You know what it’s like. You’re following some random links on random Tumblr sites looking for 1980s-style neon gorgeousness (don’t ask me why) when you find yourself somewhere called Sleazeburger and during the scrolling you notice a comment from someone asking about a film. And then you follow the link in the answer. And then you spend a little over 14 minutes gawping at something mesmerising and distressing, captivating, and mind-reeling.
American Reflexxx is a movie featuring that Tumblr site’s owner, performance artist Signe Pierce, and filmed by Alli Coates in 2013. It was supposed to be a short film featuring Signe in stripper gear, neon shoes, and a reflective mask strolling along Myrtle Beach in South Carolina; something pretty, something futuristic cyborg-like, in a tourist destination in the heart of conservative America; it was probably expected there’d be stares, maybe some comments, photos from phones; it was probably not expected that a crowd would form and that both verbal and physical assault would take place. Oh, so naive.
There’s some interesting time-dilation editing in the movie which helps to make Signe Pierce’s cyborg seem that much more alien amongst the humans. And, interestingly, it’s very difficult to come away from this video with anything other than bad feelings towards those humans as their behaviour to the alien is distressingly… well, human.
The initial interest in the sexy giant very quickly gives way to uncertainty over gender. Unable to truly know whether Signe is male or female or something else entirely the instinct becomes to assume she is wrong, and therefore bad, and therefore a threat, and therefore scary. Adrenalin’s a hell of a drug and it will either trigger a fight or flight instinct but when you’ve got the safety of the herd around you and the threat has no obvious weapons a fight with the protection of numbers in the mob is probably the result you’re going to get. I mean, you’d like to think people could think rationally, perhaps think it’s a model doing a photoshoot or even the art piece it is, show some interest maybe, then go about whatever it was they were doing before, but forming into a mass of bullies is certainly an option too.
The video features Signe getting sprayed with water, someone trying to trip her, and someone cowardly pushing her from behind to the floor where she suffers a cut. In each case the person assaulting the alien is a woman. A raised reaction to a perceived raised threat from a potential rival perhaps? Or women are just naturally violent in South Carolina? I’ve not been so I don’t know for sure. I’m not overly encouraged to pay it a visit and find out.
Some notable points:
Do you remember when you were young and you fancied somebody? Do you remember what you used to do? Pull their hair, push them aggressively, try to make them cry, run away. We all did it. When we were six.
This particularly brave girl in the white shorts and black top looks a little older than six but her mental age is probably on the mark as she is seen trying to touch Signe in the image above. She misses (and I thought men’s aiming was bad) but comes around again a few seconds later and gets the feel she’s after.
A few minutes later and the same girl runs past and throws water over the artist. Later in the film she tries to trip her over too. Classic sexual attraction from a mind too infantile to act upon the urges in a civilised manner. In three or four decades when that girl finally reaches the sort of maturity you expect from a teenager she’ll probably look back on her actions here as a tad embarrassing but may come to realise it’s why she ended up in prison and kinda liking the experience.
The Mass Murderer
There’s an axe-wielding mass murderer in the video, pictured below.
He gets less attention than Signe does. This is possibly because everyone knows what he is – he’s a mass murderer with an axe and a badly-disfigured face, but the beard is a fair indicator that he’s a man – and the alien/cyborg is a mystery to abuse. Modern life is odd.
You’ll notice that the Sexually-Aroused Girl is in the background and that she’s got friends. You’ll notice that one of those friends is like a slightly inflated version of her; white shorts, black top, and about to stick an electronic cigarette in her gob. It’s possible that the inflated friend is actually an Inflated Twin who hasn’t figured out you can exhale when using those things.
The Job Hunter
In the wake of a second girl running past and hurling more water over Signe (in a mob it helps to follow what others are doing and not try to be creative in your mindless behaviour lest you be singled out as an oddity to be turned against) we hear a voice enquiring not whether the performance artist is okay but instead…
“Y’all get paid for this?”
One bright spark in the video, at least. It’s good to know that in uncertain economic times when mobs are forming on streets hurling insults and liquids at strangers it’s still possible to enquire as to whether or not there’s any money to be made from being subjected to public assault. It’s entirely possible that the owner of the voice routinely had fluid sprayed all over her and hadn’t realised that a reasonable living could be made so this might have been the catalyst for a brand new career. Here’s hoping.
The Physical Assault
The miniscule-minded Sexually-Aroused Girl and the Inflated Twin team up to physically assault Signe. First comes the attempted tripping.
It fails because Sexually-Aroused Girl is a moron. Sexually-Aroused Girl is nevertheless deliriously happy because she got to touch Signe with her foot and because, as has been pointed out, she is a moron.
Signe reacts to this – something that she tries not to do during the rest of the movie – because underneath the mirror mask and the cyborg persona she’s actually a human and as a rule we humans react when we’re attacked. Weirdly, that’s because of our instinctive, evolutionary, animal nature but let’s not confuse the narrative with more species than are absolutely necessary. The reaction takes the form of looking around and walking towards the thug. This causes screaming and running away so Signe returns to her strut along the street.
Seconds later and Inflated Twin shoves Signe from behind – the way a brave person does – to the floor.
In her defence Inflated Twin may have finally exhaled through the wrong orifice and been suddenly propelled at high velocity into the back of the artist. If I were her lawyer in an assault case that would be my defence. I’d also want to be paid up front and through direct transfer into the bank. I’m not saying I don’t trust either of those two girls to eventually come up with the legal fees through the only means at their disposal but it would be nice to not have to handle the cash with disposable gloves.
Myrtle Beach Has A Shit Funfair
That’s what I take away from the fact that following an assaulted woman down the street, jeering at her, laughing, and even running away screaming when she turns around and bangs her shoes together is seemingly more entertaining than a ferris wheel, rollercoasters, or world famous Sexually-Aroused Girl and Inflated Twin freak show exhibition.
The video, like most videos, is on YouTube. You know what else is one YouTube? YouTube comments.
Here’s a nice exchange between Rob Smith and Jane Doe.
Rob Smith thinks it’s all staged and it’s making money on YouTube by being controversial and getting views. Rob Smith doesn’t quite get that in order to make money on YouTube you have to be a partner showing adverts on the video and there aren’t any. Rob Smith is therefore wrong about the money. Rob Smith refers to Jane Doe as “son” because Rob Smith doesn’t comprehend genders very well. This is probably why he – if he is a he! – had issues with the video. Rob Smith has many issues. Here are a couple of Rob Smith’s YouTube playlists:
I think we all know what sort of person Rob Smith is. Yeah, we’re not done with him yet.
Do you really think those people deliberately slowed their voices down? Wake up sheeple! That’s added in by the film crew (is one person a crew?) and the angles! Rob Smith knows! Rob! Smith! Knows!
Three guesses who she’s talking about. The clues are all there: small penis, short, goes by the name “Robbie.”
Okay, now we’re done with that imbecile.
Rednecks smell like mildew. That’s good knowledge to have if you’re being hunted by them.
Are you a comment on the internet? Can you change the way someone lives their life? Even a slighty bit?
I really need to pay more attention when David Attenborough’s on the screen. Does anyone have a link to a video of a pack (don’t know the term) of hyenas attacking a stripper?
The Neanderthals were a misunderstood people. They were wanderers, yes, but they were civilised wanderers. Violent civilised wanderers. So very misunderstood.
Hey! It’s comments that are slightly (not slighty) on topic! Of course, discussions like these always trigger bad feelings in me as I was born human but consider myself a mountain gorilla/dolphin hybrid; it’s all very well people trying to encourage the use of trans- and cis- prefixes in order to distinguish people whose mental gender (let’s just assume there is such a thing for brevity) is opposed to or in line with their actual gender (that biological thing that identifies you) but where are my transspecies and cisspecies advocates? Fucking miles away silently pretending it’s insane to keep inventing new terms just because a minority of people have problems with dictionary definitions, that’s where.
Holy hell! They actually used the ‘M’ word.
Mocking people? That’s a beating round these parts. Pushing people? Well now, that’s our most heinous of crimes. For a pushing it’s death. Them’s the important rules, the rest you’ll learn as you go along. Welcome to Kakurackostan and you make sure to enjoy your visit, ya hear?
Alan, who are you talking to Alan?
I’m pretty sure this interaction sums up the internet. It will certainly serve to sum up this article.