Lauren Crux
&
Janny MacHarg

Dinosaurs and Haircuts
Live solo performance and artist book
2009

LINEAGE I

Lauren Crux
Lauren Crux is primarily a solo performer and monologist, although she loves a good collaboration. Her artwork often blends several different forms: spoken work, text, video, sound poetry, photography and sculptural elements.

Janny MacHarg, a political songwriter and cabaret performer known as “The Tallulah Bankhead of San Francisco,” died in 2003 having made it to the age of 80. She was a lifelong activist, quick of wit, brave of spirit, gifted in the use of humor as a feminist methodology. She and her long term partner Evie Turner were activists, kicked out of the Communist Party for being lesbians. Janny parlayed her concern for social justice into her song writing and performances.  Still performing into her 80’s, she was one of the organizers of the Old Lesbian Conference in 1989 and frequently wrote very humorously about issues of aging.

Think about being on a blind date: the awkwardness, the hopefulness, the disappointments, the not-knowing. That’s what it was like to begin this process. I kept wanting to bail on the whole thing. But then something happened, and I came not only to appreciate, but to deeply care, to have warm fuzzy feelings for Janny. She loved a good story well-told, and knew the power of humor to by-pass the brain and go straight to the heart. She has gone straight to my heart.

I think Janny and I would have liked each other, even though I don’t smoke, have never liked martinis, and prefer a white tux to a black evening gown. I am creating a friendship with a dead person; I find myself writing, “Janny will like this story” . . . and I notice the shift to present tense. - Lauren Crux


Play Portrait Animation
Dinosaurs & Haircuts
by Lauren Crux

. . .

I suppose that eventually we are all only our artifacts, but why does this bother me so much? It's not death I am afraid of; like most of us, I hope to have a good death, to go out quickly, or gently during my sleep, without much pain. So why then does the idea about artifacts bother me so much? Oh: it's the damn cardboard boxes. I live simply and am part of the green revolution, but cardboard boxes for burial or cremation? I don't know. They're ugly.

If I end up being archived, I want my boxes to be orange, or periwinkle. Coral, lavender, lime green. Lots of colours, no boring beige, or grey, with the words, Acid Free, Contents, or U-Haul, stamped on the outside. Give me colours, real and surreal, and boxes of different sizes and shapes and textures. Triangles, trapezoids, and hexagons. Cottons, linens, Tussah Silks . . .

. . .

An editor of a feminist journal posed the question: Are lesbians going extinct? Hmmm. Sometimes I feel like a dinosaur among haircuts, and from time to time I do ask myself some questions: Am I still a lesbian? Is our post-modern understanding of the fluidity of gender and sexuality and identity making my identity irrelevant? Is the word, Queer, truly inclusive, or does it serve to erase me? Or, am I already erased? Am I soon to be a relic––(Oh look, an old lesbian, how quaint)? I am so fond of lesbians; I like to hold them in my arms, to touch them, feel them––it seems as though it took me so long to get here. Back when I came out, we didn't exist then either. We have not had a long run. I'd like to linger just a bit longer. . .

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