Friday, July 21, 2006

it's hot; I'm grumpy, and i blame the Pre-Raphaelites, goddammit

"When I was a child I spoke as a child I understood as a child I thought as a child; but when I became a man I put away childish things." I Cor. xiii. 11.
Which is fine as far as it goes, save the part about being a man. Well then.
(This one goes out to Arabella! who is a Brit; so don't get all poopy with me ya limey bastards.)
When I was young I was SWOONY over the Pre-Raphaelites.

My God, the opulent colors, the dramatic poses, the ethereal forms and languid gestures! No one was more shocked than I was to discover that these paintings came out of a 'serious' school of art. I had always thought they were book illustrations.
Now that I am a grown woman *ahem* there isn't a one of them I would hang in a main room of my home. I still look at the 'serious school of art' aspect with the same bemusement, though.

William Waterhouse occupies the nadir of the pretty wallpaper-whups, the Pre-Raphaelite movement. I believe he had a keen enough appreciation of business to realize that in the end he needed to create something in keeping with a passing trend that would look nice on a clients' wall. Take poor St. Eulalia* here, dead in the snow with the pigeons picking at her toes. Somehow he manages to make even this decorative. Give the man his due; he was a fantastic artist and technician.

Wacky, zany, loveable madcap commie William Morris actually DID turn out pretty wallpaper. Pretty textiles, pretty furniture, pretty homes and pretty bad fiction, too. Still, good for you, Bill. He stated exactly what his aim was; elevating craft, and by God he did. He may have been a goofturd, he may have been windy and self-important, but he was honest about his calling. Publicly.

There are lots of other artists who gathered under the Pre-Raphaelites' banner, and many of them were quite good at what they did and worthy of a favorable mention. But I, uh, don't know very much about them. And since it's more fun to leave a flaming bag of shit on someone doorstep than it is to sing praises, I present you Holman Hunt.

Holman Hunts' work has an extremely visceral effect on me. It makes me long to travel back in time and beat the living crap out of him with a pitching wedge for being such a SENTITOUS WAD OF PUKE. Remember the kid on the playground that smelled like pee, the tattletale, always trying to kiss girls and wipe boogers on people? I am certain that this describes Holman Hunt as a child.

I can't help it. Everything about his work makes me want to dig him up and set him on fire. His use of color BLOWS. His models are ugly and have a strangely unwashed look to them, many times.
And he uses INDOOR light on OUTDOOR subjects. GOD, this makes me nuts!

This is like bad carnival superimposition. Am I not supposed to notice this? What the fuck? GAAAAAAAH.

Yet stay; and let us focus for a while on his poor grasp of symbolism. Yes, do lets.
Poor grasp indeed; in his hands symbolism is a highly annoyed dogfish that he's frantically trying to club to death with a sock. Remember: Just because you use a lot of symbolism does not automatically mean that you use it well. Let's give it the hamster test, shall we?

Guest hamster: bluto schmuggleware,
a typical hamster on the street

Tell me what is going on in this picture.
-Well, its some sheep.
What else?
-It's sheep...outside.
-Um. Yeah. Sheep.
No no no you dumb hamster! This is a stinging, biting sociopolitical comment on Englands' lack of preparedness and leadership and stuff! Bad hamster! Go back to college!

Gentle reader, I ask you: Should this have ever been painted?

No. No, it should not ever have been painted.
At this moment I cannot think of another single image that annoys me as much as this one.
Lets give it the hamster test!

Now tell me what is happening here.
-It looks like she sat in his lap and got surprised when he popped a wooder.
Victorians never, ever popped wooders. It made Queen Victoria cry.
-No, lookit! He's saying, like 'Hey, come one, it's friendly!' and she's like 'Woo! Wasn't expecting THAT!"
-She looked out the window and saw a UFO?
You Philistine of a hamster; that is CLEARLY a picture of a womans' higher being awakening. She is leaving the embrace of luxury to embrace Salvation! She has realized that she CAN rise above debasement and leave delivingroom!**

And then...there's this. Well?
-She owns a depressing houseplant?
Try again...
-She owns depressing pottery?
-She forgot to take her birth control pills? She forgot to use moisturizer after she exfoliated? She's trying to hear the ocean?
No, no no. NOTHING could be more clear. Obviously she is a woman in the grip of a strange and powerful love...a love so strange and powerful that it cause her to decapitate her recently deceased lover and put his head in that giant urn. And plant basil on top of it.
-...All right. Now you're just fucking with me.

Bluto Exuent.
Good thing too, because here comes a man who really needed a hamster up the ass;
Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
What a prize creep. I can hardly stand to look at this guy...he's begging for an aluminum baseball bat; man, right to the side of the head. Wwwwwwwwhap! Home run! Right over the fence.
First of all, he self-named. Wwwhap! That earned him a freebie.
Notice how people who self-name never choose anything like Paul or Mary? Its always something simpy. Like Dante. Or Moonshadow Warrior or Jas'Mynne.

Today, our Mr. Rossetti would be a sweater humping emo boy with a razrphone and ironic hair. He'd weigh 98 lbs soaking wet and be prone to bronchial aliments. And smoke 'Camel' cigarettes. He would be a vegetarian. He would have a dirty, dogeared copy of Joseph Campbells' 'Hero with a Thousand Faces' and it would be papered with yellow Postits. He would have a rip-roaring case of herpes, genital warts and be a carrier of chlamydia. Every woman he knew would be itching and burning and afraid to go for long car rides.
God I HATE this guy.

This is his wife and model, Elizabeth Siddal; a plain, thin unremarkable woman, yet a perfect tabula rasa for him to scribble all over. He marries her after condescending to live with her socially inferior ass for 11 years, all the while putting the meat to everything female that crossed his line of vision. A few months after he does her this huge favor, she loses a child and commits suicide. But he loves her SO MUCH that he buries a book of his love poetry with her-what a romantic gesture!! Except he gets to thinking about how great this poetry is and how it's his only copy, so he has some friends rob her fucking grave a few months later so he can get it back; the self-centered, craven little prick. What a guy!
This is his picture of his wife.

Ah. Much better. She has lips now. And she's, you know, pretty.

This is a picture of his friends wife, just about everybody's model, and Rossetti's mistress, Jane Morris.

A woman who possesses an undeniably glorious bone structure, not to mention a head of hair you could get lost in. And a decidedly Mediterranean cast to her features.

This is her, whited-up jest a tech, by yours truly. The way he always sees her. Neck and bone structure, hair and lips. What an IMPROVEMENT,, huh?

All his women are the same...mindless, exquisite, room-temperature bodies flapping around the landscape like wet laundry. The very last thing Rossetti wants in his 'idealized' women is anything like a person present.
This is not just wallpaper...
This is icky wallpaper.

And Bluto agrees.

With no detectable aroma whatsoever. Other than cuteness.

**boy, I remember the martyrdom of St. Eulalia a little differently than this...torn with hooks and set afire, wasn't she? maybe they tossed her in a snowbank to put her out or something.
**forgive me; I could not help it. I truly apologize for any permanent damage that may have caused.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

ramblin ramblin ramblin

Well, some dumb slut brought her kid in sick to daycare, so now the Goonybird has chickenpox.
How in hell do you miss chicken pox? Now, really? Other things, yes. Your kid covered in red spots; see, that I have a problem believing. I think she damn well knew; she just dumped the kid off and split. Luckily the 'Bird was innoculated so he probably won't have a very severe case, but it's noticeable enough so that he can't go back to daycare until he looks presentable; meaning that I will be watching him today and tomorrow. Not a bad gig, considering it means I take my leisure by the lake in a charming neiborhood, watching my polkadotty grandson toddle around the yard shouting 'Don't touch! No no! Don't touch!' at the landscape plantings.
What it also means is that I'm not at my own computer so I don't have access to my secret policemans other files filled with demented shit and so I can't work on the Preraphaelites like ah said I would (with a bag full of lead shot and a mallet).

I went to the doctors last week, complaining that I was sick too often and sleeping too much, and the upshot of the whole thing was I ended up giving six vials of blood and being told that I may be suffereing from a. heavy metals exposure (ZEP RAWKS DUDE! FUCKIN NINE INCH NAILS! RIGHTEOUS! 666!) or b. mature onset diabetes. Using the word' mature' advisedly in my case. And reacting predictably, as a mature adult, I have decided to refuse to call the office for the results and instead load up on burritos like a goddamn tanker taking on heroin at a turkish port of call.

What in hell am I going to do if I am deprived of burritos? No, I mean it. Refries, chiles, mexican food in general; thats what I eat. You eat a sandwich and go out and work in the yard, and one hour later you're back in the house scavenging around in the 'fridge again. You eat a plate of burritos early on and you're good to go for the rest of the damn day, barring frequent rehydration courtesy of the Miller Brewing Co.
See, but what I really AM doing is spending all day in front of the computer chowing down on red hot beef-n-beaners, dipping them right into the jar of hot sauce like the Queen of fricken' England. I should just skip the whole digesting part and glue them right to my ass.

I need more tattoos. Speaking of beer and chili. No, I really do. My yummy biker has a full left sleeve of magnificent work. The artist laid in on freehand with a brush-no template, just following the grain of the skin and the muscles...glorious stuff. Gracious...getting a little warm in here. Huh. Anyway, I feel kinda pale and plain. I want more blackwork. Not tribal and certainly not celtic. I already have one small kanji on my shoulder that looked pretty good twenty years ago but now just looks like a seagull crapped on me. Before my last operation I got a pachuco on my left hand. There is a lot of acreage left to cover. I'm thinking foreign lettering and/or pure design...I'm not one for pictures. I'm the main attraction. Besides, I dont want to be lying in my bed at the nursing home thirty years from now, eating mashed banana and pissing through a tube with a tattoo of fucking Tweety Bird on my tit. You know? Or maybe a little guy with a lawnmower buzzing my snatch. Yeah, that'd be classy.
I have a picture of an indonesian guy with what looks like a continuous prayer circling his entire body..I couldn't tell you the name of the script; only that it depends from a single line and has lots of diacritical marks. Anyway, I don't want to go that extreme, but I like the look of the ornamental calligraphy; and that the words have meaning and the whole combination comprises a third level of design. Ideas? Pictures?

I've taken three separate harvests off my blueberry bushes this year, and theres still a few left for the robins. That comes out to four nice big blueberry pies! They're pretty tasty too. I chose commercial early croppers, but I don't keep them flooded the way the growers do, so the berry is smaller, but the taste is concentrated. Kind of the same principle as lowbush wild blueberries. Up on Mt. Baker right now the lowbush harvest is going on; good fucking luck. Between the people with the cranberry rakes and the sneaky robins in their hundreds you're lucky to find a couple on the ground.
One year the Stainless Steel Amazon and I did a 'bay to Baker' dinner for the Yummy Biker. We went up to Baker and filled a hat full of tiny blueberries (which took about 2 hours), then drove down to Chuckanut Bay and dug scallops and clams, which are so abundant in places that you can toe them out of the sand. We made chowder for dinner that was so nice it had clams just climbing over the sides of the bowls. Blueberry muffins for dessert, and a great day out.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Jumping Out, Mechanical Man Kikaida - 3D movie!!

ladies and gentlemen, turn your attention to these two outstanding women high above you in the center ring!

oh my god. just go here
and read this post. this is just, oh my god. writing? good? oh good gravy MARIE.

and for class? go here
and read the last few entries to find out how someone deals with a difficult romantic situation with more class and maturity than i've ever had.

blogroll these people now.
do it.
i mean it.
get moving.

don't fuck around with me, now, do like i said.
hey listen, I'm menopausal, I own guns, and my near ancestors ate dog.
Without ketchup.
it was heartbreaking.

Monday, July 17, 2006

you were warned

When I was in grade school I had one good friend, T. She was the only normal kid of a family of four daughters...morbidly obese, allergic to sunlight youngest, ear tubes, rat teeth and hives at the drop of a hat middle sister and profound Downs' Syndrome oldest sister.
Now I was a member of the inagural class year when the 'mainstreaming' movement was all the rage in the public school system. That means that all the 'special' classes were dumped out and everyone got all heaped together in a big pile of brotherly love and understanding.


Anyway, C, the older sister, wasn't a revelation to me. In her own goofy way she was charming, in fact, but I did my best to avoid her. And this reaction is key, here...I was a pretty nice kid. I didn't get rotten until Jr. High. And I am proud to say that I was not one of those weasels who tormented other kids, ever. But C aroused a type of contempt and ire in me, just by her presence, that seemed to be waiting there fully formed for a chance to deploy. I spent a lot of time crying about that. It felt ugly. It didn't make me like her any more, though, or make her my best buddy or include her in my games. I wanted her the fuck off me.

I had plenty of opportunity to see this same reaction played out as a member of the class of 1978. The hippy dippy motives of the mainstreaming movement failed to take into account that 1. children are primitive little beasts who are not fully formed socially or morally, and that 2. children are ferociously heirarchal, and very brutal about establishing that heirarchy, also 3. the teachers already had more than enough on their plates.

So here all these utterly disadvantaged children were, dumped into the dog pit, and they never had a fucking chance. The most unpopular of the unpopular normals now had an underclass to feel superior to at whim. It was beyond brutal, and it went on daily, AND THE TEACHERS SAW NOTHING, NOTHING, NOTHING. The beatings, the mocking, all the cruelties that kids can heap on each other were heaped doubly on these kids, at whim, universally, and the teachers did nothing. They saw it. It happened right in front of them. I remember this clearly.

Now what kind of a chance does a special ed kid have anyway, dumped into a world that they are not and never will be equipped to participate in? Realistically? None at all. And I stand by that. What kind of a chance does this same kid have when the parents wont even throw them in the bathtub occasionally? Or when they dress them in whatever crap comes to hand because 'they're retarded anyway so they don't care?' And that last really burned me up. It revealed a lot about these parents state of mind when they denied their kids even that amount of humanity. Not to mention camoflage.

Eveyone was going about in this fog of idealism and it ended up being horrific. On the level of Bosch, horrific. Every single day. I don't know whose wonderful idea this was but I'd like to find them and introduce them to the crowbar I carry in my truck.

This is why, when I was pregnant, I gladly submitted to amnioscentesis. And if the result had been positive, I would have terminated.

I wonder how many of the children I went to school with even remember those mainstream kids? Or if they ever think about the shit they did to them? One kid was almost blinded by a huge crowd of boys who took lime off the playing field lines and rubbed it into his eyes. The teachers watched. The playground attendants watched. After the kids were done and had left this boy there on the ground, did they come haul him off to the nurse. Nobody got in trouble for it. I still remember the perpetrators names to this day. But of course they were only kids, right? And they probably have kids of their own now.

When my daughter was still in high school, another special ed kid was ratpacked and nearly choked to death up in Ferndale, near here. These were Jr. High age kids. I asked a girl who witnessed it and she told me calmly that everyone wanted to; so they all waited until after school when everyone was getting off the bus near a secluded area and lured this kid down into it like a dog, with treats. That everyone had hated this girl anyway, because she was gross and inappropriate.

Then there were the daily indignities and torment these kids suffered. I challenge a normal person to put up with that kind of treatment and not come away worse for the experience. But to put someone who never had a chance into that circus? No. They could not keep up in class and so every assignment they were given they failed. They couldn't fathom social things so they had no friends. They never got a joke, never knew the answer, always got the worst playground equipment-if any, and always got ridiculed and physically abused behind closed doors at every opportunity. It was as though the normal kids were in the grip of an uncontrollable compulsion.
I honestly think that they were.

I say that the adults involved felt the same revulsion as the kids did. I say they took a secret schoolyard satisfaction in seeing the gross retard get the shit kicked out of him. There is a part of human nature at work here that needs to be addressed a lot more openly than it has been. Humans shouldn't act like chickens attacking a speck of blood, like pirrahna, like sharks. I say you carry this impulse too far and institutionalize it, and what you end up with is Columbine.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

ok, im taking that one down now.

being able to have this forum (as twere) to explore this crap and get feedback to think about is inestimably valuable to me. all of you are rock! y'all have been gracious enough to reply on a subject that is pretty damned difficult and I thank you. i though of everyones responses as i went around this weekend and did my errands in town (bellingham is much more racially diverse than sumas) and i really thought about all of it. i'm started on the way to getting my shit together and not being such a redneck anymore. just because i live in the country now doesn't mean i have to act like it.
muchas smoochas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!