Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

My Prince

Friday, April 22nd, 2016

my price

I thought of him as my own Prince, the voice I danced to in my living room when nobody I knew liked Dirty Mind except for me.

On New Year’s Eve at the close of 1998, we went to an awful party at a neighbor’s house but when they put on 1999, I felt that surge of euphoria only Prince can ignite.

I think I even fell in love with my husband while we watched Prince on TV, dancing around in buttless chaps, on a set decorated with flaming torches.

There is so much more but don’t you hate the way people want to make Prince’s death be all about them?? I did see Prince live but maybe you did too. It’s not about what concert we went to or wish we’d gone to.

It’s just about what music means to us throughout our lives. You cannot overstate its significance, but you don’t really know it until you lose that artist who was always there for you, to lift your spirit or console you through the worst heartbreak.

I love Prince so much! He was my little Prince. I was so jealous of Wendy and Lisa and even whatshername, that one in Purple Rain.

I don’t get how someone so magnificent and full of life can just be gone from the world, poof.

I haven’t processed this loss but added to the others it feels more and more like life on this planet is drained of joy and hope and purpose.

I want Prince to come back and Max too. I don’t know how 2 celebrate this thing called life without them.

If you’d like to share something about Prince, even your favorite song, lay it on me.

 

 

Hooray For Rape Victims

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016

lady-gaga-absue-survivors

When Lady Gaga sang her song about sexual abuse during the Academy Awards show, I couldn’t help calling out to my husband, “Oh look, they actually have rape victims onstage!”

He came to look and smiled appreciatively at the awful showbiz spectacle of rape victims raising their arms triumphantly. Some had written anti-stigma hashtags on themselves like ITS NOT YOUR FAULT.

So I was surprised to read all the praise heaped on this performance, everywhere I looked. “Stunning,” “Powerful,” Brave”!

I may be walking on this ice by using the words “rape victims” instead of “sexual assault survivors.” I guess victim is now considered too victimmy. And rape is too rapey.

Some websites are calling the song a “rape anthem” but others are trying to avoid calling it anything but “empowering”.

Rape is terrible, okay? I have experienced it as a reckless teenager, more than once. I guess I have experienced a lot of bad things. I consider myself more traumatized than the average person.

But I never like to see public displays of self-righteousness. I don’t like seeing victims of some horrible societal ill become a poster child for whatever it is – gay suicide, bullying, fat-shaming, you name it.

Rape, incest, murder, racism, Sharia law, child abuse, hate crimes, it’s all bad. Except for Donald Trump supporters, we all agree.

But these issues are too serious to be cheapened by a Vegas floor show or an Oscars shout-out. I don’t know why everyone doesn’t instinctively recoil from the Hollywoodization of human suffering! I don’t know why everyone doesn’t register disgust when social problems are shrink-wrapped in sanctimonious, self-congratulating sound-bites or hash-tags.

Where are the eating-disorder people, the clitorectomy survivors, the child soldiers of Africa, the middle school sexting suicides? What about the unemployed Veteran amputees? Will they all get their turns for a standing ovation at the Academy awards?

Nothing is too sacred to be fodder for pop commercialism or pious condemnation. Today, celebrities are falling over themselves to confess that they’ve been sexually abused, too. One had to clarify that it was “child abuse” in her case. Let’s hope she wasn’t run out of town for speaking out of turn.

I asked my husband to help me understand the difference between Common and John Legend performing “Glory” at the Oscars last year, and the Lady Gaga performance. “Glory” didn’t piss me off. It was a polemic but it was magnificent!

He answered, “One was good art, and the other was bad art.”

So there’s that, too.

Thoughts, anyone?

The Famous Writer

Thursday, February 4th, 2016

famous writer

Late in 2012, I became Facebook friends with a famous writer. I considered him one of the most talented writers around, a truly unique and brilliant voice. His novels are dark and disturbing but also hilarious.

He not only accepted my friend request, but he sent me a message to say he liked my blog. It was like being blessed by the Pope, only better.

We started to write messages back and forth and exchanged email addresses, We shared a depressed but cynically amused world view and had many of the same literary heroes. We even shared a love/hate relationship with weightlifting.

We decided to talk on the phone. I loved his deep voice and I loved his ideas. Here he was, a living god, and he seemed to really enjoy talking to me.

Our conversations weren’t sexual or even suggestive, but it was like a love affair based on a mutual sensibility. That’s how I saw it.

We talked about suicide and his experience helping a deeply depressed friend. I told him that I was struggling, and his insights were comforting and useful.

He told me about a crazy girlfriend who had shattered his belief in his own judgement. She had bailed on him without warning and married some other guy. I agreed with his diagnosis of her and we spent many hours going over the awfulness of dealing with Borderline Personality Disorders.

We talked about the reasons I haven’t tried to tackle a serious writing project. He encouraged me to take the plunge despite my fear of failure and all the usual bullshit that people who can’t write a novel like to use as excuses for their lack of effort or talent.

Then, he offered to be my writing mentor.

It was like a beautiful dream where everything you ever wanted plots right into your lap! I was beside myself with excitement. And even hope. Now I would write something long, something that needed to be expressed in words, in order to both ensure my sanity and justify my worthless existence.

I started to write the story of Max.

I started with the end and worked backwards. I recounted every detail, trying to capture everything. the terror and shock and grief and remorse and most of all the love.

I sent him the six pages and he was supportive, although not exactly bowled over. He reminded me that you can’t just report things, even in a memoir. You have to create a whole world.

And then he disappeared.

He didn’t respond to my phone messages or emails. There was only silence.

I began to worry that he thought I was a stalker, that’s how many messages I left. I became paranoid, wondering if someone had turned him against me. I regretted writing the six pages of complete shit. How dare I have such an inflated opinion of myself to try to write something that mattered!

Then he reappeared. He was sorry about the long silence but things had been rough. However, now he had exciting news. He was deliriously in love with a much younger women but everything was perfect. She was incredibly talented and beautiful and was about to move in with him. They had only just become lovers but they were picking out name for their children. He would support her while she wrote her masterpiece. I think he even gave her a diamond ring.

I was stunned by his story, especially after the long silence. I tried to be happy for him even though I was pretty sure the romance would end badly for him. After another long silence, he called me to let me know that she’d disappeared. She left the ring but took the high-end clothes he bought for her.

We laughed about the clothes. I felt terrible for him. Two crazy girlfriends in a row, and I mean crazy.

Then he disappeared again. And I decided to forget about him. Maybe he was like my own crazy girlfriend, the one whose red flags I refused to notice.

I didn’t try to finish the Max story. I guess it’s a story to carry in my heart until I see him again.

Thankful Or Not

Monday, November 30th, 2015

tom turkey small

I have been struggling with inertia, feelings of hopelessness, and general apathy. Thanksgiving made me aware of my resistance to the whole idea of being thankful.

Why do we have to be thankful on demand? Why can’t we just wallow in bitterness and despair?

My Thanksgiving turned out to be a happy one, by the grace of friends who cook and play guitar. I even made a festive centerpiece. But three days later, I’m still coming across lists of Things To Be Thankful For. I just found one with a full 100 things that some idiot or group of idiots managed to compile.

Number 1 is :

Your health- because it’s one thing that you should never take for granted.

Really? I thought health was the thing you turn to when you can’t think of any other reason to be grateful, a last resort and kind of a bitter pill. “At least you’ve got your health.”

Number 4 is “scented candles”. Hahahaha! Jesus. In my world, that would come right after paved roads.

“Friends” come in at Number 15. Oh well.

Number 32 is “Free Shipping.” LOL!  Actually, free shipping is a good one, I’m going to make it number 10 in my personal hierarchy of gratitude.

Number 65 is:

A cup of really good coffee.

Clearly these philistines know nothing about coffee.

Number 85 = Hummus. Whereas “Art” is Number 91.

I have to admit this list gave me some good laughs, so I need to put “stupid lists” in my top ten. Let me change my mind about the Thankfulness thing and offer a list of my own. I hope it’s clear that I’m making all this up as I write, okay?

1. Love
2. Art
3. Music
4. Coffee
5. Chocolate
6. Dogs
7. ???
8. ???
9. Stupid lists
10. Free shipping.

Anyone want to share their own top ten? Or to fill in my seven and eight?

 

 

Fashion Gibberish And A Contest

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

english-motherfucker

My cyber-friend and adopted daughter Annemarie has generously pointed me to a treasure trove of pretentious fashion gibberish that reads like a buzzword generator.

In fact, the high-end shopping site Ssense has just launched such a generator and it’s fun to play with. It needs more variables to be top-notch but I like to see a designer fashion site with an actual sense of humor.

The site Annemarie recommended has zero awareness of it’s over-the-top pompousness, and that is its gift to us. Here is Lagarconne‘s tumbler blog expounding on a pair of frumpy black dresses:

frumpy-mock-neck

With a quirky disposition linked to techie dressing, the mock neck is noted for its scientific past, yet finds new function as a clever tool in the construction of occasionwear. Elegantly revisited, the detail lends analytical air to ultra-sleek fabrics, taking modernity back a step with skilled wit. When cut in silk or satin, the style adds bookish refinement, creating streamlined classics by way of cerebral calculation. From Marni, the neckline gives engineered structure to fluid stretch silk, while The Row further exemplifies the neckline’s transformative powers,lending academic grounding to surfer-influenced attire. From cubicle to catwalk, the mock neck makes new headway as a fool-proof formula for optimum sophistication.

Jesus Christ, right? What are they on over there?

Here’s the prose inspired by a grey sweatshirt and baggy cropped pants:

Baggier shirts and widened trousers often instill an unconscious urge for slimmer pairings. Japanese label, Blue Blue Japan, breaks this habit in considered refusal of the customary approach. By pairing the classic crewneck sweatshirt with cropped culottes in signature indigo denim, an effortless balance arises. In a duplicated slack, each item mirrors the other. Nipped only slightly at the hips, a band of knit ribbing adds no constriction, simply linking the unfettered forms.

Considered refusal‘ is killing me. I’m even impressed by ‘slimmer parings.’

I sort of want to master this language, particularly as there are no discernible rules except to string along descriptive words with terms from random academic disciplines like philosophy, architecture and engineering.

So far, I suck at it. I feel like I have no aptitude for it but I’ve been listening to that maniac Joel Osteen on the radio, who insists that a positive attitude is all you need to make your dreams come true, like having a baby when you’re sterile or sending your wife’s cancer into remission.

Never mind about him. Let’s have fun.

Here’s an unremarkable, dowdy-looking pair of shoes from La Garconne. They are priced at $685 but don’t let that determine your reaction. The goal is to create a flowing description that leaves the potential shopper feeling daunted, mystified, slightly shamed but filled with avarice.

Marsell leather slipper

I’ll be working on my caption but let’s see yours!

The winner will be will be selected by votes, and the prize will be something either stupid or good, whichever seems most appropriate.

Announcing My Reality Show, ‘I Am Cunt’

Monday, July 27th, 2015

I Am Cunt tv show

I decided to skip the new Caitlyn Jenner show because (1) I am just sick of her/him, and (2) I was busy watching my other Sunday shit as discussed only last week.

But upon reflection, I feel I should have my own Reality Show and of course, you should too!

Mine will be about My Journey. There will be laughter, tears, and whining, and then more tears. There will be a lot of yelling and cursing.

My family members will make appearances, nagging and berating me. My sister will bring her list of things she resents me for, like she did the last time we went out for coffee.

My gender will remain pretty stable throughout, but my mental state will be all over the fucking map.

Like I imagine Caitlyn did, I will invite you into my closet. I will grab a bunch of stuff and throw it across the room, announcing, “No more Bruce!” Or I can just moan, “Why did I spend money on this stupid shit?” as my husband wrings his hands in the background.

We will review the history of my hair, and we’ll wonder how long before I die of cancer from those ‘keratin’ treatments.

Fine, it sounds a little boring but in fact it will be mesmerizing, like Apocalypse Now crossed with Grey Gardens, only not. Maybe I can get a synopsis of every Caitlyn episode and just follow her/his lead. We can certainly talk about my tits and make-up and how fearlessly I insist on being Me.

I fucking love this. And it’s not just about me. It’s about everyone struggling with existence as an angry, self-involved shopping addict with mood swings who wants attention but doesn’t have a voice. Cunt or not.

Sunday Night TV

Monday, July 13th, 2015

seniors

Tonight we watched what my husband and I call ‘Our Sunday Shows.’

We’re like decrepit retiree’s, with nothing more exciting to do at night than watch TV. I can’t remember what young people do at night.

Anyway, Sunday night is packed with Cable series that are always ending or beginning a new season. One show will have its season finale, leaving me feeling anxious and abandoned, but another one will start up. Mostly they’re crap but we watch them faithfully.

Tonight we watched True Detective, Ray Donovan, and Ballers, all stupid and disappointing, but we’ll be back for more next Sunday. Despite the stupidity of these particular shows, we feel we have standards. I will never, and I mean never, watch Game of Thrones. I know in my heart that I don’t want to see dragons or women on horseback yelling at their armies.

Likewise, I didn’t watch Madmen because I can’t stand that guy’s face and I’m not interested in advertising or period irony.

True Detective was so magnificent last year! This year, it’s a big mess that’s hard to follow and doesn’t make sense anyway. No one can act, the dialogue is lame and stilted, and the Chinatown aspects are forced and idiotic. Plus, I miss every other line of dialogue because no one will fucking enunciate.

Ray Donovan is a truly terrible show but I’ve come to appreciate how bad it is. The best part is how Liev Scheiber refuses to make a facial expression. All the characters are repellent and all the accents are laughably inept.

Ballers is new but it seems promising in the stupid department. There’s a lot of male posturing and a lot of girls in bikinis, since it’s a Mark Wahlberg production. But it stars The Rock, who is always compellingly strange: Is he black or Mexican or Asian? Why is his head so small that he looks like a dinosaur? Is he gay or what? What is the source of his obscure charm?

During the week, we try to find things on Netflix that might actually be good but it’s hit and miss. If nothing is on, we are happy to play with our computers or read.

But Sunday night is special because Our Shows are on, and we hate to miss a single unintelligible moment.

What shows do you guys like to watch?

 

Exciting News About Hideous Denim!

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

denimpile

Yay for me!

I have started a new blog devoted solely to hideous denim, so as to spare sensitive viewers (and impressionable children) from being subjected to this topic.

It you’re wearing your big boy pants, go check it out.

xoxoxo

The Nothingness of Marina Abramovic

Monday, July 7th, 2014

INTERVIEW: MARINA ABRAMOVIC

If you’ve always sensed some nothingness in the work of celebrated performance diva artist Marina Abramovic, you’ll be glad to know it’s official.

Discussing her new work at the Serpentine Gallery, her first since The Artist is Present, she says:

I had this vision of an empty gallery — nothing there.

So far, so good. So radical and avant garde! Her show is called  “512 Hours,” the amount of time she will be present at the gallery, where patrons will enter an empty room and do nothing, or something.

There is just me. And the public. It is insane what I try to do.

Oh Marina, you kook! You bring the nothing, and we love you for it! Well, I don’t, but whatever.The gallery’s curators have received a number of letters, accusing Abramovic and the gallery of failing to acknowledge the work of Mary Ellen Carroll, a New York-based conceptual artist who has been working on a project called “Nothing” since 1984, describing it as “an engagement with the public.”

The Serpentine’s curator admits that many artists (including John Cage and Yoko Ono) have explored the relationship between art and nothingness. The matter is far from settled but Abramovic has responded a bit defensively:

It’s not that I’m doing nothing — quite the opposite. It’s just that there is nothing except people in the space.

See, you idiots? You fucking philistines! Back off. Get out of her grille.

I like this paragraph about Marina, from a profile at CNN online: “She has danced with Jay Z in his music video, counts James Franco and Lady Gaga as loyal fans and friends, and was named as one of Time Magazine’s most influential people of 2014.”

I think it sums up her place in our culture, although I also believe there was a time when she was a genuine artist with something to say.

Meanwhile, if you want, you can watch her sell out to Adidas, below.

 

‘No Mediocre’ Exegesis

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

I discovered this new video because it features my darling Iggy Azalea. I had no idea who T.I was, that’s how ignorant I am.

But now I know, and Knowing is the First Step.

Anyway, T.I. is somewhat controversial, but that’s due to his personal life. “No Mediocre” is just a standard rap song evidently, and yet it is so rich in poetry. Let me share some of the lyrics:

Right hand in the air
I solemnly swear
I never fuck a bitch if she don’t do her hair
No more, you won’t get no dick if there’s a bush down there
Girl I should see nothing but pussy when I look down there

Fair enough. Got it.

However, rap genius offers choices in interpreting the heartfelt couplet about dick with regard to bush.

rap-genius-mediocre

See? He has standards. But if a bitch meet the standards, here is what will happen:

Out here trying to find someone that better than my last go
Take her to my castle
Drown her in my cash flow

Okay! Again, got it. But I like this clarification from rap genius:

“T.I. would like to find a female that looks better than his last, if that’s possible since he all he fuck is bad bitches.”

And with a net worth of around $50 million, T.I. can afford to be discriminating with his bitches, and he don’t want no bitch that will settle for mediocre either. It’s all good.