Diaper Man, Cotton Farmer

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If you had told me a week ago that I would be flown to Bangkok for 3 days to play an American Farmer in a Chinese diaper commercial I wouldn’t have believed it. But indeed this is what has happened. The location for the three-day shoot is a rich man’s estate with hundreds of acres of lagoons and gardens with carefully landscaped Lombardi pines. It looks like Versailles transplanted to Thailand. I am hardly the most important person in this project, in fact I am almost inconsequential, but they saw something in me I guess they could not find among the expatriates living in Bangkok.

Or maybe I just had a lucky break and a good Agent. The woman who plays the mother of the cute baby who needs my diapers is an incredibly beautiful young woman. She is so beautiful in that Thai way that a billboard sized picture of her could stop traffic.

The man who owns this estate is probably long dead. There is a bust of him on the landing and a huge oil portrait of him on the second floor, with photos of him and the royal family, but no one in the crew seems to know who he is, or care. We’re just using his house as a location for a commercial shoot.

Sic Transit Gloria Mundi. You can be rich enough to own Versailles but your house will be used as a location for a diaper commercial and no one will know who you are.

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Just Another Shmuck

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When you take a long view, it’s obvious that we are all in this together, though often we feel alone. Our concern is mainly centered on ourselves. “How am I feeling right now?” If we could change this, we could change everything. If we could ask “how are we doing?” we might actually engender good will and get somewhere.

When artists create, are they mainly motivated by a desire for self-expression, or a desire to make the world a better place for others? Hard to know. Maybe a little bit of both.

In the long run, those who are not self-obsessed have an easier time of it. They find they are propelled by the power of a group. Sometimes that group can be large and influential.

When you’re an egomaniac bent on self-promotion, you’re just another schmuck screaming “look at me!” Your voice is already drowned out by the cries of the hundred million people you’re standing with. It’s Day of the Locust. It’s the beach at Coney Island on a summer day in the forties. It’s Chinese tourists at the Louvre.