This side of fairy tales, another archetype I let haunt me is Kathy Acker’s dead writer doll from her short in the first Postmodern Culture. In it, Capitol is a woman artist who “makes, damages, transforms, smashes dolls.” The writer doll, writes Acker, “ISN’T VERY LARGE AND IS ALL HAIR, HORSE MANE HAIR, RAT FUR, DIRTY HUMAN HAIR, PUSSY.” (This sentence and its caps always make me giggle.) In the paragraph before this Acker talks about humility, defined as a political reality in any society based on class. (Etymologically, it’s earth: humus. On the ground. Vulnerable stomach, or vulnerable neck.) “Humiliation is one method by which political power is transformed into social or personal relationships.” As always, reading Acker, I feel a magnetic truth first and second, I wonder whether she’s actually saying what I’m telling myself I hear.
"When I was growing up in the small-town south, I didn't witness a lot of unusual women. I imagine it wasn't easy to live outside the lines there, and the women who did still stand out to me: the charming animal hoarder, the single dance instructor. I've always been drawn to passionate people, particularly women who were so single-minded in their pursuit of something that they were willing to sacrifice material wealth or traditional family structures to follow their interests. To cultivate an obsession is to know yourself -- what lights your brain up. It moves away from the generic toward the highly specific, and I admire that."