Is it art?

Back in my whirly drunken twenties, I was a part of a troupe of theatrical troublemakers known as Catbox Cabaret. We presented tequila-soaked shows in a series of bar basements and back rooms around Boston and Cambridge for several years.

One of my cohorts used to perform a piece called "Is It Art, or Is It Just Mental?" This would invariably end with him covered in frosting and stripped down to his Y-fronts, on which he'd affixed any number of offensive political symbols. And he would demand that the audience decide: is it art, or is it just mental?

A couple of weeks ago, I obtained several plush "Peeps." You know - those sugar-encrusted wads of marshmallow that have been an internet sensation since, well, the beginning of the internet. The Washington Post has a regular contest where people create rather elaborate Peep dioramas. Other sites are dedicated entirely to microwaving and otherwise altering Peeps.

I took my non-edible plush Peeps and started staging them in little tableaus, mostly plays (I do, after all, work in the theatre). We call it "MasterPeeps Theatre."

It started mainly as a means of entertaining myself and my colleagues, but I soon found myself sharing my creations with my Facebook friends. In this Internet Age, I really ought to stop being amazed by what people find entertaining, but the response to these silly little displays has been - for the most part - quite heartening. I'm being inundated with special requests from "The Shining" to "The Lion In Winter." I may have to create a "fan page" for these little suckers.

Of course, there are some that would say (and more than a couple already have) that my doing this indicates an excess of free time. I say: in the time it would take me to go and get a cup of coffee, I get to indulge the seven-year-old inside me. I get to set aside, for a few minutes, my myriad concerns at home and at work...and PLAY WITH TOYS. Also? It makes people LAUGH. Maybe I could be doing something more "productive" with those five minutes, you know, like curing cancer or something. I'll bear that burden on my conscience. Meanwhile, if you have requests, keep 'em coming. MasterPeeps Theatre will try to accomodate all such requests. Commissioned stagings are subject to availability of raw materials, schedules, and performance royalties (where applicable).

But of course, the greater question remains: is it art, or is it just mental?

lisamcc at 12:28 p.m.

1 comments so far
2011-04-13 19:56:58
I've always found that people who accuse others of having "too much time on their hands" simply lack imagination. I don't watch TV, for example. While spending 10 minutes making a Peep tableau can be construed as a waste of time, I feel like I, at least, should get credit for all the hours I DIDN'T spend watching American Idol. But hey, this isn't about me. This is about how FUCKING BRILLIANT YOU ARE! I love MasterPeeps Theatre. I'll be the first to phone up at your pledge drive. I'll picket Washington for NEA funding, bedecked in Peeps. I'll do whatever I can to have you canonized, for anything less is you getting gypped.

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