Monday, December 27, 2010

Alanis rocks

My capacities are temporarily limited as a result of expending too much energy digging out from the Blizzard of 2010. Therefore, I will address a lightweight issue of the day. No heavy lifting for me after a day of butching it up with a snow shovel. So the topic is my girl Alanis Morissette. First we hear that her ex, Ryan Reynolds, is divorcing Scarlett Johansson. Then we learn that Alanis, meanwhile, has had a nice healthy baby boy with her new younger man hubby, underground rapper (and Massachusetts native) Souleye. The baby was born on Christmas day. Congratulations, Alanis! ("I'm sure she'd make a really excellent mother...")

One thing I love about Alanis is her openness about her past bisexual experiences. I also love that she has convincingly played a lesbian—if not a very nice lesbian—on Nip/Tuck. She's also funny, which is always sexy. And naturally, I love her music. Many people do. She has sold 40 million albums worldwide. (In case you forgot, Jagged Little Pill was the best selling album of the 1990s.) I even love her songs with the occasional crappy lyrics. The music and her voice make up for everything. She is unapologetic about who she is. She's a rock star. And a true artist. Her remake of Seal's Crazy is particularly good, and the video has a sweet lesbian surprise at the end! See for yourself.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

We'll have no more of DADT

In celebration of President Obama's signature this morning on the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, let's salute some of our favorite women in uniform. Obviously, our first salute goes out to all the brave lesbians who have served and are serving in the armed forces. President Obama said some remarkable things during the historic event this morning, including offering recognition that gays and lesbians were part of some of the US military's most important battles throughout history. And he recognized that gay soldiers did all this while being "asked to carry the additional burden of secrecy and isolation." President Obama also told a moving story of traveling to Afghanistan and meeting a female soldier—a lesbian, we can assume—who greeted him and pulled him into a hug. He said she whispered in his ear a plea to repeal DADT. Thank you, sister! Stay safe.
Since I don't have a photo of our brave sister serving in Afghanistan, we'll have to make do with the fictional characters of GI Jane—or, more accurately, Lieutenant Jordan O'Neil played by an ultra-fit Demi Moore—and the unforgettable Private Vasquez from Aliens played by Jenette Goldstein. Vasquez was a badass Marine gunner who was part of the military unit that returned with Ripley to find the alien. One of my favorite lines of all time is Vasquez's response to a fellow Marine's trash talk about her butchness. He said, "Have you ever been mistaken for a man?" Vasquez replied, "No, have you?"

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Fran Lebowitz is attractive

I have a friend who resembles Fran Lebowitz. I've always thought this was an attractive quality because I've always considered Fran Lebowitz attractive. From the first time I saw Fran—in the late 1970s on the back cover of Metropolitan Life, which somehow, thank God, had made it into my childhood home in rural New Hampshire—I thought she was handsome. And from the moment I read the first paragraph of the first essay in the book, I knew I was not alone in the world:

"12:35 P.M. - The phone rings. I am not amused. This is not my favorite way to wake up. My favorite way to wake up is to have a certain French movie star whisper to me softly at two-thirty in the afternoon that if I want to get to Sweden in time to pick up my Nobel Prize for Literature I had better ring for breakfast. This occurs rather less often than one might wish."

So much is conveyed in that opening paragraph. First, we know she is a lesbian. Or at least, I, as an adolescent, knew it. The person whispering softly in her ear is a woman. There simply is no debating it. Second, we know there is room service, one of the great pleasures in life, about which I had not known when I was 12. I have since become acquainted. Third, there is an aversion to the telephone, which indicates rational thought. Fourth, there is a swaggering quality a bit like a Handsome Sailor if the Handsome Sailor had not been a dimwit.

So, there you have it. Intelligence, sapphism, and good looks. So if someone suggests you remind them of Fran Lebowitz, you should take it as a compliment.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Lesbian Haircuts

Dis Magazine, a hipster fashion website run by a group of (I can only assume) West Coast art students, has published a autocratic helpful guide to lesbian haircuts. The poster seems to be designed for display in hair salons so that twentysomething lesbians will have, at last, a less disconfirming way than "boys regular" to describe the hairstyle they want. The accompanying article at discusses Judith Butler and lesbian cyborgs and the subversiveness of drag. You know, in case you're in the mood to read someone's dissertation abstract.

Primarily the article celebrates the haircut as an emblem of queer identity: "More than any other stylistic signifier, hair has become our window into lesbian visibility. The shorter the hair, the more visibly identifiable one becomes as a lesbian." The pressure is on, ladies. Make sure you have your sexual orientationally appropriate haircuts, shoes, and eyewear.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Lesbian Kisses: Hold onto your ears!

An insightful and observant reader has pointed out the odd frequency with which lesbians are portrayed in the media as holding onto the sides of each other's heads while they are kissing. I did not expect to easily find so many examples of this. But here they are, with variations on ear-covering, side-of-head-holding, and upper-neck-grabbing hand positions. We start with the 1985 lesbian classic, Desert Hearts, featuring an earmuffed kiss by Vivian and Cay. Then we fast forward to 1997 when Ellen DeGeneres famously made history and kissed Laura Dern during her coming out season. Next we have lots of ear- and side-of-head fondling on The L Word by not only Bette and Tina but also, as you can see, by Dana and the Soup Chef.
Last, but not least (see previous post with up-to-the-minute images from Black Swan and The Kids Are All Right), we have Dr. Callie Torres holding the side of Dr. Erica Hahn's head on Grey's Anatomy. It's quite a collection. And if we throw in Garbo
in 1933's Queen Christina, we have more than 75 years of lesbian earmuff kissing.

Some of you have offered very insightful explanations of why this unlikely phenomenon is occurring. These theories include:
- Protecting the homophobic viewer from too much unadulterated girl-girl action;
- Preventing the actors from truly getting into it by controlling the intensity of the kiss; and, lastly,
- Suggesting the action is all above the shoulders, as in: "It's OK, my hands are not on her tatas or down her pants — they are right here where you can see them!"
There you have it. An intelligent analysis. Are your ears cold, darling? Let me kiss you.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Portman v. Bening for Oscar

Perhaps the Academy Award will go to the actress with the hottest lesbian kiss. There is already Oscar buzz for both Natalie Portman and Annette Bening, each of whom gave very special performances this year kissing girls onscreen. The difference? Portman in Black Swan reportedly has a steamy sex scene with her gorgeous co-star, and, sadly, Bening does not.

The sapphic community launched bitter criticism of Lisa Cholodenko's The Kids Are All Right for portraying lesbians as passionless frumps who are just waiting for a real man to unleash their carnal desires. While I liked the film, the criticism was valid. In contrast, Portman's onscreen relationship with Mila Kunis promises to be very passionate and very physical, if also possibly sinister. Hey, I'm not saying I like the lesbian predator stereotype any better than the frumpy sexless lesbian stereotype. But one is indeed more fun to watch. For her sapphic efforts—oh, and probably some exquisite acting—Portman is already being considered the clear winner for the Oscar, and this is before the film has even opened. "Portman will win every award in sight for this including the Heisman Trophy," according to one Academy Award voter who is quoted on Nikki Finke's website The piece goes on to say that if Portman loses, it will be to Bening. I do agree—as I have said before —Bening's performance is worthy of an Oscar.

Of course, I'm also excited to see Winona Ryder in Black Swan playing a boozy wreck. Wino Forever, indeed. I think I speak for all of us when I say I'm so ready for Winona's comeback.