My favorite Kate Bush album is The Dreaming, but only if I can also claim the title track from The Red Shoes. If not, I refuse to play favorites.
Thanks, guys. Glad we had this talk.
Today I learned that my blood pressure and resting heart rate are both absurdly low. I’m starting to worry that I’m actually an undercover cylon who hasn’t yet received instructions. The inhuman strength and hand-to-hand combat skills kick in once you realize your true nature, right? I could really use some of that right now.
"Megan Trainor" sounds like the civilian name of a B-list superhero who redesigns her costume every other issue. She’s trying to get a rivalry going with another superhero, but he keeps getting her mixed up with another blonde who has the same initials.
*walks to library*
*checks out four Harry Potter books*
*much defensive side-eye*
What. What. I’m not just reading YA fiction, you guys. I’m ESTABLISHING TUMBLR CULTURAL COMPETENCY.
Previously in this series: Corporate Sponsorship: Yes Please
And now presenting:
BRUCE! AND ED! DIESEL MECHANICS TO THE STARS!
BRUCE (played by John Goodman) and ED (played by Steve Buscemi) in the cluttered office of their repair shop. Super Happy Funtime’s poolside calendar is visible behind them, turned to the wrong month.
BRUCE: Welp, the fall touring season is coming right up. Looks like it’s time we checked in with our friends at Super Happy Funtime.
ED stares ahead glumly, sighs. He rummages beneath the desk and produces an overstuffed, dog-eared dossier labeled Funliner 1000/”Victoria.” BRUCE shuffles some papers and uncovers a corded red phone labeled Super Happy Hotline. ED grabs BRUCE by the upper arm, startled.
ED: Bruce, buddy, the message light.
BRUCE: (to ED) Let’s stay on track, here. (to camera) If you’ve been following their adventures —
ED: The message light’s blinking! How long’s that been going on? Maybe file those invoices next time stead of just piling them up all around! Could be an emergency over there, could’ve been going on for days, you’d never know.
BRUCE looks more closely.
BRUCE: Now Ed, you gotta quit flying off the handle like that. It’s a sequin.
Close-up: magenta sequin stuck to BRUCE’S grease-stained thumb.
ED: What I want to know is how that got there.
BRUCE: Well, you remember, the last time the ladies were here, we gave them a tour?
ON SCREEN: photo of AUDACIOUS and LA LA in pinup finery, reclining next to the red phone. FLO and VELVEETA in the background hefting wrenches.
ED: Huh. Yeah. Guess that must be it.
BRUCE: Anyway! If you’ve been following this crew, you’ll remember they’ve dealt with some pretty hairy situations.
ED: Before we get into that, though, lemme recap the specs for the gearheads out there. She’s a 1997 Carpenter flat-front school bus with a Cummins engine and Spartan chassis.
BRUCE: And in case you were wondering, they don’t make ‘em like that anymore!
ED: Literally they don’t. Carpenter went out of business in 1998.
BRUCE: She’s about 40 feet, 12 tons, fully outfitted as a home away from home for the hardest-working burlesque troupe in the country!
ED: There’s not much the road hasn’t thrown at these folks. (paging through dossier) Exhaust pipe fell off, had to do an emergency weld…
BRUCE: And later on, same tour, didn’t they have to saw the broken half off again?
ED: That they did. Just goes to show there’s never a bad reason to keep an angle grinder on hand.
ON SCREEN: Photo of LA LA doing her grinding act, with crotch plate.
ED: Headlights went out that night in Arizona, turned out to be an electrical fire…
BRUCE: Didn’t keep them down for long, if I remember correctly.
ED: Luke got them sorted.
BRUCE: Luke, yeah. Good man.
A moment of silent appreciation.
ED: Throttle stuck open in Nebraska…
BRUCE: Seems to me that happened in the best place. If I’m driving a bus that won’t stop, I’d rather be on I-80 than in the mountains.
ED: Another easy fix, looks like. Lessee…brakes, new tires, brakes again, shocks, fan belt…
BRUCE: And then we come to the big bad mother of a breakdown: the radiator.
Opening chords of “The Bus Broke Down” are heard, then fade.
ED: Now that was a time. (pulls out a sub-dossier labeled Globe, AZ and crammed with receipts)
BRUCE: You can say that again. In fact Miss Velveeta was telling me that she often has occasion to pass a storefront with “Globe” on it, and she doesn’t know what they sell, but just looking at the sign gives her flashbacks.
ED: And I suppose you went and told her she didn’t have to worry about that ever again.
BRUCE: You bet! (reaches for phone)
ED: You know we’ve already got a backlog in the shop, right? (shoves loose papers back in the dossier, makes as if to close it)
BRUCE: Where’s your sense of adventure? Why’d we go into this business, anyway?
ED: (mumbling) Steady income. Reasonable hours. Don’t have to wear a tie.
BRUCE: (to camera) Making new friends! Every day a different adventure! Don’t have to wear a tie!
BRUCE dials, mashing each button deliberately.
TO BE CONTINUED…!
I’ve been working with collage since the summer of 2011. I have a basic sense of color and composition and working knowledge of Western art history. Still, besides a single course in film photography I have no formal training. I’m learning as I go, and I’ve been lucky to find spaces where I can work alongside people who are happy to teach.
When I began making collages, it was one part artistic expression to three parts self-care. The repetitive physical process of sorting pages, cutting shapes, cutting them smaller, turning them around, distracted me from the many ways my life was falling apart. At one point I remember going to the dollar store for toilet paper and office glue sticks. It cost $2.12, which zeroed out my bank account. I felt that both of these purchases were equally essential.
I’ve been doing this long enough to have developed a process which is idiosyncratic but effective. I don’t know how to work any other way. Believe me, I never expected to fit my own definition of an outsider artist. An outsider, I think, makes or writes or performs the only art they can make. An artist whose body of work is a tautology. With a mind or a life story like that, of course they’d make this kind of art; looking at their work, you can sense the mind or the history that lead up to it. An artist whose body of work might as well be their own body.
I’m reluctant to call what I make art because I’m just starting out, and because I’m largely adrift form the art community. I’m reluctant to call myself an outsider artist because it erases all the ways in which I’m privileged. In every other respect I’m an insider. I perform on a professional level, and I’ve sunk a daunting amount of time and energy into writing. Still I think that I make the kind of art I do, in the manner that I do, for the same reason as many outsiders I’ve met: it quiets the angry voices. Lately when I try to write I am overwhelmed by the critic voices, the chorus of hyperactive gnomes, the vicious ghosts of anyone who ever insulted me or saw me embarrass myself. Working with my hands, in a field where I don’t understand the norms or benchmarks, lowers the stakes for me. If I took up a formal study of papercraft or color theory or the history of collage, I would no longer be able to participate in it, because the angry voices would get in the way. Don’t imagine I’m not aware of the irony.
My art, as I see it, is a compulsive behavior that I am attempting to monetize. Mixed results, but we can hope, and pepper social media with photos, and hope.