Viewing posts by Christine Kelley
CW: This entire blog post discusses domestic abuse, sexual violence, and severe emotional manipulation at length and in triggering detail.
“The little fucker had thrown my papers all over the floor. All I tried to do was pull him up… a momentary loss of muscular coordination.”
Jack Torrance, The Shining.
The woman who raised me had seemingly few qualms about shrieking her disapproval at me several times per day. Usually she accomplished her purpose with words, but sometimes she would punctuate her castigations with a punitive strike of her hand. It was unclear to me what this accomplished beyond making me afraid of my own parent. If that was her purpose, she succeeded impressively.
In the summer of 2015, I learned that there was a familial precedent for my birth-giver’s violent tendencies. For a couple months, I stayed with her parents while she worked abroad. After a minor argument in which I told the family that an extended episode of severe depression would impair my ability to join the family on a daytrip, my grandfather trailed me to my guest bedroom and aggressively pushed me through the door. As I attempted to raise myself ...
The first song to have a demo completed for The Dreaming (“Sat In Your Lap” was initially released as a standalone single), “Leave It Open” introduces much of the album’s ambition and cadences. Another treatise on the nature of thought and repression, Bush develops and inverts her previous metaphysical ideas about the world, presenting it as a frightening and hostile sphere yet treating interaction with it as an inevitability, and even a relationship where a person’s interiority can have input. As the refrain stipulates with a degree of bellicosity, “harm is in us, but power to arm.” In “Leave It Open,” Bush creates an ethos of wondrous fear, where allowing the self to become a vessel for something Other is an act of submissive reclamation of human potential.
Let’s start counterintuitively (in the spirit of The Dreaming) with the coda of “Leave It Open”, which sees Bush proffering a rare, aphoristic thesis statement in the form of a repetitive double-backmasked chant: “we let the weirdness in.” Amusingly, upon release this was Bush’s most controversial coda, with listeners calling into Bush’s television and radio interviews attempting to guess what distorted words Bush is singing ...
We did it. I hit $300 on the Patreon because of your support. Thank you so much to everyone who pledged (all 98 of you), shared the link, contributed to reaching the goals, or was just kind and supportive. This is quite literally life-changing for me. I can making a living off my passion without having to compromise financial security or my mental health. You people are amazing and I am indebted to you all. To be clear, $300 is a minimum though. I'm a disabled trans woman, and people will inevitably drop their pledges. Continued support would be great. But in the meantime, thank you. My life is better for your support.
The aftermath of Never for Ever was a period of burnout for Bush. Prone to depressive burnouts after the completion of projects, she found herself drifting into a nadir of fruitless ennui, which she deemed “the anti-climax after all the work.” Completing Never for Ever in May 1980, Bush, not for the last time, put significant space between herself and the public, taking a ...
Hi all! I want to start this post with a quick update regarding the Patreon. The outpouring of support from friends and readers has been truly astounding. I cannot describe the thrill of waking up yesterday and realizing I would soon be able to live off my writing. The support of my community, the chance to fully dedicate myself to my craft, and not having to resort to a re-traumatizing job in order to survive makes for a tremendous feeling of support and gratitude. I cannot thank you all enough. You are amazing and have literally, materially changed my life.
Yet we musn't declare victory too early. $300 is the goal at which I'll feel safe living off Patreon, and at time of writing we're just $17 short of that. Lots of folks have stepped in to get me to the $300 mark with promises to undertake various projects. Here are some things that will happen if I hit $300 on Patreon:
My Patreon is doing tremendously well, having gotten over the $200 threshold thanks to my amazing backers. This is a huge deal for me. It means being able to survive off work that doesn't interfere with my disabilities and allows me to focus on my writing. I can't thank y'all enough. Yet nothing is quite nailed down - $300 is the point where I'll be able to comfortably live off Patreon income until my seasonal job resumes, and the page has stalled at $206. So here's some fun: at $225, I'll cut a podcast with Daniel Harper (yes! the guy from "I Don't Speak German!"), and at $250, Jack (the other IDSG guy!) will cut a podcast on "Alien" and "The Shining." You don't want to miss out on that now, do you? Of course not. Feel free to back, or at least share my work. Every bit helps. Thanks so much.
“Outside gets inside, through her skin
I’ve been out before, but this time it’s much safer in.”
A refugee of fire and radiation self-sequesters in the only shelter it knows. It’s safe in here, it lies ...
Hello all! Since we only ever moved Christine off the site to make room for Boys in Their Dresses, and since that project has faltered while she keeps absolutely killing it, I thought it would be a good idea to put her back on the site.
More personally, as you probably don’t know if you don’t read my Twitter, my family has recently made the decision to legally adopt Christine, having already helped her relocate away from her abusive family and to Ithaca so she could transition safely. Christine is currently looking for housing, which is exciting for a trans woman in the middle of a pandemic. She’s also disabled and working through some pretty serious trauma of the sort you might expect when your story is “an abusive family so bad you moved across several states and were adopted.” We’re trying to give her some space to heal so she can go back to school and become the amazing and badass woman that anyone who has read her work can blatantly tell she’s going to be. But, well, there’s only so much we can do.
You have all been incredible in supporting me and letting me have the ...
This will be my last blog post to be crossposted to Eruditorum Press, as Elizabeth’s Tori Amos project, “Boys In Their Dresses,” will begin its run on the site come Monday. In the meantime you can still follow me at katebushsongs.wordpress.com, or financially support me in exchange for exclusive writing and personal editing at my Patreon. I am literal days from moving out of my current apartment and haven’t found an affordable replacement, so my partner and I could really use your help. Thanks so much for reading. It means the world to me.
Numerous times on this blog we’ve talked about Kate, Bush’s classic 1979 Christmas special. As one of the few extended performances of her music Bush has done, and the only one made for television, it documents some of her less performed songs. While the bulk of Kate’s setlist was played on the Tour of Life, with the exceptions of Peter Gabriel’s contributions and a couple of Never for Ever songs, the BBC’s style of “televised theatre” differs from the musical theater Bush spent the tour performing. 20th century BBC shows were often boxed into a ...
CW: child sexual abuse.
We must address some important facts in this blog post. For starters, folk musician Roy Harper is a songwriter of note. He’s got solid and interesting work in his discography, bits of which get covers by remarkable artists like the Cocteau Twins or, as this post demonstrates, Kate Bush and Peter Gabriel. It’s intuitive that Bush and Gabriel would choose to duet on a cover of “Another Day”; an sturdy and compelling break-up song, whose themes of wistfulness and the cognitive dissonance of desire overlap with both artists’ interests. The Harper album “Another Day” hails from, Flat Baroque and Berserk, has songs that are the equal of mid-tier tracks from Joni Mitchell’s Blue, Bob Dylan’s Bringing It All Back Home, or Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer’s Flowers of Avalon. Harper’s work is firmly second-tier folk music, respectable but not transcendent. Given that he’s a direct influence on Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd (with whom he cut a lead vocal on “Have a Cigar”), and Pete Townshend, he’s clearly a figure with some relevance to both rock and folk music and a force to be reckoned with.
The other thing we ...