Wednesday, December 09, 2009

SINCE LAST WE MET

Since last we met:

~My story Brendan Kills appeared in decomp.

~Video of friend of the blog Meg Pokrass reading her (pushcart-nominated) story "What the Doctor Ordered" posted to Monkeybicycle's website. Search her on youtube -- there's lots more where this came from.

~I became a contibutor at "Big Other" and made my first post -- "Why I Dig Dennis Cooper."

~A small piece of mine (also about dennis cooper) appeared in local activist paper AREA Chicago in a collective article on peripheral feminisms.

~FRiGG editor Ellen Parker asked for help pimping the "Write Like Joseph Young" contest, and I do whatever Ellen tells me.

~I went to London, Paris and the Netherlands (Rotterdam, Delft, den Haag, Deventer, Amersfoort, Amsterdam). It was glorious.

~I confirmed I will appear in December's Orange Alert Readings series on December 20. Warning: I might wear makeup.


....and speaking of makeup...

...I have lately been attracted to surfaces. I mean material, surface-level stuff, seemingly "shallow' stuff... like eye makeup, glittery things, spiky pendants, Adam Lambert, Lady Gaga, vinyl couture... am I getting gayer? Maybe?

I spent several weeks obsessively reading about the "club kids" era in NYC, the outlandishly-dressed social circle that revolved around convicted murderer/party promoter Michael Alig, protag of the film Party Monster (and focal point of former "celubutante" James St. James's memoir "Disco Bloodbath.") I'm still not sure what fascinates me about them... the club kids were wildly transgressive but not at all revolutionary. They upset all sorts of conventions re: heteronormativity especially, but the were utterly amoral and had no aim or goal or mission beyond chaotic parties. Moreover, they were completely narcissistic, materialistic, hedonistic... all lookatmelookatmelookatme. Haven't we seen this all before? What about this is fresh or new or intriguing? Why did I spend weeks unable to turn away?

Yet... one gets a sense... or at least I get a sense of chaotic community reading abt and looking at them, and of a sort-of anarchic personal freedom that has maybe always attracted me even as the social movement communities I align myself with are far more oriented toward some more visionary collective liberation.

Many Queer folks have, I think, historically and currently, rejected the distinction between productive and unproductive labor and between surface aesthetics and "deeper meaning" ... I think as some theorists understand this: Because we do not (necessarily) reproduce, we are situated outside and/or have some alternative relationship to heteronormative and capitalist modes of production. We are seen as unproductive, and so many of our "shallow" rituals -- ie urban nightlife -- are politicized by some theorists and critics, are seen as a celebratory embrace of outsider status and a challenge posed to capitalist heteronormativity (of course there's all manner of capitalist and heteronormative ugliness in GLBT and queer nightlife, especially its current manifestation, but that is not really the focus of this post).

I am not really taking the time here to be coherent or accessible or explain whatthefuck I'm talking about... but hopefully it makes some kind of cracked sense.

What I know is... I have developed a newfound fascination with "glamour," particularly outlandish and sometimes grotesque or even cartoonish manifestations of glamour and its images and sensations. And also, I do not necessarily buy into the notion that material interests and an interest in surfaces lacks depth, meaning, value, whatever. I think I will continue (begin) to explore this through language? I think it is taking me somewhere I do not understand.

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