Francis Bean Cobain, The Death of Riot Porn and the Gurlesque

by on Jun.29, 2013

There’s a fantastic Gurlesque issue out on the great Swedish on-line journal Ett Lysande Namn, full of great writing by people like Viktor Johansson, Aylin Bloch Boynukisa and Sara Tuss Efrik. Most of it is Swedish (but I plan to somehow get it translated) but my essay is in English. The title – “I”m wearing my dad’s pajamas to the suicide party” – is from a Francis Bean Cobain tweet (she’s also in the essay).

Here’s the beginning:

“I’m wearing my dad’s pajamas to the suicide party”: AN INTRODUCTION TO THE GURLESQUE

Dear Justin Bieber,

Who put that mask on your face? Does it hurt? Can you get it off? Can you get it off? Are those your real eyes? Who designed the mask? Did it cost a million dollars? Is it made of wool? Someone had posted the photograph on facebook with the heading: “The death of riot porn?” Do you think this was a reference to Pussy Riot, who wore those masks during their protests? What do you think of Pussy Riot? What do you call that phenomena when a cluster of young girls scream and chase you around? Do they riot against your body? Did they pull that mask over your pretty white face?

I’m not joking. There is something porny about those girls. There’s something deathy about those girls. That must be why they frighten so many people. They are totally “under the influence.” They have no human core, no soul: they are all clothes, make-up. Violence moves through them. Like in all those Japanese horror movies. Young girls are so violent with you, you must be constantly hurting, smarting, aching. Do they hurt you with letter openers? Do they re-enact the French Revolution with your body in Tokyo? Why do I always think of letter openers when I think about you in the bathtub? Why are the girls always leading the French Revolutions?

Why are they always listening to New Order while the revolution is filmed? Why am I so sad? Should I ask Freud? Does it have something to do with the riot porn? With the death of riot porn? Isn’t there always something deathy about riots? About porn?

Have you read that poem “Primrose” by Chelsea Minnis?…

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