E. and I were once thrust into a school bus together and toured for a month with 35 other people. It was a miserable experience and I spent much of the time drunk on whiskey, making fun of her band (once so incisively that it made her guitarist cry). Still, every night, a room full of punks would scream along with their songs, no matter how I felt. (p.s., I was a jerk) Now it's years past that time and E. churns out art, writing and music that is provocative, thoughtful and defiant all at once (as she was in the past as well). Her defunct band, DISPLEASURE put out a tape that is one of my favorite of the year. The moral of all this? Be careful. The people you make fun of today could be writing all of your anthems of tomorrow. Don't be a shithead.
E. CONNER'S TOP TEN OF 2012I don’t know how hard and fast I believe in “years” or “time” or “lists” but here is some stuff that happened in the past 365 “days” or one “earth” revolution around the “sun”.
- Lies Journal. LIES affirms everything I’ve been thinking about for the past year. All the sex negativity, hate for pigs, and historical relevance that we are so frequently denied. Feminism is hard. It’s evolution in popular culture is fucking disgusting. It’s hard to find so much that you can relate to in one place. LIES opens up by telling us “EVERYTHING WE WRITE WILL BE USED AGAINST US” it already knows so she doesn’t care. LIES wants us to go there. To push beyond couple forms, to question sub/cultural notions of safety and innocence and to remember a history too often ignored. To see the culture/sex wars bend into a million facets and inherit so much more than a dichotomy but, as Ms. Haraway would say, a resonance.
- Cultural Context // Feminist Study Group: I dropped out of school officially when I was 16 and but for a stint in jail school I probably would have bounced much earlier. I’ve always been a reader/learner but it’s been an isolated endeavor or something I occasionally used to get laid (don’t hate). Me and some friends started a feminist study group this fall. We Learning socially has been what this year did for me the most. While the study group has gone slack I’m looking to pick it back up again soon.
- SCAM #9: The Story of BLACK FLAG's Damaged. I wouldn’t have finished the last copy of my zine if Erick hadn’t told me we could have a zine release party at the same time. He never did finish it by then but we released together nonetheless. Him with a slideshow and talk and me with my dinky rag. We did a mutual performance together that was a little slapdash but ever inspired! With fabrications that rendered us blind and deaf we jumped around the little gallery/zine shop atonally singing Black Flag’s Room 13. Erick knocked art off the walls and I’m pretty sure I was blushing the whole time. More importantly, Erick did finally write a zine about the making of Black Flag’s first full length album. It illuminates so many unknown factors about the environment from whence the Flag was forged. Noir L.A. with corrupt politicians, disillusioned youth, neon, and oh! the hills. While Erick chose to stray from other mysteries (like, where the fuck did Dez go hat shopping??) this is a bang up piece of relevant journalism for anyone who laid in their room listening to Rats Eyes over and over and over.
- Clarice Lispector- The Passion According to G.H.: This book certainly wasn’t written in the past year but New Directions just re-printed all of Ms. Lispector’s novels with new translations this summer. I first got hip to Clarice from Helene Cixous’ Three Steps on the Ladder of Writing. The novel is about the in-brain crisis of a bourgeois sculptress from Rio De Janeiro. Many focus on Ms. Lispector’s beauty. Indeed, all of the re-printed novels fit together to form a stunning portrait of the writer as a younger woman. However this novel is about anything but conventional beauty. Her introduction asks for one to have a fully formed soul in order to encounter this novel properly. She incites your own existential crisis before you even become engaged. Lispector confronts moral dualities in this novel. The sculptress has crushed a cockroach in an armoire door. Struck by the brutality of the acts & confronted by her entire life it leads up to one of the most heartbreaking and kind of gross acts one could choose to make. This precedes the female existential crisis novels of this year and surpasses them in so many ways too. Lispector I Love You.
- INDEX Demo: I love index. ‘Nuff said.
- Olivia Horvath: I started following Olivia’s tumblr a while back and then we traded zines the old fashioned way. Olivia’s comics and art are informed by philosophy, weed, magic, and sex. That makes it seem more simplistic than it truly is. They just have a capacity to open up the signifiers we take for granted and make them mean so much more. Olivia is a genius babe to watch out for.
- East Bay Anarchist Book Fair: This book fair was different. It was organized around different “Conversations” which were informed by a reader provided online and at local spots around town. Me and Ian facilitated a talk on PLEASURE which was to be informed by Guy Hocquengham’s Destroy Sexuality and a Foucault interview. The talk elevated to being about stuck between hate for everything and refusal of commodification of spirit. Human Strike How Does That Shit Work? It rained and rained but I smoked weed with Patrick and ate kimchee buns and got a bunch of cool shit. Stay Cool East Bay.
- The Failed Apocalypse: The world didn’t “end” so everything is still fucking terrible. There is no way out... just keep breathing and making paper mache to mend the torn hymens of your heart, fuckers. Live To Spite Every Shitty Mother Fucker Out There That’s Trying To Slowly Kill You, or don’t do it at all.
- MOSS ICON Discography: I needed this record to come out when it did. It will curse everyone else like it’s cursed me for the past 10 years. I walk around with the same bassline stuck in my head screaming to myself that I’m Back Sleeping Or Fucking Or Something.
- Xara Thustra- “FRIENDSHIP BETWEEN ARTISTS IS AN EQUATION OF LOVE AND SURVIVAL”: Xara makes a world I want to live in. Bright negativity, muted love love love, bloody friends, backwards and forwards, smiley faces with knives and shit. This hefty book is the great american novel for fuckwads who hate the man. Cover me in grandma’s afghan and put a thumb up my ass I’m done.