Sperduti, Clemente. “L. R. Badeau on Being a Full-Time Unicorn.” Hopewell Democrat-Tribune 4 Apr. 2013, University ed.: A2+.

Lots of children adorn their folders and lockers with unicorn stickers, and Lisa Frank’s cosmic vision of the creatures was long haute couture for elementry schoolers. Lynn Ruelle Badeau of Hopewell has taken that fascination a step further: she has become one of the nation’s few full-time unicorns.

Ms. Badeau spoke to the Hopewell Democrat-Tribune earlier this week: “I’ve always been fascinated with mythological creatures, not just because of their beauty, but also because of their potential to do good and serve as a symbol,” she said. “I was an equestrian and a hiker, and loved nothing more than long wilderness hikes and off the trail rides.”

Badeau had long been an admirer of books like Peter Beagle’s The Last Unicorn and its 1982 film adaptation, but it wasn’t until she graduated from Southern Michigan University’s Monaghan School of Business and began working as an accountant’s assistant that she began thinking of making her fascination into a full-time job. “I thought of majoring in something that involved chasing unicorns, but the closest thing the school had–art history–had a really awful placement rate. So I made the ‘grownup’ decision and became an accountant.”

Five years of clock-punching at the Hopewell accountancy firm of Heliotrope, Burgher, and Mendicant changed her mind. “It’s a good thing no one saw my expense account sheets,” Badeau laughs, “I covered every inch of empty space with unicorn drawings. I got the work done, but 90% of my time was daydreaming about being a unicorn.” She maintained her equestrian and wilderness hiking pursuits on the side, but holds that “it just wasn’t enough.”

It was a Motion magazine article about Venado un Cuerno that really opened Badeau’s eyes. “I read about Mr. un Cuerno in SoCal, who’d been a unicorn full-time for almost a decade, and realized that there might be a way to live the dream.” She struck up a correspondence with un Cuerno, who she credits as her mentor, freely sharing tips on how to live and work as a full-time unicorn.

At first, things were difficult. “Being a full-time unicorn is tough!” Badeau says. “You really miss your opposable thumbs, and a diet of grass and rainbows is a difficult adjustment for someone used to burgers and fries!” She started with part-time unicorning, on weekends and after hours, but soon found the courage to quit her 9-5 job and move into 40-hour unicorn weeks.

“There are some challenges,” admits Badeau. “You need people to help brush your coat, and driving anywhere requires a trailer and hitch. It’s difficult for people with hard hearts to see me, and I have an instinctive fear of non-virgins that I have to control with special veterinary medication.” But it’s all worth it, she says. “Especially with children. Asking if they can ride me or touch my horn and then seeing their faces when they’re able to…it’s the best feeling in the world!”

Lynn Badeau now lives and works full-time as a unicorn, taking only the occasional weekend or holiday off to “wear clothes, use fingers, and watch Netflix” for a change. While she’s coy about how much she charges per appearance (Badeau’s website has a price quote generator), she often works for free or at the behest of the Department of Natural Resources, teaching children about conservationism and the environment.

“I’m a nerd at heart,” Badeau says, noting that she has appeared as a guest in such respected shows as Dr. What, Blade Runner: The Series, and Star Trek the Third Generation. “I’m able to make a living with my dream and educate besides. What could be better than that?”

From an idea by breylee and this article.

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#97: Is there any more perfect illustration of the futility of life than a janitor mopping a floor as people walk over it?

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Zines. Short for magazine or fanzine. Small-circulation publications, usually made on a cheap library photocopier. Usually a thousand copies or less of each issue, if there is in fact more than one issue. You’d think that they’d be the sort of thing that would slip under the radar, but as Underwater Basket Weaving proved, academics can study anything. As it happens, the Graphic Arts department at SMU is lousy with people that study zines; it falls to me, as the SMU Archivist for Visual Arts and Ephemera, to collect them.

Time was, most of the zines were outlets for paranoid schizophrenia on the Francis E. Dec level or extreme right- or left-wing conspiracy nuts. That was still true for a lot of them, but of course those weren’t the ones my faculty wanted me to collect. Like everything else that had once been an authentic mode of expression, zines have also been appropriated by hipsters. Now the field is full of people with art, design, philosophy, or literature degrees taking an inordinate amount of time and their parents’ money to try and design an zine that looks like it cost $0.50 to xerox.

So I write to peers in Berkley, New York, Austin, Ann Arbor asking for them to collect what zines they can find and mail them to me. I get piles of zine comics (the creators spell it with an X, comix, but I reserve that term for authentic stuff) trying desperately to be edgy and relevant and socially conscious. They typically wind up somewhere around “pretentious” instead. Then there’s the reams of bad prose poetry, cut up and pasted onto a sheet of notebook paper before xeroxing to make the tired odes to revolutionary consciousness and Free Tibet seem more authentic than the regurgitated leavings of petit bourgeoisie in denial.

I carefully place them into big acid free boxes while people come by to look and write impressive-sounding papers about these grassroots artforms. I haven’t the heart to tell them it’s astroturf.

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