1992. Reactionary Muddle America
I'd been asked by a professor at U.M.B.C. (University of Maryland Baltimore County campus) to present as part of the "Progressions" series there on April 29, 1992. The series was required for all students in the arts. It was interdisciplinary. Every student in the class had to write papers about something like 6 of the performances. Since most of the students had been typically lazy & hadn't written enough of their papers by the time my performance came along they had to write about it to meet their quota because it was getting near to the end of the class.
The professor had asked me to present because he'd seen a film of mine projected at Johns Hopkins University, "Transparent SMILE: Monty Cantsin performing with White Colours". Since I was heavily involved with my 'Official' big band project at the time I was more interested in presenting that so I created a program that began with some of my shorts & had a 2nd half featuring the "Official, April 29th, 1992EV, Band That Does Accept Money From Institutions". An intelligent enough article appeeared in U.M.B.C.'s student newspaper to herald the program:
Typically, the photograph of myself that I provided to the publication was meant to catalyze a double-take in the viewer with its difficult-to-immediately-grasp perspective.
We made posters for the event. Here's a sample of one that Sarmad Brody & I made:
We presented our evening, which must've been one of the most original & complex events to ever occur there, & I was invited to make myself available for a post-performance class discussion the next day or soon thereafter. I went & invited other band members to join me. Neil Feather & John Eaton did so.
In the class, the hostility was, to use a cliché, 'palpable'. Neil, John, & I were mainly interested in talking about the 'Official' (M)Usic but since there was material in the movies that was sexually explicit or otherwise shocking to the class they wanted to focus on that.
I'm roughly from the same area where most of the students were from so I was reminded of how many people in the region are closed-minded Christinanes. There's a 101 page section in my book "footnotes" analyzing this whole experience & I'm not going to get into similar detail here.
I asked the professor about the student reactions to it all & he shared with me their papers. I was shocked. I mean I was truly SHOCKED. I typically describe it in brief as being like reading the minutes of a lynch mob. Given the often controversial nature of my work I'm not suprised when people find it difficult but I truly didn't expect this level of HATE. Almost all of the students were point-blank vicious. It was amazing.
A typical student reaction was to say that they shouldn't be required to write a paper because the experience was so foul. That's otherwise known as cop-out & laziness. Any excuse for not doing their schoolwork will do. The professor didn't give anyone a grade lower than B+. Most of the students got "A"s. One person just submitted a barf-bag. One of the only students who actually liked it made the collage that I ended up using as the front cover of "Reactionary Muddle America" & as one side of a picture disc I published a few years later. His explanatory essay graced the back cover:
He was far from understanding what was going on but at least he didn't retreat into his shell & hope the world would go away. One of my 'favorite' student reactions was from a middle-aged woman who only sat through the 1st 2 & 1/2 movies before she left. That was less than 15 minutes. She then, according to her account, cried for the next 45 minutes:
The 'Official" Big Band (we changed our name every time we played) released a record that came out less than a year later:
This record included one track from this presentation. The booklet inside contained copies of 2 of the posters & even showed who played what & where they were standing:
Few people other than myself would ever go to the trouble of providing such detail.
"Reactionary Muddle America" is simply all the student papers reproduced without commentary. No supplemental material is provided, no description of the program or posters or explanation of our playing or the individual movies or my philosophy, etc.. I just put the book out in an edition of 30, probably mainly to give to the other 11 band members who'd participated in the event & to a few other people that I thought it might interest. I don't think any reviews of it were ever written.
For those of you interested in witnessing some of the opening program, a few of the movies are online:
"Neoist Guide Dog"
"Philosopher's Union Member's Mouthpiece: Emma Elizabeth Downing"
"One Word per Person Party"
& "Chinese for Celli"
For those of you who're interested in what the "Official" part of the program was like, you can witness excerpts from it on my ""Official" Thistory" compilation online at these points:
tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE
idioideo at verizon dot net
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Anti-Neoism page
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Audiography page
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Bibliography page
to my "Blaster" Al Ackerman index
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Books page
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE BYOC page
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Censored or Rejected page
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Collaborations page
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE (d) compositions page
to Amir-ul Kafirs' Facebook page
to the "FLICKER" home-page for the alternative cinematic experience
to tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's GoodReads profile
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Haircuts page
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Home Tapers page
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE index page
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Instagram Poetry page
to a listing of tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's manifestations on the Internet Archive
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE as Interviewee index
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE as Interviewer index
to tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE'S Linked-In profile
for A Mere Outline for One Aspect of a Book on Mystery Catalysts, Guerrilla Playfare, booed usic, Mad Scientist Didactions, Acts of As-Beenism, So-Called Whatevers, Psychopathfinding, Uncerts, Air Dressing, Practicing Promotextuality, Imp Activism, etc..
to the mm index
to see an underdeveloped site re the N.A.A.M.C.P. (National Association for the Advancement of Multi-Colored Peoples)
to tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's Neoism page
to the DEFINITIVE Neoism/Anti-Neoism website
to the Philosopher's Union website
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE movie-making "Press: Criticism, Interviews, Reviews" home-page
to tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's Score Movies
to find out more about why the S.P.C.S.M.E.F. (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Sea Monkeys by Experimental Filmmakers) is so important
to the "tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - Sprocket Scientist" home-page
to Psychic Weed's Twitter page
to tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's Vimeo index
to Vine movies relevant to tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE made by Ryan Broughman
to tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's presence in the Visual Music Village
for info on tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's tape/CD publishing label: WIdémoUTH
to a very small selection of tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE's Writing
to the onesownthoughts YouTube channel