BEEN THERE DONE THAT - NOTES FROM A HANDBAG
"So other people can tell you who you are? That's the problem with reading philosophy: you have to think. Montaigne had his dreams, farts and La Boetie; Schopenhauer had his daily routine that never varied in twenty-seven years and of course, his pet poodle 'Butz'. And I'm developing an obsession for Gasworks and empty tennis courts."
by Bertie Marshall
COPYRIGHT © 2002, 3 A.M. MAGAZINE. ALL RIGHTS
Some random bits from Notes From a Handbag … the little cardboard-covered one I keep in my bag ...
"Dog days, but where are the cat nights? Summer's finally over, dropped, smashed to the ground and swept away by a dust pan and brush."
Writer Bruce Benderson thinks I'm "creating an extended promenade of our fragmented contemporary culture in all its amorphousness. Little puddles of thrill in disassociation from one another". Life seems empty, so one lives in the realm of other people's quotes.
"It is but smoke and ashes, a night dark and dreary -- since that day when I lost him . . . I merely drag wearily on": Montaigne describing his grief over losing his companion Etienne de La Boetie (a private joke = Etienne et Boetie = Stephen and Bertie = sic pun).
So other people can tell you who you are? That's the problem with reading philosophy: you have to think. Montaigne had his dreams, farts and La Boetie; Schopenhauer had his daily routine that never varied in twenty-seven years and of course, his pet poodle 'Butz'. And I'm developing an obsession for Gasworks and empty tennis courts.
I'm thinking that you dear readers (how many am I talking to?) should you feel inclined, write to me if you have any ponderences on anything -- so that this monthly monologue might at least, for a short while, be a dialogue. There, put it out there … ike a dart/plane made of paper …
My first film, Peehole, is about to have its premiere on 26 September at The Horse Hospital in London. It's a 14-minute profile on U.S. cartoonist Mike Diana -- just a jumble of images and scenes, starring Mike, who was busted in his native Florida for obscene publications. His comic zine Boiled Angel featured cartoons of an alternative Flintstone family, serial murders and child rape of Bam Bam and Pebbles. Most of his work looks like a psychoboy on acid gone mad with colour crayons which is in sharp contrast to Mike himself -- a shy, sweet, sly Iggy pop clone, gym bod with golden tresses, devil tattoos, known to dress in dirty jeans and Laura Ashley blouses... a boy girl. My film is also a portrait of the downtown art scene of NYC where limits of taste and glamour are still being pushed. My NY pals complain that nothing's happening there, to which I reply: "You should be in London where nothing has happened for twenty-five years!"
Echoing in my head, yes Sioux manages to get into this month's column, something she said recently at a party where we were sitting on a terrace drinking gazing up at the sky at night, blanched clouds twirling above us. "It's the doing that counts. Just doing something, that's what matters." Simple but true.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
was born in 1960, grew up in Catford, South London, dropped out of school to follow the Sex Pistols in 1976, and became part of the legendary Bromley Contingent. His first novel, Psychoboys
was published in 1997. For more info read our interview with Bertie
and visit his website