This issue is ostensibly “home decor” themed, which at any other moment in our collective social history is perfectly fine. But with less than a week before the most epochal election since the one that resulted in Lincoln’s second term, I’d have to be tone deaf to focus on Chez Nous when the nation is crumbling.
I tried anyway. And I failed. I strolled through San Anselmo looking for inspiration and found it in the window display of a tiny home and design storefront. It was a jar of table tennis balls and a couple of haphazardly laid paddles. The overall effect belied an aesthetic of blunt honesty–who cares?
I admire the display for a few reasons. It not only looks like my house (finally my living room looks like a window display) since two boys live here, but it also resembles a Fluxus-style installation qua deconstruction of home decor. For those who forgot their art history, “Fluxus was an international, interdisciplinary community of artists…who engaged in experimental art performances which emphasized the artistic process over the finished product,” thus spake Wikipedia.
My favorite window display ups the ante by depicting the “artistic process” in media res, at the precise moment when the artist said “f— it.” When it comes to home decor, I think many of us have reached that point. Apart from kicking an ottoman around the room, not much has changed at my place and why should it? No one is going to see it unless they’re doing CSI-style analysis of my Zoom calls, barking “enhance!” at the screen until the aforementioned ottoman comes into focus and one turns to the other and says, “Yep, that’s where he said f— it.”
“It’s like an epidemic with these people,” the rookie will reply and they’ll be right. Well, more of a pandemic; but with 200,000 dead, why split mohairs?
No, the only significant change in my home decor is the amount of election-themed collateral that’s appeared courtesy of my stepson, whose graphic design efforts have been replicated throughout Petaluma (you may have seen his wave of Keith Haring-esque “Vote” signage). It’s telling that a 13-year-old has taken over the look of the living room. This is their world, we’re just voting in it.
To that end, a recent study found that two of the most voter-friendly cities in the nation for the 2020 Presidential Election are Novato and San Rafael. Both earned A- or A ratings for their voting infrastructure. Good. Now, go out and vote, then straighten up your damn living room.
Daedalus Howell lives at daedalushowell.com.