“’Snuggling’ - surely the most pleasant thing in the world. Scrunching further and further into the mattress as we struggle closer and closer warmer and warmer nearer and nearer, our bodies like a letter fitting into an envelope, my legs over her legs, our hips sliding against each other, her arm tighter and tighter around my shoulders, my face nestled more and more firmly into her collarbone. It is bliss. The simplest and most primitive bliss. A childlike, sexual, friendly, animal bliss.’”
this time last year i was trading phone calls with kate millett. we never did end up speaking.
an excerpt from carolee schneemann’s “interior scroll,” 1975.
1975! some things really stand the test of time, if you know what i mean.
this is not unrelated to my earlier post.
I met a happy man
A Structuralist filmmaker
—But don’t call me that
It’s something else I do-
He said we are fond of you
You are charming
But don’t ask us to look
At your films
We cannot look at:
the personal clutter
the persistence of feeling
the hand-touch sensibility
the diaristic indulgent
the painterly mess
the dense gestalt
Linda Rhodes, Arlene Kushner, and Ellen Broidy, May 1970, photographed by Diana Davies.
i had a rather heteronormative pride weekend which is pretty historically accurate for me, as marisa would attest. for years she really wanted me to write an essay about my simultaneous teen obsessions: boys and lesbian musicians.
and i almost did! along with joon, we came up with a panel for emp 2009 called “what sluttiness sounds like.” but then, totally expectedly, we were REJECTED by the powers-that-be. of course, all three of us see ourselves as persecuted outsiders, so we thought getting rejected was kind of awesome. we eat your hate like love, etc.
besides, I DID NOT EVER WANT TO WRITE THIS ESSAY, which i at one point suggested calling “things i hope no one i worked with at the times ever knows about me.” but in the spirit of pride weekend, radical vulnerability, and 2010, i am totally posting it! thinking about it no longer “makes me want to faint or vomit,” as i told joon and MM in an email. this actually seems quite tame. the only thing that really embarrasses me now about this proposal is its generally earnest tone, including its super-prissy last line. anyway, enjoy.
In middle school I spent as much time as I could fooling around with the (mean) guy I was infatuated with; by 9th grade I forced myself to go to a Catholic all-girls school so that I might actually study, though I actually spent most of my time reading Sassy and Alice Walker. Iconic nineties women provided a template for girls like me—obsessed with sex, enraged by sexual politics. But let’s be honest: Alanis sounded a little desperate when she talked about that mid-movie blowjob. Liz brazenly bandied the word “fuck,” but pined for a boyfriend straight out of an After School Special. Tori’s “Precious Things” was a song so painfully true to life I still can’t talk about it unless I am lying on the floor in the fetal position.
I identified with the rage, depression, and sadness of all of these women, who articulated the frustrating collision of desire, ambivalence, cruelty, and romantic aspirations with which I already felt familiar. But Ani DiFranco offered me something they did not: a way out.
When it came to sex, Ani was, in her own words, “shameless.” She was unapologetic, excessive—in her lyrics, certainly, and in her (sometimes cringe-worthy) style. Still, I was taken by both her ethos and her persona: she was the kind of super-smart, gender-bending, politically earnest but sexually suave kind of bisexual (maybe only until graduation, it really didn’t matter) girl that was, thankfully, popular when I was in college. Ani regularly posited trysts or relationships with girls as pleasurable alternatives to politically-burdened relationships with men; her liberatory, polymorphous, playful take on sexuality offered a way of re-imagining sex. In this paper, I would like to explore just what was so compelling and transgressive about her vision.
ps. in college, i was super into lesbian writers like adrienne rich, audre lorde, and rita mae brown—the original lavender menace referred to in the t-shirts in this photo. take that, betty friedan.
i felt mildly unsettled tonight, alone in a new apartment, when none of the old links to my favorite poems were working. but it turns out that twenty-one love poems and cartographies of silence are, in fact, on the web. and it turns out that the dream of a common language (the best name of anything, ever) is the one book i brought with me from my old apartment. which makes sense, because the idea that i would ever be separated from this book for more than a few days is ludicrous. just looking at my copy, with its inscription, and my name written neatly (shocking) on the inside above my phone number from my freshman year of college, is soothing. ill read the poems one more time and then go to bed.
via charlsie: Happy Birthday to Ms. Gloria Steinem! Such an inspiration.
meltzer: Everything about this picture is basically designed to appeal to my senses. I just love her.
i once got gloria steinem highlights. for real. they looked amaaaaaaazing. but after having them done once, the colorist moved across the country, to san diego, to be with her boyfriend. there was a moment when i wondered if i should plan a trip.
“atmospheres,” performance pieces involving smoke and various pyrotechnical materials, various locations in california, 1967.
i am waiting for my copy of Through the Flower, in which chicago talks about how she stopped doing these when the guy she bought the fireworks from sexually harassed her, though was too embarrassed to tell people that was why. then she met a female pyrotechnician and started doing them again.
THEN she read valerie solanas and became a super-important feminist artist. i love these dreamy pre-radicalized works, though.
the copy for her new book says:
HAMMER! is the first book by influential filmmaker Barbara Hammer, whose life and work have inspired a generation of queer, feminist, and avant-garde artists and filmmakers. The wild days of non-monogamy in the 1970s, the development of a queer aesthetic in the 1980s, the fight for visibility during the culture wars of the 1990s, her search for meaning as she contemplates mortality in the past ten years—HAMMER! includes texts from these periods, new writings, and fully contextualized film stills to create a memoir as innovative and disarming as her work has always been.
we are having her speak at nyu on wednesday, march 17, at 7 pm. the event is at 5 washington place, room 101. come!
why this is awesome:
1. rousing. it is rousing.
2. melanie griffiths body is super hot. in an “i work out once a week doing low-impact aerobics” kind of way.
3. i once got to mention the white sneakers in an important ethnography of underground street fashion.
4. han solo is in it.
5. carly simon is the best. if you dont believe me, read girls like us. she is totally fucked up in the same way as everyone you know. plus, she never got over james taylor. i bet her kids watch this video and CRINGE. in the midst of a depressing stretch of summer ‘08 marisa said, “i think i feel like carly when she’s at some shitty newsweek job and spending all her money on psychotherapy.” i responded, “i know. like, i might be carly thinking i am drinking 90 calorie shakes but they are 900 calories. its dark.” carly is the ultimate baby boomer mom and also the ultimate proto-90swoman.
this is one of the most compelling opening lines i have ever read and one of the most compelling reasons to get a bikini wax….ever. the rest of the piece is worth reading, too.