So I had decided my zine was going to based on eight women who I admire and respect – eight heroines. They didn’t have to be real, or living, or even human. But so far they have been. So – at the heights of the sixties, who gets to enchant, seduce and marry the smartest, most talented (and best-looking) Beatle?
Konichiwa, Ms Yoko Ono!
What is there not to love about this woman? Like Vivienne Westwood, she also came from a poor background, and you have to remember World World II was part of that childhood. She’s gone beyond the stereotype of the bohmemian artist to it’s avatar, it’s archetype. Remember in the Simpsons when her (very thinly veiled) counterpart ask for ‘a single plum, floating in perfume, served in a man’s hat’? I’m sure most people, myself included, are more aware of the ‘performance art’ and ‘art films’ she was famous than we are to have actually SEEN them. I have one CD where a load of hipster bands have remixed the vocal part of some of her songs, and it’s amazing.
And even after all the pain she’s been through, (losing her husband to utterly senseless violence the most well-known), she remains passionately, relentlessly, unstoppably in the favour of peace , disarmament, and positivity. Everyone knows that she and Lennon met at one of her exhibitions, specifically at a display where one had to climb a step-ladder and use a magnifying glass to read a tiny word that had been written on the ceiling. <insert scouse accent here> “I thought, this is going to say ‘no’ or ‘fuck off’ or something smartarse’ (and I’m paraphrasing here) “but when I looked, I saw it was just one word [one of the most beautiful words in the English language, surely]…”Yes.” That was all; just ‘yes’. Thus a great 20th century love story was born; but there’s much more to Yoko than being Mrs Lennon. Public opinion was racist, sexist and ageist in ways we can hardly imagine now (“Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except for Me and My Monkey” wasn’t symbolic; a newspaper actually referred to Oko as Lennon’s capering simian pet.) Against those odds, she’s still making art, still a loving mother, still putting her name to peaceful causes for the sake of humanity. And my personal favourite – she has a pair of lungs that rival the volume and breadth of Kurt Cobain and Kate Bush put together. Thus she is famous for making the most intriguing and unlikely noises and singing sounds that the roman alphabet cannot do justice. Ai-yi-yii -yi- Yarrrrgh!
Yoko Ono performing at MoMa, 2010
And if that’s too avant-garde, just skip to the coda of girlrock legends L7 song, “Wargasm”.
See what I mean?
See what I mean?
I think I finally have a grip on what to write a zine about. Eight women who inspire me? I don’t know why I picked eight – it’s just seemed like the right number. So far, I have been thinking;
A seventy-year old royal, both punk and real – she’s a Dame, who once greeted the Queen wearing no knickers, came from a working-class background to influence English counter-culture and make Brittania cool. She also has a remarkably similar horoscope to me: Sun and Venus in Aries, Mercury in Pisces, and Mars in Aquarius! Tres bizarre. Her Saggitarius rising makes sense, as she is definetly a philosopher and something of a diletantte – being a fashion designer and simultaneously dismissing consumerism; “I don’t feel comfortable defending my clothes. But if you’ve got the money to afford them, then buy something from me. Just don’t buy too much.” Her moon in Leo makes sense too – even from her punk days, right through to the Victorian Empire-vibe corsetry and crowns motifs. But most of all I admire her for staying true to her vision of glamour and totally disgregarding the mainstream paradigms of what an older woman should look like. God save Vivienne!
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