Man oh man, ZOMBIE
is the perfect book to finish reading before going to the mall. Going to the mall is the perfect activity after reading the book ZOMBIE
. Inspired, I bought and ate a giant burger at Applebee's, at the mall. I sat at the bar and coldly watched boys, families. Is the book good? It is competent, and that is enough.
Embarrassing but true: probably about 80% of my fantasy life since age 4 has been in some way about "existential" gay male killers. My interests in philosophy, history, and the visual arts are directly caused by gay killer fantasies. Sometimes I think maybe female writers can be separated into two categories: those who have thought, often and with approval, about gay and/or woman-hating, solipsistic male killers, who have portrayed such killers as having some kind of true power and insight into reality (for example, Flannery O'Connor, Emily Bronte); and those who haven't (no one good, no one to be trusted). And I guess I can't help but like Joyce Carol Oates, the author of ZOMBIE, as she so clearly falls into the former category.
A few days ago, M. Jones played "Country Death Song" by the Violent Femmes on the "jukebox" of a local bar. In this song, a rural man describes how his habit of brooding by himself led him to trouble, as he eventually "started making plans for killing [his] own kind." The song's power lies in its assertion that wanting to kill your kids is simply the natural outcome of thinking about life: this much was agreed on. But why would thinking about life lead to wanting to kill your own kind? Because you'd want to send your kids away from this world while they're still innocent? Or because transgressive violence would begin to seem like the only way to celebrate/justify the feeling of being alive?
My assumption was the latter but I didn't say anything because I was worried that it would make me seem immoral. Or not even immoral, but ignorant of real violence -- I thought that it would betray a privileged aesthete's background. But, upon sober reflection, the two motivations are both about equally fucked up. Why should I feel bad for "identifying" more with one and not the other?
Anyway the only truly cheesy part of ZOMBIE were the drawings, which I could have done much better.
Possibly a new job. Am writing informative texts about hospitals, universities, railway stations, airports and churches in the country of Israel. Fuck you Israeli hospitals, have you ever heard of addresses that denote your physical location.
Also, a GREAT SITE
that I JUST DISCOVERED. These are exactly the kinds of stories and articles that I want to read. Who has ever seen such good writing?
A cat in heat is a deeply problematic thing. Just as something that is fundamentally attractive can gain even more attractiveness by possessing a component of the repellent (e.g. sexy girls or young men that are so languid that they look almost dead), so can something that is fundamentally unattractive (e.g. a creature of a different species trying to have sex with you) become actively troubling and repellent when it possesses, nonetheless, a component of attractiveness. That cat is constantly arching its sleek black back, lifting its ass in the air, grabbing the arms of the couch just like a porn star, and yowling pleadingly while looking at me with dirty yellow eyes full of vulnerability, defiance, and hate. I have been disturbed all day by visions of an abused young woman with long black hair and vertical cheekbones, for whom sex is a compulsion so intense that it gives her no pleasure.
If you are asking yourself why I haven't posted anything for three months or more, it is because art school has turned me into some sort of painting automaton, who cares merely for deadlines and finding new deals on groceries, and disappoints friends. Maybe one day this will change. ( Swimming in a local canal...Collapse )
So the assignment, mentioned in an earlier post, for which it was necessary to render Batman -- the assignment was to draw 50 people who have influenced you. This took a damned long time. Guess what the most commonly drawn entity in the class was, not including people's friends family members? It was Batman (though none of the other students depicted him as centrally as I did). It is objective fact. Batman is the single most influential public figure among art students today.
Batman can be surprisingly hard to draw for some reason. The mask is the problem. What is it made of? To what degree should the shape and location of the stylized, white, iris-less eyes correspond to the shape and location of actual eyes? Most importantly, how do the ears connect? Batman is all over my sketch book. It seems I draw Batman all the time.
I am no longer in Austin, but I am now at an expensive art school, and Batman is being drawn for a first assignment -- a large psychological painting, explaining our influences and youth. Obviously, I like art school. I guess I like not having to think as much, or, at least, only having to think about very concrete, solvable problems while still being "creative." Ideally, I will soon have an MFA in the subject of "Illustration as a Visual Essay," and artistic fame. Writing (fiction) has gotten easier.
It's almost not even that I like New York, it just begins to seem like the only logical place to live after a while. In this way, the whole city is like being in college again. No one has a car and everywhere there is the underlying assumption that one is at the "center of the world."
When I leave Brooklyn to go to school I am constantly surrounded by giant amounts of money. It is everywhere in Manhattan, seemingly there to be grabbed by any willing young scoundrel (this more the case here by far than in Los Angeles, where most wealth actually tends to be hidden from the public eye in secluded mansions and the like; or maybe the wealth just doesn't seem as desirable there, doesn't seem like it could buy you anything you would actually want). But, I have not yet succeeded in gaining quick wealth. On the other hand, I have never been so tempted to wantonly spend before in my life.
Last week I had a pretty good birthday, which stretched out into an entire weekend of frivolity. It culminated in a trip to Coney Island where I went on a Ferris wheel and into a really half-assed haunted house, and participated in a game of "shoot the freak." And drank terrible "Soviet" vodka on the beach. I also ate an autumnal cake that "wynand" made.
Someone has written a fascinating account of life... and love: http://leperporn1.livejournal.com/2852.html
Also, going to France is pretty great. It is kind of like the daydreams about what it would be like if you were launched into an exceptionally well-crafted fictional world, with its own language, laws and rich culture. You would think that only literature and other art allow you to escape the reality of your life, but no -- there is a better, more expensive way.
Yesterday, I talked to this artist in Montmartre who invited me to his apartment and kept trying to get me to paint him nude. I did end up painting him mostly clothed while he languished sleazily on a flower-print bedsheet and talked about his series of symbolic narrative paintings about love, which involved lots of isolated, elegantly posed nudes and giant swans converging into large, moonlit, vaginal, bodies of water. The great thing about being able to understand only about 50%-60% of what is said is that it frees one from all conversational fears, because any cohesive, complete-sentence reply to anything anyone says feels, to the speaker, like a triumph of linguistic wit. So I was all, "Je ne suis pas timide... je suis polie... comme les anglais." Which is accurate. I think (based on reading John Fowles books) perhaps it is England -- with its social protocols of politeness, suffering, and quiet disdain -- where my spirit, like T.S. Eliot's, would be most at home.
Take the test! If you don't have a cyrillic keyboard just copy and paste when necessary! Noun declension is big fun
I am frequently nervous when I am talking to people, so much so that ordinary social situations often become extravagant dramas of judgment, pity, and terror. When I am especially worried about others' perception of my intelligence, I sometimes have the compulsion to say the most inane things that I can think of. Upon analysis, my main fears in a conversation with someone I don't know well are: 1) the other person thinking that I am dumb; 2) me unintentionally insulting the other person due to my insensitive nature; 3) me thinking the other person is dumb and unintentionally insulting them; and, 4) the other person thinking I am dumb and me being too insensitive to pick up on it, thus making the other person uncomfortable by subjecting them to the pretense of a polite conversation with someone they think is dumb. So, I guess the impulse behind blurting out inane, inappropriate and usually vaguely insulting things is to issue a kind of unthought-out "challenge" to the poor, oblivious people I am talking to. It's like, I am enacting my worst fears about myself in front of them and then demanding that they accept me anyway -- like an insecure person in a romantic relationship, except that it's with people I don't know all that well! Here are some examples of this charming behavior!
- A man is talking about going pheasant hunting. I keep asking, with needless enthusiasm, about whether or not the pheasants are to be hunted at a special preserve; they are. Me: "So it's like going to chop your own Christmas tree?" Man: "Uh, yes, I suppose so."
- A man greets me, wearing elegant, foppish clothes that I like. Me: "Hey, good too meet you, except where did you get those dorky clothes? ha ha"; Man: "Excuse me?"; Friend: "I am sorry, this is Anna's sense of humor; she is trying to make a little joke"
- I am having a conversation with some co-workers, while trying to hear the nearby political rants of another co-worker, who I knew was some kind of Croatian nationalist. Co-worker that I am talking to: "Do you know that guy? He's been staring at you!"; she indicates the Croatian. Me: "No, I don't know him - ha, ha, it must be PAN-SLAVISM!"; Same co-worker, who did not know that the guy was Croatian and I, a Russian, and was thus especially confused by this unfunny, idiotic remark: "huh?"