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I'm a business journalist and a fiction author. My novel Mute is available now from Silver Leaf Books.

Monday, January 23, 2012

What I would make Miami Art Museum do for $35M

What’s with all the bellyaching over Related Group’s Jorge Perez asking the Miami Art Museum to take on his name in exchange for a $35 million donation? A recent CBS4/Miami Herald poll found that 54 percent of local residents said it was a bad idea. I don’t think the new name, the Jorge M. Perez Art Museum of Miami-Dade County, is all that outrageous considering the amount of money he’s giving them. Is a little name change really too much to ask in exchange for a small fortune? 

Now if that was my donation, we’d be talking some major changes over there.

Not like I have $35 million to throw around, but if I did, the art museum would have to consent to my list of demands to get my cash. I’d insist on it being named The BRIAN BANDELL Museum of Super-Awesomeness (and art) of Miami. Yes, my name in all caps is part of the contract, thank you.

Now about those exhibits. If this museum is truly to reflect my monumental donation, then I want no less than 20 percent of the exhibits to be Bandell family portraits and pictures of me posing as scifi movie characters. And I’m not talking about the exhibits hidden behind the trash cans. I want prime wall real estate, with bullet proof glass, 24/7 security and eternal spotlights. 

Got a problem with that? Thirty-five million dollars.

What else does that buy? How about the right to make this museum truly super-awesome? I plan to turn over to the curator the following list of must-buy items that my donation shall procure:

-          The toy car that the late Ryan Dunn lodged in his anus in the movie Jackass.
-          The glass mirror that Lindsay Lohan snorted cocaine off of.
-          The stained Monica Lewinski dress.
-          Vials of fat liposuctioned from celebrities, with labels ie: Heidi Montag’s thighs.
-          The microphone Rick Perry used when he made his inspiring “I can’t remember” speech.
-          The blue speedo UFC fighter Dennis Hallman wore into the cage before getting his ass kicked.
-          A wax sculpture of Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf.
-          The rubber hand that wresting legend Mae Young “gave birth” to on WWE television after getting “impregnated” by Mark Henry.
-          A wall-spanning photo essay on the training regimen of Major League Eating’s superstars.
-          An entire wing dedicated to the passionate lovemaking of humpback whales.  

Now that’s a museum I would visit! It would be worth every penny, yes, all 3.5 billion of them. 

Compared to my list (albeit imaginary), I don’t think Perez is asking the museum for too much. After all, this is South Florida, where entire universities and hospitals are named after their biggest donors. 

On second thought, maybe I should donate my pretend $35 million to a university instead. Does the BRIAN BANDELL School of Sheer Genius have a nice ring to it?