No. 169. The Dunciad Ascendency. Deeply disturbed by society's relentless and dispiriting Dumbing Down, he repaired, a month ago, to his studio--which he was beginning to regard as part oasis, part outpost and part fortress--and, for several hectic weeks, laboured on this giant painted photo-mural. The thing was ornate, overworked and teeming with desperate if extraneous incident. He had built it as an elaborate shrine to stupidity. It's main objective, pictorially speaking, was to provide a kind of altar (hopefully a pyre) upon which was positioned an elaborately wrought Dunce's Cap, the essential, if archaic, symbol of vicious vacuity, wilful ignorance, intellectual depletion and moral emptiness. What was he to do with it? Nothing, he supposed. There was nobody to show it to. Tomorrow morning, he would begin taking it apart.

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