Confessions Part Two: My Shameful Shrimp Addiction


image in public domain (

Some people have said that the high point of evolution thus far is the human race, but I disagree.  I think it’s shrimp.  I love shrimp.  I once wrote a poem about shrimp that I styled after She Walks in Beauty by Lord Byron; the first line was “They swim in yummy, like Brad Pitt.”  If a genie appeared before me and offered to make me live forever on the sole condition that I never eat shrimp again, I’m honestly not sure if I’d say yes or no (though this scenario is highly unlikely, as I never polish my lamps).  They’re just that delicious.

My weakness for the delectable decapod crustaceans will occasionally lead me to do things I would normally never do.  For instance:  one night my friends and I were at a restaurant sharing a platter of coconut shrimp.  Now, I love my friends.  I do.  They’ve made me a better person and life without them would be a joyless wasteland.  But I really wanted those shrimp.  They were little curls of perfection in a crispy beer batter, and I wanted them all to myself.  I would love to say that I wrestled with, or at least acknowledged, this ethical conundrum, but I didn’t.  Instead, I said this:

Little Blind Girl:  Hey guys, I read an article the other day that called video games the most interesting and provocative artwork since Picasso went blue.  What do you think?

Here’s why saying that makes me a rotten person:  half of my friends think video games are the primary cause of moral decay in modern society.  The other half of my friends love video games the way I love shrimp.  I knew this, and I made the statement knowing that it would immediately plunge my friends into an argument so fervid and fanatical that they would lose all track of the world (and the seafood) around them.  This is an excerpt from the transcript:

Friend 1:  No!  You did not just compare Picasso’s Guernica to Call of Duty!  Picasso created an enduring portrait of devastated innocence! I’ve watched you play Call of Duty, and the only thing you do is shoot people, die, and start over again!

Friend 2:  Guernica and Call of Duty both make you think about the role of the individual in the face of violence and destruction!!  And Call of Duty makes you take an active role in the process!!  All you can do with Guernica is stare at it!!

Friend 3:  Guernica confronts us with uncomfortable truths, whether we accept them or not!!!  The most uncomfortable truth a video game will confront you with is that your reaction time is sub par!!!  That isn’t art!!!

Man At Next Table Over:  Didn’t Warhol say that art is what you can get away with?


You’ll notice that my name doesn’t appear in the transcript.  That’s because, while my friends were vehemently debating the artistic merits of Grand Theft Auto, I was eating my way through the entire platter of shrimp.  I took my time; you don’t rush culinary masterpieces like that.  Plus, I knew my friends would keep going for at least 20 minutes, so I savored my spoils and enjoyed the show.  I finished before they did, and they were all a little surprised to find the platter empty:

Friend 1:  I don’t care what you say, no video game that lets you earn “star power” has any true artistic merit.  (Glances at the table)  Wow, have we eaten all the shrimp already?

Little Blind Girl:  Looks that way.

Friend 2:  I can’t remember eating any at all.  Funny how you lose track of things sometimes.

Friend 3:  I don’t know about you, but I’m still hungry.  Let’s order another platter.

Little Blind Girl:  Really?  Well, okay, if you want to.  Waiter!

(For those who are curious about the title:  Here’s a link to Confessions Part One.)

Prince Was My First


dove [image in the public domain]

How do I post to a humor blog on the day Prince died?  This is not the same world that existed yesterday.  The sky is not the same sky, the air is not the same air, and I am not the same person.  It stands to reason, I suppose:  everything Prince did changed the world.  Of course his death has done the same.

Prince was my first for a lot of things.  He sang the first song I couldn’t stop listening to, the kind you keep playing in your head even when you’re in church confessing your sins.  I remember my younger self waiting for a confessional to come available, time I was supposed to use to contemplate what bad deeds I should list for the priest, but instead I was playing “I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man” in my head.  My turn at confession came right after the part where Prince is telling a woman that she wouldn’t be satisfied with a one night stand.  I had to scramble into the booth and try to remember all my sins off the top of my head, and my voice was shaking so wildly that I was sure the priest could tell I’d been engaging in near-sacrilege just a few moments before.  Luckily, he regarded the stench of my guilt as a sign of desperate contrition, took pity on me, and told me I’d offered the most genuine confession he’d heard in a long time.  That’s how Prince gave me another couple of firsts:  the first time I realized that priests aren’t all-knowing (yes, I feel bad about tricking the holy man), and the first time I understood that sometimes the things and people that scare me may actually be on my side, if I let them.

I had several other memorable firsts with Prince.  When he changed his name to a symbol and wrote the word “slave” on his face to protest the way his record company treated his work, it was the first time I understood that art can not only convey a message but also fight an entire war that most people will never realize even happened.  Art history lectures in school tried to convey the same point as I nodded and took notes and memorized for the test; when Prince lived the message while I watched and listened, then I understood, and I never forgot.  Another first came from his cover of Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You,” which was the first time I saw how the same thing can be perfect in more than one way, and how interpretation can be a form of authorship as valid as any.  My sister can correct me if I’m wrong, but I think the first time we bonded over music our parents would definitely in no uncertain terms never understand, it was Prince.  And, yes, Prince was acting as a musical Cyrano de Bergerac the first time I had sex; for those of us of a certain age, that was practically mandatory.

It’s hard to explain Prince’s allure to anyone who doesn’t already understand, but since this is basically a eulogy, let me try to tell you why this isn’t simply a transference of nostalgia and why I’m grieving over a man I never met.  My childhood was sheltered, relatively privileged, and safe.  Then Prince came along, and he was unlike anyone I’d ever seen or heard.  He assumed his audience was intelligent, he considered danger to be essential to creativity, and he could write a four-minute pop song that had shape and texture and heft.  All the songs I’d heard B.P. (Before Prince) were sanded flat, polished smooth, and as insubstantial as the air that carried them.  A lot of what I hear today is the same.  But Prince’s music always made me think, made me feel, and made me dance–enthusiastically, if not very well.  It’s true that Prince wasn’t the first artist to pitch the rulebook and do something different, but he was the first who made me want to throw my own rulebook away.  He showed me how to find my path away from the ordinary, and then he showed me how to dance along that path while rocking five-inch electric blue satin platform heels, and now he’s gone, and the world will never be the same.

Prince being Prince, though, I don’t see death stopping him from doing his thing.  I think he’s just got a new audience.  In fact, I take strange pleasure in the thought of the Heavenly Host suddenly confronted with The Artist.  He’ll probably be using a halo as some sort of percussion instrument and asking where he can find a pair of wings with glitter.  In my mind, I see the angelic choir looking on in seraphic condescension as Prince gives his first celestial concert, and I can’t help laughing a little at the shock they’re going to feel when they turn and see God the Eternal and Omnipotent dancing on His throne, rocking out to Purple Rain.

R.I.P, Prince Rogers Nelson.  You were my first, and you were the best.

Famous Paintings Discuss Current Events: Apple vs. FBI


Don’t Panic, iPhone style 3 by ViriiGuy on

I think this blog is past due for another installment of Famous Paintings Discussing Current Events.  As regular readers of this blog can attest, well-known portraits will occasionally drop by and express their views on trending news items.  Really, in times like these, what we need is the wisdom and insight that only peerless works of fine art can provide.  No, Donald Trump’s hair does not count, though it is certainly a masterpiece (master piece?).  I checked in with some of the leading paintings and found that what was foremost on their minds was the battle between Apple and the FBI.

What battle, you ask?  For those of you who have had absolutely no access to any kind of media for the past several months, a) how are you reading this blog? and b) here is the background on this issue  (if you know the background, feel free to skip down to where the famous paintings start talking):

After Edward Snowden disclosed that the NSA had access to user data on iPhones and could read almost all of the information on the phones, Apple developed such strong encryption for iPhones that Apple itself can’t extract the information from the phone if it’s locked.  This led to the pending court case in which the FBI obtained a court order requiring Apple to create a new operating system that will allow iPhone security features to be disabled.  Apple refused, arguing that the government should not require Apple to create a program that undermines the security of its own product.  The iPhone in question was a work phone used by one of the shooters in the December 2015 attack in San Bernadino.  The phone may or may not contain, among other things, information about a possible third shooter.  The FBI recently asked for a delay in the court case because an Israeli company may be able to hack the locked iPhone, thus exposing a potential security flaw while giving no indication to Apple or to millions of iPhone users as to what that flaw may be.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, here’s what famous paintings have to say about it:


American Gothic:  Have you heard about the latest development in the court battle between Apple and the FBI?




Old Guitarist:  I’ve been following the case.  I can’t believe the government actually got a judge to order a private company to create a program that would weaken the company’s flagship product.  What’s next?  Is the NEA going to get an injunction to have someone repaint my guitar and make it electric just so they can hear me play Stairway to Heaven?


The Scream

The Scream:  It’s outrageous!  Big Brother won’t be happy until all activity on every smartphone, tablet, and computer is automatically reported to the newly-formed Department of Douche-Baggery.  How dare they!




Whistler’s Mother:  Your position on this issue wouldn’t have anything to do with those pictures I found on your laptop the other day, would it, dear?




The Scream:  Hey!  That was ART!!  Those girls were OLDER THAN THEY LOOKED!!!  And STAY OFF MY LAPTOP!!!!





Girl With Pearl Earring:  But what about the need to strengthen national security, especially as acts of terrorism on U.S. soil continue?  Shouldn’t the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few?




Old Guitarist:  Yes, clearly what we need in such urgent situations is a protracted legal battle.  It will be so useful to find out four months after an attack that the shooter was a frequent visitor to LOLcats.




American Gothic:  What puzzles us is the FBI’s latest request for a delay because they may be able to hack the iPhone.  If they could hack the iPhone, why go to court to make Apple create a new operating system?




Mona Lisa:  I think it’s smart for the FBI to keep trying to extract the information from the phone in case the court case goes against them.  What I want to know is, if they do find a way to get into that phone, what’s going to keep them from hacking into my iPhone?  I have some very compromising portraits on it.



Old Guitarist:  Hmm.  Suddenly I’m not quite so opposed to the FBI’s actions…




The Scream

The Scream:  This whole situation has me so worked up.  It makes me want to shout, or holler, or just…somehow…make noise….





Girl With Pearl Earring:  This is why we should elect Trump.  If we build that giant wall on the Mexican border and stop handing out green cards to terrorists, we won’t find ourselves in this situation any more.



Other paintings:





American Gothic:  It’s nice that you’ll always be pretty, dear.  That will come in handy.



As always, all opinions are those of the paintings themselves and not those of the blog.  Is anyone else wondering if those compromising portraits on the Mona Lisa’s phone might shed some light on the meaning behind that famous smile?  And Old Guitarist, what a roué.  I would totally pay to hear him play Stairway to Heaven, wouldn’t you?  Due respect to Jimmy Page, whom I revere as a god among men, but Led Zeppelin as interpreted by Picasso sounds awesome!


Famous paintings discuss current events

This is what I like to imagine that paintings get up to in their spare time:

Girl With A Pearl Earring:  Did you hear that Congress is thinking about trying to regulate the internet?  It’s total censorship!  They can’t do this to us!  They’re infringing on our artistic expression and ability to get stuff for free!



The Scream:  No!  How will my nonprofit grassroots community protest group get the message out now that we won’t be able to stream copyrighted material on our website?  We can’t pay for these things; we’re already operating out of Whistler’s Mother’s basement!



Whistler’s Mother:  You could always try to get a job.




The Scream:  It’s just that sort of apathetic, bourgeois attitude that creates an atmosphere of entitlement among the power players and the authority addicts!  Information is free!  Ideas can’t be regulated!  Occupy the Internet!  Oh, and could you pick up some toaster pastries on your way home?  Van Gogh’s self-portrait ate the last one.  Greedy bastard.


American Gothic:  We deeply oppose any legislation that would interfere with our ability to find free porn and download movies currently in theaters at three in the morning while net surfing in our underwear.  It’s un-American.



The Old Guitarist:  In my day, we didn’t stand for this sort of oppression.  You book the venue, I’ll write the protest song.




Mona Lisa:  Can I make a recording of your performance and post it on my website as a free download?




The Old Guitarist:  What are you, crazy?  This sh*t ain’t free!





All opinions expressed in this post are those of the individual paintings and not necessarily those of the Little Blind Girl or of the blog in general.

Little blind girl goes to the art gallery

CC Image courtesy of iambents on Flickr

Remember that post where I said that if you’re taking me on a date, don’t take me to an art gallery because I’m legally blind and I won’t be able to see anything?  I take it back.  I went with Potential Boy Friend to a college art exhibit and found that art has changed quite a bit even since the last time I attempted to appreciate it, or at least I think it has:


LBG:  I’m really not sure about this.  I can’t see any of the paintings.

PBF:  That’s OK, I’ll describe them to you.  And some of them aren’t paintings.

LBG:  Photographs?

PBF:  Modern art exhibits.  There’s one that’s a collage of old heating bills in the shape of Paris Hilton.  It’s titled, “That’s Hot!”

LBG:  Very funny!  You are kidding, right?

PBF:  All the yellow highlighted bits that say “This bill is overdue” form her hair extensions.  There’s another that’s just an empty frame, entitled “Occupy This Space.”

LBG:  That I might actually believe.

PBF:  It’s listed for $7500.00.

LBG:  Not buying it in so many ways.

PBF:  Over here is a portrait of a young man in cap and gown who appears to be signing a student loan contract, while a man in a business suit stands over him holding a baby.  Let’s see what the title is–

LBG:  This should be good–

PBF:  Ah, Sale of a First-Born Child.  A striking commentary on a post-modern society.

LBG:  It speaks to me.

PBF:  And here we have a sculpture of a woman in a pose of agony, clutching a large group of children to her while staring at an envelope.

LBG:  Let me guess:  “Final Welfare Check”?

PBF:  Close:  “Niobe’s Child Care Bill Arrives.”

LBG:  I like mine better.  (Peers more closely at card with title of work)  Oh, my God!

PBF:  You totally thought I was making that up.

LBG:  Oh, my God.

PBF:  And I haven’t even told you about the woman sitting in a harness hanging from the ceiling.

LBG:  Don’t tell me.

PBF:  Her harness rises and falls with the current level of the stock market.

LBG:  Oh, my God, get me out of here!

And thus ends the latest installment in the adventures of the Little Blind Girl.  Stay tuned for the next exciting episode, Little Blind Girl goes to the Firing Range!