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The Weekend Politics Thread Answers ‘What Is Art?’

♪ Splinter taught them to be ninja teens (He’s a radical rat!)
Leonardo leads, Donatello does machines (That’s a fact, Jack!)
Raphael is cool but crude (Gimme a break!)
Michaelangelo is a party dude (Party!) ♪
Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles Theme (1987)

From rattus rattus to sensei to art dealer, Splinter’s biography transcribes a perfect circle.*

Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi sold at auction this week for $450.3 million thanks to hucksterism and avarice and obliviousness and indifference to the polity predations of the idle rich. Every single person involved in this crime against art and commerce should feel deep shame. Your less-humble-than-usual WPT host decrees this because spending that much money for something anyone can view on the internet for free represents such a failure of imagination that one wonders whether the buyer perceives aesthetics at all.

Further, and more to the politics of the matter of throwing money down hole and then setting it on fire, think for a moment what 769,857,759,075 lira** could buy for the good people of Vinci.*** Instead, some nutter who no doubt thinks he (always) can flip the painting for a profit in a few years shoveled all that cash onto about four square feet of oil on canvas.

Art critics do not even like the piece. He’ll defer to artnet on this matter, but Uvular knows what he likes. He practically recoils from


and could stare at


all day and twice on holidays.

Free marketeers and devil’s advocates will counter both that an object has the value buyers set and individuals can spend whatever they can afford on whatsoever they choose. Stipulated, but still so much bullshit. Excusing the waste of money on baubles perpetuates uncounted miseries. The winning Salvator Mundi bidder could only redeem himself by paying twice the price to keep himself from going first against the wall when the Clompi once again rise in revolt.

Rail against the profligate and degenerate, Politicados. The only thing you have to lose is your sense of all proportion.


*Needlessly opaque rat-as-metaphor slam? Nailed it.
**Yes, a Google calculator still lets cranks like Uvular figure the exchange rate for defunct currencies.
***A real place due west of Florence. Who knew? The Vincians, probably.