we say ‘abstract random’ in so far as the words we are called by is a real blessing because this appellation gives us enough leeway to do whatever we please (project videos, paint faces, put on costumes, blow you away)
now last night we tried out a new stage trick slight of hand : pre show dialogue on the N-word. this was merely, as brescia called it, an example of immediacy as the individual who occupied the stage space prior to us used it and the F-word heavily, loudly, emphatically at an event of resistance, unity (generally and specifically between folks of color) and mobilization towards queer positive spaces (generally and specifically in spaces occupied by folks of color).
i know this individual, work with this individual on projects for the aforementioned causes and respect much of their politics – and this was how i prefaced the fact that i had to address the word and its impact on me personally and inquire if its use shook anyone else.
the response was mixed but i couldn’t ‘be’ on stage until we collectively created space to pause.
after which we had a lovely performance, real heartfelt and thoughtful and ces n i enjoyed ourselves muchly. we began with prayer, really sent out thanks and offered up full appreciation – and rocked it – i made two mistakes and still felt great about it, as did ces, even though a couple buttons on the sampler did not sound… we began with ‘the prayer’ which helps us ground and focus on why abstract random is. ces pointed out observing a few abstract random experiences, when challenged or shaken abstract random throws down harder… given this observation, we could make real use of challenges at live performances; they helps us focus on our most basic intention and give pure abstract random LIVELOVEJOYness
ces says something to the effect of ‘we all have to be responsible for our immediate vicinity’ meaning if someone says r*t*rd, f*gg*t, ni**er or any some such business in your presence, those of us who hear are all responsible to say something; immediately if possible. now usually a good rule of thumb is to keep it on a one-on-one type exchange but the dynamics of stage switch-offs did not really allow me to do so last night (though i did approach the individual afterward). this idea is particularly when we are a part of the ‘work’ the ‘good work’ the ‘good community work’ towards oppression awareness in whatever form, we all have to be ready to make space to talk, to think – to pause.
mind you, a drunk white man scream the N-word and ‘dirty black pig’ while francesca, nick murray of LAL (see couple posts below) and i stood on roncesvailles here in TO, so i may have my back up on it. white or black or red or green, i don’t wanna hear anyone sayin it. to my ear, it sounds foul. on the off-chance a friend of color addresses me as such, i say simply, ‘i’m not that black friend who you can call ni**er, maybe you got other black friends and that’s cool, but i am not that black friend. please don’t’ effectively, i am ‘policing’ my personal space. don’t come round me wit that. please and thank you. it is my responsibility however to tell you so. and i will. try me – right before the next show if possible.