We must CULTivate our (avant) garden.

Nettles won’t sting you if you grab them firmly enough.

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I’m thinking about cults and gardening. The capitalistic “eco friendly” cult. I’m interested in the language of nonchalant sales pitches online. The hidden ads from influencers and how they are similar to the charismatic cult leaders rhetoric.

During my Graduate Diploma, I explored the one woman cult. A cunt cult. With one charismatic leader and no followers or one follower with no leader. It was a Narcissistic cult, it was short lived and nobody got hurt. Now there is the two person cult. With either two narcissist at the wheel, two lead singers like Paul and John, or two happy followers. With a two man cult the lines between the leader and the subjects become blurred. Does Eurydice lead Orpheus out of the underworld or does he lead her to eternal damnation? Does it really matter? As long as someone is being lead somewhere.

Cult Leader Characteristics according to the internet:

“Cult groups often have a dynamic leader whose authority is respected and, in many cases, unquestioned. Usually, a cult leader is a person of tremendous charisma who makes followers feel loved and accepted. It’s often suggested that cult leaders use brainwashing tactics to attract and keep followers. In many instances, cult members deeply identify with and admire their leader. Cult leaders often require degrees of conformity among members.” https://study.com/academy/lesson/what-is-a-cult-leader-definition-characteristics.html


Voltaire’s Candide about the loveable optimistic “idiot” who ends up just wanting to do some gardening. Or was he an intelligent master mind the whole time? In any case, just stay optimistic, follow the leader and “cultivate your garden”.

Album artwork from Cortney Barnett’s Avant – Gardener, lyrics below by Cortney Barnett .

Less cult-y more about gardening and the Covid. These lyrics from 2013 seem to mirror the times perfectly, with the hopeless- and breathlessness. Or maybe I just wanted to steal the title. I’m not that good at breathing in.

I sleep in late
Another day
Oh what a wonder
Oh what a waste.
It’s a monday
It’s so mundane
What exciting things
Will happen today?
The yard is full of hard rubbish it’s a mess and
I guess the neighbours must think we run a meth lab
We should ammend that
I pull the sheets back
It’s 40 degrees
And i feel like i’m dying.
Life’s getting hard in here
So i do some gardening
Anything to take my mind away from where it’s sposed to be.
The nice lady next door talks of green beds
And all the nice things that she wants to plant in them
I wanna grow tomatoes on the front steps.
Sunflowers, bean sprouts, sweet corn and radishes.
I feel pro-active
I pull out weeds
All of a sudden
I’m having trouble breathing in.
My hands are shaky
My knees are weak
I can’t seem to stand
On my own two feet
I’m breathing but i’m wheezing
Feel like i’m emphysem-in’
My throat feels like a funnel
Filled with weetabix and kerosene and
Oh no, next thing i know
They call up triple o
I’d rather die than owe the hospital
Till I get old
I get adrenalin
Straight to the heart
I feel like Uma Thurman
Post-overdosing kick start
Reminds me of the time
When i was really sick and i
Had too much psuedoefedryn and i
Couldn’t sleep at night
Halfway down high street, andy looks ambivalent
He’s probably wondering what i’m doing getting in an ambulance
The paramedic thinks i’m clever cos i play guitar
I think she’s clever cos she stops people dying
Anaphylactic and super hypocondriactic
Should’ve stayed in bed today
I much prefer the mundane.
I take a hit from
An asthma puffer
I do it wrong
I was never good at smoking bongs.
I’m not that good at breathing in.

2 thoughts on “We must CULTivate our (avant) garden.

  • Not sure what I like the most, the ad for your nearby webstore or the cult and together they are just amazing.

  • I just was thinking of Kinfolk magazine and the kind of imagery they show in the magazine. Where it’s all supposedly imperfect but at the same time the images and photographs combined with the way of writing in the magazine are so clinical that it actually becomes very creepy and uncanny.


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