Archive for the Feminism (Shades of Gray) Category

Gaga Must Be in Awe of Mark Ryden. (Hell, Who Isn’t?)

Posted in Art & Culture, Fame & Celebrity, Feminism (Shades of Gray), Goof & Glamour, I Heart Shaman*Art, I Heart Tricksters, In Celebration of the Absurd, Lipstick Shamaness, Psyche & Sexuality, punk rock, Sexuality, Sideshow Siren & Bearded Lady, Star F*#ker, Style & Fashion, Technicolor Pop, Top 2% of Coolest Mofos with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 15, 2010 by alphabetfiend

   I didn’t watch the VMAs but, periodically glancing down at my iphone screen, I saw that twitter was all a-twitter over Lady Gaga’s meat dress.     

(Yes, IPhone, yes Twitter. Groan. “Long Story,” sighs The Lusty Luddite.)    

    

But no one was saying the obvious which was “OMG! Gaga’s gone real life Ryden!”    

Check out that white flaxen hair!

  

Being the selfish little writer-chick that I am I decided to save my “OMG!” for y’all. Except then I couldn’t get online for the umpteenth time (boy, the free wifi from my next door coffee shop sho’ ain’t whut it used ta be.) By the next morning, several people were pointing it out, including Ryden himself. (On Twitter. Hence Twitter.)    

    

Look, no one’s calling Gaga a Ryden rip-off or at least I’m not. It’s still super cool & mad genius. Once again, Lady Gaga used costume as an artistic and spiritual medium; stirring our own frockful fantasies; probing own throbbing architectures of mythos & meaning. So yea, it was pretty much awesome. After all, the girl in “Incarnation” isn’t a real-life girl with stepped-one toes. She was a fantasy, up for the taking.    

Gaga plucked that sucker from the tree of meaning and took a big juicy bite. Oh, wait, let’s try that again. >>I’m a bit rusty due to my recent sabBRATtical. << Gaga fillet’d that fucker from the flank of id and toothesomely tore off a hunk of bloody flesh.    

    

It was brilliant, really, I loved it, except… well, it would’ve been much cooler if she had given Ryden a big old “Yea, baby!” shout-out rather than mumbling some vague, tired shit about feeling like a piece of meat or being seen as a commodity or bla bla bla. Shaaaad up, Lady Bla Bla.    

    

Look, the whole feminism “feeling like a piece of meat” thing, I get it. I just don’t buy it. Not from Gaga.    

Lady Gaga is an absolute expert at letting her meat hang out. If she were really troubled — feeling like a piece of ass — she’d probably cover that ass.     

     

Nah, I think it’s much more likely that Lady Gaga, just like the rest of us, has spent hours agog and drooling over Ryden’s paintings, searching for ourselves from among his feminine archetypes.    

    

I’ve often blamed Ryden’s meat paintings on pop culture’s current carnivorous phase. At the store, as customers went nuts over steak bath-mats and bacon band-aids, I’d just chuckle at Ryden’s far-reaching influence. People may not know that Ryden’s the reason they’re craving meaty gewgaws but he is.    

Mark Ryden put meat on the muther-fuckin’ map. Mark Ryden made meat cool.    

I dunno but I’ve heard that if you wanna get more followers on Twitter, you need only name-drop bacon.    

And vagina.    

And penis.    

And there, folks, is all you really need to know about WHY we are so obsessed with meat.    

    

We are meat. Sometimes we forget that we’re meat. And sometimes we long to remember.    

    

Mark Ryden probes that soft, bloody, fleshy place inside of us. And we…respond.    

    

Lady Gaga wasn’t saying “How dare you treat me like a piece of meat!” Puh-leeze. She was shouting, “Hey, everybody, look at me! I’m meaty!”    

"Broken Label" with Mark Ryden

  

Gaga was acting on an impulse that wasn’t as wholly original as many non-Ryden fans might think. In 2009, freaky fashion blogger Tatianista gave voice to that Grade A urge.    

How utterly fabulous would it be for an underground fashionista like myself to have wearable meat a la Ryden to add to my ever-growing, glamorously eccentric wardrobe? So fab, in fact, that someone far more clever thought of it long before I did.    

Tatianista waxed poetic about the Nagi Noda / Mark Ryden collaboration, which launched Noda’s “Broken Label.”    

The first and only collaborative fashion collection the two artists produced…will likely be as highly collectible as just about anything else Ryden has produced…even more-so now that Noda, whose broad body of work included everything from popular music videos and commercials to sculpture, conceptual art and “hair hats” died tragically young last year. She left this world wearing her favorite Chanel boots, Victor and Rolf black lace eyelashes and one of her own Mark Ryden dresses.    

In February of this year (2010) the prescient Schadenfreude Pony declared of the meat dress in Ryden’s “Incarnation”    

GaGa will be wearing it next week.    

Unlike Tatianista and Gaga, I’ve never felt an enormous need to wear a meat dress. I’ve always been more into Ryden’s more mythic maidens, all filled-up from the inside with story & secrets.    

    

 I was obsessed for a time with creating a t-bone steak clutch, perfect accessory for the LBD, but was too lazy and never got around to making it.    

    

The ground chuck bag was a Ryden collab with Paul Frank. I’m not sure who did the pork slab but isn’t it the ideal briefcase for bringin’ home the bacon?    

    

My someday steak purse would not be a real t-bone, of course, cause I can barely stomach raw meat when preparing it for the grill (and my stomach.) My meaty fashion forays would be more figurative than real life soon-to-be rotting flesh.    

    

Such as these folks did for a Mark Ryden opening. (She’s in stilts, I think, which is all kinds of circusy spectacular)    

Man in a meat at Mark Ryden show

  

Though I give Gaga big props for keeping it real. I mean, look at these shoes.    

    

They look like they’re ready for the oven not the VMAs.    

    

One sultry June night in Toledo, I met my friend Dan McGuire — my Precocious Dandy — at a gritty east-side club. Dan was joining a local band, The Porn Flakes, on-stage. As a steak. All 6 feet and 5 inches of Dan had disappeared into a giant foam-rubber t-bone. Back stage, in the tiny yard behind the club, Dan stripped outta the steak and changed into a giant cow.  I dropped down onto the discarded steak, lounging like it was a carne-chaise. In a tiny pinkey-orange sundress & pink boa, with a nice marmaladey tan, I was feeling pretty luxurious, pretty damn cheeky. Things were going great, until one of the Porn Flakes began to eye me hungrily.    

“What?” I playfully glowered. “What am I? Just a piece of meat?”    

“I dunno, nah,” he drooled, “But you sure do look like a golden, buttery mushroom to me mmm.”    

“Hey, hey! ” Dan hollered. “That’ll be enough of that. Have a little fuckin’ respect, why don’tya?   

While Dan railed and ranted — protectively, possevively — I lounged extra lasciviously on my meat chaise. I batted my lashes as Dan hurried to pack his things. I smirked as he reached for my hand, yanking me up, pulling me away from those perverted Porn Flakes. I giggled as I caught up with his long aggravated strides, glancing back at my starving admirer. Then I leaned lovingly into Dan’s sturdy ribs as we ran excitedly down the dirty street, a trail of pink feathers behind us.    

*All paintings/art by the crazy gorgeous genius Mark Ryden. Check out his dot.com  

*For another meaty anecdote, read “Ham, I Am”

Punk Rock Gospel Blog: Hedwig’s “Origin of Love”

Posted in Art & Culture, Cinema & Filmmaking, Feminism (Shades of Gray), Friendship, Goof & Glamour, I Heart Funny Femmes, I Heart My Love-Tribe, I Heart Tricksters, Intuition & Gut Intelligence, Movies & Movie Stars, Music & Life & Sundays, Mythos, Psyche & Sexuality, Rock & Roll, Romance & Relationships, Spirituality & Religion with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 12, 2008 by alphabetfiend

We are always finding something once lost or newly discovered… some elusive idea, fragment of self, new friend, old friend, tribe member, ally, totem, trickster, co-inventor, muse, fellow hero, soul mate.

On the look out, always.

Origin of Love

When the earth was still flat,
And the clouds made of fire,
And mountains stretched up to the sky,
Sometimes higher,
Folks roamed the earth
Like big rolling kegs.
They had two sets of arms.
They had two sets of legs.
They had two faces peering
Out of one giant head
So they could watch all around them
As they talked; while they read.
And they never knew nothing of love.
It was before the origin of love.

The origin of love

And there were three sexes then,
One that looked like two men
Glued up back to back,
Called the children of the sun.
And similar in shape and girth
Were the children of the earth.
They looked like two girls
Rolled up in one.
And the children of the moon
Were like a fork shoved on a spoon.
They were part sun, part earth
Part daughter, part son.

The origin of love

Now the gods grew quite scared
Of our strength and defiance
And Thor said,
“I’m gonna kill them all
With my hammer,
Like I killed the giants.”
And Zeus said, “No,
You better let me
Use my lightening, like scissors,
Like I cut the legs off the whales
And dinosaurs into lizards.”
Then he grabbed up some bolts
And he let out a laugh,
Said, “I’ll split them right down the middle.
Gonna cut them right up in half.”
And then storm clouds gathered above
Into great balls of fire

And then fire shot down
From the sky in bolts
Like shining blades
Of a knife.
And it ripped
Right through the flesh
Of the children of the sun
And the moon
And the earth.
And some Indian god
Sewed the wound up into a hole,
Pulled it round to our belly
To remind us of the price we pay.
And Osiris and the gods of the Nile
Gathered up a big storm
To blow a hurricane,
To scatter us away,
In a flood of wind and rain,
And a sea of tidal waves,
To wash us all away,
And if we don’t behave
They’ll cut us down again
And we’ll be hopping round on one foot
And looking through one eye.

Last time I saw you
We had just split in two.
You were looking at me.
I was looking at you.
You had a way so familiar,
But I could not recognize,
Cause you had blood on your face;
I had blood in my eyes.
But I could swear by your expression
That the pain down in your soul
Was the same as the one down in mine.
That’s the pain,
Cuts a straight line
Down through the heart;
We called it love.
So we wrapped our arms around each other,
Trying to shove ourselves back together.
We were making love,
Making love.
It was a cold dark evening,
Such a long time ago,
When by the mighty hand of Jove,
It was the sad story
How we became
Lonely two-legged creatures,
It’s the story of
The origin of love.
That’s the origin of love.

Brad’s “Angelina” Portrait has Gentle Bedroom Intimacy

Posted in Art & Culture, Cinema & Filmmaking, Fame & Celebrity, Feminism (Shades of Gray), Movies & Movie Stars, Photography, Psyche & Sexuality, Romance & Relationships, Style & Fashion with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 11, 2008 by alphabetfiend
older than me now, more constant more real,
and the fur and the mouth and the innocence
turned to hair and contentment,
that hangs in abasement, a woman now standing where once there was only a girl.
–The Cure
****************************************
Angelina Jolie’s expression is sweetly victorious; her gaze, joyous. Three tiny digits reach for the starlet’s nipple. She smiles softly at the man behind the camera — father of her newborn twins and stolen soul mate, Brad Pitt. The actress who once wore a vial of genuine redneck blood around her neck is now the picture of maternal triumph. Blood’s washed away by milk. Milk reigns now; the new symbol of life-essence and vitality in this next page of Jolie’s open book.

angelina jolie

 The photo is hailed as “an astonishingly intimate portrait” and a  “stunningly candid moment” by The Daily Mail  (Donna McConnell and Natalie Trombetta.)

 “The Hollywood star sits with brunette locks tumbling over her shoulders, with the top of her blouse pulled down to expose her breast – which is somewhat covered by the tiny fingers which just reveal the presence of one of her suckling twins.” (Daily Mail)

Jolie seems to be developing a new ease of being that once eluded the frenetic actress. Insulated by the family she’s built with Pitt, Jolie knows a new comfort and sense of safety. She’s more at home in her own bones. Her skin has become a record of family and future: tattoos mark the latitude and longitude of her children’s birth places; scars & stretchmarks speak of pregnancy and birth. For such a renowned beauty, it’s a welcome escape from the vanity of Hollywood.

‘I’m with a man who’s evolved enough to look at my body and see it as more beautiful, because of the journey it has taken and what it has created. He genuinely sees it that way.’

It’s this evolved eye that found her fulsome face in the viewfinder. With a decisive click, Pitt captured a butterfly in the net that so many transitory moments escape. Photography has long been a passion of Pitts, along with architecture. Pitt is clearly interested in shape, form, structure — this comes through in the spectacular photo which graces the cover of the forthcoming issue of W. Jolie’s pillow lips look comfy, at home in this scene of domestic bliss.  Angelina looks to be wearing a classic cotton nightgown, a “Laura Ingall’s nightie” in cotton as soft as grannie bed linens. The black and white portrait has a dreamy quality and a purity that is due, no doubt, to the privacy of the moment. 

The Camera Man

For his birthday, Jolie presented Pitt with a Littman 45. Lucky man. He’s also fortunate to have such a stunning face as a subject. It is Pitt’s first time shooting a cover. In W‘s July 2005 issue, Pitt collaborated with Steven Klein to create a series of photos that cast him and Jolie as a married couple in the cozy turbulence of the 1960’s .

In Filmmaker magazine’s filmmaker blog, Scott Macaulay described the evocative cinematic experience of the Klein-Pitt project:

In a world where so many movies just don’t deliver, sometimes you have to find cinematic pleasures elsewhere — in music, in a videogame, or in a fashion magazine. And while I wouldn’t have thought to compare the pages to “a small independent film” (“It wasn’t a photography shoot. It wasn’t a celebrity shoot,” Klein said. “We looked at it like a small, independent film, an investigation into the breakdown of a family.”), I did find in this spread the artful compositions, sneaking subtext, and yes, celebrity star power of good cinema. If you haven’t seen it, the portfolio, which Pitt co-edited with Klein, features the stars as an all-American couple with family circa 1963 living alienated lives in a cold-war neo-paradise. Having recently watched Antonioni’s L’Eclisse, I thought back on that film’s fractured couplings in an H-bomb-fearing age as I turned the pages of this strange new form of celebrity portraiture. No disrespect to Doug Liman, but, in fact, Klein’s Wspread is more arrestingly cinematic than anything in Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

Not everyone loved the 58-page spread. Newly dumped Jennifer Aniston found it hurtful and in poor taste. Of Pitt’s horrendous timing, Aniston told Vanity Fair,  

“There’s a sensitivity chip that’s missing.”

I bought that issue of W but, unlike Macaulay, I was never able to savor the spread. It was just too sad. I’m not a big Jen-fan but damn that had to hurt. If strangers were thinking of Aniston’s feelings, it must’ve crossed Pitt’s mind. Or should have. For Pitt, Angelina and art came before Aniston’s heartbreak. But the hurt is old and time has told. This issue of W should be less guilt-inducing and thus more enjoyable.

Back Together! Sarah Silverman & Jimmy Kimmel Hug/Hump It Out

Posted in Feminism (Shades of Gray), Friendship, I Heart Funny Femmes, I Heart My Love-Tribe, Romance & Relationships, Sex & XXX, TV with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 9, 2008 by alphabetfiend

“Super freak, super freak. That girl’s a super freak. Ohhhhh. She’s a very kinky girl. The kind you don’t take home to mother. She will never let your spirits down. Once you get her off the street, ow girl.”  — Rick James, bitch!

Looks like Sarah Silverman & Jimmy Kimmel are back on. Thank Goof! I don’t normally give a shite about the trials and tribulations of celebrity couples but I loved this pair. They were my Brad & Angelina. Except, y’know, totally gross.

head over heels in love?

head over heels in love?

Ah, when two freaks find each other… makes my heart go pitter pat. When wierdos wed, I break out my silk hankie and weep at the cosmic wonder of the world. So I was (dare I say it?) devastated when I heard that Jimmy Kimmel & Sarah Silverman had separated. I kicked them out of the freak museum and cast them as fools. The break was reportedly mutual but a sad Silverman on TMZ begged differently. Was Kimmel was the only fool in this snafu? Fool! Fool! Fucker! Fatso! I hate you Jimmy Kimmel! Then I read in US that while dining with a friend, Sarah

“grew somber and became enthralled in a heart-to-heart conversation with her pal. She was talking and it looked like he was listening and then advising her. Mutual friend Jonah Hill – who has appeared in comedy skits on Kimmel’s ABC show – was dining in the restaurant and also stopped by to say hello. Jonah’s appearance definitely had an effect on her. They spoke for just a minute. And after he left, Sarah looked momentarily pensive.”

I wanted to spit a loogy in Kimmel’s squinty eyes. My hate surged when Silverman won an Emmy for the “I’m Fucking Matt Damon”video which, ironically, was a 5 year anniversary gift for Kimmel. While accepting the  award, Silverman said

“Thanks to the person for whom this whole video was made: Jimmy Kimmel, who broke my heart – ohh, who’ll always have a place in my heart.” 

Big fat juicy tears welled up in my eyes. Maybe I wasn’t the only one? The Enquirer claimed that Jimmy was making beg-some blotto phonecalls and now, a month later, the pair’s been spotted pawing each other. No one’s officially copped to it (although Kimmel copped a feel in front of photogs.) Barbara Walters tried to worm it out of Silverman on “The View” but Silverman sweetly deflected,

“In total respect to you and your legendness, I do not feel beholden or compelled to define my personal relationship to you. It’s not like a big drama thing. We’re just not, like, defining it. We’re just being right now. Is that Okaaay?”

Yes! It’s OK. It’s more than OK. It’s a beauteous thing. But if there’s gonna be any more heart break, it better be Kimmel’s. Next time Silverman better fuck Matt Damon for reals! Except she doesn’t want Matt Damon, she wants Jimmy. Silverman (who describes herself as “a 13 year old boy”) once said of their romance,

“We really, really, really like each other.”

Silverman hasn’t always felt that way. On the occasion of their 2001 meeting at a Comedy Central roast of Playboy’s patriarch Hugh Hefner, Silverman said of Roastmaster Kimmel,

“Jimmy Kimmel, everyone. He’s fat and has no charisma. Watch your back, Danny Aiello .”

And Kimmel hasn’t always been such an ingrate, saying of his bawdy belle,

“Sarah is funny and smart and good to look at. Plus, she likes fat guys. What more could I ask?”

I was gonna hate Jimmy Kimmel forever if he didn’t wise up and win back his lunatic ladylove. Hopefully he realized that he’ll never find a cutie more suitable a soul mate than Sarah Silverman. I wasn’t a Kimmel-fan before he dated Silverman (who I adore like a best friend who asks you at 3am if you could please go digging around in her cooch cause she’s sure she lost a tampon up there somewhere.) Although, like Sarah, I love a man with with a big belly laugh and the belly to go with. It was Kimmel’s ability to attract Silverman and the things she said of him that made me a fan. So shoot me already for even giving a damn. I usually shrug at celebrity fray so how did I get into such a huff over Hollywood fluff?  They’re too freaky-deeky to be fluff. After five funny years, I was hooked on the dynamic duo. Maybe I’m star-farked and dumb but I’m not the only one.  

The Evil Beet blogged, “After breaking all our hearts by splitting up, it looks like Sarah Silverman and Jimmy Kimmel are back in each other’s hearts and pants. As much as I hate Jimmy Kimmel, this is kind of heart warming. You just hate to see true love broken apart.”

To which someone commented,”Disclaimer: I kind of hate them both. That said, YIPPEE! I am so relieved! I don’t know why their breakup totally bugged me, but it did.”

The Superficial rejoiced, “Sarah Silverman and Jimmy Kimmel have reunited after getting chased out of their respective villages with torches.”

See! It’s not just me! I’m not the only auntie who wants those two love birds to build a nice nest. (Silverman has stated publicly that she won’t marry until gay marriage is legalized. Yay!) More aptly, I’m one half – the pretty half – of my own perverted partnership and I can’t help but crave a double date with those two. We could get kicked out of yacht clubs together! Pose for inebriated photos! Sarah and I could share lipstick in the ladies room and then maybe a few french kisses which we’d later blame on our drunkenness. We could go bowling or get stoned. Pig out and then lay around on Turkish floor pillows, listen to a few records and fart.

Funny thing: the pair we usually pal around with — Peaches Peltz and the Prof –have often been subjected to my sage advice:

“You two freaks need to stick together! ‘Til Freakdom Cum! Ain’t nobody gonna get either of youse. No one else’d get the joke.”

 

These two freaks need to stick together!

Hold on tight, freaks!

So it brings me pervy peace to hear that Silverman & Kimmel are back in one another’s hairy arms. Wallowing in one another’s hilarious hearts. They’re a kooky, brave, insanely irreverent pair. And adorable. And sexy! So sexy. I once watched as some A-list blonde used her guest spot on “The Jimmy Kimmel Show” to recount a Sundance Film Fest story about staying in an adjoining hotel room to the raunchy couple. Who, in true form, spent the trip engaged in all manner of loud naughtiness. Nice. 

An interviewer once asked Silverman if she had a pet name for Kimmel’s Penis. Sarah cooed, “I just call it HOME.”

Awwwww.

Welcome home, Sarah. Surely you’ve been sorely missed.

“That girl is pretty wild now. The girl’s a super freak. The kind of girl you read about in new-wave magazine. That girl is pretty kinky, she’s a super freak, super freak, she’s super-freaky, yow. Super freak, super freak. She’s a very special girl. The kind of girl you want to know. From her head down to her toenails” 

******************************************* 

Alphabetfiend is Dia VanGunten — A-TX writer girl who loves a super freak. Take’s one to love one. Right, Daddy? You’ve been gone too long. I miss you like hell. It’s thanks to you that I recognize the beauty in a beasty freak. You were so right. If you meet a member of your tribe, hold on. Don’t lose sight. Us freaks need to stick together. Maybe you can send that wisdom via some ghosty means to these two kids or else I fear they’ll be lonely forever. Oh, lonely. I’m so lonely for you. October 9. The worst day ever. But today’s OK, I guess. I wrote this for you. Did ya see the part about getting tossed out of the yacht club? Wink wink. I love you, you handsome devil!

Obama: He’s Black Enough

Posted in Art & Culture, Feminism (Shades of Gray), Hooray for Choice!, I heart hip hop, politics, Rock & Roll with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 9, 2008 by alphabetfiend

“All I need is my blackness, some others seem to lack this.”

Schooly D says “Obama’s black enough!”

In light of last night’s “THAT ONE” comment made by McCain about Obama, I thought I’d post this most wondrous thing which I watched almost daily last spring. The McCain camp can turn the race screws and that might work on some but there’s tons of people out there who, like me, are absolutely giddy to see a black man this close to the White House. This is how change happens. Barriers are knocked down and change charges in. It’s not about politics for me so much as it’s about human rights. Race, yes. But also gay and gender rights. It affects all of us everytime one of us wins. So point out his blackness all you want Repubs. Yes, he’s black and it’s a beautiful thing.

Lori Gottlieb’s Shot Gun Wedding: She says Settle, I say “I Do” to Love

Posted in Feminism (Shades of Gray), Friendship, Hooray for Choice!, I Heart My Love-Tribe, Intuition & Gut Intelligence, Psyche & Sexuality, Romance, Romance & Relationships with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 7, 2008 by alphabetfiend

 

A friend of mine was bummed after discovering an article in the Atlantic that urged women to settle. She emailed it to me with a one-word message: “depressing.” After reading the tedious thing, I didn’t feel depressed so much as annoyed. The writer Lori Gottlieb might as well be holding a shotgun to women’s heads and shoving them towards the unsuitable mate that awaits them at the altar.  She thinks she knows what we all want and need.

“Ask any soul-baring 40-year-old single heterosexual woman what she most longs for in life. Most likely, she’ll say that what she really wants is a husband (and, by extension, a child). To the outside world, of course, we still call ourselves feminists and insist—vehemently, even—that we’re independent and self-sufficient and don’t believe in any of that damsel-in-distress stuff, but in reality, we aren’t fish who can do without a bicycle, we’re women who want a traditional family. Every woman I know—no matter how successful and ambitious, how financially and emotionally secure—feels panic, occasionally coupled with desperation, if she hits 30 and finds herself unmarried. Oh, I know—I’m guessing there are single 30-year-old women reading this right now who will be writing letters to the editor to say that the women I know aren’t widely representative, that I’ve been co-opted by the cult of the feminist backlash, and basically, that I have no idea what I’m talking about. And all I can say is, if you say you’re not worried, either you’re in denial or you’re lying.”
What a presumptuous A-hole. “If you’re not worried, get worried. If you’re happy where you’re at, you’re a filthy liar.” Here it comes: YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT. Obviously Ms. Gottlieb wishes she were a Missus who’d made different choices. That’s cool. It’s her right to assess her own life. But, if she’s made such a mess of things, should she really be giving the rest of us advice?
“My advice is this: Settle! That’s right. Don’t worry about passion or intense connection. Don’t nix a guy based on his annoying habit of yelling “Bravo!” in movie theaters. Overlook his halitosis or abysmal sense of aesthetics. Because if you want to have the infrastructure in place to have a family, settling is the way to go.”
I, for one, don’t want to be saddled with someone whose breath curdles. And a fella with no taste, no thanks. I’m a voluptuary who would be desolate if stuck with a man who couldn’t appreciate the gorgeous shoes on my feet — satin peeptoe wedges, the satin printed with swirling fishes. Who didn’t even notice as I ooed & ahhed over them.  Who wouldn’t then secretly order them and present them to me on my birthday with a card that read “Shoes for the mermaid who walks on land.” This man exists. But had I married previous suitors, what then?

“Those of us who choose not to settle in hopes of finding a soul mate later are almost like teenagers who believe they’re invulnerable to dying in a drunk-driving accident. We lose sight of our mortality. We forget that we, too, will age and become less alluring. Which is all the more reason to settle before settling is no longer an option.”

No wonder she gave my friend the blues. Frankly, it pisses me off. I want to grab my friend by her luscious shoulders and shake the shit outta her. Don’t listen to the fear-monger egg-hoarder Lori Gottlieb. Her creepy advice is misguided at best and dangerous at worst.

“By 40, if you get a cold shiver down your spine at the thought of embracing a certain guy, but you enjoy his company… is that settling or making an adult compromise?”

If my friend came home from a date and said “Yea, I enjoyed his company but then when he hugged me, I got the cold chills, whaddaya think?”  RUN!  Pump them knees, change your number, block his emails. Too often women ignore their guts out of misguided politeness or because they think they are being “shallow” when really their body is trying to tell them that something is veryy wrong. Maybe the guy’s a misogynist rapist or maybe he’s just a really bad match genetically. Or spiritually. We are animals with animal instincts/signals.

  1. Another friend had a guy pal who she wanted to dig. “He’s so kind and he really likes me, ” she’d say. One night she woke up in a ice cold sweat with a stomach full of stones to find him in bed with her. After months and numerous apologies, she finally gave in to his advances. He turned out to be a cruel bastard and a cheat. I was about to say “Your tummy told you so” when she burst out crying, “That night, my skin was crawling, I wanted to puke, I knew who he was. I always knew.”
  2. When my mom was a young reckless hitchhiker she accepted a ride from a guy who was handsome and charming. She settled into his V-Dub Bug and they began to chat congenially. She was thinking “What a nice guy,” when suddenly her whole body revolted against that thought.  She bailed but years later she saw a photo in the newspaper and recognized the handsome face. He was the infamous serial killer Ted Bundy. If my mom hadn’t listened to her inner-alarm, I wouldn’t even be here.
  3. I resisted the friendship of a girl who I found annoying and “ugly.” Her presense agitated me, her voice made my skin crawl. I struggled with immense guilt, grossed out by my own unkindness. When I yielded to her pursuit, things quickly spiraled into a terrifying single-white-female situation. Even in friendship, it’s a mistake to settle.

Lori Gottlieb’s advice is reckless and reeks of desperation. Don’t listen to her, listen to yourself. Don’t listen to your guilt, listen to your gut. This is the real world, with real dangers. It’s not an episode of “Friends.”

“And while Rachel and her supposed soul mate, Ross, finally get together (for the umpteenth time) in the finale of Friends, do we feel confident that she’ll be happier with Ross than she would have been had she settled down with Barry, the orthodontist, 10 years earlier?”

Rachael did lots of growing and changing in those ten years. And wasn’t Barry a total creepoid? Didn’t he pull some real skeezy stuff? I seem to recall something about Barry getting married but still trying to get into Rachael’s pants and then some weird vengeful ick at his own wedding right in front of the woman he was settling for. Which is the problem with settling. It’s not a good deal no matter how you look at it, for any of the parties involved.

It’s equally questionable whether Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw, who cheated on her kindhearted and generous boyfriend, Aidan, only to end up with the more exciting but self-absorbed Mr. Big, will be better off. (Some time after the breakup, when Carrie ran into Aidan on the street, he was carrying his infant in a Baby Björn. Can anyone imagine Mr. Big walking around with a Björn?)

Aidan’s lucky Carrie didn’t settle. He wanted something else and he got it. Good for him. As for Carrie, it’s hard to say. Big did leave her at the altar but Carrie still chooses to deal with Big’s damage. For better or for worse. Carrie may not even want kids, in which case Big is a much better choice than Aidan ever was. Whose to say that even if Carrie had married Aidan that he wouldn’t have still gone on to fall in love with that baby-mama? Settling is strewn with sticky wickets.

“I’ll likely need to settle for someone who is settling for me…. My friend Alan justified his choice of a ‘bland’ wife with whom he shares little connection this way: ‘I think one-stop shopping is overrated. I get passion at my office with my work, or with my friends that I sometimes call or chat with—it’s not the same, and, boy, it would be exciting to have it with my spouse. But I spend more time with people at my office than I do with my spouse.”

Who want’s to be weighed down by someone who has “settled” for you and who shares more passion and spends more time with people at the office? What about that is “family friendly”? Let’s raise up some damaged kids who someday someone will settle for. The guy who gives you the shivers, with whom there is no sexual connection, maybe you will look back one day and say “Is it any wonder?” But it will be too late then. He’ll have already raped your daughter in her little girl gingham bedroom. From the time she was 5 ’til he she ran away and joined a cult at 15.  Sure, you want a partner in parenthood, but is the wrong partner better than none at all? How many childhoods have been shattered because selfish mothers believed a bad man was better than no man?  

“They, like me, would rather feel alone in a marriage than actually be alone. In practice, my married friends with kids don’t spend that much time with their husbands anyway, and in many cases, their biggest complaint seems to be that they never see each other. So if you rarely see your husband—but he’s a decent guy who takes out the trash and sets up the baby gear —how much does it matter whether the guy you marry is The One?

If you never see your husband and if what you know about him is “he’s a decent guy who takes out the trash” then what the hell is he doing in your home with your kids? Are you sure he’s a such a decent guy? Ask your daughter. She might know a lot more about him than you do. Ask your doctor when you go for that HIV test because if you’re not blowing him, who is?

In my formative years, romance was John Cusack and Ione Skye in Say Anything. But when I think about marriage nowadays, my role models are the television characters Will and Grace, who, though Will was gay and his relationship with Grace was platonic, were one of the most romantic couples I can think of. So what if Will and Grace weren’t having sex with each other? How many long- married couples are having much sex anyway?

If Grace had decided to spend her life with Will and raise a few kids, I’d say what I always say, “Hooray for Choice!”  Grace knows Will inside out. He’s a good person with a lot of love to give. And who says a family has to be what it’s always been? Lori Gottlieb says so. She’s not saying “grab a pal, raise some kids, be happy.” She’s holding a shotgun to your temple and saying “Settle. Or Else.” Will and Grace almost went that route, they came very close, but then they got swept up in romance and raised kids with their honey-pies. Either ending is acceptable. Hooray for choice! Goof love it. But Gottlieb says, “Don’t be choosy.” 

Screw that, I’m as choosy as it gets, I’m a modern girl that way. Over time I realized I was too much of an exhibitionist Ham to be with a jealous man, too wary to be with a sheltered mama’s boy, too liquid to be with a man who wanted to box me in (I leaked through the cracks and defied definition.) Eventually I met a man in the Laundromat. A punk rock Robot genius with a heart of gold. His take on this: “I used to wonder about you all the time but I never thought you actually existed. I thought I’d wait forever but I was waiting.” The vision he had of me defied all logic, where was that wierdo anyway? And then, one day, there I was — with 16 overflowing laundry baskets stuffed to the gills with silky bits — and wearing a vintage 1970’s Prostitutes Union t-shirt. He’d been waiting for me… so he was single. And I’d been picky… so I was able to pick him right out. You look really familiar. Don’t I know you from somewhere? 

Problem with your shotgun wedding is that someone's liable to end up a bloody mess.

Problem with your shotgun wedding is it's liable to end up a bloody mess.

Bitch, if you don’t get that shotgun out of my friend’s unbearably beautiful face, I’m gonna wrest it away and shoot you with it. Now Go. Go. And don’t come around here no more. Bang bang.

 Alphabetfiend is a writer & a prime choice luxury cut. Eat that!

Slowly Becoming a Fang of HBO’s “True Blood”

Posted in Art & Culture, Feminism (Shades of Gray), Psyche & Sexuality, Style & Fashion, TV with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 6, 2008 by alphabetfiend

“I don’t know what you’ve done to me, but I know this much is true:
I wanna do bad things with you. I wanna do real bad things with you.”
  — Jace Everett’s “Bad Things” is the True Blood theme song.

I wasn’t loving True Blood, as I’ve said. The vampires aren’t sexy. They’re pasty, bald, downright nasty. Their teeth extend in a penile way that’s stomach-churning. There’s this possessive rape-ish energy like in a high school romance. That’s not a good thing. If you think it is then you’re probably still in high school. Poor baby. Turn off that cell phone, spend time with friends, get real.  True Blood’s creator, Alan Ball, is bloody brilliant so I could practically taste the clever insanity. As fresh as a virgin’s plasma. Literary, intellectual, imaginative. If you’ve been around for 400 years, I would think you’d be smarter than the average redneck. I would imagine you’d have a weighty presence and an unsettling charisma. I don’t have a vampire fetish so it’s not enough that they have fangs and drink blood, big deal. I want my vampires to have something more, something extra. Beyond their raging unbearable hard-ons.

I think I just threw up a little.

I think I just threw up a little.

Maybe if the hero (not pictured above) were more like Vincent from TV’s Beauty & The Beast. Now there was a mythical creature that was, well, mythic.  And creaturely. The Beast took up space, his presence was palpable. Beast’s underground NYC home was crowded with books, easels, paints & other talismans. Vincent was sexy as a sulking, skulking Lion-Man. A gentle freak with depth of heart and psyche. I loved the Beast (and always knew that when I was a grown-up beauty the Beast would love me too.)  The show aired on CBS in the 80’s. It starred Linda Hamilton as Beauty & Ron Perlman as Beast. Ron Perlman has recently returned to weekly TV as the sociopath patriarch of a SoCal biker gang  on FX’s “Sons of Anarchy.”*  Once a beast, now a BEAST.  Perlman is great as Hamlet’s despot Step-Pop & mortorcycle madman. Too great. It’s hard; I hurt.  Perlman will always be my wise and loving Beastie. I want to scream at the TV “You Scum-Bag A-Hole, what have you done with Vincent?”

Vincent was a dreamy character who had a profoud effect on me. I haven’t seen the show since I was a little girl but I still make romantic choices based on beasty-ness. People who know me are now ticking back through my history, all the way back to that high school romance, and going yep yep yep. I’ve loved one magical beastie boy after another.

As a kid, I watched B & B; as a woman, I love a Beastie.

As a kid, I watched B & B; as a woman, I love a Beastie.

True Blood could’ve been the new cable version of Beauty & the Beast. Gorgeous, with a wicked taboo tickle and a hero so smart that he can like lick your brain.  Or make you tremble with just his juiced-up brain waves.  (It’s true, I’ve met a man like that. I don’t call him RobotBoyLoverMan for nothin!) I’m talking so smart, it’s torture.  With a dandy’s style and a philosopher’s smile. A cross between Oscar Wilde and Bukowski. Jesse James meets William James. Yum yum. This here nugget offers just a nibble of hope when, two minutes in, there is 60 beautiful seconds that evoke the early moments in a new flirtation and hint at an older intellect.

OK, yea, that was pretty delish. His smile after she says “I’m serious” and he says “As am I,” well, for a second I looked past the bad acting and the pasty pastiche. And Puns! Vampires love puns? Hmmm. I did not know that. Maybe I’m a vampire. I do love velvet (paired with black satin cigarette pants & beaded platforms) and I have been known to take the occasional love bite. Except not so occasional and not so loving. Mortals often admire my moonglow skin and fawn over my pitch black ringlets. They gush over my “old soul” and want to raid my closet. But like the stupid short-lives they are, they poo-poo my puns.

  • Fangtasia?”
  • “You have to remember that most Vampires are very old. Puns used to be the highest form of humor.”

Not only is Fangtasia a fangtastic name for a vampire bar but it was a great change of scenery for characters and viewers both. The visit made for vibrant visuals and the go-go dancing vamps had moves that mere mortals couldn’t bust.

  • “This one, she wanted to die. Everyone who comes here does, in their own way. That’s what we are. Death.”

When they’re running out of the bar to escape the cops and John whisks Sookie into his arms, yea, that was kinda cool. As a feminist, I’m loathe to admit it; but as a dorky romantic who once was held rapt by TV’s Beauty & the Beast, who crushed on brave lion-browed Vincent, ah, my heart skipped a beat. Goof help me. True Blood’s bloodsucker may seduce me yet. 

  • “This feels a little like what a vampire bar would be like if it were a ride at Disney World.”
  • “Well don’t get too comfortable. It tends to get more authentic as the night wears on.”

Maybe True Blood is Fangtasia. Maybe if we hang in there it will get more entertaining. Maybe the hero will read a few (thousand) books and bulk up his vocab. Maybe the actor who plays him (Stephen Moyer) will sharpen his acting chops. In order for “True Blood” to satisfy, I need a hero who makes me heady and flushed. Hell, he arouses Anna Paquin’s Sookie so much that she masturbates on his porch and all I want is some fangscination. Make me wanna suck blood. Fill me with craving.

Alphabetfiend is Dia VanGunten — Poetess & vampire punster living in the deep south (west). Working on a review of Ron Perlman’s new FX show “Sons of Anarchy” so be on the look out.

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