Archive for February, 2007

Happy Valentine’s Day, Anna Nicole

February 14, 2007

All right, maybe it’s a little odd to send a Valentine to a dead person I didn’t even know, but all the cable news frenzy has been a Valentine of a kind too, right? A twisted one, but then, that’s entertainment… as Anna Nicole (nee Vickie Lynn Hogan) must have known.

I’m guessing she didn’t start out knowing it. A lil’ Texas girl for whom the best available route to the most glamour, fabulosity, and probably also just plain makin’-ends-meet lay in the many gentleman’s clubs that mushroomed up there in the 80s. But you meet a lot of rich guys in those places, maybe she figured, and so she did. Never mind that the one she snagged was old enough to be her great-granddad — he looks pleased as punch in those photos of him they’re showing on TV.

photo from allposters.com

This isn’t exactly the American Dream. And yet it is, for plenty of American women (and gayboy twinkies, too, truth be told, who are just as up for finding Mr. Rich Mr. Right). See, Anna Nicole’s American life is, in this historical moment, pretty much completely shaped by her femaleness, not to mention by her class. And at this time, when the pundits are alternatively helping to keep the bright lights of life still shining on her memory and shaking their heads because everyone’s so fixated on her*, her death, her details, the great attention paid to her passing isn’t just because she’s America’s Rose (huh?) or our next incarnation of Marilyn Monroe or even America’s Diana. It’s because she’s the girl next door who rose to unexpected (and in one sense unexplained) heights. *She’s* the proof that in America, anyone can make it really big… and that fantasy helps so many people wake up in the morning, it’s no wonder folks are fixated on Anna Nicole. For one thing, dying young, while nailing any kind of celebrity to the wall of the pop limbo hall of fame, really messes with the fantasy.
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When Blog Topix Collide: Gavin Newsom, Porno Politics, and Ethical Sluthood

February 2, 2007

The Chron’s editorial page today features San Francisco’s two biggest sex issues of the week, and their juxtaposition has our young mayor ass-deep, as my dear dead old dad Max Queen used to say, in alligators. (Max had a “drain the swamp” tagline, but that now belongs to Nancy Pelosi; I won’t belabor it.) I’ve been meaning to write about both issues, and now that they are contextualizing each other harder than two French feminists in a dark alley, I guess I’ll tackle both at once. I mean, of course, the controversy over Kink.com’s purchase of SF’s historic Armory building (the handsome, dungeonesque relic at 14th and Mission), and this week’s dramatic revelation that Newsom had an affair with Ruby Rippey-Tourk, a staffer married to his friend and campaign manager.
SF Armory, photo from Noehill.com
That this latter situation is not one of those consensual threeways with which some of us liven up our weekends seems pretty clear by Alex Tourk’s action upon the affair’s revelation — he abruptly quit — and Newsom’s somber, “sorry”-filled response response to the press. (Though always-priceless Bad Reporter Don Asmussen had a field day with that notion in this morning’s cartoon.) Irritating letters to the editor are already blaming the kerfluffle on “San Francisco Values” — these kneejerk folks sure do like a buzz-phrase, from Bush to Limbaugh on down to opinionated people in San Rafael — but give me a freakin’ break: this guy is the first mayor of a major American city to have an affair? Can you say “Rudy Giuliani“? And THAT guy’s a presidential candidate. In fact, last I heard, he was the Republican’s front runner.
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Goodbye, Molly Ivins

February 1, 2007

This has been a hell of a year for death, and I don’t mean the charming hooded one who speaks in ALL CAPS from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld. And today I picked up the paper to see truly bad death-related news (besides that from Iraq, which is there on a fluctuatingly-horrific-but-always-petty-damn-bad basis): Molly Ivins has left this mortal coil.

Everyone will say all the good stuff about Molly that can be said: She’s a plain-spoken (or rather, fluent in Texas-speak) liberal muckraker journalist; she knows just how bad it is in Washington DC today because she observed (and muckraked) Bush back when he was Texas governator; she’s irreplaceable. Hell, even Bush himself gave a nice comment at the news of her death, doubtless written by the guy or gal in the office whose job it is to do such things. I saw her speak at a Feminists for Free Expression conference, I think it was; she was even better in person than on the page, and that’s saying something.

But most of the obits, wonderful as they’ll be, won’t say a word about what Molly had to say about dildos, so I’m going to call that detail my own contribution to the outpourings of love and gratitude to this most engaging and unique of columnists.

Now, I know nothing about Molly’s personal feelings about dildos, if any. But I had the honor of being a commentator in a movie in which she also played that role, Dildo Diaries — some people who talk to me have heard me say being in that video with her was one of the great honors of my life, so see, I’m not just buttering her up because she’s dead. Dildo Diaries, by two awesome Austin women, takes up the question of why owning more than five dildos is illegal in Texas. Not only do they talk to Molly, whose quip about the situation is pure Ivins — “It’s illegal for a prick to touch an asshole in this state” (which means what? Shrub wasn’t allowed to shake hands with The Hammer?) — they also go around to Texas state legislators to get comments. The actual legislator who introduced the law talks to them! You’d think when raw-boned Texas gals with cameras come to your office asking about such things that a sensible guy would hide under the desk.

DD isn’t seen widely enough, in my opinion; it played at Frameline in 2003; its auteurs, the Mizzes Barton and Wilder, show it in Austin now and again; and there’s an 11-minute clip on Youtube that you owe it to yourself to see.

With all the other things you’re going to hear about Molly Ivins this week, check it out to remind yourself that she could bring her own special genius to bear on *any* bone-headed pomposity that came into her view.

(By the way, if you think this situation is as stupid as Molly does, you’ll love the Wet Spots’ song “Texas Annie” about it.)

The Wet Spots - Hello Kinky

sfgate has Molly Ivins’ last column … and they say there’s a place for us to post our thought on her, though I was rushing too fast to figure out where that place was. Feel free to post them here, too. Goodbye, Molly. Every once in a while somebody goes too soon, and as far as I’m concerned we still need you.

To remember her? Raise some hell and do a breast exam.
Molly Ivins

Valentines Day ….so so soon

February 1, 2007

I know that people have mixed feelings about Valentines Day. My friends opinions tend to range from “its a merchandising based holiday aimed at driving post Xmas sales” and ” It’s a way to make single people feel bad” to “It’s the most romantic day ever!”.
To be realistic, it IS an awesome day for Good Vibrations. When Valentines Day appears suddenly everyone starts questioning the state of their love life. They want to have more sex, better sex, chocolate sex…
For me, I think of holidays like this as reminders of what I might have been forgetting to focus on in my own life. Have I been remembering to tell my loved ones how important they are to me? Am I making enough time for intimacy, pleasure, orgasms….
Even with a life that often revolves around the business of sex, I can get wrapped up in the daily grind and totally push aside my own sexuality. I’ve decided that this year, I’m not doing Valentines Day on Valentines Day :) I’m going to pick a few random days and treat my partner to some extra special attention. It’s important to me that my expressions of love are seen as expressions of love, not as “its valentines day I guess I should do something sexy for you”. Sure, there will inevitably be February 14th related events. We do have reservations at an uber restaurant in Napa and I bought him a really cute card from Elephant Pharmacy, but that will not be the focus of the majority of my energy. I have much more scheming to do over the next few days. I have GV products to buy, exotic desserts to bake and sheets to launder! I’ll let you know how it goes.

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