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It's Melancholy, But It's Mine and It's All I've Got
so fuck you.
I have clearly had a minor obsession with the notion of and practice of pedophilia lately. I didn't think much of it when I saw Lolita on a friend's shelf and decided that I was really craving for that book. In Lolita, I was shocked by some of the candid sexual writing about very young girls, and the honest desire of youthful sexuality. Humbert Humbert was not interested in women, he was interested in girls.

The love of girls is what has begun to fascinate me so much. This taboo event is so highly criminalized psychoanalytically and yet the voice of the girl-lover seems so innocent. "Ah, leave me alone in my pubescent park, in my mossy garden. Let them play around me forever. Never grow up" (Nabokov, 1955; 20-21). A few days after beginning Lolita, I went to an exhibit at the Neue Gallery in New York City to see an exhibit on the Brucke movement. Understanding that German Expressionism covered various topics of ideology and intellectualism, I was not particularly looking for portraits of pubescent girls, but the images I found so striking were those of of a young girl called Franzi. Used as a model by a few of the Brucke artists, there was a wall dedicated to the portraits of her. The girl, her real name Marzella, and her sister were used as models as young as 9 years of age. Some of the photos, in the perspective of today, are a bit crude. We are not used to seeing nude portraits of 9 year old girls. At least I know that I am not. What I found even more interesting than the constant use of such a young girl in these portraits was the different reflections upon her by the different artists.

Here is the first one that I noticed, Franzi in front of Carved Chair by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner:
Franzi in front of carved chair by KirchnerPhotobucket</a>

This one I immediately noticed within the theme of sexuality in young girls. I remember thinking that I had never seen an image of a woman that seemed so deliberately desexualized. Franzi, in this painting, is so androgynous she almost does not even seem like a body. Her chest shown completely flat with no color, texture, or plane. The hair style and bow giver her away as a girl (and seemingly a very young girl at that, which I will differentiate when I look at the other painting), her legs crossed and her arms and shoulders obviously tell us that this is a human body, but her chest and lap have been so androgenized that it is almost grotesque.

The next image I saw brought the theme of girl love to the forefront of my thoughts on these paintings. Erich Heckel's Girl With Doll:

There is a major jump from young girl, asexualized, desexualized and abjected from sexual existence to young girl eroticized and arranged with an object that IS desexualized to bring about a concrete sexuality in her. This image is sexual (especially in contrast to the paintings of Franzi by Kirchner) in many ways. The girl's position (and contrast to the position of the doll), posession of erotic zones, nudity (and contrast to the existence of clothing on the doll) all signal sexuality or the existence thereof. In regards to the bow in her hair (as small and insignificant of a detail as this may seem to the subject of sexuality), it is much smaller than those Kirchner uses, and is also black, a less girlish and more tempting color). However the bow exists, signifying her as sexual yet still a girl. As well as the existence of the erotic zones, breasts, nudity, skin color (as opposed to the use of non-human white by Kirchner), it is a girlish sexuality and not a mature one. Her breasts are not that of a woman's, her hair is not that of a woman's, her body is small. She is obviously a girl. A sexual girl.

In comparing the paintings by Kirchner to those of Heckel and putting these both in the light of Lolita by Nabokov, the love of the sexuality of young girls is almost normalized. As Kirchner tries to downplay the "woman" in Franzi it becomes even more blatant that that "woman" is there. Especially when placed right next to a portrait of the same girl by Heckel. These differences are not even within aesthetic choices. They are obvious differences in the style of ideology and not within the skill of painting. "...Lolita had already proved to be something quite different...and that the nymphean evil breathing through every pore of the fey child that I had prepared for my secret delectation, would make the secrecy impossible, and the delectation lethal. I should have known (by the signs made to me by something in Lolita - the real child Lolita or some haggard angel behind her back) that nothing but pain and horror would result from the expected rapture" (Nabokov, 1955; 125).

Nabokov, Vladimir. Lolita. Vintage Books, New York: 1970 (for Annotated Version), original publication in 1955.
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lately I have been spending a lot of time doing things that seem like a complete waste of time - entertainment for its own sake, killing time, getting caught up in things - and have slight glances at the possibility of feeling guilty about it. but these glances don't last long because i end up having a bigger picture moment where i realize that everything we do is for a reason.

for example, i was deleting emails to make more room available in my inbox and came across really personal emails written long ago to people i don't even remember anymore. i found this really interesting because i went back and i read each email and really tried to remember who these people were with no effect. how can i have been so involved with people that i was sharing really intimate information with them and really relating to them and now (3 years later!) can't even remember who they were and how i knew them. coffee dates, lunch dates, "hey i really need someone to talk to, can you come meet me tomorrow morning?" dates...and no memory. strange. and then after spending about 30 minutes or more doing this i stopped for a moment and thought "wow, isn't there something better i could be doing right now?" and then i answered to myself: "no. this is important. you're getting to know yourself."

i watch a lot of really lame TV. like right now on the TV at Sarkis' house is a Kathy Griffin reality show. why? i ask myself this often. why do i enjoy watching really dumb things sometimes? like i have no problem wasting entire days sitting on a couch watching really lame television. but i learn more from that, seemingly, than i do from anything else. it's almost like i get to experience normalcy through a small window through the methodology of voyeurism.

but anyway. i thought i would reflect a little feeling of purpose i got today. life is a really stupid game. but it can be fun.

Current Location: Brooklyn, NY
Current Mood: existential
Current Music: the fucking voice of kathy griffin

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I feel like my heart was hanging on 7 strings in my chest. Seven:

1)University of Minnesota - Comparative Studies in Discourse and Society
2)Duke University - Cultural Anthropology
3)Northwestern University - Comparative Literature with an Interdisciplinary focus in Critical Theory (home department Philosophy)
4) University of Chicago - Comparative Literature
5) University of California, Irvine - Culture and Theory
6) Columbia University - English and Comparative Literature
7) New York University - American Studies

3 of those have already been snipped. My heart falling into the abyss of my body feels like it's now depending on 4 strings. But I've already accepted that it's coming down. This is one of the most awful things I've ever felt.

It might seem a little naive for someone to focus their entire self-worth and validity on the prospect of academia, but what else have I got going for me? I have the worst job I can think of having. I get paid so little that I can barely make my rent (for which I've split a studio apartment to make), every project I take on seems to fail. I'm unhappy internally, externally, socially, productively. And at this point I don't even know what to do about it.

I guess it's time to make plans for when that 7th rejection comes in. I have nothing to start with. I could move to New York with nothing and hope that it works out. But I feel so fucking low right now that it feels like nothing ever will work out. And if it did, I can't imagine it not failing.

I guess this is rock bottom? No, I bet it can get much worse. AND I bet it will.
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of course this is not a new topic for me in any way. not only have i been living with it since i left the womb (i assume since i do not have any direct memory of this, i feel it in all of my will), i have also either used it as a topic or had it as an underlying topic for everything and anything that i've ever written and created otherwise.

but this time i come to it with a different color. for every loss, there is something gained. or so i hope. i mean, everything in my life has changed recently or is soon to change. change is terrifying to me. i can hardly deal with the reality that i know. a reality that i do not know makes me not want to even get to it. recently broken up with, with my job situation in constant flux, on the verge of completing a major task of which i have been anxious about for a year, looking to start a new path of applying to grad schools, moving to a new place, looking towards a future of living by myself for the first time in my life, having my only family member near me and best friend moving across the country....i don't think i've ever been so stressed out. how am i gonna handle this? i guess i've come to the realization that everything works out and that's for one reason (please pardon my very direction structuralism here, i'm trying to be strategic): when something ends, something new begins.

so, maybe my living situation will do me good. maybe all the problems i've had with living situations in the past will go away and everything will be perfect (or maybe there will be a whole new set of problems and i will go insane, BUT i will learn to deal). maybe i'll do fine on my exam and get into schools that i really want to. maybe my relationship will work out. and maybe while i'm working on it working out, maybe i'll make a really good friend out of it. maybe S will do great in ny and i can go visit him soon and we can meet again in another city one day and become best friends again (like it's happened our entire lives).

i don't know any of this. all i know is that there's no way out. because i've already promised that to myself and to other people. that's a promise i'm not willing to break. so, here we go. i'm gonna deal with it.

Current Location: my bed
Current Music: camera obscura - books written for girls

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i've always thought of bruises, bite marks, soreness and other discomforts that may come as an aftermath of a good time as great souvenirs to take with you and use to remember. but, i guess i never considered rug burns.....

i like the rest of them better. this shit sucks.
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1) i don't want a baby, i never wanna have kids, i hope and pray to jesus that i will never get pregnant, BUT i kinda wanna give birth just to see if my period cramps are similar or the same as labor pains. i have heard that this is true. the only way of finding out is to actually give birth. so, i guess i will never know. but, i will continue to assume that it is true anyway and just curse god for making me give birth to my uterine lining every month. :(

2) i am going to feel better. i don't care what it takes. i don't care how many things i have to do that i don't want to do or how often i have to do these things or whatever. it's going to happen. i am going to continue feeling good about life. and i am not going to let things, ESPECIALLY OTHER PEOPLE'S THINGS (NO MATTER HOW MUCH I CARE ABOUT THEM) get to me. that's that.

3) some people are so fucking stupid and immature that i wonder sometimes how they made it this far in life. i guess SO MANY people are like this, actually, that it is a safer place out there for emotional-maturity challenged people. it helps since you never feel anything and don't have to think about your actions and how dumb they are. so, you get by through ignorance. and even though you suck for it, you were better off anyway. whatever.

4) paying back student loans is a fucking pain the goddamn ass.

5) a pain in the ass is much more pleasant than a pain in the uterus.

that's all.
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there are certain patterns in my life that occur incessantly. over and over and over again. i have been predicting events since consciousness. i've come to the realization that by expecting that these patters will occur probably perpetuates their occurrence. life is not a pattern. i am not a pattern. i feel like once i realize that, i gain a glimpse of the will to power to change circumstances in my life and in my mind.

(i've been reading Nietzsche).

fuck, i can do this.
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I came home last night exhausted from work (both of them) all day, and just the hotness, and riding home and me and chris are laying in bed, he's falling asleep and I decide to just check my email before going to bed cause I had emailed my supervisor earlier on in the day with a survey I had written trying to get her help to get it out in the public (since she has so many more contacts than I do).

Well, i get an email from her and am initially excited because I was really proud of finally doing something not theoretical and practical (actual research that goes outside of my own head and my library)...but I get this like 2 page critique of the survey itself, then a critique on the road I am taking and how I need to stay on topic and it seems I have not been doing that and blah blah blah. So I start panicing and my head starts spinning (about to have a panic attack, and it has been SO long since I've had one of those)...chris has to comfort me first, then help me breathe, then he just started telling me the TRUTH about life. that this is a job. the first in my carreer of such (and of my choice) and when I fuck up and my supervisor isn't happy with me, I just have to realize that this is my FIRST time doing this so I have every right to fuck up. and I feel way better after being told this and realizing it's true.

So, I go to sleep with this feeling of, well, in the morning, I'll just fix it, I'll work on it and make it better. I'll just do what I need to do. No need to panic.

I wake up, first thing, I send her an email explaining what it was that I was trying to do, etc. Appologize for my inability to "get my head out of my theoretical ass" (seriously), and just let her know that I really am trying my best to do what I need to do but it's really difficult for me because my training has been in a much different school of thought: theory.

She emails me back and says that she absolutely LOVES my work and that there's no need to feel bad at all. Her criticism is just that and I do not have to take it seriously whatssoever and that if I don't agree, then whatever. To just do what I feel like I need to do, that this is MY project. She just gave me some advice on how to market surveys and how to write them so that they'r emore comprehensive (so peoplee have to take less of them, etc.) and i read that and was just like, fuck. thank fucking god.

I feel so much better now.

Just thought I should share.

On a shitter note, Cary texted me this morning asking me if I wanted to go river-floating. and I am SO sad that I have to work all day. It is so fucking beautiful outside. And here I am stuck at home working now and have to leave for work in like an hour. fuck.

whatever. at least i'm not about to get fired (at least I don't think).
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i found your "camera lucidia" in english at a used book store in nyc yesterday. it was thrilling. on so many different levels. you were the beginning ofmy experience with theory - you took my virgin intellect and warped it into something obscure, uncomfortable, even dirty on some levels.

History of Photography, Fall 2005, University of California - Berkeley.

the first reading I ever did was from the reader for this course, and the first reading, of course, was an excerpt from "camera lucidia." i was so intensely infuriated at my inability to understand what the fuck it was you were trying to say. but really, i found your language (the touch of your language) sensual. like it was taking care of some need i had had for so long and couldn't express. and there you were, giving it to me, just the way (as i would later find out) that i liked it.

oh, roland, how i love you.

anyway, on a different note (and not adressed to roland), my trip to nyc has been kinda awesome so far. wandering about the city, getting lost, getting more work done than I do at home, used book stores, bike shops, vintage stores, museums, beer (brooklyn lager, by the way, is fucking delicious). and tomorrow is tattoo time.

i had a bad moment last night when i was convinced for some stupid reason that my "boyfriend" was having sex with my best friend. i think it might have been the beer in combination with the 30 mil of diazapan. but whatever. it wasn't true (or at least i was told it wasn't), so i'm cool now.

my plans for today are to find my way to 5th ave (by myself this time) and locate moma, the whitney and the metropolitan.

I saw an exhibit at guggenheim yesterday by this chinese dude named cai. it was possibly the most impressive exhibit i've ever seen. cars hanging from ceilings, lots of lights, marxist propagganda, anti-moaist propagganda, anti-moaist proppaganda, gunpowder, explosions...yeah. it was pretty great.

getting off the subway we saw this brass band that was pretty fucking awesome. sarkis bought a CD. me and sarkis can be pretty offensive and stupid at times when we're together so we've been getting a lot of dirty looks from people. like the other night when i bought an 8 dollar pack of cigs and was like "8 dollas, down in texas people be complainin' bout payin 3!" and the dude behind me in line gave me a really dirty look. also, the time in the cafe yesterday morning when sarkis was calling me a gay and the woman sitting across from us was not pleased.

but (this is for ashley), the same cafe i've been going to in the east village (because everytime i try to go to any other one, i get hella lost), has a frenchman wwho works there. and it's great. he takes my order in frenchman vernacular (french accent) and smiles with a french smile. ahahaha. okay. i'm gonan go figure my way into "museum street" now.
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a major issue with me, as you might have read if you've been keeping up, is attachment. this is the major reason relationships scare the fucking crap out of me. because i have a problem with becoming too consumed and all-consumed and tend to ignore myself and what's important to me and put all of my energy into the other person and the needs of the other person.

well, i'm wondering if i can have a relationship and NOT do this. can i love myself and love someone else at the same time? and, another important thing, can i love myself, someone else and still be the person that i am? without changing drastically, neglecting all of the things that are important to me?

i know i can't do monogamy. that's a no-fucking-way. but what level of non-monogamy can i handle, anyway? apparently, after what happened last night, i know there's a lot that i can't handle.

maybe i should try this out with him and learn from the experience? he's also someone who requires a lot of alone time and self-time, which right now i need more than anything in my life. the past two months have been great because i've been giving myself all of the things that i need. i don't want to lose that ability. i want to stay me, but i also want him in my life.

i feel like he gave me a sort of ultimatum, but there was plenty of drunkenness. maybe we need to talk about this. maybe i need to leave for a week, come back, refreshed, and then talk about this. i think that sounds good.

i hate relationships. they ruin me. i feel like they limit my freedoms, but in such a way that i myself set up limits to my freedoms for myself for no reason. most of the time the other person demands nothing of me. comfort? maybe. but i think stagnation to my identity is more likely.

we'll see how this goes.

but the way i feel about him, i've only felt one other time. he scares the shit out of me and excites me at the same time. i feel like i can fucking learn from him and won't be dragging him along on my path, or attempting to do that. the one before ended (because he wouldn't follow). (and this will too, as all things do), but i feel like it's worth a shot. i don't want someone to follow me, and i don't want to follow anyone else. i want compromise and argument and agreement. i want to establish understandings and talk about shit, and allow space for growth.

plus, anyone who falls drunkenly into bed saying "you're gonna have to help me back into veganness, i've followed the evil road to temptation..." well, that's comittment.
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