Archive for October, 2010

Flashback Friday — Hot Man Bein’ Hot of the Day: Viggo Mortensen Edition

October 29, 2010

This post originally appeared on September 27, 2009 at 6:55 pm.

It’s like bringing a gun to a knifefight.

“The way we present ourselves is a veneer, and beneath that, there are a lot more unpleasant things.” –Viggo Mortensen.

In addition to being an excellent actor, Viggo Mortensen is also a published poet, jazz musician who has released three CDs to favorable reviews, and a gifted painter whose provocative full-wall murals appear in A Perfect Murder, the 1998 adapatation of Hitchcock’s Dial “M” For Murder. Furthermore, your wife, girlfriend, mother, or sister would all leave you for him without a backward glance. Did you know?

According to the wiki, Viggo Mortensen has property near the seat of the teeny little county in the northwestern tip of the United States from which both sides of my family hail, but I have never seen him there even effing once. Total folklore. What gives, man? Next time you are in Bumfuck, Idaho, call a bitch.


“We all experience many freakish and unexpected events—you have to be open to suffering a little. The philosopher Schopenhauer talked about how out of the randomness, there is an apparent intention in the fate of an individual that can be glimpsed later on. When you are an old guy, you can look back, and maybe this rambling life has some through-line. Others can see it better sometimes. But when you glimpse it yourself, you see it more clearly than anyone.” –Viggo Mortensen

Y’all please excuse Viggo Mortensen while he blows ya mind.

Movie Millisecond: Mouchette

October 28, 2010


via.

Mouchette (Robert Bresson, 1967).

Auden October: “I was wrong.”

October 28, 2010


via.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

(W.H. Auden. “Song IX,” Twelve Songs. 1936.)

69 Days of Wonder Woman, Day 4: Tools of the trade

October 28, 2010


“Wonder Woman is actually a dramatized symbol of her sex. She’s true to life — true to the universal characteristics of women everywhere. Her magic lasso is merely a symbol of feminine charm, allure, ‘oomph,’ attraction. Every woman uses that power on people of both sexes whom she wants to influence or control in any way. Instead of tossing a rope, the average woman tosses words, glances, gestures, laughter, and vivacious behavior. If her aim is accurate, she snares the attention of her would-be victim, man or woman, and proceeds to bind him or her with her charm.”


“Lasso of Truth” by Samurai Pet.

“Woman’s charm is the one bond that can be made strong enough to hold a man against all logic, common sense, or counterattack. The fact that many women fail to make strong enough lassos for themselves doesn’t deprive the lasso material of its native magic. The only thing is, you have to use enough charm to overcome your captive’s resistance.”

(William Moulton Marston, creator, qtd. in girlfriend Olive Richard’s Family Circle article “Our Women Are Our Future,” August 14, 1942.)


Michael Turner.

Disagree. Dislike. First of all, if I think someone is not as in to me as I am to them, I soundly give up: I really never expected them to be reciprocally interested in me to begin with and I hate admitting to having feelings, let alone letting those feelings make a fool of me. Nothing I hate more. I am supposed to be impervious and deflect all attention. Upping my game and maybe getting shot down again is the absolute last thing I would ever do. So the idea that I need to re-aim and throw my lasso again is round bullshit to me. No way am I going to tip my hand like that and risk that people know I Feel Ways About Things.

But, my sad and complicated shit aside, secondly and more widely applied, I also dislike the idea of telling chicks that you have all the charm you need, you just need to work harder because it sets up false expectations in women, who probably have enough going already without further blaming themselves for what they perceive to be failures in romance, and redoubling an effort that may be toward a pointless cause to boot. I believe the expression is “He’s just not that in to you,” yes? So what? Glance down the bar and see if someone is looking at you and quickly looks away. Oh, no, his collar isn’t popped and he does not know the cool jam on the jukebox? Talk to him anyway. You will be surprised.


“Old School Wonder Woman” by Lauren Montgomery.

I also don’t like the idea that I got to use some elusive yam-fried set of feminine tricks to get my way. What’s wrong with walking up and honestly asking for what I want from a man or woman? Why does it have to be couched in some charmy little game where I snare someone with an invisible rope? Why can’t I be like a man and straightforwardly address my needs in business and in social settings?


By quasilucid, via fyeahww.

Now how about this: “Woman’s charm is the one bond that can be made strong enough to hold a man against all logic.” Whoa, so even if my idea, the thing for which I’m campaigning and slinging my golden wily lasso, is crazy and illogical and against “common sense,” as long as I’m feminine enough, it’ll still work because by god and the grace of my “charm” I’ve roped that guy? Hell, no. No. Why would I a) want to do something illogical; b) decide to dishonestly employ a feminine wile instead of forthrightly putting a plan in motion; and b) use this imaginary “power” for evil, in a dishonest way that does wrong by some poor dude and the laws of logic? I don’t like any of that. I highly resist and even resent that.

The weird thing is, I don’t think, from the comics I’ve read, that Wonder Woman is like that at all. Marston says she’s the dramatized symbol of this binding feminine charm that he perceives, but I think he’s wrong. She’s straight-up, in the main, and an almost always equal player on a male-dominated planet. Wonder Woman is not walking around this world with a water bra and a bunch of batty-lashy tricks up her sleeve. And if by some shady necessity she is going about her business sidewise or in disguise, she is a bit by the seat of her pants and obviously unaccustomed to artifice. And the Lasso of Truth seems to run counter to the tricky charm lasso to which Marston analogizes non-wonder-women’s apparent powers. Truth, not some murky invisible binding charm that stickily works despite logic and sense. So, no. I realize that Marston was Wonder Woman’s creator, but it doesn’t make him right in my eyes. He said a lot of bullshit: why should I accept his interpretation of anything?

Seems I’m in the surprising position of defending Wonder Woman, from her own father.

Done for today.

Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: Textual healing, “chin up” edition

October 28, 2010


From the 1983 African documentary by Jans Rautenbach, not the Elke Sommers movie about the prostitute who tries to go straight but her madam won’t let her (1985).

It’s probably not physically possible, even. It might seem like it is, but it’s not. I’ve been a blubbery bitch from time to time recently myself as October is hitting me hard this year in fresh, worse ways than last, but, as I have checked myself out and I’m not one of those people who weep diamond tears, I’m going to try to get my chin up and knock it the fuck off. Being happy is a choice.

Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.

(Vonnegut.)

Daily Batman: Sk8 or die edition

October 28, 2010

Normally I hate it when people do stuff for attention but I support this guy completely. It takes some stones to do that. I like it. Something about his face is less self-aware than I’d expect. Maybe in the backstory he is doing this for charity because he has a huge heart in addition to nice thighs. (Just come with me, okay?)

Auden October: Look shining at a change of heart

October 27, 2010


Photographed by Mieke Willems.

Prohibit sharply the rehearsed response
And gradually correct the coward’s stance. …
Harrow the house of the dead; look shining at
New styles of architecture, a change of heart.

(W.H. Auden, “Petition.”)

Like that bird, for instance — do you think he woke up knowing he’d get to perch on a pert ass today? I expect not: I expect he thought it would be just another day, the same as all the others he has lived.

I guess what I’m suggesting is that, as Auden petitions, it is worthwhile to defy the lessons of experience, throw caution to the wind, and look with a hopeful heart for the unexpected and unpredictable new. How to completely go about doing that I am less certain of, but I know that it must be worth trying.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside: Inaugural Edition featuring Stella Stevens, Miss January 1960

October 27, 2010

Welcome to the Inaugural Edition of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside!”

The lovely and talented Stella Stevens made a great name for herself in movies and on television after posing as Playboy‘s Miss January 1960.


Photographed by Don Ornitz and Frank Schallwig.

Stella Stevens, an eye-filling inhabitant of Southern California, was summoned thence from Tennessee to test for the lead in a film about Jean Harlow, but the movie never came off and bella Stella had to content herself with so-so assignments in Say One for Me and The Blue Angel, films in which she appeared fleetingly and rather out of focus in the B.G., which is script talk for background, not Benny Goodman.

(“Dogpatch Playmate.” Playboy. January, 1960.)


While the Playboy lensman was snapping away, the phone rang, and on the other end was great and giddy news for Miss Stevens — she had plucked one of the acting plums of the year, in the film version of the hit musical, Li’l Abner, playing Appassionata von Climax, the role created on Broadway by Tina Louise.

(Ibid.)

I have no idea why the Dane is there in that shot, nor why the article is titled “Dogpatch Playmate,” but I want a Great Dane so badly. Or an English mastiff. Or a Newfoundland. Maybe a horse or a big gorilla. Something bigger than my boyfriend.

Just kidding. I don’t have a boyfriend. But I desperately want one. It’s actually really bumming me out. My husband says I’m making a big deal out of nothing, but what does he know.*

*Entirely a humorous bit with no truth in it. Except for the stuff about the dogs. I don’t just “want” the biggest dog possible, it’s like I have to have it. This is not a joke: I spent at least an hour and a half on the internet last night looking for bombass adoptable giant dogs. I don’t know where this is coming from.

Stella’s turn as Appassionata in Li’l Abner was followed by roles in films such as The Battle of Cable Hogue, The Nutty Professor, and The Poseidon Adventure. Ms. Stevens also did an incredible amount of television, appearing in Bonanaza, Riverboat, and Ben Casey, among many super-famous vintage television series —

— including, germane to the last post, Wonder Woman. Ms. Stevens portrayed Agent M./Marcia in “The New Original Wonder Woman,” the made-for-TV-film that would become the pilot episode of The New Adventures of Wonder Woman, which aired November 7, 1975.

Marcia is the secretary to Steve Trevor, Wonder Woman’s rescuer and a Navy pilot during WWII, following the comic plotline. Marcia is (gasp!) a double agent for the Nazis and tries to get Diana killed by sneakily having someone else attempt to machine gun her to death while she is onstage doing her “act.”

Those kinds of shenanigans will simply not be stood for. That Marcia totally needs tied up.

Ms. Stevens did not appear in subsequent television movies or the final series that was spun out of them, but she was probably too busy to notice. She is a true working actress, the kind of performer with at least one or three credits for every year they are active.

As the 60’s, 70’s, and beyond progressed, Ms. Stevens continued to act, appearing in popular television series like Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Highway to Heaven, and Magnum, P.I. in the 1980s. Nineties credits include The Commish, Highlander (helllll yeah — cue Queen’s “Princes of the Universe”), and Nash Bridges.

Through the years, Ms. Stevens may’ve stayed beautifully built but it is almost definitely her wacky sense of humor which saved her from landing at the bottom of the “pretty girl” bit-part scrapheap. She ably held her own opposite comedic talents like Jerry Lewis, Dean Martin, and Slim Pickens. That picture above is an outtake that appeared in The First 15 Years, which wonderfully captures Stella’s sense of the absurd even in a serious, nerve-wracking situation. Love it.

And she has not slowed down. Last year, she lent her voice to the documentary Dante’s Inferno: Abandon All Hope, performing the role of Speaker for the Thieves in the 8th Circle of Hell. The 8th Circle is described in Bolgia 7, Canticles XXIV and XXV; the thieves are pursued by reptiles whose bites cause nasty transformations in them, which not only hurt but prevent the thieves from ever knowing the comfort of a steady, protective and genuine identity, a state of flux and anxiety which is the perfect punishment for the security they stole from their victims in life — identity theft, basically: Sr. Alighieri was ahead of his time, as usual.

You can look for Stella Stevens next in 2011 or ’12 as Jill in The Human Factor, an in-development film project to which Michael Madsen, Danny Trejo, and Charisma Carpenter are also tentatively attached. Get it, girl!

edit: Looking closely, I’m not so sure that picture with the dog is even Stella Stevens. Someone want to help out?

edit 2.0: Astute superfly Gridley says the article is titled “Dogpatch Playmate” because Dogpatch is the name of the fictional town in which Li’l Abner takes place. Thanks!

69 Days of Wonder Woman, Day 3: Clothes make the (wo)man

October 27, 2010

The original Wonder Woman costume must surely rank high in the list of all-time great, iconic comic hero get-ups. Is this part of what puts me off?


Costumed (or semicostumed) heroes such as Wonder Woman and Superman, rather than the villains they fought or the outlaws rampant in crime comics, were the main objects of the Catholic Church’s early [1938] criticism of comic books, censure that began to take the form of a serious campaign against comics.

Bishop Noll explained that the NODL [National Organization for Decent Literature]* objected only to Wonder Woman’s costume. “There is no reason why Wonder Woman should not be better covered, and there is less reason why women who fall under her influence should be running around in bathingsuits,” Noll wrote.

(Hajdu, David. The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2008. Print. 75-78.)


I did not save a lick of info related to this pic, but from the moment I saw it, I thought she was about to turn in a circle and transform in to Wonder Woman. If you can help with credit, please do!

I guess it’s true that I never liked her costume much, but I’ve never found it any more all-that-scandalous than those of usual dat-ass suspects such as Power Girl, Emma Frost, or Huntress. (God, I hate Huntress, and there is nothing mysterious about it. She sucks. You will not be seeing a “__ Days of Huntress” around here, ever.) I don’t think I ever gave Wonder Woman’s outfit much thought in print … but I did contemplate it onscreen, watching the Lynda Carter television series. The TV Diana had so many great wardrobe changes, not only with that wonderful spinning-into-Wonder Woman sequence, but with gear tailored to her various missions: remember that slick diving suit?

Separate from my later feelings about Wonder Woman as a comic hero, as an early television role model I had nothing but full esteem for the character, in particular her outfit. I can remember sitting on the tacky rose-patterned velour daveneau on which I’d been conceived and on which I took my afternoon naps — and, depending on where we were living, sometimes slept at night on the hide-a-bed as well (very strange experience, since my parents were extremely up front with me about the couch-conception thing and seemed to find it heartwarming; I had more mixed feelings) — in the early afternoons before I even started school, watching syndicated re-runs of the program and being wowed. If I picture Lynda Carter in a blouse and blazer speaking confidently to a male coworker, I can still vividly feel kid-sweat from playing after lunch melting the sofa’s scratchy, worn fabric in to faint little clumps under my legs. She was so glamorous that she wore earrings everywhere. Everywhere. I loved that shit.

This is definitely a non-issue. The outfit has nothing to do with me shying away from Wonder Woman for the last mumble-muffleth years. Asked and answered!

In any case, Wonder Woman’s costume recently underwent a redesign. That’s her new look up there. I don’t really care one way or the other. I guess I’m a little wary and disappointed, as always, by tampering with classics, even ones of which I’m not a fan — and, in the same way that I was slightly rankled by the initial reinvention of Kate Kane as a Jewish lesbian in the Batwoman comic (Why not make her deaf and HIV-positive, to boot? How unforgivably uninclusive of you, Non-PC D.C.!), I feel not-just-vaguely pandered to. Then again, I like the new Batwoman line now and I am hunky-dory with the matchup of Renee Montoya with Kate. So maybe the costume redesign of Wonder Woman will be another in-my-face situation. Tough to gauge since I don’t know if I’ll come out of this project wanting to read her or not.

Longtime fans, what do you think of the change?







*more on those guys soon.

Daily Batman: An appeal to the essence of being

October 27, 2010


“Catwoman” by MissAgentCooper on the flickr.

Every act of rebellion expresses a nostalgia for innocence and an appeal to the essence of being.

(Albert Camus.)

Wednesday Wednesday: Let’s get physical

October 27, 2010

Sorry for the prolonged absence, but I’ve got this family wedding coming up, and I think the only way to make sure that everyone lets my whole “almost-dying” thing go is to look super-amazing and fit and healthy. So I’ve been exercising like a demon.


Preview of coming attractions: Linda Vargas, Miss December 1957.

However, even while working up a sweat, I’ve been thinking about the change of season — snuggling up in warm blankets, getting cozy in front of comfortable, crackling fires — and I have created “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” your warm and fuzzy, specially curated parade of Playmates hailing from nights in the lonesome Autumn and Winter months. (Don’t worry; The Girls of Summer will make their triumphant return around May.) I will try to get the Inaugural Edition of that going today. Even-steven?

Flashback Friday — Teevee Time: The Monkees, feat. bespectacled Julie Newmar (a ghost post)

October 22, 2010

This post originally appeared on April 5, 2010 at 2:59 pm.

Had a lot of dogs in the fire lately, Stanimal, but wanted to share these gorgeous caps of Jul-Newms in her guest appearance on The Monkees.

About a month ago, I thought I’d lost my specs and was going to have to get new ones and I was super-bummed, because I’ve gotten loads of compliments on my dorky, deliberately dowdy and thick black frames. I found them, but the brief transition back to my old, unobtrusive, lightweight and thin frames, and the corresponding dip in compliments and double-takes, hammered home to me how fun and harmlessly fetishistic a nice pair can be. Of glasses. Get your mind on track.

There’s a pervasive and misguided old saw that men aren’t attracted to a girl in glasses (I believe it runs, “Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses,” and I’ve seen it attributed to patroness Dorothy Parker, but I am not so sure it was she), which I feel is unfortunately still believed to this day.

I have not found this to be true, and I think these stills dispell that ugly myth once and for all. As the countersaying goes, “Men do make passes at girls who wear glasses — it all depends on their frame.”

So leave ’em on, ladies!

All stills from “The Monkees Get More Dirt Out,” Season 2, Episode 29, The Monkees. (Original air date April 3, 1967.) Ms. Newmar plays April Conquest, who works at the local laundromat, and with whom each of the Monkees falls in love.

In polls, questions at conventions, and weight of fan mail, the episode has been voted the most popular and favorite of the series. Get it, girl!

Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: Lady Pink, “Abuse of power” edition (a ghost post)

October 22, 2010


via fyeahfemmes on the tumblr.

Vintage photo of graffiti artist Lady Pink wearing a t-shirt designed by conceptual artist Jenny Holzer.

Daily Batman: Onomatopeia revisited, or, Biff, Bang, Pow!* (a ghost post)

October 22, 2010

Onomateopeia revisited.

Special fat bat-thanks to superfly reader brobosky, who, after seeing flrrrb and kayo here, turned the other fun photos from batmania, which were already rad, in to this amazing .gif file — you are awesome!!






*”Biff, Bang, Pow,” besides being onomatopeia, is the title and opening line of a song by The Creation. Did You Know?

The Girls of Summer: Sheralee Conners, Miss July 1961

October 22, 2010

I’m coming back to this later because Shel Silverstein contributed an awesome piece to this issue, but I’m out the door for now to paint faces at my kid’s school carnival. Sorry, but it’s Lorem Ipsum City, population: you … until I return. Catch you on the flip!


Photographed by William Crespinal and Sherman Weisburd.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut pretium viverra urna quis varius. Vestibulum vitae venenatis nulla. Vivamus quis nulla sed sem suscipit iaculis nec eget ligula. Nulla vitae massa non lorem placerat ultricies eget et orci. Quisque sed viverra elit. Duis auctor, nisl at accumsan pharetra, lacus enim facilisis lorem, in tempor lorem quam ut erat.

Donec nec tellus non magna scelerisque lacinia a ut turpis. Ut ut tempus nisl. Vestibulum sollicitudin, augue nec faucibus fermentum, odio enim dictum neque, interdum vulputate lacus elit vitae lectus. Mauris nibh urna, suscipit at sodales vel, volutpat eu enim.

Duis posuere tortor justo. Phasellus quis nulla nec metus volutpat consectetur. Morbi id nulla magna. Aliquam aliquet tristique nisi eu varius.


Favorite.

Quisque volutpat dictum laoreet. Nullam nisl est, sodales eget aliquet nec, elementum nec velit. Praesent aliquam malesuada diam, quis mollis quam tristique at. Nunc fringilla nibh a enim gravida molestie tincidunt purus ullamcorper. Fusce suscipit nisi non velit semper sit amet varius massa ultrices. Donec id dictum eros. Fusce dui sapien, iaculis quis luctus ut, consequat a justo. Vestibulum nisi ante, convallis a sollicitudin et, dignissim a odio.

Pellentesque rhoncus lacus quis nunc condimentum suscipit. Suspendisse mi erat, lobortis nec luctus sed, mattis eget felis. Aenean a mi sed nunc adipiscing sagittis. Morbi ultrices sagittis volutpat. Mauris sagittis, enim non ultrices sollicitudin, arcu diam vestibulum metus, eget luctus eros elit et enim. Aliquam tincidunt quam sed odio elementum porta.

Curabitur rhoncus accumsan ligula, et condimentum neque faucibus at. Suspendisse eu sagittis dolor. Sed egestas sapien et ligula sollicitudin eget pretium odio pharetra. Morbi rhoncus enim ut libero ultricies convallis. Mauris eleifend aliquet ligula.

Mauris ornare nulla sit amet est ultricies ac vestibulum elit sagittis. Phasellus pharetra tortor tincidunt risus porttitor luctus. Nunc nisi velit, tincidunt sit amet vulputate nec, sollicitudin sit amet velit. Etiam euismod metus tincidunt nulla luctus consectetur.

Quisque facilisis accumsan nunc at dapibus. Morbi eget sem massa. Sed et convallis sem. Sed accumsan hendrerit sagittis. Nulla euismod, metus sit amet hendrerit congue, nisi tellus ultrices urna, et dignissim enim urna nec libero. Sed purus ligula, blandit non lobortis nec, adipiscing fermentum ligula.


These buns previously featured in the Inaugural Showdown!, yellow rain slicker edition. (Voting still open.)

Pellentesque justo nibh, condimentum non imperdiet vel, luctus eget nibh. Quisque id turpis leo, et feugiat dui.

Praesent interdum, turpis quis egestas laoreet, urna nisl rhoncus nisl, eget dictum ante nisl ac risus. Aliquam tristique faucibus pharetra.

Sed in arcu risus, nec mollis leo. Proin iaculis felis sit amet sem ultrices sed molestie dolor tristique. Sed feugiat ultrices erat pretium adipiscing.

In arcu orci, lacinia a pretium eget, posuere ac mi. Vestibulum rutrum lectus sed quam gravida non tincidunt eros malesuada. Suspendisse sed neque at orci euismod bibendum sit amet ut quam.

Auden October and Fight Club Friday: All that we are not

October 22, 2010


When I woke in to my life, a sobbing dwarf
Whom giants served only as they pleased, I was not what I seemed;
Beyond their busy backs I made a magic
To ride away from a father’s imperfect justice,
Take vengeance on the Romans for their grammar,

(Auden, W.H. The Sea and the Mirror: A Commentary on Shakespeare’s The Tempest. 1944.)


Usurp the popular earth and blot out for ever
The gross insult of being a mere one among many…

… I am that I am, your late and lonely master;
Who knows now what magic is; — the power to enchant
That comes from disillusion.

(Ibid.)


All that we are not stares back at what we are.

(Ibid.)

The speaker is Prospero, addressing Ariel.

Movie Millisecond: Everything good dies here, even the stars

October 22, 2010

I Walked With A Zombie (Jacques Tourneur, 1943).

Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: “Clapton is …”

October 20, 2010


via theselvedgeyard right here on the wordpress.

The dog did not think much of Journeyman.

Movie Millisecond: Langue v. Parole

October 20, 2010

Sedmikrásky/Daisies (Vera Chytilová, 1966).

Daily Batman: Exeunt, or … ?

October 20, 2010


“If death meant just leaving the stage long enough to change costume and come back as a new character, would you slow down? Or speed up?”

(Chuck Palahniuk.)