In one paper we were encouraged to write more freely about our artwork. I found that writing and making art go hand in hand. They shouldn’t be separate. I enjoy both equally.

This piece was an artist’s statement. These pieces are written by artists and usually accompany exhibitions in the form of a book. We spent most of our lessons in class discussing how to avoid writing dry, boring, pretentious rubbish. It was one of the best classes.

I hope this isn’t pretentious. When I began refining my research on masculinity, even coming to one or two polished concluding arguments of my own, I realized that I had learnt all this stuff before. I just hadn’t yet learnt the tools to understand it all. In Intermediate School (11, 12 and 13 years old) all the societal pressures on beauty, machismo, sexuality, what’s normal and what isn’t come barreling towards you like a derailed train. In a panic, relaying these new messages become the sole focus of many kids this age. It’s uncomfortable to accept that sexiness may mean a lot more to a 12 year old than a 30 year old.

Artist’s statement

But if we have Disney channel freakish android beautiful 20 somethings pretending to be 13, it’s no wonder. It’s Disney’s pursuit of perfection again, raising the benchmark for young beauty to an unachievable excellence. I mean, if sex appeal now matters for young people, then why pass the opportunity to make money off it? I mean, like, money, sex, beauty, the three things that constitute the value of human flesh in America. Why not teach the tweens, the most self conscious and most anxious humans, that this is true? Screw it, why not teach 8 year olds? I mean, that’s three more years of their parents money in our pockets. In our sexy, beautiful, deep pockets.

I would like to make a correction to the Artist’s statement. I do not wish to imply that looking at the ideal male body simply equates to homosexual experience. When I was 12 though, this logic was clear as day, and I felt gay when looking at the cool kid’s body.

I do not think Disney is an evil company, but it does share a lot in common with the villains it creates. An unquenchable lust for perfection, money, power and control over a worldly image of humanity. Sounds familiar.

Also, i don’t intend to insult America. But if it’s pop culture canon throws shit around, it can expect to be hit by some.

Some more of my hero, who is, indeed, American.

Laurie Anderson Smoke Rings

Laurie Anderson Mach 20