I love living in Austin because there are people who make their lives into art, don't care what the people in the suburbs think and take pleasure in living large. How else do you explain an upscale trailer park in the middle of the most expensive and desirable property in the city, occupied mostly by people with a flair for fun? I've seen this mannequin on top of this RV for months. It's been dressed up in Christmas costumes and lights, Valentine's Day finery and sporty Summer outfits.
I always mean to stop and go introduce myself and thank the person for helping to stave off the growing menace of mediocrity and group think. I want to thank them for keeping Austin Weird, which is synonymous with keeping Austin fun. Even the most curmudgeonly church goer probably understands on some level how important it is for society, culture, technology and even business to have a cadre of people who are still capable of thinking outside the box.
I finally met Jim. I was doing a photo assignment across the street at Barton Springs Bike Rentals and I'd parked down the block behind the original Chuy's. On the way back to my car I stopped to chat. Jim was fun, smart, and happy. And he does art all the time. But he doesn't do it after work. It is his work. And there is no stop and start. He lives it.
I think the name of his RV sums it up best. On the top, over the driver's window there's a logo. It says, "Flair."
It's stuff like this all over Austin that reminds me that life is short and the real goal is to have maximum fun without hurting anyone else. I think of displays like this as reminders to me not to get too serious. The pathway to serious is lined with migraines, ulcers and, eventually surrender.
Let's not just shoot more fun stuff, let's participate and do our share to keep all of our cities weirder and more creative. After all, the wealth of the 21st century goes to the culture who creates content. And I would conjecture the funnest kind of wealth goes to the cultures who create the funnest content.