Thursday, March 15, 2012

Here there be dragons

  This is the Year of the Dragon so you’d better get out your lance, polish up your armor and feed the charger and go find a dragon to slay or at least annoy.

I haven’t seen all that many dragons around here. I understand that mariners saw a bunch of sea monsters in years gone by but some of them were just mermaids and Krakens and they don’t really count.

Now the whalers might have seen some monsters of the deep but them they were busy killing off the whole species so a monster of two might just be justice. Might be some of that strong Jamaican rum or maybe even a bout of sea sickness, who’s to say and it was a long time ago some maybe it was a whole school of fierce grunion…

But lately, I haven’t heard much about monsters of the deep.

Okay, I wasn’t going to mention it, cause I couldn’t shower for a month after I saw Jaws, but they do see a Great White every now and then. This brings up my long standing thought, is it really a good idea to go into a place where you aren’t equipped to deal with the conditions, not being able to breath under water and the water being so cold it will put frost on your pumpkins and any other produce you might have about your person and does anyone really look good in a skin tight wet suit unless they are sixteen years, old in top condition, with headlights like a 1932 Rolls Royce, which were really Lucas P100’s created by the Prince of Darkness, Lucas himself, but that is a story for another post and I don’t think Mr. Lucas would have looked good in a wet suit so we’re back to the fact that humans beings really were not supposed to go into the water here with the great big hungry things which take one look at you and think, “Buffett!”

So sharks will not work as monsters even though they make pretty good movie monsters and they don’t have anything to do with dragons which brings me back to what we were talking about in the first place, dragons.

Now we’ve all seen the work of Hans Von Aachen. This is the St. George most of us know and even if we are a bit shy of first hand dragon sightings this is what they would look like if we were to site one.

But being artists and being all eaten up with integrity we cannot stoop to copying famous paintings even if we thought we could get away with it so how do we find a dragon to slay in this day and age when most of the dragons have moved to Florida and own condominiums and have opened Cuban restaurants, drive a Shelby Cobra and date women half of their age while claiming to support Rick Santorum, but really vote Libertarian.

In a word, trucks.

That’s right; trucks are really the closest thing we have to fire-breathing monsters. Don’t believe me, try cruising down I5 at forty-five miles an hour in the fast lane and see how long it takes to see a scary sight in your rear-view mirror, nothing like an enraged eighteen-wheeler charging down on your rear bumper to make Stuckey’s look like an oasis right out of Arabian Nights.

Think about it, the grills look like teeth; the stacks breath out smoke and the headlights and windows are the eyes of the giant beasties. This is fairy-tale stuff just waiting for an artist with an over-active imagination to come along and immortalize them or future generations. Now breathe, two hundred years from now when people never leave their homes and everything is done on the iPlods the sight of an eighteen-wheeler will be as horrifying as any dragon straight out of a renaissance painting.

And you are just the doctor to deliver the medicine. Me, I like fire trucks. It is an odd fact that in English there are only two words…maybe I’ll just keep that factoid to myself, fire trucks look like dragons cause they have all of those flashing lights.

 Now the old ones are almost friendly, red with ladders and running boards and dreams of eight year olds all hanging from the sides of that pumper. But a new fire truck, that’s a beast of a different color. 

Just look at that face.

But don’t take my word for it. Go out and find your own and make it something you’d like to see.

 Yeah, I couldn’t resist. I get started and just can’t stop. There are so many things you can do with images now that once you accept anything is interesting there’s more to do with it than you can cram into one session.

 St George? I don’t really know much about saints. Guys who run into burning buildings seem pretty saintly to me and since a whole bunch of the ones who do that sort o things around here are volunteer firemen, they are even more saintly or mad, but then wasn’t Joan of arc mad as a hatter and you know in the end she wound up at a fire and went out in a blaze of glory so maybe that’s the real secret of dragons. They make ordinary men and women saints and the rest of us amazed that there are people who will do a job like that for free. Hell there isn’t enough money to pay them what they are worth, so let’s make some art and show the rest of the world how we feel about saints in boots and hard hats.

No comments:

Post a Comment