Barnyard Hootenanny Jamboree

Last week, a Sneer Campaign IRL tradition played out as Dollissa and I (‘n frendz) traveled to Knoxville, TN, for the Big Ears festival of music and not a festival of oversized ears. It is four days of avant-garde music in a pleasant mountain city setting.

Maybe one of us will write out a review of Big Ears, a summary of music festivals, an essay about avant-garde music from an outsider’s perspective, a post about family trips and traditions, a Doofus and Darling about how each of us experiences such a thing, a travelogue about the city of Knoxville, a dry journalistic report on Appalachian culture, etc, in the future. Maybe we will eventually write each one of those things! But not today. Today is the overindulgent self-portrait for April.

An illustration of Amandoll and Dollissa in a 1920s humor magazine cover style. They are back to back, offering gifts to barnyard animals. Dollissa has an apple and Amandoll has a robust dandelion. Animals included in this image are: cow, crow, goat, rooster, duck, hog, chestnut horse, and a red-wing blackbird. It is titled "Farm Dreams 2023."

As is often the case when I am on a road trip, I am inspired by my surroundings — for good or for ill. There’s a lot of natural splendor to view, usually. There are so many new old cities to gaze upon, homogenized areas of sprawl and subdivisions to sigh sadly towards, Dollar Generals every twenty yards, ugly people nearly crashing into you in their identical neutral toned cars, and a million miles of farmland. This time, it was the farmland that got me.

There has always been a part of me that has wanted to live on a working farm. It might be the part of me that grew up watching cartoons from the 1940s, but they made farms look to be so pleasing and ideal. I suppose if I were being honest with myself, what I really want is a large sprawling rescue farm that rescues livestock, and about fifty honest farmhands to do all of the gross cleaning work…

Maybe I just want squeezy plush toy versions of farm animals.

Photo of a stuffed animal of a cow, an anteater, and a sheep, with a blurry tortoise shell cat named Swizzle in the act of getting up.

From left to right, my dream barnyard friends: Butterbell the Cow, Cassandra the Giant Anteater, Swizzle the Cat, and Bliss the Sheep who is actually a puppet but that’s okay.

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