At the end of September, I went to Zagreb, Croatia for a week. I was dancing naked in a show. And then I went to Paris for a week. I walked around for hours every day, ordered a lot of “veh” and muttered “Je suis desolee. Je ne parle pas Francais. Parlez vous Anglais?” to people who chose to talk to me. I did it so they would like me for my American modesty. OR. If they weren’t sold on that look, then maybe the classic “a girl who is sorry.” I felt embarrassed to love France so much and to be so dumb in the mouth.
I’ve been home for a week and a half.
The hardest thing and the only thing I am obligated to do right now is work on my own musical web series project. Which is why I’ve been trying to find lots of other things to do. Like, I enrolled in a French class.
Also, I was scrolling through my facebook newsfeed and found an article somebody had posted: “How Capitalism Can Save Art” by Camille Paglia. One of Paglia’s claims is that young artists don’t have any vocational skills. They don’t actually know how to do anything with their hands that doesn’t involve a computer. And that this creates a really sterile liberal-upper-middle-class-studio-art BFA/MFA alienation from the rest of the world. Paglia’s very “THE SIXTIES MEANT SOMETHING REAL.” And I felt very YEAH about it. I immediately google searched “trade school NYC.” I wanted to find something along the lines of fixing a car or making a tiny stool out of wood—a class I forfeited in middle school to take keyboarding. So the first thing that came up in my google search, of course, was a conceptual trade school, a school that operates on a barter system, being run out of a gallery at the New School.
Forgot about the stool. I took a two day course called “Digital Cinemantics: Movie Making in the 21st Century” taught by a guy who renamed himself Noemi Charlotte Thieves after moving out of his Mom’s house. He had a Muslim name, and as a thirteen year old in post-911 Florida, he got detained at the airport for hours every time he tried to fly anywhere since. His old name included parts of four of the suicide bomber’s names. His first name is now the same as my Grandma’s. She died when I was really little so it felt pretty special to be at the table with another Naomi as a big girl. In exchange for his grandmotherly 21st century digital filmmaking knowledge, I brought potato chips with ridges to his first class, and for the 2nd day of the course, I will be making him dinner.
I also took an i-ching class. I brought Polish cookies and learned how to read people’s fortunes with nickels using the oldest spiritual book people still care about. I’ve been reading some of my fortunes too.
Yesterday, I held my nickels between my palms and asked the i-ching, “What can I expect if I choose to produce the musical webseries, The Dardy Family Home Movies, myself?” I tossed them six times. And this is what she told me.
Hexagram 7: The Army
or Organized Discipline.
If you hold or aspire to a position of leadership, remember that the true leader captures the hearts of the people, and articulates a clear, simple vision that binds them together…. Only when the state is economically prosperous can the army be strong… Only when the army is disciplined can the state be protected from disruptive outside forces.
Modesty and generosity at the center can be a magnetic force that keeps the relationships intact.
Solidarity among all elements is essential for success at this time.
Steven is letting me borrow his snare drum.
Tomorrow I am taking a software coding class and a cyanotype photograms glass.
Then I am obligated to rally the troops. Rat a tat tat.