Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Canadian Idol: a portrait of Margaret Atwood

No, really! And it's only because I found this cool picture of her. I didn't really need to do much to it. I have no artistic talent whatsoever, but I have never let that stop me. (If I could only do things I was good at, I'd be six feet under by now.) The animation is the usual semi-shitty PicMix, but it's still better than the wretched Blingee which would always lose your finished piece.

I want to be done with the CanLit kerfuffle, but when I saw this picture I had to do something with it. You can put whatever interpretation you want on it. Project on it all you want. What I settled on was quite simple: Vancouver rain; cat's eye. The rest, she did herself.

No one swings more weight than this gal in the literary world - the tight, stifling, incestuous Canadian literary world. She is one of the few who "broke out" (? Funny expression - when I reviewed books, every new title would be called the writer's "breakout novel"). I never broke out, which means - what? That I am still imprisoned? "Out" seems to mean bursting out of captivity, or revealing one's true sexual orientation.

Oh, but it's just words! I've been hearing that a lot lately. Break out. Thrown into. Incarcerated, with its echo of something cancerous. Witch hunt, McCarthy trials, etc. Perhaps, just perhaps there are echoes of that, but I have not yet heard of anyone being burned at the stake.

It's provocative language, and we all use it. Thing is, this is a whole bunch of pissed-off writers with the capability of ripping into each other in a nanosecond (and not in some private paper letter, but IN PUBLIC, sometimes in front of a huge audience. Whatever else it is, it is most definitely a performance.) I wonder if humankind can be trusted with such a capacity.

All right, so I did two portraits. I wasn't even going to do ONE. It's pure serendipity which animations will work, and I like how the gaudy Gothic rose flashes on and off and sort of wraps around her, while the rose on fire on the other side is fanned by a bat. What does it say: don't mess with me? It was never my intention to stick my tongue out. I just wanted to see where this would take me.

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