Sunday, November 12, 2006


Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Just like the masses of humanity stuck at or below the poverty level, there are numerous gods and goddesses out there who can't keep themselves in libations and fatted calves. Does the presiding Celestial CEO give a rat's ass about that? Heck no. He wants it all for himself. No amount of praise and worship is enough. Greedy and jealous, he. What wonderful traits for a deity!

On Saturday the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Alice Walton, heiress to the Wal-Mart fortune, has used part of her $18 billion net worth to buy a painting. Here it is:

EXHIBIT A: "The Gross Clinic," by Thomas Eakins

This painting was created in Philadelphia, by a Philadelphian. It has hung in the Philadelphia hospital depicted in the picture since 1875. The hospital put it up for sale because the hospital wants to expand. No one in Philadelphia was notified of the sale until it was completed.

Ms. Walton wants the painting for her new museum in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Maybe my legions of readers can help me here. How can this woman look in the mirror? How can she lie down at night and sleep? She has just spent nearly $68 million for a painting but can't offer affordable health care to her workers.

Maybe I'm missing something, but isn't this the kind of thing that starts revolutions? One woman buys a painting. Thousands of hard-working poor people are denied lunch breaks and insurance in the stores that provided this one woman with her $18 billion fortune.

To which pantheon should we turn for justice when this tyrant, Alice Walton, arrives at that great leveling moment, Death?

And how can a painting be worth $68 million?

Punch my ticket. I'm sick of this world.


Tennessee Jed said...

Anne it is an abstract vision our leaders have for us. To have beautiful neighborhoods and cities where everything is kempt and awesome while the people are starving and toothless. She obviously see her contribution to build a museum in that way. To give culture or instruction to people who can't find a place to sleep or enough to eat is useless. Pearls before swine comes to mind. I love art and the emotion behind it, but to starve the artist seems to be the goal. 68 mill would help many folks cover their family health needs.

Anonymous said...

Seems sometime long ago in France Mari Antoinette when told the peasants had no bread to eat said "let them eat cake" That painting is the cake. I think there was a major uprising, my history is a bit sketchy but i think it was the French revolution.Too bad she could'nt be forced to live and work as a Walmart employee for a year.

Anonymous said...

June--Most historians agree that Marie A never made the cake comment. But the reputation of the Bourbons was so far down the sewer that it seemed plausible.

I like your suggestion about the heiress actually working at Wal-Mart. Marie A. and various court ladies used to dress as finely coutured milkmaids to enact idyllic scenes of the pastoral life. Much to their annoyance the cows were sometimes rude enough to relieve themselves in such noble presence


Anne Johnson said...

Are you Draco Malfoy? If so, please don't stain my furniture.