Feeling kind of down, so I decided to dance like a jackass while taking photos of myself. It helped slightly.
For the first time in my life I’ve been somewhat consistently feeling like I might actually be pretty or at least not hideous, which is an odd feeling. I still have lots of issues with my body, but it’s better than it has been for quite awhile. The tiny steps I’ve been taking at transition seem to have been helping.
I’ve started a kind of project of writing people earnest nice letters anonymously on here. A few I’ve sent off anon when forced to. Even though I’m a bitter asshole a lot of the time, I want to try to be nice and genuine when I can be, especially since it’s so easy to be mean and shitty to people online. But yeah if you figured out I sent you a nice thing I hope it’s not too weird and I meant whatever I said. I’ve never sent a mean message anonymously and never will.
Communication is not something that comes easy for me, and I can never tell if I’m being annoying when I try to talk to others, especially online where there are no body language cues. I know my awkwardness often leads to fuckups and I worry a lot about accidentally coming across as an asshole / creep. I also feel like my enthusiasm for friends sometimes leads to me being overbearing, so if I’m ever being a jerk in this or any other regard when I talk to you, please let me know. If I bother to talk to you I care about you, so I don’t want to be a jerk to you accidentally.
In a lot of ways I’ve kind of been trying to get back certain parts of myself I had as a teenager. Not the stupid opinions and taste in music, but mostly a certain bold youthful confidence I kind of let go of. I’m trying to get my “fuck you” back so to speak, but in a better, positive way.
3.Do you Smoke?
4.Do you Drink?
5.Do you take drugs?
6.Age you get mistaken for
8.Want any tattoos?
9.Got any Piercings?
10.Want any Piercings?
13.Biggest turn ons
14.Biggest turn offs
16.I’ll love you if
17.Someone you miss
18.Most traumatic experience
19.A fact about your personality
20.What I hate most about myself
21.What I love most about myself
22.What I want to be when I get older
23.My relationship with my sibling(s)
24.My relationship with my parent(s)
25.My idea of a perfect date
26.My biggest pet peeves
27.A description of the girl/boy I like
28.A description of the person I dislike the most
29.A reason I’ve lied to a friend
30.What I hate the most about work/school
31.Last person you made out with
32.What words upset me the most
33.What words make me feel the best about myself
34.What I find attractive in women
35.What I find attractive in men
36.Where I would like to live
37.One of my insecurities
38.My childhood career choice
39.My favorite ice cream flavor
40.Who wish I could be
41.Where I want to be right now
42.The last thing I ate
43.Sexiest person that comes to my mind immediately
44.A random fact about anything
Hey yeah I’m into this I guess.
A comic about fucking and general sexual ambivalence.
The character on the right is one I just did a few comix about, not sure what their name is. Nil or Nils is in my head at the moment, not sure.
or perzines for that matter
for some reason this is something that comes up a lot and I’m starting to get unnecessarily defensive about it
I don’t think liking personal narratives means you have better politics
it might mean you’re a better person on an individual level but I spit on the individual, so
feminists against memoir
feminists against personal experience
feminists against the personal
feminists against the self
feminists against authenticity
feminists against politically mandated disclosure
feminists against the confessional
feminists against pain
feminists for history
feminists for abstraction
feminists for theory
feminists for fiction
feminists for secrecy
I mean, I like perzines just fine and have written them- I just like other stuff more and want to find ways to leave my self out of it, transcend myself or whatever… as a personal desire, not because I don’t like experience and pain- they are great too!
feminists for complicated feelings articulated through theory.
feminists for having your cake and eating it too.
situology: For a really long time I stayed away from making autobio comix because I thought they were “for fuckin’ girls.” (even though many of my favorite comics were autobio). I was all, oh yeah, I’m going to write all this fancy hyper theoretical magical realist fiction; everybody is going to know I’m a genius. Then I realized that memoir type stuff is what I enjoy making/is helpful to me right now. Maybe 4ever.
So I have the opposite “problem” I guess.
edit: I guess I am into abstraction and secrecy though, despite memoir? So, what does that make me…
feminists for obscured details?
thespithouse: i see nothing wrong with autobio as a cathartic exercise, and i found if one has a sense of humor about their personal experiences (rather than being mopey/whiny/depressed about them), they can be quite entertaining to read (such as the personal comics of lizz hickey, julie doucet, and justin green), or if the person has had more unique experiences (like marjane satrapi or david b) it can be a quite interesting read as an insight into another kind of culture or experience. However, in general, i’m much more interested in the fictional aspect of comics, and the characters an artist can create from their imagination.
Anyway, expect to see me play around a little bit with autobio funnies with comics workbook the next few weeks, but don’t worry, i’m sticking to my crazy made up stories and fictional characters with my regular comics :)
Super into the above conversation, I’ve had similar experiences reconciling my desire to make auto-bio with how I perceive most auto-bio work out there. And also fully agree that all it really needs to do is be funny and I’m fucking sold.
[For complication purposes, I think the non-fiction/fiction dichotomy is difficult for me to take to heart because people are so often full of shit in their non-fiction and so often being really honest, in some way, about their desires/experiences/understanding of the world through their fiction. Or something else an undergrad writing student would say. Feminists for stating the obvious.]
I recently went through my bin of zines and mini-comics and did some weeding. I’ve been buying them for 5 or 6 years now and naturally my tastes and interests changed over time. But I came to a really harsh conclusion at the end: Some people should not make zines.
At first I tried to rework that to say: not everyone should SHOW their zines to people. Since making things quite honestly keeps me wanting to live on this planet, I don’t want to say that anyone can’t or shouldn’t do a thing. But I think what I meant is that not everyone should make auto-bio art. Because what is sitting in my recycling bin right now is overwhelmingly auto-bio zines and comics.
I’m actually a big fan of auto-bio art, both writing and comics. When it is done well there isn’t much I like better. I make it myself, though I’m quite frankly kind of ashamed that I do it sometimes and don’t show the internet everything that I make. It can be a really helpful framework to understand your experiences though, but the rub is that not everyone needs to understand your experiences.
The stuff that I think really doesn’t work is when people make a thing simply because they want you to know THIS THING IT HAPPENED TO THEM, whether it was a pretty wild incident or like they felt anxious but drank tea and then felt better, self-care is so important you guys. I think what’s missing from a lot of memoir, both in indie comix, zineland, and feminist bookstores, is a fucking story. A narrative arc with tension and climaxes. Even if it’s only 3 panels, that can be done.
The best auto-bio work is the stuff that isn’t just about THIS THING IT HAPPENED TO ME. It’s not that passive. There’s an active attempt to make a connection between that thing that happened and to bigger ideas and to other people.
I fully support ourcatastrophe’s resistance to the genre, at least symbolically, because there needs to be less of it. People need to be told when they’re being boring and contributing to a dynamic of compulsory oversharing. I like auto-bio because when it’s good, I really get a lot out of it. But when it’s bad? To quote the Alkaline Trio song I am currently listening to, “that self pity shit is just too hard to take.”
WELL SAID! (-thespithouse)
This is an interesting conversation, if slightly hard to follow. I agree with the OP that people shouldn’t feel pressure to be confessional or revealing if they don’t want to talk about their experiences. But I also don’t get a lot of their other points. “the personal”, “the self”, “the Individual” and “authenticity”. are all concepts worth championing to me….
I think that for a lot of marginalized people self-documentation is still really important. Comix from the perspectives of pretty much anyone who isn’t a straight cis white guy are rare. A lot of women and queers write perzines, but they are still mostly cis and white from what I see, and mostly middle or upper class.
A lot of other voices are not heard very often, and I think it’s pretty important for those people to have a place to share their experiences, and autobio is one of the best places to do that, though any other expression is good too obviously.
I learn a lot more through personal anecdotes than abstract theory.
Also, a HUGE chunk of feminist art is pretty abstract, most big feminist artists I can think of deal with some form of abstraction…
I personally enjoy Autobio work, a lot of my favorite comix and books come from that genre. It can be excessive and self indulgent, but so can anything else… Art is just so subjective, good and bad is just personal taste.
My own work blends a lot of emphasis on my feelings with abstraction, I definitely probably fall into the self pity category.
Hopefully some of this made sense.
I really don’t understand the whole “seapunk” aesthetic, especially the art. I’ll always maintain that anything can be art, but I don’t really understand most of that ms paint / lisa frank / computer desktop of dolphins mashed up with crystals stuff. I guess it’s just an evolution of pop art for the internet age… Some of the fashion is nice, though I just read it as punk…
I also don’t understand “soft grunge”.
Both of these things are probably a result of my being ancient in terms of youth culture (I’m 26, super old lady.)
I grew up in the 90s and it’s so strange to see the nostalgia teens have for that era now. It’s bizarre to see old gifs and screencaps of sites I saw in 1998 when I first went online…
As a matter of fact, it’s bizarre that there is a generation of kids who never “first went online”, they grew up with the internet in their house, on their phone. Shit man, I still don’t have a smartphone.
I dunno, I’ll be in the corner somewhere trying to figure out how to flush the toilet with my dentures or whatever.
I just hit over 700 followers, which is cool I guess.
I think I’m finally comfortable with queer as an identity, though I’ll forever be an outsider in terms of any community.
I’m feeling really ugly and depressed, but I guess that isn’t too unusual for me.
Saw the new silent hill film with my partner and roommate, it had some nice imagery. The writing was asinine as fuck, but that was to be expected. Visual junk food stuff with pretty dark surrealist moments.
Going to try and make it out to the No Babies show tomorrow, hopefully that works out.
I feel kind of pathetic about the amount of time I spend on here, and my lack of social life outside of my house / tumblr. But I also dont mind it some days, I dunno.
I’m not a very good artist. I know this. I try, but my skills remain very limited and the truth is I just have no talent at anything. All I have is the drive to create, the NEED to create. Because at some point a long time ago I realized that art is the only thing I can give to the world that feels right, my only use, as shitty as it is.
Without art I have no purpose, and I need that. I need to be able to look in the mirror and tell myself I’m an artist, to have some justification for my existence. I need to make as much as I can, even if the result is not so great or unique or interesting. Art is, along with my partner of almost 11 years, what keeps me alive.
It’s the only difference between me and where I come from, the only thing that separates me in the ways that matter from my parents. I make stuff. I make a lot of stuff. It’s not very good or special, and neither am I. I feel genuinely guilty for spewing so much trash into the world, but I need to feel like if I died tomorrow there’s some slim chance I did something that was worthwhile or useful to someone I never knew. Some tangible thing that might possibly be relevant to someone when I’m gone. So yeah. I make art because I need to, otherwise why the fuck am I alive?
I’ve been wearing makeup outside the house lately. Mostly eyeliner, some days eyeshadow and a little foundation. Haven’t gotten much shit about it from people, which is good.
I’ve received some really nice compliments on here lately from people. It means a lot and I very much appreciate it, but I feel like a jerk because I can never not analyze positive things people say to me. I have a really hard time accepting that people could actually like me in some way, which is pretty fucking sad.
Yesterday my gf and I watched the documentary Hit So Hard about Patty from Hole. Was kind of interesting and kind of depressing.
We also finished the last season of True Blood. It was okay. No spoilers, but apparently fairies shoot light out of their vaginas. Can all vaginas do that?