Kathy Acker (née Karen Lehmann; April 18, 1947 – November 30, 1997) was an American experimental novelist, punk poet, playwright, essayist, postmodernist and sex-positive feminist writer. She was strongly influenced by the Black Mountain School, William S. Burroughs, David Antin, French critical theory, philosophy and pornography.
I went back and reviewed my previous entries on Kathy Acker in this weblog and surprisingly, most of my writing on the subject must have been lost in an earlier edition of my opinionated rants (probably in the bit bucket at Apple). So here is a quick introduction to Acker and her art. The quotation above is from Wikipedia (you might want to go there for a deeper discussion of the author).
This, I understand, started in Washington D. C. or Washington State with a punk rock group fronted by Kathleen Hanna. I have read suggestions that it isn’t as pure or innocent as it seems but I like the intensity and veracity of their manifesto and thought I’d share it in case others had not been exposed to a very interesting, if regrettably limited, movement in the culture of this country.
RIOT GRRRL MANIFESTO
- BECAUSE us girls crave records and books and fanzines that speak to US that WE feel included in and can understand in our own ways.
- BECAUSE we wanna make it easier for girls to see/hear each other’s work so that we can share strategies and criticize-applaud each other.
- BECAUSE we must take over the means of production in order to create our own moanings.
- BECAUSE viewing our work as being connected to our girlfriends-politics-real lives is essential if we are gonna figure out how we are doing impacts, reflects, perpetuates, or DISRUPTS the status quo.
- BECAUSE we recognize fantasies of Instant Macho Gun Revolution as impractical lies meant to keep us simply dreaming instead of becoming our dreams AND THUS seek to create revolution in our own lives every single day by envisioning and creating alternatives to the bullshit christian capitalist way of doing things.
- BECAUSE we want and need to encourage and be encouraged in the face of all our own insecurities, in the face of beergutboyrock that tells us we can’t play our instruments, in the face of “authorities” who say our bands/zines/etc are the worst in the US and
- BECAUSE we don’t wanna assimilate to someone else’s (boy) standards of what is or isn’t.