Through April and May 2015 I lived in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Most who know me know I’m all into hip hop/rap, love a good freestyle – still saving up to get T.H.U.G L.I.F.E tattooed across my stomach. So lucky star for me, there was a cool shit dive bar two steps from my apartment and on the night we rolled in, they homies was (gangsta talk, ya feel) showcasing a round robin of rappers, mixed and diverse (as in some of them were White … er of Caucasian, Anglo Saxon looking, non-African American, non – ..er … you know ethnic … let’s not do this here, maybe later on another topic) gents … and they had real talent. Small space, big crowd, mega beats, rainbow flashy lights and a screen playing some 70s porn (or porn from when it was the in thing for the chick to have a massive hairy bush).
It kicked off with some of it being great, after some drinks most of it was pure brilliance, at a much later point I saw all of it in 5D (like 3D but looks much closer), and then someone started blowing on an orchestra quality trumpet (was this person a hologram or real, who cares?). I became a witness to exceptional mastery and craft. Pay over a hundred bucks for a rah rah Broadway musical in Manhattan or pay hardly anything to take the grittier road off the sheeple grazing field … I pity the fool in this mad city who doesn’t know how to get get get it …
This instillation is the work of Pepon Osorio, a Puerto Rican artist. The cats are huge and imposing and looked quirkily cartoonish until I took in the whole scene with the gold OG baller medallions around their necks – once you do, it all starts to make too much sense.
‘ … These oversize domestic animals (their scale accentuated by the small table they sit on) may say something about the exaggerated role that our fears and denials play within our own imaginations.’
People like saying, saying through scribbling and pasting up thoughts, I’ve noticed in New York peeps particularly like doing this saying on city and council property (rebel ballers these Yanks, land of the free etc.). The ones I choose to capture are often just a short phrase, or even one word – relayed and positioned with intention, to show and not tell. A city of millions is also a massive pool of spontaneous brain transmissions and leakage branded throughout the city as everyone splits and rushes through the streets, tunnels and gutters. In one day I see so many sayings, an American friend asked me which ones I relate to and agree with the most – the ‘positive’ or ‘negative’, the ‘cynical’ or ‘uplifting’. I relate to being a real person so I also relate to the question itself being bullshit (sorry, but not sorry American friend). Do these ideas really have a set philosophical temperature? Are these notions rival separates – what, we pick a side and stick with it all gangland ride or die style till judgement day?
Consistency for mass produced goods is commerce, a person claiming it as their adopted state of mind is a liar.
I’ve both forgiven and revenge culled the shit out of those who’ve done me wrong.
I’ve both sidelined doubt and pride to fight on while other times I’ve folded and gotten shit faced when the odds were stacked up heavily against all my highest bets.
And I’ve craved and basked in the comfort of work security and then thought of fucking off doing the running man out the office door to be a pygmy nomad selling sexy dance to get by (‘eh, yoo wan sum boi?’). I never understood fully ascribing to militantly being an ‘optimist’ or ‘pessimist’, as a real person, is that possible? Just be honest. High, low, dark or light, joy, despair, loving life or willing death – perspectives and actions can dip along with the stages of life, when it’s hailing down shit pellets or when every egg is landing sunny side up – it’s all about the wisdom/vulnerability/resilience ratio at any time.
And remember for some, it can dip not because of where they’re at but because of what they have, so let them ride through that shit-storm even when all you see, no matter how hard you look, is all their eggs sunny side up.
As in I noticed the streets in this area are enticing you to become a drunk muthapickled drooling mummy with its endless rows of boards advertising Happy Hour … an hour so ‘happy happy good fanks’ it goes on for eight hours. If you have a hernia or just can’t afford to pay anyone to create you a new identity to escape your partner and kids etc., you can probably drink enough around a few blocks in this area on the cheap to dissolve your entire stomach, making you so wasted you’ll wake up looking like a lopsided mutant and have to go into hiding.
Someone’s always letting loose in the New York subway with that black marker. I’m not fully sure what ‘Your cells contain the universe’ means. Maybe it’s a statement about energy or that we’re all each within ourselves – enough, that all things as matter are inextricably linked and feed into each other in harmonious synthesis etc. I dunno son as these types of concepts don’t resonate with me. My observation is an overwhelming sense that many people feel that they’re far off from being enough, which is why they self-sabotage, regret, and/or just act like cunts.
When you read snap shot somethings, it usually only resonates if you agree and you’re able to actualise the sentiment from how you see others – confirmation bias rules it all fuckers. For myself, this subway message conveys a sense and state of peace that the Z-grade wiring and chemical orgy in my brain simply won’t allow. I think I get what it means but I don’t buy it. However, there was one sole person in my life that I sent this picture to directly because I knew she would get it and possibly does believe it. She has a sense of wonder and belief in the good graces of the universe that I have a misalignment with (I know, I know, how could you ever tell). But my disbelief doesn’t make noticing the words, taking the picture, and the act of sharing it any less sincere by me. And neither does my disbelief render the expression of the one who held the black marker any less true. The worth of things noticed, captured and shared doesn’t all start and end with me (or you) and thank fuck for that.
Now I’m back to say it again but this time I come with statistics:
– 98.3% of what I do is strictly Not Recommended
– 100% is the certainty that I’ll keep on doing what I do
Ignore the cops – especially when the target is you: When I drive I roll to a selection of loud, hard & mighty tunes. Even when most of my front bumper had come off after an unfortunate incident with a parked truck, I still hammed up the jams for the rest of the drive home – in fact the sound of half the bumper scraping against the road’s gravel merely added to the car’s solo nightclub atmosphere. With a thumping baseline my thing is to step on the brakes to the rhythm of the underlying beat. My music of choice is of the hood, and often life rapped about the hood details how it can be … filled with no good (please take appreciative note of what I did here – it’s called freestylin’). So one night when I heard police sirens screeching closely behind me I should have pulled over. But I took it as a clever sound effect incorporated into track #4 of the current CD playing. I became suspicious when blue & red flashing lights were seen in my rear view mirror. A bit more when the high beaming started. Yet clearly not suspicious enough cos I kept on driving … for quite awhile. So the story ended with a fine and demerit points for speeding, and something about failing to stop. Looking back I can kind of see that this all happened because I might have been speeding and when followed – had possibly failed to stop. At least I’m not one to argue with the law (this time). Because I was remorseful and humble. And because the cop didn’t meet the level of hotness to qualify for anything on Empress Ev’s menu of sexual favours … joking people … bad boys bad boys … watcha gonna do …
Grope a friend’s butt when you’re unsure if it’s their butt: I’m a gambler. To require complete certainty before being willing to take action is for the broke-ass & mediocre portion of the population. So when I walked up behind and sighted the target butt waiting to cross the usual set of lights towards the work building – I visually scanned the similarities and mentally calculated the differences against the rules of probability. While resembling the same shape & density, the butt was encased in a hideous pair of trousers uncharacteristic of anyone I’m associated with to be publically showcasing. But times have been economically tough, so perhaps they had to source some work pants from a stranger’s clothes line on this occasion. In my mind’s eye I saw a set of scales and the side telling me to reach out and take hold was the one tipping over. My grip is hard and my nails are long. But what the scales say, I do. Some people can really overreact and not be understanding of when mistaken identity occurs. Just keep this in mind. My crew and I are tight and butt groping is how we greet and surprise each other from behind. Who knew this practice was uncommon and unappreciated amongst some groups, especially amongst distant colleagues in serious jobs. Yes, believe it or not I actually have a serious job.
You might have already gotten the vibe from my blog that I’m an international woman – I like to travel, go global and get the fuck out to see the corners of the big wide world whenever I get the chance.
‘Why’, some have asked.
‘Because I can’, I tend to say.
And until there’s a way to cross multiple borders and time-zones to arrive in an alternate reality without taking a shitload of LSD then I’ll continue to jet fucking set. I’ve been told of suspicions I’m frequently smuggling shipment across borders up my butt for the local Chinese triads. This is offensive as everyone knows that preserved abalone & pickled rhino penis doesn’t keep well up that passage. That line was so wrong, even coming from me. No, I travel as much as I can because I have a demonic curiosity to know what the fuck is going on outside of the small box that I live in – because that’s a core way to have a relationship with the outside world, to prevent tunnel vision and narrow mindedness. Because if you have the financial means, physical strength and freedom to step out bearing witness to the truth with the power of language to report back on what you’ve found – then doing so becomes not only a mad time away but also in my opinion, a kind of responsibility.
I haven’t been everywhere but I have covered some extensive distance: took a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon, sailed past waving at the Statue of Liberty, ate ham & cheese under the Eifel tower, skipped along in tight pants past the Colosseum (heaps of hot men in Italy, so must wear tight everything), numbed my cheeks sitting on cobblestones in the city square of Prague, and most recently, imagined myself having a turbo shower staring at Niagara Falls. Oh and then there was the freaky sight of what appeared to be millions of identical versions of one person huddled together in one place – this may have been either China or a certain ‘all you can eat’ buffet restaurant at the Crown Casino.
Remember also: travel isn’t just about place, it’s also about people and the more space you cover the more you realise that you’re not limited to the people working in the same office or living on the same street in order to have a genuine connection with another human being. I decided that I Never Will be Still when it hit me that someone who is usually sleeping while I’m awake, in summer when I’m in winter can be frustrated by the same bullshit as me, have enough insight to argue against my harsher judgements of me, and to just simply find the same shit funny as me. I’m not trying to make a ‘we are many, yet we are all one’ etc community announcement – I’m just saying that everyone at some point or another will feel a disconnect with the situation and people they find themselves with amongst their immediate reality, and for those times when you feel somehow so far ‘out’, travelling outside where you are is what can pull you way back in.