Today has been a day of watching documentaries. I started the day watching “Exit Through The Gift Shop”, with Granny at her suggestion. I’m glad and lucky that Granny (a very cool 70 something year old lady I love who is not actually my granny) is cool enough to encourage me to do things like watch the Banksy doc. When it came to the theaters I was so broke I didn’t have the money to go at the time.
I know that the dirty folk comedy ditties may seem like a lucrative career but even us ribald “”comediennes”” have it rough sometimes.
The documentary pretty much blew my mind. It was the story of a monster of sorts that Banksy accidentally created when he met, inspired and suggested a french crazy person / documentary maker named Thierry produce an art show of original works. I love Banksy too, and it documented his work and his process. I have a print of his on my wall in my living room. It’s the one where an erudite artist with a fancy palette is painting a crude penis on a wall. I think it symbolizes what I do in a nut-sack-shell. I left Granny’s wishing I had a can of spray paint in my hand. That’s the kind of art I love the best — art that makes me want to leave and go immediately start doing whatever it was I just saw.
I’ve always been kind of suggestible. It’s a shitty way to live. People do things that inspire me and if I’m not careful, I will adapt it like a chameleon. Now that I’m a little more experienced at life and set in my ways, I’m less likely to pick things up with such head spinning ADD characteristics the way I used to, and that is why the Banksy doc was so amazing to me.
When I was in art school in the late 90s and oughts in Philadelphia, I hung out with a few fledgling graffiti artists. The nerdy dumb asses I wasted time with had lame ass monikers and gay ass styles, tagging their initials on sidewalks and such with the voracity of a semi erection, but they were trying to figure it out. Unfortunately, it was enough to uninspire me enough to get a job at a dot com immediately upon graduation.
Watching that doc reignited the imagination that I had as a little spit in the 90s. I strongly recommend anyone with writer’s block watch that doc while shoveling down a handful of Granny’s homemade peanut butter cookies.
The second doc I watched today was Dogtown and Z-Boys, a documentary about skateboarding. I hung out with a handful of skaters in the 80s in Maine. They were cool kids with a good sense of humor, cute glasses and asymmetrical hair dos. I would have given my whole collection of Violent Femmes tapes at the time to have shared a first kiss with one of those grape lollipop stained mouths.
When I was in my mid 20s, I boyfriended comedian Roger Hailes for a bit. When the summertime came, he skated around on a longboard and inspired me to buy a skateboard and to try surfing at Montauk, as well. Never the graceful one, I practically drowned the first time I surfed and the first time I skated I think I skinned my entire leg from shin to knee. Roger pleaded with me not to skate, afraid I’d maim myself and then he’d be left in the awkward position of ‘to ditch or not to ditch the mangled chick’. But he didn’t have to worry long, I left it in my car and it got stolen, ending my week long skating stint.
Though the Z-Boys doc didn’t inspire me in the same way “Exit” did, the punk-ness of it was just delightful. It features a lot of old footage from the 60s and 70s of famous skaters zipping around in pools as kids and it made me wish I was 12 one more time so I could fuck up my life all over again in a different way.
I imagine one day I will be a mother who, upon learning my kids are heading out for a night of whatever crazy shit kids do in the future — cloud graffiti-ing and plane surfing — will say, “Well, that sounds lovely, you kids have a nice time!”
I look forward to seeing what kind of messed up stuff the kids born of my demented loins and laurels do. I can only hope they’ll be involved in the dawn of a creative era of some kind.