"It's a spiral notion of time," she said. "Every moment is affected both by the past and the future, just like every point on the spiral touches two rings — one inner, one outer. It's called Pachakutik, and I use it a lot in my work."
Her work is to rattle people through activist performance art, and she was telling me other things, too, like how today's prisons are yesterday's slave plantations, and how prisoners are the modern slaves.
"In the old days it was pretty easy," she said. "If something was fucked up, you could just sit at the front of the bus, and that was that. But now they've institutionalized it, and they call it something else, and they make mad money from it. Oh yes, my friend, racism is alive and well in America. Alive and well."
She told me about the companies that own prisons, and how they contract with other companies to manufacture products with all that free labor. "Victoria's Secret underwear — that's one thing that's made in prisons," she said, and I tried to picture a sex offender stitching together a black satin negligee, and it was a strange thing to picture.
"And oh, get this," she said, tapping my shoulder. "All the police uniforms are made in prisons — how fucked up is that!"
Her name was Alixa, and she puts on performances all over the country with her partner, Naima, addressing all kinds of social issues. We talked through the whole flight, and she told me many things.
In my Mom's building in Manhattan, the doorman, Kris, was battling his own kind of injustice.
"They really crossed the line this time, Jonathan," he says. "And let me tell you something. There are a lot of us who aren't happy. Not happy at all. No sir. And let me tell you something else. This time we're taking it all the way to Paramount. All the way to the top. Yes sir. You're talking about a franchise that a lot of us love. A franchise that's been around for 30 years. A franchise with its own mythology, its own culture. And now they come out with this new movie, and it's just total crap. It's an injustice. That's what it is. An injustice and an insult to the franchise and the fans. The problem is, there's no imagination. Star Trek is supposed to be all imagination. But this new movie, there's no imagination. It's like with porn. I mean, I'm not a guy who watches porn. I'm just not. Doesn't do anything for me. Well, I mean, I'm a guy, so I've seen it a few times, but I don't watch it. Just not my thing. You know, I think maybe if there was more sensuality... But anyways, I was talking with my buddy, and he was saying how American porn is so boring. No imagination. It's like, you just get two people, throw 'em together, have 'em rip off their clothes, and there you go. There's no imagination. He was telling me how the Japanese and the Germans have all the imagination when it comes to that. How there's some weird stuff from those places. Real weird. Interesting, but weird. And he was saying how those are the guys who lost World War II, and we were talking about whether maybe that had something to do with it. Yeah, real weird stuff from there, he says. 'The Japs and the Krauts,' that's what he says," he says. "Yeah, I remember it now, 'the Japs and the Krauts.'"