Kinda obsessed with Lana Del Rey's new record. I wasn't so interested in her before but now I am. I'm really into how much of a weirdo she is, as a cultural figure. Like, she kind of disappeared, from America at least, over the last two years, and now she's back with a new record, and it's great, and she's in a bad fucking mood. In a recent interview with the Guardian, she says: "I wish I was dead already." I saw some people online say that this is irresponsible of a pop star to say, that she's encouraging people to kill themselves. I'm not so sure of that, but I'm not in her (or anyone's) demo. I think it's pretty interesting that she is portraying a fundamental ambivalence. She's ambivalent about being a pop star, a singer, an artist. She's ambivalent about being alive at all. That's kind of freaky, right? Like even someone like Lana Del Rey, who is young and talented and successful and beautiful, even someone who has it all, the way she does, she still feels like she wants to die. Okay, so maybe being a pop star isn't a salve for wishing you were dead. I suppose I already knew that? I feel like this is an important reminder, she's giving us. She also talks about wandering the streets of New York, Los Angeles and Omaha, just meeting strangers and seeing where they take her.
My favorite song on Ultraviolence is "Florida Kilos." But you know, it's like one of those things where your favorite song changes all the time/over time. Here's the B0DYH1GH remix:
Reading on the toilet in New York Magazine the article on the life and mostly death of Steve Crohn. I fucking hate this shit: the article seems to imply that for an aging gay man in New York City who does not have money, who doesn't have a fancy job or some hot-shit sexy career, maybe, for those people, suicide is an option. This article is irresponsible and disgusting. It reminded me of the piece on the suicide of the self-help therapist Bob Bergeron in the Times a couple years ago.
This thing of not being up to the task of living. Of romanticizing suicide and death. This thing of romanticizing loneliness. It seems like suicide, at least in these two articles, is the logical conclusion for the loneliness and isolation of being queer, being an old queer. This thing of, well, you're not cute or young or rich so what use is there in being alive? I think maybe I'm projecting a little bit because I'm none of those things and am furious at the idea that I'd be better off killing myself. It's as painfully obscene an idea as I can think of and all the more painful and threatening for the air of inexorability with which we talk about queer suicide. Of course, we say. Finding out another queer person has killed themselves, people say "of course". This is the wrong way to talk about death, the wrong way to understand suicide. We're on the wrong side of it, so I guess we can't understand it.
I am trying to articulate why I like it when Lana Del Rey talks about wanting to be dead, and why I dislike it when actual people die. I guess it's about the role of art, the role of curiosity, the fake social aspect. The actual community tragedy aspect.
I was thinking to myself recently that there really is a time, was a time, when things used to be different. I was at the gym yesterday thinking about some memory that seemed so long ago but was probably just a few years ago. "Oh," I thought "that was back when I used to have feelings like a normal person."
Is it possible to ruin something by association? Is it possible to save something by association. TIME: I think, THE SONG SAVER. or MEMORY: THE SONG RUINER. I'm always struck by how my experience of music is so radically transformed by where and when I heard something, who it reminds me of, etc. For example, I hadn't heard this remix until recently:
You know, that can't be true. I must have heard it at some point. Somewhere. I've certainly heard the original. But now I like this song. Now this song means something to me, I guess.
Sunday was pride and I played a cute show ta the Bureau. I sand Taja Sevelle's "Love is Contagious" after claiming it as a 1980s AIDS-related Queer Anthem. I got to tell Jim Fouratt thank you for rioting at Stonewall all those years ago. I had a nice time. I ran into Caroline and Jessie at a bar afterward. I didn't go out Sunday night. Pride is always kind of a let-down for me. I pretty much always have a bad time. I don't do good with enforced fun. I always feel excluded, every day pretty much, so on that day I feel even more excluded. I didn't have the cash to party like a madman anyway. Nor the energy.
Saturday I did a reading at Popsickle during the day, and hung out with Teebs and Kayla and we drank rose at her friend's uncles apartment in Dumbo. The reading went ok I guess. Mostly a straight crowd. No one came up to me to tell me anything afterward. People don't have to like me, it's okay. I was really really hungover. After my reading I went to the Bureau to see a bill where Teebs was reading. Lots of cute people there. Hung out with some cool art girls and kind of flirted with this boy, but like I found out he already knew a bunch of people I know. Later on in the night, I buried one hatched. I feel good. I felt good about feeling good with someone. Twice on Saturday I introduced myself to people and they were like "Max....?" waiting for my last name.
I feel like a crazy person. I feel like maybe people think of me in a certain way, in certain ways. They think of me as Max Steele. I don't know what these associations are. Even if they tell me. I feel like I never get to be a person. Sometimes it's positive associations, sometimes now. Almost always it feels like it has nothing to do with me. So it makes it hard, in a way, to meet people. To try to get to know someone.
Because they say they know me already. They already know about me.
Twice in the last month I tried to ask people out, who declined. It was a weird thing where they seemed to allude to something about me as the reason but wouldn't say what it was. That I'm a performer. That I'm Max Steele. Can't you just say that you think I'm stupid, that you think I'm unattractive, that you don't like my art or my sense of humor. Why does it have to be this vague thing of me just being inherently unworthy. Why does it have to be a thing that I should somehow already know about, right?
This is all to say that on Friday night I got really drunk and really dark. I was in a bad motherfucking mood. I wanted to play that show so bad, and I wasn't asked to. And I could have bullied my way onto the bill, and kind of almost did, but it was more trouble than it was worth. I really wanted to be invited, by someone, somewhere. And I was, but it didn't feel like enough. Do you ever see the darkness coming? I saw it. I said: "Ok here comes a bad mood" and it sure did. I ended the night with friends though, drinking to excess, kissing and saying nice things to each other. Everything seemed fine. People were trying to be nice to me.
But I felt dark and bad and ugly. I felt heartbroken in my heart.
It's been a rough springtime. And the springtime has lasted many years now.
And I keep hearing new songs and falling in love with them and then ruining them. And then rediscovering old songs.
Thursday I went to Mattachine and I danced a lot and I felt good, then. I didn't feel so bad. And so now it's been almost a week and I'm almost all better. I'm afraid to admit what hurts or what I want because I'm worried it could manifest itself or be used against me. All I want, though, is to be included, to have someone like me or want to spend time with me. I think I maybe give off a different impression: that I'm aloof, that I don't care, that I'm mean. Do you know me? Those aren't true things.
Tonight I'm going to go hang out with some cats and then I'm going to a poetry reading and I'm going to hug my friends and I'm not going to be scared of being alone tonight.
I went to the gym this morning and I was late because I was looking for an mp3 of that Bjork remix and I couldn't find one.