Feathered Bastard

Dork King Du Bois

Catherine King channelling Cousin Itt...

Ya think Jerome Du Bois' mom was named Blanche? The PHX art-fart gadfly's capacity for self-delusion is equal to that of Tennessee Williams' most famous character, and like Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire, Jerome's creeping up there in mileage. For a while now, the artistic, literary and business efforts of Jerome and spouse Catherine King have been met with sneers by local scenesters, because, well, her art bites and he's a pompous dweeb. In retaliation against those here in P-town who fail to genuflect before their genius, Du Bois hammers away at his enemies in his endlessly stultifying blog The Tears of Things. Yet according to a recent statement issued from deep inside Castle Du Bois, Jerome wants to say goodbye to all that:

Properly speaking, The Tears of Things is not a blog anymore. We no longer reach out into the wider world. It's just a record for us, and a time-capsule witness for the future. Since nobody ever responds to anything we post, why should we care if we have readers?

We started out as an art and local culture blog, but we got weary of standing up for high standards against the vicious attacks by local trolls. To paraphrase Leonard Cohen, we love the city, but we just can't stand the scene. The misogynists and whores (and we mean that literally) can have it. Maybe it will be reclaimed by better people in the future.

Currently the Du Bois-King duo devote themselves to their "art," and their ponderous musings on Muslims, monotheism, and why everyone in P-town sucks but them. Thing is, Du Bois' simplistic digital images are the sorts of things third graders could do with a laptop, blindfolded, and one arm handcuffed to a chair. King's photos are just really, really bad. She offers up several pictures of cats called "spirit photography," poorly taken on purpose, apparently, so as to make it seem as if there are ectoplasmic spheres about. Instead it just looks like she needs to wipe down her lens.

Du Bois takes up the camera for his "Portraits of Catherine" series, featuring King standing in a backyard, wearing vintage-lookin' duds, and always covering her face in some way. That "bag that head" trick is done for good reason. With her squirrel's nest of gray hair falling all over the place, she sorta resembles the creepy chick from The Ring, though that fearsome celluloid ghost was dead sexy by comparison. Perhaps Cousin Itt from The Addams Family is a better doppelganger. I include one of the "Portraits of Catherine" as an example. There's a buttload more on Du Bois' site, if you're a masochist.

(I wonder if some of these are actually of Jerome. In some cases, the body looks a little too mannish. But then, that's been known to happen post-menopause. So who knows?)

Du Bois and King still show themselves in public, attempting to portray themselves as hipper than thou, but that's only if you equate hipness with a certain morbid freakishness. These oddball alter kockers were spotted arm-in-arm together at the opening for the Phoenix Art Musem's expansion, dressed in matching black, leather-n-lace cowboy duds, each with long gray locks worn down: Maybe what Stevie Nicks will look like in 10 years if she stops coloring her hair and becomes a bag lady.

Anyone know how these people actually make a living? Trust fund, real estate, welfare? Give me a call, if you know. I'd love to find out.

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons