perhaps he was the next Henry David Thoreau. Perhaps I was standing next to, sharing oxygen with, a LEGEND.

This man knows something I do not, I thought. Maybe it is because he is a Scientologist. Maybe this religion gives you supreme mental abilities, where you can look at a blank piece of paper and perceive the glory of God.

Yet this painting was a whole lot stupider than a blank piece of paper. Was this deep thinker actually a blind man who did not know he was looking at the lamest painting in history ever? Had he fooled me into believing he was looking when actually his eyes were just glazed over in a blind trance. Blind people always sometimes look like they can see. Especially when they wear sunglasses.

The thinker cleared up my blind doubts when he suddenly turned directly at me, making intense eye contact directly with me. His non-blind eyes blinking in recognition.

"Hey" he said, in a deep whiskery voice.

"Hi" I replied, nervous to be making such intense eye contact with pretty much Henry David Thoreau.

"So, what do you think this picture is about?" He asked. My heart began to beat fast. My mind got blurry with mental performance anxiety. I had no option but to tell the truth.

"It looks like a boat on the ocean at night" I said.

I regretted the words as soon as I said them. SHIT!! I thought!! Now he KNOWS I am not as smart as him. Now he KNOWS that I don't know the secret, that I don't see the secret Scientology perception.

"Hmmmmm" he replied, "Hmmmm. interesting. wow." He said in wonderment.

"What were you thinking this painting was about?" I finally asked.

"Its weird... but I was actually thinking the exact same thing" he said.

With that he turned on his mud-clad heal and walked out the door, stopping only to sign an autograph. I was left in a whirlwind of mystery.

I asked a blond-headed usher, "Who was that guy?"

"He is an actor from some TNT TV show" she said.

As I went home to paint him, I couldn't help but think about this actor thinker. Was he really thinking? Or just acting like he was thinking? Sometimes, in our culture, it is really hard to know.

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