The Height of Nonsense

This quote came to mind this afternoon from an Arabic novel I read a while ago by the Tunisian writer Ahlam Mosteghanemi. The quote goes something like this:

“Nothing hears the most nonsense in the world as a painting hanging in a museum”
or in Arabic: “لا شئ يسمع الحماقات الأكثر في العالم مثل لوحة في متحف”

Ahlam Mosteghanemi

I feel like that painting sometimes when I’m sat in front of some customers who want my service, but think they know about my job better than I do – then why bother hiring me in the first place – and also when I talk to or read about some social media gurus. Then, I just want to yank my lungs out from my throat and be done with it (nothing to do with anger management, but fools tolerance).

Being a son of an artist, I had to suffer this literal situation many times when I accompanied my dad on one of his exhibitions, or when I attended one. I find it tremendously entertaining to just stand quietly next to a painting to listen to someone pontificate about its brilliance, or otherwise. I’d advise you to do the same while keeping your anger and incredulity in check. If you succeed in that, then you will experience a tremendously entertaining evening.


The alternate wisdom in this of course, is to let whatever “brilliance” that is thrown at you to just pass by. Pay it no heed. Be honest with what you’re doing, do it the best you can, and go to bed happy.