I was in NYC to see an ass.
I don’t want to be an ass in saying this, but there is a question in the air of late of how much ass to show.
If I trust my online shopping eye, apparently it’s where the thumb joint hits the thigh that is the magic spot.
But for those of you who aren’t ready for the visual assault of the cheeks of Daisy Duke, my own experiment in hacking off the legs of five pairs of jeans should save you a bit of time. (Wow. That sounds like I have issues.) But really! Don’t use your own jeans. Get a secondhand pair on the baggy side. Think high waist Liz Claiborne, Lee, Wrangler, Bill Blass; think not of the thin boyfriend but the reality TV husband’s jeans. (But that leaves a large margin of error: think of jeans in which you can actually use the pockets, not a clown’s tumbledown trousers.) And when you’re ready to make your own “mini-short” (leave it to the French to come up with that brilliant redundancy and to make what was always plural into a singular), you’re legs will look automatically slimmer because you’ll be practically swimming in them!
Daisy Duke, by the way, wore her extreme shorts with pantyhose.
But when it comes to shorts, to each his/her own sweet spot. Mine is at the tip of my index finger. Longer is even better, more daring. Long shorts are tres hip, and I predict that this mini-short biz will be short-lived indeed. Two weeks from now and we’ll all be wearing long-ass, gone-ass Bermudas. After all, unlike the mini-skirt of the 1960s, the mini-short is a far cry from liberal or ‘women’s lib.’ Those mini-short cutoffs are no less than dirty little neoliberals, which, frankly, is another term we should just completely give up on and call the ketchup the tomato fake-bake that it is. Neoliberal is another way of saying pseudoliberal. Ergo, these mini-shorts are pseudoliberal. (And here’s my battlecry for the millennial feminist: Take off your bra — put on your Bermudas! Less ass, higher wages!)
The onslaught of neoliberal Daisy Dukes in our midst aside, really, I did go (all the way) to NYC to see a real ass (again). At an art fair. (Not unusual, you say? Nah.) This one was that of the gallerist Daniel Newburg, the ass he once trucked down from Connecticut to put inside his gallery in 1994 because Maurizio Cattelan wanted it so. (Maurizio wanted it so again in 2016 at frieze. One can never get enough ass or repeating asses in art these days. Nietzsche calls it the eternal return.)
The piece was called “Enter at Your Own Risk—Do Not Touch, Do Not Feed, No Smoking, No Photographs, No Dogs, Thank you.” (Hey… wait a minute. That sounds an awful like a warning label for any of a number of French mini-shorts out there!)
Other than that donkey munching on hay in a gallery, the only other thing in the room was a fancy chandelier hanging from the ceiling. The donkey made so much noise, Newburg was forced to close the show after a week. The donkey was returned to greener pastures and the gallerist hung up his hat for good and moved to London.
In the meanwhile, Wake Me Up When September Ends. I only just remembered now what we Americans call them: short shorts. Now that’s a redundancy I can live with — small without being belittled, repetitive but meaningful too.