The Curse of Content

Reads: 35  | Likes: 2  | Shelves: 2  | Comments: 2

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic

Featured Review on this writing by olive tree

The aspiring young artist approached the teller with a stack of paintings.

“Could you put these up in your collection?” he asked.

“Follow me,” intoned the teller. They passed through a labyrinth of endless landscapes, portraits, and abstractions from the sophomoric to the cynical. Parishioners stalked the halls, photographing one frame and spitting on another. The artist clutched his work close to his chest.

“Here’s a nice spot,” said his guide. He ripped an enormous portrait of a king holding up a caravan of pilgrims for change off the wall. It went spiraling to the floor like an Autumn leaf. 

The young artist asked him, “What’ll you do with that?” In response, the man nodded at an attendant, who hauled it through an inconspicuous little door. The artist’s paintings dropped with his jaw as the attendant dumped the picture onto a waiting bonfire. “You’re destroying art!” shouted the young man.

“That painting violated the Museum terms of service.”

“That was old! It had value!” cried the artist. The guide shrugged.

“I don’t make the rules.”

“The painter is dead though!”

“Well, he should have known better than to depict something against our terms of service.”

“He was lampooning an abuse of power! That’s against your terms of service?”

All depictions of theft are unacceptable.”

“How can you call out bad behavior if you’re not allowed to discuss it?” asked the artist. As he was gathering up his oeuvre the guide picked up a single frame.

“This is the same painting we just burned!” he seethed and looked into the young man’s eyes. “Reposting eh? That'll be the ban hammer for you.”

“Wait! I can explain!” he shouted as he took off down the hall. The guide wrestled with his satchel and looked for the sainted mallet. 

 “You don’t want to know what happens when I fish this thing out.”


Submitted: December 21, 2020

© Copyright 2021 william edge. All rights reserved.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Add Your Comments:


Benjamin Labidi

Funny and deep at the same time. Good work.

Tue, December 22nd, 2020 1:58am

olive tree

That painting violating terms of service was symbolic for existence being the sole crime suffered by the conscientious individual, the harsh bureaucratic side and human suffering elements of it documented in Orwell's 1984.

How can you call out bad behaviour if you're not allowed to discuss it? Good question. The answer is: you can't. This is why tyrants control discussion. True democracy involves Socratic discussion free of misanthropy and misology. It's a dark Frankenstein-Blade Runner-esque-Tyrell Corp/Evil Corp in Mr Robot direction we're headed. Eesh. Nice piece. I know talent where I see it.

Mon, December 28th, 2020 8:26am

More Humor Short Stories

Other Content by william edge

Book / Science Fiction

Short Story / Humor

Short Story / Other