PARTY LIKE IT'S 1987
The first time I saw Karen Finley peform was in 1987.
It was gut-wrenching. It was thought-provoking. It was the most raw display of emotion I have ever seen.
It stayed with you after the show.
It was amazing.
I've seen her about ten times over the years -- about as many times as I saw the Butthole Surfers (before they started to suck).
MariKay and I saw her in Chicago last night.
Karen Finley no longer covers her body in chocolate or feathers or honey.
She no longer is a target for tight-ass conservatives trying to eliminate funding for the National Endowment of the Arts.
She no longer performs at edgy dives like the long-gone South Loop club, Edge of the Lookinglass.
She hasn't shot a yam out of her dinkiss in years.
Now, she's a responsible parent who lives in upstate New York and has a respectable teaching gig at NYU.
She's a published Author, and one of her books features a naked portrait of her by Famous Photographer and dismissive parent Annie Leibovitz.
Now, she wears clothes onstage.
Now, she rarely goes into the heart-wrenching emotional trance like the days of old, that was so intense she felt every thing she was saying and you did, too.
But she's still political.
She's still a rabid feminist.
And shows how men are born and bred to kill and destroy.
Now, she does an informal slide show featuring her original drawings about the inner life of Laura Bush -- one of which features juju bean teeth and Tony Blair's rainbow-colored penis.
Now, she does a piece that points out that only stupid people wanted to keep Terri Schiavo on life support -- and that those people loved her because she was silent and pliable, like a woman should be (and not one of those outspoken bitches like that Hillary Clinton).
She still says the word "cunt."
C U N T
And refers to Macy's as the devil.
She knows that Clybourn Avenue is a diagonal street.
After all, she grew up in north suburban Evanston.
Yet the major newspapers still don't get her.
But we still do.