Amanda Palmer makes me deeply uncomfortable
Amanda Palmer is a musician, writer and all round artist. Her relationship with her fans is legendary and intimate- she will sofa surf at her fan’s place and she was one of the first artists to fund an album via Kickstarter. Just do a quick Google search to see how contentious she is – she does tend to divide opinion. She is an avid user of Patreon and for a while I supported her through that, but I had to stop – primarily because she makes me deeply uncomfortable and I observed her output with my hands over my eyes, peeping through my fingers, figuratively speaking.
I think there are several reasons for this – she is so open with her emotions, she wears her heart bleeding on her sleeve and writes so eloquently about it. She is explicitly political and doesn’t care who she upsets with her proclamations. She just seems to do what the fuck she wants with her art and music, while at the same time supporting other artists through her Patreon.
She is clearly deeply passionate about life and art.
Maybe it’s because I am so damn British, reserved and deeply introverted that I find her so uncomfortable.
I watch her videos and writing dumbstruck at her sheer effrontery and truth. Because she does seem (as far as I can tell without ever having met her) to be utterly genuine. She is who she is and doesn’t care what others think, while caring deeply about people and music. It’s an odd combination. I think she is essentially herself in all her glorious magnificence.
I think the uncomfortableness is jealousy and horror at the same time. I have only been able to blog more openly here because I set up a separate site, rather than blogging under a site in my name. I still stay away from world events, politics etc, because I have been bought up not to upset anyone, or rock the boat. I am utterly repressed when it comes to my music and art generally, always wanting to do it ‘the right way’, the proper way, not able to let myself go to experiment and just do things for fun, I have to be working towards a qualification in things. I think that is why I struggle so much with my writing, because there is no defined way of doing thing. I have managed to resist doing a MA in creative writing! I question everything I post on here, quite often there is a post in the queue and then I delete it out, and still don’t share as much as I would want to.
It is clear from her blog posts (and I no longer have access to the more intimate Patreon posts) that she feels everything deeply, that she is affected by everything that happens and her art work comes from that suffering. There is a part of me when I am in a depressive phase, that gets so angry that I have all this suffering and no genius output as a result of that. A rational part of my brain tells me that the suffering artist is a destructive myth – one that people like Elizabeth Gilbert is very against, but none the less there is that angst to add into my depression.
I guess it is interesting for me to think about why AFP makes me so uncomfortable, to see if there is anything I can learn. Don’t get me wrong I don’t want to start dressing like her, but I would love to be a little freer in my writing and I’d love to hold my music less tightly and just enjoy it more. I’d love to be more creative in my life generally without being so damn uptight about it.
Don’t get me wrong, AFP has had a lot of issues – like I said do a Google search, ‘most hated’ comes up more than once. I don’t think she would be upset at my blog post! Oh and the F in the middle of her name….. Fucking. Yep, she actually claimed that as her name. Astonishing.