democracy

Image

Alice Neel, Frank O’Hara, 1960

1. “Every vacation is an ego trip for somebody. It’s just that in families the person actually commanding the ego trip has to pretend he or she is running a functioning democracy.” — Andrew O’Hagan, “Yes, Please | Party of One,” in T Magazine.

2. Recently at the Portrait Gallery a woman wandered the exhibitions with four kids, aged maybe 7 to 16.  At least one kid was whiny.  At least one was way too cool for this.  She sat them down on a bench.  

Close your eyes.

One kid rolls his eyes.

Seriously.  Close your eyes.  OK.  We’re going to have a vote.  Who wants to stay here and look at more portraits?

No one raises a hand.

Who wants to go to the Natural History Museum?

Three hands raise slightly.  The eye-roller sulks, doesn’t vote.

You can open your eyes now.  OK.  We’ll stay here.

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