IT'S WHERE THE MONEY IS
I'm sitting a foot off the woodstove, watching CNN. Out the window the fresh snow is blowing to almost whiteout proportions, in the minus four sunshine. The CNN banner reads Officials: 3 French Terrorists killed. Just as I read the crawl, a dirty white pick up truck roars down the snowy road, two tattered American flags flapping in the breeze. If only I had a camera in my mind.
The past week has been brutally cold up here on the mountain. Once I had my deer skulls all skinned out, boiled and formed into a neat svastika I didn't have much else to do. It's that time of year. All the hustle of deer season, the holidays and a flurry of art activity has led to the "hibernation" months. In my drafty shack it's a full time job just staying warm. So with the mac in my lap, I stoke the stove with one hand and post on fb with the other. The incongruous combination of global community and cave fire is not lost on me.
Aside from conjugal visits to Shewho, my only contact with civilization is my usual table at the Rock Hill Diner. They know me so well that they just ask "Root beer or coffee?" If it's root beer they bring me a cheezeburger. Coffee means breakfast. I love the short hand of convenience. On my way to the table I pick up the daily papers- Times Herald Record and NY Post. Between the Yahoo news feed, fb, my free monthly PAPER magazine and the diner's papers I try to stay on top of any developments in the world. Kim Kardasian's ass has thankfully gone dark.
Then, as I absentmindedly peruse the Post, something catches my eye. "Bank Thief" a nutty prof. reads the type over a blurry pic of a bank robber. Funny.....the guy in an inset photo looks familiar. I read further. Turns out the nutty prof/thief is none other than the director of the only movie I was ever in- a piece of 16 mm crap done in the early 90's called THE GENIUS. These were the days in the East Village of great underground film directors like Tessa Hughes-Freeland, Richard Kern, Nick Zedd, Ella Troyano, etc. I knew all these people, but never had any desire to be in any of their films. Why I was in Joe Gibbons film I can't remember, but I'm sure it involved being paid. I played a crazy man on a shrink's couch who threatens the Dr. with a swiss army knife. I remember telling Joe I wanted a bigger, more threatening knife. He ignored me. ACTION!
The only thing more surprising than learning that my old director was now in jail on bank robbery charges, was the fact that he had been teaching at M.I.T. for ten years. I don't want to be too mean, but how the fuck did he get that gig? I don't suffer foolish thieves lightly. I remember JB getting press in the 70's for stealing a painting off some gallery or museum wall in SF, as a piece. He returned it and no charges were filed. He has a history of this. We crossed paths a few times over the years and then I lost track. I'm sure Joe Gibbons has friends and family who are devastated by his actions. My heart goes out to them. If he is seriously, mentally ill, it may be his only hope of avoiding a very stiff prison sentence. If he tries to spin this action as art I pity him. My advice is to play the "crazy card" and leave art out of it. Like they say- can't fix stupid. Now about that opening at M.I.T.......