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Bishoujo style Jareth?

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Last night I sprang for the long-limbed, big-eyed Star 2 for G3F by LadyLittleFox, Cake One, and Traveler. All the renders on the Daz boards made her look irresistibly adorable, especially when blended with other G3F characters. I wanted to see how my digital people would look if Starified. Continue reading Bishoujo style Jareth?

The four -sexes, or, The curious absence of Nussex

The four -sexes, or, The curious absence of Nussex published on No Comments on The four -sexes, or, The curious absence of Nussex

I grew up in Essex Center, Vermont, and, on my frequent travels through the state, cracked up at the highway sign announcing an exit to Middlesex. Being a etymology nerd, I thus had ample time to contemplate the two -sex towns in my state. Where did their names come from?

 

The most immediate antecedent to both Essex and Middlesex is England. Like so many New England names in the region, the towns of Vermont recapitulate place names of Old England. Essex is a county in southern Old England. Middlesex is another.

 

But what do such town names mean? Again the map of England holds a clue. Besides Essex and Middlesex, England also has areas by the names of Sussex [East and West]. Additionally, Wessex was historically a kingdom in southern England. Furthermore, while there is no contemporary place name of Wessex, Thomas Hardy’s fictional Wessex has had such an influence on the region that it may be used today to describe the region in the southwest of the country. In conclusion, Essex, Wessex, Middlesex, and Sussex all cluster in the same southern region of England.

 

At one point, I stared at all the -sexes I knew and realized that they followed a pattern. They each denote a relative direction. Obviously Middlesex is “the middle -sex.” Essex is “the east -sex.” Thus Wessex is “the west -sex” and Sussex “the south -sex.” The prefixes of the –sexes function as geographical markers.

 

Having solved a long-standing [at least in my own head] mystery about the sources of the -sexes, I then moved onto the next logical step: the meaning of -sex itself. The Oxford English Dictionary, quoted in the article on Wessex, says that -sex derives from the Old English Seaxe, meaning “Saxons.” The -sexes then point out the geographical distribution of various Saxon settlements: Essex for the Saxons to the east, Wessex for the Saxons to the west, Sussex for the Saxons to the south, Middlesex for the Saxons in the…uh…middle.

This information only led to a further question. Extant -sexes represent three cardinal directions [east, west, south] and one relative one [middle]. But what about the missing cardinal direction? Shouldn’t there be a “north sex?” Presumably it would be called something like Nussex or Norsex, by extension from Sussex, but it doesn’t exist.

 

Though the absence of Nussex has pissed me off for years, I have finally figured out why it doesn’t exist. There is no Nussex because it is the default -sex. In other words, it was the Saxon settlement used as the original reference point for the names of the rest of the -sexes. In the same way that the state of Virginia has no geographical adjective, but the later and geographically relative state of West Virginia does, so the -sex used as the point of comparison for all others would remain uninflected. Only those –sexes developing chronologically after and in relation to the original -sex needed geographical adjectives after all.

 

There — now you know everything I know about the four -sexes.

Diversity, deviance, perversion, transgression, and the negative connotations of difference

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I love words of Latin origin for turning and going and progressing, which brings me to the cluster of diversity, deviance, perversion, and transgression. Interestingly, all of these have negative connotations, except for diversity, which has somehow escaped the specter of badness.

Let’s start with deviance. It’s from de-, Latin for “away from,” and via, Latin for “way” or “path.” Thus deviance means “going off the beaten path.” In its primary, popular definition, it means “disgusting, immoral criminality and/or sexual behavior.” Example: The deviance of pedophilia represents significant sexual dysfunction. In conclusion, deviance is gross.

Perversion is pretty close to deviance. From Latin pervertere, “to overthrow or overturn,” and thus from per-, “away from,” and Latin vertere, “to turn,” it means “turning the wrong way.” Perversion has never had positive connotations; it’s always about making changes for the worse. More recently, it has also developed connotations of deviant [har] sexuality, thanks to the sexologists of the end of the 1800s who used pervert to mean “someone who has sex in other than a prescribed heteronormative manner.” In conclusion, it’s another word of bad progression.

We now come to transgression. This is from Latin trans-, “through, across, or beyond,” and gressus, “going.” The sense is of “crossing a line” or “going beyond a [legal] limit.” Transgression thus connotes egregious behavior. More than that, it connotes sin, as it tends to be associated with the Christian characters Adam and Eve eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil after God told them not to. Oh look — another term of disgusting degeneracy!

These few examples suggest that English words of Latin origin in which people lose their way tend to be loaded with negative judgment. So what’s up with diversity? Coming from Latin de-, “away from,” and vertere, “to turn,” why isn’t it like perversion and deviance? The source material for diversity is very similar to that of perversion and deviance, but somehow diversity has now ended up as a neutral English noun meaning “great variety.” Furthermore, diversity may even signify a positive celebration of the many differences, particularly among a group of people.

The deviation of diversity from the perverted connotations of its cousins becomes more puzzling when one learns that it used to have a negative definition, which is now obsolete. Diversity meant “contrariness or perverse adherence to something wrong” in English from the late 1400s and through the 1500s, but was out of use by the 1600s.

 

I wish that I had some definitive answer to the question of diversity’s goodness. I don’t, but it’s still fascinating to ponder.

I’m digging this fusion character.

I’m digging this fusion character. published on No Comments on I’m digging this fusion character.

I just watched the latest Steven Universe episode, Mindful Education, which features my absolute favorite character of the whole series: Stevonnie. Stevonnie is a magical fusion of protagonist Steven and his best friend Connie. Together they make one person, Stevonnie, who blends characteristics of their source material, both physically and characterologically. For example, Stevonnie has Steven’s gem located at their navel, and they also have Connie’s lithe physicality. Personality-wise, Stevonnie seems to be more mature and reflective than either Steven or Connie on their own, suggesting that the two bring out the best in each other. Also, interestingly enough, Stevonnie is much more at home with magic, transformation, teleportation, flying, etc., etc., etc., than either Steven or Connie separately, possibly because they’re a product of magic themselves. Also they’re incredibly cute!

 

Aaaaaaanyway, with thoughts of fusions on my mind, I returned to a fusion character of my own that I thought up 17 years ago: Nova, which was me + Frank. Now that I have Daz Studio and all the appropriate tools, I can mess around with morph dials and actually create digital representations of such blended characters, so I did! I made a digital Nova, who is not appearing here because she’s not my focus.

My interest this evening was in doing a digital combination of me + Jareth. I’m digging the result, shown below in the middle with me on the left and Jareth on the right. I’m actually thinking that Jareth should be looking a little more like the middle facially, so maybe it’s time for me to change his digital likeness.

 

Continue reading I’m digging this fusion character.

I have a sewing machine! I can do this!

I have a sewing machine! I can do this! published on No Comments on I have a sewing machine! I can do this!

Instructables instructions on how to make a clip-on tie.

These do not seem to take much fabric, so they would be a perfect use of some of those meretricious pieces of fabric that I got for Isabel’s shirts and have not yet used.

Obviously I need to make clip-on ties with all my skull fabric [especially the flowery skulls!], my spiderweb fabric, and possibly my graveyard fabric. Those will definitely look business professional. :p

Time for new work clothes…

Time for new work clothes… published on No Comments on Time for new work clothes…

If I could afford to replace my entire wardrobe at once, which I can’t, I would probably get a bunch of the following: dress shirts, clip-on ties, vests, and pants. Ideally all the pants would be in tan, navy blue, black, and all the shirts would be in loud solids, like magenta, bubblegum pink, blood orange, carmine red, that sort of thing. If I could find a source for loud dress shirts for people with breasts, that would be a start…

EDIT: Someplace like this, Six Star Apparel and Uniforms, might satisfy my need for dress shirts and vests for people with breasts. Prices look reasonable too, and they even have plus sizes! Hmmm…

EDIT 2: Oooooh, I’ve just discovered Six Star’s mother lode of tacky, affordable vests!!!!!

Basic black! …And with a triangular pattern because it looks cooler!

Shiny gold floral with notched collar!

Dark red jacquard “symphony vest,” whatever that is!

Simple vest that comes in a variety of more and less obnoxious colors!

And my favorite, shiny purple stripes and polka dots!

Also dress shirts in a variety of colors!

The ice cream contains WHAT?

The ice cream contains WHAT? published on No Comments on The ice cream contains WHAT?

The corollary to Mr. Ding-A-Ling, this experience is based on an encounter with a local parlor’s odd flavors. Sometimes unusual flavors can be delicious — I myself have had wonderful cucumber sorbet, wasabi ice cream, and strawberry basil ice cream — but sometimes I get the feeling that the makers are just being weird for weird’s sake.

 

Side note: You can tell that it’s coming along autumn when Jareth breaks out the combo of slit throat choker and phalanges jewelry! ^_^

 

Side note 2: My favorite expression in this story is Jennifer’s in panel 8. That’s disappointment and revulsion all rolled into one if I ever saw it!

 

Continue reading The ice cream contains WHAT?

The ice cream van is named WHAT?!

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Jareth encounters an oddly named ice cream van. Yeah, ice cream. That’s what this photostory is about: ice cream. :p

P.S. There is a real, actual, 103% true ice cream van by this name that drives around Winooski. I am not making this up. [My fictional ice cream truck would probably be something like Creemees 2 Go or Artisanal Cone Productions, Inc.]

Continue reading The ice cream van is named WHAT?!

The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Dead or Alive — parallels

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Dead or Alive frequently looks and sounds to me like a New Wave version of The Rocky Horror Picture Show [1975], except, to use the immortal words of Rantasmo, with “more gay.” For example, the music video for Something in My House [1986] provides many echoes of the whole Rocky Horror movie and especially Sweet Transvestite. It would be a crying shame not to use all the screencaps I already generated from my Something in My House audience participation snark, so let’s see some of them again, shall we? This time, they’ll be accompanied with screenshots from similar moments in Rocky Horror.

 

First things first. Here’s Sweet Transvestite, featuring words ‘n’ music by Richard “I Hate Myself” O’Brien, as well as enough bananas on ham to feed the entire state of Vermont, contributed by Tim Curry [Frank], Susan Sarandon [Janet], and Barry Bostwick [Brad]. And here’s Something in My House, featuring words ‘n’ music by Dead or Alive, as well as drama and histrionics contributed by Pete Burns [singer] and Steve Coy [drummer]. Look; listen, and learn. Continue reading The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Dead or Alive — parallels

Something in My House, bananas-on-ham fit throwing, and the sheer beauty of Pete Burns’ melodramatic petulance

Something in My House, bananas-on-ham fit throwing, and the sheer beauty of Pete Burns’ melodramatic petulance published on No Comments on Something in My House, bananas-on-ham fit throwing, and the sheer beauty of Pete Burns’ melodramatic petulance

The title says it all, folks. The music video for Something in My House epitomizes Dead or Alive’s combination of playfulness, silliness, and camp so high that it’s smoking pot somewhere in the stratosphere. Speaking of bananas on ham, there are actual bananas in the video [and maybe actual ham, although I’ve never gotten a close look at the smorgasbord], which means that Pete is quite literally chewing the scenery. I feel that this is what The Rocky Horror Picture Show should have been like — a goofy celebration of flirting with and mugging for the crowd — instead of being a toxic pile of transmisogynist waste that derided the over-the-top character it supposedly centered around. Hmmmm, I smell another essay in the works about camp in RHPS versus camp in Dead or Alive.

Anyway, this entry is mainly an excuse for copious screencaps and sarcastic comments…Continue reading Something in My House, bananas-on-ham fit throwing, and the sheer beauty of Pete Burns’ melodramatic petulance

“Door & windows — divorced, just like Mommy and Daddy”: the educated snark of Worst of McMansions

“Door & windows — divorced, just like Mommy and Daddy”: the educated snark of Worst of McMansions published on No Comments on “Door & windows — divorced, just like Mommy and Daddy”: the educated snark of Worst of McMansions

Worst of McMansions, which recently debuted on the Tumblr scene, unites architectural savvy with humorous sarcasm to devastating effect. Kate’s clever potshots at the bloated houses built during the real estate bubble of the 1990s through mid 2000s are comedy gold; check out her photo annotations on this Mclean, Virginia monstrosity. I’d love to link to her autobiography, but I can’t find it.

EDIT: I found it.

Dead or Alive, Too Hard to Swallow — Part III — Effects on the Band

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Being the third in a multipart essay on a) the queer aesthetics of Dead or Alive, b) the effects thereof on the band, and c) the effects thereof on Pete Burns, with AIDS panic and transmisogyny for good measure!

I previously engaged in long, hard study of Dead or Alive’s performances and music to bring you the penetrating news that, first, they were all about the gay imagery and, second, they were all about the gender-bending. Now we’ll examine the effects of said performance and reputation on Dead or Alive’s popularity. Basically I argue that the homophobic and transmisogynist hostility to Dead or Alive hampered their mainstream success.

An in-depth view of You Spin Me Round Like a Record — and, more specifically, what it conspicuously lacks — demonstrates the cultural prejudices arrayed against Dead or Alive. You Spin Me, as I mentioned in Part I, is the song for which the band is best known, at least in the US, UK, and Canada [which all are, of course, the center of the world 😛 ]. Analysis of the reasons for its success leads me to the conclusion that it succeeded mostly on the strength of being neither homoerotic nor generally genderqueer. Yes, folks, I’m saying that the song topped the charts due to the sheer power of its mediocrity.

Now I’m not arguing that lack of homoerotic and genderqueer content automatically makes You Spin Me dull; instead I’m arguing that it charted because it was one of the least queer, most heteronormative, least innovative, and generally commercially safest in Dead or Alive’s oeuvre. In no particular order, here are my reasons for the song’s boringness:

  1. Musically speaking, You Spin Me demonstrates a conservative dependence on other artists’ work. According to Wikipedia, Pete’s autobiography states that the song arose from his mental mashup of Luther Vandross’ I Wanted Your Love and Little Nell’s See You Round Like a Record. I don’t count this as much of a strike against the song, as it’s got a good beat, and you can dance to it, but I know that Dead or Alive can do cool, creative reinterpretations of others’ songs [ref. their cover of That’s The Way I Like It]. However, You Spin Me, which is neither original or daring, doesn’t come anywhere close to That’s the Way I Like It.
  2. Furthermore, the lyrics play it straight. A significant number of Dead or Alive’s songs either leave the identity of the singer’s lover ungendered and/or insinuate that the singer is a dude singing about another dude. By contrast, You Spin Me has a male singer addressing someone as baby, a feminized diminutive, thus implying the male singer’s interest in a female person, i.e., heterosexual desire.
  3. It’s not funny. I earlier derided Dead or Alive’s lyrics as generic, but that was before I detected the sly humor at work in some of their stuff. This wryness appears in Brand New Lover, in which the peripatetic singer frankly wishes for “someone who will lie to me” and pretend not to notice his constant infidelities. Many of the homoerotic double entendres are also pretty entertaining, as when the lyrics of Something in My House wonder “what might have been / If I’d never met that wicked queen.” Queen qua regal woman or queen qua gay guy? I opt for b), given the total context of Dead or Alive’s preferred imagery. Anyway, the point remains that You Spin Me, with its simple, generic declaratives, has none of this humor.
  4. Even the supporting material is unusually subdued. The music video, for example, features the band mostly singing into the camera, occasionally tied up in ribbons and sometimes waving flags, with breaks to show an out-of-focus disco ball. Pretty much nothing happens in it, although we do see Pete dancing wiggling slightly, as some people’s hands, adorned with golden nails, appear from behind him. I understand [from the Wikipedia article again] that they did this on the cheap, but it completely avoids the energetic abandon of all other music videos of theirs I’ve seen.

To summarize, You Spin Me eschews all those potentially controversial aspects of Dead or Alive’s music and image: the homoeroticism, the genderqueerness, and the tongue-in-cheek humor. The song plays it safe melodically with its homage to other artists’ hits. The lyrics describe a thoroughly average experience of heteronormative lust. The song is completely without the humorous glints of self-awareness and/or homoerotic allusions prevalent in other songs. More than that, even the music video shows Dead or Alive in a quiet, physically restrained [literally, by the ribbons!] physical presentation. Pete’s purple loungewear aside [seriously, what is that revolting thing?!], the video showcases nothing remarkable. In other words, You Spin Me gains significance for those qualities conspicuous by their absence in it, not because it has some positive greatness.

You Spin Me is both Dead or Alive’s least quintessential song and also their most popular and commercially successful. I acknowledge that some of their other songs did chart and achieve popularity, particularly in the UK and Japan, but mainstream culture regards the group as a one-hit wonder with You Spin Me as their emblem. That’s because, in the homophobic 1980s, during which people were having moral freakouts over the AIDS crisis, Dead or Alive’s ebullient, flamboyant homoerotic image, genderqueerness, and playful, funny performance of sexuality had little appeal. Only when the band toned down or even excised these aspects could they achieve a chart-topping hit.

 

The case study of You Spin Me suggests that the homoerotic and genderqueer aesthetics of Dead or Alive manifested in some ways as absences. They played up these aspects in many of their songs, videos, and concerts, but the presence of such tropes led to a mainstream cultural censorship. We found Dead or Alive too hard to handle in the 1980s, so we ignored them, denied them popular and commercial success, and thus absented them from widespread familiarity. When they evacuated their signature aesthetics from You Spin Me in a sort of creative absence, we rewarded them by acknowledging their existence and granting pop cultural success. These absences at play conjure up the metaphorical space of an artistic closet, a homophobic construction created when the audience willfully avoids things it doesn’t want to accept and the artists go along with it by pretending not to evince said traits.

 

Tune in next time when I focus my attention on Pete’s image in particular and the ways in which homophobia and transmisogyny have played out more recently in his life.

Other parts of this essay:

Part I — The Homoeroticism.

Part II — The Genderqueering.
Part I Addendum — Extreme Homoeroticism.

Wait…that’s not the usual way to listen to music?

Wait…that’s not the usual way to listen to music? published on No Comments on Wait…that’s not the usual way to listen to music?

When I find a song that I particularly like, I play it over and over. There’s a reason I’ve referred to endless repeat elsewhere on this blog — because my new favorites go into heavy rotation. While heavy rotation in radio station terms seems to mean playing the same song once or twice an hour for six weeks, the same phrase in MW terms means playing the same song over and over, several hours a day, for two to six weeks.

I listen to song until I know every note, every silence, every enunciation and slur of the vocals, all the reverbs on the percussion, every nuance of the lyrics, every single minute detail. The song becomes so familiar that it becomes as customary to me as my own thoughts. It’s like breaking in a pair of shoes and starting off with the pinch and pain, but then making them comfortable, so that one can then revel in the pure flow of walking movement without interruption. I play the song so often that it softens and disintegrates, becoming part of me. The song melts down into background noise, an ambient sea of sounds and connotations.

Then, somehow, the song hangs around for so long, unexamined, that I inevitably bring it back for a closer look. It loops back around into novelty, whereupon I begin to inspect it more closely. Now I can compare the baseline to others songs from the same period; now I can detect the subtle, self-mocking humor at work in the words; now I can identify why I find that pitch change right there so irritating… I look at something that I haven’t thought about in a while and realize why I sent it temporarily down to another level of my consciousness, only to later retrieve it. By dint of pure unstinting sensory feed, I absorb a close understanding of the musical text.

Apparently this is not the way that the vast majority of people listen to music. Apparently this joyously repetitive immersion and breakdown overlaps a lot with the stimming practiced by neurodiverse people. Huh. So how do the vast majority of people listen to music?

 

So…devos…have you actually ever encountered an amputee?

So…devos…have you actually ever encountered an amputee? published on No Comments on So…devos…have you actually ever encountered an amputee?

Just like any other group of fetishists that doesn’t desire who or whatever they lust after so much as what connotations they afford to their fetish, so devos seem not to actually be interested in amputees themselves. Nah, instead, the devos seem to prefer a sexualized combination of immobility, helplessness, passivity, diminution, and humiliation with which they associate people with amputated body parts.

And yet — surprise surprise! — amputees are not essentially immobile, helpless, passive, diminished, and/or humiliated! They’re [gasp!] fellow human beings, with a wide variety of various temperaments, traits, skills, abilities, and inabilities, just like everyone else in the species. I have a special loathing for devos because their fetish so blatantly illustrates the objectification and dehumanization that many disabled people struggle with every damn day.

 

On a tangentially related subject, I remain highly disappointed that I haven’t figured out a good way to render amputees in digital, especially Fay. She has a BTK amputation of her left leg, and there are no realistic socket prostheses anywhere on the market. I’ve resorted to hiding her left leg from the knee down and parenting a lower leg from my vast collection of robots to her left thigh. This is inaccurate all the way, as well as limiting to the type of clothing I can make her wear, as I don’t want to show the unrealistic join between end of [hollow] leg mesh and beginning of metal prosthesis. I could also do with some sort of attachments that would realistically turn plug the [hollow] open ends of figure mesh to create convincing stumps, but I haven’t seen any of those either. Thhpfft.

No wait…this one’s better: cheaper action figure with cooler clothes!

No wait…this one’s better: cheaper action figure with cooler clothes! published on No Comments on No wait…this one’s better: cheaper action figure with cooler clothes!

Wolfking is issuing a 1:6 scale action figure, the Female Clown, which is a loose interpretation of Heath Ledger doing the Joker in The Dark Knight Rises. I always liked the palette of the costume, but I would have only modified the stuff to put on my favorite dolls. Thus I’m happy to see a similar palette with clothing better fitted for the type of 1:6 scale body I have the most of.

 

Anyway, I think this doll is pretty cool, especially her $125.00 MSRP for an entire dressed doll with accessories! If I got her, I would get rid of that wretched rooted hair and put on a fur wig, swap out gloved hands for ungloved or half-gloved, exchange skirt for short shorts, remove tie, and do something with all those bulky layers up top. Maybe I’d get rid of the blue base shirt entirely in favor of a dickie, adjust the vest fasteners somehow, and/or shorten the coat so her shorts could be seen from the rear. A top hat is also a possibility, and that headsculpt is really crying out for some bananas-and-ham makeup enhancement.

Open-mouthed 1:6 scale action figure with decent yelling smile!

Open-mouthed 1:6 scale action figure with decent yelling smile! published on No Comments on Open-mouthed 1:6 scale action figure with decent yelling smile!

I haven’t seen anything 1:6 scale that I’ve wanted in a long time, but then this Hot Toys likeness figure of Margot Robie as Harley Quinn from recent turd The Suicide Squad came across my radar. Despite the movie being crap, this figure looks promising, at least in prototype. If the actual figure looks as decent as the previews, I would love to get a parted-out head, rip off that horrible hair for a wig, and make her a REALLY LOUD AND PERKY character.

Need more pelvic thrusting in my life.

Need more pelvic thrusting in my life. published on No Comments on Need more pelvic thrusting in my life.

Not in my actual physical life, as I can bump and grind pretty well myself, nor in my imagination or the videos I watch, but in digital. My digital assets sorely lack poses of people dancing from the hips. Thus I had to make some my own, which involved a lot of posing in front of the mirror, telling myself things like, “Hands left! Hips right!”, going back to the computer and shoving around the model, trying to replicate the desired pose in my chair [a difficult task], watching a little Pete Burns, repeating the whole process, etc., etc. Jareth demonstrates results below. Continue reading Need more pelvic thrusting in my life.

Bananas-on-ham Jareth all duded up for a fancy dinner out

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Ever since I read someone describe a wild, unpredictable, over-the-top, and entertaining anime as “bananas on ham,” I’ve decided to use that phrase in reference to my signature style as much as possible.

Anyway, Jareth and Jennifer are on a road trip. They’re going out to eat at a fancy [?] sushi restaurant. Jareth, who is on a Pete Burns kick because his creator is on one too, is dressing up in his interpretation of whatever the heck Pete Burns is wearing in the I’ll Save You All My Kisses Boners vid. Continue reading Bananas-on-ham Jareth all duded up for a fancy dinner out

Dead or Alive, Too Hard to Swallow — Part I Addendum — Extreme Homoeroticism

Dead or Alive, Too Hard to Swallow — Part I Addendum — Extreme Homoeroticism published on No Comments on Dead or Alive, Too Hard to Swallow — Part I Addendum — Extreme Homoeroticism

Back when I was discussing Dead or Alive’s mischievous deployment of homoeroticism in their music and videos, I completely passed I’ll Save You All My Kisses, from Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know [1986]. I’m here to rectify this unforgivably grievous omission because, not only is the video for it hilarious, but it’s also so extremely homoerotic that I could have used it as my sole piece of evidence.

In the vid, Pete is dancing with his back to a fence, from which guys in tight jeans are hanging avidly. Steve Coy and Mike Percy patrol the ground, smacking baseball bats into their hands menacingly, presumably to keep the groupies from touching Pete. I doubt the groupies would be able to touch much, though, as Pete’s leather jacket is armored with approximately 700 zillion rhinestones, and his embossed steel codpiece/chastity belt/jockstrap thing is firmly chained to said jacket. Pete makes faces at the camera, deliberately pointing away from the groupies. The members of the audience grow increasingly excited, straddling the top of the fence and ripping off their shirts. After all this preparation, the video ends.

I have to say that, whenever I watch this video, I feel like I’m watching some crappy commercial cut edited down for length or unobjectionability. I feel like there was a moment to which all the fence climbing and baseball bat whacking was building, some confrontation between groupies and guards, of which I was tragically deprived. Phooey.

 

Other parts of this essay:

Part I — The Homoeroticism.

Part II — The Genderqueering.

Part III — Effects on the Band.

The problem with getting into everything about someone…

The problem with getting into everything about someone… published on No Comments on The problem with getting into everything about someone…

…is that then it’s hard to get everything about them out when I realize that I’ve gotten into, say, transmisogyny too [which is my main subject of wrath these days on account of its sneaky evil insidiousness].

 

Sexuality, gender, and the performance thereof are very personal right now, so it’s very easy to take what sexuality- and gender-related role models do [or fail to do] very personally.

 

In other words, I would just once like some role model who isn’t a transmisogynist/rapist/asshole/ disgusting pervert/disappointment.

 

Yes…but…no one is perfect.

“Let’s get political?”: Miz Cracker on activism

“Let’s get political?”: Miz Cracker on activism published on No Comments on “Let’s get political?”: Miz Cracker on activism

My favorite Slate columnist, besides the new Prudence, is Miz Cracker, who writes occasionally for Outward, which is one of Slate’s topical blogs on people outside the heteronorm. A few days ago she wrote about the relationship between queens and activism. There’s something interesting here, but, frankly, I’m a) exhausted and b) preoccupied with Pete Burns’ pants still, so I’ll come back later, I s’pose.

Jareth and Jennifer on the road

Jareth and Jennifer on the road published on No Comments on Jareth and Jennifer on the road

Jareth and Jennifer, motoring west,
Find that the Galaxy’s condition isn’t the best.
Automotively clueless, Jareth freaks out.
Jennifer, chill, says there’s no need to shout.
The following pointless presentation
Sits below the cut for delectation.
If this ain’t your prideliction,
Go and read another section. :p

Continue reading Jareth and Jennifer on the road

Dead or Alive, Too Hard to Swallow — Part II — The Genderqueering

Dead or Alive, Too Hard to Swallow — Part II — The Genderqueering published on No Comments on Dead or Alive, Too Hard to Swallow — Part II — The Genderqueering

Being the second in a multipart essay on, first, the queer aesthetics of Dead or Alive, second, the effects thereof on the band, and, third, the effects thereof on Pete Burns, with AIDS panic and transmisogyny for good measure!

I previously demonstrated that Dead or Alive regularly used performance of gay male eroticism as part of their image. They also employed a more generally queer aesthetic of gender play, endearing them even less to the mainstream US. Continue reading Dead or Alive, Too Hard to Swallow — Part II — The Genderqueering

Dead or Alive, Too Hard to Swallow — Part I — The Homoeroticism

Dead or Alive, Too Hard to Swallow — Part I — The Homoeroticism published on No Comments on Dead or Alive, Too Hard to Swallow — Part I — The Homoeroticism

Being the first in a multipart essay on a) the queer aesthetics of Dead or Alive, b) the effects thereof on the band, and c) the effects thereof on Pete Burns, with AIDS panic and transmisogyny for good measure!

 

For the purposes of this essay, Dead or Alive constitutes a British New Wave dance pop band most prominent in the mid-1980s. Lead singer Pete Burns, drummer Steve Coy, guitarist Wayne Hussey, and bassist Mike Percy formed the group during their years of greatest exposure. They really hit it big with their second album Youthquake, from which You Spin Me Round Like A Record charted to 1 on the UK singles chart, number 11 in the US, and number 1 in Canada.  Further albums had chart success in the UK and Japan, but never hit mainstream popularity in the US.

Okay, so…rad New Wave band with a danceable groove, fun songs, and super sexy members — what’s not to love, right? I theorize that Dead or Alive was way too hard to swallow [pun intended :p] for a homophobic 1980s United States. The societal forces of homophobia and transmisogyny militated against Dead or Alive’s US success. Furthermore, it’s arguable that the same prejudices also nearly did in Pete Burns himself.

Continue reading Dead or Alive, Too Hard to Swallow — Part I — The Homoeroticism

How to scare off people: “Wait! I have flowcharts!”

How to scare off people: “Wait! I have flowcharts!” published on No Comments on How to scare off people: “Wait! I have flowcharts!”

I just adore Assigned Male [comic strip] by Sophie LaBelle, and this one where the protagonist is waving gender flowcharts at a passerby illustrates why — geeky humor, cute art, and a a constant counter to my hardened, bitter, cynical heart.

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