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Celebration of Life

You never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them.

At 7-foot-2 with size 18 feet, basketball legend Artis Gilmore has a stride that stands for itself.

His footsteps are as light as air as he nods gracefully under each doorway. His presence is silent yet palpable.

Gilmore was born in 1948 in the small town of Chipley on the Florida panhandle. He grew up poor, living in a three-room house with dirt floors that he shared with his family of 11. For two years of his early adolescence, he was barefooted there and everywhere when his feet grew too large to get shoes from the local shoe store.

He said he’s uncomfortable speaking in general, but one can sense that recalling his early life before leaving Chipley to attend college is particularly painful.

Growing up in the Jim Crow era, Gilmore was all too familiar with segregation and income disparities. His family often didn’t have much to eat aside from the fish his father caught. His first love was actually football, but the segregated schools he attended required athletes to buy their own gear, which his family couldn’t afford. He was lanky and thin from hunger.

That hunger turned into a hunger to succeed, to do something different from the previous generation, to build on the quiet strength he developed as a result of his upbringing. After high school, he moved to North Carolina to play basketball at Gardner-Webb Junior College. There he met the woman who would later become his wife.

In 1969, Gilmore—or the “A-Train” as he came to be known—transferred to Jacksonville University during a period of time after the Civil Rights era when he said things “casually, slowly became forward progress.”

As a JU Dolphin, Gilmore broke the record for average rebounds per game at 22.7, which he still holds to this day, and became a two-time All-American honoree. He also led JU, a small private college with little to no name recognition at the time, to the finals of the 1970 NCAA Tournament. They took on college basketball powerhouse UCLA for the national title, losing 80–69. 

With the city’s overwhelming support of the team, Gilmore came to consider Jacksonville home and resolved to come back to Jacksonville after retirement to raise his family and contribute to the community. 

In 1971, Gilmore was drafted by the Kentucky Colonels in the ABA.

“This was the first opportunity to receive some income. I was elated that for the first time I would be able to do something financially for my family. After all the earlier struggles, the things that we experienced as a family, signing that first contract was life-changing,” he said. 

He quickly became known as one of the hardest-working players in the league and enjoyed great success in his first season, winning the Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player awards. Gilmore married Enola Gay after the season’s end. They began to build a family soon after.

Gilmore spent five seasons in the ABA until the league disbanded in 1976, and he was selected as the first overall draft pick of the NBA by the Chicago Bulls.

He kept his sneakers with the red swoosh when he was traded to the San Antonio Spurs in 1982, when players had less agency in choosing where to go and whether they would be traded. His shoes were so large, even for NBA standards, that he colored shoes with a black marker to play in that season. 

After five years with the Spurs, he returned to the Bulls for a season and finished his 18-year American basketball career on the Boston Celtics.

Despite his accomplishments, including scoring 15,579 career points, setting the NBA career record for highest field goal percentage at .599 and playing in six NBA All-Star Games, Artis Gilmore never did become a household name. Boundlessly humble, he remained quiet off court and treated his career as a craft to master rather than a pathway to fame. His family’s pride and the relative comfort that he’d built after coming from nothing was enough for him.

He played his final professional season overseas in the Italian league, making the European All-Star team before retiring and moving his family back to Jacksonville as planned. 

At this point, he and his wife had four children who they raised with great care and dedication. He allowed them the freedom to choose their own paths and not feel the pressure of what he experienced in basketball.

“I wouldn’t push them, but I would have loved for them to be able to excel and enjoy the sport. I excelled to the highest level—and it's not like vicariously I had to see a different vision through their eyes of where I would want them to get to,” said Gilmore. “I gave them what I had. The mindset to be able to focus and develop.”

They all chose basketball anyway, but daughter Priya was the only one to take it to the collegiate level. 

“Priya took my height and intelligence from my wife,” said Gilmore. 

Known for her shining personality, sense of humor and great advice, Priaya started playing at Wolfson High School, where Gilmore said she had a funny style of playing. Much taller than the other young women on the team, Priya would toss the ball up as the other girls stood around. 

Gilmore said, “She would just play volleyball, just toss the ball up until she was able to put it in the basket. She continued developing. She turned into a really outstanding basketball player.”

After leading the Wolfpack through some of their most successful seasons, Priya got a number of offers from schools around the country and eventually chose to attend Louisiana Tech. At 6’3, she was a leader on the court and enjoyed several winning seasons.

She had big shoes to fill in following her father’s footsteps, and she did it with grace: Gilmore and Priya are the only father-daughter pair to have both made it to the NCAA finals.

Gilmore was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011. Soon after, Priya and her husband welcomed twins Mark and Mia—with Payton arriving three years later. Though it was a time of great joy with the burgeoning new generation, there was also grief as Gilmore’s family slowly started to pass. Since his induction, he’s lost his mother and four brothers.

Then Priya’s sons Mark and Payton were diagnosed with autism. The family was told they would require special care, Mark for the rest of his life. Undeterred, Priya looked forward to raising her children, and giving them everything she had, as her father did for her.

She always said that her kids were her heart walking outside of her body. On June 8, she kissed them goodnight and started to get ready for the following day at her new job. 

Priya Gilmore-Matthews, 44, passed away unexpectedly that night.

“Parents are never supposed to say goodbye to their kids first.” Artis said. 

“I don't know how you describe it, other than a ton of bricks just falling. And as soon as you think you're breathing, it just absorbs all of the oxygen out of your whole system. You cannot put into words what it's like to experience the loss of a child. And for my wife Enola and myself to lose our daughter. You just can't describe it.”

As expected, Priya’s family was fully unprepared for the sudden loss. Her daughter Mia, who her family describes as very sweet and smart, knows that her mother is with God and helps to take care of her brothers. But the boys, loving and energetic, have not yet fully grasped the impact of the loss of their mother.

Despite the characteristic strength Gilmore has demonstrated throughout his life, nothing could have prepared him for his daughter’s death. His family says it has taken some of the spark out of him, but he knows there are better days ahead.

“We're gonna pull it together. We're gonna move this family forward. Become stronger and better,” said Gilmore. Referring to his book Here Comes the A-Train! The Story of Basketball Legend Artis Gilmore, he recalled being described as “tough, durable and consistent.”

“I’ll take that now,” he said.

Priya Gilmore-Matthews was her children’s primary caretaker. The family has set up a GoFundMe page for the children’s schooling, medication and clothing to ensure that their future is secured.

BennY RevivaL's cycle of sin and repentance

The past decade gave rise to platforms in which artists create and promote their work independently of labels and managers. Truth exists online for its own sake, with each of us choosing to exhibit or evade identity, to take a profit or a loss.

Coming up at the height of the Internet age, BennY RevivaL curated a cryptic persona that could only exist in a time of SoundCloud rap and Twitter virality. He poses in various locations in full costume or a sweatsuit and a mask. He’s a loner, he says, so most of these photographs are taken by strangers. Captions of eschatology and personal anecdotes are fully capitalized, punctuated only by ellipses. Mr. RevivaL remains completely anonymous—his hands are the only exposed area of his body.

He swears it’s not for show, though, that he’s not hiding anything, that his music and his posts are indeed tied to his true identity. The feeling he gets from wearing a mask is what he imagines others feel when putting on earrings or a watch. To show his face and post it online would fall in the category of selfies,  which he says he's not about. 

BennY RevivaL is about prophecy. He’s got a sharp awareness of biblical scripture, evangelizing in songs and captions. Mr. RevivaL’s religion is straightforward: he studies the word of God, prays, and repents. He denounces anything occult: chakras, astrology, and mysticism are satanic to him. 

“Anything kept in secret I hate and I despise,” said BennY RevivaL, “I despise keeping knowledge and wisdom and your opinions to yourself.”

As such, BennY RevivaL’s music is remarkably candid. Over high-tempo house-funk beats, BennY documents a cycle of sin and repentance. His tapes interpolate biblical scripture with hip-hop’s classic tropes of sex, drugs and delinquency. An air of shame hangs over every verse.

In his 2018 album HIV Positive, he faces the diagnosis of a chronic illness, reflecting on the consequences of sexual depravity. LAURA chronicles his conversations with an imaginary friend from a house on the prairie. NORTH FLORIDA hits close to home as Mr. RevivaL explores Jacksonville’s culture and crime in a spirit of love for the city.

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His North Florida upbringing informed this religious anti-occultist complex. He spoke to Folio on the way that the Bible Belt constricts the holy scriptures’ core, and how notable Jacksonville preachers are less than righteous in their rise through the ranks.

“I feel like if you were really reading the word and meant it, you wouldn't have those handshakes, you wouldn't be wearing those rings,” he conspired, “There will be no true gospel coming out of a place that is involved with things that have nothing to do with the gospel. I’m here to expose it because I was involved.”

Though he’s quick to condemn others’ sinful ways, Mr. Revival isn't a saint himself. He showcases his sins in song, “as if Jeffrey Dahmer was praying through what he was doing,” he told Folio, “And letting you know what he did was wrong instead of trying to justify it.”

“I don't want to bring anybody to hell. I want to display myself and tell you not to be me. I'm gonna tell you the ending to this story, and the ending to BennY RevivaL living like this is hellfire and brimstone, and that should be the only thing on my obituary.”

“If I die like this, know I'm in hell burning,” said BennY RevivaL, “But I want to go to heaven.”

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BennY has dodged several felonies – he lives a life of crime that started in his early youth, when he said he started seeing demons. He was troubled growing up and attended five different Duval County high schools as a result. Mr. RevivaL told Folio that he surrounded himself with people who are in prison now. Growing up in the segregated south, being around criminals throughout his life, he sees wickedness in this city and its murky waters.

“A lot of people were murdered and chained coming through the St. Johns River. A lot of bodies right now as we speak are dumped and not found in that river. I know personally,” he said with a chuckle, “I’ll leave it at that.”

BennY’s love for North Florida is palpable beyond the baggage and the curses. Jacksonville shaped everything from his speech to his style. He’s turned down almost every press opportunity, but agreed to an interview with Folio because it’s Jacksonville-based.

“People like me, that talk like I do, don't make it that far in life. Let alone anything entertainment or Hollywood. So me getting interviewed by Folio is very special,” said Mr. RevivaL.

A character so outlandish with such undeniable talent would surely be picked up by a label and sold as a product, one would think, but he’s not after money or notoriety. BennY admitted that he could be very wealthy right now, but turned it all away to live authentically in service to God – again, BennY RevivaL is about prophecy.

“I believe it that sincerely, to where I'll turn away money and I'll turn away opportunities for what I believe,” he said.

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BennY RevivaL’s internet presence outside of his personal accounts, forums, and blogs is minimal. He doesn’t follow anyone on his social media accounts to limit public information on him. He releases music across several SoundCloud accounts on a principle of non-aggression: in his words, “Mr. RevivaL forces nothing and shows the utmost respect.”

He was featured on Blood Orange’s 2019 album Angel’s Pulse. The R & B icon referred to BennY as one of his “favorite artists ever.” Last year, he was featured on the B-side of Frank Ocean’s vinyl release for In My Room. These collaborations are the only works with BennY’s name on them that are available for purchase. 

“Anything you’ve gotten from me was free,” said BennY, “I don't follow you, I don’t sell you anything, I don't have a song on Spotify. Other artists that I worked with put it out. I don't have no music videos out, I don't have no books out, I don't have anything for purchase from Mr. RevivaL.”“Please don’t get mad at me for something I gave you for free,” he continued, “Cause I ain't going nowhere. It don’t matter if I'm 60 years old, this music is gonna pump, these pictures are gonna pump.”

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The following interview was edited for clarity. Mr. RevivaL's  style of writing was left as he typed it. 

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Your music is deeply personal, but it’s not tied to your real-life identity. Is anonymity a strategy to protect or release your ego?

ANYTHING I EVER WRITE OR SAY IS INDEED ONE HUNDRED PERCENT ATTACHED TO MY REAL IDENTITY .. NO SERIOUSLY .. THERE IS NO ALTER EGO OVER HERE .. BennY RevivaL IS THE TRUTH .. NOT MY TRUTH .. BUT THE TRUTH .. ANYONE THAT HANGS AROUND ME LONG ENOUGH OR ALREADY HAS WILL SAY THIS IS FACT NOT PLEASURE .. EVERYTHING THAT Mr. REVIVAL PUTS OUT INTO THE WORLD IS WHAT HE REALLY BELIEVES & REALLY DOES FOR THAT MATTER .. THAT KIND OF EXPLAINS MORE TO WHY A DARN MASK COULD HAVE ZERO EFFECT ON ME MENTALLY .. ALL OF ME IS WHAT I SPEAK & WRITE .. NOTHING ALTER & DARN SURE NO EGO .. IN REAL LIFE I SPEAK LIKE THIS & TALK LIKE THIS .. BOLDLY ABOUT DIFFERENT TOPICS MOST ARE INTIMIDATED OF .. NO COSTUME OR MASK I WEAR HAS EVER SCARED SOMEONE LIKE MY MESSAGE DOES .. BUT BACK TO THE MAIN QUESTION I GUESS MY ANSWER IS YES & NO .. HELL I CAN NOT JUST SAY NO BECAUSE HERE IN THIS ANSWER I SAT HERE & SPOKE ABOUT MYSELF IN THIRD PERSON .. REMEMBER .. WHEN SAYING SOMETHING ABOUT Mr. REVIVAL PUTTING STUFF OUT INTO THE WORLD THAT HE REALLY BELIEVES & REALLY DOES .?. SEE .. HOW THE HELL CAN I SAY THAT THEN TURN AROUND & SAY THERE IS NOT A SMALL PERCENTAGE OF ALTER EGO RELEASING GOING ON OVER HERE .. SO SILLY .. NAH BUMP THAT .. THAT SEEMS SO PRIDEFUL & MYSTICAL WHICH I DETEST BOTH OF THOSE THINGS .. MY FATHER MADE ME AS ONE IN HIS IMAGE .. NO CONFUSION INGREDIENTS ADDED .. THEREFORE I WILL STICK TO MY FIRST RESPONSE AS THE FINAL ONE .. NO ALTER EGO RELEASING GOING ON .. THANKS FOR BEARING WITH ME THROUGH THESE LAST TWO QUESTIONS .. WE GONNA MAKE IT TO THE END HONEY .. HOLD ON .. 

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Does anyone know your real-life identity?

SEE .. MY IDENTITY IS REVEALED TO EVERYONE .. ANYONE I EVER PULL UP ON IT IS IN BARE FACE .. HERE I AM .. IF YOU WANT A MASKED FRIEND GO GET AN ACTION FIGURE OR A TEDDY BEAR .. THAT IS OF COURSE NOT MY THING TO SPEAK THE WAY I DO & THEN HIDE WHEN CONFRONTED OR CALLED UPON .. SEE .. THERE IS ABSOLUTELY ZERO ULTERIOR MOTIVE WITH MY DRESSING & MASKING UP .. IT IS NOT A GAME WITH ME OR AN ATTENTION SEEKING  PLOT .. JUST MY REAL STYLE .. THIS STUFF IS AMAZING TO ME & I AM AMAZED BY IT SO OF COURSE I WOULD ADD THAT ELEMENT TO ANYTHING I DO .. IT JUST SO HAPPENS THAT I PLAY DRESS UP DAILY .. WHETHER IT IS SOMETHING RELAXED OR SOMETHING LEFT FIELD .. IT IS WHAT WAS FELT THAT DAY .. SAME GOES FOR ANY MASK CHOSEN .. IT IS JUST HOW I WAS ROCKING THAT MORNING WHEN GETTING DRESSED .. COME SHOPPING WITH ME .. SIP TEA SIP COFFEE .. COME HIKING WITH ME .. COME GROCERY SHOPPING WITH ME .. MY IDENTITY IS REVEALED .. LOOK AT A PICTURE OR VIDEO OF ME .. WELL THEN OF COURSE YOU ARE ONLY GOING TO FEEL OR SEE MY STYLE .. WHICH IS COSTUMES SWEATSUITS & MASKS .. SO SILLY .. NONE OF US KNOW EACH OTHER .. WHY SHOW EVERYONE WHAT I HAD FOR LUNCH OR WHO I AM FIGHTING WITH OR WHAT BILL IS DUE .. SWEETHEART OUR STYLE & OUR CREATIVITY IS ALL WE NEED TO WITNESS FROM ONE ANOTHER ONLINE .. IDENTITY IS REVEALED TO ANYONE WHO CARES FOR IT .. BUT BE HONEST .. DO YOU REALLY WANT IT .?. CALL ME BACK .. 

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How does hiding your face affect your psyche?

ME DOING SOMETHING LIKE PUTTING ON A MASK IN PUBLIC OR PRIVATELY FEELS EQUAL TO AN EMOTION FELT BY SOMEONE PUTTING ON A WATCH OR EARRINGS .. MY WHOLE EXISTENCE THINGS LIKE THAT SEEMED QUITE NORMAL .. IF DONE CORRECTLY & WITH RESPECT OF COURSE .. NEVER WOULD I ENDANGER OR PURPOSELY FRIGHTEN A CHILD OR ANYONE FOR THAT MATTER WHO NEVER CONSENTED FOR MY MASKED PRESENCE .. SO SILLY .. WHEN MASKED UP IN PUBLIC I AM IN MY OWN CIRCLE .. MY OWN SQUARE .. AVOIDING EYE CONTACT & ANY GESTURE THAT WOULD MAKE ME FEEL INVITING .. YOU CAN BET I STILL GET DIRTY LOOKS SOMETIMES OR STRANGE LOOKS TO BE FAIR .. BUT THEY CAN NEVER SHOW TOO DEEP OF OFFENSE BECAUSE IT WAS THEIR EYES FEASTING WHEN INSTEAD OF WALKING AWAY .. ALMOST LIKE THE FEELING OF WATCHING A BRUTAL KILLING OR FIGHT ON VIDEOTAPE .. SWEETHEART YOU ARE INDEED THE ONE WHO PRESSED PLAY ..

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Name your musical and cultural influences.

GOOD & THE BAD .. GENIUS & THE DISABLED .. SAINT & THE SINNER .. LITTLE TO NONE OF THESE ENTITIES THAT MOST CONSIDER AS CULTURAL INFLUENCES DO I EVEN PAY ATTENTION TO .. ESPECIALLY IN POPULAR ART .. MODERN OR CLASSIC .. AT ALL LIKE SERIOUSLY .. GIVE ME A CLEAR BLUE SKY DAY IN THE MORNING & THEN BY NOON IT IS HAZY FROM LINES LEFT BY AIRCRAFT .. THAT INSPIRES ME .. GIVE ME A FOOD PRODUCT THAT HAS THINGS IN IT WE NEED A DICTIONARY TO INTERPRET .. THAT INSPIRES ME .. GIVE ME CASES WHERE PEOPLE ARE FOUND ORGANLESS IN DITCHES .. THAT INSPIRES ME .. ARTISTS .?. NAH .. SPIRITUAL BOOKS .?. NAH .. PROPHECY FULFILLED .?. NOW THAT IS ABSOLUTELY INSPIRING & INFLUENTIAL ..

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What does Jacksonville mean to you?

NORTH FLORIDA SHAPED DARN NEAR EVERYTHING FOR ME .. FROM MY STYLE TO MY RELIGIOUS PRACTICE .. SO SILLY .. BUT NO REALLY .. NORTH FLORIDA SHAPED IT ALL FOR Mr. REVIVAL .. NOT JUST DUVAL .. BUT ST AUGUSTINE .. MIDDLEBURG .. CALLAHAN .. YULEE .. FERNANDINA .. WALDO .. STARKE .. GREEN COVE .. THE WHOLE FIRST COAST & ANYTHING BORDERING OR SURROUNDING IT .. BEING OUT OF THESE REGIONS REALLY LETS ME KNOW HOW ATTACHED I AM TO HERE .. FROM THE VIBE TO THE FOOD TO THE LINGO .. FROM THE DRESS CODE TO THE PREJUDICES THAT LIES DEEP HERE ON THE FIRST COAST .. IT IS IMBEDDED IN ANYONE WITH ROOTS HERE I BELIEVE .. SOME OF THE OLDEST HISTORY IN ALL OF AMERICA RESIDES IN THESE PARTS .. WHICH COMES WITH A WHOLE LOT OF BAGGAGE & WHOLE LOT OF CURSES .. SAY NO MORE .. JACKSONVILLE COME GIVE ME A HUG .. 

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Which one did you like best: Jackson, Sandalwood, or Paxon?

JACKSON BY FAR .. I WAS TROUBLED IN HIGH SCHOOL & LET ME TELL YOU .. THERE IS ALOT MORE TO GET INTO OUT EAST & ON PEARL STREET THAN ON ST JOHNS BLUFF .. SO SILLY .. WELL THAT IS .. IF YOU WERE INTO WHAT I WAS INTO DURING THAT PERIOD OF EDUCATION .. I WENT TO WOLFSON FOR 3 MONTHS BEGINNING OF MY FRESHMAN YEAR .. FIRST REPORT CARD IN HIGH SCHOOL WAS D D F B .. RIGHT THEN I KNEW THINGS WERE CHANGING FOR ME MORALLY .. SWEETHEART I RARELY GOT MORE THAN ONE B IN MIDDLE SCHOOL & DEFINITELY NOT IN ELEMENTARY .. HIGH SCHOOL WAS WHEN THINGS GOT DEMONIC TO SAY THE LEAST .. NEVER MADE IT PAST TENTH GRADE .. SANDALWOOD CAME DUE TO ME BEING KICKED OUT OF JACKSON .. WAS ONLY ONLY THERE FOR A FEW MONTHS BEFORE BEING KICKED OUT DUE TO ATTENDANCE .. JACKSON WAS BASICALLY MY MAIN HIGH SCHOOL & WHERE I STAYED THE LONGEST .. OH .. PAXON WAS NEVER ATTENDED .. MY OLD MAN HAD THE KEYS TO BOTH THE MIDDLE & HIGH SCHOOL GYM DUE TO HIS JANITORIAL BUSINESS PRACTICE .. 

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HIV Positive tells a poignant story of sexuality, chronic disease and repentance. Would you have released something so raw without an alias?

ONCE AGAIN .. THERE REALLY IS NO ALIAS .. I SAID WHAT I SAID & MEANT EVERY WORD .. NOW IF YOU TAKE THAT AS IT BEING A TRUE STORY ABOUT MY LIFE OR SEXUALITY OR REPENTANCE  THAN IT IS TOTALLY UP TO THE LISTENER .. DEFINITELY SERVED ITS PURPOSE & THAT TAPE IS A ONE OF ONE .. DID NOT KNOW HOW AMAZING OF A CINEMA THAT COULD BE WHEN I MADE  IT .. IT WAS A TOPIC THAT I DO NOT THINK MANY CAN SAY THEY HEARD MUCH ABOUT IN MUSIC .. JUST TAKE A LOOK AT ANYTHING TITLED FROM ME MUSICALLY & YOU WILL SEE WHAT IS BEING SAID & WHAT YOU HAVE BEEN MISSING .. WHEN IT CAME TIME FOR ANOTHER LOWERCASE SERIES THAT DEALT WITH LIFE & DEATH .. HIV Positive CAME INTO PLAY .. THAT MOVIE NEEDED TO BE TOLD IN MUSIC .. IF ONE CAN WRITE LYRICS ABOUT IMAGINARY WEAPONS & MONEY .. IMAGINARY LIFESTYLES & LOVE .. WELL NOW IT IS MY TURN .. COULD HAVE SWORE [sic] THAT IS WHAT CINEMA WAS ..  Mr. REVIVAL IS JUST CAPABLE OF TAKING IT TO A LEVEL WITH UNCOMFORTABLE TOPICS LIKE WHAT WAS SAID IN THE FIRST ANSWERED QUESTION .. OH .. HOW ABOUT I EMBODY A CASE OF HIV FOR 2018 MENTALLY .. FIRST SENTENCE SPOKEN ON THAT TAPE EXPLAINS WHAT I WAS DOING .. MY FATHER BORE EVERY SIN & EVERY SICKNESS FOR US .. THE LEAST I COULD DO IS MAKE AT ATTEMPT AT TAKING ON ONE OF THOSE THINGS .. AS YOU LISTEN TO IT THE MESSAGE IS CLEARER & CLEARER .. MY FAITH IS CONTAGIOUS WHILE THEIRS IS UNDETECTABLE .. GENIUS IF YOU ASKED ME .. WHICH IS WHY IT WAS MADE .. SWEETHEART THIS EXPLANATION IS DRAWN OUT BUT REALLY WANTED TO MAKE IT CLEAR THAT ARTISTICALLY I AM SPECIAL .. WHETHER THE VIEWER SAYS IT IS SPECIAL NEEDS OR A SPECIAL BLESSING .. WAS CREATED TO SAY THESE THINGS .. ABSOLUTELY NO DISRESPECT TO THE COMMUNITY OF PEOPLE DEALING WITH THAT DISEASE .. HONEY THIS IS JUST HOW MY MIND WORKS .. MOVING WHEN THE SPIRIT TELLS ME TOO ..

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How does your life of sin inform your work?

HONEY I AM THE GREATEST SINNER ALIVE .. ALL OF US ARE CAPABLE & UNDERHANDEDLY WILLING TO BE SICK IN EVERY WAY .. DAHMER OR GACY IS IN YOU .. JEZEBEL OR DELILAH IS IN YOU .. PUT THE CHRIST IN YOU TO OVERTAKE ALL OF THAT FOOLISHNESS .. TRUST ME BABYDOLL .. OR NOT .. CARRY ON WITH YOUR BAD SELF THEN .. 

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Your work carries a wavelength of occult mysticism. What informs these religious themes? Do you partake in any spiritual practices?

OCCULT .?. MYSTICISM .?. SPIRITUAL PRACTICES .?. RELIGIOUS THEMES .?. WELL WELL WELL .. ALL OF THOSE THINGS I DESPISE & SO DOES MY FATHER .. QUIT GOING EVERYWHERE .. QUIT TOUCHING EVERYTHING .?. WHO TOLD YOU THAT YOU WERE NAKED .?. ALL THOSE THINGS DID .. TRYING TO BE A GOD WHEN WE COULD NEVER CARRY THAT CROSS .. SEE .. ANYTHING HIDDEN & KEPT IN SECRET WHEN PERTAINING TO WISDOM IS BORDERLINE BLASPHEMY .. NO SMALL PERCENTAGE OF NO ONE DESERVES ANYMORE THAN THE OTHER .. THAT GOES FOR WISDOM AS WELL .. KEEP THAT ENLIGHTENMENT TO YOURSELF THOUGH .. TELL THE WHOLE DARN STORY .. YES YOU GET BY WITH THAT HANDSHAKE BUT WHAT DOES IT COST .. ETERNITY IS MY ANSWER .. YOU ARE IN BODAGE WITH THAT ATTITUDE & WILL BE RECYCLED IN HELL FOR PRACTICING MYSTICISM INSTEAD OF TRUE GOSPEL .. YEAH I SAID IT .. SEE .. I HOPE TO BE MORE CUT & DRY IN THE FUTURE .. ANYONE THAT EVER COMES ACROSS ANYTHING I DO OR DONE NEEDS TO KNOW FIRST HAND .. NO SAGE BURNING NO OCCULTISM & ABSOLUTELY NO MAGIC IN MY CORNER .. THIS DISTANCE IS MUCH DEEPER THAN SOCIAL .. SEE .. I REBUKE & BIND THOSE REALMS .. SWEETHEART THAT IS NOT YOUR DEAD AUNT OR DEAD UNCLE COMMUNICATING WITH YOU .. THAT IS A FAMILIAR SPIRIT .. SUGAR PLUM THOSE SPIRITUAL PRACTICES YOU PARTAKE IN WILL OVERTHROW YOU LIKE IT DID OUR ANCESTORS .. GET IN THE WORD .. LOSE CULTURE & WHAT MOMMY & DADDY INSISTS YOU BELIEVE IN & SEEK TRUTH .. A NEW REVELATION IS BEING REVEALED DAILY .. THAT IS ALL I WANT ON MY DAY TO DAY & WHENEVER ANYTHING IS RELEASED FROM ME .. WHETHER IT BE A SIMPLE PICTURE FROM A CELLULAR DEVICE OR A TUNE FROM A SIMPLE SOUNDCLOUD ACCOUNT .. MY DESIRE IS THAT YOU REALIZE IDEAS OF MORTALITY  WILL NEVER EMBODY ME & I PRAY THE SAME FOR YOU .. NO REALLY I DO .. BLESS YOUR HEART ..

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isa@folioweekly.com

@isa23b

Categories - Main
ALPHABET SOUP Edition

A GHOST IN THE CROWD
On Feb. 10, 2017, a white Nashville police officer fatally shot 31-year-old Jocques Clemmons, a black man, once in the hip and twice in the back, after he ran a stop sign. The officer was never charged, sparking outrage and protests for months. In December, while compiling its annual In Memoriam issue, Nashville Scene made a chilling discovery in its archives: an unpublished 2009 interview with Clemmons for a now-defunct feature called “Face in the Crowd.”

In the interview, which reportedly was never published, the then-23-year-old Clemmons, who was helping his grandparents at a farmers market that day, remarked on how he viewed the recent inauguration of Barack Obama as an example of Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream being fulfilled, talked about the minutiae of his young life, playing high school football, his favorite fast-food spot. He also shared an insight he’d learned: “A fool is as bad as his wisdom, so one thing I would teach,” he said, “use caution and judgment with everybody, and keep your head up and thank the Lord for everything.”
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BUT IT’S JUST GAS
In a move that makes one wonder if New Mexico is trying to mimic Old Mexico, the state’s environmental department is taking heat over its proposed revision to the permit approval process for building oil and gas facilities. Weekly Alibi writes that environmentalists say the proposed regulations would “make the state’s air quality standards some of the worst in the country.”

The New Mexico Environmental Department defended the proposal, saying it combines two existing permit processes and removes outdated language. But environmentalists were having nunya, clapping back by reiterating criticisms of the oil and gas air quality standards, noting that it would eliminate any limit on methane gas releases and allowed only four days for public comment. To which the NMED was like, oh, jk, you can comment all month.
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CRAFTING A CO-OP
Well, Worcester, Massachusetts might also be out of the running to give all their tax dollars to a billion—we mean, be the site of Amazon HQ2—but they’ve got something Northeast Florida ain’t got as far as we know: their very first community-owned brewery. Worcester Magazine reports that 3cross Brewing Company, which opened as a private company in 2014, announced on Jan. 9 it was converting to a cooperative ownership structure and becoming the state’s first community-owned brewery.

The brewery, which is changing its name to 3cross Fermentation Cooperative, will be owned by workers and consumers, the latter being sold memberships for a one-time fee of $150 starting Jan. 26. Thereafter, the business’s direction will be determined democratically—one vote/member. “From the outset,” said founder Dave Howland, “I really wanted 3cross to be very much a community-focused venture. Opening ownership to anyone in the community really reinforces that, I think.” We think so, too.
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DISASTER EVERYWHERE HE WENT
Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton is one of the targets of activists determined to influence government by sharing their thoughts with their representatives. Well, Cotton prefers his constituents laudatory and docile, not critical and agitated. And he’s cotton-pickin’ going to do something about it!

The junior senator reportedly sent a letter to numerous citizens warning them to “cease and desist” all communications with his office, according to Arkansas Times. Several members of Ozark Indivisible were reportedly sent such letters, possibly due to their unwillingness to grin and bear Cotton’s tomfoolery, which includes denying anyone in the White House has evah used the word “shithole,” holding up a dying woman’s ambassadorial appointment to “inflict special pain” on then-President Barack Obama, undermining foreign policy by spearheading a letter from 47 senators to the Iranian government during negotiations for a nuclear deal, and screwing his own people by being the ONLY Arkansas House Republican to vote against a farm bill in 2014. He makes Marco Rubio sound like un hombre del pueblo (a man of the people).

MURDER … THE INTERNATIONAL LANGUAGE!

Not to be confused with “gelato,” the Italian term “giallo” designates a specific type of cinematic treat – namely, Italian slasher films. Some film historians credit a specific sequence with a knife in Mario Bava’s Black Sabbath (1963) as the origin of the species. Quibbles aside, the sub-genre flourished in the ’60s and ’70s, its most distinguished practitioners including Bava and Dario Argento.

Most agree one of the best of the “giallo” films is Massimo Dallamano’s What Have You Done to Solange? (1972), which genre fans will be delighted to hear is getting a full 4K Blu-ray restoration in December, just in time for Christmas. Anticipating the yuletide treat, I decided to revisit the film in its current DVD format, which isn’t bad at all.

With a mostly Italian cast, the movie was filmed in London with all the actors speaking English, heavy accents and all, their voices then dubbed with surprisingly good results. The plot is pure “giallo,” with lovely girls (in various degrees of undress) pursued by an unknown killer with sharp instruments. Beautifully photographed in vibrant color, Solange has an added distinction of a musical score by Ennio Morricone.

Fabio Testi plays the handsome, married Italian teacher at a Catholic girls’ school who, in the film’s opening sequence, is nuzzling one of his students in a boat. Suddenly, the girl sees a classmate being pursued and stabbed in the nearby woods. In short order, the ranks of the other nubile students are quickly being depleted by the same killer. Red herrings accumulate almost as rapidly as the body count, and the chief suspects are a woman (the Lothario’s jealous wife) or maybe one of school’s priests.

Never dull, occasionally preposterous, but overall quite surprising in its plot twists, What Have You Done to Solange? is giallo at its best. Solange, by the way, is a central character in the plot, though her name is not spoken until near the end. Playing the title character in her film debut is Camille Keaton who, though she receives prominent billing, has not a single line of dialogue. In 1978, the young actress (a distant relative of Buster Keaton’s) later starred in the original version of I Spit on Your Grave, one of the most notorious examples of yet another genre, the rape/revenge film. She doesn’t do a whole lot of talking in that movie, either.

Watching Solange, I was reminded of another foreign thriller, not an example of giallo by any means, but notable in its own way. What’s more, its title (like Solange) also features a question mark.

Who Killed Bambi? (2003) is a French film, co-written and directed by Gilles Marchand in his first turn behind the camera, though he made his mark earlier as a screenwriter for the brilliant Hitchcockian With a Friend Like Harry … (2000). The title character of Bambi is Isabelle (Sophie Quinton), a young doe-eyed nurse nicknamed for the Disney deer by the film’s villain, the handsome but creepy surgeon Dr. Philipp (Laurent Lucas). In the early stages of their “relationship,” Isabelle has trouble keeping on her feet (like Disney’s Bambi) due to an inner ear problem. Dr. Philipp will operate on her.

Meanwhile, however, the doctor’s doing something odd with other patients in the hospital, though Isabelle is the only one to suspect him. It’s soon a game of cat-and-mouse or (to be more accurate) hunter-and-deer. Sort of, at least. Little is straightforward in Bambi, which owes as much to David Lynch as to Hitchcock.

A curious factoid: Who Killed Bambi? is also the title of a 1977 unproduced screenplay by Roger Ebert which was to have been directed by Russ Meyer and feature the Sex Pistols. Imagine the possibilities – with an exclamation point and a question mark.

Florida Selfies

Spencer Toner, 79, was arrested for indecent exposure in a McDonald's parking lot in January in Bonita Springs, after a complainant said Toner was watching pornography on a laptop computer and masturbating (a downside of McDonald's early-on, company-wide adoption of Wi-Fi). Toner demanded earlier that the complainant give him privacy. In December, Francis Bianco, 76, was arrested shortly after noon for indecent exposure in a Winn-Dixie grocery store parking lot in Fort Myers Beach. Bianco protested, claiming he was merely urinating (apparently thought to be not as offensive). William Gibson, 50, was charged with "lewd and lascivious" behavior in front of a store in Jensen Beach in November after he began (according to the police report) "fluffing" his genitals and performing other genital-related activities.