Essay about Bad TV

1118 Words 5 Pages
I always lie about my childhood. There was enough turmoil and drama in it that it is easy for things to slip into the vast sulcal chasms that riddle my brain. There are fleeting, half-formed images that pop up from time to time (did we really have a cat with a perpetual hole in its head?) like Lovecraftian phantasms that exist in a fictive space somewhere between embellishment and truth. Part of this, no doubt, comes from my father's work in experimental cinema. Fortunately, although my memory might not be the sharpest, the relatively objective record that does exist confirms that one episode did indeed occur.

I was already somewhat unlike many of the other children at the private school where my mother had enrolled me, and where I
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Most of the antisocial trappings were used in an attempt to keep people out of his pot field. (13 rows of 10 plants, or was it 10 rows of 13?) It was in this milieu that many of his videos were shot.

My favorite, without a doubt, was one simply titled “Cacophony.” Judging from the footage I was about six, making my sister nine or ten years old. The video shows a somewhat raging party, held outside in the area between the main cabin and the smaller one they built and lived in while working on the homestead, with all of the attendees wearing life-size, full color, photographs of my father's face as masks. This included me. My uncle Terry provided an excellent accompaniment of surf-rock riffs on his baby-blue electric guitar while my dad worked the video camera. Rick Lawrence played the piano, which had been thoughtfully set ablaze, and when the heat made it impossible to work the ivories manually he did so with his feet. When the piano ceased to function as an instrument he began cutting off his hair with a pair of scissors and throwing the scraps onto the blaze. Throughout the whole sequence, probably about 30 minutes of video, although the festivities' duration was much longer, there are foreboding, glancing shots of a technological sculpture.

A druidic configuration of televisions, all turned on and displaying static, stacked three high with a plywood support holding another three across forming a T. Of course, these weren't the relatively

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