Listening to The Agony is The Ecstasy by Miss Lydia A. Lunch (she's a Gemini, I mean, duh, right?)
This record pretty much perfectly expresses what I call "A Case of the Mondays". The other side is a live Birthday Party show and Nick sounds predictably sexy on it.
I guess, I just sort of feel like being cute and being clever are kind of played out. And in the way where, y'know, it's okay to be played out. If that's your trip. But at the same time, I feel like paying ransom to the dominant capitalist culture is kind of fucked up, too. Like, in a way, making art about the living out this fucked up patriarchal fantasy is, in a way, sort of reinforcing these power structures, no?
I wanna talk about Alice Walker's book Possessing the Secret of Joy.
I was actually sitting my bedroom the other day, fuming, thinking about how I have all this shit in my room which I really do not need. All these clothes with holes in them or that are too small or I never wear, but I can't bear to part with because I've had these tattered things since high school. And I was thinking about how I have, basically, every book I read in college. And I was staring at my copy of Possessing..., thinking, "I will probably never want to read this book, ever again." It's so tough! I mean, it's beautiful, obviously, but it's really hard. I think Alice Walker's writing is so particularly American. And I mean this as a compliment. I spent a year in college reading nothing but novels Alice Walker, Toni Morrison and Gloria Naylor. And Walker isn't even necessarily my favorite of the three, but she does seem to me to be the most American, in a way. So whatever, this book, Possessing the Secret of Joy, is about female circumcision, but it's also about culture, and history, and context, and trying to wrap your head around someone who is so different than you. It's about how to recognize the Other and the Self, I think. It's really beautiful. Maybe I will read it again. The reason I'm thinking of it this morning, though, is that one of Walker's epigraphs at the beginning of the text is form a bumper sticker, and says:
WHEN THE AX CAME INTO THE FOREST, THE TREES SAID THE HANDLE IS ONE OF US.
Heavy, right? Now, I don't want to compare anything to anything, and certainly not the kind of capitalist "art culture" I'm bitching about to systemic worldwide oppression of women, BUT I do think this pithy lil quote has some resonance. Like: we can recognize parts of ourselves in our dark fantasies.
Another example: We can tell when we are being marketed to. We know when the fantasies are being
ANOTHER KATHLEEN HANNA QUOTE THAT MAKES ME THINK A LOT:
"I know when I first started, I said things like, It’s really great to be beautiful and powerful and sexy, and I take a little bit of that back now. What I was saying was that you don’t have look a certain way or have a certain hairstyle to be a feminist; that just because a girl wears lipstick that doesn’t mean she’s not a feminist. But now I realize that I wasn’t really challenging the standard of beauty. A friend said to me, Why is it so subversive to be beautiful in the traditional sense? I think it’s much more subversive to create your own form of beauty and to set your own standards. She’s right. "
Like: FREE YOUR MIND. I dunno. Sometimes we think that the only way to be happy is to be like the things we see on TV (or something) and then eventually you get all of those things and what, really, changes?
I did have a nice weekend, though, despite feeling kinda gross. Friday I hung out with Cole and Ptrck the Witch and PLD and Cole's little friend Daniel at the house. We had some red wine, then some St. Ides' which P swears by, and can drink and then go compose a multimedia orchestral piece without blinking, but if I have so much as a whiff of St. Ides' I immediately turn into a drunken tadbole, shivering wet and slimy on my kitchen floor. WHO am I kidding? Anyway so I had a little to drink and then we went to the Metropolitan. After five minutes I was ready to go. And I got a sandwich from Hana Food ("Still a Virgin") and was really happy about it. I slept really shittily though, and managed to fuck up my neck somehow. I woke up early and hungover and exhausted on Saturday and wrote that stuff above about Alice Walker, then went to go meet up with Erin Markey for coffee. She's so fucking cool, I can barely act like I'm not totally starstruck by her when we hang out. She got me a coffee and the girls at the coffee shop were totally flirting with her (duh) and she reminded me that she is the Coolest Person Ever, by saying (when the cashier girl batted here eyelashes and said "Thaahaaaank You") "Merry Christmas".
I went home for a second to try to take a nap (unsuccessfully) and then went to go see Jess Paps' new band HEAVENS GATE play a free acoustic show as part of a goodbye festival thing outside of Monster Island. It was so nice! It reminded me of the many (many) shows I played in high school outside the 16th St. & Mission BART station, with a generator plugged into the bus stop. And then all those cute acoustic shows in college. Did you know that for a long time I just played the cello and ukulele and sang? Someday there might be a college class called Emo Studies. Maybe there already is.
Um anyway. Heavens Gate was so good! Seeing them acoustic was really nice. I love Jess' lyrics in that band a lot. It was kind of a perfect show. After Jess' show I went home and tried again to take a nap with no more luck. PLD and I went to this cool group show in Bushwick at this space called Famous Accountants. The show was called VIEW OF OUTER SPACE FROM AN AQUARIUM featuring really cool pieces by a lot of really amazing artists, Scott Hug, Michael Magnan, Scooter LaForge, Rachel Mason, the Mogutin-Kennys and Genesis P. Orridge. (I once saw someone giving a talk about upcoming events where they pronounced Their name "Genesis Porridge" and nobody corrected the announcer, and it was funny and awkward). Anyway the show was really great! Definitely worth a trip. Highly recommended.
Saturday afterward, I go-go danced at QxBxRx, NYC's best (and only) queer punk rock party. I am continually proud and excited about this party, and I've been go-going it there for a minute or two. Lovely as always to dance with Lusty Johnny Darling, who was sporting a fee-ahce multicolored wig, looking like a bona fide LA Metal Babe. (Have y'all ever heard of that band SLASH'S SNAKEPIT? Is that the best name for a band ever?) QxBxRx was, as I am sure you can imagine, too much fun. But Cole and Erin and Thee Irish Horse and deer hearts Sam McKinnis and Sister Pico and PLD all came through. So you know I had a blast. We saw Bridget Everett perform, and it's another one of those things where I just can't keep it together. Too much fun. All weekend.
Sunday I got up and I painted my nails blue with the new Chanel denim-inspired nail polish:
It's really pretty, and it goes with my blonde hair.
Sunday, I went to the NY Art Book Fair. And saw, oh, you know, fucking everybody in the entire world all crammed into one room. It was fucking insane. I was totally overwhelmed but I did have a nice time. I bought the new issue of 'SUP Magazine, which is great! Fantastic Mister Milan Zrnic took a bunch of the photos for the issue, which are absolutely beautiful. He is so beyond talented. I only know really cute and talented people. I guess at a certain point I decided (subconsciously?) not to mix with ugly or untalented or mean people anymore, and I haven't. I live, now, in a perpetual state of blushing, bursting with pride for pretty much everyone. It's a nice feeling. A good situation, you should try it some time.
After the book fair, I went home and tried one more time to take a nap (NOPE) and then went to meet up with Jiddy No-No to go see Erase Errata at Glasslands! What the fuck! I was exhausted, but Jiddy is so funny and adorable, and we had a little bit of whiskey, and it was Erase Errata! It was like a dream. Like, I felt like I Was not awake. Was this really happening? EE added a keyboardist, which sounds really new and great and definitely different. They played a bunch from the last album, at least one from At Crystal Palace, nothing from Other Animals, but they DID play "A Passion for Acting" as well as "Cat and Canary" and I totally lost it. I love that song. It's the first song I ever saw them perform, in like 2001, and it totally blew me away and might be a favorite of all time. Gosh I'm sleepy just even remembering. I bought a sandwich and took a cab home from Bedford which I almost never do but I really wanted to sleep.
And now I want to sleep a little bit more.