Monthly Archives: November 2004

Unsettling Healthy Advice

I am drinking Sunrype Fruit and Veggie drink. Every glass gives you two Canada Food Guide servings of fruit and vegetable. It’s full of yummy goodness. I am suddenly an advertisement. I apologize.

See, it all started earlier today with my friend “nameless.” She used to be a socially corrupting influence. Suddenly she is full of so much good advice and health tips that I’m the baddy. I still smoke. Still eat meat. Still use drugs. Still eat junk food from the whole spectrum of junk food. Have fatty foods.

She is getting skinnier and passing her clothes on to me.

I am beginning to long for the good healthy lifestyle. She is rubbing off.

And somehow she knows me better than I wish she did. It’s kind of funny. Today we were talking about a certain someone and she kept saying to me “You still want her, I KNOW you still want her. Don’t you? Don’t you?!” and I was all cowering in the corner saying “Get out from inside my head!”

DIVERSION!!!

FILM FEST SWAG: I got a pair of boxer shorts from the Rendevous with Madness film festival in Toronto (where my newest tape Love & Numbers played) that has a fish on the butt with the words Nice Bass over it. If you ask me nice I’ll bend over and let you see my Bass.

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So I went to the store today where I usually buy myself a Coke. But I’ve been hearing more and more scary things about the Coca-cola company these days. So I got this juice, this special ultra healthy juice.

I am bad about vegetables. I eat them so rarely. I like them. I know they’re better for the world if you eat vegetables. But why eat vegetables when you could have BACON!!!!!!

Truthfully I tire of bacon.

I have to clean the bathroom before twelve o’clock or I turn into a pumpkin.

I have the right shape to be a pumpkin.

I tire of my body shape. I wish my stomach had real muscles, not these piddly bands of fiberous tissue.

I tire of my life. I am stuck in a rut in a specific part of my life and it’s really starting to wear on me. I’m tired of being messy. I’m tired of being unhealthy. I’m tired of my body. I’m tired of smoking and doing drugs. I’m tired of being paranoid. I’m tired of having no spiritual focus to my life.

It’s crunch time and I am procrastinating. I should be working on papers. Instead I cast my words into the internet void.

Say hello to the so-called world, words.

Hello.

Click on the ads!

I’m trying out a new way of getting ad based revenue. I know my readership is small, but if you click on the ads then I get paid, which means I’ll be able to devote more time to this blog. And if I can devote more time, then I’ll be able to launch my t-shirt line and you can all wear genderfucking tees!! So click on the ads please!

The pitfalls of Aboriginal identity in art

Recently a woman at my school was writing a paper on my work and phoned me up to ask some questions. It was a saturday night and I was thinking about other things, like this dream I had about being in a German mansion during the war, and the papers I am writing on trans photography, butch representations, and Coco Fusco and Guillermo Gomez-Pena’s “Two Undiscovered Amerindians in Spain.” Anyway, I should note that the presentation-paper this woman is writing is for an Aboriginal contemporary art class. She was asking if she could find any other work I had done (I had previously told her to go to Video Out because they had more videos than the ECIAD library). I told her I was very sorry but I didn’t have any other tapes with me beyond “Anhedonia.” I’ve moved around a lot over the past few years and my stuff’s not with me right now.

“It’s just that all your videos are about being gay! They aren’t native!” she said.

What?

I suppose I could have explained two spirited identity to her, but I was tired.

I suppose I could have said “Well I’m native, therefore so is the work.”

I suppose I could have said “Why does being gay preclude being native?”

Or I could have said “Ugh, I’m not gay, I’m a homo, a queer, a pervert, a genderqueer, a transgendered butch, a two spirited person.”

There are assumptions made within contemporary Aboriginal art practices that to be an “authentic” Aboriginal artist, you have to talk about specific things in your work. Your work should utilize specific Aboriginal modes of production. And particularily for white looking Aboriginals such as myself, you must continuously “out” yourself as an Aboriginal. You can’t rely on a name like Cuthand to do it for you. (In the prairies you only need to say the name Cuthand and you’re immediately identified as Cree.) I’ve even been criticized for NOT talking about my family in my work (a dubious statement at best, considering my second video was about my sister, although that was about being related to someone severely mentally handicapped, not someone native).

The question is, to what extent are we imposing constraints on the expressions of Aboriginal artists? If I make a video about sex, let’s say, lesbian sex at that, will I be accused of being assimilated and colonized? Will my artistic treaty card be revoked? It’s a fine line my friends, a damn fine line.

There is also a split, a sad ripping apart that has happened within me, where being queer meets being native and people just don’t want to see both going on at once. It’s a lonely feeling, that one part of one’s identity gets jettisoned in favour of another. I don’t do it. Other people do. When I wake up in the morning I’m a halfbreed body dreaming of women, when I go to sleep at night it is the same thing. I find my gender, sexuality, and mixed race identity to be linked, for better or for worse. How else could I live on the borderlands of gender without a lifetime of navigating the borderlands of race? One has prepared me for the other. Even coming out as a lesbian was easy because growing up I had to come out as Aboriginal over and over, often to individuals who had just made a racist statement. I understood the political implications of being open about identity.

So what is my work about? All kinds of things. Whatever is bothering me usually, something gets under my skin and I just have to talk about it. I think that’s a good enough motive for art. Being a person who deals with a full deck of oppressions, I have a lot of material to draw from. And while tensions exist between the Aboriginal and the Queer community (racist queers, homophobic Aboriginals), they are both places from which I derive a lot of strength and support. I started making work for the Queer film festival circut, but surprisingly I was welcomed into Aboriginal film festivals as well, even with work that spoke mainly about being a homo. Now I just make work that needs to be made, without concerning myself too much about what communities the content speaks to. I figure it’s not worth my time to worry about being Aboriginal enough or queer enough. I am beyond that. And I think a lot of emerging Aboriginal artists want to get beyond it as well. We want to be artists, first and foremost, and if our work takes people places they weren’t expecting (whether that be a purely formalist approach to art, politically charged personal narratives, or simply a story about a girl in a dungeon dumping her Evil Queen girlfriend) then so be it.

It’s 2004 as I write this, and a lot has already changed since the turn of the millenium. With the horrifying visions of eroding civil rights in the United States and it’s continual march towards global imperialism, Queers and Aboriginals have more in common than ever. It’s time for us to eradicate racism, transphobia, homophobia, sexism, and all the other isms in order to band together. Any form of oppression hurts us all, including the oppressions we impose on ourselves in looking for “appropriate” subject matter. Aboriginal identity is far more complicated than the current dominant paradigm allows.

Is Bush The Antichrist?

Come on, you know you’ve suspected it. You’ve probably heard the reptilian shapeshifting rumours. Or read some Nostradamous quatrain. Well here’s some ridiculous Bush links, all to help fuel you for a day of fun Bush Bashing.

George Bush Is The Antichrist!

The only problem with this site is the annoying dramatic music which you cannot turn off. I recommend it only for serious conspiracy buffs, and to read it with your computer sound turned off, or you will go slowly nuts.

George Bush: Mistaken

When asked during a press conference if he had made any mistakes, Bush couldn’t recall. So this person made a video to help jog his memory.

The Pope Fears Bush is the Antichrist!

Self explanatory.

Bush Is Lord

A hilarious send up of Bush’s messianic delusions. Note the press photos of him as Jesus.

BONUS!!!

Condi Rice is Angry

All the angry photos of Condoleeza Rice.

Happy surfing!

“They’re really powerful”

he said, as he gave me a small handful of powdery mushrooms. Okay, whatever. It was halloween, and I didn’t think of it much. It was supposed to be good time night. And I guess I wasn’t really thinking that the last time little mushrooms had crossed my path, I wasn’t taking manic depression drugs, specifically Zyprexa.

“So an antipsychotic and a mushroom walk into a halloween party. . .”

And the first hour was okay, and so was the second, although I was starting to feel a little tripped out. Wacky. Slow and slipping into molasses. We go to a friend’s apartment for something to drink. Water. La la la. This is nice.

Then everything goes to black.

Waking up and my friends are shaking me asking me if I need an ambulance. I think of the hospital. I think of going crazy. I figure compliance is the best thing. “yes, that could be a good idea,” I concur. Some paramedics come. I list everything I’ve been on for the night. Beer. Antipsychotics. Pot. Mushrooms. Mood Stabilizers. Yep, my body’s one big old party. I still feel high. Stay calm stay calm. Whew. This bowtie is hot. Good thing I wasn’t wearing my new top hat when all this tragedy hit.

At the hospital time drags on. The nurse is dressed as a ghoul, another one is a princess. Some crazy people come in. Someone who was slipped a hallucinogen and is freaking out. Some guy got his arm broken and is screaming bloody murder. And two people have been stabbed.

Later on I also hear that Halloween is a big time for babies being stolen from hospitals. Weird.

I’m feeling better, but the hours drag on until it’s 7:30 in the morning. Grey light filters onto the street as I leave the hospital, vowing to never again mix an anti-psychotic with a hallucinogen.

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So they voted for Bush. And the world throws it’s hands up in exasperation. I don’t even know what to say, but I feel I should post something. Nah. We all know what it means, more freakin’ wars, more desperate imperialism for oil. Blah.

Yesterday I bought a persian carpet for only twenty bucks. Woo! It’s a bit dirty, I have to find a place to clean it up for me, but at least now I have a rug, which I have needed for a while. Ugh! I really have to clean my room AND write a paper and figure out my presentation of Stanislavsky. Blah.