So there is nothing quite as un-P.C. in L.A. right now as a wood-burning stove. My house was built in like 1907 or 1917 (it has no charm, no historic value in its appearance, other than standing as an example of utilitarian blandness).
This is an old house and this is a COLD house. So here is the wood-burning stove to heat the place up in the living room. The thing works – one duraflame log and i am wearing a tee shirt instead of bundled up in a sweatshirt. The guy at 7-11 tells me that I am the only customer who buys the duraflames there (at least on his shift).
So I am contributing to pollution, global warming, probably some other environmental disasters, and all just to stay ten or fifteen degrees warmer for sheer comfort and convenience.
Tonight the duraflame did not light properly so I wrapped it in an issue of Coagula Art Journal and did what perhaps many artists have wanted to do for some years now – I lit the issue on fire and watched the whole thing burn. It literally warmed my heart!
When I was in college, I stayed at a friend’s house in a little town in Minnesota, and their dad would get up at 5 a.m. every morning to light the wood burning stove to heat the house for the family. It struck me then as so noble. People do a lot for their families. People do a lot to stay warm. I burned my “art” tonight and only now saw the irony in it, it was such a reflexive thing to do – grab the zine, toss it in, flick a match, everybody’s happy.