Andrew Makarov: “First Date” Свидание 2015. Oil on cardboard, 55 x 67 cm
Update: The U.S. Embassy in St. Petersburg has sent word, and kind people there were ready to help. Human Kindness 2, Misanthropic Anguish 0
Andrew’s package was stamped for approval! I woke up this morning with the tracking number on my screen. What that man went through to send a package of paintings only Russians can know. I know that no official of my country got back to me, and it makes good sense. These senators and congressmen have more important matters to settle. Art is for making people happy. Many legislators in high office have training in law, and as anyone who has ever dealt with the wrong side of the law will tell you, it practices an induced sensory neuropathy on human beings to trip them up repeatedly on life’s happiness path.
What should I expect? They never got back to me about the terrors of bombing whole populations. Why should they give a private hoot about art? Why care about anything that does not directly contribute to re-election or under-the-table wages to the cleaning lady at the summer home?
My plea has been active at the U.S. embassy in St. Petersburg for nearly 24 hours. Still no word. Good thing I’m not flailing in The Neva. We’ll just have to wait and see.
By the way, after yesterday morning’s desperate call for help to 20+ important people and organizations (both the offices of government and high art players notified), I received word back from one kind arts editor of a Russian news publication. I won’t name her for the sake of anonymity. Still, she offered to help, and would have followed through, I know. A couple good friends shared the news on Facebook, and I thank them too.
Maybe The New York Times Arts editor is inhuman. Likewise, my senators and governor . “Why?” you ask. “Because they didn’t react right away, Mr. Throop, you bloated self-important nobody on anybody who matters account?”
Yes. Because of that. And the fact that as long as these supare important people live, they will never get back to me, nor you. Ever. Not one of them will have my back, or yours, when fellow humans are called to be humans. Therefore, inhuman they are.
So, after all, I guess I have never been a misanthrope, although it always appeared so, at least to me. I do not hate people. I hate systems that reshape people into inhuman adjuncts. The system is the hideous monster. The people can add to its myriad blemishes, or act like the good astringent—especially at times when it doesn’t directly behoove them. Pop a system’s pimple once in a while folks, to save your humanity. Or, behave like a N.Y. Times arts editor.
That is, greasy and gross.