Simon LeBon’s Astonishing DNA Test

My daughter, Saffron, gave me a genetics kit for my birthday this year, and I know it’s a bit cheesy but in the tradition of middle aged dads everywhere, I’ve been working up the old family tree. 

 I’m pleased to have found a great many writers and poets in my bloodline!

The First LeBon

  The first LeBon arrived in London in the big Huguenot emigration of the 1590’s, and published the Elizabethan period poem below:

Thou has se’en me– stood’st at the corner of thy street

And O!  A fire makes for flashes on thy stone sill

To be solitary pleases you not

So thou wouldst seek out pleasure

And sooth- thou would knows’t wherefore and whyfore 

Nay, pray not for me today

Prithee, pray for me on the morrow–  Francois LeBon

American LeBon

Next, I found an American whose family settled in Louisiana.  We have a great-great grandfather in common.  He loved the SF beat poetry scene so much he moved out there in 1953. 

Antoine LeBon wrote the following,  published in a zine called Street Poems in 1957:

I finally bugged out yesterday

Couldn’t peep my hillside pad

Maybe I’ll head there in a year

Maybe I won’t

I can feel you diggin’ on me, cat, day and night

I’m hep to it, the art and incantations

I dig it, it’s a gas

There’s a dream, a fantasy maybe

Stringing down this road we call our home

There’s shards of glass everywhere

It cuts me, cuts me deep, and finally I say 

Hey man, hip me to it

What do I gotta know? 

Japanese LeBon

Perhaps strangest of all is a British girl whose family moved to Japan in the 30’s, and who wrote pretty little haiku like this one, this is Belleanne LeBon from her school poetry journal:

Cherry blossom lips

Smear in a line as she falls

Into blue water

Amazing stuff.  I showed it to Yasmin and said, look, babe, we’ve always been poets and she said, love, you’re not a poet, you’re just a clotheshorse who got lucky.

Well, I’ll add more if I find more!

‘Til then- Simon

Fall Fashion Preview: It’s Plaid Again, Morons!

Photo by Godisable Jacob from Pexels

A Letter From The Editor of Vogue Magazine

Welcome to our big Fall Fashion issue! It’s HUGE and HEAVY and GLOSSY and you could really knock someone around with it. 

We’ve got food, diet, and skin trends, but let’s face it, you’re all here for the same thing- the FALL FASHION PREVIEW! It is LEGEND. It is the Christmas Mass of fashion magazines- everyone shows up once a year!

The Wind-Up

After this editor’s letter we’ve got the table of contents, a list of the celebrity photographers who aren’t cancelled yet, a Gucci ad, another Gucci ad, and BOOM here it is, it’s been gossiped about and worried over for six months: what’s the hot trend for fall? 

The Pitch

It’s plaid again, ya dumbshits! It will always be plaid! It’s back to school, so every woman alive is dressing like she’s showing up to Saint Lucy Of The Bleeding Eyes. 

It’s because men keep this fantasy of women with knee socks and short plaid skirts long after their own kids graduate college.

I mean, if you want to know- that’s not really why. 

It’s because in 1945, the UK wool industry, drunk on military production, had overruns they could not handle. They convinced Vogue Magazine to promote wool plaid for Fall 1946. Business being what it is, we HAVE to do wool plaid as a fashion trend EVERY FALL or the ENTIRE INDUSTRY WILL COLLAPSE. We have all signed a binding document, witnessed by Harry S. Truman and Winston Churchill, tying us to this unending, infernal cycle.

That’s a secret, which you’re not supposed to know. But after all these years, I know that NO-ONE has ever read this far down the letter from the editor.

The Home Run

Fall is also when everyone’s Goth, because New York starts getting dark and that’s where the fashion editors live- so there’s gonna be a shiny dominatrix boot and a smoky eye as well. Leather skirts. Spikes on handbags, the least scary place to put spikes. Spank me, Daddy! I work in marketing!

Next is the makeup section, where some poor fuck photo stylist has sliced up a tube of Gucci lip lacquer with a length of dental floss and stacked it up in an uneven, wabi-sabi tower of tiny red grease slabs and drizzled the whole thing over with a clear gel, because there is nothing interesting about makeup.

The Victory Lap

But don’t forget about plaid! We’re doing plaid! Did you know it has different names? It’s Stewart Tartan, Black Watch, or Burberry. You’ll get it in skirts and on bags and blouses and jackets. It’s on ties, headbands and shit, let’s do panties too! Now get out there and get mad for plaid!

Life is long, children. Life is long.

Signed, Anna Wintour

How To Make A PERFECT Guillermo Del Toro Film!

guillermo del toro horror goth funny

Let’s ?Make A ? Guillermo Del Toro Film!

What will we need?

Smoke wafting through air

Blood wafting through water

Blood wafting through air (ghost blood)

Insects

Ron Perlman

Cisterns

Specialized Metal Containers

Tools with Extensive Wear and Aging

A Fish Guy Who Loves Eggs

Mechanical toys

Intricate Clockwork

Catholic stuff

Gold/Amber colors

Stilts! stilts! stilts!

Robots Made of Clockwork Steampunk Shit

Children/Orphans/Dead Parents

Spanish Civil War

Vampires that are close to being vampires but are not really vampires, like slant rhyme vampires

Hand and Face wounds

Ghosts oh god so many beautiful ghosts

Doug Jones in a rubber suit

Eyes in places they should not be

A Jarred fetus, other mutter museum stuff

A character who was born different, with special abilities, but who would trade it all to be “normal”

Elaborate carved stone labyrinths, waiting for circuits to be connected with blood

The Getty Challenge: Portrait Of Madame X

virginia jones as John Singer Sargent's Portrait of Madame X

At the start of the Covid-19 lockdown, the Getty museum’s twitter account challenged people to recreate works of art at home, with things they had. I did John Singer Sargent’s Portrait of Madame X.

Someone commented that I referenced the original strapless version, which was so sexy that the artist had to add straps. It wasn’t a reference so much as my gown is made of a swimsuit and a bedsheet.

Trivia fact: The original model and I are both named Virginia.

Lady Bloodmeadow Kills It On Tinder

Lady Bloodmeadow joins Tinder. If you want a goth girlfriend, please watch her video. She really only has one requirement for partners. If you’d like to see more of Bloodmeadow, check out her Youtube playlist here.

What’s Good In The Good Place?

Q: What’s Good?

Well, hey, to determine what’s good, we first have to define it, right?

Moral Good

Good can mean morally good: that is, what a society decides is moral. Right now, in this moment – on a Tuesday in March- it is good to sit inside by yourself. It is bad to go outside in large groups.  Usually, the opposite is true. It’s good to help others and bad to hoard toilet paper.  

 We think that being a good person is to be of service to others. To do what is moral, which we pretend is a constant and not something we made up.

500 years ago, it was good to follow church doctrine and bad to question it, as Martin Luther found out.  It was also good to give virgin brides away to strange monarchs, but which someone would probably ask about today. 

 1000 years ago, it was good to burn heretics at the stake, and it was good to be strong.  The whole world was amassing armies and conquering land. China invented paper printed money, which is what power is based on now.  

Looking Good

  A second meaning of good is the aesthetic meaning. This can either mean something that you personally enjoy, or something of superior quality.  The first meaning is subjective. The second is a societal construct, but we confuse them with each other, and with the moral meaning of good.  

  To say that something is aesthetically good is to say that based on my background, life experiences, and context, I value it.  My peers, who might have similar background and life experiences, may also value it, which makes me value it more.  

The Last Man On Earth and The Good Place

  In The Last Man On Earth and in the Good Place, characters value objects that nobody else appreciates. Phil’s hoard of art in his mansion, or Eleanor’s excitement over a bedpan from a wrestling match: they have to explain to the people around them what makes these things good. That means they’re not.

  The second meaning of aesthetically good is that something is well-made, as in: is the new Avengers movie any good?  Well, does it have a bunch of characters in shiny outfits and a scary CGI monster? Is Robert Downey Jr. snarky in it? Does Thor not understand something about Earth despite and we all laugh at him, even though he’s handsome?  Do the Avengers get mad at each other but then they fight the CGI monster and they’re friends in the end? Is there a rock song in it that was expensive to get, but which is played a little too loudly during a very exciting scene? Well, then, that’s what we expect, and it’s good.  

 When you say an Avengers movie is bad- what were your expectations? Did you hope that a character would arrive at a universal truth about human suffering, and that the actor portraying that character would get an important award?  That’s not the yardstick we measure Avengers movies by.

 In performance, to be good is to conform to the current fashion. A hundred years ago, a good singer would sing in a high, reedy voice, and now we like a wide tone and someone who does a lot of vocal switches, which we used to call yodeling. 

Good acting in Shakespeare’s time was planting your feet at shoulder width and yelling your lines as loudly as you could.  

  Sometimes we get confused about the two meanings of “good” in art. This is idea that because you did not personally enjoy something, it’s not good- but in the surfer relativism of The Big Lebowski, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.   Your thoughts on a thing does not really affect its value. If people ever really understand that, Twitter will wither and die.

What’s Good In Fine Art?

 Most art needs context of some sort to be judged- Jackson Pollock paintings are considered good because they were the first really well-known abstract paintings, and because he died only a few years after his best work was made. The value of the paintings his widow was selling to MOMA shot up because, as she pointed out,  there wouldn’t be any more, and that sale created the market for modern art in America, and his peers got rich.

If we showed the paintings to an alien or a Maori tribesman, they probably would not consider them good, because they don’t look like anything in particular, but sort of look like lots of things, and why are you putting colors on a fabric square anyway?

     The last episode of the Good Place finds every character trying to achieve their definition of good: Tahani believes that being able to do everything beautifully is good.  Chidi thinks understanding everything is good. Eleanor determines that being good is helping others. 
Jason achieves his definition of good the earliest, as he gets the perfect score in Madden, but reaches yet another level of perfection years later, through achieving inner peace and oneness with nature.

What’s Good?

  I’m a middle-class white woman raised in the South with religion and MTV, so things I think are good are:

The musty smell of clothing in vintage shops, and the smell of old bookshops.

The moment in a song where the drums syncopate with the guitar, and it sounds like a little machine.

Black clothing and shiny things, because my visual aesthetic was made by 80’s postpunk music videos.

Cookies n’ cream milkshakes.

Petting a dog who has just dried off from a bath and he’s very soft, that’s good. He’s still unhappy that he got the bath, but being petted afterwards makes it worth the bath, sort of.  

 They’re not universal, except maybe the dog one, but to me, they’re good.