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On Taylor Momsen and The Pretty Reckless

I really like her voice… but thats it. My main complaint about her is arguably less about her in particular and more about our culture. Quite frankly, I do not see how she is in anyway “edgy” or “provocative.” Her sort of aggressive, “hardcore” image/approach is an acceptable, tired, and quite, conventional one. I have no problem with people making music this way, but when they simulataneously insist how original and “real” they are, it can be a little frustrating…. Let me explain: I feel like the raw, aggressive incarnation of rock n’ roll was in part a reaction against the relatively rigid social codes of the 1950′s… and of middle age people in general… similarly to how the 1920′s were in some part a reaction against the strict appearance-codes of the 19th century. However, now in 2010, Momsen is “rebelling” in a creatively safe, culturally established way, that, at least in my opinion, is no longer terribly relevant. We live in a culture where aggression and the “fuck the world, I don’t give a shit!” attitude is fashionable, commonplace, long-established. Yet such an attitude is inherently cowardly, lazy, and yes… conservative. Momsen is mirroring our culture, everything… the sexualization, aggression, self-absorption, etc not reacting against it and being “provocative”. She is fighting yesterdays war, a war that was already won. Then again, it is far safer to fight a war that is over! I would have no problem with her music and image, if she did not insist on how “original” she is. In a strange twist of fate… gentleness, politeness, kindness, etc… are now “subversive” Yet, they are not as exciting or glamorous to most people as aggression. Indeed, people think they are insipid, and often those who demonstrate them are looked upon as being ” inauthentic” or suspicious, when all too often the opposite is just as much of, and far more easy and acceptable a contrivance.

Corpses in my hair...

 skellies!I found the bird by the road, I did not kill it.

Aug. 23rd, 2010

 Will someone please tell me what is wrong with me? It would be so much easier if some generous person would come along and say "This is why other people can't stand to interact with you, this is why you can't communicate, this is why even those few who reach out their hands in friendship quickly yank their fingers away... burying them safely in their coat pockets, that the crumbs and dust within the cloth might chafe the tainted skin away. But they do not, perhaps out of some sort of nail-sharp kind nature, but more likely out of indifference. Worse still is when they say something so hideously dismissive, so sugary-disingenous... unrealistic.... words meant to pacify and drive away. So won't one of my kind 'friends', if you are a true friend, tell me what is so hideous within my nature? Please help me, I am at a loss, and suffocating within the confines of my mind. Is my skin studded with broken glass?

Tearing out the Feathers: A Brief Vignette


It is not how it is in stories, Mama. You need not earn your wings, no. Wings are the first change, once you have escaped the reek of your own body's decay. When you are pulled away , as if by strings, from the carcass-cage you lie within. The wings are not how they are in pictures, either.... They are the color of soot... like the surface of the ocean when there is no moon. It hurts mama, when the wings burst from your back. When they are there though, and have lost their residual dampness, you can fly! and you fly to a strange place, where the light is always the same. There, you know no hunger, no pain, no want of anything...but then you start forgetting.... your features become indistinct, they kiss away the color from your face (the kisses feel like fog) you feel nothing, for you want for nothing... your wings provide refuge, though, growing ever stronger, you more agile... while the person you once were fades you do not feel dead when you are flying. Heaven fades with the movement of air between your feathers. You are alive again! But flight does not preserve my memory, Mama. Without memory, i am nothing. That is why I did it. That is why I fall. The feathers drip like ash from a fire, Mama. The sight is not without it's beauty, but I could not say I am not grieved to lose them. I am not without hope, though, Mama. You must not grieve for me. Perhaps there is memory in hell. 

Svankmajer Love

I must fulfill my role as Svankmajer missionary, and with that thought, I present you with one of his best: Jabberwocky (1971).

If you can get past the ad at the beginning, and stomach the rather sketchy opening (good god, I hope that is a doll and not an actual person) then you shall be rewarded with... well, I don't want to spoil if for you, but it is beyond lovely.

Mr. Daisy Cupcakes: My First Marionette

in progressUnfortunately this is the only picture of the completed puppet that I have right now. My parents have gone to NY for a week, and taken the camera with them, but when they get back I will take a close-up of the completed puppet.

The story of Mr. Daisy Cupcakes
Once upon a time there was a very old little clown that worked in a circus. This clown knew that he was going to die soon, because he was so old, so in preparation for the inevitable he built himself a funeral pyre. This was no ordinary pyre, however. It was made as a portrait to look like the clown in life, and it was fashioned entirely of sweet food:  raw cake and candy dough, cookies, cupcakes....the only part of the pyre that was not edible was the heart that lay within the candy-cane ribcage. This heart was a crematorium oven. The clown intended that, after death, his companions would place him into the heart-oven, and cremate him. The heat from this cremation would bake the rest of the pyre, so that it became an edible feast for all. However, after the clown died, no one cared enough to follow out his wishes. Instead, the pyre was taken over my mice, who made their own mouse circus inside the pyre while simultaneously devouring the pyre in which they lived and worked.

-Alissa Barvin

Living Room Inferno

Paper mountains not yet scaled
blanket the floor
bleeding ink-like through crevices of broken shelves
I am the mother that drowns her children
I drop them deep in a cracked mirror sea
And watch them sink away from me
into the paper mountains
(they die beneath the water)
sand gets in their eyes and dust as well
dog fur plugs their ears to make them deaf
They are forgotten, always.
They do not resist (though I wish they would)
Rotting in a newsprint forest.
Added to the pile.

The angels watch from above
those who have not yet fallen:
The dolls: their faces cracked and lovely
one toy rabbit ( its arms flail when you wind it up)
a crippled clown that has not danced for years
still locked in the cardboard stage
where it once shone

The queue for redemption measures sixteen inches
(it is the length of the shelf)
Candidates live in squalor
while angels watch from safer harbors
and the god throws saints to hell
when there is no more room in heaven.
For this is my room:
my mind
My World.


What on earth is going on in this antique postcard? Why is there a urinating chicken with the face of a middle aged man? Is it some sort of period joke or cultural reference? If anyone is reading this, do you have any ideas? I myself am dumbfounded.
        I am trapped in a dark room with uneven light. There is no sunlight here (the blinds are shut), just flourescent bulbs. The word reeks of
flowers and dentists: but in reality it is far closer to dentists than it is to flowers: artificial and unpleasant, pulsing like a drill: as a child I found it the stuff of nightmares. Sometimes I want to be forgotten. It is both tragic and freeing if no one cares if you exist, tragic and freeing
if your existence makes no difference. They think I am a devious little monster, so they have me locked up for my own good in dark rooms
with dentist-lights that drill into my eyes. They say I must be honest, and no longer lie. I lie without thinking and without malice, and never about anything meaningful, but there is no such thing as a story that is not true. True about what is the question.
        They treat the symptom but not the cause. The cause is fear, but the cause is not important as long as the symptom is obliterated. They have been kind to me, too kind (so they say). I know this to be true,  whatever that means. When I become what they want me to be, when I "re-prioritize" (as they say, without telling me how to go about it) they will let me free from the dark-lit rooms, and maybe I will be that mythical animal: a "capable, responsible adult". I will be woven into tapestries and they will say, "it is a pity such a creature does not exist." And the children will argue that they do, that they themselves have seen such beings, but that is because they are young and do not know any better.