Painting the Daisies Purple
When I moved from Dubai to London, I had brought no belongings with me and I had said no goodbyes.
I stayed at a friend of my mother’s, a council flat in Acton. I must have been aged about six years old, perhaps five. I spent days playing with the little ceramic mice in her home or watching television – Friends videos and early morning cartoons were the only media that could hold my attention. I imagine that, and my brother, was what kept me laughing through terrible times. Kept me performing that life was okay.
One time I was playing with these mice while Lady Diana’s faux funeral (trust me) aired on television. The night before I’d had a painful episode trying to use the loo, and I’d heard my mother speaking to her friend about it in Spanish; thinking I couldn’t understand to some extent the jist of what she was saying. She joked that the admittedly huge shit I’d taken was elephant-y in size. She undermined perhaps for the sake of social sensibility that everytime I took a shit, it wasn’t just taking a shit – it was a source of fear, it was humiliating, I was overwhelmed with my own fear of humiliation and unimaginable physical pain also. On the plus side, I’m a grown up it’s sure as hell difficult to humiliate and it’s a sort of autoattack I inflict on others effortlessly. Sometimes without meaning to.
I didn’t want to watch the funeral. I was in pain. And I certainly hadn’t been taught that there were products that could alleviate the pain, nor had I learned to communicate that being in pain wasn’t a form of weakness. I’d always been laughed at for talking about using the loo, siblings aged +7 years older than you and “parents” who’re stuck in the worst phases of their childhoods are pure hell for toddlers because they expect the toddler to skip the familial getting-to-know-you phases that they went through with one another and that means that even if the toddler is the baby of the family and believed to be the favourite, LIFE AS THE YOUNGEST IS RARELY GENTLE.
So amongst my intentions with Miss Kittie – is that I’d like to make something that kids suffering with similar life problems might be able to enjoy. Something for my own child-self. My child self felt empty (figuratively), alone and probably had pretty serious depression. But she enjoyed laughing and she lived for cartoons. And later – games she could play with any success.
Amongst the cartoons I’d watched, was one starring dogs. I saw a sexy bee lady – in two different shows. One of which I can’t remember, one was a very dominatrix-y Queen Bee.
She was a character featured in the show Earth Worm Jim.
Above, Princess Whats Her Name glares at her co-stars because she's trying to tell them about her life and Earth Worm Jim is only interested in a relationship and the other one is only thinking about Lunch.
“It’s the saddest story since Bambi” Earth Worm Jim cries
I took these stills from >> a video kindly uploaded << By @Richard Wagner of Episode XII, from the first series
You might think it controversial for cartoon characters to be ‘sexy’ or ‘sexualised’, I do not. I think if you do think that, that may either be because you are in a phase of personal growth that undermines your own childhood sexuality or because you have never forced yourself to acknowledge your own. That is not to say that I think children should engage in sexual activity – and believe me they do – they really do – I certainly did, and most people I’ve met have managed to somehow allude to there having been experimental moments or curiosities between them and their siblings or childhood friends. Marilyn Manson writes in his book about moments with friends of the same sex (gender) in which: if an adult had described them as an activity amongst consenting adults, would’ve been considered sordid and depraved by even the most sexually liberated. (Whatever the fucking hell that really means.)
I actually think that children would choose not to if they could comfortably dialogue
I think that as an artist, and a feminist one at that, it is fundamentally important to offer both a personal motivation and an academic perspective of every decision made in film making.
So this aunt’s flat – in Acton – I was able to appreciate the memories of her home and I relive the nicer ones regularly. And she had two books amongst her possessions that really stayed with me. One was a children’s activity book, and I had none of the items a person would’ve needed to do any of the activities. The other was the book Heidi. A battered purple copy with a fabric cover – the story of which is one of my favourites that has ever been written. Through that book I learned not to hate men. I ought to have learned to despise women but that would’ve probably halted my desire to become a feminist and also a templar and also the kind of person that finds the female body divine – the female personality… rarely so.
Miss Kittie’s introducing two entirely new characters to her cast: Monsieur Hugh le Poodle – he is inspired by one of the admissions staff (he would be so00o0o0o offended being described as that but it is revenge – he’s actually the person that decides whether students get in or not) of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. So – the best performing Arts School in the World. I MEAN A LOT OF PEOPLE MIGHT BE OFFENDED (I’ve a picture in my mind of a bearded American gentleman that interviews thespians being rather infuriated at such an underserving statement -)
RIGHT ILL EXPLAIN
My favourite thespians and comediennes are alumni of both RADA and of Cambridge University. My favourite films, my favourite animations – my favourite Shakespeare – was performed by an all American cast and non of whom studied at RADA, except for Ed Norton. So maybe that’s a little short-winded an analysis.
My favourite non-animated comediennes are the entire cast of Black Adder, the entire cast of Frasier, the cast of Friends (though in real life we’d probably all dislike one another – except I think Chandler and Phoebe and I would probably really connect and Ross and I would have arguments about paleontology – one of my first dreams was of being chased down a cobbled street by a tyrannosaurus rex. I’m adamant I’ll raise one one day and it’ll be chasing me down the street trying to snuggle me. Did you read about my thought journey with Komodo Dragons? I still haven’t learned how to teach animals that licking is not the most successful means of conveying love.)
I do not think about the actors as personalities of their own, I think of the characters they’re playing. I don’t care about their personal lives, and to do so would be stalkerish. Ralph and Joseph Fiennes are two of my favourite actors of all time. Would I want to hang out at their houses and watch the news with them? Hell the fucking no. I enjoy that they are artists at a distance and I think that their being exclusive and mysterious and also not tacky celebrities (I have no issue with tacky celebrities, I’d happily have been one of those when I was younger – for example I ENJOY the Kardashian family. I think that tacky celebrity has it’s uses. Would I have cast Kim Kardashian in Shakespeare in Love? Hell the fuck no. Would I have cast her as one of Elizabeth’s ladies in waiting? Hell the fuck no. But she’s Hollywood royalty all on her own.)
What I mean is tacky celebrity is not a life style that sits with the kind of people that study at RADA. If I wanted to act, I’d want to be in tacky super hero movies that were really well shot. I’d want all the electric-fans pointed at me as I stood above an actual mountain in one of those fitted thigh high slit gowns and making my hair billow majestically in the wind and the light to be low lit and for there to be blood stains on my face. Do you get my inner acting vibe?
I couldn’t do The Importance of being Earnest. (I totally could, but I wouldn’t.)
Unless they are actively performance artists or reality TV stars – when I think of british actors I do not think of actors, I think of thespians.
Actors are people that would want to be in Hello Magazine.
Thespians are the kinds of people who would spend about ten years psychoanalysing a role (even a “background character”) that they’d dreamt of playing when they were three years old and then maybe refuse the part, even if it meant losing money they NEEDED – because they really felt they weren’t ready for the role – because it meant that much to them to do the role justice.
There is NOTHING wrong with being either of those people, it’s just how you market yourself. I’m tacky. I like being tacky. I can do not-tacky but that apparently makes people want to murder me. Not kidding.
My intended audience is 1-3 year olds, but I’d like to think I can appeal to any audience. Most women think it’s normal to breast feed children between those ages, I personally disagree – but it is at your liberty to raise your children the way you’ve been taught to. I do not think you should be using breast feeding to ‘bond’ with your children either, especially if you use it as a moment to day dream or your partner uses it as a chance to sexualise you and sexual energy in turn flows between you and they and also your child.
I personally believe that that is why children create such a fuss when they have to stop breast feeding, because they’ve become addicted to that sexual energy. I used to hump stuff and weirdly enough I recall as a child hearing “they don’t know you’re doing it.” Not as a ‘voice’, but as I hear any of my own thoughts. I learned later that it is possible it wasn’t always my own thoughts I was hearing, at all.
That is why I think it is so important to develop neural pathways that are unique to you, unique to personal interests you have developed yourself.
But the crux of my point is – your child should not be sexualising mammary glands. Certainly not at that age. Your child should be comfortable with nudity, nudity should not be associated with intimacy or even sex. Your child should be comfortable in the body they were given, should be comfortable with other people’s right to a body. It is idealistic, as most men and some women I’ve met are perverts – I do not judge perverts, it isn’t the worst flaw – as long as you aren’t spending all day thinking about sex in between four second intervals etc. I don’t think people who obsess about sex are ready to be parents. It is an unkind thing to say, but I believe that obsessing about sex is a form of slavery. I think that if you obsess about sex, you will raise children that obsess about sex.
There is nothing wrong with having sex, there is nothing wrong with sex work, there is nothing inherently wrong with the fact that we as beings have the capacity to be sexual and that some people’s identities have been built from our sexual inclinations. It’s not wrong, but it is sad – to me, that for example this photograph or the one above could be considered a sexual invitation. And there was a time when it would have been – about the 1930s.
Some men respond very well to degradation and humiliation, sexually – some men hire women to mistreat and abuse them because it takes that much of an extremity for them to achieve any kind of sexual arousal.
Again – not judging – but that is often as a result of serious childhood abuse.
I’m sure if I didn’t have an unhealthy guilt function and a capacity for empathy that surpasses most people’s comprehension – to a level of sorts that I truly resent, maybe I’d have been a dominatrix. It is a kind of healing work, and I think sex work is important for keeping men from acts of rape. Really simplified in a way no psychiatrist could get away with some men enjoy the prospect of: hit me the way mummy/daddy used to. Sometimes it is kids/men who got away with doing heinous things and who needed a guilt trip in order to heal.
It’s kind of loosely discussed as a topic in this film – read the book (it’s a small book) BEFORE you watch the film. MAYBE TWICE OR THRICE.
Brian Warner – the performance artist responsible for the iconic persona of “Marilyn Manson” acted in this film, and later found out that it was a work of fiction. He confronted JT Leroy and said “how could you make this up?”
My mother was taught to sexualise a male figure that punished people for doing naughty things. She in turn emasculated my “father” because he could never be that to her face. So he did a lot of weird shit behind her back, behind all of our backs – and came running back to her home when that didn’t work anymore and we all stopped being affected.
He gave more to my sister than he ever gave to me – EVER – and knew that in doing so he’d create a hella weird and damaging dynamic. She, like him, is very devious and quiet when she feels envy and likes to ‘get revenge’ behind a person’s back, promising to keep secrets and then later sharing them for the wrong reasons, calling up a doctor to tell lies (and sounding quite insane, upon reflection – I assure you), flirting with my doctors etc – and I CANNOT blame her for doing it. She is STUPID. The only man she’s ever idolised had to be my equally STUPID father and the two of them LOVE to have a little flirt.
I want Miss Kittie to teach children how to enjoy being alone, some children truly need it and I’ve never seen it done properly.