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R. Scott Shanks, Jr.

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AFP [Dec. 5th, 2014|09:25 pm]
R. Scott Shanks, Jr.

This is not a fan piece.

Okay, then.  Quick and dirty, and with almost no bells, whistles, or other accompaniment to the [can/equ]ine dance.

Amanda Fucking Palmer appeals to me.  I’ve found many other artists who perform more polished, who write more beautifully, who play with greater skill…I don’t know of any who are more unabashedly forthright and belligerently honest and some forthcoming that, halfway through the first paragraph, you want to back away, palms extended with repulser blasts of social space, fighting for a little bit of time for the overshare police to come and take her away.

That last bit is the one that gets me.  Someone who shows me his/er slip, and points out the smudged bit, and describes how that happened and why s/he is still wearing it and what they did in it when no one was looking — that is a pint of ether with whiskey back for me.  Drink it down and try not to weave, that’s the stuff and I’ll have another, thanks.

Intimate.  You can’t even say forced or aggressively intimate, because she doesn’t come to one’s door singing at a shout into stranger faces; you come to the media player willingly or you haven’t come at all.  This is what you’ll get.  No arm’s reach conversation, but naked spooning with bits sort of intermingled and noses in armpits and snuggled together while she sings you the thing she had in her head.

That’s AFP.  I value that largely because it is, in spite of my hopes of literary achievement, what I do best when I’m doing anything at all (and what I stopped years ago because of fear, but we’ll get to that).

I’ve her book on Audiobooks.  I’m enjoying it.  I listen on the way to work, and coming home.  I have company in the car.  Joseph Campbell was stimulating, Christoper Moore was entertaining and funny, but AFP is THERE, right there in the car with me.

She yammered on a bit about being a performance artist (living statue named The Eight Foot Bride), and how she felt she was a success in contacting people while doing that, evoking emotion,  being seen and making others feel seen … but that wasn’t sufficient.  The Bride was an act.  Her songs were her.

She didn’t just want to be seen, she wanted HER to be seen, to be heard, and to interact thereby.  She’d held back a quarter century because of fear of rejection, but moved because it finally hurt enough to not move.

There.  That.

We share a tendency … a certainty of intimate and captivating overshare.

She recognized she needed that to live, and went with it.

I recognized that showing myself that boldly would hinder me in the conservative circles where I work, and silenced myself.  That is the chief reason that I don’t write much, apart from over-commitment.  How can I write about cannibals and molesters and the horrific and wonderful things people do and all off-color and tongue in cheek or in your face you WILL experience this, and not expect to eventually be removed by the discomforted conservatives that rule my paychecks?

I could work under a name that isn’t mine, but how honest can I be if I won’t say my name?

I lost about five minutes of her book, while this all avalanched through me.  Then I had to pull over to the side of Hwy 26 on Sylvan hill during rush hour, in the dark, in heavy traffic, and sob.

I’d sold myself for groceries.

My clogged sinus and puffy eyes say that I need to find a way to go back to my  overshare with the world, or there will be higher prices than grocery bills.

Now I just need to figure out what to do about that with minimum risk and maximum relief.  I can’t say that it’s an energy thing, not anymore.  Today I had four hours sleep, worked a heavy and stressful, crisis-control day, got home 14 hours after I left and did chores for an hour before I sat to this.

*looks up at the page*  I appear to be able to write, if not necessarily well.

I appear to have lost my excuse.

Crossposted from Epinephrine & Sophistry
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: seattletosydney
2014-12-08 12:50 am (UTC)
I, for one, welcome your return to the land of the overshare.
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[User Picture]From: seattletosydney
2014-12-08 12:52 am (UTC)
Also, I distinctly remember you telling me once that "the path of least resistance invariably leads to the suburbs." Metaphor, kapow!
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[User Picture]From: mnarra
2014-12-08 03:02 pm (UTC)
*Jaw drops* I said that?

Zow. I should write more. That sort of snark should not be hidden 'neath a bushel, and like that.

I shall eat my crow-flavored metaphor and like it, then. I am considering how best to not have to deal with repercussions from being an off-color deviant from the social norm, in the land of Google and HR departments. I'm sort of split between "pen name" and "screw it, homelessness can't be that bad." Thoughts?
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[User Picture]From: seattletosydney
2014-12-08 10:07 pm (UTC)
You were referring to my tendency to date complete morons who I knew were beneath me. You said it right in front of one such moron too, it was fantastic.

Having long been an off-colour deviant from the social norm myself (replace Google and HR with an uber-conservative religious family), I've always been on the pen name side of the fence. I don't really have any qualms about it at all-- a rose by any other name and all that.
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[User Picture]From: mnarra
2014-12-08 10:24 pm (UTC)
I keep poking at the subject, and everything has a good, quantifiable reasons ("I'll be miserable if I don't overshare.") except the attach-my-name to it bit ("I'll ... have a slightly less obese ego.").

Clearly, my misgivings there are, at best, smokescreen. I shall start considering my overshare name. "Lillian Spindrift", I'm thinking.
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[User Picture]From: seattletosydney
2014-12-08 10:37 pm (UTC)
Be sure to Google while you're deciding! You don't want to be one of a hundred thousand Lillian Spindrifts out there (this was another reason I decided to use a pen name-- for being such an exceptional person, I sure do have a generic name).
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