Stephanie Says, Part Three

In my idle time at this web company I found myself referencing
Youtube.com on a regular basis.  I  even some days I realized I spent
more time engaged in my curiosities of the sites content then working
on expanding the one I was working for.

Here is where it gets good.  My co-worker found Nornna.  Norna was hip
to youtube.com in it’s earliest days—or so it seemed.

Look at here.  She is the same age as I am.  She comes off as a child.
Is she slow?  Is she retarded?  Medically, I mean, I’m not being rude
or judgemental, but, seriously… LOOK at HER.

Nornna is a 24 year old female residing in Wausau, Wisconsin.  She
lives with her parents, fancies Winnie the Poo and all that is
related, talks sweetly to her obese cat, takes her Hi-8 with her each
day to record her life and activity.

I look at her profile each day.  Each day I find a new 2-5 minute
edited video that serves as her motion-picture diary available for an
incalculable number of eyes to  view.  Ten and twenty questions become
all I can handle to ponder.  How did she buy a camera?  What made her
want to record her activities?  Does she know that her simple
recordings resonate with so many people as far more significant in the
name of contemporary art and it’s constant search for newness and
purity?  No, she can’t.  If she did, it would not be proclaimed as
pure.  Nornna.  You sleep in pajama’s with prints of E’ore and
Piglet—fixtures of the children’s story “Winnie the Poo”.  Norna, you
obsess over meals and trips to WalMart or Subway, lending them as what
appears to be the highlight of that particular day.  Your obsessive
nature and peculiar way of displaying your crippling habits fascinate
thousands.  I cannot stop telling my interweb friends of your Youtube
profile.

This first article is about Norna.  It’s not about Myspace or
Friendster or Match.com.  I quite literally stumbled into learning of
her moving diary.  She alone answers the question of the popularity of
Youtube.com.  Midwest daughters living with their parents in
flourishing suburban neighborhoods are even hip to what Youtube.com
can be for even them.

So: fuck your pretentious videos of the Troggs, the Ramones, Fleetwood
Mac, Donovan, and Simon & Garfunkel’s early performances on the Philip
Leitch BBC cult television broadcast.  We all know that those things
are there for the taking.  Someone found Norna.  Someone showed Norna
to me and she is infinitely more interesting then an old music act.

Norna is new.  She is a symbol of a purity that does not occur in any
form of modern expressions.  The most intriguing portion of this
proclamation is that Norna does not know of the impression she leaves.  Norna does not know of her own audience.  She captivates hundreds and thousands of city-dwelling, perverted, eyes.
In her one can see a glimpse of what life is like when there is limited connection to popular culture.

Just when we think we possess the unique we are presented with the
reality that we are part of a self-obsessed similar mass.  I  say
“we” as I admit to being part of this naïve crowd that likes to think
of themselves as one-of-a-kind.  These one-of-a-kinds are part of a
greater number that is summarized as part of a popular culture once
thought of as secret and only for those that were ‘naturally’ members.
Ironically when one realizes and accepts they are part of pop culture
they begin to grow and actually become more an “individual”  and less
of a “really hip, hipster”.

Nornna knows nothing of this community.  Norna lives more freely then
most of us.  Norna is unabashedly herself 24 hours a day and has
deemed her life important enough to record.

I liken Nornna to Henry Darger.  She is our henry darger of the 21st
Century.  For those of you living in a cave, Henry Darger is the
proletarian art hero from  1930s,  Chicago, post-depression era.  He,
single handedly, created hundreds flawless drawings portraying current
notions of warfare and politics through ink, watercolor, and gouache
drawings of children.

Darger worked as a janitor in the city of Chicago in the 30s.  He
lived a quiet and loveless existence co-habitating with members of his
immediate family.  He never lived alone.  Darger would return from
work at night and create masterpieces—unaware of his talent.
Captivating drawings done effortlessly, void of the pretention of most
modern self-proclaimed artists, he was able to live his entire life
unaware of the legacy he’d soon leave behind.

Darger is more sophisticated in his subtlety and humble personality.
Norna is glorified by her audience because of her crass behavior and
obvious naivety.

Dear Reader,
If you are wondering where the point of this rant is going, rest
assured it shall reveal itself soon.  Sometimes secular explanation of
related subject matter is needed to prepare you for a certain affect
the writer is aiming to portray.  I present to you, currently, a Norna
video plucked from Youtube.com.

I realize I cannot write another article on the topic of Norna as each
reader will likely become mildly addicted to her content for a period
of time.  But, whatever.  Here it is. Your first glance at the
burgeoning performance artist.  Except, we’re not allowed to tell her
how important she is—yet.  That is, until she passes away and becomes
“re-discovered” by an enthusiastic curator.

So, someone beat me to the punch– I wasn’t planning on making a
movie– but this is testament to her genius.  I can’t find her links
anymore– apparently she has retired from Youtube.com.  However, here
is a link to the film:

TO BE CONTINUED. . . .

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3 thoughts on “Stephanie Says, Part Three

  1. Mr. Darger was never interested in communicating with the public. Mr. Dargers Artwork and Personal Diaries became public, even after his own personal reguest to have those items destroyed. I seriously doubt Mr. Darger, who had a great deal of self-respect, would have exploited his beautiful and private world through web syndication technology.

    Nornna is interesting but no where near the imginative giant of Mr. Darger.

    Its obvious Nornna enjoyed the attention she recieved while on Youtube. Responding to strangers and airing aspects of her mundane life. This is nothing new. Video diaries have been around since the late 1970s.

    Nornna became popular online due to the publics age old interest in witnessing a freak show.

    If she was’nt putting herself out there, and casting herself as a “weirdo” for the world to watch, no one would have responded.

    Nornna would boast periodically about how many “hits” she was recieveing. This led to her wanting more and more public attention and then resorting to more daring and outrageous entries. This all led up to the bathroom incident which subsequently had her account deleted.

    Mr. Darger who I admire, saved himself the public humiliation of having to deal with certain members of society labeling him “retarded, or a freakish”.

    I’m not here to rip into Nornna. I personally thought she needed to help herself, by 1. getting offline, 2. excersing, 3. eating better, and 4. possibly seeking some form of psychological therapy.

    The internet is a fucked up world to recover from. Its obvious she was an addict! HA!

    Anyway is’nt Nornna and Henry Darger friends on Myspace?

  2. Nornna and Darger are examples of what can happen when you let retards out of their cages and expose them to sharp objects.

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