Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Suspending disbelief

I think Kelvline and I first became close because I listened to what she was saying even when it didn’t make sense and we argued about it. In meetings when she make some over-the-top declaration, most people would stare in that blank way that meant someone just said something crazy. I’m not suggesting that I didn’t think she was crazy too, but I believed in crazy -- we were all crazy, otherwise what was the point?

Of course, there are different kinds of crazy -- I wasn’t interested in that kind that just served as an excuse for unaccountability. Last night I went to a party in a space renowned for debauchery and flamboyance, but not necessarily intellectual engagement. A radical faerie solstice party that only grants entry to those perceived as male-bodied. What does male-bodied mean anymore? That’s not how they would phrase it anyway. But I’m relatively certain they would provide a very simple answer and it’s not the answer I’m looking for.

I haven’t gone to this party in years, because of the pot smoke, but last night I was looking for conversations in the realm of sexual possibility and sex that didn’t feel disembodied. I found both. I even got to the place where I was delirious and laughing and my body was kind of humming and I smiled at everyone which I guess I do anyway but I actually meant it. I mean it didn’t feel draining.

Then today I was thinking about some of the conversations from last night, one conversation in particular where someone asked me about Shame, whenever someone says Shame instead of Gay Shame I figure they’ve already missed the point, like they don’t want to say gay because they know it’s queer, right? And the point with this person, is that I actually met after I stopped going to Gay Shame meetings. But really he just wanted to ask that question so he could say something dismissive -- I guess it’s worth mentioning that he was one of the only people at this party who was obviously not suspending disbelief. I think it’s important not to suspend disbelief, and so that wasn’t the problem. The problem was that he was so uncomfortable, making jokes about lying in the come trough downstairs, when there wasn’t a come trough and what would be the problem if there was? The fact that he was fully clothed at a party where most people walk around in towels just emphasized his discomfort, even if he did look very stylish. Or maybe especially because he looked stylish. But what did he say exactly? Something about a magazine and how that magazine or the people who created the magazine were like Gay Shame but not so haughty and exclusive.

Since I’m pretty sure this person has never been to a Gay Shame action or meeting, I’m guessing it’s the people who created this magazine who are haughty and exclusive. But why was I listening to this person, other than the fact that I’d met him before and I thought he was cute, we actually made out once and I guess this time he was trying to impress me by acting dismissive. I hate that kind of interaction. I didn’t want to engage, but you already know I couldn’t get away, at least not at first.

I’m not saying that Gay Shame wasn’t haughty or exclusive. But there’s a particular kind of amnesia that allows someone to compare the people who publish a magazine with pictures of zombies or worms devouring male flesh, or something like that, to a direct action activist group dedicated to a radical queer political analysis, nonhierarchical organizing, confronting hypocrisy, and demanding accountability. This was one of the problems with Gay Shame, not that we were haughty or exclusive but that, after a certain point, everyone in San Francisco who would ever be interested had already developed a fixed opinion, an opinion that would never change.

4 comments:

Wil Lake said...

I talked to a friend on the wes-coast on space book a renowned SF artiste at time youwere posting this
Seasons Greetings...Whatever Happened to ole'Gavin Groossome...Hope All is well
the very Un-satisfied

Wil Lake

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Gruesome is up to the same tactics as always...

And I can certainly relate to un-satisfied, indeed!

Love --
mattilda

kayti said...

I am glad your disbelief was suspend

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Suspended, indeed!

Love --
mattilda