Is art dead?
"Wow," deadpans the requisite Warhol-alike working the tables and couches of Cafe Tu Tu Tango's Andy birthday soiree. "Candy, what do you think?"
"Oh, I love it!" oozes said blonde sweetness, having been too busy shimmying in Mr. W's rickety shadow to even hear the question.
"You write for the Weekly?" counters the pop-art wigger. "It's sooo out there."
Wow. This is going to be fun. There's nothing like settling for the live lookalikes of dead celebrities, especially on I-Drive. There's something almost authentic in the light of our grand illusion ... if you squint. Even the approach to the fifty-dollar-a-head charity benefit positively pops with prosthetic promise, with a watercolor, inkblot-swirl portrait of our own A.J. McLean standing easel guard at the front door. Surely he would piss on a canvas for one of Warhol's muted Factory boytoy giggles. But would he piss in a cup?
Truth is, Andy celebrated the plastic inadequacies of pop culture, thus drowning any real criticism of actual product in a pool of distant irony ... or, piss. Celebrating him is an irony unto itself. His legacy is one of unfeeling aloofness, wrapped around soup cans and pop icons and currently purveyed in the smock-turtleneck cocktail conversations of Ingrid Sischy in his Interview magazine.
This month, Destiny's Child are on the cover, looking like unfortunate paper dolls. Which they are. Juxtapose, juxtapose, juxtapose!
Deconstruction here is futile. But drinking isn't.
Fortunately, I'm decorated with my own couple of deconstructed cute girls (only, they aren't dancing) for the open bar mingle of this seeming Warhol-on-Ice Spectacular, and the libations are practically pissing all over our careful art wary demeanors. Couchbound, we slip into one of those annoying conversations that latter-20s independents often do, hedging around topics like "men suck!" (we're all recently single) and "look who ISN'T here" (because we are). I'm holding a pen in my mouth, feigning official observation when go-go girl Candy pops back by, this time offering, "Does that pen work?"
"Work for what?" I chortle, all smug with sexual innuendo. Men suck.
Anyway, careening her valium way around the odd Tango architecture is none other than not really Marilyn Monroe. The top-heavy bombshell-alike is falling off the arm of a make-believe Douglas Fairbanks and wiggling her pursed lips for every penny she can. She doesn't suck at all. But she doesn't make any sense either.
"Just don't ask me about the kidneys," she crypt-quips.
"Um, okay, but can I ask about the pills?" I flirt.
"Mmmmmmm, suuuuure," she spills. "Why don't you come have a cocktail with us?"
So off I am to grab my portable potable without even a thought of how stupid this all is, and she instantly disappears, leaving me with futile wind blowing up my own skirt and yet another lonely look of rejection. I suck.
As do Creed, thank you very much. The clenched-jaw power trio of suburban Florida adrenaline is expected -- somewhat ridiculously in light of the subject matter -- to make an appearance and auction a signed electric guitar. Only they're running late due to a soft-core softball excursion that has run too long. One gets the feeling that if Scott Stapp were asked to piss on a canvas, it would be the red stain of sanctimonious communion. He isn't missed. His girlfriend and her posse seem to be getting on just fine at their reserved table, more likely than not broaching the same flaccid subject matter of myself in my previously couched reverie. Look who ISN'T here.
Orlando's answer to Parker Posey's Party Girl, Marsha Green, IS, having donned the duties of promotion for the party. Forget Creed (gladly), Marsha-Marsha-Marsha cuts a far more interesting bit of local character, anyway. Seems our girl-wonder spent her early days a slave to Florida's tourist appetite, well beneath the glass-ceiling, glass-bottomed boats of Weeki Wachee as -- get this -- a mermaid! There is no irony. Juxtapose!
Anyway, Marsha's making sure that I mention certain things and don't mention others -- as she should -- and all I can think about is what she would look like with scales and a tail. Wow. That is soooo out there.
Eventually, when my jaw shuts and Marsha swims off, all of the star-alikes converge at a large painted rendition of Andy's head (with suggestive red shadowing around his white shock ... I Shot Andy Warhol!) and do their scripted do's for photographic exploitation.
Marilyn walks over to me, orders an Arthur Murray dance maneuver with which I could never be comfortable and proceeds to make me look like an ass. Not a stretch, but definitely a dip.
"I don't keep up on the gossip," she reveals, like a real celebrity would to a real journalist. "I'm stuck in the '60s."
"Tell me something about Liz Taylor then," I writer-alike, awash in thoughts of mermaids and kidneys.
"Well, she really did mean to marry all of those men," she sinceres.