Look, we’re not exactly in the business of pointing out other writers’ stupid mistakes. Glass houses and all that, you dig? But when a guardian of high culture pens an essay bemoaning the erosion of standards in the art world, and caps it off with a bonehead error—well, it’s just too good to pass up.
So step up to the plate, Roger Kimball!
This morning, the conservative art critic and publisher of the New Criterion published an essay in the New York Post, in which he laments the imminent retirement of Met director Philippe de Montebello and frets over the “debased elitism of a socially enfranchised pseudo avant-garde” that is sure to prevail in his wake. After running through de Montebello’s disapproval of the Brooklyn Museum’s infamous 1999 “Sensation” exhibit, Kimball glumly predicts that some fashionably post-modern schmuck will surely replace him and fill the Met with Madonnas made out of elephant shit or something. “How disquieting it must be for de Montebello, who has spent more than 30 years holding the line and upholding high standards,” Kimball concludes. “Like Louis XIV, he has reason to mutter, ‘Apres moi, le deluge.’”
Hate to break it to you, Roger, but it was actually Louis XV who uttered that particular obituary. But again, what do we care? It’s not like we have standards or anything.