It wasn’t about what the painting represented. Even though it was rumored that Mona Lisa was a rich bitch of the day (or at least “middle class”), married to a merchant who traded in silk, that wasn’t why I targeted her. It was because she, banal, basic and utterly unremarkable in every way (including girth), was able to take up so much attention from the huddled masses. They who should instead be giving their attention to something far more important: the end of the world. For that’s what climate change will be. And no one wants to see it’s already at our doorstep primarily because it hasn’t yet become “inconvenient enough.” How much more inconvenient do they want it to get? Floods, wildfires, famine. This is Apocalypse 101 kind of shit. I know I don’t need to bring up the Book of Revelation, but come on—it’s all in there.
Maybe my approach to getting them all to think—for one fleeting moment—about something other than themselves could have been more “logical.” But art is not logical, is it? Sure, it used to be, in Leonardo da Vinci’s time, but it hasn’t otherwise been for quite a while… ever since patronage stopped and artists felt no urge to paint religious subject matters or portraits of rich people to placate their financial backers. That’s when they could finally and truly think outside the box. Problem is, your thoughts tend to become an even more jumbled mess when you’ve got (lack of) money on your mind. That’s possibly one reason why art had gotten so bad in more recent centuries since the time of Mona Lisa’s painting. Or Lisa del Giocondo, as she should be referred to. Cut down to size like everyone else in this fucked-up nightmare ought to be. You might ask: and who am I to be the one responsible for that “cutting”? I’ll tell you. Someone who actually cares! That’s who.
While some would marvel at my “bravery” in the aftermath, it was the easiest “caper” in the world to execute. Getting away with just about anything is—regardless of technological “advances” in our society—because everyone has their head so far up their ass a.k.a. their phone, that they were never going to notice me unless I did something to interrupt their precious shot. The inane, meaningless stock photo that everyone takes of the Mona Lisa that’s usually too far away and also obstructed by the flurry of raised arms in front of them taking pictures as well. Click, click, click. Everyone wants their fucking picture while the world around them decays. Their own obsession with photo-taking a sign of that decay.
So I made myself as invisible as possible by dressing up as the demographic that no one wanted to look at too closely, lest they be reminded it was to be their own fate soon enough. That’s right, an old person. More invisible still, an old woman. To be cloaked in the accoutrements of that age group and gender was exactly like gaining the superpower of invisibility, while also enjoying the occasional perks of being catered to by businesses that wanted to make you feel slightly less irrelevant by, ironically, acknowledging your decrepitude with special treatment. Like, say, getting “front row access” to the Mona Lisa. But even I thought my poorly-placed gray wig and suspicious spryness (you know, for someone being in a wheelchair and all) would tip somebody off before I had the chance to carry out my scheme. However, the plan was working seamlessly. All of my assessments about humanity’s self-involvement and lack of interest in the elderly had proven accurate—a boon to my machinations for whipping the cake out and aiming a direct hit at that smug cunt. She who had the luxury not only of getting her portrait painted in the first place, but also of living in an epoch that was pre-Industrial “Revolution.” Pfff. More like Devolution.
I could feel all the eyes in the room shift to what I was doing. And I must admit, it was no easy feat to keep the cake intact while it was concealed beneath my clothing. I hurled it at her while the going was good, and it was only a matter of seconds before the guards seized upon me. They took care of the smearing part for me as they desperately hurried to wipe the confection off the glass, drawing all the more attention to the havoc I had caused with one simple fling of dessert. That was another message I wanted to get across—that everything we do has a ripple effect. It’s no secret, and it’s been proven time and time again. So why do people continue to act as though the things they do—driving, flying, concert-going—won’t negatively impact others? Whatever the government and the corporations tell you, they are not making strides to do anything “sustainably.” We alone must be responsible for our individual actions that can then make a collective difference.
Passing the Jardin des Tuileries as I was hauled away by the “authorities,” I once again marveled at the poeticness of my artistic statement, for it was among this very garden that the people brought Louis XVI and his family during the French Revolution. They were cornered in the Tuileries Palace in October of 1789. Which ought to have taught that putain Marie Antoinette a lesson about “letting them eat cake.” Which, even if she didn’t say it, she certainly meant it in her out-of-touch actions. At present, Mona Lisa had eaten mine. And soon, the artists who had stopped doing their job to wake up the slumbering masses (focused as they were on instead making money) would hopefully take a page from my so-called “drastic” action. Because anything one did to call the system into question too “bombastically” was considered drastic.
So naturally, I tell this tale to you now from a mental institution. That’s where they put people like me. People who say or do things that are too “unpleasant.” A euphemism for too real, ergo “unreal.”