Icon of the week: David Bowie

October 19, 2008

No one can deny that David Bowie is cool, and in this picture also rather hot:

I realised while looking for this picture that all the people on my list so far have been devastatingly attractive. Even Virginia Woolf was considered a great beauty in her day. The debate is open as to whether this makes me shallow or bisexuals unnaturally gorgeous…

David Bowie came out to the media in the 80s but later regretted it when the American press focused on that above and beyond his creative endevours. I can understand the irritation of sexuality becoming a defining feature – it’s something that doesn’t effect most of what you do most of the time. Bowie wanted to be known for his music, his acting and art. His art is awesome by the way: http://www.bowieart.com/ My art teacher told me that he spent a lot of his time in the art studios after they refused to let him do music.

Bowie has always been around in the background of my life. From childhood with cult movie Labyrinth to finding out that he went to my school there has been an aura of undeniable, demigod-like awesomeness. To find out that someone of this stature is part of the bi-club pleases me muchly.

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Bisexual Icon: Brian Molko

October 11, 2008

Gosh, I almost forgot to do this for this week. Goes to show the shelf life of my good intentions is about 2 weeks. I’ll add the icons list to my 101 things and see if that helps – possibly not if I get bored of that in 2 weeks…

Icon of the Week: Brian Molko

 

Apart from rumours about a random girl in my year 11 class Brian Molko was the first person I really heard of who identified as bisexual. I was 17, in the darkest depths of teenage angst, and Placebo really spoke to that market. More edgy than current emo music Placebo made me feel dark and powerful and marked my first real step away from mainstream music into developing my own tastes.

I thought Brian Molko was beautiful, probably the first man feminine man I ever saw (and a secret fetish of mine ever since). He has the kind of voice often called haunting but I think it’s more demanding – gathering in your attention so he can hook you with his penetrating eyes. I enjoy his music, and although no longer my favourite I will look out for the next Placebo album.


Icon of Last Week

October 6, 2008

I do somewhat suck for not posting this at the weekend like I said I would. It’s typical of my disordered function. And also my home computer isn’t ready yet so it’s still hard to get online at home.

Drumroll please: tstststststststststststststststststsah!

Bisexual icon: Amanda Palmer

taken by Beth Hommel

taken by Beth Hommel

In the full glory of her performance outfit, taken when she was still intact. When I saw her she was a bit damaged with her foot in plaster. And freezing her ass off. She looked so small at the signing table after the show, huddled over her pen with her foot on a stool. On stage she was fucking amazing. The woman has presence like I’ve never seen, she’s a born performer, and the show she’s put together with her friends raises the bar for live performance.

She shared the stage with Zoe Keating, supercellist, and Jason Webley accordion-hobo. They were equally engaging and completely contrasting in style and execution – she looped phrases through her laptop, he brought a maraca made of a plastic bottle full of coins. Between us me and partner bought their CDs and got them signed, took their pictures and joined their mailing lists. Taking little bits of them to keep for ourselves.

My favourite souvenir is the stem of flowers Amanda threw into the crowd that I caught. I’m going to press one of the flowers under my book mountain. I’ll probably forget about it for 2 years then rediscover it and relive some Amanda-based joy. At the moment I’m looking up lyrics as it’s the way she writes about things and the choice of subject matter that gives her punk caberet style the extra layer of depth missing from a lot of music.


~*New Feature*~

September 26, 2008

I’m sure you are amazed by my misuse of random characters. What could it be, this new feature that requires such juvenile decor? It is:

Virginia’s Bisexual Icon of the Week!ta da!

In light of one of my recent posts about how I missed out on a significant event in my life because I didn’t know bisexual was an option, I have decided to start compiling a list of prominent bisexual people. How dull monosexualism will seem in comparison!

First up: Virginia Woolf

As a woman so awesome I named my blog after her Virginia Woolf has to come first. She was an intelligent and sensitive woman and born into the privilege of literary high society. It was a natural progression that surrounded by creative people on all sides she should become a novelist herself, pioneering modernist styles with strong psychological development of her characters.

Virginia was a feminist and advocated that women have the potential to be equal to men in creativity given the time, space and freedom from financial worry to do so. In her upper class Bloomsbury group and creative circles it was common to take a lover in addition to marriage, so although she was devoted to her husband Leonard she simultaneously had another long term partner, Vita Sackville-West.

It is thought that childhood abuse from her half brothers and deaths of many significant family members in her youth triggered fragile mental health for the rest of Virginia’s life. She had multiple breakdowns and it has been theorised that she may have been bipolar. At the age of 59 she drowned herself.

I think Virginia Woolf means something to me because I empathise with the way she writes about things. I know what it feels like to dissociate from the world because I’m so tangled in a web of my own thoughts (albeit less well constructed thoughts than hers). I understand how emotion can be there beneath the surface without being acknowledged, and what it feels like to be torn by something you refuse to admit exists. Virginia speaks to a side of my character that very few people do.


Personal Truths

September 22, 2008

Goddamn. Random emotional turmoil is for teenagers. It would be so much easier to be emotionally dead. I’ve been thrown off since an emotional sex session when I looked into his eyes as he was coming but when it was my turn he shut his eyes and I couldn’t speak. I’ve been exposed and vulnerable since. I find myself trying to take responsibility for every bad thing that happens to him, pretending to myself that it was in my power to have prevented it and feeling bad for not doing.

Totally irrational. Completely unfounded. Really friggin irritating. I’m trying not to let it bring me down.

Aside from this I’ve had a good weekend with friends. We went to the awesome Cafe Soya and did meditations together. My spirit animal is a ladybird and it took me to stand in a blue fire. I have a guide that’s really tiny and easy to lose track of: what does that say about me? I also found it by falling flat out into some brambles (in the meditation). I think this symbolises how difficult I perceive it to be to get useful things out of my head. I make things hard for myself.

Also really friggin irritating.

I might start a page to make a list of bisexual icons. The biggest regret of my life was caused by not knowing that sexuality wasn’t a binary, and that liking boys didn’t have to get in the way of kissing a really amazing girl who was probably the first person I ever loved and who I probably really hurt with my unfounded rejection.

My other regret (anything else has apparently been forgotten or healed by time) was caused by alcohol. I offered to lend the same book to two people – poaching from the first person to give to the second who then disappeared with it forever. It was a couple of years ago but it still bothers me. I’m going to redress it by buying a new copy and giving it to the person I should have left it with in the first place.


Grindhouse reaction: with a side of tasty spoilers

April 28, 2008

Disclaimer: I considered WWVD when debating with myself whether to write about this, and concluded that she wrote reviews for newspapers to earn money in her youth so it must be ok. When I get comfortable with the name I don’t think this type of question will occur to me any more.

I’m guessing I’m one of about 200 British people who actually got to see the Rodreguez/Tarantino collaboration Grindhouse in its original double feature format. I cannot believe they tried to chop this up! That kind of censorial violence is far more offensive than anything contained in the movie. The project was designed from the start to be a single movie in two parts, a send-up and homage of the writer/directors’ favourite genre of exploitation movies. Actors and characters blurred the lines of reality by appearing in both films, as they would have done in the seventies when they were churned out in batches. In seperating the two parts you lose three quarters of the magic and charm lovingly instilled here.

I skirt the edges of the feminist blogosphere and I have read reviews going both ways about this movie (or the bits that were made available). Yes, on the one hand the star of Planet Terror is a go-go dancer who spends a third of the movie without a shirt on and Death Proof features the grizzly deaths of a group of young women. On the other hand, our dancer Cherry is an engaging character. She cries when she dances, the lacks the confidence to pursue a career as a stand-up comedian. After being attacked, losing a leg, and almost being molested she comes in to her own, decides to take shit no more, saves the day, and becomes matriarch of a colony of survivors. She totally wins the movie! True, she also provides the T&A, but it’s an exploitation movie in a loving piss-take of the genre. She loses a leg but there is no grotesque lingering on her being brutalised in a torture-porn way – the scene is actually very brief and in keeping with the light comedic mood of the movie.

What seems to have been overlooked in the few reviews I’ve read is the relationship between female doctor Dakota and that Fergie from Black Eyed Peas. Fergie is on her way to pick up Dr D and her son when she is waylaidby the Infected. Dr D’s husband finds out and gets all nasty, creepy and threatening because his wife is cheating on him. Dakota and Fergie’s relationship is accepted as a complete, meaningful, real relationship. Our supporting actress, with substantial role, is playing a legitimate bisexual character and nobody seems to have noted how awesome this is. The two women were not sexualised (they don’t appear on screen together) or deridedand their relationship was in no way implied to be less meaningful because it was between two women, one of whom was also interested in men. How many bisexual characters do you ever see anywhere? (Apart from in Torchwood which doesn’t count because it’s crap. This opinion does not affect my chasmous love for the doctor.)

So there I was, already pretty pleased with Planet Terror (and the excellent cake served in the Electric Cinema) when we had some spoof trailors. There was one before Planet Terror for the hilarious looking ‘Machete’ but that’s actually going to be a film now so I’ll look out for that later.Most of the spoof trailors pleased me muchly. But then Eli Roth came and pooed in my partyhat. Eli Roth, in my humble opinion, is a bit of a tosser who has a facination with hurting vaginas. He’s just across the line when it comes to nasty, and given my enjoyment of the rest of the show that is by no means a puritanical line. He did a fake trailor called Thanksgiving, and the parts that left me uncomfortable were the shot of a cheerleader about to land in the splits onto a knife, and the body of a woman made up to look like a roast turkey with a trumpet coming out the crotch. Why, Eli, why? What did vaginas ever do to you? As the king of torture porn I should have expected nothing less but still, that doesn’t mean I have to like it. I would question what sort of women would befriend or have relationships with a man like him but even Bernard Manning had a wife…

So after a distasteful piece of asshattery from Mr Roth the main feature continued. The benefit of seeing the Grindhouse version is that the ‘missing reel’ gag saves you the potential discomfort of having to see the lapdancing scene. What struck me most about Death Proof was how quickly Tarantino can make you care about a group of characters. Getting half an hour in to a 90 minute movie and killing off most of the cast is bold but Tarantino’s skill of writing and portraying friendships really pulls it off. The crux of the feminist argument against this movie is that so many women had to die before other women could get revenge but I believe it was necessary to show how far Stuntman Mike goes to get his kicks. He doesn’t just drive a foolish woman off into the woods and kill her quietly: he has the arrogance and faith in his death proof car to think that he can get away with killing five women at once without getting in trouble for it. We have to see that otherwise the revenge might look too extreme. The revenge, incidently, was fantastically enjoyable, and once again the women win the movie.

So thus concludes my reaction to Grindhouse. It’s a shame they didn’t release it properly in the cinema here – I think it would have done fantastically well and I can’t imagine why it didn’t in America considering it’s based on an American cultural icon. Perhaps it needed to fail in the cinema in order to achieve true cult status in years to come; after all, if everyone’s seen it it doesn’t really count, does it?