When the Dull Normal Marries the Grifter And the Disillusioned Patsy Travels Abroad by Jennifer Blowdryer

For this edition of BOMBlog’s reprint from [ 2nd Floor Projects ], Jennifer Blowdryer writes an aggressively witty autobiographical prose piece inspired by work in [ 2FP ]’s exhibition Here Comes Everybody.

New York Live Arts presents

Marjani Forte
Nov 15-19


Amanda Kirkhuff: Judy With the Head of Holofernes. 2009 Graphite on paper. All images courtesy of the artists and [ 2nd Floor Projects ], San Francisco.

What would modern Shakespeare look like. Box Office fags should clearly run the world, instead of being cramped in a sweat box enforcing pernicious rules. They need to be redeployed. Because this stage rattling shit just happens now. James Joyce said that the ordinary is the proper domain of the artist. The extraordinary can be safely left to journalists. Gay Talese gave it his meticulous all, on the Lorena Bobbitt matter. I might argue that he and Jimmy Breslin occupied a space between journalist and artist, a crawl space maybe, bigger than a box office, but nobody will pay writers like this again, not for the next 40 years. In 2060, somebody somewhere will pay them, a hurt megalomaniac perhaps, and the new version of men and women, a model clearly on the wane, will once again gather the details of various types of collision.

Lorena Bobbitt, immigrant grifter, did what one does, attached herself to a good-looking dull normal lug. When one is from another culture, it can take up to a year to distinguish just who is a loser. I offer up the earlier pairings of Caucasian men and Japanese women as a specimen. Nothing is better than Japanese women, nothing was worse than these men, but the hybrid vigor of their offspring may sustain the remnants of the market economy. If one takes the long view it’s really a win-win scenario.

John Wayne Bobbitt had a stutter. Not dumb, maybe, but falling under the large umbrella of learning disorder. Common enough. Why, who among us can work the steamed milk function on a stranger’s cappuccino machine? I challenge the gabbiest spokesmodel of a physicist to go to another’s dwelling and figure out their multiple remote controls. The Carol Wright Gift Catalogue, the LL Bean of the shut-in crowd, features a Remote Caddy. This is a good idea and an excellent start, but not quite enough to help our hypothetical physicist in this situation.

Good looking son of a bitch, John Wayne Bobbitt, though. Good catch, it seemed. Especially when you can’t speak The Language. In the future, perhaps English will just be A Language, but that’s a long way off. Lorena went and learned English so well, in the middle of their semi-famous situationship gone drastically awry, that she now speaks it much better than him.

Amanda Kirkhuff: Lorena Bobbitt, 2009 Oil on panel.

John Wayne couldn’t really make it. Lorena worked for a nail salon, but she stole copiously, pocketing hundreds of mani-pedi profit. An American made her apologize, so she agreed with the owner of the salon to work off her transgression. How unsettlingly unnavigable. I met a Japanese gambler whose father made him apologize to a Yakuza kid, when he was only 14 years old, and Katsushi grinds his teeth so loud every night it could make a house scream. Mouthguards, another great invention. Like deodorant but more targeted. Do not destroy the only part of our skeleton that shows with the unbearable inequity of your time to shine on planet earth.

So John was a stutterer and Lorena became, spiritually, a tooth-gnasher, and the sex got rough and the hatred grew, bitter and untenable as an herb garden Chia Pet, and Lorena cut off his dick while he slept. Cops the hospital the newspapers the television the surplus politicos all became part of their unhappy little social solution gone awry, and eventually the pornographers and the penis prosthetics and the Howard Sterns got ahold of John, and Infotainment turned their gleaming cameras on Lorena. Lorena sounded good, John just mostly didn’t sound at all.

Sounds is what swingers, fetish people, those for whom the simple ejaculative nature of sex is no longer enough, use. It’s a steel device that is placed in the human urethra, causing great pain. This is recreational in nature. Good times.

Amanda Kirkhuff: Self-portrait in Gynocologists Chair, 2009 Graphite on paper.

I went to Berlin right after I got burned by a publishing company. Harper Collins is now owned by one vaguely indifferent Rupert Murdoch. If Harper, which just laid off 50% of its staff, stays in business, which is unlikely, and if things don’t go too terribly wrong with his Second Life wife, Wendi Deng, Harper Collins may just adapt to a still nonexistent new business model. Wendi Deng is a go getter who went for the power, not the strong chin, after all. So I needed to switch it up for a minute, and my friend Fu was having a great time in Berlin, and I figured it wouldn’t be the worst place to be when you are me, Jennifer Blowdryer.

Germany briefly and wisely reacted to atrocity by giving artists grants to settle Berlin, bring in some silkscreens and of course way better food. The putative artists and anarchists did away with buying and selling for awhile, they were funded folk and scrappy too. They are now making unjackable porn on purpose. I hung out with a butch dyke from Dusseldorf, which previously was just a tag line in a terrific Randy Newman song. She had a girlie wig and makeup on that night, so as we attempted to bond, touts of different troubled nations swarmed around her. It got dull. We lost our chance because she appeared to be a chance of some kind, sex and citizenship, for a variety of males.

Amanda Kirkhuff: The Medical Community, 2007 Pen and ink.

I used to think that men, including and maybe especially the dull normals with the strong chins, with their corresponding ability to fuck without using neon washable sex aids, were fascinating. A lot of women still do. They elbowed each other out of the way, with glances, shoves, and body modification, for just one round with a man. Of course one can still witness the disappointed look etched on their once commercially viable facial features. The ski jump nose turns out to age badly, a snout topped off by narrowed eyes, not helped at all by buffoonishly large lips.

New York City is still a giant go go bar. Fag a less than jocular insult. Yet in Berlin there are tiny women wearing urchin apparel, just a bit of flounce with an unplanned affect. No masters of the small talk, their normal size lips are furiously working with ideas, though author Paul Beatty, in his book Slumberland, puts some of those to rest. Even as I cried over the corporate burn and a certain fop. I talked with, not to or at, Silke, Ruth and Annerka, as well as a Gay Mormon remittance man from bum fuck America. A Spanish Twink that is just as cute as a minute danced on the S Bahn, the sidewalk, stage-walking like a Frankenstein monster, mouth gasping open ready to interject, ready to impersonate Penelope Cruz’s Oscar Acceptance Speech. Vaginal Davis has been in Berltown for three years as a reigning socialite, working hard, blogging, different than Jimmy Breslin and Gay Talese, but neither better nor worse in the long run.

No doubt about it, American entertainment kicks ass, outside of our weak mystery novels and the occasional light rock ballad—but then who’s perfect? Maybe it kicked all our asses a bit too much, though, maybe its time to try the near fall that Bob Fosse perfected in jazz choreography. All That Jazz is both the worst and one of the best movies of no generation, after all. Badly timed and truthful, flagrantly inappropriate, like sniffin’ underwear at a bus stop, like cut and paste videos, like an old painting that says nothing until you cut yourself on it and bleed like a handsome son of a bitch.

 

ON THE OCCASION OF THE EXHIBITION HERE COMES EVERYBODY: AMANDA KIRKHUFF, NAO BUSTAMANTE, CRAIG GOODMAN, GINA OSTERLOH, AND STOLL/WACHALL — AT [ 2ND FLOOR PROJECTS ] SAN FRANCISCO, ON VIEW 2 AUGUST – 13 SEPTEMBER 2009.

About :

Since establishing [ 2nd floor projects ] in San Francisco in 2007, I have featured twenty-six writers in the exhibitions, with six writers forthcoming through 2012. My programming includes commissions to writers throughout the country to produce a limited edition: essays, personal narratives, interviews, poetry, or mixed-genre pieces in the form of handcrafted broadsheets or chapbooks. From early on in my art practice, I have been interested in trespassing disciplines. These visual, theoretical, and narrative crossings perhaps address an interstitial space of engagement with the artists’ works from the writer’s point of departure. A distal approach rather than the traditional essay model, such as an exhibition catalogue. For each exhibition, I design and print in-house, a limited run of 100 on archival papers. The writers are also invited to give a reading during the course of the exhibition, or to send a recording if they are not in the area. [ 2nd floor projects ] participated in the NY Art Book Fair in 2009 and 2010. BOMBlog will be re-publishing these pieces regularly over the next several months.

—Margaret Tedesco, Director

In 1978, at age 17, Jennifer Blowdryer began to sing with her very own punk band, The Blowdryers. This was before the days of documentation and ambition, so only one tape of a live gig at The Deaf Club exists on record. In 1984, she published her first book, Modern English: A Photo Illustrated Trendy Slang Dictionary, with Last Gasp Press. Also in 1984, she was singing in a party band called White Trash Debutante. She received a fellowship to the Writing Division of Columbia University and decided to jump ship. Her next books were The Laziest Secretary in the World, an original graphic novel illustrated by Gil Ashby (Pirana Press, imprint of DC Comics, reissued by Zeitgeist), White Trash Debutante (Galhattan), and Good Advice for Young Trendy People of all Ages (Manic D Press). She has produced a buttload of chapbooks with various small presses, has written columns for New York Press, Downtown, and Maximum Rock’n’Roll. Jennifer is currently singing and recording again in New York City with The Jennifer Blowdryer Band.

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