Mad Philosophy

Mad, they called me, mad! And I called them mad! And wouldn’t you know it, they outvoted me. But I’ll show them, I’ll show them all! I’ll show them that in a mad world, only the mad are sane! Which I guess would be them, but that won’t interfere with the Showing of Them All! Muahaha!

At last, my evil plan is coming to fruition. When I bought a $12.8 million piece of artwork on the legitimate market a year and a half ago, even the other mad philosophers thought me insane. After all, what would a professional mad philosopher want with a recently rediscovered painting? Eighteenth century French Neoclassical art is not exactly huge in the field of Mad Philosophy. But they only thought me insane because they couldn’t appreciate the depth of my genius, my plotting wheels within wheels within wheels!

They only received some inkling of my master plan after I had the painting, Huele sur Toile, safely in my possession, and hid it in a safe where nobody but me could see it. They guessed that I was trying to deprive the world of a great treasure, but little did they know that that was only the merest fraction of my grand design!

All the world agreed that I was well within my rights to keep it hidden if I so chose; after all, plenty of private collectors do. Of course, most of those aren’t doing it as part of a brilliantly schemed master plan; they’re just selfish. I like keeping everyone else out and being the only one allowed to appreciate a work of art as much as the next guy, but at least I had a reason for it.

Keeping the painting to myself was a bit mean (by non-evil-person standards, obviously), but hardly unusual. Nobody got all torches-and-pitchforks-y about it, of course, and really nobody bothered noticing at all. After establishing that the painting was mine to hide or display as I pleased, I made it clear that I did not intend to ever allow anyone else to see this painting ever.

I lied, of course. What did you expect? I’m evil. And because I’m evil, I always intended to allow everyone to view this priceless work of art, for free, on one day only. Right before—well, while, actually—publicly destroying it.

And thus, the next phase of my plan was revealed! I would expose the inconsistency in the philosophy of the masses! What did they think, that I could hide my property from everyone permanently and that’s fine, but if I destroy it then that’s suddenly a crime against art? As if that even makes sense. It’s just oil on canvas; it’s not like it gets some mystical significance from being art. I didn’t destroy any information, since copies and reproductions exist, and it’s not like it’s the most historically significant painting. And it’s not like I’m destroying a painting belonging to anyone else.

These people had all already agreed that I didn’t have to show the artwork to anyone if I didn’t want to, so they had no grounds to object when I made that decision a bit more permanent. But object they did, and I laughed in their philosophically-inconsistent faces (which, might I mention, look like they were created by someone with no grasp of realism).

Six months later, now that I’ve made my point, all I have to do is make a profit from it, thereby earning back the respect of mad philosophers the world over with my crazy—but utterly successful—scheme. Therefore, I hereby reveal to the public the fact that I still have the painting! You have no idea how simple it is to have a plausible copy made when nobody has access to the original. And one canvas covered in oil will burn much like another. So, I have here the genuine piece of artwork, Huele sur Toile itself. This is the only chance you’ll ever have to own a painting that was lost for centuries, discovered last year, and until today thought to have been destroyed in an incident involving a brilliant Mad Philosopher of above average attractiveness. Bidding starts at $16.3 million, and I’ve got two interested buyers already.

One last thing. For all those of you who ever Called Me Mad: Consider yourselves to be Shown.


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