Saturday, September 20, 2008


Ricky Gervais is promoting his new film in the pages of this week's Time by walking around the Getty Museum with a reporter and commenting on the activities there:

Now he and his girlfriend, whom he met in college, live in London and have bought a second home on Manhattan's Upper East Side because it's close to the museums. At 47, he still has the impishness of someone who unexpectedly made it.
When he spots a sign pointing upstairs to paintings, the L.A.-ness of it cracks him up. "Paintings! That's great. They have to be very specific. Like 'Things Made of Clay.'..."
Okay, I've obviously seen many generalizations of this city or I wouldn't be here. But this is certainly the first time someone's dissed us for a sign directing people to paintings within a museum. I know, he's saying all paintings can't be generalized into one broad category, blah, blah, but come on. Would he walk into Amoeba Records and complain that a sign points people toward the "vinyl"? A department store with a floor dedicated to "menswear"?

Of course not. But you see, this is Los Angeles, where a somewhat non-specific sign isn't simply helping museum visitors get where they need to go. In this case, it's a reflection on our supposed lack of culture: Look how shallow we are! We think all paintings are alike! We just want to look at whatever pretty colors are placed before us!

All right, Ricky, feel free to stereotype however you want, but the Getty is still the fourth top museum in the world (ranked higher than anything in London, incidentally), and Ghost Town still looks awful.

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