Norman Mailer said that “once a newspaper touches a story, the facts are lost forever.”
Which is where we are now.Â The Clyde Overcash/Anne Caldwell Cave/What is Art? conflict is basically over.Â The rest is art.
I just finished reading several articles in today’s Salisbury Post that further advance and illuminate the story.
My favorite line was the last of Sarah Hall’s:Â “In this case, the finest art may be the art of forgiveness.”
This event comes just after a local production of Yasmina Rezaâ€™s play, Art, which is no accident.Â This is a small town where the power of suggestion prevails like anywhere else.
Like the play, this incident has nothing to do with art.Â It’s about, as Sarah says, the problem we human beings have with forgiveness — a simple act that looks so simple and feels so difficult.
In Rezaâ€™s play, a guy buys a work of art and gets into an argument.Â The play is about the argument, not the art.
In Salisbury, a guy hangs out a pair of underwear and calls it art.Â Somebody steals it.Â The rest is about the dispute, not the art.
But Art gives the story a little glamor.Â A bit of pizazz.
If forgiveness were as simple as it looks and sounds, then we would have no play.Â And we would have no news story.Â We would certainly not have a juicy trial to look forward to.
And we would have little if any art.
Whether it’s on the surface, or in some place too deep for words, conflict is the stuff of art.Â We need it.Â It stimulates our thinking and our emotions.Â Otherwise — what have we got?Â People going to work and being productive and getting along?Â All hugs and kisses.Â No slings and arrows?Â Pleasantville?
Where’s the fun in that?
One could argue that we need art in order to examine our conflicts and be civilized beings.Â It’s better than the real life alternative — acting on them.
Years ago, when somebody stole my bike, it wasn’t much of a story.
But stealing a pair of underwear art is just too rich.