venerdì, novembre 11, 2016

All our flesh was like a veil

There are some male artists who, as a woman and a feminist, I love. Not because of any feminist championing or thinking they've done or feminist content to their work. I don't fangirl; I spend a fair amount of energy trying to avoid knowing what my favourite artists think of things (and it does take effort these days) because I just want to enjoy them without having to face the fact that they're potentially unpleasant people.* But because of the interest that they show in women - in their situations and in their stories. And even when they're totally wrong-headed and totally off-base to me, and even when they're not terrifically great artists, there's something in me as a reader or spectator or listener that's satisfied by their reaching to understand or communicate that experience. There's not a lot. There's:

Jarvis Cocker
Tom Waits
Pedro Almodovar
Rainer Fassbinder
Thomas Hardy


Leonard Cohen. Especially Leonard Cohen. Leonard Cohen, most of all.

A bit different from the others, actually. Those other guys on my list - they struggled, sometimes with a striking lack of success and sometimes with seamless grace - to get into the heads of their women. But for his part, Cohen never once pretended he wasn't miles deep up his own ass. Meanwhile, from that vantage point looked at his women with such clarity about where he was looking from and what he could see from there.

And then - there was the fact of him being the best poet. Not just of my list of men that I like who had some time for women. He was just the best poet.

Leonard Cohen ☆ Last Year's Man from Sighting Leonard's Longing on Vimeo.

So my heart is breaking today. I guess it's a good break; I have so much admiration for his work, and so much joy for him that it continued right up until his death, without a break in quality. Despite trying not to fangirl I do know something about his work habits and the grind he poured into it, and I'm so glad for him that was sustainable until the end, and I'm glad for him and for us, who can enjoy his work, that he lived for so long to make so much of it, though I personally could have used a couple more novels.

His fairly notorious Buddhism helps too. They're just better at all this dying shit. I know I went over this when Carmen died a few weeks back, but I still get mad at how shitty Christianity is about death, scripturally and culturally. About that matter-of-fact inanity go-to comfort even non-practicing Christians fall back on - "they're in a better place now, they're at peace now, rest in peace" BLAH FUCKING BLAH HOW IS THAT SUPPOSED TO HELP THE ONES WITHOUT THEM NOW? I keep thinking of the comfort I was given by my closest Buddhist friend (not practicing - culturally, the same way I'm culturally Catholic) when my grandmother died - "of course, it's very sad, but that's what happens when you get older; everything falls away and you have to let go." In the same sympathetic but matter-of-fact way Christians try to comfort you with all that "peace and better place" dipshit shit. Except, after I picked up my dipshit Judeo-Christian jaw - fancy that, someone daring to tell a person in mourning that things suck and the losses are just going to keep coming -  it actually worked.

It sucks to lose him. It would have sucked to lose him 20 years from now, when he would have been the same age as my grandmother, who also sucked to lose.

* Leonard Cohen was an accessible person, though. Friends in Montreal would see him around; he was a bit of a park-bench-sitter, apparently. And a story got passed on to me once about an acquaintance-twice-removed having a night with him whose morning went like this:

 Acquaintance-twice-removed: (waking up as a fully-dressed Cohen is walking to the door): You're leaving? Just like that?

Cohen: Gotta go, baby. Rambling man. (Goes.)

giovedì, novembre 10, 2016

Attention website crashers

We don't fucking want you.

Stay home and put out your fucking trash fire. We have enough problems in Canada without importing you and yours, including the integration of more Syrian refugees in our tiny-by-population country than your enormous-by-population country has accepted (and that sickening parsimony, that should have had you out on the streets, was under the Democratic presidency you've been crying over).

The opposition to Trump and his supporters from Clinton on down has been based largely on contempt, and you know what, I feel contempt too. I don't understand how so many people have been culturally suicidal enough to have bought into a version of fascism that's even dumber than the 1930s version because the man at the head of it is a transparent rich-boy kleptocrat.

But now your shitty country is stuck with him, and it’s your job to figure out why 60 million of the people you live with thought the rich-boy kleptocrat was a good choice, and to figure out how to live with those people as your peers. And your job to figure out why other white people stayed home in droves this year when the stakes were so obviously high for their brown and black co-citizens. And your job to make sure your rich-boy kleptocrat ends up on the same figurative meathook that all fascist demagogues were born to end up on.

The 30s versions weren’t rich-boy kleptocrats, for all the other horrible things they were. They enacted policies that benefitted many of their fellow citizens, and enjoyed wild personal popularity for years and years. If you do your job right instead of whining and trying to run off to Canada, your new set of cunts will figuratively end up on their meathooks much faster and with much less chance to do horrible human damage. Not only because Trump won’t even cosmetically attempt the social improvement measures old school fascists used since he’ll be so busy asset-stripping, but also because history has taught you what to expect.

Or should fucking have taught you. But I’ve spent way too much time socializing with Clinton supporters over the last few months to have any fucking confidence at all that their grasp of history is any better than the jag-offs who just voted in the rich-boy kleptocrat. All I heard was name-calling and a baffling pretence that more of the same, in the shape of another Clinton presidency, was going to be good for people.

 Well, stay home, and do better. We don’t want you.