Friday, April 30, 2010

Paper Gangsta

There may be some extra layer of shame that one might feel upon realizing that a pop diva has shown them up, called them out.
It came when wanting to identify with the Lady herself--someone just as real, as fabulous. And then I realized I had the flavor but no follow-through.
And I've thought about this song once before when I felt mildly reproached for being all about "papers". As an academic, that's about all I get to be into. And then I realized she said "fakers" and I breathed a sigh of relief.

(your diamond words melt into ice... absolutely devastating. Obviously this is about exploitative music producers or agents or what have you, but also about prenuptial agreements or marriage licenses--and thus marriage is implicated; and the self-help cottage industry... oh this list is endless! Like, Gangsta rap "ice" is ephemeral, melting away whereas Gaga will have diamonds only, and thus gestures towards Marilyn, an enduring feminine sex-pop icon--and what about that she is the new "Lady"? It isn't "move over" Billie, but rather: make some room--not that I think Billie Holiday would object to Gaga's company--birds of a feather and all...)

But, ok, I admitted to being called out. Gaga's affirmation--just as real, as fabulous--is a serious aesthetico-ethical standard. If she can dismiss managers/lovers/producers/competitors or "fakers" on these grounds, she must be able to escape her own dismissal. It was this thought that caught me, ensnared in the seeming purity of the dichotomy. I was going to reproach J., but alas: I fake as much as he does. He admitted what I have known for ages: he knows more than he lets on. And he puts up his blinders of repression, forces himself to see only what won't disturb. But the disturbing is seen, and it disturbs: he gave himself ulcers, for fuck sake! He basically says as much to me.

I think to myself: I choose not to show you things, too.

A version, no doubt, of faking.

I realized that I don't want to "grow-up" and that, in part, moving to a "bigger space" meant that I was growing--if not in age, then in the amount of stuff that I can't do without if I'm to be/come who I want to... Part of what is frightening about having more space is the silent imperative to "fill it". The German didn't do this for ages--he had an empty museum of an apartment when I was dating him. It scared me. But I should have seen then how perfect we were for one another at the time: he was increasingly incapable of swatting away the droning call to finally exhale and then re-fill his weary body with a fresh history. I was the bug that he could finally swat. And I was, of course, needing someone to show me that I was capable of doing what I wanted to be able to do so badly--namely, be a decent boyfriend, be sexy for other men, to feel my skin touched in new ways that I wouldn't recoil from or have to feel guilty for enjoying. We gave each other what we needed: he nailed the bug, and I got my body back (as if for the first time). But it was all there in the echo-chamber of his apartment--my pleading, broken-record whinings for him to finally "get some shit on your walls!" and his "I will (but not now, when the time is right)...)".

We think we are so clever, and yet we have no idea just how clever we really are: we tell ourselves and one another the truth all the time, in many ways, on many registers, and yet we don't recognize it for what it is--like an old friend we haven't seen in a while, who has gotten an uncharacteristic hair-cut--recognition, but not realization. Like J.'s eyes when the blinders wear thin and become patchy and transparent in places. These truths, where do they go? They are "in," like Trojan Virus's, but we don't feel the impact of the corruption until much, much later. And usually these detections require an up-dating of soft-ware, the next operating platform (if you will). Imagine the body as a computer dating from when you got your first family PC/Mac, and then imagine that without being able to simply replace the machine (the body) you have to get supplemental RAM, multiple external hard-drives; and when a virus seeps in, you quarantine it, but you have to use alternative programs now, you have to send your computer in for "repair" or spend multiple hours on "technical support" as an "expert specialist" walks you through repairing the problem.

It's just funny to think about. Some boy sits down and doesn't know how to navigate your crippled OS and tries to run X program and you freeze--the part of you processing (that rainbow circle of boredom) is remembering the stress, the hassle, the time wasted the last time this happened. Bodies, like computers, adapt; quarantine that program, and this one becomes the new default.

There is a part of my body that likes getting infected. (One can think cynically or hyperbolically but I think Laplanche, for instance, describes--in Freudian terms--how introjection is primal, and by this he means something like: infection of the Other and then auto-immune adaptive response: this is neurosis--and for Laplanche it happens from the very beginning!) Gaga says as much, in a sense, when she sings in "I like it rough"--"Is it cuz I don't feel it, or because you don't mean it... guess it's love..."--cf. also: Poker Face: "When it's love if it's not rough it isn't fun". There is the pleasure in being taken-over; in being overwhelmed. Infected by sensations, stimulations, (simulations), passions (pathos). It is deadly (for Freud: la petite mort), but this is the height of pleasure: to dissolve into the throbbing of a dance rhythm that two bodies produce, naked, like sounds--inside--...

I've moved to a new apartment, and I see a corner of the world now, and not just a ratty court-yard. I see people come and go; buses pull over and hiss and squeal as they let passengers off; I hear taxi cabs grate to a jerking stop; and the remix pulses of Gaga from the club across the way. I see boys going to the ATM, walking out with newly-found fuck buddies, the signs down the street advertising GOT MILK and then the TIME and WEATHER (2.45 am, 66 degrees)... I see the Hancock Tower way down the avenue, and what would be a tall, imposing gym-bunny appear only the size of my glass. (Rum and Rootbeer.)

I'm tired, but wired. And I'm wired to you. So I twitch, and hope that you don't think I'm trying to push you away.

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