True art delights and disturbs in equal measure. It makes you laugh, it makes you cry. It challenges you to look at the world around you through new eyes, eyes that see wonder in the mundane, and lasagna around every corner. True art is this clip from a holiday episode of The View, which was tweeted by user Steve Morris with the important, compelling caption: “What the fuck is going on at The View.”
The clip begins with Whoopi Goldberg saying, in an on-again off-again British accent, that the Washington Post made a list of gifts to avoid this holiday season, including mugs, scented candles, and wine. “But forget about that!” she says, before turning to her co-hosts, “What … do you WANT this year?”
“For CHRISTMAS?” asks Meghan McCain who, despite being surrounded on all sides by Christmas trees, apparently had no idea the holiday was coming up.
“I want experiences,” says Abby Huntsman, smugly. “I’m wanting to have memories.”
“Memories, oh please” scoffs Joy Behar.
These first 40 seconds are, already, disorienting. The set alone is bright and colorful enough to make one experience motion sickness. But here, my friends, is where things really go off the rails.
“I know what you want,” Behar says, with domme energy. “And it so happens that Christmas came early,” — here, Behar’s eyes light up, a woman possessed — “AND YOU’RE ALL AT THE TABLE GETTING A LASAGNA.”
Abby Huntsman pumps her hands up in triumph. Finally, she must be thinking, an experience. “For CHRISTMAS?” Meghan McCain must be thinking. Behind them, the screen fills with a picture of Behar holding a lasagna with the caption “THE JOY of LASAGNA.” A chorus rises from the audience and starts singing “Joy to the World,” and servers in crisp white shirts bring out an individual, enormous tray of lasagna to each host. The women laugh, they look surprised. I black out and have to be resuscitated by kindly strangers, who tell me they found me writhing on the floor screaming, “AND YOU’RE ALL AT THE TABLE GETTING A LASAGNA.”
This is just a short clip, you might be thinking, surely context will clear it up. The context is: Joy Behar has a “famous” lasagna recipe. Does that make this piece of cinema make more sense to you? It does not help me. Instead, I feel delighted and disturbed. I laughed, I cried. I see the world around me differently, now. This is art.