973395 - OPTIMYTHIC 03:

How Does a Fairy Earn His Wingz?


To: His Majesty, the Queen!
From: Sir Cadence “Porridge” Fapcannon
Re: Pricing for Fame and Lucre

Your Grace,

It is with the profoundest gratitude that I hereby submit this unalloyed report concerning the Royal Treasury, and strategies for replenishing it.

As you know, market response to the initial public offering of Optimythic PleasureBombs was mixed. At the local level, close friends and family provided the lion’s share of transactions, and their real-world, physical presence within the exhibition space was doubtless the main reason for it. Farther afield, responses ranged from the politely curious, to a lone emotionless “Meh,” to the symphonic pulse of crickets whose rhythmic insistence blasted its mocking backdrop to the deafening silence that rides upon it.

Personally, I blame Sir Richard Wadd. His disastrous policy to pin a wide range of prices upon the inaugural harvest was a veritable efflorescence of prideful arrogance. He claimed it was a “bold” maneuver. Bold? Nay, belligerent!

Last year’s follow-up exhibition, “Praise &e Gods,” saw the induction of threee new Gods into the Latin pantheon. This occasion provided Sir Richard with a perfect opportunity to repent of his errorous ways, yet he failed – as usual – to repent. I was astonished by his stubborn refusal to admit that his prices (in dollars, no less!) were excessively unrealistic – especially given the abysmal state of global, Canadian, local, and household economies. Rather than addressing these concerns, he retreated into pseudo-Socratic dalliances whose assinine smugness was downright nauseating. As your Grace will surely remember, at that time I did my heroic best to interject an alternate decimal configuration into the price-list. It was, you’ll surely agree, an unassailable expression of my ironclad ClownLogic; a brilliant strategy that sought to make the second crop of FairyTotems appear considerably more financially palatable to unsuspecting ArtBuyers. Not surprisingly, Sir Richard resisted my selfless attempts to compensate for his incompetence. His over-protective territoriality resulted in a muddled and downright incomprehensible price-list which, predictably, generated no additional sales.

Thankfully, by the Grace of the Gods (and, of course, your Self), I have now been granted exclusive and direct authority over the pricing scheme for this third exhibition of PleasureBombs. While I am mildly saddened by the fact that Sir Richard has usurped my customary role as the Royal Poet, I am succoured in my regret by the thrilling consolation that you have seen fit to award me this far more important office. Though the job brings with it a heavy responsibility, I am nonetheless eager to make of my tenure a smashing success!

Onward, then, to our new and improved Pryssing strategy! The following revised approach to PleasureBomb valuation is based on the apparent truth that, in the ArtMarket of pre-dead mortals, fame clearly begets lucre, and lucre lusts perpetually for fame. In other words, your Grace, a FairyTotem’s ability to command the highest dollar value of the moment seems to be directly and positively related to how well its frolicking Artists are known among those who cultivate a taste in (and so purchase) PleasureBombs. This fact points to a stupendously obvious strategy for improving sales, which is, quite simply, to become Famous.

Sadly, the downside of this approach – (we may safely call it “The Porridge Doctrine”) – is that it tethers the monetary worth of a FairyTotem to a host of factors that care little for the intrinsic quality or genius of the PleasureBomb itself. The upside, however, is that Fame is potentially quite fun, and, in our celebrity-driven world, increasingly respectable. One needs merely to reflect upon how often famous people are asked to opine about issues upon which they know so very little, and the potential of famousness becomes instantly clear. By this truth alone, I suggest with moderate confidence that Fame is a necessary pre-condition for any prophet-seeking activity.

But what kind of Fame, your Grace, ought one pursue? Fame is not merely some monolithic thing! Nay, ‘tis a living creature; a horn-headed beast whose will for self-determination must be respected at all times. Fame is asexual: it reproduces not by epic and climactic contact ‘twixt OVUM and SPERMATAZOAN VICTORIA, but rather by the transmission of sound-signs and word-worms ‘twixt ArtLovers anywhere and everywhere in Time. As this process occurs, Fame itself morphs and mutates through an assortment of Faces:

  • Cherubic is the newborn Fame that comes from the womb of Obscurity. It is a fleeting fifteen minutes of incandescent light that shines briefly upon both small-town beauty pageants and big-city obituaries alike.
  • Ephebic is the viral Fame whose spores across a sinew’d social network spurts. It pads along with Chance, Fluke, and algorithmic marketers, combining epic Beauty with epic Fail into a momentary explosion of fast-acting, highly addictive, monetized BoredomRelief.
  • Wizened is the organic Fame that grows in good proportion to the authenticity of its cause, and the steadfastness of its vision.
  • Mummified is the flaky Fame that once lived hotly, but since has lost all spark of vital life. Buried by the desert, it slowly dissolves back into Obscurity.

From this barely incomplete list, your Grace, one might think to choose the best face for the kind of Fame one wishes to cultivate across the Kingdom. Then, one might ask how to summon it – as though casting a spell to awaken a dragon that slumbers in the farthest hinterland of the Realm.

Until then, my lord, we take a hearty comfort in the fact that both Fame and Lucre are secretly irrelevant to our enjoyment of the FairyTotems themselves. Indeed, we are already greatly nourished in mining them, exhibiting them, and imagining for our private delight all the ineffable moments that first splattered them among the LaughingTrees. By the Gods, what inadequate Pryss could ever hope to properly value such pre-Famous treasures? The answer, clearly, is a colossal paradox, which I shudder to think might one day be finally solved.

I remain,

Your most humble and faithful servant,

Sir Cadence “Porridge” Fapcannon

photo by Grim Fandango


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