I’m thinking about that duck in Hong Kong harbor.
The Dutch artist who made it said it’s supposed to bring you back to your childhood, to refer to that time before life became about how to pay the rent. The rent in Hong Kong is atrocious, so I guess people in the place would know exactly what he means. I don’t have a real job anymore and I moved back in with my parents. I don’t pay rent. I also never had a rubber duck; we don’t have bathtubs to play with them in where I’m from.
But still I think I get what he means. People commute to work in the mornings and they see a giant rubber ducky in the water. They don’t understand what it’s for, don’t know that more educated or more pretentious people call it a “public art installation,” and they don’t have to. They see the duck and they smile and scratch their heads and take photos and tweet things. But the point is that they smile. The Dutch artist made it, brought it all the way over from Dutchland (yes, I’m kidding), because he wanted to make people happy.
That old teacher of mine in that speech he gave how many years ago said, wisely: Give us something to feel good about, and find us the way to happiness, now and forever. It doesn’t sound like a scholar’s task, but if happiness isn’t worth our minds and labors, what is?