Join us in 4.11.18 at the South #Hadley Public #Library for a #nationalpoetrymonth #event honoring #mlk and his #legacy fighting for #fairhousing
Jason's Nonsense Blog
Join us in 4.11.18 at the South #Hadley Public #Library for a #nationalpoetrymonth #event honoring #mlk and his #legacy fighting for #fairhousing
On 1.9.18 The No-No Project celebrated our cd release with a special feature at UnButtoned in Easthampton, Ma. Held at Luthier’s Co-Op on the first Tuesday of the month UnButtoned is an Easthampton institution heading into it’s 6th year of providing poetry and spoken word to western mass.
One Mr. RC Hoffman decided that the last video “hurts his eyes”, so here you go!!
First performed at Meat for Tea’s “100,000 artists for change” event and then again at the Art in the Park Full Moon walk, “Trump Cards” from Union St. Records and Attack Bear Press is a special brand of our nonsense. Combining Jason’s spoken word performance (52 random phrases written on a pack of playing cards stolen from Trump Plaza) with Union St. Records musical skills the piece is a personal and universal comment.
We were lucky enough to rope RC Hoffman from La Mesa, CA to create some art for the video. We hope you enjoy it? *awkward shrug*
Tonight we wrapped up our piece #protestsong by bringing the remaining figures back to the studio. A big thank you from Attack Bear Press and "Action Jason" to everyone that checked out the piece or took one of the figures home. If you did happen to grab one we would love to hear from you.
We also want to take this opportunity to say that we will endure. This is an incredibly tiring time for all the members of our community, and in particular, those of us that are people of color, our LGBTQ+ family, and all those that feel marginalized. When we conceived this project we were drawn to Yo soy Joaquín or I am Joaquín not just because of the pride, dignity and identity that Rodolfo "Corky" Gonzáles helps to define for us as Chicanos in the poem, but also because, now more than ever Gonzáles reminds us that we are all the combination of a multitude of conflicting identities.
We are challenged now to remember that we live in a nation, we live in a community, in which there is no them, there is only us. We are being pushed to division and it will be that division that destorys us. Gonzáles ask us to embrace our complexities, to embrace our histories, as painful as they maybe, and create an identity for ourselves that is the hybrid of all that has come before and to demand acceptance when it is denied to us. To those in our community that I have denied--I am sorry. I will try to be better.
More than anything else Gonzáles reminds us that we can endure through this struggle. We can stand against those who would divide us, but only if we stand unified.
I SHALL ENDURE!
I WILL ENDURE!
We will endure!
On September 14th, 2017, Attack Bear Press deployed our latest work #Protestsong on Union St. in Easthampton, Massachusetts. The mixed media piece incorporates the epic poem “I am Joaquin” across a series of small sculptured figures. I Am Joaquin (also known as Yo soy Joaquin), by Rodolfo "Corky" Gonzales, is a famous epic poem associated with the Chicano movement of the 1960s in the United States. Our artist designed #Protestsong so that the poem could be engaged in any order in a “jazz style”, and the pieces are numbered to be read as Gonzales intended.
If you are in Easthampton please feel free to take any of the figures, and pass it along. If you do take one of the figures we would love to know about it so please tag @attackbearpress on any social media platform or visit our webpage at www.attackbearpress.com.
Thank you, and we will endure.
This morning we received a message from the City of Easthampton regarding the #identificame project. The message read:
"Good morning....I am writing re: your art along the Manhan Rail Trail. Please note that signs or objects of any sort are not allowed on public property -- we routinely will remove any signs that show up along the trail. Saying that, the City did NOT remove either the original figure or the secondary piece of art. I had sent the DPW down to remove the second artpiece this morning and it was already gone. If anything else appears, the city will remove it and will bring it to the municipal building at 50 Payson Avenue for you to retrieve. Thanks for your cooperation. "
We are thankful to the City of Easthampton for being so cooperative and understanding, especially for offering to hold the piece for us to retrieve. I think that speaks volumes about what this City is, and what this City wants to be. When we put the project in motion we did so fully prepared to face what ever official consequences came from our actions. We put the piece in place knowing that the City of Easthampton, as an organization, could very have taken it down, or levied other consequences upon the artist or our clearing house, and we are very impressed with the City of Easthampton for showing tolerance. Thank you to the City of Easthampton.
When we set out to do this project we had a clear vision--to draw attention to the human issue of our borders. We had also hoped that by doing the piece we could show people that we live in a very privileged position. Our ability to move through our community. Our relationship with our natural environment. Our distance. All of these factors allow us to disassociate ourselves from the human realities of the complex issue of our borders. When we talk about building walls, or stopping immigration in general abstract terms we have distance from the actual human cost those decisions have. We hoped that we could bring something into our environment that would, at least in a small way, connect us with the realities of our constructed borders.
That being said--the rest of the piece was taken by a PERSON(S) in our community, not by the City of Easthampton. Further, the backlash, and privilege that we saw from some members of our community surprised us. Privilege is, in our opinion, the ability to disengage. The ability to chose when, how, or in what way we will act on our political, moral, or personal beliefs. I believe that it is easy to over look how fundamental a difference that can be.
We at Attack Bear Press love this community. We love what it is trying to become and we love what it is. We love it enough to try to make it better. We thank everyone who engaged with the piece, and we especially than the allies that repaired and put it back up.
However, if anyone does know where it ended up we would love to know what became of it. We currently have a bet that it is on its way for a much needed vacation in Tusla, Oklahoma.
Thank you--Jason Montgomery, Attack Bear Press
So, after spending the day with my mom and sister in Hartford, we came back Easthampton. We had planned on heading over to the Art and Activism event at Millside park for an hour or so to meet with Kevin and Sara from Union Street Records, have a quick bite then pack it in. While there we were told that the #Identificame project was up again. A quick trip down the bike path confirmed it. Later that night we found out through the joys of social media that community members Audry Blaisdell and Shae Blaisdell taken up the cause and repaired the piece. That is the definition of humanity in our book. Taking up the pain of another--taking up the cause of another--then sacrificing of yourself to make it right. We haven't met Audry and Shae, but they have all our thanks. That is more than the gesture of an ally. That is the action of a partner and a friend.
We started putting out flyers for the #identificame project today and some kid biked up to me and told me that the wall was knocked over and the guy was "tackled into the bushes". We looked for him but no luck.
The #Identificame project, which was launched on the night of Wednesday, August 23rd, looked to draw attention to our borders, through a guerrilla art sculpture. The project created a makeshift border space here in easthampton through the parallel placement of a lone figure and a corresponding wall along a the Manhan Bike Trail. It was our hope that by creating this border space here in easthampton we could humanize and connect our community with the, sometimes tragic, aspects our border philosophy, and how it relates to our cultural identity.
With sadness and disappointment we discovered this afternoon that some time today it had already been torn down, destroyed and/or pieces of it stolen. Didn't even survive 24 hours. Way to be Easthampton. Way to be.
Currently, we are leaving the remaining parts of the project where it fell in the hope that someone from our community will choose a better way to engage this piece and this issue. It can be found off the bike path behind the Eastworks complex.
RIP: Indentificame...wherever you are.
Where are your borders?
Our borders are far more than the lines that separates the US from other nations. It is an intrinsic part of each member of our society. These internal borders divide us. Resistance begins with Identification. Attack Bear Press has erected the #indentificame project along the Easthampton Bike Path, in part, to draw attention to our self imposed borders--those places where our understanding begins and ends. Please tell us about your borders here or on any of our platforms.
Welcome to the final edition of the 3 part series The Straw Man Fallacy! Attack Bear Press hopes you've enjoyed the first in the Readin' Not Actin' Theatre. Just a reminder that we are seeking submission of short plays to showcase. If you would like to submit to Readin' Not Actin' Theatre please visit our submission page! A super special thank you to Jen Wagner for the amazing art work! If you like this Attack Bear's work visit her commission's page. Please keep an eye out on our shop page to see a special offer from Readin' Not Actin' Theatre. And thank you!
Are you ready for the second installment of Readin' Not Actin' Theatre? Attack Bear Press is proud to bring you more of the The Straw Man Fallacy. If you would like to submit a short play for RNA send us a message through our submissions page!
So, we are starting a new addition to this blog...Readin' Not Actin' Theatre (RNA)! Subscribe to RNA for a weekly serialized NEW PLAY from Jason Montgomery, or maybe some other really cool folks! As a super duper special spectacular amazing bonus you get to check out ART about the play by a guest artist!Read More
Dis goes here.
Today was a busy day for us here in the Easthampton branch of Attack Bear Press. For the past couple years we have marched in the Northampton Pride Parade, and this year's parade kind of snuck up on us. So, after making a few jokes imagining a Pride Parade sneaking up on people (no one laughed), I found myself standing in the Blue Flag (insert gay smurf joke here) in the sputtering rain watching a young family prepping for their turn to march. The kids were holding a hand-painted sign with one simple request--"Don't Kill People".
Pride being what it is their little voices, and simple request was soon swirled into the tide of rainbow clad allies, slightly damp drag queens, Old Lesbians Organizing for Change, and waaaayyyy more Furries than I can really wrap my head around being in the Pioneer Valley.
Seriously, at one point I felt a little bad about myself, because the statistically the average Pioneer Valley Furry has more friends than I do, and if they wanted to they could form a bowling team, or host a round robin boggle tournament while at best, at best mind you, I think I might could have enough folks to play a game of Sorry...keeping in mind that Sorry can be played with two players.
Um, sorry about that.
Needless to say--we marched along and I lost track of that little family and their little request. In fact, it was a few hours later before I had given them a second thought. If I am being honest I really was only thinking about one thing. Free Comic Books.
Comics N' More. Easthampton has the best comic shop I have ever stepped foot into. It isn't the biggest. Nor can I really say that is the best stocked, but it is something more than just it's three small rooms. It's a haven. It's a church. It's a sanctuary. I could sit here and spin metaphors and colorful language to shine you on to that fact, but I don't want to do it a disservice. You don't need a metaphor when it's true.
Once a year Comics N' More, and other shops, hand out free comic books to their customers. The books, normally provided as special printings from the big 3 publishers, aren't really anything special. It is a pretty standard free sample thing. Get them hooked and hope they come back. Yet, for me? Well, comics have been...important.
I don't remember my first comic. They have been as ubiquitous as the very idea of normal that I wasn't really ever a part of. Other's can think in poetry and verse. I will stick with 6 panel pages, and splash titles 'cause my mind don't work the way I want it too anyway, so I might as well get to enjoy some of that there linear graphic story telling.
But, none of that is what I want to talk about.
I wanna talk about the 90's.
The 90's were a weird time for comics. Things had gotten grim and gritty. Things had gotten extreme. Things has gotten violent.
You might be thinking that I am going to now go into details on why American comics went through this period of violence, and the like. I'm not. Sorry. There are people that do that kind'a stuff better than I do, so why bother? The point is heroes killing folks got to be pretty normal in the mainstream comic book world. Looking through the 25 cent bins at Comics N' More I couldn't help but think about those kids and their simple request. I still can't get the taste out of my mouth.
I don't know if we can give those kids that kind of world. I don't know if we really want to.
I am always kind'a sad because the language of my normal doesn't seem to translate to what those kids want, to what my kids really want, just something better than they have right now.
Is that really such a simple request?
What could an Attack Bear need? According to TJ Attack Bears need nothing for they have what is best in life--to crush their enemies, see them driven before them, and to hear the lamentations of their Bitzing.
Alas, Attack Bear Press is not TJ. We need you to join us! Subscribe to our blogs, share our post, partner with us on a project, help get the word out.
It might not be what is best in life, but it is pretty damn close!
New No-No Project exclusive EP CD releases will be given out by Jason tomorrow at Noho Pride? How do you know this? Because you read the whole post! The secret password is: "give me one of them, jerk face!"
Jason is sneaking pictures of Union St. Record's super secret working notebook as we put together the full release!
Tj says, "why are you looking at me, Computer Not Alex's? Do your part for Attack Bear Press or get Attack Bear'ed!"
This is NOT ALEX here on MY BLOG and definitely I am a human typing and not a TJ but I think TJ is the amazingest and the hansomest and best and not Bitz:
So I, Not Alex, announce to the blog world that I will give him all the cheetos. This is legally binding and also where did Alex go I miss her tell her to come back RIGHT NOW AND SNUGGLEZ.
What the What is Sweater Vest Weekly? Well! We are so glad you asked! Sweater Vest Weekly is Jason's new blog where he will discuss not only important Attack Bear thangs--like our up-coming Digital Art Walk, or the No-No Project Album launch--but also super unimportant thangs like what foodz goes in his and Alex's face holes, thangs he wants to f&cking yell about, why all the cats he loves hate him (I am looking at you Bitz and Smig), and maybe some theatre stuffs. Enjoy!?!?!?!