This Week in “Help Me Not Be Such an Ass”: March 9-16

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This week, situations like “no running water” and “no internet” at our house afforded excellent opportunities for acting like a huge Ass; here’s what I turned to for help. Mostly art this week! Solvitur creando. 

Jenny Holzer’s “Projections: She projects enormous bright words on buildings, cliffs, water. It was particularly affecting to see the San Diego series.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, by Benjamin Alire Saenz. This is a book about teenage Mexican boys in Texas, and about doing the best you can, and about our need for friends. I listened to the audiobook read by Lin Manuel Miranda, and I cried about every 10 minutes–not sobby, just an “oh GOD” recognition of something primally true. If I get a vote, I vote that you read/listen to this.

Marlon James in nytimes magazine: “From Jamaica to Minnesota to Myself.” At 28 years old, seven years out of college, I was so convinced that my voice outed me as a fag that I had stopped speaking to people I didn’t know. The silence left a mark, threw my whole body into a slouch, with a concave chest, as if trying to absorb impact.

Edgar Heap of Birds:  “THE ARTWORKS OF HOCK E AYE VI EDGAR HEAP OF BIRDS INCLUDE MULTI-DISCIPLINARY FORMS OF PUBLIC ART MESSAGES, LARGE SCALE DRAWINGS, NEUF SERIES ACRYLIC PAINTINGS, PRINTS, WORKS IN GLASS AND MONUMENTAL PORCELAIN ENAMEL ON STEEL OUTDOOR SCULPTURE.”   I recommend starting with “Public Art.”

Helena Keefe: Two projects just made me fall out of my chair: in one, Keefe invited people to imagine a penitent speech by George W. Bush, and then had the winners recorded by an impersonator and it’s amazing. In another, Keefe invited residents of a long term care facility to create patterns which were printed onto the staff’s scrubs…it is so beautiful.

That’s it for this week. If you have suggestions for not being such an Ass, I’ll always take them.

Love,

Sarah


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