Shithouse rat

I'm a bipolar writer in the Naked City. I'm not playing with a full deck. I don't have all my dots on the dice. My cheese is sliding off my cracker. I don't have both oars in the water. I'm a bubble off plum. In other words, I'm crazier than a shithouse rat. These are my stories. Comments--short or long, nasty or nice--always welcome!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Annoying artiste assholes


show
Originally uploaded by Dakgirl1.
NOTE: Dakgirl, whose cool photo is shown here, is in no way implicated as belonging to the annoying artiste assholes clan. Click on the photo and visit her site for more samples of her excellent work.

Henry's super-fab new blog entry, The Art Snob, has inspired me to finally write about something that has been stuck in my craw for a long time now.

In Publish or Perish, I wrote about the sometimes obnoxious ways of aspiring writers. Based on my admittedly more limited experience with painters et. al, I think that emerging artists can be ten times as bad. My theory is that those who are trying to break into a highly competitive creative field where the likelihood of obscurity is high and the chances for wildly lucrative fame and fortune are low are often plagued with ego-driven jealousy and spite toward fellow artists (both struggling and sometimes world-famous). In some cases, this may even develop into full-fledged raging psychosis, complete with megalomania and paranoia (remember that kooky little would-be artist by the name of Adolph Hitler?)

Henry wrote of one snobby photographer who used a commonly available technique in Photoshop to enhance her "signature" style. When H asked her about it, she said it was her little secret. Hah! Gotcha, smug little arty-bitch!! Good going, H.

In my comment to his post, I in turn described my experience with a relatively successful downtown artist who often exhibited in the funky little downtown gallery that BG had the misfortune to show at, as described in "Alternative" Gallery Hell. Despite our initial effort to explore possible collaborative efforts, our correspondence fizzled out due in part to a media blitz he is currently involved in.

One day, for a goof, I visited the New York Times Artists and Exhibitions forum to see what other artists were discussing. A two-minute glance revealed that the forum was essentially a vehicle for a few very bitter, vindictive artists to trash each other's work and engage in a lot of boastful one-upsmanship about their respective art knowledge and sophistication. How very strange, I thought.

Before I hightailed it outta there, I spotted one poster who left his calling card, viz:

"Want to get away from the indecipherable imbecilities and absurd pretensions of the modern art establishment? Check out my web page."

Intrigued, I did check it out, and it proved to a very fascinating site indeed. The artist, who was also hawking what I take to be either an e-book or a print on demand effort, regaled his readers with an elaborate and scathing view of the often dreadful contemporary work to be found in major museums, as well as trashing such demi-gods as Picasso, who he felt to be a hack!!! Mon Dieu! What cheek!

In a similar vein to Henry's art-snob friend, he had done a (evidently) Photoshopped little pomo take on the classics by "repainting" them in outrageously iconoclastic fashion; for instance, portraying Picasso's monumental Les Desmoiselles d'Avignon with one prostitute busily picking her nose. Jolly good fun!

His diatribes against Picasso's "schmears" and such were relentless. Overall, I found his site quite entertaining, and agreed with some of his views about modern art, much in the vein of Tom Wolfe's masterful decimation of the great midcentury art gods in his classic satire The Painted Word.

So I decided to e-mail the boy and tell him how much I enjoyed his site, as well as his art, which he provided a link to. It was quite professsionally executed, but very heavily indebted to the style of Salvador Dali. It was, in fact, a kind of Dali clone. Nonetheless, I was lavish in my enthusiasm about the site and his works.

He e-mailed me back, though his message was, I thought, very nasty indeed. In response to my assertion that I thought his art was brilliant, he wryly replied "Funny. I don't." How disingenuous! Generally, I thought he was whatever the male equivalent of raving bitch was, and wrote back a suitably scathing reply, in which I dared him to write me again.

He did, and thus ensued what one might charitably call a "spirited" exchange of e-mails, with plenty of mutual verbal abuse and heated debate about modern art. In response to my enthusiasm about postmodernism, which I felt virtually defined all 21st century endeavors, he at first avoided the subject altogether. When repeatedly pressed, he finally smugly stated that postmodernism was "avant-gone." Ah, don't get me started!

Finally, the exchanges descended into such relentless nastiness that I stopped e-mailing and never heard from him again--even after I sent him a note to check out my new blog, where he was welcome to leave a link to his site.

I encourage others to visit him, and if you're a fan of verbal fisticuffs, try a little e-mail exchange.

Meanwhile, for some really cool art by a really cool chick, visit Marachino Venom and drop Brink a line in the comment section if you've a mind to.

21 Comments:

At 1:12 PM, Blogger Brink Craven said...

Thanks for the kind plug, Elvira!

As you know, I have similar theories behind the often snobbish, egotistical behavior of many artists. Its just a cover for insecurity. And of course the raging, often times socially dibilitaing fear that they are not going to be able to compete. I say, compete-smeet. Competetion is an illusion. When Im being most honest, I find that the only person I am competing with is myself, and my own brand of fear and insecurity! Aint that the truth...

 
At 1:58 PM, Anonymous Harris Bloom said...

I wish I could tell "good" art from "bad" art well enough to be snobbish...

then again, I can't even tell a $6 glass of wine from a $60 glass.

I guess teh saying is true - You can take the kid out of Flushing, but you can't always take the Flushing out of the kid...or something like that

 
At 12:51 AM, Blogger mani deli said...

In you blog about me you wrote:
“He e-mailed me back, though his message was, I thought, very nasty indeed. In response to my assertion that I thought his art was brilliant, he wryly replied "Funny. I don't." How disingenuous! Generally, I thought he was whatever the male equivalent of raving bitch was, and wrote back a suitably scathing reply, in which I dared him to write me again.”

You never answered my last message which I include here. I deny any nastiness and attribute your opinion due to not carefully reading what I wrote, unless you consider nastiness is disagreeing with you.

Your blog about me failed to mention my web site.
http://www3.sympatico.ca/manideli/

Here people can decide for themselves about my opinions.


At 01:35 PM 3/20/2005 -0800, you wrote:

>Fine, so my question to you once again is: what is
>your exhibition history? What is your sales history?
>In a nutshell.

I made my living at painting for about 15 years in NYC. I’m no longer a professional artist although I sell on occasion but still paint a lot for fun.

>Most art schools are run by failures for people who
>failed at
>everything else.
>
>>Hmm. Rather harsh and perhaps a tad elitist? So how
>>did you learn YOUR craft?

In school and on my own . You failed to notice the word “most.”

> In fact I admire critics as successful charlatans.
>They may even be experts but they can’t make or break as
>they used to. Critics are a small part of a made Modern Artist who has no
>abilities, just a cog in an economic scam.
>
>I am not nor have I ever been a charlatan.

I should have said “top art critics,” I certainly wasn’t making any inference about you. I think, like you, that critics are a necessity.

>Why? Do you consider Woolf to be a terribly flawed
>writer? I think he's brilliant.

I didn’t say anthing about his writing ability just that I feel his art critical conclusions are in my opinion right for the wrong reasons. Not to say that I don’t agree with many points in his book and his humor. I think he writes well.


>Your analysis of critics is a little hazy to me. I
>think you overgeneralize. You are probably right about
>critic's declining influence. But yet again you seem
>to allow that the global economic art scam inherently
>involves supposedly corrupt or disreputable , albeit
>influential critics with their own commerce-driven
>agenda. Plus, as I tried to say, it isn't just
>OPINION. Good criticism cannot be reduced to just
>that.
>
I’m not saying that all critics are into a scam. I’m saying it about some major art critics.

>Modernism in a nutshell requires that certain artwork
>is carefully kept
>out of
>museums.
>
>Again, don't follow you at all. Museums can't fit
>everyone in.

I don’t see any of our great illustrators or artists of the Deco and Novae periods or later artists who don’t conform to the average of what’s there.

>>But now, like it or not, we are firmly ensconsed in
>>the age of post modernism.

If that’s the only artwork you happen to see.

>Check out http://www.artrenewal.org/
>
>I checked this out briefly and it seems that the site
>and org have a very pretentious bias favoring
>primarily 19th century pre-modern academic
>representationalism. Hello! Welcome to the 21st
>century!

Which is no reason to reject the 19th.

>What is your criteria? Francis Bacon was a self taught
>artist whose style in my opinion does not conform to
>the rules of academic figuratism. And before you tell
>me he's a quack, verily I say unto you, he was a
>genius. Period. Do you disapprove of the way he
>learned his craft?
>
No, I just don’t care for his work.
>
>>
>>Picasso did possess the ability to paint
>academically,
>
>-yes but not well.
>
>REALLY!??? Do tell.


a quote from my book:

“The young Picasso learned traditional drawing by working from plaster casts and the live model. His education included a bare minimum of anatomy together with the rudiments of light and shade. He learned surprisingly little perspective, however, which always left his paintings looking partially flat. Picasso was lucky in this; he lived in an age where flatness was to become increasingly fashionable.

By the age of thirteen, Picasso was producing academic-style work which was up to the standard of a much older student. These student works are interesting and paradoxical. Compared to the finest academic paintings, these early works could only be classified as not much better than awful. They are full of youthful errors. They are today very valuable in monetary terms but were they not genuine Picasso's, they would be considered fairly worthless. Nevertheless, as the product of someone so young, they reveal an artist who showed much promise, a promise which was never fulfilled.

In judging the boy academic Picasso critics take great pains to point out his classical ability. They love to assure us that, underneath it all, Picasso, even then, was a most sensitive and able classical draftsman. This admiration for the academic Picasso is often used as an excuse to help justify his questionable later works. When someone points out an error in Picasso's drawing or sloppiness in his painting, the critic can retort, "This only looks bad to you because you don't really understand; a look at Picasso's student work should easily convince you that he could really draw well whenever he wanted to!"

M.A. critics who use this argument must be blind to skill. For any careful viewer of these early works can see that here at his very beginning is exactly where Picasso lacked skill. These academic works already hint at his future. They exhibit careless proportion and a lack of ability in creating detail. Even at his best Picasso was a mediocre draftsman early on and always thereafter.

In his 1897 "Science and Charity," [ILLUSTRATION] one can clearly see all kinds of errors even in small reproductions. This picture, which is very large and very uninteresting, shows no originality. The aim of the picture was to portray sentiment and realism in the academic style. Here, especially in rendering the cloth, Picasso sacrifices care to speed. Neither the mirror over the bed nor the wall cabinet is in perspective with the flat looking bed. The face of the nun and her hand are carelessly rendered. The stripes on the blanket are wrong.

Errors here show rather glaringly because the aim of this painting was full realism. Any form of highly realistic painting magnifies even the smallest error. With M.A. almost any "error" can be made to disappear and just about everything can be left askew. Much M.A. could be seen as a balance of errors which the critics call distortions. All this passes unnoticed to an eye which has grown accustomed to seeing these so called distortions.

Picasso's best most technically correct early portraits are in reality little more than correct. They are conventional and show no particular creative flair. None really outranks the work of a very ordinary, though perhaps older, street-corner portraitist. In truth these works are far less amazing than ecstatic M.A. critics like to make out.

It is certainly true, as some critics claim, that Picasso painted like a twenty-year-old at the tender age of fourteen. However, his academic abilities did not improve beyond those of a very average twenty-one-year-old. This was really no great achievement for one who is labeled a great artist.”

>Do you have a response to this part? Other than that
>art teachers are the losers leading the losers?

Most are but here are also good ones.

>>And yes, I think your work is technically and
>>thematically brilliant.
>
>Funny, I don’t.
>
>Very disingenuous. And so very clever of you to
>disparage my compliment while at the same time
>dismissing me as a charlatan.

Where?

?And thanks for labeling me a charlatan without
>ever seeing any of my work.

I did no such thing!

That's an excellent way to
>win friends and influence people (hint hint: I'm a
>reviewer who likes your work. What's the percentage in
>alienating me?) The tone of my e mail to you was, I
>thought, friendly and inquisitive; the tone of your e
>mail to me seems very dismissive and condescending. Or
>perhaps I'm just too sensitive.

You’re just too sensitive. I may not agree with some of your points but they are well taken.

>
>I'm sure you have ready answers to all my questions.
>I'd welcome your further response.

Please understand I can’t answer all those questions at once, as I don’t have time. Send a few at I time and I’ll try to respond if I can.

 
At 3:56 AM, Blogger elvira black said...

The message below is in response to Mani's private e-mail to me. I did not realize at the time that he had also cut and pasted it here as well, word for word. By the way, I haven't clicked on it yet, but in additon to my hyperlink to his site, which I included in my original post, if you click on mani deli you probably get to his site--or somewhere interesting. I was too distraught to check it out before I wrote this. Not to mention that in his comment, he included a non-hyperlinked URL to his site, which of course is more of a pain in the ass to get to (the old cut 'n paste)....Here we go:

Mani:

Nice (?) to hear from you.

A few very important things;

I DID INCLUDE YOUR WEBSITE IN A HYPERLINK ON THE BLOG PIECE!!!! HOW ON EARTH COULD YOU MISS THAT???

Go back, and note my quote of your NYT post where you say "check out my web page." Note that the words web page are highlighted. If you click on them, darn if you don't instantly wind up on your...web page! In fact, I empahsized this even further when I urged people to check it out and e-mail you if they wished to have a rip-roaring good time.

As I said, I found your site intriguing and worthwhile
enough for others to check out!!!!!! Sheesh!!!!

You did NOT return my e-mail where I welcomed you to check out the site and include a comment and link. This was after I bid adieu to our little e-mail exchange of ideas and insults. You are more than welcome to do so (i.e. comment to the blog) now.

And one more thing:

The post you mention below was not the LAST message. It was your FIRST one! Talk about not reading carefully...

Oh, deja vu is setting in and my blood pressure is
skyrocketing just like in the bad old days when we
exchanged bon mots and witty repartee.

Your last e-mail to me, which I did save (I cherish
them all) can be forwarded to you if you wish. It was
so snarlingly nasty, (in my opinion) that I got fed up
and didn't write to you again.

I'm a seasoned writer, and aspire to be fair and
accurate in my assessments, even if I'm seeing it from my point of view--and I am a careful and thorough reader as well.

BTW, Mani, don't tell me you're not a little flattered
by the attention (not to mention that more people may visit your site as a result and maybe buy your book? ) Hmmm?

Best,
Elvira

 
At 4:05 AM, Blogger elvira black said...

One more thing:

By copying my first e-mail exchange with dear Mani, (in response to my original e-mail to him about his site, etc.) I think it results in a somewhat out of context missive which is quite confusing to the "outside" reader, in that It refers only to bits and pieces of my previous e-mail. I also don't know offhand if it includes the whole e-mail. If I had been inclined to do this, I would have made it clearer whose comments were whose.

Lord, save me from the artistes!

 
At 7:02 PM, Blogger elvira black said...

OK, now I've got Mani off my mind--not. Only other thing to add is that I clicked on the "Mani Deli said..." link and discovered, to my horror and delight, that he also has a blog. In addition to e-mailing his comment to me privately, he also copied it onto his blogsite. Wow, Mani--we're, like, ubiquitous!

Brink: Exactly. There's plenty of room for all the great artists, etc out there. The only sane way to go is to try to keep evolving by utilizing your own unique talent and style rather than nervously looking over your shoulder at what the other guy is doing to beat you out. At the same time, I think it's a pretty good idea to check out other people's stuff as well, so you don't exist in that bubble BLLB mentioned in another post.

Harris: Yes, I tend to think a $60 glass of wine is probably nothing to write home about--or plunk down the bucks for. A friend once gifted me with a bottle of Dom, and I have to admit I preferred a six dollar bottle of cold duck. But best of all is the Uber-vodka scam. I say, anything cheaper than Gordon's is going too low--then you're getting dangerously close to the undrinkable, unthinkable swill. I used to go for the Stoli's myself--esp. after the collapse of the old Marxist regimes and all--sort of a pomo tribute thing--but it was probably more for the snob appeal, I think. Now they've got Grey Goose and all those other fancy-schmancy brands that are strictly for pretentious, insecure climbers (present company excluded, if anyone reading this drinks the stuff. You gotta do what you gotta do to keep up appearances...)

As far as good art, I go with the criteria that one Supreme Court Justice took on porn--I may not be able to define it, but I know it when I see it.

 
At 4:35 PM, Blogger mani deli said...

>Nice (?) to hear from you.
>
>A few very important things;
>
>I DID INCLUDE YOUR WEBSITE IN A HYPERLINK ON THE BLOG
>PIECE!!!! HOW ON EARTH COULD YOU MISS THAT???

You are absolutely correct! I'm used to seeing an address link and didn't realize that clicking on the green would reach a web site. My apologies and I thank you for mentioning it.

>As I said, I found your site intriguing and worthwhile
>enough for others to check out!!!!!! Sheesh!!!!
>
>You did NOT return my e-mail where I welcomed you to
>check out the site and include a comment and link.
>This was after I bid adieu to our little e-mail
>exchange of ideas and insults. You are more than
>welcome to do so (i.e. comment to the blog) now.
>
>And one more thing:

>Your last e-mail to me, which I did save (I cherish
>them all) can be forwarded to you if you wish. It was
>so snarlingly nasty, (in my opinion) that I got fed up
>and didn't write to you again.

Please forward what you thought was nasty

 
At 7:43 PM, Blogger Henry said...

Elvira,

You've got to quit wasting your time on a chump like Mani (what a faggot name!).

The Troglyte doesn't even know about hyperlinks; he definitely should not be surfing the web.

I checked out his website. He obviously can't decide whether he wants to paint or write. I didn't care too much for his demented Dali knock-offs or his anti-intellectual criticisms of those who really can paint.

Hey, woMani: In case you hadn't noticed, your crappy paintings are very pomo. You've just recycled Dali's style into some kind of warped mockery of Picasso.

You really are a Giant Douche, or is it a Turd Sandwich...

How did you make a living painting? Painting what? Painting apartments in rat infested tenements for crack dealing slumlords?

Get your own style before you start dismissing everyone else's, you testical shitting rectal wart.

 
At 8:22 PM, Blogger Brink Craven said...

testical shitting rectal wart?? Hardcore classic.

 
At 8:54 AM, Blogger elvira black said...

Mani:

I spent at least an hour last night looking for your last e-mail but could not seem to find it. I will try again when I have the time. It is very puzzling because I would not normally delete it. Perhaps it disturbed me so much at the time that I took the drastic measure of hurtling it into the black hole of cyberspace, but that's not like me. I'll get back to you if I find it.

As I said, I think that Mani's website is provocative and entertaining. I do not agree with all his views, but I think it is worth checking out.

 
At 1:25 PM, Blogger Henry said...

OK

These will be the last energies I waste on that fruit cake, Mani, then I will wash my hands of this nasty business.

I noticed that, after cut-and-pasting pomo-style, the comment I made above onto Pansy's blog http://nogodsatall.blogspot.com/ (I'll make it easier for the imbecile Mani), he had deleted it in less than 5 minutes (he has since replaced it...).

The poser loser obviously spends all day lurking around his PC waiting for the "You've got mail!" chant of his AOL account. (I checked his IP address and platform/browser logs; in addition, Satan's minion uses MS FrontPage 4.0 to compile his website, and I have already discussed how wrong that is. Obviously not an enlightened Mac user.)

What's the matter, Fag-boy? You can dish it out, but you can't take it? (Probably takes it up the dirt chute...)

Here's a little cut-and-paste from an email I sent to Elvira:

>I like how he calls himself Mani. He >derides Picasso, but assumes a hispanic >sounding name to play off the love of >Picasso and other "ethnic" sounding >foreign artists (Americans can't be "real" >artistes, you know...) What a fucking joke!

>The guy is pomo all the way!


I forgot to add that he has absolutely recycled Dali's name for his own pseudosurnym: De Li.

LOL That sounds just as queer as Mani.

I'm done with you now, Fairy; I'll just toss you onto the trash heap of life, like a rag doll after my pummelling.

>:-∫>

 
At 8:09 AM, Blogger !ce said...

Yeah, Henry, let's be totally homophobic about it.

 
At 2:22 PM, Blogger elvira black said...

Oy vey. I think, for once, I may be at a loss for words.

Wait a minute, who am I kidding? Me? At a loss for words?

OK. Henry, that was screamingly funny, as usual. As with BLLB, I feel that you are like the bro I never had, who always sides with me against the bullies of the world, be they intellectual, philosophical, or any other -al you can name.

Well, maybe not political. Henry and I differ in our political leanings, but I still feel like we can respect each other's differences, usually with a large helping of good natured teasing.

OK, now on to Ice's comment. Ice, I always look forward to your comments, but they are usually oh so brief. I guess you said what you had to say in a neat nutshell, but I wish you were more of a loudmouth "blog hog" like many of the other commenters. You could have really said your piece here.

As far as Henry's sometimes outrageous outbursts, I can't help but luv him. It is hard to be diplomatic here, but from my offline correspondence with H, which at first included some cantankerous kvetching on my part about his seeming bigotry, I have discovered that this is basically part of H's wicked sense of humor.

Thing is, that if I were gay, I might very well refer to myself and other gays as fairies, queers, etc. in that self-disparaging way that many maligned groups do.

Similarly, I have received some flak on this blog when I refer to myself or other mentally ill people as shithouse rats, psychos, or wackos. So even though I feel like I have the earned the stripes necessary to do this, I guess it still is offensive to others at times.

As a Jew, I sometimes feel free to disparage some of my bretheren, and close non-Jewish friends can also join in the fun without me taking offense. But when H first said something about Jews, I got my back up. Then he explained the method behind his madness, and thus the comments about Mani only seemed to me like a sort of metaphysical insult to his "manhood."

I also use Jewish slurs in a humorous, self-disparaging way at times. For instance, in telling Henry about a Jewish "doctor" who nearly killed BG with his "painless one day detox," I detailed his greed and cheapness, and actually said that he tried to "Jew us down." Even H had to upbraid me for my nastiness!

Similarly, BG and I often rib each other mercilessly, and I sometimes refer to him as a goy boy, with all the implications this may have for some old time Jews--brawny, good for physical labor, a fixer-upper, maybe not so bright. I know some Orthodox Jews, and though some are fine people, others are very prejudice against non-Jews, which I find to be the ultimate in irony. Many other Jews are liberal to the point of being "bleeding heart"--one example being civil rights activists who sometimes risked and even lost? their lives in order to futher the cause of equal rights for African Americans. But some more "old fashioned," old world Jews who are not similarly enlightened may see goys more as human tools and laborers than human beings who are as worthy as they are. I sometimes refer to Henry as a quintessential Waspy goy, though most of his classmates were Jewish.

I think it is human nature for people to respond to differences--it is probably literally hard wired. The only thing that seems to alleviate the tensions and prejudices that result is by exposure to diversity. One of the reasons I adore NYC is because it is so incredibly diverse (as is the internet!) And the more you are exposed to people of different religions, nationalities,sexual orientations, and cultures, the more I, at any rate, realize that we are all just people--as banal as that statement may seem.

That does not mean we are all homogenous. People of different backgrounds all contribute their unique perspectives and outlooks, and I find this endlessly fascinating.

It also seems to be true that the more "outed" a group becomes, the more readily they will be recognized as part of the "human race" rather than the hated and feared "other."

I've seen this happen in the gay community. People of my parents' generation who refused to really deal with the "gay question" have finally been forced to see that even celebs and many others out of the closet are indeed gay, and not by choice. It is no longer a huge shock to my 80-something aunts to discover that so and so is a "faygelah."

Although this all seems to be rather "off topic," it really isn't. One could easily say after reading my post that I am an "artist bigot," stereotyping a whole group in one fell swoop. I sometimes see even BG as an honorary member. But I know that although sterotypes may sometimes have some essential truth to them, it is not accurate or fair to lump everyone together into neat little categories.

So to Ice and any others who have something to add to this, please do. This crazy Jewgirl would love to hear from you.

 
At 9:40 AM, Blogger Henry said...

Aww, man....

Ice, don't be hatin'! I'm really not a fag-bashing homophobe. Elvira will tell ya.

Look, I'll even point you to one of my new fave blogs (you're still my über-fave, E):

Synternet

That guy is flaming, but his blog rocks! I'm totally trying to hook him up so that he can protect himself, his husband, and his BP mom from the fag-bashers (Boston has some of the worst) and crack heads. Shit, if I was in Bean town, I'd take a turn standing guard on his rooftop with a high powered rifle, night vision goggles, and a police band radio.

I would also like to point out one of my early posts:

A Novel Idea

While the second statement is just a pipe dream, I fully agree with the first statement. Please also see my later comment upgrade to this post.

Elvira, as usual, has verbosely hit the nail on the head. I'm like Dirty Harry with my humor: I hate everyone equally. LOL

That's really the thing about people's differences, for me. I like to get them out in the open; whether it's skin color, sexual orientation, religion, mental illness, bizarre clothing, or extreme hair styles, if you're flaunting it, I'm going to mention it, and probably make fun of it. Sometimes, when you play with the big boys, you have to play rough.

I grew up in NYC, and the diversity of the world was all around me and in my face everyday. Yet, the grade school I attended for the first ten years of my acedemic life only had one token minority and one token Jew in each class of 40 boys. It was a puzzling time for me. By the time I got to my teens, my mother, a small-town Tennessee girl, had become somewhat enlightened to the differing peoples of the big city. Being in the publishing/media/entertainment industry, she was a conduit through which I was exposed to a wide variety of everything life had to offer.

The high school I attended was a place for everyone. The Quakers are like that; check out some history of early Rhode Island and the tolerance of the Quakers. George Fox was way ahead of his time. I pride myself on that same tolerance.

While I accept and appreciate everyone's differences, I'm also going to poke fun at them. In this particular instance, the guy has obviously adopted a pseudonym, but why did he choose that one? I don't know, but it's a big fat target just hanging there waiting for people to take shots at it.

Hey, Ice, I think you should reacquaint yourself with my Netiquette post. Don't just call me homophobic and run away; back it up with some evidence, proove to our viewing audience that I am bigoted, redneck fag-basher, if you can....

 
At 9:56 PM, Blogger !ce said...

I assumed that your post was proof enough, and I rarely walk away.

 
At 8:49 AM, Blogger Henry said...

Hey Ice,

You know what happens when you "ass-u-me"...

 
At 11:32 AM, Blogger Brink Craven said...

There does seem to be a huge difference to me between affectionately reffering to gay folk as "fag", crazy people as "psychos" etc than using those epitats as a way to hurl insults- I see a difference anyway.

My ex father in law used to make rascist, gay etc. jokes all the time--but nobody said anything cause "he was just joking" Uhh yeah, ok. This is a very flawed logic. And it is exactly how people end up getting hurt. I finally got so sick of it, I called him out on it. Then his daughter and other family members found the encouragement to call him out too, and after a couple weeks he stopped making them altogether. Mind you, this was after behaving this way with impudence for 50 years. I guess he realized that the joke was not worth the price. It was also a respect issue. I grew to respect my father in law much more when he stopped behaving that way and, surprisingly enough and after much work, we ended up having a pretty harmonious relationship. But even in his situation the issue for me, was the spirit in which these terms were used--not whether or not he used them.

I must say I share Ices' concerns. The comments by Henry were offensive. But of course, I didnt comment on it in the first place. Unlike the situation with my ex FIL, I can hit the close button on my computer when I dont wanna read anymore.

To me, it all comes down to whether a person is using these words affectionately or hatefully--calling someone a fag to insult them just isnt the same as calling them a fag because you love them.

Elvira, I dissagree that one can make a comparison between comments like "art snob" vs. "fag" --its like comparing apples and oranges. In one, you are deriding someone for thier behavior (snobbish) which in my world is more acceptable because people can CHANGE behavior (and many cases need to, and a good dose of social pressure seems warranted). But in the other, you are putting someone down for who they ARE (black, gay, mentally ill or whatever) Things about them that they cannot change (and hopefully, would want to)

anyway, just my take on things.

 
At 11:35 AM, Blogger Brink Craven said...

I realized an error --in the last line, of my last comment I said, " hopefully would want to"--of course I meant. " hopefully WOULDNT want to"--haha...yeah, the joke's on me.

 
At 4:31 PM, Blogger synternet said...

Sticks and stones can break my bones but names can never hurt me. I've had a chance to correspond with Henry and being married to a man I haven't found that he's homophobic in any way, just passionate in what he believes.

My view on using "Fag-boy" is rather offensive. It promulgates the stereotype that gays are some how weak. "(Probably takes it up the dirt chute...)" is original, but I can honestly say if you haven't tried massaging your prostate you probably shouldn't comment on it.

Henry, keep up the charge, I understand where you're coming from, and it makes us think about the people around us, plus you've warned us of your provocative ways on your site. So what I would say to you is, "You go girl."

 
At 8:50 PM, Blogger Henry said...

Brink:

Point well taken. You are right. I should not have used those terms in the manner in which I did. I did not think about how, what I perceived, at the time, to be humorous, could be misconstrued. In fact, I never even really thought that Mr. De Li is homosexual; I really was attacking his choice in pseudonyms (I'm still pretty sure it is one).

The online medium is still a very "flat" one; I sometimes forget that my facial and bodily expressions are not being transmitted by the whizing electrons which connect us all out here in cyberspace. I think if you could experience those images, along with the writing, it might be clearer that I really meant to deflect Mr. De Li's attack on E. with biting cynicism.

I over did it. I'm sorry to have offended. Can we still be friends?

Synternet:

Thanks for the support, and the reminder to all about my warnings.

You are absolutely right about incorrectly stereotyping homosexual men as weak. One of the best ass whuppings I ever witnessed was in the West Village in the summer of 1987. Some idiots, obviously from Jersey, started harrassing these two flamers right in front of the place I worked in. My boss and some of my co-workers start to head outside; these two jerk-offs start getting physical with two regular guys from the neighborhood, right in the middle of the day. Well, those idiots were paying too much attention to terrorizing these poor fellows to notice that some more people had shown up. Uh oh, too bad, so sad. Two of the biggist buff-boys I had ever seen, I'm talking, way bigger than Arnie, happen to be on the way home from the gym... You know that rag doll stuff I was saying? I think that's what I had in mind... These two guys beat the living shit out of the Jersey fag-bashers, and you could tell that they were taking it easy on them. I don't know if it was 'roid rage, or just a good old fashioned fag-basher bashing, but those guys were a fucking mess. The crowd applauded and left them there in a heap. It was awesome! I just hope the punishment worked on those Pavlovian dogs!

I've never had anyone of your orientation call me "Girl" before; {lump in my throat} I really feel like I have been accepted as an honorary member of your club.

:'-)

Is there a secret handshake I need to learn?

Everyone:

I now realize the error of my ways. I guess I got a bit over-zealous in my defense of the beloved Elvira. I apologize. In the future, I will stick more to the facts and less to my shocking opinions.

 
At 11:44 AM, Blogger Brink Craven said...

Personally I think it takes a great deal of intelligence to be able to discuss a typically emotionally charged issue such as this, and keep it from turning into an all consuming ball of flaming. Im impressed and I thank you all. I have heard different points of veiw by a decent group of folk, from diverse backrounds and lifestyles--This is what its all about --good, clean debate. It makes my loins tingle.

Henry:
Your apology is accepted. I appreciate your willingness to consider my side of things. I think its important to remain open minded. Ive long since learned that opinions I thought were infallible, can end up changing. Therefore, I dont get too riled up about them anymore. They are what they are, and nothing more.

Synernet:
I thought your take on this issue was very interesting. But I have to dissagree about the sticks and stones thing...verbal abuse is prevalent in this society and has been shown to be incredibly hurtful. Bullying, (which a majority of the time never gets to the physical stage) still has the potential to hurt peoples psyches tremendously--and over the course of time, can become very traumatizing.
Good for you for being able to not take such things seriously, but that is definitely not the case for everyone. Espechially for people who may be younger and a lot less thick skinned. I think that some of us, have a tendency to grow thicker skins as we age, as we learn the harsh realities of living in a bigotted, hateful society--but personally, I think that old adage should be thrown in the crapper.

Of course, I think what all this boils down to is- compassion. If we do and say everything with love in our hearts, nothing we do can ever be harmful. Violence, either verbal or physical isnt the answer. And the only reason I beleive this to be true, is because the proof is in the pudding. Look at what great things have arisen out of conflicts solved with compassion, and what horrors have been perpetuated by violence....

Just my 2 cents....

 

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