Friday, March 23, 2018

My Weekend Crush

You know how I feel about the scourge of gun violence in our gun crazy country. And you know how I feel about the young people leading the charge for sensible gun control. So this weekend, you know I’d love for you to support the March For Our Lives this Saturday. Young people, particularly young people of color, have been at the forefront of some of our greatest progressive movements throughout time. The Civil Rights Movement, the anti-war movement and so on. So if the adults in the room won’t act, the youth will grow up and do it for them. Happy marching weekend, all.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Poetry in the Wild

Damn, I love it when weird things I like come together. Like, for instance, I love lesbians. And, also, I love me some Emily Dickinson. And some Molly Shannon. And definitely some of the director of “Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same.” So, imagine my delight when all those divergent weird things find each other in one movie called “Wild Nights With Emily.” The film at SXSW now is from director Madeleine Olnek of “Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same” fame and stars “Superstar” star Molly Shannon as the titular Emily Dickinson in a comedic – and Sapphic – look at her life. I know, you love every single part of that weird sentence.

Now if you know anything about Olnek’s work is it is a) very gay and b) very odd. But, you know, in a good way – for both. I really loved the quirky-to-the-extreme “Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same.” It was a low-budget absurdist hoot. Her follow up “The Foxy Merkins” was also quite quirky and gay, though – at least for me – not as endearing. But her work isn’t bland, that’s for sure.

Reviews of “Wild Nights With Emily” have praised the film’s reframing of Dickinson’s public persona. Not the spinster recluse who didn’t want to publish her work, but a vibrant, warm and brilliant gay woman who had a lifelong romance with her childhood friend/future sister-in-law Susan Gilbert.

Indiewire said the film the “Best Lesbian Comedy in Years” that is “anchored by a surprisingly touching love story” between the two women. Olnek brings also some of her favorite regulars for the film, both Susan Ziegler (as Susan Gilbert) and Lisa Haas – who were in her previous two films as well – return here. While Olnek’s work may not be for everyone, I am excited to fully embrace the weirdness and queerness of it all. Plus, I’ve always thought Molly Shannon had unplumbed depths. And, you know, she’s freaking hilarious. So there’s that.

So, what do you think? A good lesbian film to get excited about? Well, “Hope” is the thing with feathers.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Women Warrior Wednesday

Sometimes it’s good to stop and realize our progress – especially in times like these. Certainly, our political progress is imperative. And we should fight with everything we have to become a more just, more fair, more equal and more kind world.

But how far we come in our entertainment and our fiction, that matters too. Because representation always matters. Just think, only 10 months ago none of this existed. We didn’t have the Amazons of “Wonder Woman” or the Valkyrie of “Thor Ragnarok” or Wakandan warriors of “Black Panther.” But now, now we do. And little girls, and boys and kids who identify as whatever they want, can look up at them and say, “Hot damn, I’m going to be that badass one day, too.”

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Cynthia & the State

Well, now isn’t this interesting. Cynthia Nixon, actress, activist, and the “Sex and the City” character we all secretly aspired to be in retrospect, is running for governor of New York. She announced yesterday via Twitter. Now, I don’t live in New York. My father’s side of the family are all from there and most still live there. And I have good friends living there now. I know there’s a lot amiss in the state – like, oh I dunno, the subway. And I know it needs serious people with good ideas to fix them. I am not, on the surface, against the concept of a celebrity candidate. I am, however, against unqualified celebrity candidates. Luckily, Cynthia does not appear to be one of those.

While she may be a first-time candidate she is an outspoken feminist and long-time education and LGBTQ rights advocate. An out bisexual woman, Cynthia is married to longtime education organizer Christine Marinoni and mother of three children. She will be running as a Democrat in the primary against incumbent Governor Andrew Cuomo this September.

Now, New York has never had a female governor, let alone an out LGBTQ governor. If Cynthia wins she would join Oregon's Kate Brown (who is also bisexual), as the nation’s only out LGBT governors elected to office.

Look, win or lose I respect her decision. People should put their activism, their energy and their expertise where it can do the most good. We need all the help in this fight we can get.

p.s. People who shit all over “Sex and the City” as superficial and vapid tend to be the kind of people who shit on women in general for being superficial and vapid. Sure, it wasn’t all Shakespeare and certainly could have been more diverse. But its depiction of unapologetic female friendship and unabashed female sexuality was – and continues to be – radical.

Monday, March 19, 2018

You Down With RBG

Last Thursday was International Womens Day. But we make up 51 percent of the global population so why limit us to one small day. Instead, celebrate our successes and struggles, our heart and our determination all year round. And if we’re highlighting impressive women, it doesn’t get more impressive than the Notorious RBG. Ruth Bader Ginsburg is more than an icon. The trailer for her new documentary is almost as wonderful as she is. Our work is far from done. May RBG - who turned 85 last week - live forever, leading the fight.

p.s. I’m not kidding, I want RBG to live forever. Can we form a protective circle around her or something? I mean it. She must be protected at all costs.

Friday, March 16, 2018

My Weekend Crush

There were so many things to love about “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” Strong female characters. Diverse class. The last time we’ll see Carrie Fisher on the big screen. But one of the things I didn’t notice the first time I saw it was the adorableness of Laura Dern. Sure, Vice Admiral Holdo was a badass, lavender hair hero. We all know that. But only those who look very closely know what Holdo also say “Pew! Pew!” when firing her blaster. “Star Wars: TLJ” director Rian Johnson revealed in the special features commentary that Laura kept saying, “Pew!” when she fired her gun. It’s something she confessed to while on Stephen Colbert as well.

Look, I loved me some Laura Dern before. But “Pew! Pew!”-ing her way through an actual “Star Wars” movie has me loving her to a galaxy far, far away and back. Happy pew-pew weekend, all.

p.s. Laura isn’t alone, Hayden Christensen and Ewan McGregor both confessed to making lightsaber sounds like filming their Jedi fight scenes.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Generation Enough Is Enough

Teenagers are good now, pass it on. Look, it’s easy to get depressed and cynical about our current state of politics. It’s easy in a different way to ignore it all and say nothing that happens in Washington D.C. has an impact on your life. But, the truth is, things are hard and if you care about he welfare of other human beings – especially those who look differently from you or have less advantages than you – they’re only getting harder.

But, here’s the good thing. The children, they’re listening. And they’re not listening to the naysayers and they’re not listening to the head-in-the-sand crowd. They’re listening to themselves and deciding for themselves what they will accept in their country. And what they refuse to accept is that being shot in their classroom while they are trying to learn is just a fact of life.

One of the wonderful things about youth is you don’t realize what you can’t do. The limitations we all accept, they don’t. Sure, it works against them sometimes – with risky behavior and false confidence. Just ask adult who has ever buckled in and let their teen drive them around. But, in other ways it’s a gift. They don’t know how intractable an issue guns are supposed to be in America. They don’t know we’re supposed to be hopelessly deadlocked. They don’t know the supposed iron grip the NRA is has on the GOP. Or, better yet, they do and they don’t care.

National Walkout Day should be an inspiration for all of us, the young and the old and the anywhere in between. Thousands of students at schools across this vast country refused to accept the norm of “thoughts and prayers” with no action in response to senseless gun violence. They refused to be target practice for the next angry man who should never have had access to guns in the first place. They refused to fear for their lives in a place that should be a safe haven.

Regular, horrific mass murder is something we should never become numb to. Thank these young people for reminding us what we can and can’t accept as a society. Gun control is something most Americans want. Yet here we are. So, to everyone 18 and over, vote in every.single.election. If they won’t protect the next generation of voters, we will all vote them out together.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

From A to Zoie

Holy Hotpants! Emily Andras is the Gay Gal Whisperer. She knows exactly what we want on our televisions. 1) Girls kissing? (Check!), 2) Anne of Green Gables? (Check!), and 3) Zoie freaking Palmer? (That’s Doctor Check to you). “Wynonna Earp” Season 3 is gonna be lezzy lit. I know, that’s lame. But the excitement is real and it’s spectacular.

First Megan Follows Anne Shirley is cast as Momma Earp. Now Zoie Palmer (aka Dr. Lauren Lewis aka Hot Pants aka the Doc in Doccubus) is cast as fun-loving, karaoke-singing friend of Earps, Jolene. She is described as someone who loves to bake and create mayhem who is also “smart, knows a secret or two and if you don’t watch out, she’ll either steal your partner or your heart.”

Please, please, please, (please, please, please) let Zoie flirt with Wynonna and/or Waverly and/or Officer Haught. Please. I mean, how could they resist, really?

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

'T is not too late to seek a newer world

Culture doesn’t always have to be disposable. Culture, art, poetry can be eternal. Here is a little reminder of its power. Please take the time to enjoy two minutes of the inimitable Dame Helen Mirren reading lines from Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s “Ulysses.” You’re welcome.

Monday, March 12, 2018

The King Is A Princess

Guys, I’m in love. Like serious, dreamy, sepia-toned love. I don’t think I’ve been this into a song – or a performer – after the first listen in a long, long, long time. But here I am, head over heels for King Princess. First of all, her name is King Princess which is amazing. And second her debut song off her new album “1950” is amazing, amazing. And third she and the song are queer as fuck. But don’t take my word for it, fall in love yourself.

See, I also hate it when dudes try to chase me. I listened to it about half a dozen times in a row when I first found it last week. And strangely I have Harry Styles, of all people to thank. The Brooklyn-born singer-songwriter is the first artist signed to Mark Ronson’s new label. Do you think King Princess knows his sister Samantha? Yeah, I think she knows her.

King Princess herself is so new I couldn’t even find her on Wikipedia late last week. But on her Twitter page she shared her taste in women, and that has me swooning all over again.

Now, excuse me while I go play 1950.