Updated: Aug 17
So, just as strongly as I was drawn to burst the different parts of my identity apart at the start of this project, I feel equally compelled to pull them together together, either through my website/blog or through the tropes themselves (by sharing their posts on Sage the Human's "stories", by giving artistic credit to my friends AND and.... wait for it... myself.) Fine, I am no Banksy. Whatever. Sidebar - have you checked out Banky's quarantine installment yet? No? Check it out.
My initial reflection on this is that I find it rather difficult to allow a part of my core identity to float off, by itself, into the Universe. Anonymity is not my problem. I actually experience a mild anxiety when my identity isn't cohesive. I worry that one or all of my alter-egos, may start to feel lost or depressed without the others and, as a result, I (my core self) will begin to feel lost or depressed. I'm curious if this internal emotional experience serves as an interesting metaphor for how everyone is feeling during the COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps being separated is not only causing a void in our social lives but also distress from dissociating our collective identity as people. Perhaps we're all worried, on some level, that the depression, the sadness and the loss that is being experienced by our fellow humans will soon be internalized as a sadness, loss and depression that we each must experience and personally cope with.
Interestingly, I've spoken to Mad friends during quarantine, and most of us agree that we are a bit surprised at how emotionally unprepared the general public seems to be to cope with the realities of COVID-19. It's a "silent" and "invisible" threat that makes people feel as if they must socially isolate and perform rituals or else something really bad will happen to them and their families. Those of us who live with depression, anxiety, obsessions, compulsions and suicidal thoughts kinda spend all our time coping with concerns like that. Even though our fears may not be "real", our emotional preparation is. (Kind of like how Doomsday Preppers who hunt, fish and grow their own food are also feeling a bit more prepared than everyone else to live in a world of scarcity.) Hmm...perhaps discounting people's subjective experience and fears as "craziness" is not as beneficial to society as we tend to think it is...
Other observations include that my Jessi-Clam trope needs more development. I only received one angry comment on Facebook; not nearly enough. >:) I did, however, appreciate that person's flagrant use of the "c-word" on social media. Ballsy. Or, Ovary-sy.
The comment did also allow me to consider that, perhaps, unless one appreciates absurdity, the feminism depicted in Jessi-Clam may, at times, read as anti-feminism. To that, I say... "Meh. I don't care. Why do you?"
That said, my puppet materials arrived this week, so I'm excited to breathe life into Ms. Clam.
Alice Light + Dark was a rather popular trope this week. I had the pleasure of speaking to representatives from First Person Arts about a potential remount of the exhibit and workshop (as well as the addition of a new performance) on the RAW stage at the 2020 First Person Arts Festival. I also had an awesome collaborative chat with the founders of Artstillery and Dallas Art Therapy as well as the amazing Noel Williams about developing a new performance piece for their 2021 season. The show may include Wonderland themes to facilitate a collective storytelling experience about mental health, mental illness and marginalized oppression. I'm extremely excited about these opportunities, as well as the opportunity to simply talk to more people about what Mad Pride is and how it can work to reframe the individual and social mindset about on mental health and madness.
Finally, Sage the Robot chugged along this week. As a robot may be expected to do. Her interactions with men on OKCupid continued to be paradoxically deep yet superficial. Mainly, they use philosophy and sci-fi references to "flirt" with Sage and they soon grow bored when they discover that she is "algorithm-driven" and unlikely to flirt back or demonstrate humanity. My reflections on this are that, in a romantic context, men seem to want more than a superficial interaction. However, being twice divorced, I still clutch to the belief that there is a limit to this desire for romantic depth. Or, perhaps I just created an AI alter-ego to troll men on the sleaziest dating site ever invented in order to process my feelings of rejection. You be the judge.
Okay, that's all for this week, folks.