Paul Thek: Meat Pieces (by WhitneyFocus)
"I felt strangely relieved and free."
Before I saw this video, the word that came to mind when I saw Paul Thek’s “Meat Pieces” was COMFORTING, which is weird, because… how horrifying. But it is comforting for me to see severed flesh out of the context of a body. I’m so afraid of flesh but I mean, I live inside of it. I want someone to just show it to me, rotting; the worst it will ever be.
Then when I saw the video, I thought, oh yea, duh: sex. I’ve felt disgusted by my body even when it’s looked beautiful, when it’s not rotting but smelling beautiful, and being attractive, whole.
From this novel I’m reading slowly.
" ‘I don’t know if it’s revoluntionary not to work,’ she had told me, ‘but it’s better. When you sell your body you are what you do. You’re yourself and you get paid for it,’ or so she had thought at the time, still semi-brainwashed by the ideas of her husband’s group. He and his friends said hookers and children were the only people in the world who logically should be idle. Children because they were busy being children, and hookers because the labor happened on the surface of their body. The labor was their body. A man who does what he is is useless, her husband said. Despicable. Though he’d hoped to become despicable, and to survive doing nothing. Nadine had told me it wasn’t a bad time in her life. She loved walking on Hollywood Boulevard, where a banner said, ‘Wake up in the Hollywood Hills.’ An ad for condominiums. And she’d looked up at it and thought, yeah that’s right—that’s what I do! But waking up in the Hollywood Hills sounded better than it was, she said. She had almost died. ‘I was slapped,’ she said. ‘Punched. Shaken. Hung from a balcony over the 101 freeway, and yet look.’ She’d leaned toward me, revealing nothing more, just plain beauty, magnified. ‘I am still…so…pretty. Let’s not pretend. I don’t have to fake modesty. I have other problems. I am still pretty, never mind that I was burned with cigars. Raped. I snorted Drano by accident. But the really messed-up thing is that I am still. So. Pretty. After all that? How is it possible?’ “
-The Flamethrowers, Rachel Kushner