The Culturalist

Dear Culturalist: I Get Sloshed at Art Openings

By Onya Ganja

Dear Culturalist: I Get Sloshed at Art Openings

Dear Culturalist,
My wife and I love to attend art exhibition openings, but we tend to drink a lot of wine at them. Is it bad to get a little drunk at exhibitions? We always tip the servers!

A little drunk off a lot of wine, eh? Something makes me think you might be under-exaggerating. I have good news for you, though, it is not bad to get intoxicated at exhibitions, especially if the booze is free. Nothing could be worse than an art show filled with somber sober people gently nodding at the paintings they like or think they should like. Mixing art with mind-altering substances conforms to social norms rather than violates them. The only exception is if you are attending one of my mother’s watercolor art shows, where there is nothing more than tea and cookies, and to my dismay, the cookies have never been made with my friend Mary Jane.

A boring opening is dreadful indeed. I think any artist other than my mom would appreciate it if you got so drunk that you took all your clothes off and screamed fairly nonsensical love poems at their art on display. Then everyone would remember the opening and, more than likely, the art. Hell, if you can’t get plastered at an art show, I do not know where you can. Other than bars or weddings or under the bridge where all the men without homes party on Saturday nights.

Just live your life, man, however you see fit. Stop worrying about what people think of your consumption of substances to the degree of caring enough to write an advice columnist about it. You can never make everyone happy. Also, they shouldn’t serve alcohol if they do not want there to be alcoholic-drink-fueled people at their event.

Let’s pretend art openings are raccoons, a whole pack of them. If a pack of raccoons tried to sell me a glass of wine, I’d assume they would be pleased if I got drunk. If the same pack of furry-masked-bandits with human-like-hands offered me free drinks all night, I’d assume they were trying to get me wasted. Same logic applies to art exhibitions, weddings and the vagrant parties under the bridge.

Whenever you start to feel guilty about your blood alcohol content at an opening, remind yourself of the motive behind the free sauce flowing. Sometimes drunk people take other people home with them that they certainly wouldn’t if they were clear headed. The organizers of art exhibitions offer free spirits with the unbridled optimism that someone will get drunk and wake up next to an overpriced painting and have no one to blame but themselves.

In summation, I think you should continue to drink at art openings. You clearly want to, and until they kick you out for one reason or another, it is safe to assume the people who put the shows on are pleased with you getting rather tipsy. Feels like a solid yes to getting a little drunk to me. There is a possibility someone attending the show will be unimpressed with you, but as I said, you must live your life.

There are people in the world who both fear and loathe consciousness alterations, but who cares what they think. You’ll be able to spot them at the openings because they will be the people with frowns on their faces. They will also quite likely be slowly shaking their heads at you with disapproval radiating from their beady, soulless eyes with no hint of red in them. Just avoid these people at all cost or thoroughly enjoy making them uncomfortable.

Lastly, I feel I have a duty to offer a suggestion if you are getting plastered at exhibitions frequently enough that your work, home or social life is getting chaotic. Or if you tend to do things when you are drunk that are problematic, such as projectile vomiting on expensive paintings you then have to buy and can’t afford. I’d simply suggest getting a new hobby, and of course, laying off the liquor and smoking more weed instead.

Image by Shag.

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