A world without art

The interesting part about buying a package of scissors is you need a pair of scissors in order to open the package of scissors.

The interesting part about buying a package of scissors is you need a pair of scissors in order to open the package of scissors.

If you bought the scissors to replace a pair that hasn’t been sharp since the seventies you’re forced to use the dull scissors one last time to open the superior scissor set.

While this will reaffirm why you bought the new scissors, it’s kind of heartless when you think about it. It’s sort of like firing someone and then telling them they have to go pick up their replacement at the airport.

The crappy scissors at least have the satisfaction of knowing they released the trapped ones.

“So you shiny, fancy, snippers, not so snippy in your pretty package now are you? If I hadn’t come along you’d still be trapped in there. Trapped I say!”

I worry about someone setting up their first home and buying their first package of scissors. What are they supposed to do? Or what if you already recycled the old pair? Then what?

Of course, what I really should be worried about is the time I am spending thinking about any of this; particularly the feelings of a dull pair of scissors.

It’s like that old Ikea commercial where the couple breaks their ceramic creamer and has to buy a new one.

The camera pans in on the old cow shaped creamer lying on the curb with the trash in the rain while in the background you see the couple happily pouring cream into their tea cups with its replacement.

A voice says, “Aw, do you feel sorry for the little creamer? That’s because you’re crazy.

Creamers don’t have feelings. Come to Ikea and get a better one.”

I needed my new scissor set for doing something I loosely call art. I would never call myself an artist, though I suppose there is nothing so bold in that. It’s not as if I’m saying I am a great artist just that I enjoy dabbling in art.

There are so many levels to art that I won’t begin to discern between them. Anyone who explores their creative urges and sees it through until they have birthed an idea into something they can hold in their hands has my respect.

Canada as a whole seems to have an abundance of creative people; singers, songwriters, musicians, quilters, painters, sculptors, potters, poets, jewelry makers and the list goes on.

Our collective imagination is limitless. I think our climate plays a huge role. Our long winters are perhaps our most valuable mentor and muse.

I believe everyone is creative; some people are just able to suppress it more than others. However, inside everyone is some kind of creative impulse straining to be unleashed. I say, release the hounds!

I know some people feel art is unnecessary, but pause for a moment to think what our world would look like without creative minds.

Even if you would rather poke hot needles in your eye than spend an afternoon at an art museum, I challenge you to go through your day imagining your environment without art; a world where everything is completely utilitarian.

No music, no unnecessary patterns, no colour. No pretty logos on planes or City signs or vending machines. No designs on tissue boxes, blankets or shoes.

Next time you’re enjoying a meal in a fancy restaurant imagine the same experience without pictures on the walls, soft music in the background or unnecessary decor of any kind.

What if there wasn’t even a jar of macaroni on a ledge?

What if food was simply plopped on a plate without so much as a parsley sprig to make it look appealing?

Would you still be so quick to whip that credit card out of your wallet? We had a chance to eat at the CN Tower last year and—sophisticated diners that we are—we actually took pictures of our desserts before consuming them.

They were truly frame-worthy; almost too pretty to eat. But eat them we did and they were delicious, due in no small part to their artful presentation.

Whether it’s made of sugar or paint, glass or clay, words or wire, art makes our world a better place.

It invokes the whole wheel of human emotions from bliss to despair; it makes us think. It tickles forgotten memories and inspires us to reach for the stars. It’s necessary. And in these waning days of winter with the onset of cabin fever, art is cheaper than therapy or a tropical vacation. Now where did I put those scissors…

Shannon McKinnon is a syndicated humour columnist from Northern BC. You can read past columns by visiting www.shannonmckinnon.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Erika Fetterly, owner of EFP Studios, recently launched the Let Them Have A Voice campaign. (Contributed photo)
Central Alberta photographer’s campaign aims to give youths a voice

An Innisfail photographer is giving a platform to young central Albertans so… Continue reading

The Red Deer Rebels hosted the Medicine Hat Tigers in the first game of the shortened 2020-21 season on Friday. The two teams faced off again in Medicine Hat Saturday (Photo by Rob Wallator/ Red Deer Rebels)
Red Deer Rebels fall to Medicine Hat Tigers on Saturday

Tigers 7 Rebels 2 The Red Deer Rebels have lost two straight… Continue reading

Alberta has 1,910 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Red Deer is reporting five active cases, with 108 recovered. (File photo)
Red Deer reports 25th COVID-19 death

415 new cases identified provincially Saturday

More than 120,000 Albertans have signed up to get the COVID-19 vaccine in the first two days of appointment bookings. (Photo courtesy Alberta Health Services Twitter)
Alberta Health Services apologizes after seniors struggle to book vaccine appointments

The CEO and president of Alberta Health Services is apologizing after seniors… Continue reading

Red Deer’s Kyle Moore, 26, will be a houseguest on Season 9 of Big Brother Canada. (Photo courtesy Big Brother Canada)
Red Deer man will be a houseguest on Big Brother Canada

A Red Deer man will be a houseguest on the upcoming season… Continue reading

Red Deer science-communicating dogs Bunsen and Beaker helped save a missing pet recently. The two dogs have more than 80,000 followers on Twitter. (Contributed photo)
WATCH: Red Deer science dogs help save lost pet

Red Deer science-communicating dogs Bunsen and Beaker helped rescue a missing pet… Continue reading

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks during a news conference in Edmonton on Feb. 24, 2020. It’s budget day in the province, and Kenney’s United Conservative government is promising more help in the fight against COVID, but more red ink on the bottom line. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta Premier slams vandalism after slur painted on MLA’s office window

EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is condemning alleged vandalism at the… Continue reading

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Machin waits to appear at the Standing Committee on Finance on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on Tuesday, November 1, 2016. Executives who engage in so-called "vaccine tourism" show both an ethical disregard for those less fortunate and a surprising lack of business acumen, experts argue. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine tourism is both unethical and bad for business, experts say

Executives who engage in so-called “vaccine tourism” show both an ethical disregard… Continue reading

Edmonton Oilers' Jesse Puljujarvi (13) and Toronto Maple Leafs' Justin Holl (3) battle in front as goalie Jack Campbell (36) makes the save during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, February 27, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
No Matthews, no problem: Minus NHL goal leader, Maple Leafs blank Oilers 4-0

Leafs 4 Oilers 0 EDMONTON — The Maple Leafs knew even with… Continue reading

The Pornhub website is shown on a computer screen in Toronto on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Pornhub policies reveal legal gaps and lack of enforcement around exploitive videos

OTTAWA — Serena Fleites was in seventh grade when a sexually explicit… Continue reading

Sean Hoskin stands on a neighbourhood street in Halifax on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. Hoskin was diagnosed with COVID-19 almost a year ago with symptoms that still persist. Some provinces have established programs to deal with long-term sufferers but Atlantic Canada, with relatively low numbers of patients, has yet to provide a resource to assist them. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
On East Coast, exhausted COVID-19 ‘long haulers’ hope specialized clinics will emerge

HALIFAX — On evenings when Sean Hoskin collapses into bed, heart pounding… Continue reading

Ottawa Senators goaltender Matt Murray (30) stands in his crease as Calgary Flames left wing Andrew Mangiapane (88), left to right, defenceman Rasmus Andersson (4), Matthew Tkachuk (19), Mikael Backlund (11) and Mark Giordano (5) celebrate a goal during second period NHL action in Ottawa on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Calgary Flames beat Ottawa 6-3 to end Senators’ three-game win streak

Flames 6 Senators 3 OTTAWA — The Calgary Flames used a balanced… Continue reading

Crosses are displayed in memory of the elderly who died from COVID-19 at the Camilla Care Community facility during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on November 19, 2020. The number of people who would have died from a COVID-19 infection is likely to be much higher than recorded because of death certificates don't always list the virus as the cause of a fatality, experts say. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Death certificates don’t accurately reflect the toll of the pandemic, experts say

The number of people who would have died from a COVID-19 infection… Continue reading

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. A single dose of Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine is barely enough to cover the average pinky nail but is made up of more than 280 components and requires at least three manufacturing plants to produce. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
From science to syringe: COVID-19 vaccines are miracles of science and supply chains

OTTAWA — A single dose of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine is barely enough… Continue reading

Most Read