Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Be yourself if you want to be me

I want to thank everyone for their responses to my last post. Between the comments here, on LiveJournal, and on Facebook, I was so overwhelmed that I barely replied to any of them. I apologize, but that's what happens when I get overwhelmed. A lot of people made wonderfully insightful points I hadn't thought of, offered explanations, drew parallels, posed questions...really great. Sorry I couldn't keep the conversation going.

I want to briefly reflect upon meeting Peter Murphy last week. This was last thursday, and I was actually really embarrassed to be making an excited phone-based Facebook post while still in Amoeba, because I pride myself on not being the twitter-type, on letting things ruminate before broadcasting them. But that was an exception. Well, this will be a mildly ruminated version, I guess.

He played a free show at Amoeba followed by a signing, and Tenebrae, Lauryn and I went to both. It was an awesome opportunity, but I really don't enjoy meeting people I admire. Not because it might shatter some perfect image I have of them, but because I get uncomfortable and awkward, and come away continuing to feel uncomfortable and awkward. But this was actually one of the more positive experiences of its kind. Generally at signing tables, I feel like a sheep (a black sheep amongst other black sheep is still a sheep!), and have only braved it twice before. I'm one in a line of many, and the possibility of anything interesting I might have to say in the few seconds allotted completely dissipates. Tenebrae schemed what he would say, while I welcomed awkward oblivion. But none of it mattered, because Mr. Murphy completely caught us off guard by gushing at us. I feel silly recounting it. But after delivering separate inquires and hair-and-makeup compliments (and asking wide eyed if Michael was Japanese), he said to the three of us collectively, "You are the best of the goths."

Can we just take a moment and appreciate that this was said by Peter Murphy, the so-called grandfather of goth, prince of post-punk, if you will? So he is balding, so he is now Muslim, so what. People age, people change, but he is clearly still standing by the person he used to be, and the subculture that he had a seminal hand in creating (along with his new songs, he played old Bauhaus songs too, just as he did at previous shows). To be told by him that I am basically doing it right is just so...weirdly definitive. My aesthetic is Peter Murphy Approved. And what strikes me as especially funny is that this must mean that Lauryn has been officially inducted into gothdom. Because if Peter Murphy says so, well, that's pretty much that.

The subject line, from Velocity Bird off this recent album, strikes me as amazingly appropriate to this experience.

Also, I used the word "sheep" four times in one sentence in the third paragraph.


Very much unrelated, I was thinking that it might do me well to try to get into performance art. This is not something I have ever considered before, maybe in part because it's so easy to make fun of. But hey, I'd always been afraid of poetry writing because it lends itself so easily to sap and mockery, but it turns out I'm good at it, and have grown balls enough to pursue it. I could be a poet and performance artist; bring on the giggles, until I prove otherwise.

The reason for this peaked interest is that it could be the culmination of so many things. Writing is self contained and does not inhabit bodies (well, not directly anyway). Modeling means either lending myself to someone else's vision, posing as attractive for the sake of attractive, or some combination thereof. Which is great, and I enjoy it, but is not fully satisfying in itself. Shadowcasting is replicating with a combination of accuracy and attitude, which is also awesome, but probably not something I will be getting back into right now. Sideshow is bringing me closer to this idea of performance art, but that is very specific and very collaborative. I don't know what I want to get at with this performance art idea, but it's looming, taunting, intriguing.

However, I am reminded of when people say that they want a tattoo, but don't know of what. That's entirely backwards to me; something should need so badly to get out that a tattoo is the result. Likewise, I feel that ideally the idea should drive the desire for performance art, not vice versa. But, we'll see. I don't think this is going anywhere anytime soon, anyway. Usually I'm too embarrassed to share pre-formed ideas like this in the first place, so this seemingly aimless ramble is actually a very important sign of personal evolution. So there.

1 comment:

  1. I think performance art emptily motivated with the idea coming later is just the sort of superficial self-expression-for-its-own-sake idea that Oscar Wilde would have something supportive to say about.

    as would Andy Warhol. which makes me wonder if you've read up a lot of the firsthand accounts of The Factory. because I think you should.