THE THIN WATERS OF ESCAPEGOATISM

So the other day my friend Mr. Sir sent me a hilarious YouTube link. It seems Jimmy Kimmel, a comedian with a TV show of some sort (I don’t have TV) had a monologue about a clip from a sports show with a sports guy named Emmett (sp?) talking about another sports guy in which he referred to him as an “Escape Goat”. I could only heart that more if he had said exscape goat, like when people say eXpresso rather than eSpresso or ax in lieu of ask. Jimmy Kimmel said he had an Escape Goat outside waiting for his escape (see exhibit 1).escapegoat_jimmykimmel.jpg
This reminded me of a girl I once worked with who delightfully used idiomatic expressions with a naive and jaunty lack of awareness of their intended meaning. Recounting a row with her boyfriend one morning at the watercooler she said, “And then I was like, ‘You are walking on thin water buddy'”. I wish I’d written them all down. So much of life is lost through the colander of my mind.

Anyway – I decided to make my own Escape Goat.

My first attempt at creating the Escape Goat calls from one of my nicknames, “Monkey” and portrays a gangster-like escape-apade in a Key West-ish back-drop, fraught with dashes and drama.

While frank in its portrayal of the angst of the seemingly criminal yet misunderstood monkey (see body language), the varying artistic styles are indicative of the diverse origins of the partners in crime as set against the cheesily cliche serene aura of their chosen crime scene, highlighting the palpable combined gangst that the monkey and the goat bring to the situation.

The backdrop calls to mind Jimmy Buffett and that Wasting away in Margaritaville song, suggesting that perhaps de-angstifying relief, coping mechanisms and/or self-medication come in the form of a tequiliac  gangsteraide, in an imagined word play on the escape piece of the escape goat phraseology and angsty sunsets, rainbows , unicorns and the desperation of a life of crime, or a life lived or half-lived on the lam. (ooooh–life on the lamb….) . escapegoatsunset.jpg

But then I was inspired by the clowns that haunted my dreams last night and I got some help from my friend Marc (Chagall, of course) who suggested I call on art history and particularly his work and so I created the photoshop opus Two Clowns on Escapegoatback. I don’t think I have ever been so proud of (or made such strides in) work from my projectile photoshopping series.

twoclowns_escapegoatback.jpgSee the clowns. From what do they flee, in their double-entendre wanders? The fans, geometric in style and in stark contrast to the fluidity of their holders’ personage, doubly signify a desperate attempt to defray the heat of the moment from which they flee as much as the moment itself; contrastingly amoebic and non-geometric in scope. Freed from their original backdrop yet leaving a grey-checkered photoshop void where they once reposed, they find themselves out of their aesthetic canvas-like element, on the other side of the goat, disconnected and leaving one void only to run to another. The goat is confused. For, to the goat, only the grass is greener on the other side and the grey checkered void means nothing.

In his confusion, the goat mistakenly appears amused (in reality the goat is medicated), as if failing to grasp the gravity of the situation. The goat’s backdrop belies his intellectual capacity – wrinkled, pat, and vaguely reminiscent of aluminum foil. The clowns look forward, with eyes only on the future, delusionally focused on the notion that escape via a goat is cliche, therefor it is.

3 Responses to “THE THIN WATERS OF ESCAPEGOATISM”

  1. Marc Chagall (7 July 1887 – 28 March 1985) was a French painter of Russian-Jewish origin who was born in Belarus, then part of the Russian Empire. Among the celebrated painters of the 20th century, he is associated with the modern movements after impressionism. Marc Chagall was born Moishe Shagal in Vitebsk, Russian Empire (now in Belarus), the oldest of nine children in the close-knit Jewish family led by his father, a herring merchant Khatskl (Zakhar) Shagal, and his mother, Feige-Ite. This period of his life, described as happy though impoverished, appears in references throughout Chagall’s work.

    Beginning to study painting in 1906 under famed local artist Yehuda Pen, Chagall moved to St. Petersburg only a few months later in 1907. There he joined the school of the Society of Art Supporters and studied under Nikolai Roerich, encountering artists of every school and style. From 1908-1910 he studied under Leon Bakst at Zvantseva’s School.

    This period was difficult for Chagall — Jewish residents at the time could only live in St. Petersburg with a permit, and he was jailed for a brief time. Chagall remained in St. Petersburg until 1910, and regularly visited his home town where in 1909 he met his future wife, Bella Rosenfeld.

    After becoming known as an artist, he left St. Petersburg to settle in Paris in order to be near the art community of the Montparnasse district, where he became a friend of Guillaume Apollinaire, Robert Delaunay, and Fernand Léger. In 1914, he returned to Vitebsk and a year later married his fiancée, Bella. World War I erupted while Chagall was in Russia. In 1916, the Chagalls had a daughter, Ida.

    It is hard to categorize Chagall’s prolific output, which ranged from Cubist, through Expressionist (as in this playful piece, Two Clowns on Horseback, to Surrealist. His oeuvre included ballet sets, biblical illustrations, and stained glass windows.

    Pieced together from Wikipedia and The Essential History of Art.

  2. Perfect length. So what’s the beef, or where is the rub? Let’s talk turkey if you aren’t too chicken. Can one put a dry pork rub on Lamb Escapade? Mutton do dat! Bear with me deer; this joke is beginning to smell like 3-day old fish.

  3. Your Escape Goat is more attractive than Jimmy’s. I would rather escape with him.

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