Wednesday, 26 August 2015

I shot Andy Warhol (4 Stars)

Mmmm, don't you just love this picture on the DVD cover? It must be one of the most stylish DVD covers ever. Three-tone Lili Taylor looking like a wild west hero. Delicious!

A few days ago I posted the text of the SCUM Manifesto. This must have seemed very random to my regular readers. Did any of you take time to read it in its entirety? I've read it twice this week, and I have a printed copy lying next to my computer. There's a connection to this film. Valerie Solanas wrote the SCUM Manifesto. Valerie Solanas shot Andy Warhol.

I was excited when I first heard about this film. It was made in 1996, but not released on DVD until 2006, which is when I bought it. Valerie Solanas has long been one of my heroes. I have the same relationship to her Manifesto that I have to the Bible: I don't accept everything it contains, but there's a lot of wisdom that I can read and learn from.

Understand how shocked I was when I saw the film for the first time. This woman that I've admired for many years isn't portrayed as a visionary, she's a nervous, neurotic woman whose desire to change the world comes second to her longing to get money for her next meal. My first reaction was rage. I watched it again after calming down. Maybe Lili Taylor is showing Valerie Solanas the way she really was. She may have been a genius with a vision to change the world, but being homeless and hungry can do things to a person.

Valerie Solanas wasn't perfect. Far from it. But her words are pure. They have provided inspiration to women for the last 48 years. When I got my first Internet account in 1995, with a 14,400 bps modem, one of the first things I did was join a feminist chat group on IRC. We discussed the SCUM Manifesto for hours. Some of the participants blindly accepted everything written, while others (including me) were critical, but all of us had a deep respect for the words. I'm sure that everyone who participated profited greatly from the discussions.

I kept the chat logs of the group backed up on CD for years, until my CD's were stolen by Thomas Kuzilla of Dearborn Heights, Michigan. He destroyed my CD's when I refused to buy them back from him for an extortionate price.


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