John Becker Amanda Brown Scott Cook Kelleigh Cram Dandelion Breeze
Feather Wolf Beth Ferstl Jason Loeffler
Aaron P. Osowski
William E. Kelly
string Chris Talbot-Heindl Dana Talbot-Heindl To Love Sophia Mike Wilson Wlkn_Fire Michelle Wojtasnek 2
content december 2011 while you were sleeping Amanda Brown
Doug Somers - pg 5
Tanya Haller - pg 11
on the front cover: while you were sleeping
2011 Bitchin’ Kitsch contibutors
Calendar of Events
The naked brunch - Robin Lee
something poetic or something Doug Somers Pro-gay Catholics vastly outnumber homophobic bishops - John Becker
On the OWS Movement - John Lee
lil’ daisy action - Doug Somers
A Rocking Good Time - Wlkn_Fire
daisy change - Doug Somers
Donors & Index
Bird’s Eye View - Wlkn-Fire
Amanda Brown Pen and watercolor on paper http://blogbrownbear.blogspot.com
on the inside front cover: 2011 Bitchin’ Kitsch contributors
on the inside back cover: Bird’s Eye View
Wlkn_Fire Sharpie and watercolor on paper
bitchin’ kitsch is a zine for artists, poets, prose writers, or anyone else who has something to say. it exists for the purpose of open creativity. if you have something you want to share, please email it to chris@ talbot-heindl.com.
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Stevens Point (and neighbors) Calendar of Events Art
November 1 - December 9 Fauna: New Work from Alexander Landerman. The Scarabocchio Art Museum. Reception November 4, 6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. featuring live music from Frog Crossing. November 8 - January 7 A Gift of Art: Works by all the Q Artists for holiday gift giving. Q Artists’ Cooperative. Reception November 11, 5 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. November 10 - December 4 Visions of War: Artists as Veterans, Veterans of Artists. Edna Carlsten Gallery. Reception November 11, 5 p.m. - 7 p.m. November 18 - December 11 Gene Reineking and Kevin Knopp art exhibit. Tomorrow River Gallery and Gifts, Amherst. www. tomorrowrivergallery.com November 18 - December 25 Fine Art Gift Gallery. Riverfront Arts Center. December 11 Edna Carlsten Art Gallery Opening Reception, “UWSP Juried Student Exhibition.” 5:00 - 7:00 p.m., Edna Carlsten Art Gallery, UWSP. Dance
December 8-11 afterimages. Thursday - Saturday, 7:30 - 9:30 p.m., Sunday 2:00 - 4:00 p.m., NFAC 120, UWSP.
December 1 Clovis Mann with opening act Moon Boot Posse. 8:00 - 11:00 p.m., The Encore, UWSP. December 2 The Lily Project (Christian Folk). 8:00 - 10:00 p.m., The Encore, UWSP. December 3-4 Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra, Classic Holiday: Menotti - Amahl and the Night Visitors. 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, 1:00 and 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, @1800 theater. December 4 Wisconsin Master Chorale presents Glorious Music of Christmas. 7:30 p.m., St. Bronislava Church, Plover. www.wmchorale.org December 7 Chapter 6: A cappella singing group. Theater @ 1800. 7:30 p.m. www.uwsp.edu/centers/pas December 9 Pistol Whippin’ Party Penguins (Bluegrass). 8:00 - 10:30 p.m., The Encore, UWSP.
December 3 YMCA Frostbite Road Race and Winter Walk. Stevens Point YMCA. www.spymca.org December 3 Comedy City. 10:00 - 12:00 a.m., The Encore, UWSP. December 8 Community Lecture Series: Games/ Toys of Yesteryear and Today int he Carribean Isle of Guadeloupe. 7:00 - 8:30 p.m., Portage County Public Library. December 10 Herbal Bath Products hands-on workshop. Artha Sustainable Living Center, Amherst. 9:00 - 12:00 p.m. www.arthaonline.com December 10 Herbal Bath Products hands-on workshop. Artha Sustainable Living Center, Amherst. 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. www.arthaonline.com
December 10 The Kissers. 8:00 - 11:00 p.m., The Encore, UWSP. December 31 Live Music @1800. @1800 Lounge. www.at1800.com.
December 4 Film screening of “Operation Homecoming.” 3:00 - 4:30 p.m., Room 221 of Noel Fine Arts Center. A Vet Talk panel discussion featuring firsthand accounts of war and coming home will follow from 5:00 - 6:00 p.m.
December 2-4 The Curious Savage, presented by Pacelli High School. Faith, Arts and Community Center. Friday and Saturday 7:00 p.m., Sunday 4:00 p.m.
If you would like to see your event in The Bitchin’ Kitsch next month, please email the details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
doug somers, robin lee. The naked brunch by: Robin Lee
Dreading death is boring. Fearing life is a sin. You must always be the man without, if you deny the guy with in. Time will over take us, so what’s the big fat hairy deal? I still don’t have sufficient proof that this is even real. Season after season to season day after day after day; what’s the real reason for all of this anyway?
be mindful of what’s stirring, in the future’s oscilloscope.
They’re being elusive by how they judge themselves
save the whale
By saving the endangered They figure their soul’s cleared From the damage already done
by: To Love Sophia
Everyones’ on a mission It’s self served Not deserved to clear the black marks From their souls It’s their assumption by being intrusive
In the attempt To save the whale The souls they save Equals NONE!
Pain and pleasure’s fleeting, as is every meal, the futures always stealing, what the present feels. We can keep up our defenses, but we’ll be forever weak. But what inherits the world, after it’s erred to the meek? The junks more of a problem after all of the years. The nation of accumulation, becomes it’s biggest fear. If you kill your family, there’s little they can do. If you turn your back on your loved one’s, they turn their backs to you. But love will always find you, if you let love be found. open your eyes and realize, love is all around. Life is boring you you dwell on death seek the soul when it’s living, and after you take, all others make be sure to do some giving. -The mystics eyes are blurry. the pope of dope has lost hope,
something poetic or something Doug Somers Screenprint
john becker. Pro-gay Catholics vastly outnumber homophobic bishops by: John Becker Note: This op-ed was originally published in the Wisconsin Gazette.
Earlier this month I visited Milwaukee to attend the Call to Action National Conference, a gathering of progressive Catholics from around the country, and introduce pro-LGBT attendees to the organization I work for, Truth Wins Out. Many readers will understandably balk at the words “progressive,” “pro-LGBT,” and “Catholic” appearing in the same sentence. However, these words and concepts are far more compatible than many people realize. Not that equality-minded people could be blamed for thinking otherwise. After all, the Catholic Church and its affiliates vociferously push an insidious antigay agenda. New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan was the most outspoken opponent of the state’s marriage equality law. Minnesota’s Catholic bishops are leading the charge to add an anti-gay amendment to that state’s constitution, calling the denial of marriage rights to same-sex couples a “top priority” in 2012 and using taxexempt church resources for political purposes. The Knights of Columbus, a lay Catholic group, bankrolls the National Organization for Marriage, which fights against the civil rights of LGBT people across the country. In fact, in 2009 the Knights spent more money fighting marriage equality than they did on all other social programs, such as food banks and food drives, combined. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops formed a Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage in order to organize and galvanize opposition to same-sex marriage nationwide. (Dan Avila, the bishops’ Policy Advisor for Marriage, was forced to resign this month after publishing a column in which he stated that homosexuality was caused by the devil.) And the Catholic Church even has its own “apostolate” for gay people, called Courage, which counsels members to abandon their natural sexuality for a lifetime of celibacy and endorses the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality, a leading proponent of “ex-gay” conversion therapy. 6
But the bigotry of the Catholic hierarchy is only part of the story. In fact, the beliefs of the rank-and-file Catholic faithful couldn’t be more different. Recent polls have repeatedly shown that a majority support granting same-gender couples the freedom to marry. A survey released in March by the Public Religion Research Institute, billed as “the most comprehensive portrait of Catholic attitudes on gay and lesbian issues assembled to date,” found that a large majority of American Catholics – a whopping 71 percent –support civil marriage equality for same-sex couples. It further states that “Catholics are more supportive of legal recognitions of same-sex relationships than members of any other Christian tradition and Americans overall” and that “Catholic support for rights for gays and lesbian people is strong and slightly higher than the general public.” Perhaps most revealing, though, is the PRRI’s finding that “less than 4-in-10 Catholics (39 percent) give their own church top marks … on its handling of the issue of homosexuality.” Social justice has long been an important component of the Catholic faith tradition. The Church is outspoken in its support of labor unions (Pope John Paul II even asserted the fundamental principle of “the priority of labor over capital” in a 1981 encyclical.), immigrants and financial reform, as well as its opposition to capital punishment. American Catholics appear to view the issue of LGBT equality as one of social justice as well, consciously rejecting the bigotry of their religious leaders in much the same way they reject the official prohibition on contraception (98 percent of Catholics use forms of contraception banned by the Church). So let’s resist the impulse to stereotype all Catholics as anti-gay extremists. After all, our community knows the sting of prejudice all too well. Instead, work together with pro-equality Catholics, as Truth Wins Out and many other organizations are doing already. Let’s speak out together against the Catholic Church’s institutionalized bigotry and work towards a society that’s truly just for all people. John M. Becker is director of communications and development for Truth Wins Out, a national nonprofit organization that fights anti-LGBT religious extremism and the “ex-gay” myth. Since leaving Wisconsin to work
john becker (con’t). for TWO in March, he has played a part in a number of TWO’s high-profile actions, including a successful international media campaign that resulted in Apple dropping a “gay cure” iPhone app, as well as a sting operation in which Becker went undercover with hidden cameras at the clinic co-owned by Marcus and Michele Bachmann and exposed them for offering fraudulent “ex-gay” therapy.
john lee. On the OWS Movement by: John Lee
For the first time since I joined the Korean Army, I actually had time to myself today. So I wrote a note for the first time in five months. Be prepared to get pissed off. This time last year when the Tea Party was all over the news, I had mixed feelings about it. I certainly sympathized with its libertarian roots but could not bring myself to respect it due to its religiosity, latent racism and its tendency to engage in intimidating political speech; like coming to a political event armed with semi-automatic machine guns. The OWS Movement, on the other hand, is a movement that I have neither sympathy nor respect for. So why do I not have any sympathy or respect for the OWS Movement? For one thing, what does the OWS Movement want? And by that, I don’t mean that I want some random self-proclaimed Occupier to tell me what he/she wants the OWS to want. From what I see, it appears that there are many voices within the OWS and they are all saying different things. At least the Tea Party had one coherent message - “we want the government to leave us alone.” Yes, there was that one moron who carried a sign that said “I want the government to leave my Medicare alone” but at least he got what the general theme was all about. So again, I ask, what does the OWS Movement want? From what I understand, the OWS Movement seems to be about several things. The first thing is rebellion. I can understand rebellion. I can understand a people’s desire for freedom from a tyrannical government and therefore engaging in the people’s last resort for freedom: open rebellion. But what does the OWS mean by rebellion? The OWS rebellion seems to be very much a modern-day American rebellion, and by that I mean a bourgeosie rebellion. Many in the OWS Movement might think that they are not part of the bourgeosie class but believe me, they are. If you’re white, college educated, own an iPod or some other MP3 player or cellphone and born and raised in a First World country, no matter how tough you think your life is, you are part of the bourgeosie class. If you are a self-proclaimed Occupier and want to claim that you are part of the working class, you obviously have not spent any significant time in a Third World country. 8
So what does rebellion mean to the OWS? Is it living in the city streets carrying signs and occasionally getting shot in the face by rubber bullets? (And yes, rubber bullets are indeed non-lethal weapons. If you think rubber bullets are lethal weapons, you obviously have never seen what a lead bullet can do to a person’s face. Egyptian protesters wish they got shot at with rubber bullets.) Will the college kids who have joined the street dwellers rebel by dropping out of school or will they eventually go back to class? Will the unions that have joined the OWS crowd get to keep working their jobs? Or will they eventually storm Congress? And I have read a large number of Occupiers saying that they want to extinguish the Corporate State. Firstly, what does the OWS mean by “Corporate State?” I’ve seen one post where an Occupier defined the Corporate State as a government that “uses corporate money to create government policies that abuse poor, elderly, sick and young people; pollute the environment; force people to go into debt to pay medical bills and get an education; kill people in imperial wars; and repossess or foreclose on their houses.” What policies are these? I personally want Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Unemployment Insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, Food Stamps and principal low-income housing programs abolished because those programs give away enough tax money every year to give every poor American several hundred thousand dollars to start his own war on poverty yet we still have poverty in America; programs that I’m
john lee (con’t). sure Occupiers would naively think that help the poor as opposed to keeping them poor. So what exactly are these unnamed policies that abuse the poor, elderly, sick and young people that Occupiers want to see gone? By the way, I’ve been on the anti-war bandwagon lately but its due to practical reasons such as the cost of war and the ability to win a war against an ideology. I really have no problems with launching a Stinger missile into an al-Qaeda terrorist’s ass and would never think to call that an “imperial war.” Depending on my mood, I call that “taking out the trash” or “entertainment.” When I look at the OWS Movement and see its members, I realize that I’ve seen them before. It’s the same people who show up at Earth Day parades and rallies for the homeless, jobless and education rights - black and Hispanic poverty champions who make a living off the misfortune of others, feminists doing their best to feminize issues before the blacks and Hispanics make them all about race, neophyte Marxists wearing Che Guevara T-shirts whose eyes are glazed from dialectical epiphanies, college kids dressed in black to show how gloomy the world is when you’re a 19-yearold kid from the suburbs, celebrities who not only being satisfied with being rich who also want fame for being “good,” young wannabe hippies dressed exactly like old hippies used to dress (remarkable how behind the times the avante-garde has gotten), actual old hippies who despite their bald spots still have that ponytail and labor unionists who wear their team jackets while standing as far away (but not too far away in order to show political unity) as they can from the young and old hippies. I call them the Perpetually Indignant. And I hear their message and I realize that I’ve heard it all before. “For the price of a single B-2 Bomber, you could feed every poor person in the country for a whole year, you could give everyone a line of cocaine to snort up a stripper’s ass and still have enough money to tip her, etc. etc.” As if there were a redemption center someplace where you can make a straight up trade of social progress for national defense. “If the government can find the money to bail out AIG or build a new nuclear submarine, etc. etc.” But of course the government cannot find any money. It just ends up taking it from you and me.
“The country wouldn’t be in this mess if more people received an education, which is why education ought to be a right.” I have yet to hear a single person who says that ever tell me what he/she wants the people to be more educated about and how that will lead to better choices and what those better choices are or who would determine what good or better choices are. Whether we are talking about members of the Tea Party or the OWS Movement, those people are both equally guilty of mindless sports fan behavior and harboring ideologies that have no ideas. Neither side wants to learn facts, much less face them. Conservatives refuse to believe that the poor are poor because there are too few well-paying jobs and way too many college graduates whereas liberals refuse to believe that minimum wage laws, bad mores and labor unions were what made those well-paying jobs disappear. But we will never dispassionately discuss what laws ought to be made and what laws ought to be abolished or what we even should try to accomplish via government or via our own independent means because that would mean that we can no longer scream and why would we want to stop? Dispassionate discussion can be so dull. We don’t want the truth. Occupiers can wax poetics about the rich paying their fair share in order to level the playing field (notice how full of normative phrases that short sentence is) all they want but at the end of the day, what they want is for the government to do what they want it to do. When we think of special interest, we think of big men in suits wearing monocles and smoking Cuban cigars but in fact, a special interest is any person or group that wants to be treated differently from the rest of us by the government. In other words, we are all part of one Special Interest group or another. Because after all, who deserves a piece of the federal money pie more than you, or you, or you, or you, or me? And of course, as per usual, Occupiers have an ignorant, credulous, opportunistic and sheer Luddite attitude towards industry. Why do I say this? It’s because the Occupiers have declared Big Business the evil enemy. And of course they had to. If the Occupiers were actually sincere about getting what they wanted and actually got what they wanted, they’d get stuck with having to properly inspect Securities and Exchange Commission regulation reforms, oversee the complex
john lee (con’t). and suicide-inducing lawmaking procedure that goes into Campaign Finance Reform, etc. That would bore the living crap out of the Perpetually Indignant and the masses would pack up their drums and hackey sacks and go back to playing video games at home. As all other lynch mobs that came before it, the Occupiers need a unifying agent - someone to hate - that ubiquitous evil Big Business. You might think that Big Business would be hard to define in this day and age of leveraged finances, interlocking technologies and Mergers and Acquisitions. If you think it’s difficult, it’s because you’re trying to think rationally whereas politicos, both right and left, don’t think rationally. In the case of the Occupiers, Big Business is every kind of business except the kind which the person who’s complaining about Big Business draws his paychecks from. That’s why Sean Penn and Michael Moore think that movie conglomerates is part of the arts and crafts movement and Ralph Nader thinks that the wholesale lobbying of Congress through huge taxexempt advocacy groups is similar to being a migrant farm worker. There’s a whiff of a lynch mob or the lemming migration about any overly large concentration of like-thinking individuals, no matter how virtuous their cause, but in the case of the Occupiers, their cause is not even virtuous but that comes later. The world can be made into a better place but not by legislative fiat. Expecting government to equalize the income gap or fix Climate Change by sending a bill through Congress is to indulge oneself in that ultimate totalitarian fantasy of a law against bad weather. So why is the Occupiers’ cause unjust? Because at the very foundation of it all, the OWS Movement lacks a sense of personal responsibility. It’s never us, the people, who is in the wrong. It’s not our fault that we who could never afford to repay loans took out risky loans anyway and bought houses that we couldn’t afford. The banks and the government made too sweet a deal and we couldn’t pass it up. (To me, that sounds like a rapist saying that he couldn’t help himself from raping a woman because she was wearing a white blouse and that was too sweet a deal to pass up) It’s not our fault that we took out exorbitant student loans to major in Interpretive Dance; we’ve always been told that going to college would guarantee us a great job no
matter what and we want those pesky loans wiped out for free. Us, the voters, wrong? Never! It’s always the vague, sinister, faceless thing called Big Business and the Corporate State that is making us miserable. But in actuality, the problem isn’t a Congress that won’t cut spending or a president who won’t raise taxes. The problem is a public with an insatiable and bottomless sense of entitlement to federal money. More importantly, it’s because the Occupiers’ proposed solution seems to be the same thing that they have been proposing for decades. They want the government to pass this law and that, they want the government to tax the bejeezus out of the rich - they want the government to do what they think is just. What they keep failing to see, and that will keep failing to see, is that the problems that they are concerned about are caused by the government itself via the infringement of private property rights, Minimum Wage laws and many other laws and policies that the Perpetually Indignant hold dear. Listening to people advocate programs to solve a problem caused by the programs they advocated would be funny if it wasn’t so damned devastating for everyone else. But libertarian arguments aside, here’s another reason why the OWS Movement will never gain my respect or sympathy. Their cause is morally wrong. The whole idea behind the OWS Movement seems to be this: if enough people get together and act in unison, they can take something (be it college education, student loan forgiveness, defaulting on their bank loans) and not have to pay for it. Or if we take the “let’s make the corporations pay their fair share in taxes” argument seriously, if that’s what Occupiers really wanted, the Occupiers can pool as much money as they can to buy at least one of those businesses and then pay the appropriate amount of taxes to the IRS that they think is fair in order to lead as an example for other corporations to follow suit. But of course, to buy the business and pay off those taxes and remain in business, they’d have to take a loan out from a bank and to pay back the bank loan and interests, they’d have to do something profitable with the business like outsourcing jobs to China, which has lax environmental laws and lobbying Congress for special tax breaks. But who wants to do that when they can sleep in tents and yell at the so-called “1 Percent” and feel self-righteous?
john lee (con’t), doug somers, wlkn _ fire. What the Occupiers want to accomplish is wanton, cheap and greedy. But do you know what the most fucked up thing is? Bill Maher is right about one thing - eventually the Occupy Movement will win because at the end of the day, what they want is a stronger government that can tax more people. And what politician or bureaucrat could pass up such a request? While we’re at it, why don’t we demand that alcoholics drink more whiskey? But this should come as no surprise. The lure of authority has always attracted the lowest elements of the human race. All throughout history politicians have gained power by giving the people what they wanted which never turns out to be what they needed. The worst off-sloughings of the planet are the ingredients of sovereignty. Every government is a parliament of whores. The trouble is, in a republic, we are the johns, the Occupiers being the regular customers.
A Rocking Good Time Wlkn_Fire Rocks
lil’ daisy action Doug Somers Photograft
doug somers, donors, index. advertisers Bitchin’ Kitsch
artists John Becker John Lee Robin Lee Doug Somers Wlkn_Fire
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daisy change Doug Somers Photograft
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