I don’t know why, but for some reason I suddenly remembered this. Years ago one of the local San Francisco stations decided to play these episodes of Telefrancais at 2am. I was sitting on the couch with Philip when we encountered the first episode and kept staring at each other in disbelief. It had something to do with the low rent nature of the production as well as the fact that an argumentative pineapple seemed an unlikely hero for a kids show. We also delighted in the constant repetition of the word “ananas”, which quickly became a catch phrase around our house when either one of us said something that annoyed the other we would snap “Un ananas ne parlent pas!” I haven’t thought about any of this in a decade.

It took very little looking on Youtube to unearth these episodes, but I’m just including the first one here.


…you should probably be following the current, final season of Adult Swim’s Moral Orel, which is shaping up to be one of the purest theater of cruelty rides on TV these days. I was unmoved by this show in it’s first season, since the potshots at at religion seemed so easy. But with a brutal two part ending to the second season, the whole show has taken a swerve into gimlet-eyed misanthropy that has turned the hero into an kind of American Candide and his neighbors into a series of character studies in despair. It’s probably good that this was canceled, since I’m not so sure how the tone could be sustained with any real effect for another season. You might want to purchase it from iTunes, so you can get the cumulative effect. But make sure you watch the first two seasons before launching into the current one. You’ll be surprised Plasticine can make you feel so much, or so bad.

Sitting in the office, bushed and…and…inarticulate. Got up yesterday by accident 4:30 am (ws shooting for 5:15) and took an early train to Saratoga Springs, where my show “Some kind of Love” is now open at the Tang museum. Got in to town around noon and then went from gallery talk to lunch to student radio station to teacher talk to giving slide lecture. The only break was a bout of compulsive shopping at Target when I decided that the headphones I had brought for my cd player were wrong, wrong! and I needed to spend money on new ones. Ridiculous behavior, that was tolerated by Ian Berry, the curator who has put the show together. It’s a small retrospective of video work and walking through it was disorienting, moving , distressing , all at once. Some of the pieces have my voice in them so I was hearing myself from 14 years back or so. I also was not at the Tang to work with the installation crew, so I walked in and the show was pretty much a fait accompli. At this point there are things out there in the world that I haven’t laid hands on for almost two decades. Now when I come upon them I think, what did I have to do with this?
Couple that with the slide talk and Q and A session that followed it: Lots of people and me talking always talking about the work. Trotting out some of the jokes that I’ve been using in my slide talks for ages now. It feels very separate from what goes on when work is made. Once I start answering questions, things pick up, for me at least. I welcome these kinds of forums, and the chance to get to hear from people what they see going on with the work. After an hour and a half or so, the event is over and then it’s off to dinner with Ian, his wife and Mason, the faculty member who was interviewing me. He teaches gender studies and African-american lit and talks about how Saratoga had one gay bar, but it closed in ’97. We talk a bit about the ways that online life is killing off bars and as the meal goes on I find myself popping in and out of presentness. At times the conversation seems to be taking place in another room and I can barely understand what folks are talking about or why. I order cheese instead of dessert and a delicate, lush goat cream cheese arrives, with a warm biscuit and a fig and apricot chutney. Its like the best cream cheese and jelly sandwich ever. Dinners done, Ian drives me to the guest house and I collapse and sleep for about six hours. It’s not enough and I wake feeling hung over. Onto the train where my tiredness and grumpiness makes me ignore the stately Hudson scenery all the way down to the city. Standing in Penn Station a woman comes up to me and says “Hi! How was Bard?” I tell her I was at Saratoga and we say good bye. I’m utterly unable to say who she is, so much so that I suspect that she didn’t really know me either but only thought she did.

The die is cast. After about 6 hours of cumulative talk-time with Dell tech support over the past two days, I had to clean install this morning. So now I guess my system is spring time fresh, and all that info is gone. If you’re a friend and reading this, I probably no longer have your email address. What has been most overwhelming here has been the loss and frustration I’ve felt. Disproportionate to the event I think. The actual documents and such I don’t miss so much. But while the machine was down, I could barely think about anything else. I was medicating myself by watching season one of Futurama with the commentary track on, which was both comforting and irritating, since it meant that I couldn’t hear the jokes on the show unless the volume was so high that the commentary was completely disruptive. I took a one hour break to watch the Joe Schmo Show, which is one of the only bearable reality shows. So what was I mourning in this whole process? the ability to go online easily? That’s a need I couldn’t have even articulated a few years ago. So perhaps the computer has become one of the battery of distractions I deploy about myself daily. Interesting after London where my media input was greatly reduced: no tv, a little news on the radio, occasional email checks from the gallery’s Imacs. At home I have a media regime and it’s interesting that I got home and almost immediately screwed it up. (I wish I could pretend that this whole foul up was something that happened to me but it didn’t. It was something that I did) One interesting side effect: computer crash stories play around the office like family illness stories.

It’s a diffferent thing when I acutally get enough sleep.But I have to resist my current habit of reaching for the radio or the TV within the first minutes of wakefulness. Now I’m left with shreds of this moring’s dreaming, and the TV’s yammering. Current house configuration has the TV directly across from the bed. First thing seen in the morning, last at night. Sometimes, I feel pinned bye the great eye. I used to read, I think, some time in the distant past. Even draw. “But TV gives so much, and asks so little!” Well I need to ask myself more.