Archive for Romance

Hedwig’s “Origin of Love” (Sunday A.M. Punk Rock Gospel)

Posted in Fur Reals, Goof & Glamour, Intuition & Gut Intelligence, Movies & Movie Stars, Music & Life & Sundays, Psyche & Sexuality, punk rock, Rock & Roll, Romance, Romance & Relationships, Spirituality & Religion, Style & Fashion, Sunday AM Punk Rock Gospel, Technicolor Pop, The wisdom of the universe with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 22, 2010 by alphabetfiend

Last time I saw you, we had just split in two.
You were looking at me. I was looking at you
.

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.

This search may be the very point of being born to this planet, of being given this skin.

Life is a lost & found.

We have our third eyes pealed, on the sacred look-out for our fellow mutants. We piece our lives together like legos. We sew the tattered bits of our selves into a kaleidoscopic crazy quilt. We wait to meet the pieces we lost. Our owies are eased as things fall in place. Everyone is engaged in this secret vision quest, everyone one is on alert. We’re hoping to heal the mysterious hurt. 

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.

I first saw Hedwig & The Angry Inch on stage — at The Shim Sham Club in New Orleans — and it was absolutely, indisputably magical.

Even the Robot loved it and he mostly loathes musicals.

We were so impressed by that Hedwig-Live experience that we were skeptical of the film. At first. But fear not, the movie managed to keep the magic intact.

“Sometimes grace and hope come in surprising packages. The title character of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, a would-be glam-rock star from East Germany, undergoes a botched gender-change operation in order to escape from the Soviet bloc, only to watch the Berlin Wall come down on TV after being abandoned in a trailer park in middle America.  Writer-director-star John Cameron Mitchell packs an astonishing mix of sadness, yearning, humor, and kick-ass songs with a little Platonic philosophy tucked inside for good measure. A visually dazzling gem of a movie.” (Bret Fetzer)

If you get the chance to see a stage version, jump at it. Even if it’s put on by 6 year olds. Especially if it’s performed by 6 year olds!

If you haven’t seen the film, well, you really should schedule some inspirational “me” time.

Mix up some cocktails. Rat your best wig. It’s high time for Hedwig. 

Have fun!

The film Hedwig & The Angry Inch, with John Cameron Mitchell (writer, director & star) is  available on amazon. So is the soundtrack.

Authors note: This is not the real punk rock gospel for this week. It’s a repost meant to reward you for your support. It’s merely meant to tide you over until I can post today’s intended PRG, which mysteriously disappeared from the screen at 4:28 am. I was writing the PRG (more of a love letter really) when we went off line. While waiting to get back online, I tweaked the sucker for 2 hours and ended up with a fabu finished product. Which I was liable to lose if I couldn’t get back onto wordpress. (I know! I know! I need no lecture. I get it. I waz the stupidz. They don’t call me the Lusty Luddite for nothin’!) Craving wi-fi, I crept out into the dark sreets — a vamp-cyber gently carrying an open computer to the parking lot of a shuttered coffee shop. Hooray! Houston, we have contact. I uploaded an image — something I’ve done countless times — and every bit of text just escaped into the ether. WTF?? Is it due to wordpress’ brand spankin’ new image/gallery widgetty whatucallits? What the hell happened??? No sign of it in revisions either, only an early draft. It’s just gone. Oh, I’m bummed. And stunned. Anyway, I’m gonna go back to the key board! But it will now have to wait until Monday. In the meantime, let Hedwig heal your irk (and mine) with her spiritual, romantic fairytale. *Originally posted on October 12, 2008*

Last time I saw you, we had just split in two.
You were looking at me. I was looking at you.”

*Painting By Genevieve Crotz.*

via Cream Scene Carnival

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“Joy” by Citizen Bird aka Silverbullit (Sunday A.M. Punk Rock Gospel)

Posted in I Heart My Love-Tribe, I Heart Robots, Music & Life & Sundays, Psyche & Sexuality, Rock & Roll, Romance & Relationships, Sexuality, Sunday AM Punk Rock Gospel, The wisdom of the universe with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 1, 2010 by alphabetfiend

It’s just a simple thing that you call joy. It’s leaking out from every pore. I feel joy now I feel joy!

Thanks for tuning in (“and turning on?” she asks, eyebrow arching.) This is a very special hip hip hooray Happy Birthday — to the RobotBoy! — edition of the Sunday A.M. Punk Rock Gospel.

Today we’ll be musing on the magic of love, on the mystery of dreams, on the JOY of music, on the brink of ecstacy.

Be patient while I goo-goo mew, for who am I but a love struck girl? 

This is just what I been lookin’ for! This is just what I been lookin’ for!

Before I met the real-life RobotBoy, he starred in several very vivid dreams.

It’s been a theme through-out my life, this “sensing” of an important someone before they’ve arrived.

My parents say it’s cause I was born with a veil (the amniotic sack, known as “the caul”, usually breaks away but when a baby comes out still hooded or “veiled” they’re said to be extra-sensory.) I say it’s cause I pay attention, plus I have the patience and the pesky urge to record my dreams rather than let them be lost to the ether. But perhaps it can be chalked up to a childhood spent on hyper-alert, always anticipating, neck craned and waiting.

This is just what I been lookin’ for! This is just what I been lookin’ for!

Maybe the universe just wanted to make damn sure I noticed that southern gentleman in the Hyde Park laundromat who would probably have been too shy to strike up a conversation, never mind ask for my number.

Eleven years later and the conversation I started continues. Sure, he’s shy but give him a beer and he’ll start talking; give him another and he’ll revert to the dense Mississippi drawl that slays me with sexy.

The RobotBoy and I have loads to talk about.

Being from the same mystical tribe makes for good conversation.

It’s especially important for weirdos (mofo freaks, genius odd-balls, jukebox poets, mutant mavericks) to find fellow tribe members with whom they can share their lives. This isn’t easy. Nothing great ever is.

But how could someone like the RobotBoy be with a woman who, I dunno, thinks like a mind-numbing Normal? Who sez “a man’s place is the workplace? Who voted for Bush? Who doesn’t give head? Who forbids fun in any form? Who freaks out over pot, porn, punk rock? Whose idea of music is Miley Cyrus? Who can’t rock and roll? 

Hell no. I know this man and he wouldn’t waste a moment with that woman.

If I hadn’t come along he’d have lived his life as a punk monk.

This is just what I been lookin’ for! This is just what I been lookin’ for!

Back in those days, before I met my Bot, I was still hyper-disciplined about recording my dreams (in an ever expanding series of tiny notebooks) and so those loverbot dreams can be returned to for re-examination whenever curiosity strikes.

We constantly marvel at all the little things those dreams foreshadowed.

In one of these dreams, he was known as an “R2D2” or “someone capable of inter-dimensional travel.” R2D2. Hahaha. It took years before I got the joke but I eventually laughed my ass off. In another prescient dream, he rose up from a smoky stage, surrounded by musical instruments, like a “Bradbarian Amadeus.” (No shit, that’s a direct dream journal quote.)

So it’s no surprise that music (real music, not Miley) has been such an enormous part of our love affair. 

Music — and the times we’ve shared within its clutches — has made “us” into a whole new thing, having given us a curious kind of form & function. It has also brought us a most immense, intense JOY.

This week’s featured song is “Joy” by Citizen Bird. They’re actually a Swedish band known as Silverbullit who had to change their name here in the states so as not to be confused with Bob Seger, er, I dunno, some other Silvery Bullety bunkos. I like the band by either name.

We first fell for Citizen Bird aka Silverbullit after seeing them live at CBGBs. They opened for The Soundtrack of Our Lives, more Swedes and one of our all-time favorite bands. (I Heart Ebbot Forever!) We saw both bands again the very next night at The Mercury Lounge. Despite impatience and preoccupation with our beloved Soundtrack, Citizen Bird blew us away.

Since then our love for them has only deepened.

The song “Joy’ is about just exactly that kind of love. 

I love to listen to “Joy” cranked up loud. Louder than yer mama can stand! Louder than yer doctor recommends!  Loud ass loud, my friends. I love it loud at the dusty gray, the very start of day, before the sun has risen, as the blackness fades. This sound, that gray, with the day & the highway curving up ahead.

It’s just a simple thing that you call joy. 

What is it? Well, you call it joy.

But maybe it’s more, maybe it’s an ecstatic rumbling from deep inside the cerebellum. Maybe it’s a giddy vibratory jumble of goodness in all it’s guises. Maybe it’s a wondering, a tumbling, an awe-gasp plundering and then a sudden eye-pop hiccup of hell yes. Maybe it’s a coming clean yanking free making way kinda thang? Maybe it’s a beat happening! In the left foot of Venus. Hard to say really.

It’s simple but it’s sacred, it’s easy but it’s pure.

A melody and a couple of chords.

Maybe people fall in love with music because Music will never leave –there will always be someone somewhere ready to rock out with their cocks out. Count on that. Sure, Music can and will break yer heart (happens all the time) but it’s the rumble-chest rib-wrenching feel good kind. Music can kick the living shit outta you, sure, but it’s always there later to kiss the boo-boo. 

For your pleasure, I have provided two very different videos. The first was directed by The Designers Republic for some bullcrap coke thing (ugh) but the video fulla throbbing hearts & cartoon pine trees is psychedelic, pulsing and kinda perfect.

Despite the sweet perfection of  The Designers Repub vid, I still feel compelled to share another. “Joy” set to a 1968 short film by German experimental film director, Lutz Mommartz. (“Weg zum Nachbarn”) Pardon my excesses. Really, I couldn’t resist. It’s super cool and crazy sexy. Right up a Robot’s alley! Plus, the artsy dark-haired hottie with the soft expressive (cum)face is just exactly the Robot’s type. 

Mmmm. I’m in the mood for a mind-bomb orgasm. You?

Now that’s a hell of a way to spend a Sunday! Calling out to God overandoverandoverandover.

Later, lovers.

JOY

Just a simple thing and nothing more.

Just a simple thing and nothing more.

Melody and a couple of chords.

Just a simple thing and nothing more.

Just a simple thing and nothing more.

Just a simple thing and nothing more.

It doesn’t hafta be any more.

Just a simple thing and nothing more

*

It’s just a simple thing that you call joy.

It’s just a simple thing that you call joy.

It’s leaking out from every pore.

It’s just a simple thing that you call joy.

It’s just a simple thing that you call joy.

It’s just a simple thing that you call joy.

It’s just a simple thing that you call joy.

I feel joy now I feel joy!

*

This is just what I been lookin’ for!

This is just what I been lookin’ for!

A melody and a couple of chords

This is just what I been lookin’ for.

This is just what I been lookin’ for.

This is just what I been lookin’ for.

I feel joy I feel joy I feel joy now I feel joy!

The mermaid-robot is from the crazily amazingly entertaining comic site Nataliedee.com

“Robot Love — Take Two” by Munster; “Robot Love is Forever” by graphic designer extroidinaire Scott McLean ; “I love you, Robot” is available as a t-shirt on shirtoid; Sad Robot is available as a tee at threadless.

View “Weg zum Nachbarn” in full at http://www.archive.org/details/Mommar…

For more on Cit-bird/Silverbullit see the Silverbullit website or the silverbullit myspace page.

The Citizen Bird album is available on amazon.

“Con Te Partiro”; With You I Leave (Sunday AM Punk Rock Gospel)

Posted in Art & Culture, Art Lover, Livin' La Vida Frida, Style & Fashion, Sunday AM Punk Rock Gospel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 18, 2010 by alphabetfiend

When you are far away I dream on the horizon and words fail, and I do know that you are with me, with me, with me. You, my moon, you are here with me. My sun, you are here with me, with me, with me, with me. With you I will leave.

As you may already know, I’ve been a most irresponsible ringleader. I’ve only recently returned to Cream Scene Carnival after a long hiatus. It wasn’t until I returned that I learned I had any “real” readers and now that I know, I’ve promised no more extended absences.

But can a gypsy-carnie with a history of wanderlust really make such a vow?

Well… yes.

Some time away doesn’t seem like such a big deal except for when it comes to one reoccurring post: The Sunday A.M. Punk Rock Gospel. The column I obsessed over and that no one ever read (besides The Reliable One) but he loved it too so I forged ahead with the idea. The idea?

A temple built of alphabet & musical notes, a church constructed of code, a sacrament of song.

I call it “The Punk Rock Gospel” though only some of the song choices are officially “punk rock.” It’s our attitude that’s punk rock. 

We’re outside the religious main-stream but still ass-kicker omen-seeker mystic-minded mutants who are looking for a moment of holy meditation but on our own damn terms.

No nun to rap our knuckles, no priest to diddle us under our choir robes. No bigot to tell us who to love or hate. No big-mouth phoney with his pants down and his hand out. No saintly soul with her lips pursed & judging our upblown skirts as we smirk all Tinto-Brass balls-out saucy. No one luring our loved one to the woods and striking her down because she is beautiful and he wants her which makes him hate her. (RIP Ronnie. The Robot-Boy misses you.) No one to tell us which hotdog to eat. No one to chop at the genitals of our babes. No one to shame us for unabashedly loving eachother and ourselves.

Now watch as I pass out pastels and ooh and ahh as you draw chalky caricatures of Muhammad on the sidewalk.

No one to kill us afterwards.

Down with the dogma! Up with the dada!

When I started Cream Scene Carnival, I had high hopes for the punk rock gospel. I wanted people to read it, to love it, to listen to the songs and then to come back again. And again.

It seemed as if it would never happen. Now, almost out of nowhere, my hopes have been realized. Y’all are reading the punk rock gospel! You’re coming back the next week and the next week too! I’m so happy I could fly my own heart like a bright red kite.

Which is why I MUST find my way here every single Saturday night or early Sunday morning (Monday at the latest?) Either that or I must initiate others to serve as Gurus of Garage Rock or Mofos of Funk for those times when I am unavailable in any of my holy guises: High-Priestess of Tom-foolery; Trickster Fox Fortune-teller; Lipstick Shamaness. Finding a sacred sub is really the perfect solution as it means a fresh perspective or a whole new kind of song on a special kinda Sunday.

This week is in that spirit, even though I am here (having hauled my butt to a late-night diner to surf their wireless.) So it’s me whose typing these words today but it’s a reader — and new interwebby friend, Alice — who chose this video and song. She sent the link to me after a recent post on Frida Kahlo’s 103rd birthday. Maybe, if you are lucky, Alice will contribute her own thoughts/”gospel” in the comments. Although I’ve noticed that a normal modest person with decent goodness and the appropriate level of humility doesn’t take easily to the idea of writing “gospel”. I say, Phooey! and Screw that chicken til the feathers fly! I say take the word “gospel” and make it work for you. I say that God was created by us and is ours to recreate.

Of course there are those who will gasp — aghast! — and call me a hell-bound heathen. But the way I look at it, I’m keeping my heavenly options open. Wide open. I’m after an all-access pass! If I wanna smoke a stogey with the Devil after a day of wind-surfing with Jesus but before a long night of drunken club-hopping with Artemis and Venus, well then, so fucking be it. These are OUR MYTHS and we should be able to interact with them freely.

On that note, I’d like to open up the Sunday A.M. Punk Rock Gospel to all of you because it was my gift to you and now it’s yours. That doesn’t mean I won’t keep writing week after week but it does mean that I am open to song suggestions or topics of discussion. Anyone interested in guest-hosting a punk rock gospel (choosing song, video & theme, as well as writing the text) should raise their hand with a hell yea! or a why the hell not!?

This week’s song is Com Te Pardis or “With you, I Will Leave” (also known as “Time to Say Goodbye.”) The song is sung by Andrea Bocelli and was “chosen” by Alice who “gifted” it to me after a tough couple weeks in which I wrestled with issues of loss, grief and death. As Alice and I discussed, there’s always that shamanic meaning within injury, illness or trauma.

Let us be the ones to look for those gifts which aren’t showy or jewel-encrusted.

Let us be the ones to love being alive and to never ever be too cool, too hip or too busy to (know) show it.

Let us be the ones who find a new spirit in the rubble of religion.

Let us be Lizard Kings! Let us be everything!

Livin’ la vida Frida!!

Con Te Partiro; With You, I Will Leave

(With you, I leave)

Quando sono solo sogno all’orizzonte e mancan le parole
(When I’m alone I dream of the horizon and words fail)

si, lo so che non c’e luce in una stanza quando manca il sole
(Yes, I know there is no light in a room when the sun is absent)

se non ci sei tu con me / con me
(If you are not with me / with me)

su le finestre
(at the windows)

mostra a tutti il mio cuore che hai acceso
(show everyone my heart which you set alight)

chiudi dentro me la luce che / hai incontrato per strada
(give to me the light / you found on the street)

con te partiro
(with you i will leave)

paesi / che non ho mai
(countries which i have never)

veduto e vissuto con te
(seen and experienced with you)

adesso, si, li vivro
(now, yes, i will live them)

con te partiro
(with you i will leave)

su navi per mari
(on ships across seas)

che, io lo so / no, no, non esistono piu
(which, i know, no, no, no longer exist)

con te io li vivro
(with you i will live them)

quando sei lontana sogno all’orizzonte e mancan le parole
(when you are far away I dream on the horizon and words fail)

e io si lo so che sei con me / con me
(and I do know that you are with me, with me)

tu, mia luna, tu sei qui con me
(you, my moon, you are here with me)

mio sole, tu sei qui con me, con me, con me, con me
(my sun, you are here with me, with me, with me, with me)

con te partiro
(with you I will leave)

paesi che non ho mai
(countries which i have never)

veduto e vissuto con te
(seen and experienced with you)

adesso, si, li vivro
(now, yes, i will live them)

con te partiro
(with you i will leave)

su navi per mari
(on ships across seas)

che, io lo so / no, no, non esistono piu
(which, i know, no, no, no longer exist)

con te io li rivivro
(with you i will relive them)

con te partiro
(with you i will leave)

su navi per mari
(on ships across seas)

che, io lo so, no, no, non esistono piu
(which, i know, no, no, exist no longer)

con te io li rivivro
(with you i will relive them)

Io con te!
(I’m with you!)

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

*The surrealist pieces Angels of Death & Infinity are by George Gris and are available as prints.

I love how the Angel of Death has the rowboat which she sails in the song: “With you I will leave, on ships across seas, which, I know, no, no, no longer exist, with you I will relive them, with you I will leave, on ships across seas.”

I’ll be all gypsy-wild & on the road after this is published so there may be some delay in answering comments. But I’ll be back. Be assured.

“Cinderella” Dies at 81

Posted in Cinema & Filmmaking, Fame & Celebrity, Movies & Movie Stars, Mythos, Romance, Style & Fashion, Technicolor Pop, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 7, 2010 by alphabetfiend

OK, don’t freak out — Cinderella didn’t die because Cinderella shall live forever in Technicolor.

Ilene Woods died at 81. Ilene Woods was the voice — speaking & singing — of Cinderella in the Disney classic.

Woods was just 18 when Walt cast her as Cinderella, beating out 400 hopefuls for the coveted part. The fellas who wrote the lyrics for the feature film were friends of Ilene Woods — songwriters Mack David and Jerry Livingston — and so Woods sang in the demos that were submitted to Disney. Walt liked what he heard and gave Woods the part. How exciting that must’ve been!

I wanna be a cartoon!

I wanna end up a cartoon in a cartoon graveyard.

When I got my boobs & hips overnight, taking on a pronounced hour-glass shape of near fetishistic proportions, I was immediately hailed as “Betty Boop” by all the boys (much to my dad’s dismay.) The Boop thing continues to this day but before that, I was called “Cinderelli” by my father. If I felt the least bit put upon or taken for granted (as the oldest of six, I often had cause to feel grumbly) Dad would mercilessly tease me in sing-song, “Wash the dishes, Cinderelli! Fold the linens, Cinderelli! Sweep the hearth, Cinderelli! Serve us stew, Cinderelli!”

Only I had no mice or birds to make me gowns of cast away gewgaws. O woe! I want mice and birds! I want a perfectly drawn up-do. I want a pumpkin carriage.

I want GLASS SLIPPERS, the most dreamy and absurd accessory of all. As silly as the diamond-soled shoes that Paul Simon sang of, “People say she’s crazy, she got diamonds on the soles of her shoes, well that’s one way to lose these walking blues. Diamonds on the soles of her shoes!”

Yes, I wanna be the itty-bitty specimen of footly perfection that slips, effortlessly, into that magical high-heel.

It looks like Woods had a real-life pair of glass slippers! (She’s posing with the heels in the above photo.) Lucky lucky cartoon lady.

Ilene Woods said that the best part about playing Cinderella in the timeless classic was that her children (and her children’s children and so on) would be able to connect with her long after she parted.

I wonder if they’ve watched the film since her death on July 1st.

Maybe their hearts are still too raw for that.

Like Janet Jackson was, after Michael Jackson died, when the film “This Is It” was in theatres. Janet refused to see the film, citing her grief and a lack of readyness. Someday, she said, Not yet. Not now.

After my Dad died we continued to pay his cell bill, for months, because we couldn’t give up the comfort of that phone number. We’d call the number just to hear his voice on the message. It was kind of like pushing a big purple bruise, flinching, ouch, and then you push it again. When I finally decided to disconnect the phone, I checked his voicemail one last time and was astounded to find that calls had been pouring in, at all hours of the day and night, from family, friends, kids, cousins, nephews, even his dry-cleaner/tailor who had once turned the flag my dad stole from the post-office into a subversively patriotic shirt. It took me forever to listen to all the messages, as people spoke to him with desperate yearning.

How could you do this to me, Paul? asked one friend, You sonofabitch asshole cocksucker. Why’d you leave me here alone?

Losing a loved one is never easy. I can only imagine how hard it would be if your mother was CINDERELLA. Maybe it is too soon for Ilene’s family to cuddle on the couch and watch as Cinderella enchants Prince Charming. But someday they will and Woods is right, that film will be a gift that keeps on giving.

Bon Voyage, Cinder-Ilene! I hope you are traveling by coach. I hope the journey is magical and Technicolor and glorious. I hope you are wearing your glass slippers.

 

**For more info, see Animation Magazine.  **“I wanna end up a cartoon in a cartoon graveyard”  is from “You Can Call me Al,” yet another song by Paul Simon.

Sita Sings the Blues: 1920’s Cartoon Bollywood Love Story

Posted in Art & Culture, Goof & Glamour, I Heart Tricksters, I like big butts & I can not lie, Movies & Movie Stars, Mythos, Romance & Relationships, Spirituality & Religion with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2008 by alphabetfiend

I was enchanted by the film “Sita Sings the Blues” from the moment I laid eyes on a movie-still in the film fest catalog, which I spotted while peering over the shoulder of a strange man. We were in line to see an pre-screening of W and I hadn’t brought my own reading materials. I was trying to be covert but the image of Sita threw me off. I began to coo and tug at the man’s jacket. He tried to turn the page and I protested. Sita didn’t sing to him like she did me.

The imagery is definitely girly in a wondrous, playful way. It set off the glam clang that tolls in my soul. The colors, the costumery, the romantic gossip of three shadow puppets, the monkey warrior, the blue-skinned bad boy whose only bad cause he’s so good, the 1920’s jazz music (throaty vocals of old Annette Hanshaw recordings.) Imagine the saturation of Bollywood in a sacred cartoon.

There’s masculinity at work too, which is very true to Indian myth. The feminine and masculine swirl together visually as the love story unlooses. Nina Paley made an odd choice when she decided to tell the story using 3+ styles of illustration/animation. I wasn’t sure at first because I fancied one in particular — the one used in the scenes where Sita belts out Hanshaw’s obsessive blues songs. The Robo-boy said, “It looks like psychedelic punk rock! Like Shag goes to Bollywood.” Of course! If Shag departed from his usual tiki triptychs or beatnik depictions of mods living the good life. If Shag shifted from all things hipster to all things trickster. The animation’s delightfully familiar yet deliciously fresh. Mythic & modern. Which is why the different styles idea grew on me. It spoke to the multi-faceted aspect of reality. We all paint our own stories, from our own unique perspectives. Archetypes and myth have been with us through cultural changes, beauty ideals, value shifts. There is always a mutation of myth as the story is lobbed. The morphic field fattens as the myth grows. It was quite insightful really, on Paley’s part, to present the same two characters with staid antiquity in one moment and whimsical agony the next.

This eternal essence of human energy was also evoked through the use of 1920’s jazz recordings. The gods are always with us, wherever and whenever  we are. They create and re-create as we move through our unique versions of the world. Through us, they live a mirrored infinity of lives. The heartbreak of the goddess is carried like a torch — her heartbreak is our heartbreak. Why, our heart break is so profound an ache, so original a shiver, that it must be the drama of an ancient deity. Thus the modern, apparently autobiographical, story of “Nina” and the enormity of her hurt. Which brings me to my one critique — why did the goddess of 2008 have to be so dull? So dumpy? It was out of place in such a stunning, glamorous film and it didn’t have to be that way. In fact, the beauty who sat beside me is a heartbroken goddess and damn if she doesn’t look like one. With a head of hair not unlike Sita’s fabulous mane.  Next to sensual Sita, “Nina” was just a lumpling with female pattern baldness and a proboscis like Wimpy from Popeye. Sunday Comics’ Cathy is sexier than “Nina.” And more likeable. Maybe it’s just me but I like my mortals to have a little oomph. Especially next to luscious Sita who sounds like a jazz diva, has a belly dancer’s wiggle and possesses the crackling aura of a silent screen star.

I love cartoons especially when they’re for grown-ups. I prefer my XXX animated. There’s none of that here, but with Sita’s sexy moves it wasn’t hard for my mind to go there. I wouldn’t be surprised if a Sita+Rama sex tape surfaces. I can’t wait! I love nothing more than a mythic beasty-man so a tantric hunk with skin the shade of laffy taffy? Hell yea!

It wasn’t just Sita’s man that had me lusty. That chick had some fine loot! Exotic saris, bling galore, a flying bed, a peacock gramophone.

When she held a banana up to her ear, my heart panged for my 7th grade banana phone. If only I still had that phone I could take all my calls like a curvaceous Indian love goddess. Speaking of cool stuff — when this baby comes out on DVD one of y’all beloveds better wrap it up in a turquoise bow for me. I must have access to this film at any hour of the day or night. When I’m hurting, I can play “count the crowns” while wearing a rhinestone tiara. That’ll make my skull tingle and my heart soar. At 3 am, when I need some mental glitter, I can pop it in and SPARKLE.

“Sita Sings the Blues” is a a magical telling of the Indian epic myth Ramayana. (“The Greatest Break-up Story Ever Told.”) Sita’s too good for Rama but don’t bother tellin’ her that! The mythic masterpiece was written, directed, produced, designed and edited by one extreme talent — Nina Paley. If you want to learn more about this amazing film, check out the website  or peek in on Nina Paley’s blog here on wordpress.

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.

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!

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