Emily Youcis is a Philadelphia-based renaissance woman of the web, a dictator of videos and mini-movies which she illustrates, animates, directs, and writes herself.
Here’s the first one I saw. Posted to Newgrounds in 2007. Alfred Alfer, dog, is the cartoon embodiment of the person inside everyone “who’s been scared, who’s been maimed, beaten, and tortured by various things in the modern day. It’s us. We’re all struggling. We’re all weak little bastards.” Glorious soundtrack by Ludwig Van:
“We have strong desires to fondle dear Alfred…” I am taken by this video at first by the dramatized, Ren & Stimpy-esque animation and overall plot, because it makes me chuckle heartily. But also, the instinct that draws me to, for example, Ariel Pink’s early records comes into play: youthful brilliance masterminding a cheap board. Of course you don’t need money to make art. I’m not saying being poor makes the art good, but it gives the young artist incentive to gain a reputation so that they can acquire the necessary means of production and time to come the closest to realizing their artistic GOALS. There’s a period when the young artist has to prove him or herself. Then perhaps they’re discovered, as Youcis was by Lloyd Kaufman, co-founder of Troma Entertainment and director of The Toxic Avenger.
Fast forwarding through the years, all of which I’ve seen snippets of in the last couple of hours, because the Internet is a wild neon forest of infinite information (See my Wild West post), Youcis has since not only delved into painting and music, but politics as well, and not of the prescribed ideology of the ‘entertainment business.’ No, just the opposite: Since coming out as a supporter of Donald Trump, she says of friends she once had: “they’re all gone now.” Being a former ‘crusty’ (crust punk), and an independent web-poet in the ever-so ‘progressive’ greater-Philadelphia region, this comes as no surprise.
It’s true that this election has polarized voters. For what reason young people with any inkling of a rebellious spirit wouldn’t be anti-establishment in this context is befuddling. I see in the work of Emily Youcis the kind of radical, political, Thompsonesque psychedelia that’s been missing from American art. Sure, lots of work is apolitical. But the fact that artists risk their career and reputation in endorsing or arguing in favor of Trump, or merely promoting traditional values, is absurd. Doesn’t it make sense, anyway, that artists, whose societal duty is to challenge the people by challenging the system influencing them, would be on Trump’s side, if any? Who will rip the multicultural utopian veil off the face of globalists, and expose it for the anti-Europe, anti-US agenda that it is, if not artists? Who will satirize sham narratives, paint dystopias, make us laugh, and then think, if not writers, painters, filmmakers, dancers, and musicians? Where would the Trump campaign itself be without memesters and orators?
Isn’t it our duty as American people to upkeep a social landscape where one needn’t fear an authoritarian party which threatens to ostracize them for having a different opinion?
Here is the latest video featuring Alfred Alfer. It is also, from what I understand, the first installment of a full-length Alfred Alfer feature. You can find Emily on YouTube, Newgrounds, Twitter, etc. Glorious soundtrack by Johann Sebastian: