How can you write if you cannot imagine something in all its horrifying, gruesome, most intimate details. No matter how taboo the topic, the writer must write about it without hesitation or reservation. If we censor our writing, so it is only appealing to the masses, then we limit ourselves and our ability to tell intricate stories. Our ability to live inside our characters, to feel their emotions, to breath as they do, is what makes the tragic hero, the despicable villain, the cheating husband, the buoyant teen. Without our ability to see as they do, feel as they feel, emote as they emote, we just have soul-less avatars filling prolix pages between two artfully constructed covers.

If the writer is inhibited, then their writing will be the same, and if the writer is embarrassed and holds back, this will show. Do not be reticent, instead write as foul mouthed as your character wants to be, allow your character to be who they are supposed to be, how you envision them in your head. I for one think back to all the books that were banned, and, well, I wouldn’t mind my work being put on the shelf, nestled next to those authors.

Clown Torture, or a Tortured Clown?

I found an odd and unsettling sense of serenity in that darkened room where the painted faced clown screamed at me. His repetitious impression of a spoiled child, supine, legs kicking in the air, his fists pounding the floor, screaming “No! No! No!” was, for some odd reason, comforting to me, in fact, enthralling. This video image looped on the silver screen, positioned flat against the wall, over and over again, his shining yellow and red striped satin paints, seeming to billow with every kick of his legs, and the white frill around his neck very old fashioned.

The walls of the room were black, so black they seemed to eat all light emitted from the projectors overhead and four small, nineteen inch tvs, two stacks of two, which projected the nightmarish images of painted faces and brightly colored gaudy outfits. Across the room from the paroxysmal clown, was the same clown, on a twelve foot by twelve foot silver screen, sitting on a toilet, his pants around his knees, fumbling with a newspaper, which kept falling from his hands. Wedged between the walls of a dirty public restroom stall, this clown shifted uncomfortably, constantly fumbling with a large newspaper, while the sounds of pedestrians entering the bathroom could be heard around him.

There was something soothing in those sounds.

I felt at home in the cinematographic lamp light, with the screams echoing through those darkened walls, images of brightly painted clowns, inundating me from all sides.

Bruce Nauman, what a genius?

There was something hypnotic about it, something confusing, yet enthralling. Fascinating, it was goddamn fascinating.

I wondered, what would it be like to walk into the Art Institue of Chicago, day after day, and sit in this room, bathed in the halogen lamp glow, watching screaming clowns. I wonder, would that be torture?