Mercury Retrograde! Cleaning up! Going through the archives! I was going to save this text to use it as a new performance, but then I realized that it kind of references the Lunar Eclipse that happened in June, so might as well move on. I think I'm gonna save some of the ideas for future projects so if you are at one of my shows and I start talking about the moon, do us all a favor and don't spoil the ending. Also don't heckle me and say "I've heard this one before!" Because you HAVEN'T. And the reason I know you haven't heard this one before is because I have performed this piece only once, at the Queens Museum, on June 20th. And only a couple of my friends came (Thanks Dylan and Mordecai!) and it was intimate and special.
So anyways here is the text from my show about the Moon and Gay Pride.
FACT: The "sister" that this song refers to is the Moon. I dunno why the video is so weird and daytime-y but I have always loved this song for it's apocalyptic undertones and I often listen to this at the gym. Rise and Shine!
I wanted to find a way to connect my anxiety about the Moon perpetually leaving (as I had recently discovered is the case) along with the message of Gay Pride (which was the week after this performance and, for some unknown reason, foremost in my mind. Who knows?). So, again, you have to kind of imagine my voice performing this. I dunno. I hope you like it and I hope you understand it. I hope you understand (parts of) it more than I hope you like it. You know what I mean.
MOON + ENCOURAGEMENT
I’ve got some bad news. It’s not really news, it’s actually very old information, some of the oldest information we have. Maybe some of you guys are familiar with it, I dunno. I recently heard about it and I wanted to share it with you. Today I’m here to talk about the Moon.
As you may know, the moon is moving further away from the Earth. It’s moving away from the Earth by about an inch a year. That doesn’t sound like a lot, I know. Over the years we’ve developed new ways of measuring and visiting the moon, studying it. Seeing it’s backside and finding out what’s inside, so iut doesn’t feel so far away, but it really is moving further away from us.
The premise is this: that the Moon used to be part of the Earth (or something) and moved out of the Earth and is slowly rotating around us and moving further and further away. The premise is also that when the Moon separated from the Earth, it left certain various minerals in the air around the earth, which solidified into what we now call the Atmosphere. The moon shedding these minerals into our air is what has made it possible for the Earth, which was just a big blue puddle, to have life. Eventually the atmosphere trapped gasses above the surface of the water, and single-cell organisms breathed and breathed and now eventually we have air that makes it possible for us to live here.
The Moon did this. And the Moon also spins around us, controlling the tides. Basically all life on Earth is descended from the Moon. Once it moved away from us, however it’s been up to us to sustain it. The moon is moving away an as it does the bacterial life that it engendered on the Earth moves out of the water, onto dry land, evolved into the Human Bacteria and made skyscrapers.
And I don’t think it’s any coincidence that as the Moon moves further and further away from us, that our planet is becoming more and more unlivable. It’s literally getting warmer here. It’s like the Moon was some kind of reverse heat lamp. Like a cooling lamp, getting weaker every year. All of human existence and consciousness, all life on this planet as anyone has ever known it has occurred against the backdrop of the Moon leaving.
And by the Moon I mean Mom. And by Mom I mean the knowledge or the certainty that everything is going to be okay. That you’re beautiful even at night. That we’re being cared for. That all aspects of the spectrum of existence are supported. I say Moon I mean Mom and when I say Mom I mean the idea that there’s nothing to be scared of. That everything’s going to be okay.
And I feel like not just as the human bacteria becomes more complex, advanced, violent, but as we personally, as I am physically getting older, as all adults grow up, we do so with the knowledge that the Moon a.k.a EVERYTHING’S GOING TO BE OKAY is receding. Retreating, slightly. Almost imperceptibly, but still.
And that brings us to today which is Gay Pride day. The legend of Gay Pride is that it began with the Stonewall Riots and the stonewall riot began with Everything suddenly not being okay. With security being none. With Mom leaving.
I’m thinking about how the queers that night forty-one years ago were sad about Judy dying. They had said goodbye to their heroine, their underdog. The pop culture Icon through which they could understand mainstream American life. Judy Garland was the way for a lot of Queers to feel included in our culture. And forty-one years ago she died. The beautiful, white, cratered face, the light which mediated the darkness of night for so many people was extinguished.
I don’t like thinking of Gay Pride as being a beginning middle and end point. I like to think of us as continually engaged in one large project which is to thrive. Which is to affirm life on this planet, because the Moon cannot do that for us. Our larger project to connect with each other, more of the time and with more people. To encourage each other in new and better ways. Just as people here on earth have developed new and better technologies to measure and see the Moon, understand what’s inside of it, we queers here on Earth are developing new and better technologies to understand what’s inside of each other and ourselves. When we come out, we are investigating the elements within us which cannot be made on earth, but which are found on the moon.
My friend is a teacher in third-world countries and she told me about this test you can do all over the world. There is one thing that every kid around the world can do, without instruction. One test that every kid can ace, and it is this: you give a kid a pencil and a piece of paper and you tell them: make a picture of the moon.
In between next Saturday night, the full moon, and next Sunday the 41st anniversary of the Gay Pride movement, there’s going to be a lunar eclipse. It won’t be entirely blocked out, and it’s gonna happen in a part of the world where we may not get to see it. But I want you all to do something. When you see the moon Saturday night, say goodbye. And then, in the early morning hours of Sunday, say hello.