Call your shrill

An essay fantasy from the mind of a female crone punk rocker.

 “When you turn MOM upside down, it spells WOW, wonderful old women, wise old women, witty old women, extremely old women. We can put on new hats.”

~Jacobs Ruth H. Be an Outrageous Older Woman (p. 10). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

As I do watch old films, film noir and westerns and eyeball TCM more than I ought, I have a fantasy. What do I have to offer TCM? I view the many guests and their film pics. If I went on TCM it would be on what I uniquely have to offer the program.

Punk rock is a no brainer. The history of Los Angeles punk rock is my theme and I have two books out on the subject. I was told that if you want to get on any panel of experts you have to have at least two books out. I do.

Also, the ten years of publishing a fanzine, records, and live band videos shows my dedication. That is my solid introduction into any of the TCM marks of introduction. I have viewed less experienced individuals on the program. Then there are the films I chose.

Alfred Hitchcock’s Shadow of Doubt, Stanley Kubrick A Clockwork Orange, and Clive Barker’s original first film Hellraiser.

Shadow of Doubt is so insightful into a young woman’s journey into the dark side or the shadow of her youthful psyche. Family, friends, and high ideals melt into a wasteland after high school graduation.

Her first test and confrontation with evil in the world. The first elements of conscious dissonance transformed her very being into the woman she was to become. Love is waiting for her, and she wins the battle against a very dark force. She was willing to kill her uncle.

I had a similar experience as I fell into the punk rock scene in the late 1970s. My conscious dissonance came as an existential movement or symphony over many years. Punk rock gave me a voice when documenting the punk scene. I joined a useful rebellion be it writing, music or wild adventure.

Love was waiting for me there too. I killed my youthful identity and transformed myself into the rebellion of a generation and beyond. This is the woman I became and the crone that I am.

A Clockwork Orange is a masterpiece. I cannot say how many of my friends are influenced by this film. Pulling the character Alex out of the violence and a world view that has no inability to control its youth. This film is about more than just the violence. There is the music of Wendy Carlos who electrified Beethoven’s music. What a turn on this was.

I remember in 1979 seeing a car turn the corner after a show at the infamous Whisky A Go Go. In the car were four young men dressed as droogies. Screaming the lyrics to a song with their derby hats on. I “guffed” and looked down because I was wearing my horrorshow boots.

Around 1977 I worked at Bob’s Big Boy as a waitress. I noticed late at night new wavers came into the restaurant. Half of their faces were made up. They looked like something out of A Clockwork Orange. It was not long after that I was creating my own thrift store creations. Beethoven’s music transforming into what I found in an old record slot at a local thrift store, 1978 (I’m) Stranded by the Australian band The Saints.

Towards the end of the 1980s came The Box. Hellraiser, The Cenobites are angels to some and devils to others. Fictitious characters from another dimension.

Denizens of imagination. The great battle of the psyche is contained in this film. Again, a young woman must face abuse, alienation, and the evil of the world to transform herself. Pinhead, “No tears please it’s a waste of good suffering.”

I was inspired by this film to make up rubber masks. First the plaster form and then the liquid latex. I became a Cenobite for Halloween and beyond.

These films are part of my continuity of being a punk as I moved into creating myself into my young adulthood and beyond. Now as a crone I love to reflect on the past into my present time. Pulling out so many elements that mean something special to me and then sharing these stories.

This is what we all go through. We have our innocence, our experience and then hopefully our wisdom.

So, if my fantasy comes true and I get the opportunity to be on TCM as a guest I would recommend these three films.

“What do you do if they call you shrill because you demand your rights? You do not get anxious about being unladylike. You realize that a man who fought for his rights would be considered appropriate and that ideas of what is ladylike have been used to control women for centuries.

You translate shrill to assertive and smile smugly. Congratulate yourself that you have learned how to be assertive in your later years despite your socialization to be a “good girl” and cave in when confrontation arises, fearful of censure.”

– Jacobs Ruth H. Be an Outrageous Older Woman (p. 269).

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