THE ST. CLAIR ARCHIVES #7

Untitled
by Lee St. Clair
April 24, 2020

New lows are at an all time high as I peel myself out of bed this AM. Holy moly. I’ve tried my best to not turn this into a political rant space but on this Friday morning I simply cannot hold my tongue. Last night our President, commander in chief, in all of his orange glory suggested that maybe we should try injecting disinfectant to rid ourselves of this dreaded virus. Honestly, I’m not shocked by his statement. What is shocking to me? The number of the experts on TV this morning talking, telling, warning and advising us not to inject Lysol into our veins. Are we that feableminded? Apparently they think we are. This current administration is a shit show on its best day and where is Joe Biden during all of this? Now is the time Uncle Joe, come out of hiding and get on this. Right now, you have the perfect opportunity to lay out “your plan” on how you intend to handle things when you come into office. Stop hiding and start acting like a president because we need one right now. Joe! JOE! JoOOe! Joe? Where are you Joe? Crickets, churp, churp, churp. As I was looking around for Joe just now I had a notion. I’m thinking that if disinfectant kills the virus then I bet gasoline will kill it too. Hear me out. With everything being shut down we have a surplus of gas, right? So maybe, just maybe if we all drink a gallon of gasoline we can simultaneously kill the virus and spark the economy with a rush at the pumps. If you can’t stand the taste of gas I’m sure we can figure out a way to give you a diesel fuel enema. I bet that would clean the virus out of you. Of course you’ll be dead, but virus free no doubt. 

(Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor and I don’t play one on TV. Drinking Gasoline or putting Diesel fuel up your butt will make you feel terrible at best and probably kill you. This is nothing more than a tongue and cheek poke at our current situation, the current administration and the circus that it has become. Don’t drink Gasoline) 

My mind works in such a weird way. Whilst I was pecking out my disclaimer I remembered my favorite Melvins album. It was originally called Lysol but the Reckitt Benckiser Co. (the company who owns Lysol)​ sent a undercover staff member, posing as an interviewer from a magazine to find out about this record. Which is ridiculous. They didn’t want their name on it. So, technically it was never called Lysol even though everybody calls it Lysol. I dropped a link to the album if you wanna check it out. It’s heavy and slow, just what I need this morning as the coffee reaches my brain and I start to plan out the rest of my day. I always loved this record. I had it on CD and it was only one track so you couldn’t skip through it. Not that I ever really wanted to. 

They do one of my favorite Flipper tunes (Sacrifice) and two Alice Cooper songs as well as three of their own. The whole record only lasts 32 minutes and 21 seconds. The first 12 minutes is nothing but droning feedback but don’t let that discourage you from listening. The last 20 minutes are unparalleled stoner sludge goodness. It was recorded in less than a week in 1992 on a shoestring budget. The cover art is based on a painting of a 1908 sculpture by Cyrus Edwin Dallin and it’s beautiful. So instead of injecting Lysol into your veins… I suggest injecting the record formally known as Lysol into your ears and sanitizing your senses with its wonderful weirdness. Joe?… Joe…? Where are you Joe? 

Click this link to hear Lysol! https://youtu.be/7-q1Vpn-bhw

THE ST. CLAIR ARCHIVES #6

D is for Distancing
by Lee St. Clair
April 15, 2020

I’ve been hard-pressed the last month… forcing myself to engage with this computer everyday has been a challenge. In fact I’ve started to write this “D is for Distancing” piece at least four or five times. I try to get going and plot out some words but I get so frustrated I walk away or hit the delete key. A rambling rant about this or sophisticated prose about that seems unimportant right now. Every morning I wake up to death numbers, nurses wearing garbage bags, toilet paper shortages and another palm to my forehead when I hear about last night’s Trump tweet. My projects are hanging like the blade of a guillotine. Shiny and glistening in the sunlight a few feet above the scrawny neck of my GPA… just waiting for the chance to drop. I know I’m not the only one feeling this. Emails and web meetings are the new norm and my house is now my studio. I’m muddling through for the most part but I’m realizing how important being on campus is, or was. Some of my best ideas were formed out of conversations with others during critiques or began life as a hallway chat I had with my professor. Here at home those conversations are with myself and trust me when I say this: I can take the piss right out of anything without much effort these days. I can turn my back on it, walk right out and in less time than it takes to type this grammatically incorrect sentence… I’m so gone I didn’t even hear the door slam. This isn’t like me and I know it, but I’m feeling uninspired and caged. So I go for a bike ride when I should be writing this. I go for a walk when I should be working on my zine project. I take a nap when I should be coating paper to make cyanotypes. I walk the dog when I should be writing songs. Then I do some laundry, which I hate. Then I help make dinner and before I know it the entire day has slipped away. Then I get mad at myself for not finishing anything and wasting time. Projects sit untouched and as I walk by them I feel distanced from them. How do I reconnect? How do I find the spark I’m lacking at the moment to pull an all night art marathon instead of going to bed early? How do I finish out this semester and feel good about the work I make instead of feeling like I’m just checking boxes in a mad scramble? How do I prepare for the fall semester? I feel like there’s a good chance UNCG will still be remote this fall so it’s time to adapt or die I guess. I’ll confess that I do a lot of my best work when I’m backed into a corner and right now I feel each shoulder blade starting to push into the drywall. So when is the reaction coming? Who knows, but it will. I always pull through and at the end of this jumbled up word mess, I know I will. It’s just that I have a ridiculously bad habit of making things harder than they need to be a lot of the time. Hopefully I’ll hit my “work at home” stride soon and put some distance between me and those old inclinations of mine. Until I do though, I’m gonna go for a bike ride and when I get back, I’ll make some dinner and then I’ll walk the dog and probably do some laundry.

THE ST. CLAIR ARCHIVES #5

16 Practical Do’s and Don’ts for Advanced Social Distancing
by Lee St. Clair
March 18, 2020

  1. Just go with it – Accepting the new social norm and rolling with each sucker punch individually is perhaps the most important tactic. It allows you total flexibility to react to a variety of situations whilst keeping the virus at bay.
  2. Don’t believe the hype – Decipher information with a critical mind and base your decisions on facts… not paranoia or mass hysteria. You should already be practiced at this.
  3. Be ok with being ok – If you’re doing ok right now be thankful for that. Things can almost always get worse. (Skip forward to rule #5 to help ease fears if needed)
  4. Accept your surroundings – Wherever you are is where you are, so get used to it. (Refer to rule #1)
  5. Stay in the moment – No sense getting caught up in regret or trying to guess what will happen next. This very second is where all the living gets done anyway so get into the now.
  6. Stay off your phone and kill your TV – Too much of either and the brain gets hazy. Seriously, thank you for reading this but when you’re done, cut it off.
  7. Leave the outside stress, outside – Don’t let outside sources fire you up or bum you out. That doesn’t serve you. Relax. This is your sanctuary. (Refer to rule #4)
  8. Get Some rest – We all could use a good nap from time to time. Now is the time.
  9. Get some exercise – Last I checked we’re not living in a police state yet. Go for a walk or ride your bike. (Combine with rule #15 when it applies)
  10. Have a go at something new – Now would be a great time to learn how to do something you’ve always wanted to learn how to do. Maybe it’s time to get a drum-set or learn how to cook Thai food at home. Maybe you’ve always wanted to draw with the other hand. You’ve got the time, so do it.
  11. Keep Personal Demons at bay – Don’t give in to the inner voice unless he/she/they have your best interest in mind. Most of the time they don’t.
  12. Investigate new tools to stay in touch – There are lots of apps and different ways to group chat or video conference. Being virtually social is the new social. (Disregard rule 6 as needed)
  13. Remember we’re all in it together – all the local businesses are suffering. Lots of people including you are most likely facing some sort of economic woe. Throw a bone to someone who needs it if you have the means. Accept bones being thrown at you with grace, thankfulness and class. Pass good fortune on to others when possible.
  14. Take great pride in knowing this is actually helping the environment – As the factories sit quiet and the smog clears many people in China are seeing blue sky for the first time in years. If there’s no reason to go anywhere… don’t. Let your car just sit there. Enjoy the blue sky and let mother nature have some downtime.
  15. Keep your distance – It’s really nothing personal but it’s what we’ve got to do.. so no high fives or hand shakes. No pick up games or huddles. No celebration hugs or chest bumps. No congregating at the local spot. No house parties etc.
  16. Don’t panic – A worried mind is a troubled mind. (Relax and see Rule #1)

MONDAY MOTIVATION 3/16

Hi everybody! This is Cori and Addi with a new short Monday Motivation. We know that things have been very hectic around us, and changes keep piling up each day with new things to worry about. It can get extremely overwhelming and scary. But we just wanted to remind you all that somehow, someway, things will get better. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Take care of yourselves and of those you love. Everything will be okay, it’ll just take a little bit. Stay safe everyone! -Cori and Addi

CORADDI TALK SHOW EP. 8: TREY VANTERPOOL

We interview this cool guy named Trey.
Follow Trey on all social media: @definitely_trey

Coraddi Submission Deadline: March 28th
Submit to : art.coraddi@gmail.com

Devin Sweazey – writer, co-host, editor @DEVSWZ
Joey Morgan – writer, co-host, additional editing @MongooseMinion
Cierra Broady – camera work, production @koma_draws_
Liam Dowling – camera work, production.

The St. Clair Archives #4

Wednesday, March 11th 2020
by Lee St. Clair
March 11, 2020

I’ve been working on a review of the MFA student art show “For us with” that happened just before spring break but last night as I sat down to finish it up and make the deadline for today’s post… I froze, not with writer’s block but in a much more alarming way. I’m not typically the paranoid type but I must admit the Coronavirus has my anxiety in a flux. Last night my fingers refused to perform the usual hunt and peck procedure to produce these sometimes witty, sometimes silly and most of the time personal writings I’ve task myself with this semester. I felt it would do a disservice to the Grad students if I tried to force my fingers into forming words and phrases regarding their show at this particular time. I will finish that review and get it up for all to see, but not today. Today my mind seems unable to multitask. I’m unable to think clearly, I’m unable to not think about this stupid virus and the paranoia surrounding this new germ. It reminds me of the supermarket rush that happens when the local news tells us there’s a snowstorm on the horizon and we could get anywhere from a foot of snow to just cold rain. Either way, all the bread disappears and most of the time the bread sits and molds on our shelf with the passing of time, the same way the wet streets dry after a good cold rain. All of my classes over the last few days have started with talk of going remote, and as more Universities (including Duke) make the call, I’m stuck wondering what happens if we do go remote. I’m not too concerned with doing work at home or making the grade and moving on to next semester. I’m sure we’ll all figure that out when we have to, but what about this semester, damn it? I have 3 studio classes that I’m really into and I feel like this virus is going to cheat me out of them. The Gatewood is a special place and I’m (believe it or not) really into getting up early and getting here everyday. Maybe I’m an Art nerd, maybe my life outside of UNCG is boring the shit out of me, but I feel lucky; lucky to be here, lucky to be alive and lucky to be enrolled. I’m fortunate to be the one person who has this platform to say anything I decide might be worth saying every Wednesday… lucky to not have the Coronavirus yet, lucky to have a computer and internet at my house in case we do go online. What is luck anyway? Last semester in an article entitled “Who is Lee St.Clair”, I described myself as “accidentally one of the lucky ones” and I still believe that but, I’ve washed my hands so many times this week they’ve dried out and cracked open. The hand sanitizer I keep using reminds me of this for a minute or two everytime I slather my hands in it. But the stinging subsides and life moves on. So what are we to do? I have a feeling we’re going remote but I guess we’ll all just wait and see. Till then, wash your hands, don’t touch your face, stay home if you’re sick and make some Art because that’s what we do.