Sunday, December 02, 2007

No Apologies

I have left this blog unattended for too long. Several of the comments that have been left within the last month deserve a response. I’d like to begin by responding to the comment below about Jenny Lens. I understand the reason for this comment, and yet I love a woman who can sing her own praises. I wholeheartedly support the practice. It doesn’t mean that I think that Jenny Lens single-handedly created the L.A. punk scene. The L.A. punk scene was made up of a bunch of highly creative, intelligent people. Many of us had been misfits in school and not just because we liked a different kind of music, but because many of us had social I.Q.s that were sub-par. Committing the social faux pas of announcing to the world that we’re happy with ourselves is a hallmark of that type of behavior, but is it really a bad thing? Most of us probably think we’re pretty cool, but are aware that spending too much time talking about our own achievements will create the impression that we’re self centered or conceited. I think it’s refreshing that Jenny thinks she’s all that and is willing to say it. Women in general should do a little more of that. Men have been doing it for years. Take a look at any of the male dominated cable news shows and you’ll see for yourself.

As one of many punk rock artists involved in the early punk scene, I often meet people for whom my band or something I’ve said or done had deep personal meaning. Sometimes they tell me I’m the best and it makes me feel really good and sparkly when they do. I know that “the best” is a relative term. I know that because I connected with certain people in a different way than some of my fellow artists, I became significant to them but each artist, musician, photographer or journalist appeals to individuals for different reasons. Just ask around and you’ll hear people give you their analysis of who the best (fill in the blank) really is. I like me best, and I respect people who like themselves best. Shouldn’t everyone be working towards being their own hero? I mean, if you don’t like yourself best then you should probably start working on yourself until you do because it’s not what I think or what Jenny thinks, or what anyone else thinks that matters.

Another comment that made me think long and hard was from a woman defending her choice to wear the veil. It was not my intention to insult women who wear the veil and yet I find that what I’m saying may be interpreted as inherently insulting. I am saying that these women are being victimized by their religious beliefs and by the establishment that supports them. I could say that of many religions and in fact of any women who must function within a patriarchal establishment and play by its rules. There’s no nice way to say it. I think you’re being hoodwinked in the same way that Americans are made to feel unpatriotic if they disagree with the administration’s views. Religious leaders need to be questioned and their ideas need to be challenged now and then.

Although I cannot apologize for my position on the subject of the veil, you shouldn’t take my disagreeing with you as a personal insult. Being able to exchange ideas, to question your own beliefs, to respond and defend your views, all those things are necessary for spiritual growth. I know that religious belief is not something that most people debate intellectually. The religious experience is personal and unique to each individual. My intention is not to attempt to invalidate anyone’s beliefs, simply to voice my own. For me, it would be impossible to participate in any religion that does not put women on equal footing with men. If Jesus himself, or Mohammed, or Buddha, spoke to me personally and said that women are inferior to men, I would still reject that as false dogma because I know with every ounce of my being that this is not true. I do not practice blind faith. I like to examine my beliefs scrupulously, with my eyes wide open.

18 comments:

Jenny Lens said...

Alice, I was unaware about the comment about me. Thank your for your thoughtful and sensitive response!

I never ever said nor wrote I created the scene nor am the most important photographer. But people project what they want, and I say, more power to them! It only inspires me to keep doing what I'm doing!

The irony of all this is Alice knows I've struggled to find my voice, to have the confidence and courage to stand behind my work. I've been inspired by her writing that each of us, especially women, need to claim our place in the sun. We know if we don't take credit for our work, others will! Or our work will fade away. We need to develop the ability not to let comments such as that one about me (and my work) deflate us.

Alice and my friends (and those who've read what I've written over the years on my site) are only too aware that I have fled from my archive for many reasons, not the least due to nasty, jealous, neglectful treatment and comments like that.

Alice, more than anyone, helped me finally stand up on my own two feet and learn to deal with this.

I've spent the last week in 12-15 hour sessions, writing text for my book, "Punk Pioneers." I wrote a very large section on Alice, and ended with "I am blessed Alice is my very special friend." I don't know what my editor will need to cut due to lack of space. But everything that doesn't make the book will be blogged and in a future book. I have so many more book offers, but the future remains to be written.

Next, I would ask that person to carefully re-read everything I have ever written or said anywhere at any time.

What about my text about Gaby Berlin? Don't I make it clear I encouraged another fellow photographer to participate in the Masque book? What other photographer has ever encouraged me in any way? (Brad Elterman, but he's not a punk photographer.)

Did I not make it clear my joy that Gaby has MORE photos in the book than I and made MORE money than I? And MY JOY that she's happy about it too!!

Did I not write that WE ALL made the scene?

Back to my book: I included a comment from Bebe Buell, Liv Tyler's mother, and at the time, Elvis Costello's flame, the subject of "This Year's Model" and many other songs.

We were hanging out with Sham 69, Rodney, the Cramps, Michelle Meyers, and included a photo from Rodney on the ROQ, on September 9, 1979. I already photographed classic shots of Blondie, Patti, Ramones, Screamers, Germs and others that were published internationally.

However, I never realized I accomplished anything. I remember Bebe because she told me to realize who I was and stop putting myself down, stop thinking I was no one and to become a famous and successful photographer. It was too little, too late for me, but I never forgot her kindness.

I also included the comment from Debbie and Chris, who were so supportive when I met Blondie when they opened for Tom Petty, days before playing with the Ramones, Feb 77. They were so proud of me in April 77 when I had photos in "New York Rocker." 2.5 years later, Bebe told me the same thing.

My lack of self-esteem held me back. I learned the folly of that, and now have to deal with arrows slung my way.

A little while ago I would have been shaken by that comment from a person who doesn't even have the courage of his or her convictions and sign their name when slagging me (although I have a good idea who wrote that). Now I just laugh it off.

I worked damn hard years ago as well as now, and have dedicated my life to punk and my archive.

If that ruffles some feathers, it's not my problem! I don't see Edward Colver ("he didn't take all the photos, only the ones that mattered" or that he's the "seminal" LA punk photographer) or Gary Leonard backing down. Yet people are always telling me those two created the scene or were the earliest. The fact is I preceded each by about 1.5 years, not just getting into the scene, but being published too.

What about Mick Rock, "the man who shot the '70's." Do we EVER read anything about their mottos?

I'm "the girl with the camera eye" because PATTI SMITH said so, not I!

You can't win for losing, so I no longer try.

I was just lying in bed thinking about someone who always says I'm "delusional" about my participation in photographing punk. I clearly state that I have more photos published than anyone from LA who ONLY shot during 1976-1980.

Go to my resume page: http://jennylens.com/resume-books-docs and then pick up every book, mag, CD, record, album, see every documentary (if you can figure out which are my photos) listed there and start counting.

Then find every magazine, fanzine, record, book, etc from 1976-1995 (because they are not listed on my resume page), and find my pix, and keep counting.

Don't forget to include all those from 'Jenny Stern' and dozens without my name!

DON'T FORGET THE STOLEN PHOTOS, the bootlegs, the photos without my credit.

Recent example: "Punk 365": I have 24 shots. What other LA photographer has as many from ONLY that time frame? Abrams wanted over 40, but my publisher, Rizzoli, wanted none. I had to fight to keep in those 24.

I gave up my classic NY shots so I could include LA!!! Would LA have been so well represented in "Punk 365" without MY photos? NO, but if you don't believe me, go ask Abrams.

I never ever said I was the biggest. I never said I shot the whole scene forever. But as I started going through my archive, and people wrote me and reminded me where my photos were, I realized this astounding fact: that I was nationally and INTERNATIONALLY published more than any LA photographer from that era, from 1976 to present.

If I were surprised, then I can understand others who say I am lying or exaggerating. But look at what's out there and then come back and prove to me I'm wrong.

Beyond that, as our dear pal Mark Martinez told me when I began to resurrect my archive a few years ago, when a couple but vocal people started doubting me or writing really nasty, hurtful comments like what we just read, then I know I'm onto something.

I always give credit where credit is due. However, I know I can't expect the same from everyone. I don't care.

I only care about getting the photos and stories out there, whether or not they are mine.

Happy Holidays!

Jenny Lens said...

Alice,
Religion and women. Alice and I share many beliefs. A Jew and a Catholic? The ties that bind go back beyond just punk, but to creation itself.

Think of all the science, art, literature, politics, et al: all the great accomplishments in this world. Now subtract all those created by women. Or take away the women who inspired or enabled men to do what they did, made sure they were fed, housed, kept healthy and loved, paid the bills, etc. It would be a much sadder, darker world.

Would anyone's God want that?

There's a reason a person is Jewish because their mother, not their father, is Jewish. There's a reason Mary is such an important part of Christianity, especially for Catholics. We talk about Goddesses as if only onscreen, but the first religions were female based. We find clay fertility symbols and paintings of voluptuous, fleshy women in caves. Why? Because women did something miraculous: we have the ability to give birth. We can reproduce.

So any religion which makes women less than men developed later, due to jealous power plays, egos and whatever. Those religions are so strict because those at the top know it contradicts people's natures and works against true harmony.

So they preach repetitive dogma to keep people in line, while denying their followers so much solace and spiritual guidance to empower them as both physical and spiritual beings.

We can't get along without each other, yet it's hard enough to get along, so why not embrace each other?

Hanukkah was the first war over religious freedom, and a little scrappy group of Jews won! December 4 – December 12, 2007 (different each year).

The Syrian king decreed the Jews must worship the Greek gods, and not ours. Jews gathered in the Temple, but only had enough olive oil for the lamps to last one night. If darkness descended, they could not defend themselves.

Miracle of miracles, the oil lasted 8 days, enough time to win the war.

We light candles on the menorah, a special candelabra for 9 candles. We always light the same one first, from which we light the others, so 2 candles on the first night, and 9 for the last. We eat food fried in oil, like potato pancakes or latkes.

Festival of Lights, Feast of Lights: that's what Hanukkah means.

It's not the Jewish Christmas because it happened 2300 years ago!

But we all can celebrate it. Who doesn't cherish the right to believe what we want?!

My mother recently told me that when people ask what her daughter believes, she has a hard time explaining. It's because both my mother and I are very liberal, socially progressive women who believe that Judaism has some valuable moral teachings, but the practice of its beliefs often contradict the underlying beauty of it, with too much Jewish guilt and trappings of money and status.

My mother taught me there is no heaven nor hell except what we make of life here, right now. We also believe "we are spiritual beings having a physical experience."

I say being a Jew is "to do under others and they would have you do onto them" and "turn the other cheek." Wait, isn't that what Jesus said? Well, Jesus was a Jew and taught what he learned as Jew. Ok, so now some of you will argue with me, but hey, that's my belief. You believe what you want, and I will believe that.

I often write about my struggle because I cannot find a Temple that resonates with me, as an impoverished Jew. I espouse and live a very spiritual and moral life, but find no solace amongst those who share my beliefs. Except if I'm willing to drive to Workmen's Circle, a gathering of the most liberal, progressive, humanistic Jews you'll ever find. They helped institute the 8 hour work day, child labor laws and civil rights movement in the 1960's and more. But my car needs work, so if I can't walk there, I don't go. Plus I hate driving across town.

I'm in the west side, full of Jews, yet can't find anywhere to go for the holidays. But that's ok, I live my beliefs.

Yesterday my American-Asian Indian room-mate who grew up in a small town in Kentucky and later upstate NY and Edison, NY, asked me if I were Jewish. That struck me strangely cos we have discussed that many times.

He thinks of Jews as those diamond carrying guys with the curly hair and hats. I told him I think of those kinds of Jews as old world foreigners, a cult, closer to Amish than Jews. He just can't picture me as a Jew.

As a child, I grew up in a small community and experience anti-Semitism. Everyone knew me as Jewish, even though I come from a very liberal Jewish family.

Those who know the story behind my name knows it came from someone who loved to be outrageous. She loved to give us a hard time, especially if our religion, ethnicity or skin color was different than hers. She's now a life coach! How funny is that? People change!

Let's celebrate the women who change for the better! That's a holiday we all can share!

theo said...

jenny lens kicks ass!

LouisJacinto said...

Hi Alice,

Your soul knows that there are 3 lies left which holds our humanity back from God - That men are superior to women; That whites are superior to everyone else; That it is wrong to fall in love with someone of your same gender.

Only a true artist like Alice Bag can have a soul that knows the truth.

godoggo said...

I thought it would be useful to google "Reza Aslan" and "veil" for a few quick quotes.

Here you go: " Although long seen as the most distinctive emblem of Islam, the veil is, surprisingly, not enjoined upon Muslim women anywhere in the Quran. The tradition of veiling and seclusion (known together as hijab) was introduced into Arabia long before Muhammad, primarily through Arab contacts with Syria and Iran, where the hijab was a sign of social status. After all, only a woman who need not work in the fields could afford to remain secluded and veiled."

" It is difficult to say with certainty when the veil was adopted by the rest of the Ummah, though it was most likely long after Muhammad's death. Muslim women probably began wearing the veil as a way to emulate the Prophet's wives, who were revered as "the Mothers of the Ummah". But the veil was neither compulsory, nor for that matter, widely adopted until generations after Muhammad's death, when a large body of male scriptural and legal scholars began using their religious and political authority to regain the dominance they had lost in society as a result of the Prophet's egalitarian reforms."

The veil is seen as a symbol of Islam but like all symbols, it's meaningless unless interpreted. The veil is as much a symbol of oppression of women as it is an expression of Muslim femininity. The strangeness of this is that if you go to a country where the veil is either mandatory or there is a lot of pressure to wear it, you'll find the vast majority of women are against it. But, if you go to a country like Turkey where the veil is outlawed in much of the public realm — in the latest polls, 70 percent of the Muslim women want to remove that law."

Just some food for thought.

Anonymous said...

thanks for your new blog.
your voice is an important voice and you are very good at speaking your mind and you share that with others.
Thank God for Alice Bag!

godoggo said...

BTW, there's a difference between examining your own beliefs and judging those of others. I don't know much about Muslim beliefs, but I suspect that they're more diverse than you think. If you were to start mouthing off about Judiasm that was (not that I actually believe in it, but still), I would respectfully tell you to go fuck youself.

godoggo said...

I also want to clarify that first sentence, because I think it may sound like I'm arguing for PC (I actually am happy to argue for PC in most cases, but that wasn't my intention). The point is that it's easy to examine your own beliefs with your "eyes wide open," because you presumably are clear what they are. If you make statements about Islam based on the over-generalized, cartoonish idea of it that most Americans hold, you come off sounding like one of the letter-writers to "Ask a Mexican."

Jenny Lens said...

Wow, so now only Jews can write or discuss Judaism or else someone will tell that person to "fuck yourself"? Going further, which Jews are now allowed to discuss the subject: the orthodox who segregate women in Temple? The Conservatives or the Reform Jews or those who go to Workmen's Circle (the radical ones, the social activists). Which ones amongst those are now entitled to discuss Judaism?

As a Jew, I embrace all feedback. I disagree and differ from a great many Jews. I always learn from Alice when she responds to something differently or similarly than I.

Why would I eagerly read her comments? Because Alice is thoughtful: not the just emotionally thoughtful, but a deep thinker. I know she only expresses herself after insightful, sensitive considerate contemplation and study.

Perhaps she has dealt with her own feelings being raised Catholic or how to raise her family so her daughters can deal with so many religious issues. I bet some of that resonates with my being Jewish yet not feeling accepted amongst Jews.

Has Alice thought about the fact so many early punks were Jews, yet we got along with Catholics and Christians just fine? IF she thinks anything about Jews, I'm open to reading it!

As she wrote, it doesn't matter what she or I believe, it's what we each believe and how we feel about ourselves. I think the more confident we are about our beliefs, the more freedom we give others. But I know I am in a minority about that, or we wouldn't be fighting in Iraq right now.

2300 years ago today a battle was fought over religious freedom and the right to live one's life according to one's beliefs. That means the freedom to discuss those beliefs in ways that open dialogue without fear of reprisals, rejections or a "fuck yourself."

You don't have to be any one religion to celebrate this holiday. It's about miracles and the reaffirmation of the power of defending what you believe. But at the same time, we allow others to ponder those beliefs, give us insight and feedback we might not see with "eyes wide open" on either side.

That holiday is known at the Festival or Feast of Lights: Hanukkah.

It's a Jewish holiday. So I say as a Jew: share your thoughts, express your questions, doubts and issues. We all can learn and maybe some of us find peace and more in common than we might think!

May lightness and light envelope all of us on our quest for enlightenment and peace amongst all of us.

Suze said...

If you go back and read the comment and the original post that Alice wrote, "Alice's Book Report" you will see that Alice is not attacking or judging anyone's religious beliefs. She was simply pointing out that females in the West are being insidiously controlled by constant focus on our outward appearances in much the same way that certain Islamic societies enforce the wearing of the veil as a way to control women. In fact, the inspiration for Alice's post came from an Islamic female's book, Persepolis, which I also highly recommend. The point is that all this worrying about offending God or some religious authority is just a ploy to keep us from focusing on more mundane (and threatening to the male establishment) issues.

Good topic, Alice! You got alot of people thinking, including me!

Anonymous said...

that's my girl, Alice you always get people talking...IF only our world leaders could do this, there would be NO WAR anywhere.

Thanks Alice!

Anonymous said...

The issue of hijab (covering in Arabic) is a complex one because it has been seized upon by Westerners as a symbol of oppression and specifically, oppression of females by Islamic societies, however, the historic and religious observance of hijab is so tightly woven into Islamic/Arabic aociety that any attack upon the practice can easily be viewed as a form of cultural imperialism. In fact, that is one of the complaints lodged against books like "Reading Lolita In Tehran" and "Persepolis" - that these books take a Westernized "feminist" view of what is essentially a non-Western indigenous custom. We are attempting to impose our external views on a people who don't want them imposed, or, as G.W. Bush would say, we are "bringing freedom to the Middle East."

BTW, excellent topic for discussion, Ms. Bag. Good for you!

Anonymous said...

ALICE
FOR PRESIDENT
JENNY LENS
for vice president.

everybody calm down
in with hate out with love

(the little one)

Alice Bag said...

"Dogma demands authority, rather than intelligent thought, as the source of opinion; it requires persecution of heretics and hostility to unbelievers; it asks of its disciples that they should inhibit natural kindness in favor of systematic hatred.-- Bertrand Russell, quoted from Laird Wilcox, ed., "The Degeneration of Belief."

connieclarksville said...

hey jenny and alice connie clarksville here blast from the past if it wasnt for my punk daughter i wouldnt have seen the pic and book and look back at my fun times at the canterbury apts and the masque im proud that i was part of the punk scene back in the 70s thanks for keeping it alive!! im still a rebel i ride a harley around nevada and am currentlly involved with a motorcycle club, i would love to play catch up email me at bikerlady21222yahoo, Love ya always, connie ps I dont do hair anymore bummer huh!

Jenny Lens said...

Hey Connie, how about joining so many of us in Alice's Women in LA Punk interviews? Oops, I'm sure Alice is asking you, so please do it!

When your daughter Heather wrote me last night, I told her about the "Live at the Masque" book. I had a great shot of you and Rock Bottom that I hoped they would use, but they only used less than half they initially acquired (33 or so were used).

But that's to be expected! If they could have made the book another 100 pages, they would have, but who could afford a $60 or more book? I had to make sacrifices and too many compromises in my book too. That's life!

I also have a color shot of you and John Denney at the Slash mag second benefit, but it's a tad washed out (my camera was whacked that whole night).

Alice, if you want to use any for Connie's interview, just ask! Gimme the specs and I'll email them. Even if you decide not to use them, it's OK.

I AM NOT BRAGGING about my pix, so I don't want to get slagged, OK? Just stating facts.

Anyway, I told Heather that her mother, you Connie, must have a ton of stories that we all want to hear!

I shared some other stories, but the main point was there was a small group of people we all loved. And Connie is one of them!

Welcome back into our lives! Will write more info, but privately later. Love from me to you and yours!!

Jenny Lens said...

I often feel badly for writing very personal things on Alice's site. But because my name was specifically mentioned here, I want to comment about it again, because it's all good.

When given a lemon, make lemonade.

(Although I don't think lemons are bad. I start my day by juicing one, with organic red pepper and warm water. Great way to get the body going in the morning!)

I want to give thanks to the "kind" folks who were slagging me, here and elsewhere. The past few months I've prayed to God, the Universe, the Cosmic Consciousness, whatever life spirits are out there to help guide and direct me in which way/path to focus in my life besides resurrecting my punk archive.

I'm back into my raw foods, volunteering at my local food Co-Op, and looking into some online ventures promoting my love of holistic living, which pre-dates punk. I plan on becoming very active in the international raw foods community, which constantly inspires me, are never negative, but lead me to growth, learning and healing.

I walk, recycle and try to do my part for the environment and consume/buy very little. I rarely drive my car, cos it needs work, but that also has to do with someone embezzling earnings from my photos. The only upside is I stay close to home and walk more.

I wonder if my struggles with my photos are yet another message that it's time to diversify.

I'm starting to write How-Tos for a new online company. I created tons of handouts and taught most every consumer computer program throughout the 90's. It's good to use my hard-earned skills again and continue to teach and help people. And get paid for my work! No spec work! What a concept!

I'll still work on my photos because I've got to follow up on tons of leads for promo and exhibits cos my book, "Punk Pioneers," will be out in April.

There's so much interest in my work. I should be on top of the world. But something died inside of me the past few years, especially last year. Especially the comments written about me, pro and con. Just the fact it was even discussed, not only here, but amongst some from the LA punk community.

My reaction is that if you are out in front, be prepared to dodge bullets. But does life have to be that way?

Between struggling so with my archive, being ripped off too often and slagged for trying so hard, I remembered that God (or whatever we want to call the Life force that gives us the sun and moon and stars, these bodies, this beautiful world and so many good people), did not put me on this earth to be surrounded by so much negativity, when I have so much to give.

I am blessed with so much, but it does little good around people whose idea of a good time is slagging others. Unfortunately, the entertainment business is one of the nastiest businesses around: little money and gotta have a thick skin.

Something else was born or re-born, apart from punk. I became closer to the child I once was, closer to the earth and sky, and artists. I've looked long and hard at the art world since I was a kid, cos I am immensely talented.

I was always too shy to ever actually say or write that, but I've been told it from the moment I held a crayon. The list of my art exhibits prior to punk is long, but now is not the time nor place to resurrect that part of my past.

I go to art openings and am treated like royalty, even if people don't know my name, my photos, anything. I am back home, warm and comfortable, where I don't have to prove a thing. And when they find out about my photos, ohmygawd! Such joy! I love seeing their faces light up.

That's what it's about. Our art inspires each other, and no jealousy. Just warm acceptance of our energy, commitment, and passions.

So I want to thank all of you who are giving me a hard time (and I know who some of you are, but don't worry. My lips are sealed). You have confirmed my gut feelings why I left punk in 1980.

I have many talents and skills, and I've only ever wanted to leave this world a better place than I've found it.

The amazing thing is that once I started to re-focus on all this, my life changed. I met a nice guy, nothing serious, but fun. We met at an art opening and wonder of wonders, he loves silent films, as do I.

Although our lives are busy, and I have no idea if this will last, nor how long, I had more fun with him and felt more like me, than I ever have with any man. And God knows I've been with a lot of men. Oy!

Jerry Herman wrote in "Hello Dolly": "it only takes a moment to be loved a whole life long." That doesn't mean he has to love me; it means I am loving my life, my moments.

Sondheim wrote in "Moments in the Woods," from "Into the Woods" :

"Just a moment,
One peculiar passing moment...
Must it all be either less or more,
Either plain or grand?
Is it always "or"?
Is it never "and"?
That's what woods are for:
For those moments in the woods...

Oh. if life were made of moments,
Even now and then a bad one-!
But if life were only moments,
Then you'd never know you had one."

He's an early film buff! I haven't had time nor money to see old films in LA and that's the worst part of not being able to drive more than a couple of miles at a time and scrambling for money after I finally started to make money. And that money was supposed to finance shows and online ventures, so what I lost is incalculable. Losing months worth of earnings is a hard lesson.

I love everyone who was ever part of punk, then or now. And like any family, punk is full of varied individuals who don't all get along (so what else is new?). So thanks for only confirming my heart's desire, to diversify, to move on in some ways.

The hard part is balancing my quest for health, making art and keeping a roof over my head. I have no fears; just learning to focus on less at once, and follow-up better.

I can't take care of my photos if I don't take care of myself and figure out a better flow of income without the constant stress. Of course I'll still sell my photos, but I've never been good about promoting my online photo stores. Maybe after the book is out and other things are more concrete.

The only tragedy is my archive. Maybe I'll never discover and share hidden treasures that stun and delight, drawers of negs and slides, filled with unseen memories of a grand time.

Maybe I'll never create the many pieces of art swirling inside my head, based on my photos and more. Few have ever seen any of my art beyond my photos. If you only knew what I gave up to take photos . . . and what I'm still capable of making.

What the heck, I rather have my peace of mind and health. I'll go with the flow.

But there's a higher spiritual calling besides name calling about one's art and endeavors. I'm on a healing mission, and my punk archive is part of it, but not all of it.

I pray to God I make enough money to make the art, get the photos out there, but I won't sacrifice my health or finances or other joyous activities anymore.

Final note, as a 5 year old, I debated between being a biochemist and an artist. I was equally talented in both areas. But my high school biology 2 teacher was sexist, and as more of my artistic talents emerged, with constant admiration from others, I went for the art.

But I have never given up my love of science and technology, which is as strong as my art, but they are merely two sides of the same coin. Who knows where this will go? But for now, I'm in a better place than I have been in over a year.

And all those negative comments, here and other places, have helped guide me. Of course I receive many many many wonderful comments from people about my photos, but who knows . . .

As Sondheim (if you have not seen "Sweeney Todd," DO IT NOW!! OMG. I love that film. What a GREAT adaptation!!!) Sondheim is my fave since 1970 or so, pre-punk, my fave songwriter, more than the Ramones, more than X, more than anyone, except almost Cole Porter, no Sondheim's "Into the Woods" is my fave.

"Something's Coming," from "West Side Story":

"Could be!
Who knows?
There's something due any day;
I will know right away,
Soon as it shows.
It may come cannonballing down through the sky,
Gleam in its eye,
Bright as a rose!

Who knows?
It's only just out of reach,
Down the block, on a beach,
Under a tree.
I got a feeling there's a miracle due,
Gonna come true,
Coming to me!

Could it be? Yes, it could.
Something's coming, something good,
If I can wait!
Something's coming, I don't know what it is,
But it is
Gonna be great!

With a click, with a shock,
Phone'll jingle, door'll knock,
Open the latch!
Something's coming, don't know when, but it's soon;
Catch the moon,
One-handed catch!

Around the corner,
Or whistling down the river,
Come on, deliver
To me!
Will it be? Yes, it will.
Maybe just by holding still,
It'll be there!

Come on, something, come on in, don't be shy,
Meet a guy,
Pull up a chair!
The air is humming,
And something great is coming!
Who knows?
It's only just out of reach,
Down the block, on a beach,
Maybe tonight . . ."

From this nice (moderately) Jewish, always metaphysical, raw foods, hippie mother earth punk, recycling, Green party member, still rebellious, doing it her way, gal to all of you:

Bless you all and take care!!

My apologies to Alice, but I wanted to spread my wings and hopefully inspire your readers who may be struggling in their lives. I'm sure some of my issues cut across countries, cultures, generations and interests.

Good does come out of bad, but nothing is 100% good nor bad, so the outcome is often up to us. There's always a light at the end of the tunnel, IF we have the confidence, the faith in ourselves and each other and life itself, and desire to not only survive, but thrive.

And isn't that part of being punk?

Alice Bag said...

Connie,

I tried emailing you at the yahoo address but it bounced back, please email me at alice@alicebag.com so I can get in touch with you.

XO,
Alice