Trump Is The Mother Of All Angry, Hateful, Violent Rhetoric

A terrible tragedy occurred at Eugene Simpson Stadium Park last week. Apparently acting out of political rage, a deranged gunman shot and wounded a number of Republican politicians along with a few of their ever-present lobbyists. And it was shocking to learn that this gunman was not only a liberal, but a Bernie Sanders supporter (and quite possibly Walter Sobchak’s doppelganger).

Why shocking, given that an average of 650 Americans are killed every single week by guns? Because it’s rare to find a gun enthusiast who also embraces liberal politics, though I suppose I could count myself in that category as well. And even rarer to find someone engaging in mass murder in the name of liberal politics, as that’s typically been the realm of both religious and political conservatives throughout the 21st century.

I was also surprised by some of the reactions to the shooting, with a number of Republican politicians and conservative pundits seemingly perplexed by the political vitriol that’s foaming throughout our society – with a few shameless hypocrites actually trying to blame Democrats for all the anger, hatred, and violence. Especially when it has been the Republicans and their conservative attack dogs who have been the ones billowing an endless stream of bellicose rhetoric throughout the presidential campaign – and through all eight years of Barack Obama’s presidency, for that matter.

For example, when faced with hecklers at his campaign rallies, Sanders quietly let them air their views, offering to listen to his opponents rather than attempt to brutally silence them. In contrast, when asked how he would handle such a situation, Donald Trump took great pride in pointing out that he would immediately and unequivocally resort to violence: “I don’t know if I will do the fighting myself or if other people will.”

And what’s even more shocking, and downright ridiculous, is Trump’s daughter’s claim that she was surprised by the anger and hatred towards her father in Washington. Add to that one of her brother’s claim that those who disparaged his father were “not even human.”

Did they not hear Trump when he encouraged fans of the Second Amendment (aka, gun enthusiasts) to take action against his political opponents? Did they not hear him when he encouraged his supporters to “knock the crap out” of anyone who disagreed with them? Did they not hear him when he told his supporters that he’d pay their legal fees if they committed violence against protesters? Did they not hear him when he said he could kill a man and not lose any votes? Have they ever even glanced at their father’s Twitter feed, for shit’s sake? Gimme a break!

Given Old Man Trump’s world-class mastery of lying and hypocrisy, I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised by the ridiculous, duplicitous rubbish being spewed forth by his children. His daughter is trying to position her father as some sort of innocent, angelic victim at the very same time as his son is echoing his brutish method of trying to demean and insult anyone who dares to question or criticize his father.

Let’s face it, Ivanka and Eric, when it comes to mean, Daddy Donald is the reigning queen. On the campaign trail, he mocked Marco Rubio’s physical stature – repeatedly calling him “Little Marco” – and then had the audacity to claim that Rubio was “a very nasty guy.” With Carly Fiorina, he also attacked her physical appearance, saying: “‘Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?” Of Lindsey Graham, he said: “He’s one of the dumbest human beings I have ever seen.” He repeatedly called Ted Cruz a liar, which is pretty ironic considering Trump’s chronic disengagement from the truth. He said that Rand Paul “reminds me of a spoiled brat without a properly functioning brain” (again, quite ironic coming from Trump). He compared Ben Carson, who he appointed as his Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, to a child molester. And for John Kasich, who I thought was the strongest candidate of the bunch, the best he could come up with was: “I have never seen a human being eat in such a disgusting fashion.”

Classy, huh? Certainly not a mean guy, right? And all this after publicly heckling President Obama for nearly a decade.

So please drop the “daddy’s a victim” crap and your whining routine about the rough and tumble of political rhetoric in Washington, DC. Trump and his band of bullies have bulldozed the competition in that category. And that goes for the rest of you right-wing hypocrites as well. It’s as disingenuous as all these nonsensical claims from Republican politicians and conservative pundits who, after eight year of obstruction, insults, and threats during the Obama administration, suddenly want the other side to keep their mouths shuts and let them do whatever they want while they’re in the White House, with no questions – let alone opposition – allowed.

It’s right to condemn this senseless act of violence. But if you want to figure out where all the anger and hatred comes from, Trump, his children, and his political minions across the country need to look no further than the mirror.

Thought of the Day: Crazy Conservatives and Their Conspiracy Theories

If liberals were even half as crazy as conservatives, then they would be pushing theories like claiming that the media actually conspired to get Trump elected, simply to boost their ratings and readership over what they knew, and accurately so, would be an epic, endless shit show of emotional and intellectual immaturity from our nation’s highest office.

In a word, “Gold, Jerry. Gold!

PS – And speaking of the news media, do you know who the luckiest man in the world is right now? Bill Cosby. Yes, his reputation is destroyed, he may likely be convicted, and he hopefully will get exactly what he deserves. But he is so fortunate that Trump and his shit show are dominating the news cycle. Otherwise, the Cosby trial would be getting the 24/7 OJ treatment, with full news coverage dissecting every detail of the accusations and testimony.

Chick’nCone Waffles

I stopped by Gansevoort Market on my way to the Whitney the other night and discovered that The Meatball Guys, who were charging $6 for a single meatball (albeit an artisanal, fairly delicious meatball), had gone out of business. They were replaced by Chick’nCone, which takes the inherent glory of fried chicken and waffles and turns it into what’s supposed to be a hand-held, on-the-go version of the dish – basically an ice cream waffle cone filled with chicken chunks.

For under $9, it’s competitive with the rest of the offerings at Gansevoort Market. But the Chick’nCone tastes more like an industrialized version of itself, more akin to something Tyson might have extruded into a bag and stuffed onto the shelves of your supermarket’s freezer aisle than the artisanal creation it’s posing as.

In fairness, the chunks of chicken, albeit overly sweet and soggy from all the sauce, were at least quality meat. Which is almost a shame because they smother it with so much sauce (I would have loved to try a sauce-free version) that they could have easily gone with McNuggetesque bird scraps and you wouldn’t really be able to tell the difference. But the real problem was the waffle cone, which was way too sweet and fragile – like one of those supermarket waffle cones instead of one you’d find in a high-end creamery.

Chicken and waffles work so well together because of the combined taste and the texture. But if you pour globs of sweet BBQ sauce onto soggy chunks of chicken stuffed into a sugary, brittle cone, then that’s an entirely different combination – and not a winning one as far as I’m concerned.

Thought of the Day: The Greatness of God

Cult leader and mass murderer David Koresh.

Why is it that some people can walk into a crowded market and blow themselves up, killing hundreds in the name of their God? Is it because they think it’s part of God’s plan? It seems like everybody thinks they are special, that God has put them on this planet for some amazing purpose (well, except for us atheists).

But what if God didn’t have any special plans for you? After all, everyone can’t be special. Otherwise, no one would be special, right?

So what if God’s purpose for you is to lead a relatively unremarkable life? Would you defy God and demand more?

Cult leader and mass murderer Jim Jones.

And doesn’t it seem strange that religious extremists always tend to lead relatively unremarkable lives until they decide to embrace religious extremism? You never hear of a cult leader who excelled at math, or a suicide bomber who was a gifted musician. No, they tend to be your average, run-of-the-mill nobodies – right up until the moment that they decide to commit mass murder and then blame it on their God.

For most of these “believers,” especially the sad ones who take their belief to the extreme, their actions seem to be more about their own presumed greatness of themselves rather than the presumed greatness of their God.

Does God Play Games?

Is there a secret version of the Bible that I don’t know about? One that’s being covertly circulated among today’s Christians here in America?

I have to wonder, because I went to church every Sunday for the first 15 years of my life. I also attended Sunday school. My father was a Deacon in the Catholic Church, having earned a doctorate in theology, and my mom volunteered as a secretary for the local parish.

But many of the words and actions of today’s most vocal Christians seem utterly foreign to me. They profess their faith, but seem to act according to an entirely different doctrine.

So Many False Followers
As one example, I could focus on the Christians who go to church every Sunday in luxury automobiles and designer clothes. I do recall a Bible passage along the lines of, “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.” Does Jesus want you rolling in to Sunday services in luxury vehicles that are designed primarily to flaunt one’s wealth and cost enough to feed a family of four for 10 years (quite literally…I did the math)? Is that how the Bible teaches us to behave? Is that how Jesus rolled? What about the meek inheriting the Earth?

I could also focus on the behavior of certain Christian conservatives, who often object to programs that help the poor and less fortunate, who seem far more eager to strike down their enemies than to turn the other cheek, and who focus on hate and intolerance when so much of their Lord’s message is about love and tolerance. What would Jesus do? Would Jesus oppose taxing the rich to serve the poor? Would Jesus build a wall? Would Jesus own an assault rifle?

Instead, I think I’ll take this in an entirely different and unexpected direction. I’m going to talk about professional athletes. Specifically, those who all too often invoke God in their preparations, performances, and celebrations.

Does Jesus Score…or Save?
I love sports. I’m not a betting man, and neither was Jesus…as far as I can tell. But I do love sports, for the benefits they bring to participants (from physical activity to learning to work together in harmony towards a goal) as well as for the entertainment and joy they provide spectators.

But why is it that some people clearly believe that God actually takes sides in such spectacles? Given all the misery and suffering in the world, why do people think God has any vested interest in who wins or loses something as trivial – in the grand scheme of things – as a game? Yet so many athletes, coaches, and fans invoke the blessings of their chosen God before, during, and after sporting events.

Even as an atheist, I’ve always found this behavior to be somewhat sacrilegious. Because, after all, these are just games. Our team wants to beat their team, to prove that we are more talented than they are, or at least willing to work harder – not that we are somehow “better” children of God then those other “lesser” children of God.

And for those who argue that it’s more than just a game, that modern professional sports are ultimately a business, this only makes such prayers and praise all the more sacrilegious. Instead of asking for God’s blessings to perform better than another group of individuals for the sake of entertainment, you are asking God to help you get rich – at the expense of others. Or, in the case of most professional athletes, even richer – and often filthy rich. Is that a lesson from the Bible? What would Jesus do? Was he all about gettin’ paid?

Let’s overlook the fact that many modern sports, their superstar athletes, and their legions of tribal fans engage in borderline idolatry. And the fact that many sporting events are played on the Sabbath, turning a day that’s supposed to be sacred into a day of frivolous spectacle and shameless profit. Even though, right there, we have evidence that fans, athletes, and owners are already violating 20 percent of God’s commandments.

But let’s put all that aside for a moment and ask whether it jives with the teachings of the Bible, Torah, or Qur’an to ask God to help you beat your rivals for financial gain and personal glory? And do you really believe that God helped you score that goal? Of all the things that God is supposed to be involved in, do you sincerely believe that this omnipotent being is actively favoring you to succeed in a sporting event, to provide you with personal glory and riches at the expense of someone else?

It’s strange that you rarely see a doctor, scientist, or winner of the Nobel Peace Prize thanking God for helping them achieve success or glory, when – if God were willing to intervene to help someone achieve success and glory – those are the kinds of things one would assume God would get involved with, at least if you take the Bible and its lessons to heart.

God-Given Greed?
It’s just as strange to see professional athletes talking about their God-given talent. And some of that talk goes beyond sacrilege and borders on blasphemy.

For example, American football player and infamous press conference pouter Cam Newton appeared in a Super Bowl advertisement entitled Cam’s Prayer. This “prayer” was a paid endorsement to help himself and others achieve even greater wealth (he earned $24 million the previous year, while the company who paid him to endorse their product had earnings in excess of $233 billion).

The voiceover – which the athlete surely approved, as it’s designed to make the viewer think it’s actually him speaking (and it may, in fact, be him speaking) – claims that God has given him these gifts, his talent as an athlete, so that he could be the best, that he could succeed, and gain wealth and glory by triumphing over his fellow man. It proclaims: “You placed purpose on my shoulders so now I come to you. Lord, give me the strength to finish this… my way.” Not God’s way, mind you, but his way. As if to say, damn it, God, give me what I want! You made me great (or so my Mommy says) now give me the glory and riches I deserve!!!

That doesn’t sound like the God I read about in the Bible. Bestowing special gifts on select individuals so that they can achieve riches and glory? No, I don’t think so. According to the Torah and Bible, God is more interested in putting gruesome burdens and obstacles into people’s lives to test their faith – not providing them with advantages that enable them to gain individual wealth, privilege, and glory.

But claims of divine favoritism are prevalent in the world of professional sports. Athletes flash shirts saying “I Belong To Jesus” as they mug for the camera and then thank the Lord for making them a winner before driving off in their Lamborghini to their mega-mansion so they can count their money. Sounds to me like they belong to someone else, perhaps even Satan.

Or maybe I’m wrong. Maybe there is some other version of the Bible, some other Christian doctrine that guides these people. For there is nothing in the Bible I’ve read that condones such behavior. In fact, there’s plenty that not only contradicts it, but outright condemns it as well.

What Would Jesus Do?
Which leaves me wondering, what sort of athlete would Jesus be? Would Jesus even take the time to play a sport? Or would he spend what little time he had in this world, what little time any of us have, and help those who are in need? And I’m not talking about making a handful of pro-bono tweets for a charity and a contractual appearance at a benefit dinner, but a full-on commitment to helping those in need.

Sure, you could argue that people are in need of entertainment. But that’s not really true, is it? No, people want entertainment. They need food, shelter, and compassion. There’s a big difference between want and need, just as there is a big difference between the what Cam Newton does and what Mahatma Gandhi did. And Gandhi wasn’t even a Christian.

Fear and “Wire Tapping” in Amerika

What’s the worst thing about a pathological liar? No, not the lying; you get used to that, even expect it from them…when they speak, they lie. The worst part is when they get caught in a lie and still insist that it’s true.

A liar has no respect for the truth. And it’s one thing to try to deceive someone to gain an unfair advantage. But when that deceit is exposed and the liar still continues to perpetrate the lie, then it is clear that they have no respect for anyone – including themselves.

Donald Trump is a pathological liar. He has no respect for the truth. And his unrepentant dishonesty, especially in ace of the facts exposing his lies, shows that he has no respect for us, either.

Liar in Chief
When Trump claimed more than a month ago, on March 4th, that President Barack Obama had wiretapped his residence at Trump Tower during last year’s presidential campaign, he failed to provide any evidence to substantiate this public accusation. And it is a huge accusation, claiming that the President of the United States deliberately broke the law – the kind of stuff Nixon was infamously guilty of.

Naturally, Trump doubled-down on his claim, repeatedly insisting it was true yet refusing to offer any proof. And everyone who has looked into this outlandish accusation – from the Director of the FBI to the Department of Justice to fellow Republicans such as House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes – have gone on record as saying that there’s absolutely no evidence to support it. Which is the polite way of saying that it’s a lie. Yes, the FBI, Department of Justice, and Congress have all confirmed that Trump has lied to the American public…to the entire world.

And that’s when Trump started backpedaling, with both he and his handlers suddenly claiming that when he accused Obama of wiretapping he didn’t really mean wiretapping. Of course, that’s typical of Trump, making a bold lie and then denying that he said it – despite the hard, public evidence that proves he did.

In this case, however, Trump and his lie factory are claiming that the evidence of his “vagueness” was in the punctuation. Namely that since Trump used quotation marks around the words – “wire tapping” – that he didn’t actually mean wiretapping. In other words, it’s not a lie because he didn’t really mean it. Kind of like when I say Donald Trump loves “golden showers.” Or, perhaps more accurately, Donald Trump “loves” golden showers.

And Trump’s lie about what he said – or meant to say – might have covered his original lie, except that he only used quotation marks in two of the four tweets he made accusing Obama of the crime. In the other two tweets, there were no quotation marks – just straight-up accusations that Obama was tapping his phones. So nice try, Donny, but that’s yet another lie. And two lies don’t make a right, or a truth, even if you put one of them in quotation marks.

The Sadness Behind His Madness
In what’s become the typical Trumpian defense, his lie factory is now arguing (the justifications change, but the lie remains the same) that the reason the the FBI, Department of Justice, and Congress are all calling him a liar is because they don’t have all the evidence. So, naturally, they asked the White House to produce this evidence they keep referring to, yet Trump and his handlers refuse to produce any such evidence. It’s like he and his entire team have the intellectual and emotional equivalency of a 4-year-old boy.

The best speculation I can make is that Trump might be thinking of his former National Security Adviser, Mike Flynn, who resigned in disgrace after being caught lying to Congress (kind of like Trump, eh?). Flynn, as you’ll recall, lied about discussing the sanctions – which had just been imposed by the United States because Russia had interfered with our election – with the Russian Ambassador during the campaign. That conversation took place the day the sanctions were announced, with the implication being that Flynn was reassuring the Russians that if Trump gets elected he will repeal the sanctions (a promise he’s only made partially good on…seems he lies to everyone).

How do we know this? Not because Trump Tower or anyone in the Trump campaign were being surveilled, wiretapped, or even “wire tapped.”  The guy Flynn was talking to, the most senior representative of what has historically been America’s greatest adversary, was the target of an ongoing FBI counterintelligence investigation. As someone qualified to be appointed National Security Adviser, Flynn should have known that the Russian Ambassador was under surveillance. Idiot.

Trump’s Russian Agent Adviser
No matter what Trump and his lair of liars say, FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Michael Rogers have both testified before Congress that Russia had indeed interfered with the election in an attempt to help Trump and hurt Clinton. That is no longer speculation…it’s now a confirmed fact. The investigation is now looking into whether or not Trump and his team colluded with a foreign power – Russia – in an effort to manipulate the election in his favor. And Flynn, for his part, has asked for immunity in exchange for his testimony, which may indicate that he feels he has violated the law in some way, all of which should be very disturbing news for the Trump administration.

Equally disturbing is the revelation that Flynn, four days after Trump made his baseless accusations, registered with the Department of Justice as “an agent of a foreign government.” And it appears to be a retroactive move, as he was being paid $530,000 to help overthrow the Turkish government (our ally, by the way) while also working for the Trump presidential campaign last year. Which means that he was working for a foreign government while sitting in on classified national security briefings with Donald Trump.

That’s right, Trump’s original National Security Adviser, and one of his senior-most advisers during the campaign, was a foreign agent at the time. And we have since learned that Flynn failed to disclose (in other words, he lied…once again) that he had received an additional $150,000 in overseas payments – some of which came from Russia’s official state propaganda tool, RT, which is the modern equivalent of the Soviet-era Pravda. Making Russia America great again!

Commander in Disbelief
Perhaps more disturbing than Trump’s incessant lying is how comfortable he is telling these lies – to the American public, and the entire world. He said, “So if I tweet two or three or four or five times a day, and if most of them are good, and I really want them all to be good, but if I make one mistake in a month — this one I don’t think is going to prove to be a mistake at all.”

Is that really what we deserve from the President of the United States…one false public statement a month? That doesn’t sound like “winning” to me. Of course, in typical Trump fashion, he is being overly generous about his abilities, as it’s been more like one lie per day. Or, in the case of March 4th, 2017, one lie repeated four times in one day, and then nearly every day for an entire month (perhaps it even be for years, considering how long he refused to admit his lie about Obama’s birth certificate for years after the document in question was produced and verified – unlike Trump’s tax returns). Meanwhile, the world – both friends and foes alike – must now decide for itself which of the public declarations made by the man with the nuke codes are lies and which, if any, we should believe. America has never been “less great” than it is right now.

The Bottom Line
Despite the fact that Trump continues to stick to this blatant lie, President Obama did not wiretap Trump Tower. Obama did not wiretap Donald Trump. Obama did not wiretap anyone in the Trump campaign. Obama did not conduct any type of surveillance on Trump Tower. Obama did not conduct any type of surveillance of Donald Trump. Obama did not conduct any type of surveillance of anyone in the Trump campaign. These are lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, and more lies. You can even put them in quotation marks, but they will still be lies.

The FBI routinely conducts surveillance on foreign nationals it suspects of presenting a threat to America. Always has, and always will, as part of their day-to-day mission of keeping America safe. And at least one senior member of Trump’s transition team, Mike Flynn, was working as a paid agent of a foreign power at the time, met with a foreign national who was under FBI surveillance. And when you meet with someone who is under FBI surveillance, that meeting will be recorded…not because Flynn was being wiretapped, but because the type of people Flynn was doing business with were being wiretapped.

And that’s the real question you should be asking yourself at this point: why was the Trump transition team meeting with people the FBI were already investigating? If these people are suspicious enough to warrant FBI surveillance, then what sort of dealings and discussions were Trump’s people having with them?

Yet despite all of this, the latest Breitbart headline – “Democrats Target Nunes After He Reveals That Trump Transition Team Was Surveilled” – aims to deceive you into thinking that Nunes has somehow debunked Trump’s lies. Why? Probably because they don’t want you wondering why they were meeting with foreign agents under FBI surveillance.

Again, it was the foreign agents who the Trump transition were meeting with that were surveilled. If the FBI are listening to the conversations of Russian spies, as they should be, and several members of the Trump transition team – including, as we have since learned, his own son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner – decide to have clandestine meetings with these suspicious characters, then they are going to be recorded – just as all conversations with these enemy agents are, no matter who is meeting with them. How do you not understand this?

Maybe it’s because you morons love Russia so much that you cannot imagine that anyone from that authoritarian regime would want to do America harm (though the fact that the Russian military are stationed at the same base where their Syrian comrades launched a chemical weapons attack on civilians indicates that they are fine with such behavior; not to mention the fact that Trump gave them a heads up, which is probably why the 59 missiles we fired only managed to destroy six jets), so let me try putting it another way. You know the military is targeting Al Qaeda, ISIS, and other terrorist organizations, right? If you – for whatever reason – decide to visit one of those “bad hombres” and we happen to drop a bomb on their house that day, that does not mean the US military was targeting you, numbnuts.

Rather than admit the truth, Trump continues to lie to the American public. But if you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas. And the Trump administration appears to be infested.

Empty Met, Empty Promise

mtmet1

I recently went on the EmptyMet tour at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, and it was a real disappointment. The tour was a Christmas gift from my nephew, a college student who could hardly afford to part with the $125 the museum charges for this experience.

Now in the interest of full disclosure, I am a member of the Met, live within walking distance of the museum, and visit it frequently. In fact, over the past two years, I’ve literally seen everything they’ve put on display. Plus, being a freelancer, I am often able to visit the museum during off-peak hours, when the galleries are less crowded.

mtmet2The EmptyMet tour gives you access to the Metropolitan Museum before it opens to the public. The draw is the opportunity to wander through empty galleries and view the art as if it were in someone’s private collection. The reality, however, is far from that ideal scenario.

We had 25 people on my “private” tour, along with three staff members. Having taken numerous tours of the museum over the past two years, I know that they are more suited to informing and educating attendees rather than providing a chance to truly appreciate each artwork showcased along the way. Being in a large group like that, you have to wait your turn to get a close-up view and then are quickly shuffled off to the next gallery, so you don’t get much of a chance to examine and enjoy the artwork that was just discussed.

What drew me to the unique experience of an EmptyMet tour (beyond it being a very generous gift) was the opportunity to photograph the museum’s picturesque galleries without the crowds of people that frequent them. I love taking photographs, and the chance to snap some pictures of the interior of such a grand space was one I could not pass up.

As with most great museums, the Met is a fascinating structure. It’s actually a collection of different buildings cobbled together over the years. Plus, it’s filled with treasures. And while I can see those art treasures any time I choose, I cannot photograph most of them, and certainly not an entire gallery, without also likely capturing some slovenly oaf in a Green Bay Packers jersey and backwards baseball cap standing around looking bored shitless because he came all the way to New York to see the rectal spectacle of Times Square and then was dragged off to this giant old museum that doesn’t even have a painting of dogs playing cards.

mtmetquoteThe problem with the EmptyMet tour is that, while the museum is indeed empty, whatever gallery you happen to be in is crowded. Wherever we went, whatever artwork we looked at, I had 25 other people vying to see it – and to photograph it. That’s about as many people as you’ll have in a gallery during regular hours. And when I visit the Met at off-peak hours, rarely will I see that many people in a gallery – let alone huddled around a specific piece of art at any given time.

I tried to make the best of it, trailing behind the crowd in hopes of snatching a photo of an empty gallery when the crowd moved on to the next. It wasn’t easy, though, as our guide had a tendency to ramble, so we were always in a rush (frankly, I’ve been on shorter tours that showed more of the museum).

Fortunately, our “crowd” didn’t have a slovenly oaf in a Green Bay Packers jersey and backwards baseball cap standing around looking bored shitless because he came all the way to New York to see the rectal spectacle of Times Square and then was dragged off to this giant old museum that doesn’t even have a painting of dogs playing cards. But we did have this German guy who kept wandering off, causing much concern among our handlers. And, much to my frustration, he had a tendency to wander off into whatever gallery I was trying to photograph.

So what I’m trying to say is don’t waste your time and money on the EmptyMet tour. You can see more of the museum, and with less crowds, simply by wandering the museum during regular hours (ideally during the week). And if you do want to snap some photos of empty – or nearly empty – galleries, then arrive early, before the museum opens. The Great Hall is open before the museum itself, so you can check your coat and purchase your ticket. That way you can head straight into the galleries the moment they’re open, though it certainly helps to already know your way around and have a plan of which galleries you want to photograph before they fill up. In fact, that is how I took the photos accompanying this piece, by rushing around after my EmptyMet tour, before the galleries became filled with the day’s regular visitors.

mtmet3