Along with a big carton of leftover inks Murray gave me two boxes of old fashioned invitation cards, the kind with the scalloped edges, some edged in gold, some in silver and some in lolly pink. They are irresistible, especially arriving just as I was planning to print a series of postcards.
I do like the invitational resonance for the series which is called Addicted to Capitalism and consists of a collection of 5 aphorisms I made up in the middle of the night recently. Sample text: Drink Coffee- Capitalism's drug of choice.
Anyway, with these cards I am indulging the Arab's capacity for mass production- though my runs of 50 at a time are just a warm up for this enthusiastic machine. Thus on Friday afternoon I had a table top at TPKP covered in 150 postcards drying their ink. A third of them were the lolly-pink cards printed with Use Pornography - Let capitalism commodify all your desires.
I've noticed that the couple of men who encountered this aphorism prior to the print-run had misheard or misread the phrase (none of the other cards seem to have this problem for either gender). My nascent theory, that the word pornography has the power to make men's brains stall, was reinforced by the reaction of a visitor to the word in wet pink multiplicity.
This guy came in, as many people do, but instead of a quick look and a quick chat like most, he lingered. And lingered. He did run home for his portfolio to show me some of his (impressively realistic) drawings but then there was no getting rid of him. I just kept printing as he told me about his life in jail, drawing superheroes on commission for gang members (fee: two joints for a small drawing). Finally the conversation petered out and after a long pause he asked, "So what made you decide to use pornography as your gag?"
Of course I've been just dying for someone to ask me something like that, so as I continued to pump the treadle and print Watch Television - A capitalist occupation, I launched into a cheerful exposition on how I want the whole series to provoke consideration of personal preferences in a socio-economic context and how pornography is an example of a market-driven mass addiction pervading public spaces with compelling, fascinating images, how it conditions (especially, but not only) men to perceive (especially, but not only) women as a product-line of body parts to be consumed, and co-opts fetishes into a niche-marketing paradigm channeling intimate relationships into pre-determined narratives of desire and gratification...
Well! That got rid of the malinger. I don't think I had really understood the phrase 'slunk out' until yesterday when I paused in my monologue. Perhaps he had thought I was a pornographic enthusiast and hoped that we could bond over a shared appreciation of the genre. Anyway, whatever he was anticipating, he looked utterly crestfallen when he slunk out of the building in the wake of my feminist rant.
Luckily the porno cards will never be seen en masse again so their apparent brain-numbing powers will be diluted by isolation or in the context of the other, slightly less provocative, cards.