It easy, no matter where you move, to find a reasonably good chicken wing, one whose meat is juicy enough, and whose accent is both flavorful and hot without trying to melt your face off. Some are too dry, some are overcooked, and some try to use excess sauce to make up for other inferiorities. But, no matter where you go, if you look and ask around, you can find a wing that is not horrible. And it’s fine. And it’s lovely. And you can be happy.
Somehow Katy Perry on the back of a giant mechanical tiger, missing the point of her own metaphor, is an acceptable step in the right direction for the Superbowl halftime show. It is an acceptable evolution for Lenny Kravitz to add some sauce, some hard guitar riffs to Katy’s experimentation anthem, I Kissed a Girl, even if their performance suddenly becomes heterosexual and typical, with Katy Perry on her knees to Kravitz’s crotch at the end, completely missing the point of the song. It’s fine, and it passes for edgy.
You can live on a cheap computer, in a plastic car, using a knock-off tablet. It’s fine. Gretchen Wilson was right in 2005, “Victoria’s Secret, their stuff’s real nice, but I can buy the same damn thing on a Wal-Mart shelf half price.” It’s fine.
Right up until you visit your sister in Buffalo. Until you find yourself in the middle of a great debate between the world’s best wing places, each wanting to rock your taste buds. Right up until you hear the first beats of Missy Elliot’s Get Your Freak On. Exactly until the moment you and your wife go away for the weekend and you see her perfection in the most beautifully designed, intentionally well-chosen negligee you’ve ever imagined.
Now you have to go back to your life. You have to forget about the Anchor Bar and Duffs. You have to forget about Wegmans and shop at your local grocery. You try to watch Katy Perry sing about being a shooting star, while riding a shooting star, completely missing the point of her own metaphor. You realize at the end of the iPhone introduction video that the slide of crap phones being shown is the same one that an hour ago looked cutting edge.
Give me an artist, any artist, whose first goal is to change your mind, whose second goal is to rock the fuck out, whose third goal is to make the best of something on this planet, whose fourth goal is to make hard love out of their art, whose fifth goal is to add to the catalog of the universe, whose sixth goal is to make people swoon and lose their minds and to set them free, whose seventh goal is to be dirty and underhanded and unacceptable and be accepted, whose eighth goal is to say something important, whose ninth goal is to include their friends and their friends in the act of creation, whose tenth goal is to fuck you up, whose eleventh goal is for you to tell your friends and to tell their friends to make, who somewhere down the line, in the fifties or eighties is concerned about getting paid for what they have painstakingly made.
Give me that artist, and I will buy their wares, or I won’t. But I will be rocked by them. Fucked up. And I will tell the world. I will be sated. I will be freed. I will be moved. And I will never again be enough, and I will never again be fine.