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The Doctor Falls is a flaming turd of misogynoir, aka Bill deserved so much better, but she was never gonna get it

The Doctor Falls is a flaming turd of misogynoir, aka Bill deserved so much better, but she was never gonna get it published on No Comments on The Doctor Falls is a flaming turd of misogynoir, aka Bill deserved so much better, but she was never gonna get it

Oh look spoilers. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

The latest season of DW has treated Bill shittily, both as a WOC and as a lesbian, and The Doctor Falls was just the diarrhea sauce on a crap sundae of disappointment.

If you think it’s a “happy ending” that Bill, the first lesbian COC [companion of color] on Doctor Who, suffered medical violation for ten years by the Cyber conversion team and ten years of mental violation by Eyeliner Master, then ended up condemned to the equivalent of TOTAL NARRATIVE DEATH, flying off into the universe with a personalityless dead wet white chick with whom she had no substantive relationship just because the DWWC had been stalking her for a decade, go read something else.

If you feel like partaking of my rage, stay with me. Other people, I’m sure, will direct their rage, frustration, and sense of betrayal into far more eloquent and exhaustive essays than mine about how this entire season failed Bill. I’m only going to focus on two moments from the beginning of The Doctor Falls that epitomized for me just how racist, sexist, and anti-Black women the narrative has been.

Note: I’m quoting from memory here because I have better things to do than to go back and watch the show torture Bill.

Both moments of quintessential misogynoir occur early on in the episode when the Doctor is telling Bill about her Cyber conversion and its consequences.

1) The Doctor says to her something like, “You’re so strong,” then lists examples of Bill’s mental strength, including her survival of physical and mental rape for ten years. He then adds something to the effect of her having to resist her programming.

So the Doctor blows off Bill’s stated fears of both dying and of Missy [see World Enough and Time], then proceeds to get her thoroughly perforated and DEAD, tells her to wait for him, doesn’t come for her, leaves her to a decade of medical torture and mind-fucks from Eyeliner Master, then has the audacity to say that she’s so strong for having survived despite the fact that he failed her on multiple levels.

This is the equivalent of straight and/or cis and/or white and/or dude-type persons treating queer and/or Black women like subhuman objects for years and then saying that they’re so impressed by how the queer and/or Black women handle adversity. It’s the Strong Black Woman stereotype: the idea that Black women’s fortitude is an individual choice of personal responsibility, rather than a trait often developed out of the necessity of surviving in an oppressive society.

2) The Doctor also says to her in this conversation, “You’re a Cyberman now. You cannot get angry.” Of course, Bill, having been raped and tortured for a decade, then pulled out of hell too late by the Doctor, does become angry, so her blaster fires and something burns. “Because of that,” the Doctor says.

Right…so…here we have a straight cis white dude lecturing  a queer woman of color. The QWOC has just spent  a decade of her life being abused, raped, and tortured in ways that queer and/or Black women have been particularly vulnerable to now and throughout history. The QWOC is full of rage, pain, and sadness. The straight cis white dude tells her not to feel her entirely understandable emotions.

This is playing directly into the stereotype of the Angry Black Woman whose wrath scares white people [especially dudes] so shitless that they must prohibit it. This also plays directly into the tendency of straight people to do tone policing on queer people, claiming that, if queer people weren’t so loud/flamboyant/outraged/“openly gay,” they would attain their goals of equal rights more effectively.

Bill deserved so much better than all the objectification, humiliation, and cancellation she suffered, but she was doomed from the start. The story tied up her arc and identity in losing and then ultimately finding that dead wet white chick with no personality. However, there’s a stronger case to be made that Bill’s arc and identity may more accurately be linked to an anxiety about her identity, her parentage, and being seen for who she truly is. [I am indebted to irascible bogtrotter’s thoughts on the subject.]

But the narrative didn’t give a shit about that, so it deprived the character of a significant chance for true development and flourishing. Add to that all the flaming racism, sexism, and homophobia that the showrunners et al. heaped on Bill, and you can see why the way in which she was constructed as a character gave her no hope of any satisfaction or satisfactory development in-universe.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m never watching the new DW again. I’m going back to play in my Shalkaverse sandbox, where it is quite possible that Alison Cheney, the Master, and the Doctor will vworp over to an alternative timeline and extract Bill from that shitshow to help her achieve the dignity, respect, and happiness that she was never able to in her season.

Pete Burns est mort.

Pete Burns est mort. published on No Comments on Pete Burns est mort.

57. Cardiac arrest. My heart goes crack crack crack crack…

The Guardian’s obit says the following:

 

Burns became famous for his androgynous style and his progressive approach to gender. He often wore women’s clothes and, speaking to the Guardian in 2007, said: “Everyone’s in drag of some sorts, I don’t give a fuck about gender and drag. I’m not trying to be a girl by putting on a dress – gender is separated by fabric. I was brought up with an incredible amount of freedom and creativity. Society has put certain constraints on things.”

I find this quote curious because it’s not quite true. He evidently gave a whole bunch of fucks about gender…or at least his, since he defined his own and performed it with great joy, consistency, and relish until the day he died. More precisely, I think he didn’t care for the inevitable labels [crossdresser, drag queen, transsexual, f****t, etc.] that I’m sure accompanied public notice of his gender. I think this quote is more about him saying, “Y’all are so hung up on what I am or am not. You think I’m some weird deviant pervert. Well, I’m me, and you’re the weird deviant perverts for being so obsessed about it.”

Also The Guardian’s comment that he “often wore women’s clothes” doesn’t make any sense either. Reminds me of the Gender Aptitude Test in Kate Bornstein’s Gender Workbook. One of the questions was as follows:

Have you ever worn the clothes of “the opposite sex?”
a. Hey, give me a break. No way!
b. Yes, but when I wear them, they’re for the right sex.
c. What sex in the world would by opposite of me?
d. Several of the above.

I think D would apply to Pete here.

P.S. The Gender Aptitude Test has lots of entertaining answer choices, but I especially like this one:
Which of the following statements most nearly describes your feelings about gender?
a. My what about gender?
b. I guess my feelings range anywhere from anger and frustration to happiness and exhilaration.
c. Gender confuses me. I don’t know why it is the way it is.
d. I feel… I feel… I feel a song coming on!

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.

“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.

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

Goblin Market part II: the religious aspect

Goblin Market part II: the religious aspect published on No Comments on Goblin Market part II: the religious aspect

I ran my theory on Goblin Market by my learned friend, who offered the following comment:

But I also wonder if it is sort of sex mixed with religion, seeing who she is.
More like a pseudo-lesbian eucharist.

Hmmmm, the sacrament of cunnilingus? Certainly plausible.

LEGS! O_O

LEGS! O_O published on No Comments on LEGS! O_O

According to Afropunk, “Mychel Beckhtold and Lucas Souza absolutely kill it, showing off their flexibility and athleticism all while wearing stilettos and crop tops.” Yes, yes, they are absolutely killin’ it. Excuse me while I feast my eyes….

This popped up in my FaceBook feed with a title about “gender non-conforming models,” but that grabs my attention less than picture 4, in which one of them is doing that “my leg is straight-up parallel to my torso” pose. That’s some contortionist/gymnast/performer level of stupendousness right there.

Hey look — people wearing outside of my head what a certain someone regularly wears inside!

“Did you miss me? / Come and kiss me”: Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market is totally queer!

“Did you miss me? / Come and kiss me”: Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market is totally queer! published on No Comments on “Did you miss me? / Come and kiss me”: Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market is totally queer!

I was going to write an extensive essay, with line by line analysis, about how Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market can be read as a warning to queer women not to mess around with hetero sex, as represented by the goblins. Then I decided to cut right to the chase and just present this particularly torrid passage below. Continue reading “Did you miss me? / Come and kiss me”: Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market is totally queer!

I saw the queer coding and transmisogyny before I had the vocabulary to call it out.

I saw the queer coding and transmisogyny before I had the vocabulary to call it out. published on No Comments on I saw the queer coding and transmisogyny before I had the vocabulary to call it out.

Digging back through past blog entries, I came across a chat with author Alex Potter about the attractiveness of antagonist characters. I excerpted our thoughts in an entry with the subject line “Why villains are cool and gay villains even cooler.” In the chat, we clearly picked up on the characterization of many villains as evil and
attractive and queer. We focused less on their presentation as villainous and more on their irresistible and transgressive sexiness. We really liked them and agreed that they were pretty cool.

 

I see that I recognized queer coding back than — the clustering of evilness, sexiness, and queerness — even though I didn’t know the term. I also didn’t really recognize the negative connotations of queer coding. I was mostly happy just to have found characters that I thought were cool role models; I focused more on them being attractive and queer than on their villainy. I was so happy to have role models of any kind [finally, people in the media whose portrayals I could identify with!] that I didn’t think critically about how they were presented as evil because queer and failures because misogynistly presented as femme. I kind of skipped over the persistent link between, first, queerness and villainy and, second, queerness and transmisogyny. Of course, now I can look back and see how the queer coding and transmisogyny that I swallowed along with all my aspirational desire really messed things up, so blargh.

Finally got around to watching Utena’s Adolescence

Finally got around to watching Utena’s Adolescence published on No Comments on Finally got around to watching Utena’s Adolescence

I really should have read the manga or watched the series Revolutionary Girl Utena first, but, frankly, I wanted to find out the context of Utena transmogrifying into a car at the end of the movie. I am not sure that I succeeded, as I had to follow the plot summary on Wikipedia in order to get anything out of the series of events, but it was a wild ride nonetheless.

Utena’s Adolescence was not a particularly comprehensible introduction to the story. Nevertheless, I loved it. I love the way that the setting, Ohtori Academy, apparently exists on a series of endlessly moving platforms, gliding slowly through the sky, connected by infinite elevators and staircases. I love that the scale of the architecture makes all the characters seem both insignificant and caught in a labyrinth. I love that wind comes up out of nowhere and starts making Utena and Anthy’s hair seethe dramatically whenever the emotional pitch heightens. I love that endless gardens of red roses create showers of petals streaming down or eruptions of petals flying upward as punctuation to nearly every scene.  I love that the reliance on slow pans through a scene give the film a hallucinogenic sense. I love that water [rain, fountains, car wash] appears whenever a character transforms or moves from one world to another. I actually even love that Utena turns into a car at the end, and Anthy drives her away from the dream world, and the film ends with Utena human again, entwined with Anthy, both of them naked, speeding through a grey wasteland on the bare chassis of the car that Utena used to be [?!], their hair seething in heightened drama. Clearly everyone who worked on this film was enjoying themselves immensely and carefully crafting every single element to emulate the lacunae, logic, and layers of an engrossing dream. Primarily I appreciate this movie for successfully creating the seductive, immersive, vaguely sinister atmosphere of a dream, and the fact that it focuses on two young women, Utena and Anthy, struggling against the toxic bonds of heteronormative institutions, makes it much more interesting than if the main characters were some hetero couple.

 

I can definitely dig the interpretation, mentioned in the Wikipedia article, that this movie takes place in the land of the dead…or, alternatively, all inside Utena’s head [or maybe Anthy’s].

I like Steven Universe!

I like Steven Universe! published on No Comments on I like Steven Universe!

Now that I’ve watched every single episode except for that April Fool’s one, I have to state that I love Steven Universe!

 

I love the fact that it’s about a boy with three [living] moms, including two women of color, whose closeness, queerness, and strength is celebrated.

I love the fact that Steven’s awesome superpower is basically love and open-minded acceptance, modeled not only by Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl, but by his dad. I love the fact that his dad could so easily be a dull schlub, but instead he’s a wonderful, practical, down-to-earth guy who nurtures Steven’s big heart.

I love the fact that his best friend, Connie, is a super-serious, nerdy, analytical girl, respected as a character in her own right, never relegated to the role of love interest or stick-in-the-mud.

It thrills me beyond belief that the two of them fuse into a genderqueer “experience” named Stevonnie whose immediate reaction to creation is not to have some heteronormatively determined panic with sexual subtexts, but to revel in the sheer joy of dancing.

Of all the characters I watch this show for, my favorite is Pearl. As an intellectual who believes in the power of rational thought, she constantly struggles with the supposed purity of knightly virtues and the supposed messiness of emotional attachments. I identify all too much with her tendency to lead from her head [or to at least convince herself that her head is right] rather than to appropriately respect her intuition. I find her equation of devotion and abasement poignant and psychologically profound. I like how, even though she feels worthless, even though she can be rigid and snappy, she’s also capable of great love and tenderness. I think that Steven’s open-minded acceptance benefits all the Crystal Gems, as they all have reasons for hating themselves, and I hope that, in future, his love can help her see that love, equality, and self-respect can coexist.

Steven Universe has so many wonderful aspects that I can scarcely believe that it will continue such a magnificent run. I dread its inevitable devolution into heteronormative crappiness, overrun with male-coded Gems and supposedly romantic plots for Steven and Connie. It’s the only piece of mainstream media that I’ve encountered recently where I feel like myself and my imagination are represented — i.e., it’s a world where queerness is a fact of life, where women are fuckin’ awesome in multifarious ways, where kindness, honesty, emotional expressiveness, and open-mindedness are strengths, and where the white, straight, cis, male, bourgeois narrative is shown for the unimaginative, boring, toxic, dull, and ultimately irrelevant delusion that it is. It’s not perfect, but it’s surprisingly awesome…although I wonder how long it can stay that way.

Working definition of “genderqueer”

Working definition of “genderqueer” published on 1 Comment on Working definition of “genderqueer”

Genderqueer, along with the somewhat newer and less politicized term nonbinary, are umbrella terms intended to encompass individuals who feel that terms like man and woman or male and female are insufficient to describe the way they feel about their gender and/or the way they outwardly present it.”

I can dig it. On that note, there ought to be a term equivalent to “nonbinary” that defines the state by what it is, rather than what it’s not. Right now, “nonbinary” is like the non-dairy creamer of gender identities. How ’bout “multifarious” or “polymorphous?”

Oh no! Lesley Gore is dead!

Oh no! Lesley Gore is dead! published on No Comments on Oh no! Lesley Gore is dead!

She died on February 16th, 2015 from lung cancer. Goodbye, Lesley Gore. I’ll miss you.

This entry was originally posted at http://modernwizard.dreamwidth.org/1709674.html. You can comment here, but I’d prefer it if you’d comment on my DW using OpenID.

Drag queen compares and contrasts blackface and drag

Drag queen compares and contrasts blackface and drag published on No Comments on Drag queen compares and contrasts blackface and drag

Taking as a springboard Mary Cheney’s comparison between drag and blackface, Miz Cracker posts on Slate’s Outward Bound with a discussion of the two subjects. Miz Cracker notes that, at base, Cheney objected to drag because she saw it as a mockery of an oppressed group [women] created by a powerful group [men] for degrading purposes. Miz Cracker wonders if drag is inherently misogynist.

Miz Cracker basically argues that drag is not like blackface because blackface is inherently racist, while drag is not inherently misogynist. The comparison between blackface and drag breaks down because blackface and minstrelsy used to be ubiquitous idioms with great cultural influence, but drag has never achieved such a pervasive high profile. That’s because blackface was performed by the oppressors in positions of power, whereas drag has been performed by oppressed people in positions of marginalization. I’m not sure how this is relevant to the presence or absence of misogyny in drag.

In fact, I think Miz Cracker’s contrast between blackface and drag breaks down because it does not recognize multiple axes of oppression. When she argues that drag has been performed by oppressed people who are marginalized, she’s referring to gay/queer men marginalized by their sexuality. However, though gay men may be marginalized on the axis of sexuality, they do have the privilege of being men in a misogynist society. Therefore, when men do drag, no matter what their sexual orientations, they may also be seen as performers in positions of power [as men] compared to the people that they are portraying [women]. Miz Cracker’s insistence that it’s just a few individually misogynist queens who mess up the whole art form entirely ignores the complex structure of drag and its location at the intersection of mutiple axes of power and oppression.

This entry was originally posted at http://modernwizard.dreamwidth.org/1709443.html. You can comment here, but I’d prefer it if you’d comment on my DW using OpenID.

Two old women in love

Two old women in love published on No Comments on Two old women in love

So, as people have no doubt heard, the Quad City Times recently reported that Vivian Boyack and Nonie Dubes married recently after 72 years together. The gay rights mainstream’s obsession with marriage equality is problematic, as is the whole concept of romantic love. That being said, I appreciate [hah!] the photo of Boyack and Dubes holding hands in front of the officiant for several reasons.

For one, the photo represents aspects of queer culture that popular media likes to gloss over: a) women who are b) old, c) [visibly] disabled and d) at least somewhat invested in the butch/femme roles. Look! Two women in wheelchairs who are happy! ^_^

For another, the photo shows just how deeply Boyack and Dubes care for each other. Boyack reaches over to Dubes with a sort of protective air, while Dubes keeps Boyack’s hand firmly within hers. They look calmly at the officiant; though this is a significant day for them, they also know that this is also a mere legality that does nothing to change their steadfast devotion to each other. That sort of mutual happiness always makes me want to cry. Sniff sniff.

Continue reading Two old women in love

Drag queen interviewing fellows on purposes and meanings of drag

Drag queen interviewing fellows on purposes and meanings of drag published on No Comments on Drag queen interviewing fellows on purposes and meanings of drag

Wow, Slate actually has an interesting article for once! On Outward ["expanding the LGBTQ conversation," whatever the hell that means], Miz Cracker writes a post on "Getting into Drag: The Many Meanings of Being a Queen." To answer the question of what drag is, the author interviews other drag performers. In bullet form, her findings are as follows:

  • Drag ain’t necessarily about looking glamorous and fashionable. Nor is it necessarily about appearing unclockably feminine.
  • Drag may be thought of as an acting job, performance art in which one creates and embodies a character.
  • Drag usually has subversive elements in which the performers comment on and criticize society.
  • Drag has an ambiguous relationship to trans identities. For some people, drag is a means to seriously explore alternative gender presentations. For others, it is not particularly reflective of their own gender identities.

In my estimation, Miz Cracker neglects some important aspects of drag. For one thing, she doesn’t really interrogate drag queening’s history as an art practiced by men, frequently in comic contexts. Thus it has an ambiguous relationship to the concepts of femininity and womanhood. In its exaggerated style, does drag reflect a loving tribute to women and femininity? Is it rather an over-the-top misogynist mockery? Drag is not inherently fabulous and therefore unproblematic, and I think a truly substantive inquiry into its nature should address its messy history.

For another thing, how does race play into dragging? Toward the end of her article, Miz Cracker refers to Kizha Carr’s treatment of racism in one of her routines. She also adds that drag "is the only forum where [she] can speak candidly…about the issues shaping [her] life," one of which includes racism. Right, so drag queens of color may take race as a subject for commentary, but how does race more generally inflect queens’ initial decisions to go into drag queening and then the development of their art in general? Drag queens from different racial and ethnic backgrounds probably have different reasons and philosophies, depending on their cultures of origin, that help them interpret their work, and we can’t have a full discussion about the meanings and goals of drag without that information.

Finally, how does socioeconomic class contribute to the discourse on drag? All the queens in Miz Cracker’s article, including the author herself, talk about performing in bars, dealing with sexual harassment from audience members, etc. In other words, the queens spend much of their time playing small venues and not earning tons of money. They work hard and depend on an uncertain income. Even though Bob TheDragQueen appears in the article with bling that says RICH clamped between her teeth, she and her sisters probably really aren’t. 
What’s going on here? Aspirations to upward mobility? A proclamation of self-worth through looking richly caparisoned? I dunno, but I’d sure like to find out.
 

This entry was originally posted at http://modernwizard.dreamwidth.org/1663229.html. You can comment here, but I’d prefer it if you’d comment on my DW using OpenID.

Pelvic thrusts, silly hats and general hamming up

Pelvic thrusts, silly hats and general hamming up published on No Comments on Pelvic thrusts, silly hats and general hamming up

Freddie Mercury and Queen doing Another One Bites the Dust. I love Freddie Mercury.  He has just such an amazing amount of irrepressible JOY in his performances. He moves with such grace and poise and control — everything he does on stage is dancing!

Goofin’ off with We Are the Champions. So caught up that he starts air guitaring with the mike stand again. ^_^

This entry was originally posted at http://modernwizard.dreamwidth.org/1656098.html. You can comment here, but I’d prefer it if you’d comment on my DW using OpenID.

Smashing!: Jareth’s latest outfit

Smashing!: Jareth’s latest outfit published on No Comments on Smashing!: Jareth’s latest outfit

Earlier today I mentioned Jareth in the same entry as various theatrically costumed rock stars from the mid-1970s. I think David Bowie, Freddie Mercury and probably Adam Ant [though not from the 1970s] would approve of the get-up below.
Continue reading Smashing!: Jareth’s latest outfit

This is not an Awkward Stock Photo!

This is not an Awkward Stock Photo! published on No Comments on This is not an Awkward Stock Photo!

Okay, so she’s in her underwear on a skateboard with no protective gear. That’s awkward. Other than that, though, this is a wonderful shot with an amazing-looking model who is clearly having fun. What’s not to love?

I don’t know why Shutterstock labels this as “Funny Overweight Woman Skateboarding.” Why is this photo amusing? Because she’s in her underwear? Because she’s having fun? Because she’s fat? And why do the keywords include “fatty,” “funny people,” “crazy” and “humor?”

Oh those hilarious fat people, thinking they can enjoy themselves! They should know that they’re supposed to be miserably ashamed of their disgusting flab and that they should go around completely covered in heavy, shapeless drapery all the time so that no one else has to see their grossness. Seriously…any fatty who thinks that anyone wants to see them in their underwear clearly has a mental illness.

This entry was originally posted at http://modernwizard.dreamwidth.org/1644656.html. You can comment here, but I’d prefer it if you’d comment on my DW using OpenID.

It takes a certain type of person to rock a white satin jumpsuit…

It takes a certain type of person to rock a white satin jumpsuit… published on No Comments on It takes a certain type of person to rock a white satin jumpsuit…

…with flame fringe on the kirtle sleeves and bellbottoms, not to mention the neckline that plunges somewhere into the region of the crotch. That certain type of person is Freddie Mercury.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for someone to wear a striped vinyl jumpsuit with integrated platform shoes and a similar neckline, you’re looking for David Bowie.

And if you’re looking for someone whose idea of smashing constitutes a purple Rococo pompadour, a feathered ruff, skin-tight pants and thigh-high ballet boots, just hang in there — I’m rendering him tonight. :p 

This entry was originally posted at http://modernwizard.dreamwidth.org/1644274.html. You can comment here, but I’d prefer it if you’d comment on my DW using OpenID.

Still air-guitarin’ on the mike stand 10 years later.

Still air-guitarin’ on the mike stand 10 years later. published on No Comments on Still air-guitarin’ on the mike stand 10 years later.

Now watching Queen’s Legendary concert from 1975, I see Freddie Mercury playing air guitar with his mike stand, just like he was 10 years later, during Live Aid. Even rock stars can’t resist the power of the air guitar ’cause it’s so damn cool! 😀

Fabulous costumes!!!!!!!!

This entry was originally posted at http://modernwizard.dreamwidth.org/1643866.html. You can comment here, but I’d prefer it if you’d comment on my DW using OpenID.

I’m just here for Freddie Mercury.

I’m just here for Freddie Mercury. published on No Comments on I’m just here for Freddie Mercury.

While watching the music video for We Will Rock You, I can’t help but notice the difference between Freddie Mercury’s moves and those of the rest of the band. Though the guitarist does get his groove on during the solo at the end, most of the band just stand there stiffly, moving no more than necessary. Meanwhile Freddie Mercury is performing in inimitable Freddie Mercury fashion.

I was going to compare him to my usual referents — you know, Ivan Doroschuk, Mick Jagger, Tim Curry — but I really can’t because he’s in a league of his own. Ivan Doroschuk moves, but he does more flailing and bouncing. Mick Jagger and Tim Curry make faces, but I don’t think of them as so completely self-possessed as Freddie Mercury. He demonstrates absolute control in every expression and motion of his limbs: a combination of fluid precision and sheer joy of motion.  Kind of like Shirley Bassey or Lesley Gore. And his voice is incredible. The more I think about it, the more apt a comparison is between Freddie Mercury and Shirley Bassey — both fabulous performers with stunningly powerful voices and charismatic stage presences whose love for what they do so clearly shines through in every word they sing.

This entry was originally posted at http://modernwizard.dreamwidth.org/1643608.html. You can comment here, but I’d prefer it if you’d comment on my DW using OpenID.

Happy people identifying themselves

Happy people identifying themselves published on No Comments on Happy people identifying themselves

Check out this photo series by Sarah Deragon, “The Identity Project.” She takes pictures of people and tags them according to how they identify. They all face the camera squarely, some hamming it up, dressing and posturing in ways that they feel reveals who they are. As a bonus, their proud, challenging expressions [for example, the person in portrait 1, who appears to be thinking, “It’s too early in the morning for this heteronormative bullshit!”] also serve as a critique of narrow, rigid identity categories at use in broader society. I would like 1:6 scale populations with all of those skin colors, body shapes, hairstyles and expressions, please…

This entry was originally posted at http://modernwizard.dreamwidth.org/1631233.html. You can comment here, but I’d prefer it if you’d comment on my DW using OpenID.

“Butch please!”

“Butch please!” published on No Comments on “Butch please!”

I’ve been thinking that Boys Keep Swinging [discussed previously in relation to how much I was salivating over David Bowie] is obviously about butches cruising for femmes. It just makes so much sense! Butch power!!

When you’re a butch
You can wear a uniform
When you’re a butch
Other butches check you out
You get a girl
These are your favorite things
When you’re a butch

I think this music video needs to be redone with a femme lead vocalist and butch backup singers. How awesome would that be?

This entry was originally posted at http://modernwizard.dreamwidth.org/1610684.html. You can comment here, but I’d prefer it if you’d comment on my DW using OpenID.

I did not know that I Am What I Am was a gay song.

I did not know that I Am What I Am was a gay song. published on No Comments on I did not know that I Am What I Am was a gay song.

I thought it just ended up sounding gay. But no, it’s gay. [The bit about coming out of the closet should have tipped me off. :p] It’s from the La Cage aux Folles musical, which is about gay dudes, and it happens to have been written by a gay dude. It turned even gayer when Gloria Gaynor did a single of it.

P.S. How awesome [+ hot] is Gloria Gaynor?!

This entry was originally posted at http://modernwizard.dreamwidth.org/1581590.html. You can comment here, but I’d prefer it if you’d comment on my DW using OpenID.

I have a crush on Shirley Bassey.

I have a crush on Shirley Bassey. published on No Comments on I have a crush on Shirley Bassey.

She has such a strong voice, relishing every word she hurls forth. I love that rich underlining that her voice gets when she draws out words. She has such a strong, solid, expressive body, made for propelling out song. I love her self-consciously hammy, dramatic little gestures when she sings, as in this 1974 rendition of Goldfinger ["Goooooooooooooooooldfingaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!"]. She also has a marvelous sense of humor; look at her glee as she combines sex appeal and playfulness when singing Big Spender in 2001! Like Leslie Gore, she enjoys herself so much when she sings. You can tell that she’s working hard, but loving every minute of it.

I don’t think I could stand it if Lesley Gore and Shirley Bassey did a duet. I think my ears would explode from the combined power and sexiness of their voices.

This entry was originally posted at http://modernwizard.dreamwidth.org/1581563.html. You can comment here, but I’d prefer it if you’d comment on my DW using OpenID.

DOMA has fucked off and died!

DOMA has fucked off and died! published on No Comments on DOMA has fucked off and died!

Implications to follow. Ruling here to be read at my leisure.

EDIT: The fucking off of DOMA does not apparently entail the fucking off of anti-marriage state-level biases. 

EDIT: Proposition 8 has fucked off too!

EDIT: The fuck off of Prop 8 only addresses the constitutionality of marriage in California, not the whole country in general. Meanwhile, the fuck off of DOMA addresses only those same-sex marriages that already exist, not, as I mentioned above, states without marriage equality.

This entry was originally posted at http://modernwizard.dreamwidth.org/1537007.html. You can comment here, but I’d prefer it if you’d comment on my DW using OpenID.

Lesley Gore

Lesley Gore published on No Comments on Lesley Gore

I have developed a HUGE crush on Lesley Gore. I could watch her sing all day, even if it’s heteronormative bullshit. She sings with such power and force, propelling the words out from inside her with irresistible potency. That voice could knock down walls. She’s amazing!

This entry was originally posted at http://modernwizard.dreamwidth.org/1534634.html. You can comment here, but I’d prefer it if you’d comment on my DW using OpenID.

She’s still got it…

She’s still got it… published on No Comments on She’s still got it…

Here’s Lesley Gore doing You Don’t Own Me in 1989 with the same expressive passion that she imbued the performance I recently mentioned. I love the way she bounces on her toes, as if the force of her voice is going to sweep her off her feet. She looks so grounded and so powerful.

This entry was originally posted at http://modernwizard.dreamwidth.org/1533556.html. You can comment here, but I’d prefer it if you’d comment on my DW using OpenID.

Lesley Gore’s You Don’t Own Me live

Lesley Gore’s You Don’t Own Me live published on No Comments on Lesley Gore’s You Don’t Own Me live

This video of Lesley Gore, most likely around 17 or 18, singing You Don’t Own Me live, fascinates me. She sings with such joy and passion and expressiveness; she clearly loves to sing! Plus she’s hot; I love her baggy eyes and her long straight nose and her rectangular face and those amazing flickery eyebrows. It also doesn’t hurt that she’s one of us. 😀

This entry was originally posted at http://modernwizard.dreamwidth.org/1532604.html. You can comment here, but I’d prefer it if you’d comment on my DW using OpenID.

Undersea population of the Tacky Quarter of Atlantis

Undersea population of the Tacky Quarter of Atlantis published on No Comments on Undersea population of the Tacky Quarter of Atlantis

December Diamonds makes painted, glitter-encrusted ornaments of resin, including a wide selection of mermaids and mermen. They would sell extremely well in Provincetown, especially since most of the merdudes look like they’re about to strip. I like how they’re clearly sculpted with a certain level of realism and a sense of humor. There’s a definite queer sensibility at work here. Simply faboo!

This entry was originally posted at http://modernwizard.dreamwidth.org/1505656.html. You can comment here, but I’d prefer it if you’d comment on my DW using OpenID.

Awwww, they updated it!

Awwww, they updated it! published on No Comments on Awwww, they updated it!

I have a really early version of Lesbian Couples by Merilee Clunis and Dorsey Green, which I picked up in a used bookstore because I find [relatively] old advice books fascinating, especially when they have to do with queer people. 

I expected very little from this book, but was pleasantly surprised to discover that even the first edition was surprisingly down-to-earth and practical. It spends a lot of time discussing how feminine enculturation, socioeconomic differences, race/ethnicity differences, disabilities and illness, age, fatness, outness, feelings about one’s body, familial opinions, etc., etc., may play out when women are involved in relationships with women. It offers standard techniques for respectful communication and listening with an acknowledgment of how the aforementioned factors may complicate them for women. It’s very matter-of-fact, unsensationalized and sensible. The clear, calm writing style, combined with its mostly successful efforts to include people with a wide range of identities, makes it a refreshing change from trendy, narrowly targeted bullshit [‘s’up, Rules series?].

Anyway, I see they updated the book after about 20 years. ^_^

This entry was originally posted at http://modernwizard.dreamwidth.org/1498437.html. You can comment here, but I’d prefer it if you’d comment on my DW using OpenID.

ONOEZ, it’s the Dolly Gender Police!

ONOEZ, it’s the Dolly Gender Police! published on No Comments on ONOEZ, it’s the Dolly Gender Police!

BJD Text Confessions anonymous bigot sez:

I hate MD Jinas like Kyoyaxl has. Fucking learn the difference between a girl and a boy.

For those of you who do not speak BJD code, the submitter is saying that they dislike the Jina headsculpt by Migidoll when styled by doll owners like DOA member Kyoyaxl.

Migidoll bills Jina as a "girl," but that doesn’t mean much in the BJD world. Just because a company bills a head as "male" or "female" doesn’t mean that doll fiends will abide by those distinctions. The majority of BJD heads demonstrate a distinctly androgynous aesthetic that doesn’t swing in a stereotypically masculine or feminine direction. Ergo, there’s a lot of putting "female" heads on "male" bodies [and significantly less putting "male" heads on "female" bodies, the way that I did with my Frank BJD].

There’s also a lot of dressing "male" dolls in "women’s" clothes [and significantly less dressing "female" dolls in "men’s" clothes].

Incidentally, there are also a notable minority of breast removals ["girl to boy mods"] on "female dolls," as well as penis additions ["hermaphrodite mods"] on "female dolls" too.

All of this is to say that sex and gender presentation can be very fluid in the BJD world. And some BJD fiends, like our anonymous gender-policing bigot, are going to resist that fluidity kicking and screaming. Meanwhile, the rest of us are going to continue genderfucking while innocently asking, "And which differences, pray tell, are you speaking of?" :p

This entry was originally posted at http://modernwizard.dreamwidth.org/1462586.html. You can comment here, but I’d prefer it if you’d comment on my DW using OpenID.

This is not an Awkward Stock Photo!

This is not an Awkward Stock Photo! published on No Comments on This is not an Awkward Stock Photo!

This is awesome! How often do you see fat, kinky, androgynous, pierced people with disabilities in stocky photos? WOOOOOO HOOOOO! What a cute pair. ^_^

EDIT: I fixed the link!

This entry was originally posted at http://modernwizard.dreamwidth.org/1459890.html. You can comment here, but I’d prefer it if you’d comment on my DW using OpenID.

Just finished Jim Hines’ Magic Ex Libris…

Just finished Jim Hines’ Magic Ex Libris… published on No Comments on Just finished Jim Hines’ Magic Ex Libris…

…About some dude running around with the power to pull fictional objects from books into reality and thereby preventing book magicians [libriomancers] from duking it out with vampires and thus exposing magic to the world. Entertaining and intellectually easy, this passably written trilogy opener contained some cool ideas [magic via books!] that were under-served by the pedestrian prose.

I was interested and somewhat pleased to note that the protagonist’s partner and love interest, Lena, an extremely tough dryad, was explicitly written as fat, bi/queer and polyamorous [with varying degrees of success depending on the trait], but apparently this blew a few fuses in other readers’ heads. On Amazon, for example, “RG” describes Lena as “a rubenesque nubian dryad, in other words a chubby black woman who sleeps in a tree.” I think “RG” thinks that this is a bad thing, as “RG” then proceeds to go off on a tangent of racist, anti-fat misogyny. There are indeed problematic aspects in Lena’s characterization [which I may get into when it is not half past midnight]; however, the mere presence of a fat woman of color who sleeps in a tree is not axiomatically grounds for derisive excoriation.

Fortunately, in the next comment, J. Platte takes “RG” to task for the misogynist, anti-poly assumptions in the post, but fails to rebuke the egregious racism.

This entry was originally posted at http://modernwizard.dreamwidth.org/1434675.html. You can comment here, but I’d prefer it if you’d comment on my DW using OpenID.

Someone’s jealous…

Someone’s jealous… published on 2 Comments on Someone’s jealous…

On the off-topic section of the MWD board, a repainter of 1:6 figs asked why some people “hated” repaints. Most of the respondents replied that they loved repaints, naysayers be damned. The only truly negative comment came from one “Daniel Wickson” who wrote:

Lack of artistic talent translates into any medium even lil’ dollies At least yours aren’t yarn haired tr*****s.

I starred out the slur that he used for trans people. >:(

Given that my subtitle on that forum is “Transgender[izer]” and that LHF featured several characters with yarn hair, as well as trans characters [but no trans characters with yarn hair], I strongly suspect that the poster was referring to me and my dollies. ^_^

He’s just jealous ’cause he lacks my imagination.

Gay men who knit in the Northeast Kingdom

Gay men who knit in the Northeast Kingdom published on 2 Comments on Gay men who knit in the Northeast Kingdom

Once upon a time, at some point in the previous millennium, Jill and I came across an amusing personals ad in Seven Days. The poster sought other gay men who knitted in the Northeast Kingdom. We thought that his chances of finding someone else who shared all those identities was vanishingly small, and "gay men who knit in the Northeast Kingdom" became a standard reference for a ridiculously specific set of conditions.

Years later, I wonder how many gay men there are who knit in the Northeast Kingdom. Let's do the math, shall we?

The Northeast Kingdom is a region in, obviously, the northeastern corner of Vermont, containing Essex, Orleans and Caledonia counties.

Essex County = 6,306 people as of 2010
Orleans County = 27,231 people as of 2010
Caledonia County = 31,227 people as of 2010

That's a total of 64,764 people. We'll say that 50% of them are men.

That leaves 32,382 men. Let's say 10% of them are gay.

That leaves 3,238 gay men.

But how many of them knit? A 2003 survey showed that 1,300,000 people in the US know how to knit. Dividing that into the total population of the US in 2000, which was 281,421,906, we get a ratio of approximately 0.00462, or, rounding up, 4.6:1000.

Assuming that the ratio of knitters to the general US population remains stable from 2003 to 2010, that's about 15 gay men who knit in the Northeast Kingdom.

Yup, that's a vanishingly small amount. And that's not even getting into the probability that the 14 others will even see the ad that the 1 put in the paper!

Scheherezade’s Facade

Scheherezade’s Facade published on No Comments on Scheherezade’s Facade

Wow, a whole antho about “fantastical tales of gender-bending, cross-dressing and transformation!” It’s an anthology made for MW! I even have two stories that I can submit: The Storyteller and The Strange Imagination. Of course, I won’t get published in this book, but how can I pass up the chance???

Nathan Lane on his gay identity

Nathan Lane on his gay identity published on No Comments on Nathan Lane on his gay identity

This comment from Nathan Lane on his life as a gay man reminds me so much of Mark:

"I was born in 1956. I’m one of those old-fashioned homosexuals, not one of those new-fangled ones who are born joining parades."

Of course, I think Lane was being more facetious than Mark would be if Mark said such a thing.

THEY’RE COMING TO YOUR TOWN!

THEY’RE COMING TO YOUR TOWN! published on 3 Comments on THEY’RE COMING TO YOUR TOWN!

The American Family Association is selling a DVD about queer people becoming a visible part of Eureka Springs, Arkansas. It’s an alarmist piece of tripe of blithering homophobia that harps about the nefariousness of gay invasions. Commenters from people on Shakesville amuse me greatly, especially the alternative gay agendas. Beware the ROY G. BIV skyscrapers! Boogedy boogedy!

I Was Kidnapped by Lesbian Pirates from Outer Space!

I Was Kidnapped by Lesbian Pirates from Outer Space! published on 1 Comment on I Was Kidnapped by Lesbian Pirates from Outer Space!

Megan Gedris takes on pulpy conventions of the 1950s in I Was Kidnapped…, a high-spirited, brightly illustrated space chase, featuring charming naive Earthling Susie and a band of lesbian pirates with fabulous hair. Thrill to their visits to unknown planets! Laugh as they outwit the incredibly doltish Male Man! Cheer as the sexual tension mounts! It’s like the Rocky Horror Picture Show…only in comic form…and without any music…and I mean that in the best way possible.

Hot draggy Campari commercial

Hot draggy Campari commercial published on 1 Comment on Hot draggy Campari commercial

Excuse me while I sit here drooling over the way the man dramatically wipes his lipstick, making it trail across his face like an exposure of his secret skin and the way the woman discloses her bound breasts with a fluid movement, shucking her shirt as if it’s petals of a flower. Found at Sociological Images.

Have an ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS day!!!

Have an ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS day!!! published on No Comments on Have an ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS day!!!

With Technicolor sunshine and birdies on your shoulders and perfectly marcelled hair and rocket cone boobies and MORE GAIETY THAN YOU CAN STAND! How? Drink Ovaltine. I think I feel a SONG coming on… Well, something’s coming, anyway….

Caution: Ovaltine causes “sparkling morning freshness.” Use at your own risk. The manufacturers are not responsible for any Busby Berkeley-inspired set pieces that may spontaneously break out after using this product.

Did you know that “thousands” are drinking Ovaltine every night? So that’s how the queer agenda recruits….

“Home Depot! Home Depot! HOME DEPOT!!!!!”

“Home Depot! Home Depot! HOME DEPOT!!!!!” published on No Comments on “Home Depot! Home Depot! HOME DEPOT!!!!!”

Lesbian phone sex, courtesy of the Big Gay Sketch Comedy. Please watch the woman who makes the call; her practically boneless wriggling shows what a gifted physical comedian she is. Watch her feet….

The drag queen as Christ figure, or, Everything I Needed to Know About Rocky Horror…

The drag queen as Christ figure, or, Everything I Needed to Know About Rocky Horror… published on 2 Comments on The drag queen as Christ figure, or, Everything I Needed to Know About Rocky Horror…

…I Learned from A Film Freak Commentary…

In any event, this is not supposed to be a speech about a dragon. This is, indeed, a song about a dragon…

No, seriously…In Film Freak Central, Alex Jackson provides some personal and perceptive commentary on Rocky Horror [and Shock Treatment, but I’m ignoring that part].

Because Jackson never got converted to the Halloweeny mania of midnight showings, he has an outsider’s slightly more balanced view to the whole proceeedings. Interestingly enough, he thinks that the fan celebration of RHPS as an excuse for silliness “neuters” the fact that it’s an interesting, very good, really touching movie. [Yeah, it grabs him where he likes to be grabbed.]

Now I’m not sure that RHPS is very good or even really touching, but I agree with some of Jackson’s observations on what makes it more interesting and textured than a throwaway diversion. He notes a persistent threat of angst, sadness and loss that looms [heavy, black and pendulous] across the movie. Jackson is at his most insightful when he’s talking about one of my favorite themes, the pathos of the villain:

… The film introduces him as the monster, but by the end we cease identifying with Brad and Janet and embrace Frank as one of us. Often Frank will look directly into the camera and grin or break the fourth wall with a line of dialogue, facilitating the identification process and establishing that he owns this movie and that everything that happens in the film happens on his terms. It doesn’t, of course–he has to brainwash his friends to get them to stay and he is subsquently surprised, slain, and defeated. The pathos of the film is in the total humbling of this god-in-his-own-mind. Frank has what I think is the most powerful moment in the film: Riff-Raff and Magenta tell him that they are returning to Transylvania and he sings “I’m Going Home” with tears forming in his eyes. As he slowly approaches them, expecting to leave this mortal coil, he imagines an audience applauding him. …

So his point is that the movie divorces us from B&J [Blow&Job] and links us with Frank through techniques of breaking the fourth wall. We thus grow invested in this supposedly villainous character, identifying with him such that we feel that we are like him, control-freaky and manipulative though he may be. When Frank sings I’m Going Home, it’s not just the ironic delusional of a nutcase; it’s a character singing about his sadness, his isolation and his rather pathetic need to imagine a theater full of accepting, adoring fans because he can’t get any in real life except under duress. Because we sympathize already with Frank, his expression of loneliness becomes a conduit for a general human desire for love and companionship. And, if you want to get really really deep about it, the fact that Frank is just about to die is really just an intensification of the fact that all of us in the audience are going to die too, probably without ever transcending our painful daily lives and seeing the “blue skies” of happiness and safety promised by the mythic state of “home.”

So, by twanging on the heartstrings labeled NEED FOR LOVE and FEAR OF DEATH, Frank in this song reveals himself as the most recognizably human and accessible character. Because he voices thoughts and feelings that we usually keep squished and because he does it so vulnerably [nakedly…vulnerably… same thing], it is very easy to respond to him. This is why, every time I listen to I’m Going Home, I seriously feel heartbroken. It’s a nondescript little ditty [as so many O’Brien tunes are] out of context, but, in context, it’s an encapsulation of our primal desires and our eternal state of yearning.

I do think that the comparison between Frank and a Christ figure is pushing it too far, though. Christ figures are like Nazis; whenever they enter the discussion, the tenor just devolves into something flat, stupid, repetitive and uninteresting. Christ figures are not useful devices. They obfuscate the humanity of the character that is supposedly such a figure. They are saintly and godly and powerful and pure and passive and dead and glowing and awesome and really, really, really boring. I wish they would all go away, but that is a separate entry.

Marginalization of 3-D homosexuals — and where are the 3-D crossdressers?

Marginalization of 3-D homosexuals — and where are the 3-D crossdressers? published on 2 Comments on Marginalization of 3-D homosexuals — and where are the 3-D crossdressers?

I’ve discovered something interesting about the distribution and availability of heterosexual couples poses and homosexual couples poses for Daz.

Hetero couples poses can be downloaded for free from Renderosity. They also appear on the official Daz Web site, where you can buy the Pure Romanze set of props and poses. It consists of a gazebo, a pergola and 10 couples poses of demure, starry-eyed romance. There’s also a Budding Romance hetero couple pose, depicting mostly hugs, cuddling and other affectionate behavior.  I’m not exaggerating when I say that hetero couples poses are obviously posted and freely available. They also range from mildly romantic (like the Pure Romanze set) to sexually explicit.

In contrast, I have only found homo couples poses on Renderotica [warning: this is a pretty boring site that leans heavily on stereotypical porn wear for female characters, stereotypical BDSM props and silly, silly animations] and similar age-limited sites for Poser porn. As can be expected from the general tenor of such sites, most of the homo couples poses are sexually explicit. I have yet to find a couples pose set for homos that contains casual affection or romance. Anyway, it seems that homo couples poses exist only on porn sites where you have to pay for them. They are not freely available.

Given the distribution of hetero and homo couples poses, it’s very clear to me that Daz [the developers of the program] and the general user community assumes the hetero orientation of the 3-D people you create. This is not surprising; when I was more active in Men With Dolls, people’s dolls were generally assumed hetero until proved otherwise, kind of the way it is with people. Hetero is the default orientation, so I refuse to make a stink about that assumption. It’s rampant in this world and in digital worlds.

What pisses me off is the sexualization and marginalization of homo couples. The appearance of homo couples poses solely on porn sites implies that all homos do is have sex. While we queers do make queer desire our defining feature of our sexual orientation, our queerness is not necessarily the overriding feature of our lives. Even in the case of queer activists and artists who make a living out of identity politics, they [we] do much more than have queer sex. The placement of homo couples poses on porn sites accentuates sex to the detriment of any other aspect of queer life, while simultaneously making queer couples seem pornographic, potentially objectionable and obscene, like the surrounding material.

And while I’m ranting about Renderotica [and similar sites], I would just like to ask where the 3-D crossdressers are, specifically the male ones. There is a huge interest in male crossdressing porn, which also shades into forced feminization, transgender, she-male, etc. porn. Surprisingly enough, I haven’t seen those themes represented at all. Am I the only Daz user who wants to use CrossDresser to put a male character in clothes designed for female characters? [And I’m not talking about men in fantasy robes; that’s boring.]

EDIT: Okay, I found some homo couples poses on Renderosity. Here’s Gals 1 poses with lesbian romantic poses. Here’s MM3 Guy Poses 1 with gay romantic poses. I think my point still holds, though, since I stumbled upon these just by chance.

I just found the Frederick’s of Hollywood for 3-D guys…

I just found the Frederick’s of Hollywood for 3-D guys… published on 1 Comment on I just found the Frederick’s of Hollywood for 3-D guys…

Some genius developed an application called CrossDresser, which allows you to reconform any clothing for any 3-D model to any other 3-D model. So you can reconform clothing for Victoria 3 to clothing for Michael 3, which allows me to make 3-D Will wear 3-D Anneka’s clothes, which saves the trouble of me finding dresses specifically for him.

She’s Not The Man I Married (sequel to My Husband Betty)

She’s Not The Man I Married (sequel to My Husband Betty) published on No Comments on She’s Not The Man I Married (sequel to My Husband Betty)

I didn’t know, but Helen Boyd wrote a follow-up to My Husband Betty. The follow-up, She’s Not the Man I Married, chronicles her husband’s transgender transition. [I think…I haven’t read it.] I may have to look at it.

Das Kabinett des Doktor Caligari: The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari

Das Kabinett des Doktor Caligari: The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari published on No Comments on Das Kabinett des Doktor Caligari: The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari

Since most of my movies are packed in preparation for my move, I’m watching movies through my compooper. The latest…An earlier example of German expressionism than Nosferatu, The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari (1919), directed by Robert Wiene. I highly recommend it because a) it’s the prototypical horror film, involving murder, twisted psychology and the analysis thereof; b) it really exploits the form (black-and-white) to heighten the delirious, dream-like atmosphere; c) it’s a well-done classic.

The Cabinet features the magical mountebank Caligari who commands a clairvoyant murderous somnambulist Cesare. When Cesare correctly forecasts Francis’ friend’s death, then tries to run away with Jane, Francis’ fiance, Francis pursues Caligari. Cesare dies along the way, while murder, confusion and doubling take over, not to mention all the crooked doors. The entire set is askew, which, along with the half light/half shade dichotomy of the lighting, makes the film look like a disturbing dream in which even gravity doesn’t work right.

I’m a bit fuzzy on the plot, with its multiple layers of mania and mistaken identity, but I do like its examination of the man called Caligari. He consciously decides to reinvent himself in the style of a mythical monk who could command a sleepwalker so that the sleepwalker acted as his golem. The motivation of the Caligari wanna-be, however, seems murkier, with sexual, even sadistic, components. When Cesare is first admitted to the mental hospital where wanna-be Caligari is the director, Caligari rejoices, caressing the inert man with a demonstrative, lascivious affection that reminds me of, say, Nosferatu  reaching for  Ellen.  Caligari  seems to want control  over  Cesare as much as he wishes to possess Cesare in an inert, doll-like state to care for him, objectify him and quite possibly desire him.  Note that the wanna-be’s reaction to Cesare’s death  looks very much like a stereotyped silent film  husband’s reaction to seeing the corpse of his dead wife.  I humbly submit that there are sadomasochistic homoerotic tensions at work in this film which, along with the  slippage of identity, make  it all the more interesting.

Lesbians make you Communist.

Lesbians make you Communist. published on No Comments on Lesbians make you Communist.

So saith Perversion for Profit (1965), an anti-smut rant. “Newsprint filth” apparently weakens children’s moral fiber, leaving them less capable to resist the Communist threat. With a few changes in stats and terminology [I doubt the Communist menace would fly really well today], I think this content would transpose very well into anti-porn propaganda put out by, say, Focus on the Family.

I’m not going to even argue with the mindset portrayed in the film, but I do seriously question its tactics. Announcer George Putnam wants you to believe that exposure to porn corrupts innocent minds and damns people irrevocably. So why does most of the film contain examples of porm?! Following the logic of Putnam’s argument, wouldn’t these examples [even if eyes, butts and tits are barred out] corrupt at least a few innocent minds? It would be far more effective for this film to attempt to tie porn to violent crime by studying the porn habits of child molesters, serial killers, rapists, domester abusers, etc., to establish a [supposed] causal connection between newsprint filth and criminal perversion. In other words, don’t show us the perversion; show us the result!

Jennifer is proud and pink!

Jennifer is proud and pink! published on 1 Comment on Jennifer is proud and pink!

Jennifer visited Youth Pride yesterday! She got hit on several times [by people who even successfully identified her as an Asian BJD, like the girl with the pink bob], as any of my dolls do when taken in public. Why wouldn’t she be the center of attention? When she dresses to flatter her appearance, she looks attractive! Photos and story below.

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Eddie Izzard: “Oh look — space monkeys are attacking!”

Eddie Izzard: “Oh look — space monkeys are attacking!” published on 2 Comments on Eddie Izzard: “Oh look — space monkeys are attacking!”

So we raided Youtube last night and watched a bunch of clips of Eddie Izzard’s various shows. I think the man is highly amusing because he has a great talent for mime, mimicry and making faces, and everyone knows that I can’t resist someone who makes good faces. He has a face as mobile as Tim Curry’s, only his mouth isn’t so big.

Another reason I like him is his combination of confidence and silliness. If you ever see him in anything from the late 1990s and on [not the early stuff with the horrible, horrible shirts], he stands with great ease in front of an audience, very casual and loose.  He’s even funny when he loses his train of thought and says, “Uhhhhhhh…yeah…anyway…where was I? Oh yes, breasts and airplanes…” He weaves his digressions and mistakes into his routines with admirable panache. I really enjoy his playfulness. 

I also really like the fact that his humor is mainly observational absurdity. Rather than insulting people or making negative, sarcastic comments about the weather, pollution, etc., he’s much more likely to talk about pears [“Either they’re hard enough to use for a hammer, or they’re ripe for about a half an hour”] or Jesus telling God to stop doing his James Mason impression. The older I get, the more I appreciate good-spirited humor in this vein.

Eddie Izzard reminds me a lot of Hugh Laurie. Both are British actors with well-developed skills in slapstick and face-making. They also have great senses of comic timing. [Of course, Hugh Laurie’s current manifestation in House makes him like an evil Eddie Izzard…] I wonder if the two would have chemistry as a performing couple? They could just stand on stage, making faces, and I would fall over laughing.

I’m gonna have to rent Dressed to Kill.

Batwoman [?!?!?!] is a lesbian [?!?!?!?!?].

Batwoman [?!?!?!] is a lesbian [?!?!?!?!?]. published on 2 Comments on Batwoman [?!?!?!] is a lesbian [?!?!?!?!?].

Attention tout le monde! We are now inaugurating the new media tag, under which the Blog of Eternal Stench stinks up the atmosphere with commentary about the latest books, movies, TV and radio I’ve been consuming. Aren’t you excited? I knew you were [all 2 of you].

Unless you’ve been living in a closet during the past week, you know that DC Comics is resuscitating Batwoman [who???] as a lesbian. Check out the New York Times article for an interesting survey about the history of superheroes more accurately reflecting the ethnic and sexual diversity of the population at large. Supposedly Batwoman’s new sexual preference is a newsworthy advance in the name of peace, tolerance and the American way.

You know what would be really “groundbreaking?” If, instead of tacking on some homosexuality just to boost sales, the major comic publishers started by creating a queer character in the first place and then thought about how the sexuality would affect the character.

You could warp the stereotypes of superheroism [identity switching, flashy outfits, defending the oppressed, freakin’ outrageous sex appeal] to fit some of the experiences of gay people, such as coming out, getting ragged on, standing up for oneself. For example, maybe the character’s alter ego is straight and the super hero identity is gay! Maybe the character defends others against homophobic bullies…or has a murderous vendetta against homophobes [oooh, a tragic flaw]. Some of the most interesting superhero stories, like Spiderman, use the superpowers as an interesting metaphor [in Spiderman’s case, it’s superpowers as adolescence/growing up]. A similar thoughtful treatment of a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender superhero would be eminently interesting.

On a side note, I didn’t even know there was a Batwoman until all this buzz started occurring. Sheesh, if you’re add a twist to a character’s sexuality, why not do it to a character who could at least swing that way if she wanted to? For example, Catwoman seems to hang around women all the time, and Batman really pisses her off. Of course, just because she dislikes Batman doesn’t mean that she automatically must be attracted to women, but making Catwoman queer seems more psychologically plausible than pinning gayness as an afterthought to some non-entity named Batwoman.

Why villains are cool and gay villains even cooler

Why villains are cool and gay villains even cooler published on No Comments on Why villains are cool and gay villains even cooler

I’ve been chatting with Vermont author Alex Potter, a writer of sci fi and fantasy short stories, for my upcoming article in Out in the Mountains. He really likes villainous characters, especially queer villainous characters, so naturally we had to go off on a tangent involving Jareth, Frank and other gay characters we love to hate. Conversation went something like this: Continue reading Why villains are cool and gay villains even cooler

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