Starting today and running through the end of the month, the Boise Art Musuem features a wonderful exhibit by Idaho artist, Garth Claassen. The exhibit consists of 85 drawings and is entitled “Bloated Floaters, Snouted Sappers and the Defense of the Empire.” The title alone ought to be enough to induce you to see the exhibit. Read more about it here.
Who are the Bloated Floaters and Snouted Sappers? Here is how Garth describes them:
They are people who’ve gotten themselves into some kind of predicament. People who are trying to control this and control that, working so very hard at something that may not have a real point and probably isn’t a good idea.
You look at history, these series of attempts to keep these people penned in or keep those people out, to monitor this or construct that. It’s all done with great energy. There’s a lot of action and dust and everything, and nothing happens.
Garth is a friend. In the fifteen years that I have known him, I have never heard him raise his voice or say a negative thing about anyone. I am beginning to think I understand his secret. He has the artist’s ability to see the absurdities of life and laugh.
Ever since reading Garth’s description of those who attempt “to keep these people penned in or those people penned out, to monitor this or construct that” I have noticed a drop in my stress level. Rather that rant and fume about the wingnuts on the right Bloated Floaters and Snouted Sappers, I have made a game out of deciding who should go in each category.
So, here is my take on the difference between the two groups. A Bloated Floater is someone who is full of gas, floating untethered above the fray, spouting “truths” down at the rest of us. Here is an obvious candidate from the media. Here , here and here are a few more. Notice how addictive this can be. I have barely scratched the surface and haven’t even included politicians, national or local.
Equally odious are the Snouted Sappers. These are people who slither under the radar, poking their snouts into everyone’s business and sapping the life out of their victims with their self-righteousness. Obviously, any religious fundamentalist with a public forum makes this list. We could start here and work our way down to the local level, but there is no point in me providing more examples. The real fun is creating your own list. Give it a try. It is a real stress reducer and worth a few laughs.
I believe, in the final analysis, Garth is right about the Bloated Floaters and Snouted Sappers, “There’s a lot of action and dust and everything, and nothing happens.”