Susan's "subject matter, context and medium...present a coherent artistic vision"
John Torreano, Clinical Professor of Studio Art, NYU

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Seymour Chwast

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Friday, June 25, 2010

To nobody at

Every time I blog, I am amazed by the technical ease with which I am able to compose my posts. All necessary research is readily available at my fingertips, not to mention spelling and grammar checkers and the ability to import my artwork, which is stored, edited and categorized in iPhoto. Even though the internet and computer technology has made my writing and illustrating life quite facile, I realize that I am only using a tiny fraction of the features that are available. Every day I come across more that the computer and the internet can do. Just today I discovered a fascinating service called anonymous email remailer.

Did you ever want to give someone a piece of your cranky mind without giving the recipient of your grouchiness the chance for a rebuttal? Well you can do that with an anonymous remailer. If you have an icky-sticky message to deliver and don't want the recipient to answer you or even be sure it is from you, you can send it via an anonymous remailer. You simply write your message and send it to the remailer service. It makes up a random name for the sender and sends the message on for you. It will be your message, but with no indication of its provenance and no valid return email address. Sweet–this might afford you true and pure retribution.

I was fascinated by my discovery and its potential. As a result, I have been ruminating about various injustices I have suffered throughout life–the time my father wouldn't buy me a horse to take with me and board at college, or when my high school cheerleading team elected me co-captain instead of captain. I'd like to tell them what I think about their incomprehensible decisions. I'd also like to chide the various art directors who inexplicably assigned me inside-page illustrations instead of covers, or possibly my daughter who, unfathomably, rarely reads my blog. What about some of the provincial (in the most pejorative sense of the word) art shows I've been in and still didn't win first place? Yes, definitely! l'd also enjoy castigating Madame La Fontaine for her ill-considered choice of a dancer for the lead role of Snow Queen in our junior high school recital. Reliving these experiences was unpleasant and unfortunate. It took the wind out of my sails. I had better stop dredging up these memories before I get really angry. I ultimately decided that, unpleasant as they were, they were not horrible enough to merit using the anonymous remailer.

After much thought, I decided that perhaps the only truly appropriate uses for anonymous remailer are to combat drug dealing and spouse stealing–two high crimes. I have no personal experience with the former, but as to the latter, I did endure a failed attempt some years ago. My husband and I had befriended a seemingly helpless acquaintance. She seemed extremely needy and looked quite innocent in the little flowered dresses she wore. While we helped her cope with healing from an unfortunate life experience, she helped herself by trying to steal my husband! I learned a valuable lesson from this and have never forgotten it: A witch in flowered clothing is still a witch.

So I created the message I would have dispatched, had the internet existed at the time, and sent my hypothetical message to myself via an anonymous remailer. The remailer assigned to me a rather appropriate random name. That assigned name and my hypothetical message appear below. (Getting into the spirit of anonymity, I couldn't resist adding an assigned name for the recipient as well.)


Which witch is it who bewitched my love while using me?
Which witch is it wanting fortune, fame, all that she can see?
Which witch is it? The witch imploring favors of me and thee for free.
To which I must reply, "It's not to be. Go climb your own thorned, lust-infested tree."

Which witchmail exposing which tale to my male
Did I stomp on 'til my blushing cheeks turned pale?
The one in which she stated, 'I need your help, I am so frail'.
Forgive me, witch. I balk and bail; I cannot see how you'll prevail
With your sad tale with my or any other male. You must get off his trail.

Which witch is it? I'll cast my spell and see, then ditch
The witch whose pall I'll lift without a hint of email glitch.
Which witch is it? Narcissa, the self-enamored witch.
To which I give the shame and name, The Flowered Witch.

And that's my pitch.



  1. Too funny but for the witch. I know she got your message with or without the anonymous remailer!

  2. this is great. maybe i will put music to it

  3. This is wonderful work, love it. Always admired the skill of telling a witch witchy things and still sound like a lady.