Tag Archives: money

Patronizing Behavior

I have been called many things in my life, but this latest is different, “Patron.”

Last evening I attended the final hours of a silent auction for the benefit of the Riverwest Artist Association.  As the auctioneer read off the list of winners, my name came up a few times.  After the second, “Looks like we have a patron here,” was the comment.  I consulted, via text, my friend J, “True. You most certainly are.”

“I just never was called that until U so dubbed me just 2 weeks ago.  Still getting used 2 the title,” I replied.  “Enjoy it.  It’s a good one.  And ur efforts are very appreciated.  Particularly these days.”

I suppose some background is in order.  My firm has recently moved into new offices.  Large offices.  Offices with lots of empty walls, high ceilings, and the sort of vibe which just calls out for art.  I have an extensive art collection, but have not purchased much in the past few years because I have run out of places to put it.  Walking through the new office space I commented, “We’ll need more artwork.” “That’s your job,” my boss fired back.  Okay then, I took him at his word and begun an acquisition binge which has only now, with last night’s auction, reached its end.

I am not a wealthy man, but I am well off enough to invest some money in art.  In these troubled times I consider it to be my own personal economic stimulus plan.  Art is a good investment, it appreciates in almost all market conditions and has more intrinsic value to its owner than any paper investment does.  Stocks may offer more upside potential (and risk) and bonds may offer more reliable earnings, but they’re not much to look at.  Art; art is a joy to be around, it betters our lives, improves our surroundings, adds to the human experience, and it appreciates.  You can’t beat that.

So, I am now a patron.  “Everyone’s happy when the collector shows up,” I quipped at a recent benefit art sale.  Oh, those were the innocent days, when I was merely a collector, before I undertook this patronizing behavior.  Well, if I have to be something, I guess being a patron of the arts isn’t so bad.

So I encourage everyone to go out there and buy some art.  You cannot find a better way to inject money directly into the economy than spending it on something created by people with no economic sense of their own (artists) who will immediately take that money and spend it on the essentials of their life.  Go find a student art show, of which there are always plenty this time of year, and buy buy buy!  In Milwaukee, go to MIAD, whose senior thesis show is on display until May 9th, or check out any one of the UWM School of Art thesis shows, such as “expose(d)” at the Kunnzelmann Esser lofts, or the Union Art Gallery, or Innova gallery.

Or, check out one of the numerous benefit auctions.  I have attended two of these in the past week, and gotten wonderful pieces of art at ridiculously low prices, all while benefiting good causes.  You see, not only do artists, as a breed, have no economic sense, but they also tend to be outragiously generous, and give away their work to worthy causes much like a drunken lout dispenses his opinion.

Wise (and funny) Words on a National Calamity

Your money

There are wiser folk than Pawn commenting on the current Calamity on Wall Street, and here are some of the gems:

“After 7 1/2 years of drift, President Bush has finally returned to his compassionate conservative roots with a heartfelt plea to Congress to help a needy and deserving group: those Wall Street CEOs who, for all their hard work, have been unable to lift themselves up by their wingtips,”

Dana Milbank writes in his Washington Post column.

And this from Rick Klein over at The Note at Mickey Mouse dot com:

And maybe we should feel bad for the bailout bill.

After all, it was born morbidly obese in a town that likes to pretend it’s all about being lean. Its parents never really wanted one like it — and we know they’ll be out of the picture in a few months anyway.

The men who would be president sure aren’t eager to adopt it.

And conservative commentator George WIll, over at Real Clear Politics had this to say:

“The queen had only one way of settling all difficulties, great or small. ‘Off with his head!’ she said without even looking around.”

— “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”

Under the pressure of the financial crisis, one presidential candidate is behaving like a flustered rookie playing in a league too high. It is not Barack Obama. Channeling his inner Queen of Hearts, John McCain furiously, and apparently without even looking around at facts, said Chris Cox, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, should be decapitated.

Perhaps the most succinct commentary comes from Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif.:

“Cash for trash.”

Nothing makes for tasty bon mots like a certifiable calamity.  Keep it coming…