Archive for the SPOOKY KABUKI Category

My Mask Reveals (Transmuting Miss Van)

Posted in Art & Culture, Art Lover, Fur Reals, Goof & Glamour, I Heart Shaman*Art, Lipstick Shamaness, Psyche & Sexuality, punk rock, Sexuality, SPOOKY KABUKI with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 6, 2010 by alphabetfiend

Personally, I like masks year ’round and have been known to don a mask & a tight-as-fuck punk tee for a regular (tho rockin’) night out. However, most humans deem Halloween (& Carnivale) to be the only “appropriate” times to don a mask. For freaks like me, October (& February) are nice times to stock up. 

I never expected to be the tattooed lady — even made it through my 20’s with just one bottle-cap crown — but then I fell in love with the Spanish/French graffiti artist Miss Van. By a stroke of kismet, I met Tina Forever, a gifted tattoo artist capable of transmuting the Miss Van magic. Now I say that my body is an inky Parisian alleyway. I regret that I don’t have more flesh to commit to inky renderings of Miss Van’s masked darlings. Every time I turn around, I’m falling in love with another one and wondering where on my body, she might feel at home.

Junko Mizuno Makes Me Jizz

Posted in Art & Culture, Art Lover, Goof & Glamour, I Heart Holidays, I Heart Shaman*Art, Psyche & Sexuality, SPOOKY KABUKI with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 4, 2010 by alphabetfiend

Well, freaks, it’s October. You know what that means, right?

It means my evil alter Spooky Kabuki is in a witchy crouch over Cream Scene Carnival so expect some cauldron-stirring.

Things are crazy for me now but I WILL get it together and deliver the crazy cool stuff that Spook-Kabuk has been saving up.

 

Such as what? Well, how bout a Mark Ryden inspired interior? Or the coolest ouiji boards ever? Plus while we got ouiji on the brain we must discuss Weegee’s crime scene photography. There’s steampunk rayguns that go up yer butt & movies that’ll scare the shit outta ya.

Ghost stories, voodoo chants, a gypsy curse or tw0 or three.

Plus, an amazing array of creepy art by a hoodoo slew of artists such as the wicked Junko Mizuno. You’ll be hearing more about that talented hag so stay tuned.

*All art by Junko Mizuno

“If You Have Ghosts…” repost (Sunday A.M. Punk Rock Gospel)

Posted in I Heart My Love-Tribe, I Heart Tricksters, Intuition & Gut Intelligence, Mythos, Rock & Roll, Spirituality & Religion, SPOOKY KABUKI, The wisdom of the universe with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 9, 2010 by alphabetfiend

Well, lovers, the week started out nice enough what with spoiling the RobotBoy for his August 3 birthday and then a new little niece was born which was all kinds of exciting but then I made a fateful decision and let a 2 year old — my niecy, Thing 2 — handfeed me spaghetti. My friend Vince said, “Ah, you’ll do anything for a baby” and he’s too right. Pieces of parmesan cheese or stray bits of noodles fell from her mouth, onto her sauce-stained shirt, and when she gathered up this germy detritus with her chubby grubby fingers and aeroplaned it towards my mouth, I opened up. Yikes! I must be crazy! It’s a biological evolutionary power these babies have over us grown-ups. We’ll set aside our own good sense just to see ’em grin. Anyhoo. No sense crying over spilled spag. Now I am laid up and only barely human with a wicked case of strep throat. I’m missing Cyndi Lauper in a New Orleans club tonight and still unable to wrap my feeble mind around my half-done draft for this week’s punk-rock gospel. The Robot was gonna fill in for me but then he got sick too so I have decided to repost an oldie but goodie from way back when. (originally posted on the 28th of October, 2008.) Newcomers, enjoy! I’ll make it up to those of you who have read this one already. I’d give you big old smooches but I love y’all too much for that, cause I’m “naasty” as my niece would say and who wants my naaaaasty kisses anyway? Be well and beware of germs!

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

“If you have ghosts, then you have everything…. You can say anything that you want and you can do everything that you want… one never does that… In the night, I am real. …I don’t want my fangs too long…. The moon to the left is a part of my thoughts and a part of me is me.”

These strange words, a mad shaman’s chant out of the speakers — volume LOUD — and into my atomic self… “eye” at the essence/energy level.

This was a hymn from the church I’d been waiting for. This was reckoning & rock n’ roll at once.

This was the theme to the soundtrack of my life. NOT one of those songs that I came to love. I loved it on first listen — in my bones, in my molecules, in the depths of my mind. If you have ghosts, you have everything. I had been waiting all of my days and nights to hear that song. I still shudder at every listen. It is my anthem. It is the mantra which saves me, its odd sequence of words spirit me off to my truest place. Where it is all okay. Not just okay but gorgeously fortunate.

Roky, my coyote in the dark piney woods. He howls. Pine cones float in the moonlight as organic odes to Tanuki and Kitsune. The coyote says “This was the life you wanted. How lucky you are to be haunted.”

If you have ghosts, then you have everything.

These spirits that clamour, who are they? Why are they here? What do they expect? They leave omens everywhere, valentines in the path of days. Instructional pamphlets? They are here because they adore you. You are who? The “universe’s darling”???  Who told you that? You have won their gaurded hearts. The telephone rings (Dad called it the “cosmic phone”) and the voice on the line is the voice you were longing for. The scarab in Jung’s window will knock with more frequency should he see that you too have twitching antennae.

Ah, to talk about what this song means to me is almost impossible! When the effect it had was to scatter me like seed while condensing. How can it feel this way?

It reminds me of Alice with the Drink Me bottles and the Eat Me cakes. I am ENORMOUS! Crowding, pressing, filling up. I am tiny. A nanotech hologram of all that I am, a portrait of Dolly Parton etched on a grain of basmati. Practically invisible, wholly infinite.

I am simply being forthright when I say that this song means the WORLD to me. Is there anything more in the world than this?

If you have ghosts, you have everything.

 

I have ghosts. More and more everyday. I feel their presense at the tips of my shoulders. I dream of complex impossible machinery and blame them. They are always watching, wondering. What now brown cow?

Some people point to their scars and say, “See! I have lived! I took the leap!”

Others point to frown furrows. “I have suffered. My heart has broken in a million places.”

Or to smile lines. “I have grinned. I have beamed. I have known joy, I have brought joy.”

I point to ghosts. They are the proof of a life lived on the curled up smoky edges of existence like burnt paper. They are testament to …. willingness? …. courage? … awe? … curiosity? … wonder?

 

If you have ghosts, then you have….

  • an open mind like a a wind-whipped hallway. Where is the wind coming from? It just comes.
  • a hungry heart. Skulking in the dark, turning over every rock, nibbling velvet moss, barky twigs, souls unlike your own, souls akin, a lover’s skin, a friend’s soft spot.
  • made allys amongst the gods, the totems, the sky, the dirt. Unlikely connections bind you to the hearts of others forever. Your allys fight for you with fervor and loyalty. They defend you against haters. When you are injured, they gather you up in cloudy limbs and carry you to a bed of soft thistle.
  • loved, you have loved to love, and that they are loved is no secret to those you love. You have grabbed their cheeks or pounced on their goodness. You have pointed out their attributes and celebrated their quirks and their quarks. Even their molecules feel handsome. You don’t withhold kindness. You take liberties with love. You lay it on thick.
  • been loved, always, and with such enthusiasm! They love you fully and fiercely. Even death cannot change the love they feel for you. It is more than emotion, it is a morphic field. It all gathers there, all the love that you’ve ever been given. All the compliments filed away, all the talismans built from origami & feathers, all the tokens of affection. And so many keys to so many hearts on a ring that clangs in your pocket. Lucky lucky lucky to be so loved.
  • you have found members of your tribe, recognized them, summoned them, exalted them, comforted them. SHOOK THEM.
  • not just people loved and lost but selves, moments, ideas. Pets. So many layers of being like tissue paper glued over glass. Illness, experience, dreams, injury, heartbreak, love, longing, learning. All the things that contribute to the complexity of your being.
  • had an unexplainable unduplicated drug like any other … wine, hallucinogens, tobacco, soda pop, sex… none of it compares to the ephemeral solace of the spirits that carry you, ferry you on a raft of peach skins, banana peels, orange rinds. You float on the current of time, space, electricity, wonderment. You crack the pod and lick the shell. The doorway swells with feathery light. You swallow the bulb and become a bulb. Incandescent.
  • no need for long fangs. No need to take, rape, steal, beg. If it’s not willing, you don’t need it. Hate is not welcome in your heart.
  • a glow-white lightning bolt of SPOOKY KABUKI, theatre of synchronicity, dance of the Mindellian demon. When the audience laughs, just bow. Whether they are laughing at you or with you, it doesn’t really matter. When you stutter or miss your cue,  you are Pee Wee Herman who meant to crash his bike into a rose bush. They will appreciate how you stop to smell the roses. Should you mangle a line just tie your mustache into a bow like your mouth is a gift to the world.
  • your toe in the water while the wave has its toe in you.
  • EVERYTHING.
 
IF YOU HAVE GHOSTS
 
If you have ghosts you have everything
If you have ghosts you have everything
if you can say anything you want
then you can do anything you want
If you have ghosts then you have everything

one never does that
one never does that
if you call it suprise there it is
the moon to the left of me is a part of my thoughts
is a part me is me
one never does that  In the night I am real
in the night I am real
the moon to the left of me is a part of my thoughts
is a pert of me is me
forever is the wind is a part of my thoughts
is a part of me is me
in the night I am realI don’t want my fangs too long
I don’t want my fangs too long
the moon to the left of me is a part of my thoughts
is a part of me is me
forever is the wind to the left of me is a part of my thoughts
is a part of me is me
I don’t want my fangs too long
if you have ghosts, then you have everything.

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

The three paintings (above) are by the mind-boggling Miss Van who has captured my soul as well as my skin. Hopefully her brilliant renderings can help to translate my urgent over-wrought gobbledygook. When you love something the way I love this fucking phantom-tastic Roky Erickson song, your brain turns into a dollop of whipped cream. In the struggle to grab the meaning from its swirling vortex of importance, the writer looks like a hack and a zealot.

So please, please, forgive my words, excuse my raving mythos.

Just look at these masterpieces by Miss Van. 

Just LISTEN to Roky, my coyote guide, our city-shaman, our genius mad man who was spirited home to us at last. 

What God is to Goof, amen is to Aha!

God=Goof.

Amen=Aha!

Goof+Aha= if you have ghosts, you have everything.

Fur reals, y’all, not funny math. 

Thank you for tuning in/turning on to this special SPOOKY KABUKI edition of the Sunday AM Punk Rock Gospel. 

AHA!
  

Interior Design for Satanists: Aliester Crowley Wallpaper!

Posted in I Heart Steampunk, In Celebration of the Absurd, Sexy Bitch Steampunk yum, SPOOKY KABUKI, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 17, 2010 by alphabetfiend

Spooky Kabuki practically squealed when she saw these insanely lovely “Aliester Crowley” wallpapers.  Spooky Kabuki does not squeal. That’s for the other more easy, more breezy alter egos. 

Spooky Kabuki held in that squeal, swallowing it like a sip of Creme de Menthe where it tingled in her tummy and quivered in her hips. 

"leaf"

 

Aliester Crowley wallpaper? What craziness is this? 

Katie Deedy — clever dame, Brooklyn-based illustrator & designer — created the Crowley design for her company Grow House Grow. Grow House Grow “specializes in narrative-inspired wallpaper design.”  Gulp, gulp. Must swallow squeals. Gulp, gulp. How lit-cool pulp-past whip smart is that shit? 

 

“Our lifelong love of storytelling and affinity for pattern shapes every hand printed roll we produce.” 

Here at Cream Scene Carnival, we celebrate the storyteller. We’re elbows on the table and rapt. 

The whole storied idea behind Grow House Grow is filling us with lust and rapture, but these crazy cool Aliester Crowley papers are perfect for Spooky Kabuki’s dream house: 

 A haunted mansion, crows roosting in the rafters. Spider webs festoon the porch, hanging like festive garlands. Guests duck under the lacy embrace to reach the brass door-knocker — a steampunkish jumble of gew-gaws & gears. Clouds gather there like water-worn pebbles. Inky blue roses grow in tumbling thickets. 

 

A house with as many shadowy hallways as there are rooms. And there’s many a room. Bedrooms with crackling fireplaces and lush beds (for voluptuous bodies and voluptuaries alike.) Down pillows, violet linens, tiger-skins and fox-fur. (Faux.) The library over-flows with old books and clattery vintage typewriters. In the parlour, chow-pups wrestle on the tatty oriental rug as Roky Erickson plays on the Victrola. 

 

Spooky Kabuki’s dream house is that house from my dreams…. where I’m constantly stumbling onto some new wing or discovering some dusty basement full of forgotten treasures. The house of the secret subconscience. With its Jungian beatles and ghosty hues, the Aliester Crowley wallpaper in “Veil” was made for that ever-evolving house… that place that plumbs the psyche.  

"veil"

 

Even The Kubuki must confess that the pink delicacy of the “primrose” version makes for cheeky irony. It would also be lovely in a glamourous powder room — after all, Kabuki’s do a lot of powdering.  

"primrose"

 

The papers aren’t exactly cheap at $180 a roll or $48 a sheet, but it wouldn’t take much to make an impact and delight your senses. They’d be gorgeous in an entry way or other small spaces (like Kabuki’s powder room!) They’d even be great behind a bookshelf or inside a china cabinet.  

They’re a nice subtle way to salute your dark side. 

You’d also be supporting a unique talent like Katie Deedy who does more then design beautiful patterns. Deedy looks into the meaning beyond form. She tells the story behind the flourish. Deedy seeks to decorate The House Of Memory… one room, one wall, at a time. 

The bizarre stories surrounding the life of Aleister Crowley are anything but few and far between. Dubbed “the wickedest man in the world,” Crowley kept heads turning as an avid occultist, insatiable drug user and devoted hedonist. 

This wallpaper pattern stems from the summer of 1938, which Crowley spent in Cornwall. Some unsubstantiated sources site cultish melees involving dancing beauties, hard narcotics and evenings spent in black magic debauchery. My interest, however, lay with a woman also residing in Cornwall that summer: Katherine Arnold-Forster, nee Ka Cox. 

Ka, an intelligent and practical woman, was the ex-lover of writer Rupert Brooke, as well as a close friend of Virginia Woolf. She eventually married into the influential Arnold-Forster family, and had been quietly living in Cornwall with her artist husband for some years prior to Mr. Crowley’s arrival. 

The last night of Ka’s life is shrouded in mystery and rumor. As the story goes, a couple from town found themselves entangled in Crowley’s dark escapades and, fearing for their lives, approached Ka for help. Ever sensible, she took on their cause and made a visit to their cottage the following night. Her intention was to prove the dark arts they practiced were bogus, and it’s possible that a seance was held. Some even believe Crowley himself was present, and a heated supernatural confrontation ensued. What is known for certain is that Ka Cox inexplicably dropped dead that night, making headlines across England and reinforcing Crowley’s scandal-ridden infamy. (from Grow House Grow

There’s something very dastardly and delightful about the Crowley design which befits the source but there’s also a sort of steampunk romanticism to the pattern… antenna become rotors, bug wings become whirring zeppelins. The pattern is organic and mechanic at once. 

 

Hey, Ms. Deedy, be sure to call me when you design a rose-strewn paper inspired by Gilman’s classic  The Yellow Wallpaper. I’m thinking shades of buttercup and mustard, with wispy bits of cream & nudie peach. Mesmerizing, menacing, & liable to lead to mental-imbalance.  Yep. I bet you’re picturing it now, Katie Deedy. I bet it’s beautiful. I’ve been dreaming of that paper for years. Now that I know you exist, I’m waiting on the edge of my seat.  

 

Expect to see more of Grow House Grow’s amazing designs here on Cream Scene Carnival … especially an entomological ode to Mary Ward: a wonderfully creepy contrast of lady and bugs.

The Make Up’s “Save Yourself” (Sunday AM Punk Rock Gospel)

Posted in Goof & Glamour, SPOOKY KABUKI, Sunday AM Punk Rock Gospel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 2, 2008 by alphabetfiend

“I was frozen baby, cold to the touch, limbs from other bodies, I didn’t look like much, I was nothing baby and my blood was cold til you put your mouth to me and blew right out my nose. I was just a body until you gave me life and now I walk the earth… you’re my Dr. Frankenstein, oh yea.” — The Make Up

 

Creation, transformation, resurrection. Second chances, new life. Being saved. Saving yourself. Betwixt our birth and our death are countless itty-bitty births and do-over deaths. We bloom, we wither, we bloom again. Our existence is filled with entrances and exits. We hover in silky cocoons (regrouping, rethinking, investing, in wait) and then the itch between the shoulder blades — a surprised unfurling! The cocoon cracks open and we emerge with wings like Frida paintings. This REANIMATION is the persistent miracle of human experience. The hurt and the heal… a progression of spirit.

“If I’m alive now then I was dead, though like a stone unbothered by it. Staying put according to habit.”  Sylvia Plath

“I wept because I had lost my tears and I was not yet accustomed to their absence.” Anais Nin

“Hopeful as a lizard pulling clean from an old skin.” Barbara Kingsolver

” ‘Oh my god’, she cried, ‘I never knew what it meant to be real! I never let the sweetness or the horror or the dignity penetrate my brain.’ ” James Douglas Morrison

“There was preserved in her the fresh miracle of surprise.”  JDM (Yes, the Lizard King.)

The above quotes may be slightly off, a word here or there, as I have plucked them from my 4am brain. By now they are practically prayers… I’ve carried them for 20+ years as though they were the secret to the universe. Each letter a bead on my pixie stick rosary, each word a bone in my girl-body spine. They are MINE. Please appreciate what I am sharing. The recipe for my prize-winning ee cummings “eyes big love crumbs” cookies. I am letting you sleep in my luxurious bed — with me in it, taking up voluptuous room. We snooze bum-to-bum and dream of clouds shaped like raucous church organs. I am letting you hold the golden compass; you are stroking the orangey-pink pelt of my fox familiar. I have stocked the freezer with cherry jubilee. I am lulling you to sleep with my krishna chant; your bedtime story is the dream I’m already asleep & dreaming. Listen! The Make Up is ROCKING a dark smoky club; the stage flickers with hypnotic illuminations; Ian writhes and testifies! We dance in the rhythmic hive, the crowd abuzz, and I let you (why I hardly know yee!) grind your soft-pulse-stiffening against my ass of greedy proportions. DO YOU FUCKING UNDERSTAND WHAT I AM HOLDING IN MY HAND? I am offering you a sequin mer-scale plucked from my tailbone, the edge jagged from once it laid, crusted with DNA. If you were a hoodoo huckster, you could perpetrate some voodoo violence. But you would never be so profane. Safe from cruel eye curses, the sacrosanct flesh-rind of my fish-femme sacroiliac.

“Why,” you may ask, “is all that worth this goddamn much to you?”

Because!!!!!

We are all unbothered stones who recognize the magnitude of our death once suddenly alive. All cried out and cringing in the new light, with headachey eyes that flooded & keened until all that was left was life. Again. Anew. We have all called out with a great A-HA! as the mystery comes into focus. We have all sworn to never lose the profundity of that moment. But it blurs as it must — midwife to the A-HA! Above all things, I have lived to be that girl of continuous surprise. For that extraordinary seizing BONK! to be preserved in me. A yellow canary named “Eggyolko-ono” in my rib cage — a JOLT! of snapping flapping feathers. As a girl wonder, adrift and alive, all my aspirations fall under that umbrella which — POP! — has just opened with a dandy’s flourish.

This shit is SPOOKY KABUKI, it’s the very essence of Punk Rock Gospel. The Make Up even describes their sound as “Gospel Yea-Yea.”

 

The Make Up– totem band for an Alphabetfiend! A carnie-queen lipstick shamaness circus freak! Hell yea! Let’s undulate! It’s a glam saint rosary rock speaking in tongues writhing snake-handler deep south baptist punk psalms sound…. oh yea-yea ya-ya.

Discord Records testified to the band’s spirited synergy:

Make-Up’s performances have been characterized by the freneticism, catharsis and spirituality of what can only be described as GOSPEL MUSIC. They are a total departure from the boring pantomime of rock ‘n’ roll as we know it, inflicting a sublime theatre on their audience which resembles a baptism, or perhaps an orgy. Their ‘singer’ is typically employed as a lead-chanter, while the others perpetrate a rhythmic drone on the subjects of their “Rhythm Hive”.

a fresh puff of powder, a smear of cherry gloss, a coat of black mascara… a new look, a new start, a new way. Transformation is the order of the day with The Make Up’s Rock & Roll HOLLER. HELLO!

“When I see you again, I hope that you have been the kinda person that you really are now.” Sly Stone

Druggie Mummies

Posted in SPOOKY KABUKI with tags , , , , , , on October 30, 2008 by alphabetfiend

Our ancient ancestors liked to party. Fur reals.

Scientists have discovered drugs in the mummified remains of Andean fiends.

Doped up nere-do-wells!

The Mummies -- who are probably high on SOMETHING -- rock out.

Mommy always said those mummies were bad news!  

Discovery News reported on the hard-livin’ debauchery of the olden days.

Andean mummy hair has provided the first direct archaeological evidence of the consumption of hallucinogens in pre-Hispanic Andean populations, according to recent gas chromatography and mass spectrometry analysis. Chemical archaeologist Juan Pablo Ogalde and colleagues at the University of Tarapacá in Arica, Chile, analyzed 32 mummies from the Azapa Valley in northern Chile. Naturally mummified in the Acatama desert, the bodies belonged to the Tiwanaku, the ancestors of the Incas. The little known Tiwanaku established a civilization around 1200 B.C. that prevailed for almost three millennia, becoming one of history’s longest-running empires. At the peak of their power, between 700 and 1100 A.D., they dominated the Andes, controlling large areas of Bolivia and Peru and parts of Argentina and Chile. Their burials often contain elaborately decorated snuffing trays and panpipes.

Drug paraphernalia such as “ceramic snuffing tubes and inhaling bowls” had previously suggested mummy drug use. Those suspicions were verified when the chemical analysis of the mummies “revealed the presence of the hallucinogenic alkaloid harmine.”

“Our  identification of harmine in the hair of these two Azapa Valley mummies is a very important finding. The only plant in South America that contain harmine is the jungle vine Banisteriopsis caapi, also known as ayahuasca. But this plant does not grow in the Azapa valley,” Ogalde said.

The presence of harmine suggests the Tiwanaku travelled in search of exotic hallucinogens, and brought the Banisteriopsisvine from as far as the Amazon rainforest, some 300 miles away.

Who can blame them? I’ve been dying to try ayahuasca. I’d definitely go out of my way for a magic vine and the visions that come with. Hell yea! Take that all you people who are always jabbering on about the ills of modern society and drugs being the downfall of the human race. Sure, Coke-head Jimmy has a problem, I agree. Coke-head Jimmy’s fuckin’ it up for everyone! But humans have been getting high for like EVER.

If you run into a mummy this Halloween, ask him if he wants to smoke a bowl. SPOOKY KABUKI sez “Peace out.”

Ancient man with drug paraphenalia. Yep. I’m fascinated by this tribal-esque psychedelic comic book art.  I can’t seem to figure out who did it. But there’s more of it at nodoctors.com. If you figure out the artist’s name please let me know.

Mr. Blackwell On Hell’s “Worst dressed ” List

Posted in Goof & Glamour, SPOOKY KABUKI with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 30, 2008 by alphabetfiend

Ding dong the bitch is dead! The wicked bitch is dead!

The notorious meanie Mr. Blackwell died on October 19 after a long illustrious career as a cruel-eye. I don’t actually think the man is in hell or even deserves to be. He’s not black-hearted or evil. But he was a wicked bitch whose doorway to fame was a the tight sphincter of his own asshole. After failing at acting and fashion design, he made a name for himself with his mean-spirited “Worst Dressed” list.

I wonder what he was wearing when he died. Whatever it was, I wouldn’t be caught dead in it.

I’m not one to disrespect the dead but SPOOKY KABUKI will do it in a heart beat. Or Lack there-of.

SPOOKY KABUKI has never forgiven Mr. Blackwell for wagging his judgemental finger at Bjork’s bewitchingly bizarre swan dress.

Halloween isn't the only day that Bjork comes out to play.

I blame Mr. Blackwell and his hater ilk for taking all the damn fun out of fashion. It doesn’t bother me a bit cause I don’t give a toad’s shit but not everyone has the thick skin for ridicule that I do or the self-indulgent whimsy. Blackwell didn’t appreciate the playful pageantry of fashion. His restrictive and staid style “rules” created, for many, a fear of fashion. Blackwell was the Jim Jones guru in the Cult of Negativity. He appointed himself the official “fashion watchdog.” Time reported on Mr. Blackwell’s passing.

The designer and mordant fashion critic who dared to call Madonna the “bare-bottomed bore from Babylon” died Oct. 19 in Los Angeles. Richard Blackwell, a.k.a. Mr. Blackwell, of the infamous worst-dressed list, made a name for himself not with his own creations but by skewering those sported by celebs on the red carpet. His favorite targets, however, were celebrities like Zsa Zsa Gabor and Britney Spears, who he felt lacked any innate sense of style or glamour. He said his criticism had nothing to do with talent and once remarked that Meryl Streep looked like a “gypsy abandoned by a caravan.” Born Richard Sylvan Selzer in Brooklyn, N.Y., Blackwell started out as an actor but switched to fashion in 1958 when his career stalled. Fame came with the publication of his first list in 1960. While his original intention was to act as a sort of fashion watchdog, Blackwell and his list became a dreaded Hollywood institution that paved the way for other red-carpet critics.

Blackwell broke the skin with a biting wit. I even chuckled from time to time. Can you match these Blackwell zingers with the “tasteless” stars. (Lindsay Lohan, Patti Davis, Ann Margaret, Barbara Streisand, Bjork, Christina Aguilera, Sharon Stone, Camilla Parker-Bowles.)

  1.  “A Hells Angel escapee who invaded the Ziegfeld Follies on a rainy night.”
  2. “An over-the-hill Cruella DeVille.”
  3. “Packs all the glamour of an old, worn-out sneaker.”
  4. “She looks like a masculine Bride of Frankenstein.”
  5.  “The Duchess of Dowdy.”
  6. “A dazzling singer who puts good taste through the wardrobe wringer.”
  7.  “From adorable to deplorable.”
  8. “She dances in the dark? She dresses in the dark!”

We have Mr. Blackwell’s Legacy of Enforced Taste to thank for the total yawn of today’s Red Carpets — gone are the days of Cher with her bum-exposing gowns! Which may be for the best. But at least Cher was doing her own very CHER thing and partying like a rock-star via her style choices. Sure, Britney’s never brought much to the table fashion-wise but Ann Margaret is a style icon and a seriously sexy bitch. Meow. Patti Davis in her french pirates tee? Is there anything more dreamy? Oh wait, that was Patti Smith. No matter. I’m sure Blackwell thought Smith was a ragamuffin. Best/worst lists make bebes afraid to develop their own looks. They forsake their own fantasies in favor of the homogenized safe look of the “best dressed.” They never develop the confidence to flaunt their fantasy self. What is fashion if not a fantasy? 

I can’t count the times I’ve had women and men swoon over one of my REDONKULOUS ensembles. After a poetry reading a man breathlessly confessed “I find women in turbans to be terminally erotic” and then avoided me for years because I was the source of his dreams & his humiliation. Women will exclaim “Oh I wish I could wear tulle/hats/wigs/capes/tiaras!”

Who says you can’t?

Who says we have to wait until Halloween to dress up in outrageous fineries, circus-punk costumery or disco glam get-ups?

Oh right.

Him and his.   

Now that Mr. Blackwell’s gone, Simon Doonan — famed window designer & author of “Eccentric Glamour” — should rise up and take his rightful place as fashion’s talking head. So break out your pink leopard stockings and your gold lame boleros. Summon the spirit of Isabella Blow or even your inner-Cher.

Is that a chain mail lobster Issie's wearing?

Issie, is that a chain mail lobster? WOW!

 Answers to the zinger-star match-up: Lindsay Lohan*7, Patti Davis*3, Ann Margaret*1, Barbara Streisand*4, Bjork*8, Christina Aguilera*6, Sharon Stone*2, Camilla Parker-Bowles*5.

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