Sunday, May 13, 2012

30 things "The Scream" is screaming, 6 (Is This Art?)

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah...

That's right.  They formed a choir.  I was going to have more of those -- I planned on 100-- but my Paint program is impossible to figure out with Mr Bunches sitting on my lap.

Also, Andrew was right about that baseball in his comment on number 5; it became worthless, but everything becomes worthless if nobody's willing to pay for it.  Look at housing values right now; they're falling because people aren't willing to pay as much for them.  The intrinsic value of the materials used to build the house have nothing to do with housing values, while what someone is expected to pay for them has everything to do with the value of a house.

Likewise with The Scream, which no longer is worth $119,900,000 -- at least not until someone else offers the new owner that much money.

There's another measure of value, though: psychic benefits, something I learned about when Malcolm Gladwell wrote about the NBA lockout on

Psychic benefits describe the pleasure that someone gets from owning something — over and above economic returns.

Gladwell was writing  about the psychic benefits of racism in the ownership of the Red Sox; the entire article is worth reading.

Do you suppose The Scream's new owner will get $119,900,000 worth of psychic benefits from owning the painting?  Will I diminish or increase that value by talking about it so much?  Does the psychic benefit come, as the Red Sox owner's did, as a side effect of hurting others?

Probably that last one.  Classist hoarding isn't as pernicious as racism, but it's still bad, Mr Scream Owner.


Caption 5.

Caption 4.

Caption 3

Caption 2

Caption 1


Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

I think it's all a matter of what is there left to buy? Some people are so rich and they already give a bunch away to Charity, that they have nothing left to buy. At that point, might as well own a one-of-a-kind painting just to own it as a conversation piece.

PT Dilloway, Superhero Author said...

If you're going to hoard something it should be something you can use during the inevitable collapse of society. When the zombies are taking over, they aren't going to care about paintings.

Rusty Webb said...

Have I read all your captions? I think I have. I'll be honest here - if we don't start getting some Home Alone jokes soon I'll start feeling uncomfortable.

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