Tuesday, October 27, 2009
I don’t fetishize the working class. That mythology, of rampant, authentic sexuality, is, like all mythologies, mundane from the inside. Even the stories you tell to explain your own life require some distance (of time, or space, or fiction) before they become interesting. To grow up in it, choked by it, is to know that it is as hollow and dehumanizing, snobbish and transparent.
Maybe if I were an honest to goodness, I’m-worthless-please-fuck-me, sort of faggot I might feel differently. Maybe if I had grown up in a more genteel situation, wherein I could look out from the nursery at the rough boys playing football on the grass, if I could put some distance between me and the grime of poverty, that ill-educated film, the suffocating loss of hope, maybe I could be a sexual tourist on council estates and public bathrooms. Perhaps then I would long to be knifed too. Sometimes I wonder if it isn’t every straight actor’s greatest, and most secret (need I separate the two?) desire to be murdered by a repressed, and acne pocked thug, in circumstances filthy but somehow transfigured by the tragedy, into a thing more beautiful than the truth. Bourgeois masochism is always thus.
I don’t believe that bratty boys in tracksuits in any way make better lovers. I don’t accept that they are in anyway a more genuine expression of masculinity (or however else you might choose to name that quality which you feel you are lacking and so desperately hope to draw out of another body through sexual osmosis). Call it masculinity, call it male privilege, call it power.
You feel disempowered, I see that. You think that if you can mimic the slave drivers and maker’s of propaganda then you will somehow be stronger, more worthy of the world’s time, of respect, able to crush that all-consuming self-hate, that self-doubt that misinforms you that you will never be loved, ever.
Not truly. Not like people are loved in idiotic paperbacks commissioned by idiotic publishers and sold under the pseudonym of an idiotic writer.
Not really, not like people are loved in decrepit films bank rolled by decrepit producers and released under the silk lined letters of decrepit actors.
You want to be loved in the manner of a mainstream commercial product, you want love to be a mainstream commercial product, so that everyone can read it, see it, buy a souvenir, for it to be so simple that any idiot child could understand its meaning. Because, you reason, if everyone else can be see your love, if you can splash it about a bit, maybe you could convince yourself.
But you won’t, you can’t. You can’t sew up those wounds because you won’t acknowledge them, you must always go on rubbing in salt as you repeat to yourself, like a Satanic catechism, those same old lies your teacher told you. You want to be a man, and so you have to invent what that is, or more precisely make yourself a facsimile of it. Always scrambling in the darkness of your own ignorance, always dressed up in irony, at a cold distance from the spirit, and insistent on primary biology.
You want to be loved in the most obvious ways. You want to mirror prefabricated role-models, and so you ape, because you don’t have any imagination. You can’t summon up a way of being for yourself, you can’t dream up something of your own volition. You lack faith, you have not the courage of your conviction, you need a love ordered from a prix fixee menu, written in black and white, in English.
But here, alas, lies the crux of the matter; power is not to be found in imitation. It fades ever more with each replication, like a ray of sun reflected, lost, in an infinity of mirrors. Power comes from breaking new ground, within yourself, from hiking through your own recesses, forging through the murkiest aspects of your own inner life, and striking gold with the realization, Oh, that is who I am.
I have not forgotten the Virgin Mary, nor the Goddess Athena. There is a great power in that which you insist we call the female, so named that you may keep it separate from its precious, apparent opposite. I live on a fault line, and I harness its power, I admit to my seismic ruptures, to my torn apart at the seams nature. I admit that I am a child of God, I wasn’t spewn out of an eternal darkness to spend these eighty years in semi-darkness before returning to the abyss. As such I know that we’re all in this electro-magnetic soup together, we’re all floating, weightily, in what we barely comprehend, and more so I know that I am not fish nor fowl, and more so I am grateful. For it speaks of possibility, does it not? Of freedom. I recognize that sixty percent of my genetic make-up is shared with fruit flies, so if tomorrow I grow a moustache what are the odds?
Friday, October 23, 2009
I had the pleasure of being 10 years old when Shakespears Sister released Stay, which is probably the ideal age to receive the grandiose, sci-fi, campery that was being proposed.
I was from that moment, forever obsessed with the baroque glamor of the two existential space vixens, trapped eternally as they were, on some sort of T.V. moonscape. The girl who sat next to me in school was equally besotted and I taught her all the lyrics. (I've always had a head for rhymes).
I can't say specifically why I've been in love with Shakespears Sister for the best part of twenty-years, but I suppose their mixture of lesbian vampirism, German Expressionism and glam-rockism might have something to do with it. Or perhaps, could it be that since I discovered SS long before (well 3 years before) I discovered my sexuality, Metropolis, or T-Rex, that Shakespears Sister actually set the precedent? Maybe everything I came to love, I found whilst searching the cultural horizon for something to fill the void left by the untimely demise of Siobhan and Marcella.
Of course, if we want to be Jungian about the matter, Shakespears Sister were, I'm sure, channelling the ancient archetypes inherited in my unconscious. Far out.
Since Siobhan had come out of Bananarama there was always a lot of hoopla surrounding the band, but that only grew (to operatic proportions) with the endless reports of cat fights. Personally I think that that pair would have out done Alexis and Krystle given half the chance, they always had the most definite air of pulp fiction about them.
Anyway they were terribly successful (even in America - though Americans deny this) for too short a period, and I miss them awfully. They were the sort of pop act that doesn't come along every decade, in fact they're pretty squarely from that mystikal 70s/90s timewarp that opened the portal for the likes of Cathy Dennis, Annie Lennox's Diva, and Dee-Lite. (I've always thought of SS as being like the shadow animals in the psyche of Dee-lite actually).
And of course, as if 2.5 million albums sold wasn't enough of an achievement, the ladies were immortalized in the most beautiful way, by French and Saunders.
Apparently there's a new album coming in November and I simply can't wait. It's called The Red Room, and you can find all out about it on Siobhan's myspace page.
Addendum, at LFW about five years ago I was stuck outside of a party at the Royal Academy waiting for the friend with the invites (who was of course at an entirely different party). Siobhan was playing at the party, she stepped outside to smoke where we collided, I myself pacing up and down chewing a pipe. She asked did I have a light, and I had to explain that it was really just a look. Fag break over she took pity on me and my situation and said; "It's alright love, you can come in with me."
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
You may like to celebrate the opening of the hallway between this world and the next at Le Chateau d Barbe-Bleue, the night before Halloween (on which evening you will obviously want to be wearing a skeleton mask which you bought for 20p from a supermarket and drinking too much hooch). Anyway, tickets are available here for a rather modest £40, and I will be undead on the door.
A week later it's a double bill.
On the 5th of November I'm at the Boom Boom Club, at the Bath House in Liverpool St. It's a mix of burlesque, cabaret, songs, you know, my old home ground, only I'm going disco.
Then it's time for the annual Act Art Festival, this year themed "Children of the Damned". (Rumors that the title is a reference to my niece, are as yet unconfirmed). That's November 6th, it's sort of a compendium of what's happening in London on a certain scene, with the added bonus of many international artists giving rare UK performances.
Because she's worth it.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
I dreamt that I went to one of Daniel Lismore's parties, in a big country house, with Kate M'Love. It was a beautiful affair, very elegant in that old European style. In amongst the refined goings on Naomi Campbell and Busta Rhymes were having sex in the VIP basement, alongside some other celebrity couples. I think Lady Gaga was involved too (I mean she is EVERYWHERE so why would she not take over my pscyhe? I heard her TWICE yesterday in a single episode of "The Archers"! "The Archers" for goodness sake!), yet it remained a very chic affair (and really I can't stress this enough).
We danced all night, against a backdrop of baroque luxury, champagne towers and flock wallpaper, until dawn when en masse we set out from the house across the fields, all coming down. As the sun came over the horizon, haloing us all in the most beautiful golden glow, Kate M'Love looked at me in shell-shocked wonderment, as if to say, "Did that really happen?"
But of course it didn't, though I have no doubt it will, very soon.
From Dream Moods (my Bible).
To dream that you are at a party, suggests that you need to get out more and enjoy yourself. If the party is bad, then it indicates that you are unsure of your social skills.
After a productive week, writing and mixing for a recording project (more on that soon) Aloysius and I are off to Berlin again this weekend; though sadly without lightbulb of our life Max Steele. We will be visiting our dear friend Stevie Hanley and performing in the gallery show he has curated. You can read a piece on him here, if you fancy it.