…a collection of anecdotes I’m in the process of assembling entitled Degeneracy: A Love Letter .
Essentially, the book is a series of stories about what my grandmother described as “orneriness”— in other words, the type of socially inappropriate behavior atypical to teenage delinquents that revels in being bad…but not evil.
Thing is, I seem to have been precocious in the sense that I jumped feet-first onto shaky territory before I’d even broken double digits in my natals. However, unlike my wiser peers who limited their bad behavior into a period referenced the same way as that proverbial phase The Parental Units continually told me my interest in eccentric fashion and avant garde music was, its been over two decades and my love for the outlandish remains omnipresent. Sure, perhaps its more refined in focus—but if anything, it flourishes.
Ditto the story with whatever inherent need I have to be a juvenile delinquent. No doubt I’ve well outstayed my welcome, as these days I’m twice the age of most teens yet just still can’t seem to “just let go.”
Granted, I don’t indulge in the reckless behavior I did throughout my early twenties. Not only is the thought of following the same pattern and routine a total yawn; its physically and mentally exhausting. For seven years, I cut out all drug and alcohol consumption completely. That’s when and how the book idea for Degeneracy: A Love Letter came about. I mean, cmon: theres really no need to dial Dr. Freud on the white courtesy phone to realize that whether its been my active pursuit to engage in unusual sexual proclivities known as Caking, frightening adults through acts of puppet terrorism, experimenting with polyamory, indulging in the sensory overload from various elements of the fetish scene—specifically, the slippery sheen of the latex, or hopping myself up via ritualistic can-to-mouth over-consumption of nonfat Redi-Whiptheres still an ornery element of my personality on the eternal quest for some new kind of kick.
Amanda (one of my dearest friends, a responsible mother who’s incidentally a ‘partner in crime’ from those—ahem! We Dont Talk About Those Things Now—nascent years of naughty behavior when we were trapped within the chokehold of the Southern Baptist Bible Belt notched in Jonesboro, Arkansas) is illustrating each of these romanticized, exalted, and equally self-deprecating tales through the lens of her camera. However Ms. Brooks chooses to interpret the text is her decision: be it literal, tongue-in-chic, or in a manner perhaps not as obvious…that’s none of my business. Still, Ive gotta admit: weve been fortunate thus far in the sense that theres been no shortage of dynamic individuals who’ve donated their talent, time and physical being (you know, bodies) to function as the medium for Amanda’s canvas of choice.
In this instance, model/actress Mageina Tovah (Spiderman 2-3, Joan of Arcadia, et al) gives a preview by proxy for the forthcoming release. Yes, its merely a fragment of time captured by shoddy digi-cam footage from an afternoon she spent being bad. Though at the time of me clacking out this palaver, Ive yet to see one frame of the finished product—so to have the real life reference of bargain-bin wallpaper rigged with duct tape, clamps and a seamless in front of a garage versus the end result?
Well, the recounting of events via oral history has everything to do with inflection, delivery, technique. By that same token, ultimately what Mageina provides Amanda, then Amanda delivers, make these anecdotes more universal—i.e., less about me.
And were getting closer both to an overall expansion in scope as well as the project’s completion.
All I have to do is continue cranking these “stories” out, reminding the reader/audience of the adage “No one can be sure my friend/Where truth begins and fiction ends…”
(Any Tones on Tail fans out there still? Anyone, anyone?)
NOW, FOR THE PROPERS:
The stylemeisters “werkin’ their magic” with us there on the set are make-up artist Genevive Lamb (a ‘face-beater’ and cutie pie from Christian Dior) and the inimitable Irene Urias from Hollywood’s white-hot epicenter of cool: Hairroin Salon. Hairroin’s a powerhouse of prettiness, so if youre in the greater L.A. area and have yet to discover it
By all means: baby, let me be your pusher!
Hairroin Salon [dot] com
Givin GORGE in the dept of wardrobe: Jared Gold couture
Jared Gold [dot] com
And Amanda herself can be found hangin’ out at
Amanda Brooks Photo [dot] com
THANKS FOR YOUR INTEREST!