gall and gumption

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

buckner: Writing About Art

I’m working my way through a stack of papers by art students from a class called Writing About Art. These are kids who have very little experience writing; mostly they take studio art and design classes. I find myself writing the same comments over and over, so I came up with this list of commandments to hand out tomorrow. I thought I would post it here. Any other suggestions?

The Ten Commandments of Writing About Art:
1. Never use an artist’s or anybody’s first name in a piece of writing.

2. Don’t talk about what you don’t know, or didn’t know until you wrote this paper. Be assertive in your opinions. Don’t capitulate with phrases like “kind of,” “sort of,” “could be,” or “almost like.”

3. Don’t refer to the paper as an assignment or talk about why you chose your subject.

4. Don’t quote non-famous people. This is a controversial commandment and might find opposition in some quarters of academia. That’s why their papers are so boring. Always go to the source first. If you’re writing about Matisse, find out first what Matisse says. Then quote the opinions of people the reader is interested in knowing, like Picasso or Giacometti—but not just any academic scribbler.

5. Don’t generalize too much about the artist’s work. Describe specific examples.

6. Tell stories, but do so strategically to strengthen what you are trying to describe. Term papers need to be more formal than narrative writing. Don’t just blather on about how you went to the museum and saw this or that painting, etc.

7. Use your natural voice. Be honest and genuine. Don’t try to sound intellectual. Carefully edit fragments and run-on sentences.

8. Plot out the overall structure of your paper. Where is it going? Don’t meander.

9. Give historical background, but don’t let it dominate the paper. It’s too easy and it becomes very tedious.

10. Entertain me.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

It Is Big. It is Yellow.It Smiles. It is Evil.

There are days when I get home tired, as I did yesterday, and know that I have to put the leashes on these two idiots and take them round the same exact streets we are always walking around on, and I think, "Well, this is your life." And it's like there's the bed I've made for the three of us, might as well get comfy in it. I mean, at least I still have the bed, even though Sweetie now spends whole days on it sulking and occasionally trembling. I don't resent it mostly except when I'm grumpy and tired like yesterday.

So I must say the Big Yellow Scary Thing gave satisfaction. We found ourselves at the feet of it just outside somebody's tax service. They froze in horror and disbelief, their eyes locked on its mocking, grinning face as it bent down to swoop them up in its big floppy arms. Misha barked bravely a couple of times but really it was too much even for her. At first they refused to go a step further. Sweetie sat down and braced herself and got ready to slip out of her collar if the situation called for it. Then they went into total freakout, bucking and plunging and wrapping themselves round my legs. At last they did that "Just get the hell away and call later to find out if it was dangerous" thing dogs do, turning their backs, heads down, tails between legs, clawing at the ground in an effort to drag us all away from this great looming leering horror. It was as good as a play. I had to turn back and go a different route because they would not take a step past this monster. I expect if you'd seen me you'd have pretended not to know me, because, if it isn't already clear, I enjoyed the whole thing. It makes them so bright and alert you see, and gives new zest and interest to their walks.

Not the actual Big Yellow Scary Evil Thing. Its Brother Possibly.

Failure of Invisible Force Field 2

Thursday of last week after a completely lost day I had to do something with myself so I went to a life drawing workshop at a nearby private studio.

A very nice studio, I might add. A small barn in the backyard of a Victorian house in one of those odd little neighborhoods you get in Prince George’s County, that seems to have been sort of cut off from progress by a highway or some other barrier, and it looks pretty much as it probably has since the 1960s. The barn was 2 storeys high and big enough to hold several people. The owner, host of the workshop, is a retired community college art professor whose style is “classical realism.” He seems to be prodigiously productive. The walls of the barn were covered to their full height with paintings. To look at them all, you might never know that such people as Matisse or Bonnard or Cezanne or Picasso ever existed, much less anybody afterwards. They were very slick: the nude figures were shiny. Actually a lot of objects in the paintings were sort of shiny, not because the paint was shiny, but because of the amount of finish the guy gave to his rendering of forms. For me it’s not a pleasant effect, even when I see it done by someone like Philip Pearlstein. It’s like cooked pineapple.

There were about 8 people, all very friendly, so friendly that it was a little unnerving. One black guy ran across the room and greeted me like a long-lost relative. Everybody was at or near retirement age except me and one young woman who arrived late with a six-pack of Guinness. I found myself a spot and sat down and knew that as far as drawing went it would be a complete washout of an evening. It was like there was no connection between hand and brain and eye. I was simply sitting in a room full of kooks. Friendly kooks. The model was a handsome, pleasant young black guy with a really interesting face. He will be holding that one pose for the next five weeks. And you know, if you scratch away at a drawing or painting for five weeks I suppose you can’t help get something right eventually.

But for me if I can’t get it with a gesture I get nothing. And I could tell that this crowd was anti-gesture. The setup was designed for this sort of leisurely pecking away at things which (and I’m not saying I know which is best) just isn’t the way I have ever managed to do anything, drawingwise.

They talked almost nonstop: one old guy next to me told the story of how he goes and hangs out at a Chinese restaurant in Rockville with these really old geezers. “We’re ROMEOs,” he said. “That stands for Really Old Men Eating Out.” A woman told how when she went to Germany she learned a new slang word for “people with one foot in the grave.” She added, “Well, we’re not exactly the Pepsi Generation.” A lot of old people black humor.

And that was all right. It only got weird about halfway through, when in the course of the discussion it became apparent that most of them believed that the global economic troubles (the scale of which was beyond their comprehension) were caused by liberals forcing the government to lend money to undeserving poor people.

For the life of me I don’t know why this belief persists. This is not a country in which government can be forced to do anything for poor people. The biggest controversy over Barack Obama’s stimulus package is over what portion of it might be spent on the needs of poor people, through extension of unemployment benefits or health care or funds to public education. That’s the portion of the stimulus money that state governors such as Sarah Palin are threatening to send back. The sheer self-dealing, irrational meanness of this belief just takes my breath away, but in the richest country in the world no politician ever seems to pay a price for acting on it. In fact the more you can think up humiliating insults for the poor to endure before they are granted their measly benefits—just enough money to keep them remembering what it might smell like to have food around the house—the more you are regarded as a serious and responsible and moral person.

So I explained about the securitization of the mortgages and how bankers had sold them upstream to where they were insanely leveraged and turned into exploding turds and sold all over the world.

Some guy said he thought it was the beginning of the end for America when the AIG contracts were being examined for ways to get the bonuses back, and I asked them why it was all right for auto workers and pilots to have their contracts broken and modified in all sorts of ways, but not AIG executives who had gambled huge with other people’s money and lost it.

I will say this for them: they listened. They didn’t respond with right-wing talking points and venom. They simply said, “Oh,” and allowed as how they hadn’t looked at it that way. And so I concluded that they just weren’t getting good information. I’m not sure they knew the extent to which the media that they have relied on all their lives to explain and inform have totally failed them.

Of course while this is all going on I am just beginning drawings and ruining them, and I’m starting to believe that I’ve lost it my brain is ruined I’ll never ever draw anything that will give me any pleasure ever again I’m a fraud with all my art supplies etc., and somebody mentions Louis XIV’s lace cuffs. Why, I don’t remember. But someone says something stupid about that—suggests, I think, that he must have been a sissy. And I explain how Louis XIV required the nobles to be in constant attendance at Versailles and spend all their money on sumptuous clothes and all their time bickering over small points of status and protocol. That it was his way of controlling them.

And they were curious and interested about this too. The conversation bounced around other subjects for a while and I kept quiet, feeling I had spoken quite enough, then out of a clear blue sky someone suddenly announced: “Well, I’ll tell you what gets me, is these illegal aliens being entitled to collect Social Security.”

I could not rescue the conversation from the hell it descended into then. You have to understand that except for that sort of sliver of extremely expensive real estate on both banks of the Potomac as it descends towards the Beltway, Washington D.C. is almost completely surrounded by Latino immigrants. I can walk into a supermarket a half a mile from my house and spend an hour in there and hear not a single word of English. I can walk out to the corner of my street and one of the main thoroughfares in the Silver Spring/Takoma Park area and every single one of the big old apartment complexes I see is entirely occupied by Latinos, mostly El Salvadoreans. And it continues like that east of here. In the course of my day I see more Salvadoreans than black people. And they are segregated; no one wants to live in a Latino building. People believe the weirdest things about them. Like this nonsense about Social Security. Or that all the money Latino immigrants make here is being shipped out of the country, untaxed, despite the evidence all around of whole corridors of Latino businesses, buying property, paying rent and taxes and fees, and hiring services. Like the defunct bowling alley on the corner near me that is now a thriving supermarket (with delivery vans!), thrift shop, and restaurant. This is all so obvious as you run the simplest errand—you can’t miss it on a trip to the store.

And why is it that the money earned by El Salvadoreans here is somehow less theirs than the money other people earn? If I earn a couple hundred dollars a week and send some of it to El Salvador or Jamaica or Mexico, what’s it to you? No one else is expected to account for how they spend their money. And what they’re sending home is dollars. And dollars that go to other countries – well, they come back to the U.S. because why? Because it’s U.S. currency. If they don't come back, if they are a sort of second currency used (horrors!) to buy Es Salvadorean things in El Salvador or Jamaican things in Jamaica, it's because the dollar is a reserve currency, which means almost every country has dollars and wants dollars. If everybody didn't have this strong reason for wanting dollars then they wouldn't want them and things would be much, much worse than they are now, because its value would start bouncing around like crazy, which is what is happening to the pound right now. Those dollars aren’t actually tied up in a cellar and sold into white slavery.

And then, you see, immigrants from Central America and Mexico come here as a result of basically U.S.-driven policies that have gutted their economies. The money they send home is money they’ve earned working in the private sector that, as opposed to the evil gubmint, is supposed to solve everybody’s problems.

Of course when I come up with inconsistency, illogic, and ignorance like this I just despair. I suppose the point of all this anti-immigrant suspicion is to vent a lot of spleen on an object that you judge to be conveniently both remote and indefensible. Gonna steal mah Social Security! Boogeddy boogeddy! It’s like being in a room with eight farting dogs.

I’ll tell you what I believe. If Americans were less disposed to blame the poor for their ills, if they made a practice of looking out for the interests of the poor as being at one with their own interests, they’d be much less likely to be the victims of colossal, epic ripoffs like the one that is now revealing itself to us, not to mention the steadily worsening conditions of even middle-class corporate work.

This country really needs to get out of the habit of believing that justice to the poor and the unlucky is a form of extorted charity. When the rights, security, and dignity of the most vulnerable are protected everybody is actually a little more secure in our own possessions because what strengthens the poor strengthens everybody. We can’t fall further than where we put the lowest of the low. When they are safe from exploitation, plundering, injustice, destitution, and indignity, we will be too. That’s how it works. When you create a hell for other people to live in you will end up there yourself one day.

So I spent the last couple days debating with myself whether I wanted to go back. Lovely space, nice, friendly people despite their opinions. They didn’t seem malicious at all, just thoughtless in the way that a lot of people probably are. But finally, ata the last minute day before yesterday I didn’t go. I felt I was being a snob or a coward or both. But I also had this feeling of escape. Few things are ever just one thing, I suppose.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Failure of Invisible Force Field

Saturday I went to the art supply store near where I live, because art supply stores are for me like what cooking gadget or hardware stores are for other people: a place of comfort and mental repose.

The store occupies what I guess are two adjacent storefronts, with a couple of open doorways between them. Most of the crafty things are in the first room and then all the painter’s supplies are in the second room. I walked in and there was some sort of workshop being conducted in the middle aisle of the first room, by the calligraphy pens, like maybe someone (a calligraphy teacher perhaps?) had brought her students into the store to discuss supplies. I saw a slightly built older woman in probably her middle to late sixties, holding forth with great animation to a couple of other women. Beyond this I paid no mind; it is why God invented iPods, people.

My whole time in the first room of the store (Do I want to draw with a Japanese brush? Do I have one? Where is it? OK, maybe I’ll get the brush, wait, do they have a new palette here? Ooh! A deckle-edged paper cutter! Alas, Waterman brown ink cartridges! I will never see you more! Etc.) I could hear this woman’s voice. “…that was when I was sick… the only one I could find is this one and you can see it’s too heavy to hold…” relentless chirpiness. I ducked into the painter’s room and hid out by the pencils. I added a couple more unnecessary items (I’ve never tried these before, I know it’s not a small sketchbook and a small sketchbook was what I came here for but it’s cheap and I like the color of the paper so maybe it’s OK). So after some 20 minutes or so of such happy noodling, the lecturing lady’s voice sort of ebbing and flowing in the background, I was ready to leave.

The lecturing lady was now at the register. Her workshop students had apparently disappeared, and now she was still talking, talking to the cashier, who was this youngish black woman with close-cropped hair, pleasant to talk to, and she was just sitting listening to the woman with that polite frozen expression of one who is helpless in a conversational onslaught. The chirpiness was not a bit less relentless, the animation had not abated either, and the subject had not changed. She was still explaining about the glue bottle and the calligraphy pens. When it got to the bit about how it was for her niece’s wedding I realized that I had slipped through some sort of wormhole in the universe where time did not matter: “…works at a nonprofit… wait till she finds out about the glue… I haven’t told her yet… I’m surprised, very expensive stationer… pens… asked her old aunt to do it… ha ha ha…” GOD ALMIGHTY.

Another cashier appeared and rang up my purchases. By the time she was finished with me my lady was headed for the door, talking nonstop the whole time, and I was still only catching the bits of it that came through the iPod. My mistake was in hurrying so carelessly to the door that I caught up with her just as she finally had it open and at the very instant when she stopped talking to the people behind her in the store.

She caught my eye. “Did you get that?” she asked me. To do a little Coleridge/Sir Mix-a-Lot mashup,

She held me with her glittering eye
And I do not lie.

“No,” I said. Oh, what difference would it have made? If I had said yes the outcome would have been the same. I heard it five times by the time we got to the parking lot: how it was like that episode in Seinfeld (which she appeared to regard as autobiographical material) when Georg’s fiancé dies after licking the glue on the envelopes for the wedding invitation; how her niece was getting married and had asked her old aunty to do up the invitations with calligraphy; how the glue wasn’t sticking properly (which was surprising as it was a very expensive stationer); how she had been to three—pause to count them—no, four art supply stores looking for glue and all she could find was this and as you can see the bottle is too heavy for that many uses; and wait till her niece finds out the glue doesn’t work! Oh boy!

I threw out polite complimentary remarks whenever I could. They were not very insightful but they seemed to be what the situation demanded. “Good thing she has you to take care of these kinds of details!” etc. and could only marvel at the prompt avidity with which they were consumed. It was like having someone visit your house and eat all the candy in the candy bowl, in fistfuls. You don’t care about the candy, but you marvel at the appetite. “I’m a very nice aunt hahaha.” We got stuck on the glue, as it were. At last I suggested that possibly the glue wasn’t working because some manufacturers of stationery didn’t use animal glues any more because people object to them.

She liked that and instantly became convinced that it was so, a mystery solved! I kept telling her that it was just a guess, a possibility, but she loved it. Well, now she could tell her niece, who was very environmental! On that happy thought, she set me free.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

No Pizzas Were Eaten in the Production of This Blog Entry

The silence can be accounted for. I've been working at home, and working at home is like never clocking out.

You know, I sometimes wonder whether I ever have a chance of becoming one of those neat people: the people who never have bits of paper with phone numbers and directions scribbled on them scattered all over the place, who have no clutter and yet somehow find things. For me, if it's out of sight it is effectively lost or off the agenda. Not you, though, my small and select readers, never you. You are always in my thoughts. Yeah, but one of those neat people. Who wakes up at like 4 a.m. and makes a cup of nice-smelling spicy herb tea that does something good for you in a contemplative sort of way, and then sits at a tidy bare desk at a window and watches the sun rise and has three or four pages of damn fine prose all written before they walk the—no, people like that if they have pets always have like a tarantula or a cat or something.

And they go do whatever brings in the dough for the appointed eight hours and come home and make a dinner without a mess occurring and go to bed at 9:30 or 10 having written a thoughtful letter or a blog entry about health care policy, measured and reasonable--settled down with a sensible book by Malcolm Gladwell, probably, because they have no time for the negativity and frivolity that make up such a large part of, for example, my inner life, they are interested in solutions and what sort of metric are you using?

Let me tell you, if I were that kind of person you would have something to read here every day and it would be relevant. Relevant to what? I hear you ask. Just relevant, my friends. Isn’t that enough for you?

My hair would comport itself with dignity, and I'd have a smaller, more ascetic bustline--

(One of my neighbors put a full-length mirror out on his lawn, free to any takers, and I took it. I haven't had one for a while (I keep putting off buying one for all the same reason that has delayed my purchase of things like an ironing board--I seem to be doing OK without it) but here it was at last. I'll tell you, I haven't looked at myself stripped down in a full-length mirror for a long time, except in fitting rooms and I try not to look at myself in those because if you do, you might as well walk straight out of the store and off the end of a pier. My new mirror revealed that the actual physical me was so wildly different from the mental image of me that I start wondering whether I should seek the advice of a mental health professional. I mean, I've been carrying around this vision of ruin. And dressing accordingly.

--but instead what is happening is that I edit at odd hours. I try to put in about 6 hours every day. At first this was almost impossible, but I'm sort of getting it now, working on a split shift: 3 hours or so in the middle of the day then 3 hours or so after dinner. In the early morning I put in another hour but no fragrant tea is involved, as I can't seem to get myself out of bed. This is the time when I should be blogging.

I have a writing session for my own projects in the morning, as coffee time outside with the dogs. Then with a little bit of dawdling and puttering I begin the paid work for real, around 11 a.m. I can keep it up for about four hours; after that the dogs begin their intense study and speculation on my every move.

So my second productive bout occurs after dinner. I get a movie from my local video/DVD store, and edit while watching. The movie ends and I go on for another hour or two usually. This works for me because I can't quite allow myself the indulgence of only watching the movie. And the movie provides just the amount of distraction that acts as a sort of counterweight, holding my concentration in place.

Here's some of what I’ve watched.

The Revenger’s Tragedy—Set among gangsters in Liverpool, Derek Jacoby production that takes his most annoying creative tics and makes them fun, while successfully getting into the spirit of the Middleton play. The play itself has so many good throwaway lines, and Jacoby adds in his own good bits, like when the young Duke banishes his mother after his father’s death. She’s sort of tottering down the street, carrying all her possessions in a couple of garbage bags and he’s indulging in one of those great bursts of invective that Shakespeare and the Jacobeans so loved, and she turns around and shouts, “Shut up!!!” Which is not in the text but improves it.

La Strada—Now officially my religion. For days after watching this I was afraid to watch anything else because I thought it would make every other film look shallow and mean. Nothing will come up to it. Nothing will. I watched a Jim Jarmusch movie a couple days later (Coffee and Cigarettes) and got so irritated with it I couldn’t finish it.

The Lives of Others—My kind of sappy ending.

The White Sheik—Genius. There could have been so many ways to do this wrong. When the Sheik's wife shows up you get a moment that might occur in those really broad, low Jamaican stage comedies, a moment of low farce. That’s when it starts to seem to me that everything Fellini touched turned to gold.

The Rules of the Game—Another work of genius. If I try to say what it’s about—nobility, authenticity—I’m not altogether satisfied. You just sort of inhabit it while it fulfills its form.

The Rise to Power of Louis XIV—Fascinating for attention to historical detail, a visual feast. The dialogue is mostly dreadful. It is like transparently expository passages in bad melodrama: “I will never forget that night…[details follow] therefore I must … [intention to follow some absolutist policy stated as if written for a college textbook].” The beauty of it is that the storytelling doesn’t happen in the dialogue. The dialogue is never much more than information. The storytelling really happens in these little transformations that occur from scene to scene, revealing shifts in power and status. At the climactic conclusion, Louis XIV simply walks into a room dressed in a completely absurd suit of clothes. This royal apotheosis is marred by something that baffles me throughout the film, and possibly this was Rossellini’s idea of a joke: Louis XIV in the film does not even remotely look like Louis XIV. But he does look, uncannily, like Napoleon.

The Bank Dick—Considering I know all the jokes and when they’re coming, why do I keep coming back to this film? You know when Fields is standing in line at the bank to see the bank manager after the bank robbery? And there’s some guy in front of him making small talk with the clerk? And he’s muttering, “Fascinating, I’m sure,” and similar grim observations? At that moment he and I are one.

The Eyes of Tammy Faye Bakker—Because Tammy Faye Bakker was a good person.

Not Only… But Also—Dudley Moore and Peter Cook’s comedy show on the BBC. I added Peter Cook to the list of dead comedians I am in love with. There is one sketch that is Moore reading (perfectly!) Edward Lear’s “Incidents in the Life of My Aged Uncle Arly” offscreen while the camera follows Peter Cook as Uncle Arly sort of meandering about. Glorious.

Magnificent Obsession—Not so much a movie as some kind of weird cultural artifact. Gorgeously filmed, mostly set somewhere out west, one of the dumber sentimental narratives of human upliftment you would find in a 1950s edition of the Reader’s Digest. At first I thought the dialogue in the opening scenes was just strange, then it dawned on me that it wasn’t strange, just bad. Then I got to the part where Rock Hudson meets the artist. I could tell he was an artist because he lived in the woods, had lots of paintings all over the place, smoked a pipe, and had That Special Voice. In profound films like this the guy who has the Big Idea always talks in a disembodied voice, like it’s coming out of a cupboard. At that point I knew I was in for it. I knew how bad it was going to be when the artist, having taught Rock Hudson the lesson of Living for Others, says, “It’s dangerous work—a fellow was killed for it at age 33,” and you hear more disembodied voices, the kind that back up the marketing of feminine products, singing “Ohhhahhhohhhhaahhhh!” Even with the invisible choir, though, and especially after watching a Fellini movie or two, this movie supposedly about spirituality was really about stuff: like you couldn’t have people unless they had lots of stuff. People traveled about in airplanes, drove enormous cars, wore fabulous clothes, and lived in luxurious lakeside homes. I watched it all the way to the end, though.

Gonzo--When I was teaching the Writing of Narrative Prose, every couple of quarters I got The Guy Who Wanted to Write Like Thomas Pynchon or The Guy Who Wanted to Write Like Hunter S. Thompson. Sometimes they were the same person, I mean I had Pynchon and Thompson in the room at the same time. But they were like some kind of orc army: when one left another would turn up inevitably, and they were mostly unteachable. They had read Hunter S. Thompson and they knew everything there was to know about writing. I used to blame Thompson for this. But after watching this film I stopped. It was very touching actually, and I don't know what's wrong with me but I find accounts of the hopes and struggles of the 1960s very moving in a way that they 1980s will just never be. I really think at some point we'll be able to look back at it and see it as another one of those great American movements for spiritual renewal, like the others that have swept the country at intervals throughout its history. The thing that makes it so sad is that I'm not sure the others were ever met with this level of nastiness, vindictiveness, and violence. That little dreaming moment ended, but the resentment wears surprisingly, appallingly well.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

George Herbert: The Flower

HOW fresh, O Lord, how sweet and clean 
Are thy returns! Ev’n as the flowers in Spring,
To which, besides their own demean,
The late-past frosts tributes of pleasure bring;
Grief melts away 5
Like snow in May,
As if there were no such cold thing.

Who would have thought my shrivell’d heart
Could have recover’d greenness? It was gone
Quite under ground; as flowers depart 10
To see their mother-root, when they have blown,
Where they together
All the hard weather,
Dead to the world, keep house unknown.

These are Thy wonders, Lord of power, 15
Killing and quick’ning, bringing down to Hell
And up to Heaven in an hour;
Making a chiming of a passing bell.
We say amiss
This or that is; 20
Thy word is all, if we could spell.

O that I once past changing were,
Fast in thy Paradise where no flower can wither!
Many a Spring I shoot up fair,
Off’ring at Heaven, growing and groaning thither; 25
Nor doth my flower
Want a Spring shower,
My sins and I joining together.

This is one of the most beautiful pieces of formal English scansion.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

It Must Have Seemed Like A Good Idea at the Time

This is rich. No, seriously. I hope someone is working on the screenplay. Here you are this poor woman in the US Virgin Islands enjoying some small success as a Toni Braxton impersonator. A couple of guys invite you to perform in Suriname. A gig! Somehow they neglect to mention to you that they have billed you as the actual Toni Braxton. You arrive in Suriname and have no chance to catch on because of course everyone speaks Dutch. You walk out on stage, start to sing, and all hell breaks loose.

Security had to rescue US entertainer Trina Johnson, who was allegedly hired to do an imitation of Toni Braxton from the stage and whisked her away in a limousine. During her second song, people started throwing bottles and other missiles to the podium, while some were screaming that this was a hoax and a rip-off.

Subsequently, chaos broke out with angry patrons looting the bars in the stadium, while others rushed for the gates. Part of the stunned crowd just stood there in disbelief, looking at a by then empty stage.

You end up in police custody while the promoters have completely disappeared, presumably trying to sneak across the border while wearing Groucho masks.

I feel certain that alcohol was involved in the planning of this daring bit of entrepreneurship.