"We hate it when our friends become successful."
Morrissey sang that, and you know what? He's way off the mark. It's really hard to be jealous of someone who has put in the time and has put up with endless crap.
My friend Paul Dickinson was just named one of the (Minneapolis/St. Paul) City Pages' "Artists of the Year." This random recognition comes with a strangely appropriate writeup by Stephanie Wilbur Ash, one of the Electric Arc Radio Show gang of air pirates that wisely decided to incorporate Paul into their show. As much as I'd like to rebut Ms. Ash's article out of sheer contrariness, I can't.
Paul has taught me too many important lessons--how to scrap metal, for example. I've learned how to hustle a buck in charity thrift shops. In our U. Mass Amherst days he befriended me, being the only other Midwesterner on the dorm floor, and shielded me against a lot of coastal pretentiousness.
If the City Pages took this long to honor Paul, well, now is as good a time as any. (They certainly didn't step in to save either of his Speedboat galleries from people jealous of the good job he was doing.) The award isn't enough, though. The man deserves a Roman triumph. He may not have killed 5,000 men, but probably that many booze bottles. To borrow Paul's iconography, he deserves a parade of Boy Scouts, beer wagons, and Soviet SSNs on trailers.
(To read Stephanie's "doe-eyed" tribute, go to http://articles.citypages.com/2008-01-02/feature/paul-dickinson/)