If you ask me what I’d like to do when I grow up, I don’t think I’d give you a direct answer. Even if everything around was cosy and comfortable, even if I was drunk after my first pint, even if you’ve known me since I was a child. I would probably tell you with unfaltering precision what I definitely don’t want to do, or what I simply can’t do. But as to affirming stuff of any kind, you probably wouldn’t force me into saying anything.
If you had asked me the same question when I was three, deep down in my totalitarian inferno, I would have told you that I would live by books. True. That I would be a writer. It was a cool thing back then, I mean – you didn’t get anything interesting on TV, except for a few smuggled VHS tapes which you could watch only if you had a VCR (which I had) and you happened to speak the language it was in. Both my parents spent a big part of their free time reading, or reading to me. So, true, I thought it would be cool. Writers were superheroes.
This truth – that I would write – was so well fixed in my small, budding, three-year-old mind, that I embarked on a nazi training, and within 6 months had learned to read and write. At first, I wrote chicken-scratch postcards to my mother in Italy, full of drawn flowers and topsy-turvy letters made with red felt-tip pens, but thanks to my bolshevik discipline I could soon read proper books. This is all true.
I did it all – read fairy-tales – learned languages – told stories – wrote diaries – devoured every book I could lay my hands on – stopping only to eat, drink, sleep – and, after a congruous amount of years, graduated in English Lit, with my thesis on Modernism in English Literature on proud display. But what had happened by then? Art – of any sort – has three main opponents.
I mean, you learn lots of stuff. Your critical faculties develop, you start understanding quality, only to better appreciate your own lack of it.
Writing stopped being fun when I discovered the difference between good writing and bad and, even more terrifying, the difference between it and true art. And after that, the whip came down.
How big is your ego? Do you care about people’s opinion of you? Do you mind if somebody criticizes you? Are you able to stand people’s stare? Of being laughed at for having said something improper? Leave off.
… people who can do these things must be dead to all senses of shame, and one cannot hope to produce any effect upon them.
Justice Wills, upon pronouncing the sentence of Oscar Wilde’s process
Of any kind. Is there something else you really care about? If an aspect of your life other than that is important to you, it becomes a major issue. Your time cannot suffer division. Either it is a cradle in kids’ room, or the filling of your own sentimental holes by another human being, or the joys of cooking, or – let’s say – fishing. Any sort of time-absorbing passion must be carefully avoided.
I’ll iron your clothes / I’ll shine your shoes / I’ll make your bed / And cook your food / I’ll never cheat / I’ll be the best girl you’d ever meet / I’ll scrub your floor / Never be a bore / I’d tuck you in / I do not snore / I’d wear your black eyes / Bake you apple pies / I won’t ask whys
CocoRosie, By your side
And now? Oh yeah, now I’ve got a blog.