Ouch that Burns!
This post was brought to you by #PatDry and The Finer One Liner.
Spring is in the air!
(or is that just the smell of all the rotting piles of fish, fly covered duck parts, and the abundance of mushy, blackened, mouldy fruits and vegetables cascading out of the garbage bins on every corner of China Town after a long hot weekend?)
ANYWAY, I digress (yet again)… SPRING…or something…is in the air! And we all know what that means. There is something sinister lurking just after Labour Day…. SUMMER. It’s that dreaded perennial season that inflicts self loathing, acute body dysmorphia, and humiliation upon most of the population. Every year it’s just as reliable as when Puxasutawney Phil comes peeking out of his burrow. It’s just as predictable as October bringing us Halloween. And of course the arrival of Halloween means attending parties where once more you hear the reoccurring theme of everybody’s costume. The description of said theme is naturally:
“I’m a Sexy ______”
(you can fill in that above blank with anything from “kitten”, “nurse”, “pirate”, “baby”, “homeless man”, “burn victim” through to “cadaver”)
But..back to our topic…
Yes, SUMMER is coming. The season whose high temperatures, and societal expectations demand that we wear less coverings over our pale, flabby bodies. Those same bodies that have been safely camouflaged all through autumn and winter by cashmere sweaters, silk lined woollen trousers, fashionable boots, hand knitted scarves, glamorous drama coats (à la Çomme de Garçon) and a vast variety of garments created from beautiful tactile fabrics. (le sigh)
Summer, on the other hand is the season, that to me, demands that I wear clothing and bathing suits that exacerbate the genetic betrayal that is my legacy.
I know a lot of people say: “You should just join a gym and start working out! You’ll get such a high from it!”, or “Take a Spin Class, it’s so much fun!”, and
“I’m on a really fun ______team, you should come and play with us!”
I have attempted all of those activities, and believe me when I tell you that I totally went at it half-heartedly, and gave it the best half-arsed effort that I kinda tried to muster. Going to the gym, and especially trying out a Spin Class made me completely anxious, self conscious and nauseous. Being around all those muscular, toned young people made me feel like a giant albino squid, thrown out of the ocean, and onto a beach. I was flopping about uncoordinated and exposed. All that my squid self desperately wanted to do was to find some way back into that ocean water again, and then squirt out a huge cloud of black ink in which to hide myself, and cower. In other words, as far as gyms? I’d rather wear fire as a hat.
After all of those experiences I have decided that I already get plenty of exercise from chain smoking, driving a stick-shift, wandering through the streets aimlessly every weekend, and lying in bed and complaining.
However, I did recently unearth a long forgotten ancient VHS tape!
(yes I DO do still own a VCR. I use it to view all of the old videos that I never got around to converting to DVD’s twenty years ago…and yes DVD’s still exist too. Not everything is on Netflix baby)
So this afore mentioned tape is an old eighties work-out tape was designed especially for men. I have been watching it and copying all the movements for weeks, but I am still not looking like any of the men on the tape. Then I realised that maybe the point isn’t looking like those men, but rather to just like looking at them.
To stay in the top tier of The Stay At Home Modeling world requires endless practice, practice, practice. But even the most polished, accomplished, and astute Stay At Home Model can preform a dodgy turn, or execute some other clumsy move….or (gasp).. even fall over. However you must never forget who you are. You’re the “it” girl. You’re on the cover of every non-existent fashion magazine. You’re in the absolute stratosphere of Stay At Home Models. All of the most important fictitious people in your bogus fashion world look to you for their inspiration. The phalanx of imaginary photographers are waiting at the end of your make-believe runway (the stove and fridge in your kitchen). All of the very top echelons of pretend editors, illusionary fashion bloggers, made-up buyers, fabricated upper east side haute couture customers, and carefully curated concocted celebrities are watching your every single move. Now we all realise that this is an enormous amount of delusional pressure. That’s why a Stay At Home SUPER Model like yourself is always prepared for those exceptionally rare runway disasters. If something catastrophic happens on that chimerical catwalk of your’s…IMPROVISE! Turn your mishap into a major moment; and enduring iconic fashion image. Something that will be a concretization; an indelible memory for all of those invisible fashionistas in your head.
I think that it’s really important to try out new ways of expressing oneself artistically. I feel as though it enriches the soul to endeavour new types of artistic medium to manifest one’s effusion towards life. There are so many options. Whether it’s macramé, interpretive modern dance, joining your local mummenschanz troupe… the possibilities are quite simply ENDLESS. I’ve decided that since I’m very minimally adept at figurative drawing and painting; and exceptionally, deeply, and distinctively bereft talent wise. (especially pertaining to portraiture representations of human beings), I made the completely ridiculous choice that I should try my hand at the beautiful art of Portrait Tattooing. I mean, it only makes sense right?My first thought was which person out of all the people in the world… who’s likeness shall I choose to portray? The second thought was from which group of people would I select to be the person (or persons) to BE my living canvases? In selecting a subject I decided that whomever I selected should be noteworthy. I have seen Portrait Tattoos depicting random ugly babies, unattractive spouses or deceased loved ones…but then I thought; who really cares? Those tattoos are of nobodies. I mean, those kinds of subjects would definitely have had some kind of significance to the people who chose to place them upon themselves..but from the general public’s viewpoint? They have zero meaning. I thought that the concept of having some random celebrity… (whom you have never known or ever even met) …having that celebrity’s image permanently displayed forever on your body would be so much better! So what dead person of infinite beauty, and of course, easily recognisable to everyone should I choose? Why Marilyn Monroe of course! Her iconic image permeates our society even after her death fifty eight years ago. I doubt that there are any people on this planet who are as famous and recognisable. So in choosing my human canvases, I had to select the most incidental, unimportant, casual acquaintances that I could think of. People who would also be the most appreciative recipients of her likeness; wanting her visage being proudly preserved on their bodies forever. So after seconds of intense pondering and deliberation, I chose four middle-aged gay men from middle America whom I had basically no previous connections to. (I used Craig’s List) My criterium?They had to be gullible, easily persuaded (and drunk). I think that you will agree with me that my attempts to immortalise Marilyn speak for themselves.
Since there obviously is no way that I could possibly improve upon my skills and abilities with this very ancient and significant art form, I think that I shall move on to bedazzling, and puffy painting sweatshirts. I feel that this above mentioned particular art form is sadly and undeservedly in decline.
Jason (blogospheric nom de plume “jaymayokay”) is an old (don’t say old) college chum of mine, a New York City ex-pat and a current resident of Australia. Here’s a short interview as introduction to you all, my concerned readers.
BB – Jason! Welcome to billybeyond.com We are so happy to add you to our roster of administrative contributing posters and Stay At Home Models! Firstly, is it really true that Southern Hemisphere Stay At Home Models turn in the opposite direction?
J – What an inspired question! Yes we absolutely do turn in the opposite direction. We also do other classic runway movements a little differently. We Southern Hemisphere gals also do split doubles, but we do them simultaneously whilst eating banana splits. Then as we reach the end of the pretend runway, we toss the empty bowls and spoons into our awestruck make-believe audience. As a finale´ we then actually DO the splits before our turns. Only then do we proceed back down the imaginary runway. (..and when I say “splits”..think Miss Tandi Dupree)
*additionally..here’s a little fun fact for our Northern Hemisphere Stay At Home modeling colleagues, and of course the innumerable fans…All of our aspirations, goals, and dreams for the future go swirling down the drain too….. BUT they swirl counterclockwise.
BB– Cute. Yes I do think Tandi when I think splits because it was actually me that posted that video to Youtube about a hundred years ago. I’m glad to see you’re keeping up…ummmm. Next question – If I were to facetime you, would you be upside down on my screen? I guess that’s technically a technical question but I’m wondering….hmmmm. Yeah.
J -That most certainly is a technical issue, and yes I would appear upside down. But just go to settings in your control center, and turn on your “Portrait Orientation Lock”. “Then what?” you might ask? Why, just simply hold your phone upside down as we FaceTime.
What’re we going to do with all this future?
BB – Good to know. This next question is one I ask everybody so I’m assuming that makes it appropriate.
Have you ever seen a UFO and if you have can please describe your experience for me?
J – Oh yes. I’ve seen thousands of Unidentified Frying Objects. I have no kitchen skills whatsoever, but I love a challenging recipe, and I’m always intoxicated, so I’m sure you can just imagine the ensuing fun. Oh the hilarity!
BB – Always, huh?…Good to know.
How important are unimportant blog posts to you?
a. Somewhat important
III. Very important
d. Other (please explain)
J – Actually dull blog posts (much like any Kardashian) elicit feelings of blasé laissez-faire et ennui. N’est pas?
BB– Bien sûr, je ne pense pas qu’un dictionnaire sera nécessaire! – moving on. Favorite quote from Working Girl is….?
J – There IS only one quote.
BB – Interesting point of view…only one…like one God or one Universe…”there’s only one quote from Working Girl,” yet every word of it is quotable to fags like me….wow – that’s heavy. You’re deep. That’s good, we can use deep around here. Okay, Mister Jaymayokay, final question –
Is Easy On spray starch really that good?
J – See for yourself…
BB – Thank you and welcome ablog.
Thank-you so much for your amazing introduction Billy. I’m truly underwhelmed. It’s nearly a thrill to be joining you on this blogging adventure! I only hope that I can rise to the task, and contribute in a way that meets your exceptionally average standards!
I see new doors opening for all of us!
cute. uh huh. The intervew’s over, Jason. You can cool it with the gifs. Byeeeeeeeee
The Vessel is really a perfect name for the sixteen-story monument nestled in the midst of the now complete “neighborhood” (read: real estate scheme) of Hudson Yards, New York City. Designed by Thomas Heatherwick, one of architecture’s premier grifters, a man who should be banned internationally from using the term “parti,” the Vessel is composed of 154 flights of stairs, 2,500 steps, and 80 landings. Apparently the architect drew inspiration from an early experience with, to nobody’s surprise, an old staircase. The depth of architectural thinking at work here makes a kiddie-pool seem oceanic.
The Vessel is a structure that invites parody—it has already been likened to a giant shawarma, a beehive, a pine cone, a wastebasket. Apparently, there is to be a competition for a new name, as “The Vessel” was only supposed to be a temporary one. It really is the perfect name, however, not least because it implies a certain emptiness. One asks, though, what it is a vessel for?
It is a Vessel for the depths of architectural cynicism, of form without ideology and without substance: an architectural practice that puts the commodifiable image above all else, including the social good, aesthetic expression, and meaningful public space. It is a Vessel for the architecture of views, perhaps the hottest spatial commodity of all.
It is a Vessel for capital, for a real estate grift that can charge more for an already multi-million dollar apartment because it merely faces it. It is a Vessel for a so-called neighborhood that poorly masks its intention to build luxury assets for the criminally wealthy under the guise of investing in the city and “public space.” What is public space if not that land allocated (thanks to the generosity of our Real Estate overlords) to the city’s undeserving plebeians, who can interface with it in one of two ways: as consumers or interlopers, both allowed only to play from dawn ‘til dusk in the discarded shadows of the ultra-rich? Unlike a real neighborhood, which implies some kind of social collaboration or collective expression of belonging, Hudson Yards is a contrived place that was never meant for us. Because of this, the Vessel is also a Vessel for outrage like my own.
It is a Vessel for labor without purpose. The metaphor of the stairway to nowhere precludes a tiring climb to the top where one is expected to spend a few moments with a cell-phone, because at least a valedictory selfie rewards us with the feeling that we wasted time on a giant staircase for something—perhaps something contained in the Vessel. The Vessel valorizes work, the physical work of climbing, all while cloaking it in the rhetoric of enjoyment, as if going up stairs were a particularly ludic activity. The inclusion of an elevator that only stops on certain platforms is ludicrously provocative. The presence of the elevator implies a pressure for the abled-bodied to not use it, since by doing so one bypasses “the experience” of the Vessel, an experience of menial physical labor that aims to achieve the nebulous goal of attaining slightly different views of the city. Unlike the Eiffel Tower, to which the Vessel has been unfathomably compared, the Vessel is just tall enough to make you feel bad for not hiking up it. To climb the Eiffel Tower is equally pointless, but its sheer size makes taking the elevator the de facto, socially normalized experience. The elevators of the Vessel and their lackluster architectural integration belie the architectural profession’s view of accessibility as a code-enforced concession rather than an ethos, a moral right to architecture for all. By taking the elevator up the Vessel, you are both inviting the judgment of your peers who insist on hauling ass up sixteen stories and confirming its sheer pointlessness as a structure; for, unlike the Eiffel Tower, which has a restaurant and shop, there is nothing at the top other than a view of the Hudson and the sad promise of the repeat performance of laboring your way back down.
The Vessel is a vessel for another type of labor: digital labor. Until a few days ago, after a moment of social media outrage, if you were to take a selfie or a photo at the Vessel, the Hudson Yards developers would own the rights to your content in perpetuity. (Now they have the right to circulate and use your media, but not to own it outright.) Regardless of these changes, by taking a selfie or photograph (an act that, to be fair, is perhaps the only true purpose of the Vessel), you are still doing the unpaid work of promotion and content creation for a developer conglomerate, regardless of your intent. By merely stepping foot in the complex, you waive your right to privacy and are ruthlessly surveilled by subtly hidden cameras. What is done with this footage can only be suspected, but it doesn’t stop our malevolent shawarma from serving as a convenient, yes, architectural vessel—not only for affective labor but also the dystopian world-building of surveillance capitalism itself. The Vessel betrays the fact that behind the glitzy, techno-urbanist facade of the Smart City™ lies the cold machinations of a police state. That architecture is used as live bait for these purposes is but one of many symptoms pointing to a field in a state of ethical decline.
The Vessel has invited nearly universal vitriol, even amongst the politest architecture critics. It is an object lesson teaching us that, in our neoliberal age of surveillance capitalism—an era where the human spirit is subjected to a regime of means testing and digital disruption, and a cynical view of the city as an engine of real estate prevails—architecture, quite frankly, sucks.
In Toward an Architecture of Enjoyment, Henri Lefebvre conceived of architecture as a specific level of social practice, on which the reality of everyday life emerges to suggest new, better possibilities. He writes:
There is no thought without a project, no project without exploration—through the imagination—of a possible, a future. . . . There is no social space without an unequally distributed stock of possibles. Not only is the real not separated from the possible but, in a sense, it is defined by it and, therefore, by a part of utopia.
In short, the Vessel is a vessel of its time, and its sheer shittiness as architecture and urbanism, itself a small part of the bigger tyranny of capitalism, at least invites us to dream of something, anything, better than this.
After watching what I consider to be the first fully truthful documentary about Michael Jackson’s serial child molestations I am feeling depressed but certainly not shocked. In 1997 I read, “Michael Jackson Was My Lover: The Secret Diary of Jordie Chandler” and believed every word of it. This truth is not news to me. Lots of us read it back then and the shocking paperback got passed around our group of friends resulting in many even higher raised eyebrows to say the least. I think it was the first book I ever bought online actually because it was only permitted to be published in Chile due to the Chandler’s secret out of court settlement. I wish it had been returned to me because as of today it’s going for as much as $768.00 being classified as rare! Sad emoiji.
After an afternoon of feeling helpless I realized there is at least one thing I can do. As of today, I will no longer be playing any Michael Jackson recordings publicly as a DJ. I realize the result of this decision could have negative monetary implications for the Jackson estate, possibly in excess of $0.05 however I think if every music programmer or DJ in the world did the same, even for year, the world might take notice.
Please watch, “Leaving Neverland.” I never fully understood the wide reaching destruction that child sex abuse causes. Thank you to the makers, the people at HBO and to everybody else that helped to bring this teary eye opening issue to the spotlight. If you don’t have access to it, email me and I will help you out.
These T’s will cheer you up. Wear one to Coachella and make new friends. You never know who you might meet in the laundry room. If anyone asks just say, “I don’t know, what’s Pansybeat with you, handsome?” Works everytime.
Please post these pics wherever you can. Let’s call a turd a turd. This kid is doing exactly what shit-head asshole bullies have been doing since they were doing it to me in High School and well before that. To call this anything but blatant bullying is lie. I hope to meet this useless piece oh shit one day – I have a lot of things saved up for him.
Instagram, Facebook, Twitter – wherever – Please let’s call this worthless rotten kid exactly what he is. After that, we can talk about forgiveness….LOL (SMILE)
Hey, Melania – WHERE ARE YOU? I thought bullying was your thing? REMEMBER? Did anybody translate this for her? Is this shithead really “Being Best?” – or whatever you called it???