The Mess Manifesto

I am a homosexual slob, and I'm proud of it.

I am a rebel against the stereotype of the tasteful and fastidious fag. That prissy homo is valenced curtains, statue of David, faux-finish sponge-painted walls, recessed lighting, wall sconces, Persian carpets, Nagel prints, uncluttered surfaces, wood floors.

I am papers everywhere, thrift store sofa, toys on the mantel, dirty clothes on the floor, unmade bed, cat hair in the corners, unmopped floor, plaid curtains, dirty dishes, soap scum shower, unflushed toilet, overflowing litterbox.

I am a filthy homosexual. And I like it that way. When I see a fag home immaculate I wonder -- where are the papers? Where are the books stacked sky-high? Where is life taking plce on this bare lunar surface of a dwelling space? They themselves have no interior, it's as uncluttered as the interior decor of the house. House beautiful, soul void.

And I'm subverting the expectation of homosexual tastefulness. What purpose is this signal that one has taste? That one knows how to decorate, surround with beauty. Oasis in a world of ugliness. But that isn't an ugly world -- there is beauty in its squalor. I feel my place is not cluttered or squalid enough yet; I see the chaos of a junkyard as inspiration.

You get stuff done when you have your materials at hand. Obviously these people don't get stuff done. They don't do zines (or their house would be a firetrap of papers), they don't make music (that would result in electronic cables everywhere or piles of music books), they don't paint (now there's a messy pursuit). Instead, they spend their time dusting the mini-blinds.

Of course, there are precedents, such as Quentin Crisp, who said that after the first couple years of not cleaning the dust doesn't get any worse.

Oh horrid creatures that devote themselves to housework rather than to the creation of great art! What for do they think they were placed on this earth? Certainly not to keep it free of dust. What inspector will ever arrive to run a finger across their mantelpiece and declare it immaculate, what inspector whose opinion truly matters? When the time comes to fling open the chest which ought to be filled with manuscripts, it will be bare. All the housecleaning in the world will turn to dust the week after you pass on to another plane, but if you create art it shall live forever.

It's not too late for you if you're one of those neatniks. Every time you feel the urge to clean, sit down and write something, open a sketchbook, sit down at the piano. In a matter of weeks, you'll not only have some artistic production to show, your home will be well on the way to being a proper bohemian sty.

Larry-bob
larrybob@gmail.com
1/13/98


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