Back in my over-prescribed indigent human experiment geodon depakote days I made a painting of an octopus with a woman’s head that was far more stylized than this, but ultimately very static and safe, heavy like lead on it’s canvas board the way my thoughts and my body and eyelids were heavy like lead under the anti-psychotic spell. I came across that canvas recently with a twinge of distaste, both of the memory of post-breakdown days and the knowledge that I am capable of doing better than that.
So this much more powerful and flowing octopus woman took over that little canvas, and was so much more dynamic than the over-medicated octopus that she even draws all the little undines to her. Now that’s magnetism.
We were at a reading for the release of tattoo artist Jonathan Shaw’s book, Narcisa, after which Joe Coleman and Shaw entered a dialog/Q & A covering a range of topics that I’m always more than happy to fixate on; blood, mysticism, the artistic daemonic, the embodiment of sacred female rage, transformation. The quote of the evening:
“God enters through the wounds” – Jonathan Shaw
I think this is something I always intuited, though I have a haphazard and socially frowned upon way of going about it.
Delaine’s “Not My Small Diary” (aka NMSD) is one of the earliest minicomic zines I used to trade with when I was first getting into doing this stuff. Since then it’s become quite a sweet little indie publication. Each issue involves autobiographical stories from cartoonists centering around different themes. This one is “pets” and I have a comic in it about how our cats and rats interact with each other, something people often ask me about. “How do the cats and rats get along?”
Yep. This is exactly what it’s like.
The artists of #18 are: Jarod Roselló, Adam Pasion, Ben Snakepit, Brad Dale , Mark Campos, Aimee Hagerty Johnson, Joel Orff, Cara Bean, Aaron Brassea, John Porcellino, MariNaomi, Ayun Halliday, Jim Siergey, Jonathan Lai, Henry Jaepelt, Andrew Goldfarb, Michael Kraiger, Roberta Gregory, Robyn Jordan, Jenny Gonzalez-Blitz, Androo Robinson, T. Motley, Dan Moynihan, Joe Decie, Simon Moreton, Maximum Traffic, Jenny Zervakis, Sam Spina, Missy Kulik, Misun Oh, Patty Leidy, David Lasky, Margaret Suggs, Christopher Davis, Kelly Froh, Anne Thalheimer, Peter Conrad, James Burns, Jason Marcy, Chad Woody, Max Clotfelter, Donna Barr, Jason Martin, Brad Foster, Maria Jaepelt, David Yoder, Kevin Van Hyning, Robert Kirby, Maria Goodman, Gary Fields, J.T. Yost, Pete Wentzell, Delaine Derry Green, Lee Green, Simon Mackie, Liz Prince, Carrie McNinch.
This is a live reading from April 10th, where I was honored to be chosen to do the read of Chapter 3 of the Book of The Law for the annual Holy Days celebration. And of course since I can’t just read a piece of material without getting all bombastic, Eric is accompanying me with noise and percussion.
And that’s just fine. It’s a pretty damn bombastic chapter.
And you know, sometimes a gal just needs to channel a God of War and of Vengeance. Like this past week, for example…
There’s this guy who hangs around Hell’s Kitchen, usually in the vicinity of 9th and 10th Aves. I don’t see him every time I’m there, but whenever I do he has to holla, but hell. That’s being kind. He’s crossed into stalker territory.
Now, I know there’s a lot of discussion about street harassment, and I also have some criticisms of how that discussion has played out in some instances (coughHollaback-editing-all-the-white-pervs-out-of-their-videocough). I personally think it’s pretty pathetic, and I don’t buy when some argue it’s complimentary. That’s bullshit, because it’s likely those guys have said that stuff to every woman who walked by before me and will say it to every woman who’s walks by after, so looking to this sort of thing for validation strikes me as the equivalent of trying to find a healthy and vegetarian lunch at a highway rest stop when touring.
Thing is, sometimes I’ve felt like because I tend not to be frightened or intimidated by it or feel they are taking my “safe space” or whatever, that I’m somehow betraying the way the dialogue is “supposed” to go, according to some of the more academic feminist set. I don’t doubt some people do feel that way. I’m not telling them they shouldn’t. But I don’t. I find most of them to come off like yappy little high pitched chihuahuas. Except that I actually do think chihuahuas are cute.
Yeah. World of difference.
HOWEVER, there are times when these fuckers do crossed the line from yap yap yap to red alert. Doing things like following, trying to grab, blocking someone’s pathway…I know people who try to trivialize the entire thing will downplay or deny that these things sometimes happen too. Well, they do. And Mr. 10th Avenue Sleazer? Yeah, he’ll cross the line. Follow me from the store, trying to coax me to “talk to him for a minute” in out-of-sight alcoves or walkways to buildings.
I know it’s now politically incorrect to advise women and girls on safety, we’re all supposed to expect sociopaths to not be sociopaths, but I’ll just drop this one hint. Is a stranger twice your size trying to lure you into an isolated-yet-confined space? Ummm, yeah, they’re up to no good.
The time before this, which was at least a month back, 10th Avenue Sleazer stopped me when I was walking with Eric. I introduced them so this guy would see firsthand I have a husband, and so that said husband could get a good look at him.
“I don’t like that guy.” Eric says to me, mustering his old-skool street kid intuition.
“You shouldn’t. He’s a dick.” I answered.
So fast forward to an afternoon where I’m dropping off Abuelita’s laundry, and then head over to the 99 cent store to pick up some sponges and florida water, and of course guess who walks in as I’m paying at the register. And proceeds to walk right out to trail me as I head back to the laundromat. Trying to get me to walk down with him to the entrance to a building basement, yeah you’re not creepy at all so he can ask me a question. Finally, I guess he get’s frustrated enough to ask it on the sidewalk.
“Why would a beautiful woman marry a cripple?”
And then I couldn’t take it any more.
Screaming expletives intertwined with with declarations of Eric’s beauty, more beautiful than me, his brilliance as a drummer, his sovereignty as a human being, and more strings of Exorcist-style profanity. I see a broken curtain rod on the ground, one end with a knob, the other rough and sharp in some places where the break happened. I grab it and brandish it as a weapon. He watches with an expression suggesting he can’t decide whether this is “cute” or “batshit insane” (answer: it doesn’t fucking matter) and stupidly repeats “Your husband is a drummer?” I back away keeping my eyes on him. Now he doesn’t follow. I dash off and raced towards the Fountain Gallery, periodically glancing over my shoulder. In there I unwind by looking at the art and fortunately my friend Ariella, who’s represented by them, is there and I’m able to unwind, to vent to her.
It’s good to have a friendly sympathetic ear.
So though it’s been out for a minute by now, I guess I should show you my illustration in the latest issue of the Shadow (an NYC underground/anarchist newspaper.)
The article it’s for is a piece on the NYPD’s recent use of LRADS (Long Range Acoustic Devices) at protests against police violence, which the author asserts can be countered with shooting range grade earplugs.
Now while I find LRAD sounds charming and a bit giddy, a lot of people have adverse effects to them. Some have reported vomiting, dizziness, fluid leaking from the ears, stuff like that. And even I can see where being directly in their blast for prolonged periods of time might be a bad idea.
But anyway, courtesy of E.V. Grieve, here’s a list of places the Shadow is available in NYC.
This is an essay by Merrill Reed Weiner on her brother’s childhood, from her perspective. I just read it and right now I’ve pretty much got a mosh pit of different thoughts slamming around my brain over it.
Points that jump out at me:
We see a fuller picture of how mental health issues impact not just the person experiencing them, but those they are surrounded by. Our families, friends, lovers, handlers whoever they may be…the daughter here speaks of a family confused and frightened, not only by the usual generational clashes, but by things they barely understand, save that these things were circled by stigma and fear like a pair of bloodthirsty sharks. Now, this doesn’t change the Rock-n-Roll narrative for me, the one where we root for Our Hero Lou to escape the suburban Long Island forces of Those Who Don’t Get It to embrace his “junkie faggot” brilliant artist self in the big city. But…the norms were as overwhelmed as he was. And didn’t handle it half as well, in my opinion. (She does inform us they weren’t homophobes though, as commonly claimed. GOOD.)
It Was A Very Different Time. Merrill does seem to get that some things were done to her brother that, no to ways about it, were fucked up. She chalks this up not only to their parents’ lack of understanding, but the medical/psychiatric industry as well. Once a diagnosis of schizophrenia was dropped, the professionals seemed to flounder about as much as anyone else, with the unfortunate result of a lot of useless zapping for poor Lou. (If you’ve ever read Sylvia Plath’s accounts in “The Bell Jar”, ECT was a lot more severe back then. Torturous.)
Misogyny and stupid went hand in hand then. Kind of like they do now. Even though modern literature on the subject is still hypothesizing on what exactly causes the schizophrenic brain, these doctors were all damn sure it was the fault of something Mom did or didn’t do. The classic “Refrigerator Mother” thing. Though admittedly I will say she was following some pretty terrible advice with that “ignore the crying infant” thing, no doubt an edict passed down to her by yet another “expert”.
I get skeptical however, at speculations like this one:
“Would Lou have become the artist he became without the furious anger that the treatments engendered? Did Lou use the treatments as a source of artistic fuel, a means to create an illusion of an abused individual? Who knows?”
Uh-huh. Zap the shit out of your schizo, handlers, they deserve it! It’s good for ’em, they wanna be artists soooo bad. Any complaints they have are “illusions”, fuckin’ crazy schizo artists don’t know what’s good for ’em. Never mind the fact that this flies in the face of several paragraphs earlier, where she describes an already emerging artistic temperament and talent:
“He possessed a fragile temperament. His hyper-focus on the things he liked led him to music and it was there that he found himself.
Self-taught, he began playing the guitar, absorbing every musical influence he could. In high school he formed bands and played in the school variety shows. His band began to get dates at small local clubs, which then expanded to playing gigs in New York City.”
Anyway, I’d be curious what others may take from all this, I guess.
These days I seem to want to impose whatever is already in my brain onto the hard world reality that surrounds me. Pamphlets like this though, are designed to impose things on my brain as well though, so if I impose back, we’re even.
Yesterday we went by the Mocca Comic Festival. It’s relocated once again, this time from the Armory to the Dia Center in West Chelsea, which most people seemed to agree was a much nicer space for it…including Darryl Ayo, who bemoans the fact that he’s read an article saying the building is going to be torn down.
I don’t think it’s that the Dia Center itself is going away, since I’ve recently read an article saying the La Monte Young Dream House is going to move to the Dia Center, but still…I’m sentimental. We’ve been to a lot of cool stuff in that building. Hell, Eric & I have defiled someone’s art installation in that building. (Note to anyone who wants to include mattresses in an art installation: I have poor impulse control, and for some reason Eric finds this “cute”.) I don’t remember who’s installation that was even. We were there to see Grux, who we were on a bill with the following night and who had been brought into the installation to do noise and apparently terrorize smug scenesters with nail studded two-by-fours and latex tentacles.
There were printouts of funny Spider Man memes from the internet blown up onto the walls, I remember.
Another time we got free passes to the Outsider Art Fair in that building.
Yeah, Mocca Fest was fun this year.
Though I met Judith relatively late in her life, I feel honored to have known her and to have seen her perform with the Living Theater. Eric as well remembers her as kind to him even in the worst moments of his life, she must’ve been operating at a higher level that way. Which would explain the innovative techniques and content of The Living Theater, which she founded with her husband Julian Beck. In the past couple of years, this legendary playhouse was priced out by a scumbag landlord, probably to turn it into another bland yuppie shithole with overpriced drinks and terrible music, or maybe an overpriced salon where yuppies pay too much money to get their boring hairdos. I dunno. Either way, though Music Cares and the Actor’s Fund were able to relocate Judith to living quarters in an actors home, many feel that the loss of her creative space, where the interactive performances were largely held, was a death blow, both in part to her and in part to the culture of this city.
As Eric & I did our own ritual performance yesterday, for the Holy Days, Judith Malina was crossing over into what we are merely able to tap into. I leave you with the play that got Judith & Co. imprisoned and tortured in Brazil in 1973…for hitting a little too close to the bone on State torture and control practices. (Way to prove their point, Medici!)
Seven Meditations On Political Sadomasochism
“Described as “a visceral examination of the social contract between the governed and the government,” the play explores Sacher-Masoch’s Six Houses of Bondage: Love, Money, Property, State, War and Death, with a seventh meditation on Revolutionary Change.”
The Liebster Award is a blogger thing, and I was nominated by Wandering Poet.
The rules, which I may or may not follow on total whim, are:
The rules are:
- Link back to the person who nominated you. check
- Give 11 random facts about yourself.
- Answer 11 questions from your nominator.
- Nominate 11 new and obscure bloggers.
- Come up with 11 questions for them to answer.
- Inform your nominees.
Random Facts About Myself:
1. I play violin left handed. Which will immediately make some violinists all:
2. My filling feels loose, and I can’t stop rubbing it with my tongue. It’s a compulsion.
3. I really really like Jagermeister. Oh yeah. The chick who posted the Laibach video loves shots of Jager. Don’t everybody look surprised all at once.
4. I think chipping nail polish looks cool.
5. I feel like my spinal column is electrified and buzzing right now. And that doesn’t bother me.
6. I can’t decide if I want to paint or work on tracks after this.
7. I’m kind of disorganized but it makes sense to me.
8. I’m teaching myself to twirl a balisong knife, but mine needs to be oiled.
9. I like social justice, but online Social Justice Warriors can make me want to bang my head into a wall.
10. I can get along ok with some disembodied voices, so I don’t think it’s ALWAYS bad. Just sometimes.
11. After this I’m gonna watch cartoons in bed with Eric.
My Questions From Wandering Poet
1. Who is your favorite sex educator? – Trial and Error
2. Who is your favorite band? – My 1st favorite band from when I was young would be Depeche Mode, but I also get intently into others, lately been listening a lot to Sudden Infant, C.C.C.C., Vagina Dentata Organ…I saw Pharmakon the other night and it was very inspiring.
3. If you could live anywhere, where would it be? – Here (NYC) but with the bloodshed gentrification reign of Ghouliani and Bloombucks undone.
4. Do you like President Obama as a person? – I don’t know him as a person, but if I did he wouldn’t like me cuz I’d bug him about Gitmo and Chelsea Manning and stuff like that.
5. What is your favorite drink? – I think I covered this in fact #3. Oh, I also like Black Russians.
6. Where do you see yourself in 5 days? – I can’t predict what may happen in 5 minutes.
7. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? – What is this, a job interview?
8. Do you like blogging awards? – They seem nice.
9. Would you punch me in the nards for nominating you if you could? – No – jeez I haven’t been asked that since the days when I fronted that all-girl punk band.
10. Do you care about my nards at all? – Sorry, the only nards I care about are my husbands. But as a self esteem coach might say, “The important thing is that YOU care about your nards. Your nards are good enough, smart enough, and doggone it people like them. Love your nards.”
11. Have you no shame? – No, traded it all in for self-respect. And some Twizzlers.
and I nominate…
And ummm…I’m crashing, sorry. I’ll finish this tomorrow, and I guess think of questions, in the meantime people could answer those questions about the bands and Obama and stuff…