I was just reading my “Poet’s Companion” trying to jog the muse and I found this poem “Skinhead”–used as an example for an exercise on tone and perspective. The poem’s speaker is a white supremacist. The author a woman of color.
The notes on Patricia Smith following the poem say she won a National Poetry Slam Contest. I thought “Hmm, maybe she’s got stuff online?” How awesome: I found the poem! Youtube sucks for a variety of reasons but this isn’t one of them. Watch:
It’s happening again. An entire generation is misinterpreting their fashions, posturings, fads, social sayings, humour and inner muse with some type of new way of doing things. It’s bad enough they are missing the bigger point, wherein minus the cosmetics and faux hawks they are the same ole shit but let’s chew on this: they are generational traditionalists/ repeats (oh no she didn’t).
Suffice to say generations desperate to find their own identity are participating in the same old cycle–doing some crap cut/paste job of culture, (mix-matching vintage and eco-whatever) while “raising the bar” and calling it ME. This some how gets conflated into being contemporary/better/more interesting and along the way the elders are supposed to feel so out of touch that they smile weakly while fading into a depressingly silent background. Well that’s the idea isn’t it. Nothing new here folks.
Not only does this feed ageism but now it seems we need to officially introduce another -ism into the mix: generational-ism. For example, my uncle is a generationalist: after his generation and all their little cultural practices/hang-ups the world went to hell in a hand basket. I am a screw up by default of my birthday.
Similarly if the idea of cutting up hookers does not suit your fancy you are likely some living fossil like a 70’s disco queen or a hippy or a survivor of the Depression.
Meet the true Creator of Cuttin’ Up Hookers apparel: Mr. Wha-what! Stefan Kane. (No that is not a caricature drawing at the top of this post showing him and his friend at the movies…). Mr. Kane is the one who derserves your attention too. Unfortunately I cannot find a way to get a hold of him, save a myspace message. But you are in luck cuzz know what? I’m a Generation-isms expert and I already know his response: he is simply mizunderstood–a victim of the hatas. He’s got a message! A point! Something to SAY.
While you ponder whatever the fuck it is he has to say you should also know that yesterday Alex the printer and distributor of Cuttin’ Up Hookers had more to say to me on e-mail than blog. I e-mailed him originally very confused as to how he could come to my blog and say he had no affiliation with the shirts when the internet crumb trail lead right to him. Aw shucks! Turns out he was mizunderstood too!
You see he was deeply troubled by this False Alex misrepresenting his reputation and wanted his image as the printer and distributer, Not Creator, set straight! And as you will read some of his points, while better articulated, were not that far from fake Alex.
Of course I let him know his attempt to salvage these shirts on the “joke” or “free speech” grounds was nonngetiable. His biggest response to that was pease-o-pease just take down those awful words mizunderstandin’ my position.
Well he was talking to the wrong blog for that. My last e-mail to him went unanswered yet strangely enough I read today he is done with Cuttin’ Up Hookers? Or maybe he is just done printing them but he will still distribute them? Or maybe now he will create them but not distribute? Or maybe he’ll just hire the high schoolers that model them? These tiny details of rather innocuous measure that are supposed to set him apart from the shirts run parallel with the Mizunderstood Generation’s tedious obsession with being this not that.
And those of us who dare challenge such margins need to accept OUR lacking in understanding.
Well this underling of the Gen Y supposed-to-wear-cutting-up-hooker-shirts says piss off!
“You just don’t get it” is a cop out. “Straight up.” It’s been used by every Mizunderstood Generation that’s ever been. And anyone who doesn’t get that needs to get with the times!
**UPDATE**: I cannot seem to find the Cuttin’ Up Hookers apparel line from District Lines. Could it be…? Oh and you should keep yourself posted on the myspace page for the guy who punches babies–seems he is standing up for his rizzights!
I thought this did a pretty decent job explaining some of the shiz we’re into right now:
(feminist stuff to commence shortly)
*UPDATE*: Link has been removed. Google “Cuttin’ Up Hookers” with an eye closed if you dare. Hateful bastards always a click away.
Via BD, contact info collected for guy who thinks cutting up hookers is haute couture comedy:
Alex Karekin Tchekmeian
11929 E. Colonial Drive #166
Orlando, Florida 32826
Company Web Site
“… my “no” needs to be heard. My “yes” is taken for granted already.”
And that is what I call a preciselyism–poignantly pointed. Prickly prick!
Using that I will clarify a little about this blog:
I blog for the “no.”
I cry for the “no.”
I want the “no.”
I take quite seriously the “no.”
My “no” is often ignored, often not heard or, at most, watered down into maybe/possibly/probably/she is just lying or kidding or prudish or a bitch or too [insert typical insult].
The “no” is commonly the cry unheard round the world.
The “no” is mocked.
The “no” is sexualized.
The”no” is muted in the daily lives of millions and millions and millions (…) of women.
In a patriarchy the “yes” sounds louder, the “yes” has more reverb, lasts longer. The “yes” is reinforced at every turn by media, by advertising, by men, by personal exchanges, by orgasms/smiles/serotonin, by nearly all public appearances. And at the fault of no woman: one woman’s “yes” counters twenty women’s “no.”
No is not in the forefront. No is the shadow, the two sentence blurp in the news right before the cut to commercials where Revlon or a sitcom vignette tells us yes. No is the painful memory we must only tell in secret, in special meetings, in therapy groups, with psychiatrists who can provide enough forget-me-pills to drown out “no.”
“No” has no place.
“Yes” medicates the “no” away from itself. “Yes” blurs lines, blows smoke, masquerades, silences.
“Yes” is part of the entitlement infrastructure of patriarchy. Men are entitled to my “yes.” Women are entitled to my yes. Much of my life has been structured around the “yes.” I am lost in “yes” and smothered and beaten down and forced by “yes.”
I cannot count how many times I’ve been in a situation where I am three “yes’s” in by default, before I knew what was going on–before “no” was even presented as an option. I cannot count how many times my “no” never occurred to me, or how faintly it cried.
Now years later my memories speak louder the “no” I had all along, the “no” that now only baits pain in its own hindsight.
I want to yell “NO” louder with more blog posts.
I want to yell “NO” louder in my own life (and often that strength comes from this online community).
I want to listen closer so I can hear the “NO!” that shames itself into a whisper in the voices of the women around me.
I want “NO!” to startle and affect.
I want with everything I have to compensate for the everywhere-allthetime-everywoman “yes”–not a balance, not a crowd pleasing 50/50 but unapologetically, not even beginning to teeter on evenness, NO.
In this space, on this blog, under my moderation, NO gets the mic. NO is assumed, is admitted, is discovered, is the obvious, is the default. NO is shameless and forthright and annoyed and understanding and scared.
NO is loud. Listen.