Let’s all take a break and watch this kitten riding a turtle. And when you’re shoveling, maximize your core muscles and lift with your legs. Fingers crossed for a snow day tomorrow, because I’m fixing to get back to painting.
Holy cannoli. Yesterday, we saw Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, and it is b e y o n d . I love movies that give a glimpse into the art making process. No movie can speak to it specifically, since our reason or drive to make things and the affect it has on our brain can’t ever really be explained. But Black Swan comes close, in an abstract, fever dream sort of way. Lisa Cholodenko’s High Art comes close, and to some extent Crazy Heart from earlier this year. Charlie Kaufman’s Synechode, NY also explains why art makers are driven to make things, but Black Swan does it in a much more palatable, if more cerebral, way. (There is a good audio review of Black Swan here by the Onion’s A.V. Club, and there is an interesting discussion of the film on Gawker here, but please note there are a couple of mild spoilers in the Gawker article.)
There is no “perfect” in art. There is better, and there is worse. You practice and train and continue to make things to get better, to get as close as you can to perfect. But here’s why I absolutely fell out at Black Swan: it shows in the most beautiful way that there is a single exception to this rule. There can be momentary perfection in art at incredible sacrifice.
Mom, if you’re reading this, don’t see it. It’s not a horror movie per se, but it’s super creepy in a Rosemary’s Baby way. It’s not as scary as The Silence of the Lambs which you also didn’t see, but it’s spooky in a way that makes you feel like you’re on drugs. It’s hard to shake, which I think is a good thing, but the creep factor will be hard for you to sit through I suspect.
Charlie Dicus just posted this video on his Tumblr and it is incredible. In the 90′s, three of my friends, Jen, Anna, and Sarah lived a pink house called The Pink House. Sometimes they made funny videos, often using parts or all of their wardrobes. You may not think it’s as wonderful as I do, but it totally gave me feelings. Enjoy.
Sorry for those who I am friends with on Facebook for the cross-posting, but I think this pie chart is worth a second look. Congrats to Justice Kagan, and here’s hoping that this Prop 8 business leads to actual change. I’m painting again, so I’ll be getting back to art-related posts next week. Oh! And my friend Jess is in labor. I’m not supposed to tell anyone, so keep it a secret.
Imma dust off this soapbox for a hot minute and wax philosophic on yesterday’s court ruling that deemed California’s Proposition 8 unconstitutional. Last night, Facebook was blowing up about this, with everyone rejoicing in this victory. And while it’s a correct ruling and a step in the right direction, this ruling is no victory until the marriage law is changed federally.
Marriage is important because our government makes it important. Marriage has become as much a legal issue as it is a love and commitment issue. When people get married, they have over 1600 legal rights that they would otherwise not have. If there weren’t so many laws (tax, property, wills, banking, retirement funds, health care privileges, etc.) wrapped up into the legal contract of marriage, then this would not be an issue. I could legally get married in Massachusetts, but our legal marriage would not be recognized if we were to move to another state or visit another country, nor would it be recognized by the federal government.
Marriage goes way beyond just a piece of paper. It’s important because the status of marriage has been elevated beyond a symbol of commitment. And because of that, to willfully exclude and knowingly deny a set of rights to a (very small) portion of the population is both shameful and illegal.
We could do one of two things as a country. We could either de-value the rights afforded to married couples, or we could allow gay couples to marry. This issue is in the vortex of our religious-based and capitalist-based country. Gay marriage will prevail, because we like our money more than we like our god. Protesters claim that gay marriage de-values hetero marriages, but the opposite is also true: hetero marriages are ultimately de-valued when they come at an exclusionary cost.
There was a senator on the news last night who decried the court’s ruling as a slap in the face to the common sense of the California voters. That’s untrue. Without getting into the ins and outs of California ballot proposals, it would be as if the civil rights of non-whites were put on the ballots 40 years ago. You cannot have the majority vote on the rights of the minority. History, thanks to YouTube, will judge this man and all others like him, as a fool and a bigot. Huzzah to you, technology.
When I was in New York last weekend, I had to go over to my friend John’s house to pick up an unsold painting from a show he curated back in December. I came back to Sara’s apartment and put the painting on top of the bookshelf. It looked really, really good amongst her things. When she saw it, she too thought it looked good in her house. So I suggested we to an indefinite temporary trade, a painting for a painting. The painting I got from her is this one on the left, and it’s something I fell in love with when I first saw it years ago. It’s a drawing on chalkboard paint. It’s so simple and so lovely. I can’t pinpoint why I love it so much, but it gives me feelings. And now it’s in my house!
Things in the studio are starting to get back to normal. The de-humidifiers and fans are still humming away, but I managed to bleach the floor and walls today. It’s clean, dry, and smells like a pool. Although I did lose a lot of things, I gained space and order: two things that I really like. I noticed an overlooked box of old odds and ends that was water-logged. It had a bunch of old photos, most that I had to toss, but I also found some gems from my past. I found my “I Read Banned Books” pin. I found four mixtapes. I found my senior photo where I wrapped myself if sparkly bubble wrap. And, I found a letter that David Sedaris sent to the bookstore I used to work at, a letter in which he sung my praises. I was 19 and, at that time, a smoker. The owner of the bookstore told me that my job for my shift was to hang out back with David and smoke with him. That was my whole shift. Shooting the breeze with David Sedaris and smoking in the alley.
My amazing Uncle Bill, a retired IRS man, did my taxes for me. Bill went to see John Doe in concert the other day. He is so much cooler than anyone I know. I made such little money last year that my girlfriend can claim me as a dependent. However, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will be sending me a refund of $74. So, that’s a big check mark in the “win” column.
I’ve got nothing else. The inside of my nose smells like Clorox. The weather was beautiful today. Our friend Meg’s alma mater, Georgetown, is in, according to her, the “sweet 64.” March gladness indeed.