process the fantasy

I am listening to the Irish Tenors singing "Fairy Tale of New York" which is extremely disorienting, so forgive me if this makes less sense than usual.

"Even before she can get her knickers on, I've seen everything!"   

"Even before she can get her knickers on, I've seen everything!"


I have been thinking a lot lately about art that is maybe not really art, at least not to me, because it feels like unprocessed fantasy. There is a hilarious episode of the Ricky Gervais show Extras in which Patrick Stewart, playing himself, explains his screenplay-in-process, which is essentially the unprocessed fantasy of a 12-year-old boy ("and then all her clothes fall off, and I see everything!"). If you haven't seen it yet, just go right now to watch this clip (it's under 4 minutes), because it is a lot better than this blog. 

Anyway: was also just reading (in Minerva's Wreck, a ridiculously rich and gorgeous object/publication, which you want, believe me) about an ongoing performance art . . . project, I guess, which involves these two women, among other things, going to other people's performances or parties and ruining them.

That's a pretty hostile thing to do; and anger/hostility is the great juicy source for some extraordinary art. Same thing for a 12-year-old's sexual fantasies, for that matter--also the source of much great art, including arguably Ulysses.

But: source. Source of. You can't STOP THERE. You gotta make something with it, maybe something that unfolds in people's minds and hearts a bit, beyond just -- Wow, yep, you broke that. Or Yep, it would be fun if you could make women's clothes fall off with your mind! Or Sure, what if you got a new pretty young wife and your aging but more interesting wife didn't really mind, because she loved you so much! (Just saw The Lion in Winter -- truly delightful production but that play, especially towards the end, gets kinda Hugh Hefner Dreams of the Rood.)

So. Just saying. To me, just speaking for me, the juice is crucial, is absolutely necessary, but it isn't sufficient. You use the juice to stay true to the object, the performance, the whatever you are making, and hopefully to make it as amazing as possible (though that doesn't always happen). You don't just spray the juice out of your mouth.

I am so much crosser-sounding than usual. Maybe I'll switch to Ella Fitzgerald.