The Raving Queen: September 2012


Sunday, September 30, 2012

Farewell To The Ninth Month, Girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                    Darlings, didn't we just whiz through this month???? September11TylerClementiFrankMillsSan all sort of blurred together as it seemed more events were crammed into this one month than throughout the entire Summer.  And now, here we are, at the end, and what do we have to show for it????

                                    A whole lot of living, that's what!!!!!!!!!!!!!  And thanks that, in a month overshadowed by so many tragic events, we made through without another one added to the roster!!!!!!!

                                    So Long, September!  From a picnic morning, without a warning, to the fall of Autumn leaves, it was a pleasure to have you, but your stay, how short it seemed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                      Can't wait to see what October holds!!!!!!!!!!  Ghosties and goblins!!!!!!!!!


Girls, I Am Sorry, But I Must Object!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                         When I went to the movies the other day, darlings, I saw the trailer for something made by Disney, which I first thought was a remake of "The Wizard Of Oz" (God forbid, as long as I am alive!!!!!!) but which is the 2013 film "Oz--The Great And Powerful."  This is a prequel, actually, to the Baum book, detailing how the Wizard (played here by James Franco, whom I first thought was Johnny Depp!!!!!!!!!) became the Wizard.  As is known from both book and movie, he had been a Midwestern carnival balloonist, who, like Dorothy, was carried off to Oz by a gust of wind.  When he landed, he was proclaimed Oz, The First Wizard Deluxe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                           I have to admit, the poster is great.  But it has Michelle Williams on hand as Glinda.  And, once I saw the shots of Munchkinland, I knew what they were trying to do--not so much remake the MGM film, as copy it.  Look at the iconic shot above.  That is pretty much how Munchkinland looks in this new  film.

                                          A Masterpiece is being tampered with , and I will have none of it!!!!!!!!  So, I am urging all my girls to boycott this film!!!!!!!!  First, Baby Boomer queens, and even non-queens who grew up with the annual TV showings of the Judy Garland classic, are not going to tolerate this.  And since some of them are parents, by now, you can bet they will steer their kids from this!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                          I mean, I was prepared for the inevitability of "Wicked" being made into a movie!!!!!!!!!!  But THIS???????????????????

                                          Remember, only Judy Garland flies Over The Rainbow, darlings!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Great Minds Think Alike, Darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                    Until this morning, girls, I never heard of Matt Zoller Seitz.  Now, I would like to praise both him and a film professor of his, in college.

                                      Something Matt wrote, a piece on his dismay over students' reactions to a screening of the 1962 James Bond film, "From Russia, With Love," left him in dismay, and  I agree.  These are the equivalent of musical theater students or wannabes who cannot process "Carousel," because anything other than something along the lines of "Spring Awakening" is beyond their comprehension.

                                      It seems Matt  was dismayed by how the film's  young audience so readily dismissed it due to its datedness, its lack of what was contemporary to them.  He then referenced a film professor of his from college, when he confronted his student audience upon a similar reaction to the 1952 classic, "Singin' In The Rain." 

                                       "The film is not unsophisticated," the professor said, harshly. "You are."

                                          Good for him, and good for Matt!!!!!!!!!  It is about time dumb people who should not be going to movies or theater were put in their place. .  If the airports can have security, there should be cultural screenings of audiences, to see if they are actually fit to attend said play or film in the first place.  I have felt this for years, and I am glad to hear some people are taking up this mantle.  I don't want to sit in an auditorium or theater next to those who ought to be on "Judge Judy!!!!!!!!!!!"

                                          Let me make it clear to these types.  If you're stupid, you're STUPID!!!!!!!!!!
So don't bother!  Leave the arts to those of us who appreciate and understand.  The rest of you go roll outside in the mud and get off watching 'Honey Boo Boo!"

                                             You can bet I am going to follow Matt's writings from now on. And I can only hope he hears about and follows the Raving Queen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                               Spread the word, girls!!!!!!!!!!!

You Know The Year Is Winding Down, When You See This!!!!!!!!!!!

                                      Can you believe it, darlings???????????  There I was, Thursday night, leaving Lincoln Center, walking along the subway underpass, featuring postered ads of upcoming events at the Center....and I see "The Nutcracker!!!!!!!!!!"  Which will be running from November 23 till December 30!!!!!!!!!

                                          I was shocked!!!!!!!!!!  September, and they are advertising one of the city's biggest Holiday events, already?????????  The year is going by fast enough, but with this I feel like it is just about finished.  I mean, I am still contemplating getting tickets to see the "West Side Story" Suite, and now I have to think about "The Nutcracker???????????"  And we have not even gotten to Halloween!!!!!!!!!

                                           Since I did not make it last year, I feel duty bound to.  I still remember my first "Nutcracker," which was back in 1978. To think that was 34 years ago!!!!!!!!!!  And I have never seen it with Monsieur, which is a special enough reason to see it.  With him, that gorgeous production and dancing, that lovely music...what a perfect evening!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                              Still, I was not prepared to contemplate it so soon!!!!!!!!!!!!  Like Shirley Temple's Last Letter To Santa Claus, it is shocking and illusion bursting to contemplate.  The illusion being that time marches slowly; each year it seems to go a little faster.  And never have I seen such proof till  this!!!!!!!!!!!

                                               So, get your tickets, girls, because I want to see all of you there!  Make way for Mother Ginger And Her Polichinelles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Girls, We Just Love Rhonda In "Trick ' R Treat!!!!!!!!!"

                                             Now, darlings, I have not seen "Trick 'R Treat" in its entirety as of yet, but I have read and seen enough to know that I want it to be my Halloween movie this year.  It was made in 2007, but I am not sure it had a theatrical release, though it has gained something of a reputation over time.
And the story with Rhonda in it is, I think, the main reason for that.

                                                The story, called "The Halloween School Bus Massacre" centers on a group of four teens in a small town, headed by a girl named Marcy, a Golden Girl, type, dressed in an angel costume, but whom you just know is a real bitch!!!!!!!!!! You know, like Diane Dykeman.  Rhonda is established early on as the peer group's social outcast--for being either just weird, autistic an idiot savant, basically "different".  She believes in Halloween and its traditions, and her yard is covered with dozens of Jack O'Lanterns.  She has also been given the nickname Rhonda The Retard!!!!!!   One of the nicer of the kids, Schrader, asks her to borrow a Jack O' Lantern, and she agrees, then he  asks her to come along with them to the quarry, which is the stuff of urban legend.

                                                  Thirty years prior, there was a terrible accident.  A bus carrying a group of handicapped children--so troubled they had to be chained in--were being driven to school, when the driver decided to take a different turn, and ends up by the lake at the quarry. What the kids do not know is that their evil parents had paid the driver to throw them into the water, making it look like an accident, and end their burden of having to care for them.  Too bad the story did not go the route of having the dead children come back and kill each and every one of those parents!!!!!  But something goes wrong.  The kids begin to act up at the violation of their routine, despite the driver handing out "last request candy."  One of the kids, in a Dracula getup, manages to get himself  lose, goes to the driver's seat, and tries to steer the bus away from there, and to home. But he cannot do it, and so, in a way, he succeeds in what the bus driver was supposed to do--accidentally plunging himself and everyone else into the water.  Only the bus driver survives, and nothing is known of him afterwards.

                                                  The kids have come to the quarry with eight Jack O'Lanterns, which represent the eight souls of the children, and are meant to be placed lakeside as an offering.  But, during all this, they decide to play a cruel prank on Rhonda, that goes too far, causing them to think they have killed her.  They have not, but fate and consequence have something in store for them, with Rhonda ending up turning the table on her pranksters.  And when she did I LOVED it!!!!!!!!!!!!  I was rooting for her all the way!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Go, Rhonda!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                     That is as much as I will reveal.  I cannot discuss the other stories, as I have not seen them yet. But "Trick 'R Treat" proves to be a potentially new entry in the Halloween film repertoire, and I will let you know the rest as soon as I see it.

                                                        But you do not mess with Rhonda!!!!!!!!!  This is one time the song "Help me, Rhonda!" won't!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Darlings, This Movie Desprately Needed Carrie Anne!!!!!!!!!!!

                                  There is no question, after viewing the above and "Amusement" in the same week, that this was Trash Week.  Yesterday, girls, on my day off, found me with some free time--enough to see a movie.  So I decided to saunter over to the Alpine, and take in something, and I chose "The House At The End Of The Street."  In one way it was genuinely satisfying; there I was back again in the Alpine, just like in my distanced youth, or at least when I was a good deal younger, seeing a trash horror film.  (I had to go alone, becaue Monseiur will not waste his time on thiis kind of film!!!!!!! ) Some things never change!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                    As for this movie, oh, my God, you have to see it to believe it.  While not as bad as "Amusement,"--it at least had some cohesiveness to it--it was nevertheless indecisive about where it wanted to go.

                                       Let's start with Jennifer Lawrence and Elisabeth Shue as mother and daughter. Two women in search of careers.  As one wag said, one Twinkie more and Lawrence is pushed over into Fatland.  Miss Shue has worked her way up from butching it as a town sheriff battling cute little piranhas, to coping with neighborhood psychos. She and her daughter rent this chalet like house in Connecticut, near some woods, next door to a deserted house where, several years before, a 13-year-old girl murdered her parents.

                                        There are no credits; the murder is the first thing seen, and it is done in that shaky editing and lighting manner that wants to convey all kinds of ambiguity, and leave the viewer asking questions.  The other question to be asked is how Shue's character, a Medical Assistant at a local hospital, can afford to rent a home like this, on her salary????????

                                          Before long, lights are discovered in the house next door, which is not deserted after all.  The murderess, Carrie Anne Jacobson, was never apprehended, but was said to have run off into the woods, and either drowned in the river, or is  still running about, like Jason Voorhees.   The mysterious resident is the Jacobsons' surviving son, Ryan, who, at age 7, was sent away to live with an aunt.  She died, and he came home.

                                           Except Ryan, with whom Elissa (Lawrence's character) strikes up a romance, is not quite what he seems.  Or is he?????????  I will say this much--a little more than halfway through I figured it was he who had killed his parents; what I did not get till the end was the motive, and that, as far as I am concerned, it was justifiable homicide.  But the movie plays around with viewers.  It wants you to think that Carrie Anne survived, and Ryan is caring for her in a isolated room in a basement.  He initially tells Elissa she was injured in a swing accident; when she came to, she was brain damaged and violent.  He could not see  her sent away, so he is taking care of her.  Which would have been fine, and if the movie had just been Carrie Anne running around in her nightgown and slippers, bumping off people--the townies are shown to be rotten suburbanites--it would have been satisfying.  But then the filmmakers begin pulling multiple plot twists faster than a magician pulling rabbits out of a hat!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                            The horror in this film is not so much supernatural, as it is family evil and its effects upon children.  Never gory or campy, yet still managing to be unsatisfying, "The House At The End Of The Street" has its moments.  But the biggest question the film asks has nothing to do with its plot.

                                               It is what will Elisabeth Shue's next project be????????????????????

Friday, September 28, 2012

It Was Not Much Of A Season Opener!!!!!!!!!!!

                                Girls, I was so distracted, being at at post-Yom Kippur dinner, that I completely forgot the 14th Season Opener of "Law And Order SVU" was going to be a two hour segment.  I got home about fifty minutes into the action, and you know what?  It didn't matter at all!!!!!!!!!!

                                  The episode, entitled "Lost Reputation" was about getting back the rep of Captain Donald Cragen (the wonderful Dann Florek) but by the time things ended, so many others had been brought down that one cheered as much for them being taken in as Cragen being released.  Just like what needs to happen in some real life New York City organizations and agencies I could mention.

                                  The best moment was when Olivia hauled in that sly piece of baggage, corrupt ADA Paula Foster, played wonderfully by Paget Brewster (not to be confused with Punky Brewster, lambs!!!!!!), who was one piece of work, let me tell you!!!!!!!!!!  Working with that Madame Delia, to set Cragen  up in bed with a dead, murdered prostitute, looking the other way at filthy underworld practices and murders....all because she needed money to care for her handicapped daughter.  This was no Fantine, darlings; this was a career bitch, on the make!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                  You know what?  I did not even buy that daughter story.  First of all, as script writing, it was so contrived!   Second, that Paula was so fast, when the scene was shown with she and Olivia at the school, and we see the daughter, I did not buy for one second that was Paula's child.  Paula is the kind who would hire another child to play the role, stage the whole thing at a school to  make it seem authentic, but there is no real child, because the only thing this Gorgon is interested in is money for herself!!!!!!!!!!!!!  When she was being led down the court stairs, at the end, I wish Olivia had walked up to her, and smacked her self-righteous face!!!!!!!!!!!!!  That is what I would have done, darlings; you better believe it!!!!!!!!!!!

                                 As an actress, Paget made a great impression as Paula, but she will not be back anytime soon!  She's going away for a LONG time!!!!!!!!!!  Unfortunately, she was not capable of carrying the entire show herself, and, short of Cragen showing a little style color in his cute, orange, prison jump suit, there was not much excitement.  Dean Winters  livened things up, and still looks good; I hope he sticks around.  Danny Pino was too busy posing and preening, trying to show that HE is now the show's hottie, but for any of us who remember Chris Meloni, that ain't ever gonna be so!!!!!!!!!!!  Kelly Giddish looked plain tired, Ice T looked too well fed, and Richard  Belzer  seemed...bored.  Mariska Hargitay looked tired, too, but who cares when you look like her, and, besides, I think that is the way she was playing it.  So, she was not genuinely tired, but some of the others   were.

                               Which makes me wonder how things were fare for this season.  If things keep on as tired and unexciting as this opener, it could be the Death Knell for this show!!!!!!!!!!!

                                We will just have to keep watching girl, and pray for the return of Stephanie March!!!!!!!!!!  And where is Joan Cusack, when she is needed??????

                                  In the words of that child, who played Mackenzie two seasons back--

                                                   "Bite me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Thursday, September 27, 2012

"If I Could Hold You In The Arms Of Love...Tonight!!!!!!"

                                            Girls, I am telling you, as soon as I heard that Andy Williams had died, those were the first words to pass through my head.  I know everyone will think of him as "Moon River," and his rendering of that classic was impeccable, but this was my reaction.

                                               Andy Williams went back to my childhood.  I loved his smooth, mellow voice, and would sometimes try to imitate it, singing those more mellow songs,, in between wanting to be Judy and BARBRA!!!!!!!!!  I can recall watching his Christmas specials each year, and his variety show, on which he introduced the Osmond Brothers (and possibly Marie!!!!!!!) who, of course, went places of their own.

                                                And, of course, I always assoicaited him with dressing in sweaters! Either slip over or button down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                 The thing about performers being around since one's childhood is one tends to think of them as so much older because you were so much younger. I was surprised to discover Andy Williams was 84.  "That's all?" I first said, imagining he was about ten years older than that.

                                                   Time does play funny tricks, dolls!!!!!!!!!  So, Rest In Peace, Andy!!!!!!  I can't think of any voices out there now that can equal yours. That style of vocalizing is just gone forever. Thank God it is captured on recordings and CD's. 

                                                       If you have any old recordings, listen to one tonight!  If not, find some on You Tube.

                                                       A sad but fond farewell, Mr. Andy Williams!  I may purchase one of your Christmas CD's this year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                         Enchante to you, too, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Darlings, I Just Love "The Laugh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

                                 As most of my readers know by now, there is no limit to my taste for trash, especially when it comes to horror. So, while in a store over the weekend, and I happened upon a DVD horror film entitled "Amusement," which I never heard of, I decided to give it a look.

                                  "Amusement" was made in 2008, and intended for a theatrical release.  But when  this post is finished, it will be clear why this film went straight to DVD.

                                      A pity, because when I read the back of the case, I was intrigued.  Three young (and of course nubile) young women are pursued by a mysterious killer, with a grudge extending back to their childhoods.

                                        So, what else is new?????????  But this was perfect I thought, as I have been using such plots for years to work off my childhood grudges. I can honestly say this genre probably saved me from becoming a killer, myself!!!!!!!  That, and not being able to stand blood, nor having the coordination to use weaponry!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                        The women in "Amusement" are named Shelby, Tabitha and Lisa.  Each is given a segment of their own, that makes it seem like an anthology film, until they are all brought together in the present day, with the killer.

                                         There are a couple of things this film does well.  It uses set design and art direction effectively.  When Lisa approaches the creepy house, and the camera lovingly lingers on all the bizarre details in it, you can see some signs of the filmmakers knowing what they are doing.  Same in the "Tabitha" sequence, where she is trapped, during a storm in a house, babysitting for her young cousins, with a room full of macabre looking clown of whom happens to be life sized.  The photography and editing here are outstanding.  So what if it borrows form "Halloween," "When A Stranger Calls," or "Dead Silence?"

                                           The film was directed by John Simpson, who does evidence some skill. But it was written by this moron named Jake Wade Wall, who had the nerve the pen the abominable remake of "When A Stranger Calls." And then he recycles it here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                               What he fails to provide is context.  Most films of this type start with a lengthy pre-credits sequence, set in the past, detailing what went wrong among the children, that led to the killer seeking them out as adults. "Prom Night" (1980) is the best example of this.  "Amusement" takes a more clever approach, not revealing this until midway.  The problem is it does not reveal enough.

                                                    Though, wait.  Maybe the credits sequence, showing photos of the protagonists as children--Tabitha is destined "to succeed."  Lisa "to be famous," and Shelby "to shine."--is meant to be a part of this.  Then there is the photo of a seemingly innocent boy, detailing a history of being dangerous and having psychological problems.  OK, fine.  But it still is not enough.

                                                        In what is supposed to be the pivotal sequence, the three kids, in the past, are seeing bringing to school their projects--a set of dioramas.  Each of the girls, does something pretty and appropriate for each one.  The boy, pictured earlier, but never identified, looks theirs over, then they egg him on to show  his.  Tabitha looks first.  Inside, is what looks like a skinned squirrel, arms and legs pulled back, his entrails seemingly exposed.  The kid laughs and says, "It's funny, right?"  (Not really, darlings!!!!!!!)  Tabitha, with genuine horror, says " it isn't."

                                                         And that is that.  OK, with the animal mutilation, the kid is on his way to being a text book serial killer, but none of these kids know that.  And I am sorry, this scene is not enough to send one over the edge.  If I went after everyone who said they did not like my school projects (and screw them!!!!!!!!) I would have racked up multiple killings by now.  What we needed to see was, maybe, the consequences of this scene, where the boy is shown being ridiculed by classmates and/or teachers for this project, which would lead to some deep seated humiliation, enough to carry a grudge.  As it is, Tabitha states her case, the others look on and say nothing. The kid says, "It's funny, right?" which becomes his slogan, but you see no evidence of his having been upset by Tabitha's reaction.

                                                           Later, when Lisa's boyfriend goes in the house, there is this encounter with the killer, where he says he comes from a long line of entertainers and performers, amidst all this gadgetry, which makes sense. As it would if a show biz child having to interact with so-called normal ones, could lead to deep seated psychological problems, as the unsophisticated "normal" kids would not understand the show biz one.  But, alas, this is never developed.

                                                              Plus, the killer is never given a name in this film; he is only referred to, and not even onscreen, only on the credits, as "The Laugh." He is played, and very well, by Keir O'Donnell, (and he is kinda cute, darlings!) but his character needed some fleshing out.  Even in "Halloween", "The Shape" was named Michael Myers, and in "Valentine" "The Cherub" was named Jeremy Melton!!!!!!! So, why not here!!!!! Guess Jake Wade Wall (what a dumb name!) was just too dumb!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                              All of which adds up to Jake Wade Wall being a moronic writer, ruining what might not have been a masterpiece, but at least a standard entry in the genre, one that could take its place among others.  But this purpose is defeated.

                                                                "Amusement" will make you frustrated for the better movie it might have been. But don't go killing anyone just because you did not like it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                                   Simply ban Jake Wade Wall from any future projects!!!!!!!!!!!

Girls, This Week's Bitch Is Also An Aunt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                   Honestly, darlings, the way I have been going on, you would think I have it in for aunts everywhere.  I really don't; some of my favorite relations were aunts.  But having wallowed both in aunts and trash this week, I thought what better way to acknowledge Bitch Of The Week by combining the two.  And so I found one, albeit fictional.

                                      Now, I know, some of you may already be asking, and I can almost hear you, "What about Shelley Winters in "Who Slew Auntie Roo?"  The trouble is, from "A Patch Of Blue" on, Shelley played so many bitches, it became a kind of career for her.  The truly outstanding Bitch Of The Week is one who distinguishes themselves singularly.

                                         Which brings us to this week's winner.  She is Dr. Martha Thomas, aka Aunt Martha, in the 1983 slasher classic, "Sleepaway Camp."

                                           First of all, I cannot believe that, next year, this classic film is going to be 30 years old!  It seems like yesterday, when it first appeared.  It followed the slasher formula in some ways, broke it in others, and its ending is still the most shocking among films of its kind.

                                            Aunt Martha's son Peter, and his cousin Anglea (sweetly played by a then 13-year-old Felissa Rose) are packed off to Camp Arawak, where, after a time, a series of mysterious deaths have the place in danger of closing down.  No one knows who is behind it. And when it is found out, well........

                                               Aside from Felissa, the highlights of the film are Karen Fields as Judy, who boasts the longest pony tail in film history, and is the embodiment of every pubescent bitch ever encoutnered duirng that time of life!  Not far behind her is Katherine Kamhi as counselor Meg, a real piece of work herself!  The role of Judy, by the way, was intended for a then 15-year-old Jane Krakowski, but when her mother saw the script, and realized how the character was going to be killed, she pulled Jane out of it.  Jane, of course, went on to other things, but for this film it is good Karen Fields was cast, because she is perfect.

                                                 I just love how she tosses and flounces her hair at Ricky,while talking.
                                                  Ricky: Who were those guys?
                                                  Judy: Just some BOYS I met today!!!!!!!
                                                  Ricky: What were you doing with them?
                                                  Judy:   Ricky, don't you know girls MATURE faster than boys?
                                                  Ricky: Come on now---
                                                  Judy: Ricky, I don't have TIME for your nonsense!

                                                But I am getting away from the real gem,  which is Desiree Gould as Aunt Martha.  Aunt Martha is like Charles Beaumont's "Miss Gentilbelle" played for laughs.  The very first time I saw this film I was convinced Aunt Martha was a man in drag. Without giving much away, I will say that this is a film  that plays around with the topic of gender confusion.

                                                 Aunt Martha is also a doctor, and, sweeties, if you can believe that, then I have a real estate deal for you!  I mean, if I walked into a physician's office, and Aunt Martha in a white coat popped out, I don't care who referred me, I would turn tail, and run!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                   So what makes Aunt Martha winner of this week's Raving Queen Bitch Of The Wedk Award?  I cannot say too much, except it has something to do with how she relates to her orphaned niece Angela.  Again, check on the "Miss Gentilbelle" reference, and you may figure it out!!!!!!!

                                                     But, as a bitch, Aunt Martha is perversely lovable and kooky!!!!!! And Desiree Gould plays her to a tee, making the most of the short time she is on film. Now a high powered real estate agent in Manhattan, it is a pity she did not act any more.  But, in a career where one is lucky if they come off with one defining role, Desiree Gould has achieved that as Aunt Martha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                      So, congrats to Desiree, for her signatrue character!

                                                        And congratulations to Aunt Martha for being this week's Bitch Of The Week!

                                                          Too bad I never went to summer camp.  Or is it??????????

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

And Speaking Of Favorite Aunts, Darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                     As long as we are on this subject, girls, I cannot neglect talking about Aunt Fritzi, created by Ernie Bushmiller, in the "Nancy" comic strip.  Aunt Fritzi is the aunt we all would have liked to been raised by.  For starters; she had a wild past; she was known as Fritzi  Ritz, and was a good time girl, who liked parties and action; something like a Paulette Goddard.  By the time Nancy came along, she had settled into domesticity, with those polka dot dresses and that impeccable hairstyle, that, nevertheless, made her look glamorous. 

                                     Poor Nancy!  You have to wonder about her, because living with Aunt Fritzi did her no good, as  none of it rubbed off on her.   Nancy was a pudgy little frump, with a hairstyle that suggested a lesbian in the making.  She hung out with Sluggo, who was clearly from the wrong side of the tracks,  and I always suspected their friendship was surreptitious.  If Aunt Fritzi had caught them together, she would have hauled Nancy into the house.

                                       Is it any wonder we wanted to be raised by Aunt Fritizi, let alone be her? Those legs, those heels, that figure; she was the most stunning thing in the comic book world of the Middle Class!!!!!!!!   Class was one thing she had plenty of!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                        As do all my girls out there!  So, get out those pumps, perm that hair, slip into that polka dot dress, and carry on the Fritz Ritz tradition.  Someone has to; Nancy is a lost cause!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                          She's sure to be found, hanging out at Henrietta Hudson's!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh, Those Brooklyn Babes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                               You know what they say, lambs--you can't make this shit up!!!!!!!!  Monday night, Monsieur and I decided to eat lightly, with a simple meal at the Lighthouse Cafe, that haven for us in Bay Ridge, where everyone is so friendly.

                                 Our meal was superb, as always. But the clientele was something else.  First, there was this gay hating, Jew hating couple seated next to us, arguing over the price of everything, tormenting the poor waitress.  The woman handled the waitress, while the husband kept giving us homophobic glances in our direction.  I should have winked  at him, and puckered my lips, but, honeys, he was just too ugly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  His wife was a scold; if the Narrows Community Players decide to mount a production of "The Shrike," she would be perfect for the part!!!!!!!!  Because after the waitress walked away, that woman went up to her behind the counter, where, trapped, she hounded her mercilessly.  Who does she think she is???????  If she wants to eat free, go to a church that runs a soup kitchen!!!!!!!!!!

                                 But the best were sitting behind us, a group I can only call the Brooklyn Babes!!!!!!!  Oh, my God, they were not from Miss Porter's!!!!!!!!  They were not even, I think, from Bay Ridge.  I don't know where they were from, but they were loud!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                   You know the type, loves.  Hair that has not been natural in decades it's a wonder there is any left, leather jackets, and the foulest mouths this side of "Glengarry Glen Ross."  Here's a sampling--

                                 "I may live in a sheluth, but I know what I'm doin'!!
                                "Yuh leff yuh husband!
                                 "Big Matt ain't no good, he don't know nothin'!  And
                                  my daughtuh!!!!!!!!  I do everythin' fuh dat girl an' she
                                  is a fuckin' unappreciative bitch!  Yuh want diapuhs fer
                                  duh baby???????  Go tuh duh local welfare office!"

                                 I kid you not!!!!!!!!!!  We had to listen this for a good portion of our meal.  I can only imagine where they were headed after the Lighthouse; how did they find their way there, anyway?
And it was absolutely amazing that the woman pronounced "unappreciative" correctly!  I was shocked, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                  These were real, hardcore Brooklyn babes!  I just hope I don't run into them, when it is dark, the streets are deserted, and I am walking down one of them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                    This trio would give the gals at Henrietta's Hudson a run for their money!!!!!!!!!!!!

Darlings, I Always Wanted To Be Aunt Cordelia!!!!!!!!!

                                    When I was just a wee thing, girls, I had, courtesy of my older sister, a children's book I was fond of called "Miss Sniff, The Fuzzy Cat."  It was all about a little girl named Polly Pinks, who lived with her father and Aunt Cordelia (probably her father's sister, as Mom either died or skipped out on them, which explains a lot about Polly Pinks herself, as I will further explain), and had a black fuzzy cat named Miss Sniff.  When it was given to Polly, austere Aunt Cordelia pronounced the cat would be a "mischief," to which Polly, who could not pronounce that word, said, "Miss Sniff."  And so the cat was named.

                                     The gimmick of the book was that, due to 1940s technology, the pictures of Miss Sniff were covered with some kind of black Velcro or cheap velvet, that enabled you to pet her, giving the cat a fuzzy feeling, and the children something of an interactive experience.  By the time I inherited the book, in the late Fifties, Miss Sniff had seen better days; some of the fur was almost completely rubbed off her pictures, and what was left I rubbed very carefully.  But I just adored this book.

                                      Part of the reason I adored the book was the color pink, which is the only thing I had in common with Polly Pinks.  I was always a little suspicious of Polly; even as a child her dresses were just too short, her lips too pouty, and her hair too stylish, suggesting something of a child tart.  Or someone who would grow up being judged entirely by her surface looks, no matter how rotten she might have turned out to be.  You know, dears, like Debbie Dykeman!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                       But the one I adored most was Aunt Cordelia, pictured above.  She took such pride in her best, fluffy white curtains, and when Miss Sniff ran up those, you can bet she was a bit put off.  Sure, she may have the look of a repressed lesbian, but I am telling you, in this house, Aunt Cordelia ruled!!!!!!!!  The hell with Polly's father, who is mentioned, but never around, anyway!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                         As an adult, I am convinced that whomever illustrated this book must have watched a lot of Frieda Inescort movies, because Aunt Cordelia, as pictured, looks just like Frieda Inescort!  And you know how much I just loved her as Lady Jane Ainsley!!!!!!!!  No wonder I wanted to be Aunt Cordelia.  That hair, that posture, that glamour, that ability to sew such pretty things and do nothing but sit at home and sew, amidst the best, fluffy white curtains!!!!!!!  Sounds good to me, dolls!!!!!!!!

                                          Sure, I had my favorite real life aunts, but when it came to fiction Aunt Cordelia was my fave!!!!!!!!  You might have had to tow the line with her, but you learned something!!!!!!

                                          Girls, I am tellling you, she paved the way for such as Anna Wintour!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Where Are The Gay Writers???????????

                                   Right now, girls, I happen to be reading the novel that is the Flavor Of The Month this literary season--Michael Chabon's "Telegraph Avenue."  Though I am only a quarter of the way through, I can say this much--Chabon's writing and his handling of the subject make the book so compelling that, when I am able to gather some time, pick it up, and read it, I cannot put it down, and, at his point, it is already looking good as my choice for Book Of The Year.  And even if something should come along before December31 to top it, it will still make my Top Ten!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                  Chabon's book skillfully examines a diversity of cultures and lifestyles.  Yet, as I was reading it, I could not help but pause and wonder, "Where Are Today's Gay Writers?"

                                    I do not mean the standard assortment found in the critical tome pictured above--Oscar Wilde, Hart Crane, James Baldwin, Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote, Gore know, the usual suspects.  What I mean is, with literary fiction dominated by White Male authors like Chabon, Jonathans Franzen, Lethem, and Safran-Foer, or Chad Harbach, where are their Gay Counterparts??????

                                  The answer, darlings is simple--there are none!

                                   Now, there are gay writers out there--Michael Cunningham, David Leavitt and Christoper Bram come first to mind.  I have to say I had high hopes for Bram and Leavitt.  When David Leavitt's collection of short stories, "Family Dancing," first appeared, back in 1983, I thought it heralded the arrival of a Major Gay Writer, one who would sit beside his white, straight contemporaries.  Almost 30 years later, Leavitt has all but vanished, and while the last book of his I read, "The Indian Clerk," was certainly worthy of his straight colleagues, it did not seem to catch on with a reading audience, and what has he written since?????  Very sad.

                                 Christopher Bram, bless his heart, keeps writing, but only scores a bulls-eye every once in awhile, like with "Father Of Frankenstein," or my favorite, "The Notorious Doctor August.".  He is a mixed bag, and like Leavitt, the body of work is not that steady.

                                   Same with Michael Cunningham. Don't even start with me on the Pulitzer for "The Hours", though it did serve to give him some street cred.  He has written one truly great book, "Flesh And Blood," but "Specimen Days?????"  I mean, come on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                      Some might say Alan Holinghusrt.  Well, "The Line Of Beauty" was the most pretentious piece of crap I had read in a long time up to that point, and, like the others, he is a mixed bag--"The Swimming Pool Library,"  "The Folding Star"--come on!!!!!!!!  Points for trying, Alan, but what all these writers lack, or don't seem to realize, that gives their straight colleagues an advantage, is the need to be consistent, and develop an audience of their own.  Or, to play Devil's Advocate, maybe they have, but it is just not big enough.  Everyone, straight and gay, reads the white straight authors I have mentioned.  But do any straight readers read the gay authors?  And why not?  And how many gay men actually read these authors, if, indeed they read at all??????????

                                      I think the problem lies in the lack of a fan base in the Gay Community, generally not known for their literary largesse.  Let's face it, darlings, as a gay man who reads serious literature, I am something of an anomaly in the Community.  The gay writers who write do so for such a small fan base , and that fan base never seems to increase, unlike with  the straight writers.

                                       And I have not even talked about the gay writers out there who may be good, but even I do not know, because they do not get the publicity or exposure that their more renowned colleagues do.  Are we talking here about mainstream crossover?  Or are we talking about a Community that puts more of a price tag on fads and fashions than something more demanding and discerning, like literature?????

                                       Poor David Leavitt. Back to him again.  I think he had every intention of becoming the type of author I wished him to, but when he saw that his actual audience was more disposed to something like "Fifty Shades Of Grey" (not even Harry Potter, loves!!!!!!!) I think he just went and gave up.

                                         Which is a shame to those of us who hunger for serious gay literary writers.  There may even be one out there, waiting to emerge, but in order for him to, readers, agents, and editors all have to act on behalf of his marketability.

                                            Otherwise, contemporary gay literature will go the way of the gay independent bookstores!!!!!!!!

                                             Extinct, darlings!!!!!!!!!!  Just like the Dodo Bird!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh, Darlings, What A Wild Weekend!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                               Sweeties, I am telling you, for a weekend getaway, there is no wilder place than Villa St. Martha, in Dowingtown, PA, where my 97-year old father was visited by moi, Monsieur and my sister. And while he seems to have slowed down somewhat, the spirit continues.

                               He certainly gets about, what with being bussed into town to shop, social activities that make the place seem as active as the editorial offices of VOGUE, visits from all of us, and other familial members, Tea With Sister Berenice, the Rosary with Sister Barbara...I am telling you, it just goes and on!!!!!!!!

                               Saturday, we all headed out on an excursion.  It started with--now don't be shocked, lambs--lunch at the Olive Garden!  I know, I know, it is distinctly Middle Class, but what could I do??? Besides, I have never been to one IN MY LIFE!!!!!!!!!!  What is one experience?????????

                                 You know how they always advertise the soup-salad-bread sticks lunch on TV??????????   They are continually hawking that, darlings!!!!!!!!!!  Well, I have to say, it is actually good, although I have to say, if you have high blood pressure or are on a low sodium or salt free diet, eat at your own risk, or skip this one, because each item is loaded with so much salt you taste buds just explode.  Maybe it is a scheme in tandem with the medical industry--feed them, then hand them over to the doctors, to make their money by attempting to straighten out these health issues!!!!!!!!!  You have to wonder, girls!!!!!

                               However, much more was going on here than meets the eye.  Because the room we were seated in seemed to have been taken over by a convocation of nuns!!!!!!!!  I cannot recall when I was in one  place with with so many nuns.  Maybe not since my First Communion!  Or Confirmation!!!!!    And let me tell you, these were not REAL nuns, like those pictured above.  There were nuns showing a bit of  hair, with their short length veils, a bit of leg in their clerical power suits, and I am telling you they were chomping down on what was put before them, like there was no tomorrow.  Maybe these were Rebellious Nuns, stepping out on the Reverend Mother!  I had a feeling that if I had walked over to any of them, and done a chorus of "Maria" from "The Sound Of Music" in my nun contralto voice, I would have been decked right in the kisser!  As my father, a devout Catholic himself, remarked, they probably own the place!!!!!!!!!!

                             It just figures!  A Catholic villa, my Catholic father, and a convocation of nuns!!!!!!!
How apt!!!!!!!!!

                              From there we went on a variety of shopping excursions, which included a stop, of course, at Barnes and Noble, where my father bought a book by Newt Gingrich (at this point, each of us realizes we are not going to politically change the other!!!!!) while I bought Lynn Povich's book, "The Good Girls Revolt,"  and Jonathan Evison's potentially exciting adventure novel, "West Of Here."  After some other store stops, including a pharmacy, where we picked up some Neosporin  for my father, we trooped back to my sister's house, chilled out for an hour or so, then finished up with dinner near Exton at The Lion's Share Diner.  It was not Le Bec Fin, darlings, but my father loved it, and let me tell you, he scarfed down every bit of his three scooped dish of chocolate ice cream!!!!  And he is Mr. Count Your Calories, though don't ask me why!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                            Girls, it was an exhausting day!  But a good time was had by all, and when we dropped my father off at Villa St. Martha, while he had been glad to see us, I think he was as glad to be back in his more familiar surroundings!!!!!!!!!!!

                             As am I now, darlings, writing you all from home!  But if you think a weekend at Villa St. Martha is not wild, you just try it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                              And don't you dare collide with any nuns!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This Book Does NOT Kick Ass!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                            Actually, darlings, it does not kick much of anything.  The final novel in the Lisbeth Salander trilogy is one big bore, because it leaves her, for pretty much of the book, stranded in a hospital bed, while all around every plot contrivance, from governmental conspiracy, to an editor being stalked by someone who resented her in high school (come on, now!!!!!!), is going on.  It is not until the last section of the book--one hundred pages or less--that the reader gets the kick ass Salander that everyone loves!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                         Poor Stieg Larsson died shortly after this last book was complete.  But you have to wonder--was he, perhaps, getting tired of it all????  The resolution at the end is extremely satisfying, but the reader is left to wonder.  Had Larsson lived on, would there have been any more, if at least one more, Salander book????????  Judging from the results here, I would have to say no; not only does he seem tired of the character, he seems to feel he used up all her grit in the first two books.

                                        At 658 pages, the book is far too long, and it needs editing.  There is so much padding that it produces in one a sense of impatience; just get on with it.  If my loyalty had not been built based on the first two books, I am not sure I would have finished this one.  But with the time invested, I had to see this one to its conclusion, no matter how uneven the journey.

                                      Which pretty much sums up the impact of the book.  If, for some reason, a reader comes to this book first, they will wonder what  all the fuss is about.  Those who have read the first two, and know, will find the third a tremendous letdown.

                                        It is a no win situation, darlings!  Unless one counts finishing the book as a victory!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Danger Of Gay Republicans!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                      Sooner or later, girls, you knew I was going to find my own way of getting in on the whole Mitt Romney "victim" thing.  Not much I can add there, because this guy has pretty much toasted himself alive, with that statement.  However, there is an inhumane breed out there, who may still vote for him in spite of it all, and, let me tell you, they are DANGEROUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                     I am talking about Gay Republicans!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                     If anything, they are even worse than Straight Republicans!!!!!!!!!  Why??????????

                                    Straight Republicans have one thing in their favor--they are honest and up front about what they believe, what they are against in political matters, be they gay or straight related.  When you deal with one, you know exactly what you are dealing with.

                                      Not so the Gay Republicans.  They say they want all the rights and amenities that other members in their community want--except then they go out and vote for those very people who are against them!!!!!!!!!!!  What sense does that make???? It doesn't!!!!!!!

                                       Let me give you a composite picture of Gay Republicans, New York style.  You see them all over--at Met galas, at the opera, where they go into paroxysms of ecstasy over the mad scene in 'Lucia,' or getting all the in-jokes at the latest Broadway offering.  But then they go home to their six or seven figure priced Manhattan luxury condo, have a glass of wine with brie or Canberra cheese, go to their windows with the gorgeous view, turn up their noses like wannabe Clifton Webbs, and look down on everyone else in the community who is not exactly what they are!!!!!!!!!!  And if that means economically stepping over their fellow gays, just to maintain THEIR lifestyle, then that is just fine with them!!!!!!!!!!
So, they vote Republican!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                     It's sort of like Diane Dykeman, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!  You just cannot be sure what you are dealing with!!!!!  If Diane had turned out to be gay, I am sure she would be a Republican!!!!!!!!
Hell, she is living in Georgia, a Red State, right now, so she could very well be.  It would not surprise me one bit!!!!!!!!!!

                                     Gay Republicans are dangerous, girls, because they know how to talk the talk, then stab everyone else in the back, as long as it serves themselves.  If you are going to the theater tonight, watch out, you could be sitting next to one!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                        And this is one time garlic or wolf bane will not help!

                                        Here is what will--when the time comes vote AGAINST them!!!!!!!!!!!

The Second Anniversary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                       Who among us now living can not remember when the face pictured above first became familiar??????????

                                         I will be away for the weekend, darlings, so, since the Second Anniversary Of Tyler Clementi's Passing is actually tomorrow, I am acknowledging it today.

                                        I want all my girls to send out thoughts and prayers for Tyler, but also for those who feel themselves trapped in the same way.  And most especially, the Clementis, for whom this time of year has got be the most painful.

                                        Tomorrow marks two years that Tyler Clementi made the irrevocable decision that effected not just he and his family, but an entire Generation.  And because of it, for many of us, Autumn will never be the same.

                                          So, tomorrow, I want you all to remember Tyler in your own special way, think of his family, and pray for all those other Tylers still out there!

                                            May those still struggling survive to keep on smiling, as sweetly as Tyler once did!

                                              Amen, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Back To Hell For Proserpina, Darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                  Well, girls, now we settle in for the long, indoor haul.  Today marks the first day of Autumn, so Proserpina leaves Earth, to return to Pluto in the Underworld for six months, while her mother, Demeter, mourns her with falling leaves and snow piles!!!!!!!!!!

                                    In other words, she goes back to Hell, girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                    But, this is the Raving Queen, and with the seasonal arrival comes a new cultural season--theater, opera (for those Vicious Opera Queens!), classical music, literature, art exhibitions--not to mention fine dining and wine!!!!!!!   I am telling you, this time of year can sometimes be SO exciting!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                    So, farewell, Proserpina!  See you in six months!  Meanwhile, welcome autumn for the warmth and excitement it brings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                     And those Fall fashions, loves!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Girls, Get Those Fucking Type A Personality Types Out Of Your Life!!!!!!!!!

                                 You would think, dolls, from the way I have been writing lately, that I am a Type A personality, but nothing could be further from the truth!!!!!!!  I am such a pussycat, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                  Except when these types rear their ugly heads, as has been happening to me of late.
Well, I am here to say--the career counselors are full of such bullshit, because the first thing they always say is NEVER to confront these types!!!!!!!!!!

                                    Au contraire, loves!  I say the best thing to do is to confront them head on!   Because, once they see that you are as capable of being as nasty as they, if not more so, they will back off, if anything out of abject terror!  Because these ego inflated nihilists are cowards, at heart!

                                    So, girls, here is some helpful confrontational advice!

                                    1.  Tell Type A To Fuck Off!!!!!!!!!!
                                         Not necessarily in those terms, although, if it comes
                                         to that, by all means!!!!!!!  If not, say something like,
                                         "I have just about had enough from you, and if you do
                                          not back off, I am going to play hard ball!  Even if that
                                          means going to the Union, Labor Relations, or a lawyer!"

                                     2.  Make Sure He Understands You're Not Kidding!
                                          He may to be so shocked to see you emerge from your
                                          seemingly genteel exterior, he may not take you seriously,
                                          at first.  Make it clear to him you are simply giving him
                                          a dose of his own medicine, and that, if he does not
                                          swallow the poison and leave you  alone, alert him that
                                          otherwise further action will be in store!!!!!!!!!!!

                                      3. Follow Through
                                          Give it, say, a month.  If, after having spoken to your
                                           supervisor(s), you discern no visible change, take those
                                           actions you said you would, in the first place!!!!!!!!!!!

                                      4. Make It Clear You Want Nothing To Do With Him,
                                             Outside Of Work Related Matters!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
                                          His behavior has exhausted all chances for empathy,
                                          so let him know that!  And if he cannot, as may be
                                          the case, control his compulsive behavior, document
                                          each incident, so you can present a rational case!

                                    5.   Hunt Him Down, And Kill!
                                           Don't let him force you to leave a job you
                                           have not only been at longer, but are better at,
                                           than he!  Get rid of him first!  Not really by
                                           murder!  "Gaslight" him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                  This is what the career counselors are too bound in by political correctness, in  order to
keep their own job, to tell you!!!! .   They are full if shit!  If you follow my plans, girls, NO ONE adversarial
will EVER come near you again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                     Now, isn't that nice?????????????????????????????????????