Smart-assery is the essence of art.

A knavish speech sleeps in a foolish ear.

The artist is an insolent show-off who goes too far, if he's any good. 

Consider the masterpieces, Hamlet, Prince of Sarcasm, or the David, commissioned for the cathedral of Florence by the Guild of Wool Merchants: Michelangelo gave them a seventeen-foot homosexual fantasy in marble—named, to be sure, after a biblical hero, but uncircumcised; rather like Leonardo painting his boy lover and calling him John the Baptist. Would we ever have heard of Nabokov if he hadn't written that one novel about a European intellectual in love with an American twelve-year-old—or of Dante, but for his inamorata of eight?

The insolence of the best jazz musicians is total. Bad jazz is polite.

"Art is the only serious thing in the world," said Oscar Wilde. "And the artist is the only person who is never serious."


  1. Gee, never thought my smart-assery was art. I do know it's rarely governable, that it just escapes my mouth without a second thought of "Maybe you shouldn't say that--" Good to know I'm on the right side of art. Thanks!