I’m the King of Jubilee Jumbles

artist Nayland Blake natters on about art and other things

Archive for May 2007

Little powermonger sleep tonight…

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Record club last night. I’d forgotten that it was coming up and as such was unsure about what to play. Felt ok about the first of my two selections (“These Dues” by Ronee Blakely from the Nashville Soundtrack), but I think I kinda flubbed it for my second (“Number Two” from the Pernice Brothers). As usual it was a great mix of things that everyone else brought in. RC has become the major way I learn about new music at this point. And it’s also brought me into a constellation of new friends.

I think I should look at that. The three things that have had the biggest impact on my social life in the past few years have been LJ, TES and RC. Each has allowed me to explore aspects of myself that had been laying dormant for a while, and to connect with new groups of people around those interests. I think I need to find something like that around my art making practice now. Didi – do we need an intercontinental coffee klascht?

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May 31, 2007 at 11:49 am

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I don’t know how it happened but it did…

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It must have been all those issues of the New Yorker at the orthodontist’s office.

I just looked at myself in the mirror and realized I’ve grown up to be an Edward Koren character.

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May 30, 2007 at 4:10 pm

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So fresh and clean…

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The horoscope on my start page is warning me:

Any argument you start today is likely to erupt into a brutal emotional battle, dear Aquarius, so beware. Try not to tread on anyone else’s turf, because you will find that they are likely to be possessive, and very belligerent about defending what is rightfully theirs. Avoid large volcanic eruptions of energy by not picking fights where fights are simply not needed. You can resolve issues in a civil manner without doing harm to others.

So it’s probably good that I don’t feel like starting any arguments. In fact I feel tapped out. It’s been a full exciting academic year. And I’m about to have a house guest. And I’m staring around the house with some anxiety, since it is indeed very very messy. And I’m glad to have a vacation coming up as well.

And through it all I need to put in some plotting and planning time. Some reformulate life time. Some building time.

I do have the energy for one last rant. Yesterday I found out that the pentagon had rewritten the rules for embedded photojournaists in Iraq, making it well nigh impossible to tell the truth about the human cost of the government’s benighted war. I then found out about the police inaction in Russia, how they stood by while neocon groups attacked gay rights protesters. Then, when I left work I was confronted by what The New York Post saw fit to present as the most important story of the news cycle: Pictures of a passed out Linday Lohan. Who actualy needs to know that information? Are we so terrified by the grave events of the world that we need to take the edge of by following the antics of drug addled semi-actresses?

I hope I’m not starting a fight with Rupert Murdock.

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May 30, 2007 at 10:52 am

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Innies and outies…

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I’ve been stewing about the CHC flap. But when I think of what I want to write about it, there isn’t much for me to say. I’m not a member of CHC. I have no standing in the organized leather community. I identify as a freak, not as a leatherman. In part this is because whenever I encountered the leather community in my early years, I could see that it wasn’t going to meet my needs, especially my need to socialize with and be intimate with many different types of people. So I didn’t join in. It is much more my way to try to make something new than to try to change an existing thing. To form rather than to reform. I understand that that is not everyone else’s way. And so people want to reform CHC. Both people inside and outside of the organization. It seems to me that attempts to do that through the courts are a longshot at best.

But I think that bringing the discussion of the issue out into the open is all to the good. So while CHC is a private institution, their activities and policies are fair game for public discussion. The more people can talk about these issues, the more possibility for progressive action. Asking people to give an accounting of their actions is the best way to find connection and common ground. Change begins when people ask why they should accept the status quo. Even though you may not get the desired outcome (transmen at Inferno, say), you find your allies by speaking up. And when people have to defend their predjudices in an ongoing way, they tend to hold them less tightly.

To me the similarities between the CHC discussion and that surrounding the policies of the Michigan Women’s Music Festival are evident. Both speak to the mindset of a generation who had to struggle mightily to wrest cultural space from an environment that was unremittingly hostile. That is not something that can just be waved aside. From the inside that space probably looks fragile and besieged. From the outside it looks like a fortress of security, the only game in town. It is the cultivated mystique of Inferno as the ne plus ultra of the leather experience that also makes it into such a sought after forum for acceptance. You can’t make something exclusive and then be surprised when people want in.

My tendency is to honor the spirit of that struggle by attempting to find or found spaces that do meet my needs, and to avoid, rather than enter institutions that don’t share my values. There is a deeper discussion to be had here about the ways in which my various social privileges allow me to even contemplate this course as an option. I’m glad to have that discussion should people wish to.

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May 29, 2007 at 3:23 pm

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That Summer feeling…

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The weather doesn’t lie. Summer is here, and I’m happy to greet it.

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May 28, 2007 at 8:48 pm

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Graduation…

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Upstate, sunlight under the big tent. On the 25th anniversary of my graduation from Bard, I am back there reading the names of a new crop of graduates. Seeing my former faculty, now colleagues around me on the stage. The address was given by Bloomberg. You can see him on the lower left. So I had to smoke a cigar afterwards.

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May 26, 2007 at 11:24 pm

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Protected: How could I not go in??

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May 25, 2007 at 7:14 pm

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