It’s Halloween! Any questions? Look, I know this David S. Pumpkins skit has been making the rounds for a week now. But, dammit, if it doesn’t make me smile each time I watch it, quote it or even think about it. Also, bonus points for finding another way to slip in some Kate McKinnon loving. Happy Halloween, kittens.
Monday, October 31, 2016
Friday, October 28, 2016
Do you want to watch two awesome ladies? What if I tell you both women are queer? And both women are from “Orange Is the New Black?” Of course you do! You probably wanted to after I said “two awesome ladies” or, depending on your level of boredom, “want to watch?” So I’ll just get to it then. Here are Samira Wiley and Laverne Cox competing on “Lip Sync Battle.” I know, awesome, right? Please enjoy. Happy weekend, all.
p.s. Yes, I am ignoring the fact that each time I see Samira I feel a twinge of extreme melancholy and emptiness in the put of my soul. Poussey, of my sweet, sweet Poussey.
Thursday, October 27, 2016
One of my not-so guilty pleasures is watching female-fronted action films. I will watch almost anything if it has a lady kicking ass. Unfortunately, Hollywood isn’t always on the same boat as demonstrated by the anemic number of female-fronted action franchises. It started in 1979 with “Alien.” And in the almost 30 years since we’ve had just a handful of others. Compare that to the almost infinite number of shitty dude action franchises in those 30 years and, well, Feminist Hulk smash!
Interestingly, two of those sprung up very close together in the early 2000s with “Resident Evil” (started 2002) and “Underworld” (started 2003). Both featured strong, powerful female leads kicking ass and taking names. Sure, these franchises aren’t “Lord of the Rings.” They’re not going to win a boatload of Oscars. But they were both fun and stylish in their own way. Also Kate Beckinsale and Milla Jovovich in lots of leather helped. So, yeah, I watched the hell out of them – many times repeatedly.
So it seems only fitting that both would be back for a new installment at almost the same time early next year. Heck, even their trailers dropped at the same day earlier this month. This means for us ladies hungry to watch other ladies kicking ass will have a smorgasbord to start the New Year. Hey, in this feast-or-famine world of female franchises, you have to enjoy the good times. And I fully intend to.
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Have we formed a protective circle around Maggie Sawyer yet? Like can we just put her in a safe room right now? National City could at least issue her a bulletproof vest, STAT. The newest gay on the block is Supergirl’s Det. Maggie Sawyer. Her character was announced over the summer, based on an existing (and super gay) DC character from the comics. Whenever I hear about a new queer character on TV I get that all-too familiar mix of hope and dread. Will this be done right, will this last, will this matter? Or am I getting all excited for nothing?
Now, we’ve only had one episode – but I am in the very excited, terribly hopeful phase with “Supergirl.” Det. Maggie Sawyer (as played by Floriana Lima) is a sheer delight. Can you say swagger for days? What’s great about her, or what we have seen about her so far, is she is confident without falling hopelessly into the predatory lesbian trope. Yes, she likes ladies – human and otherwise. But she’s chasing everything in a suit and/or tasteful pantsuit. Instead, she lets the ladies come to her. And, come on, we all know Alex Danvers is very, very interested.
So, about that protective circle. Shall we begin clasping hands now?
p.s. Super mega bonus points for also adding not only the delicious Katie McGrath, but also Lynda Freaking Carter this season. Our hot, talented ladies cup truly runneth over.
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Monday, October 24, 2016
Kittens! You deserve this. This has been a hell of a year. But the year’s real revelation – other than that we’re on the cusp of having our first woman president – is Kate McKinnon. Granted, Kate and Hillary’s fates have become a bit intertwined. The joy that comes with knowing she’ll be doing her Hillary impression for the next four years is almost indescribable. So until then, please enjoy these outtakes of Kate from “Ghostbusters.” So until Nov. 8, please consider them the 9.5 best minutes of 2016.
Friday, October 21, 2016
Yes, yes – I know! Too much election coverage, not enough lesbianism. But if you missed last night Al Smith Dinner you missed something quite spectacular indeed. First, you missed Donald Trump getting roundly booed by a well-heeled, largely conservative set at a charity dinner. Yes, Donald got booed at a charity dinner. Also, holy crap, is he bad at telling jokes. And second you missed Hillary Clinton absolutely roast him to a cinder. Like, damn girl, she annihilated him. I expect her social media team to just post Khaleesi fire gifs from now until Nov. 8. Anway, yes, yes – I know. More election talk. But at least this time you can laugh at it – heartily. Happy weekend, all.
Thursday, October 20, 2016
LADIES! I cannot wait until Hillary Clinton walks out at the Inaugural Ball to Janet Jackson’s “Nasty.” If the Clinton campaign doesn’t start selling “Nasty Woman” T-shirts immediately it will be a gross miscarriage of justice. In Trump’s typical “I Know You Are, But What Am I”-caliber of insults last night the “Such a nasty woman” line was by far the most hilarious. And by hilarious I mean, JFC this guy is undermining the very fabric of our democracy with his “keep you in suspense” utter lunacy of accepting the election results. Anyway, let’s all celebrate the fact that we made it through all three debates. And at least it gives us an opportunity to relive the magnificence that was the “Control” album. In Miss Jackson’s immortal words, Nasty boys, don't mean a thing. And it’s Madam President, if you’re nasty.
p.s. This Hillary burn from last night was so amazing they just straight made it into an ad. Nasty women, unite. (And vote.)
p.p.s. Be sure to visit nastywomengetshitdone.com when you get a chance. Goes in my bookmarks with vagendaofmanocide.com.
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
This year I’ve had two pleasant TV surprises. The first is “The Good Place,” which continues to delight with its kinda weird, kinda whimsical, kinda wise take on the (after) life. And the second is the show that comes on right before it, “Superstore.” I know, I know – I’m a season late on that one. In my defense, I wanted to watch last season. But, you know, life gets busy. But thanks to “The Good Place,” I began catching the last few minutes of “Superstore.” And as they say, seeing is believing. So I binge watched the first season and all up to date and anxious for more. The one-two punch of funny and smart these shows provide each Thursday night is a wonderful antidote to the awfulness of our political landscape. Or at least a welcome hour-long escape.
Now, clearly, the best thing about “Superstore” is America Ferrera. I’ve loved her since “Ugly Betty” – obviously. But now finally there is another series to showcase her skills. What else I enjoy about the show is its fun, very diverse ensemble. The absurdist, yet pointed skewering of corporate retail culture really works. Plus it has Lauren Ash, the fledgling gay from “Super Fun Night” who was the best thing about that show. And then, as mentioned, there’s America. The only thing it lacks is, well, a gay lady*. The show has a gay male character, but as yet now queer female representation. But, those big box stores are always hiring, right?
Bonus points because America is a huge Hillary supporter. And, clearly, does not want a Donald Trump lap dance. But then, no one wants that. Or anything else from that hateful tangerine. No one at all.
p.s. America and Amber Tamblyn’s “Lip Sync Battle” airs tonight on Spike.
* Add a queer lady character is my main complaint for most shows on TV. Case in point, its timeslot companion “The Good Place” could use also a lesbian or bi lady. Though, I won’t lie, I still have some hopes for Eleanor. I mean the way she raves about Tahani’s skin – come on.
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
So besides that “Lemonade” spoof on this weekend’s “Saturday Night Live” by far the best moment of the night was Emily Blunt making Kate McKinnon break – ever so slightly – during a skit. This moment is glorious on so many levels. The first is that Kate rarely breaks character, even a little. So this is a rare sight indeed. The second is that, hello, was this hot or what? Like, I cannot be the only gay lady who sat up a little and was like, “Why, hello.” Is it possible to ship something after only 23 seconds? Look, Kate may not want Emily’s ooey-gooey, yummy-yummy delicious quesadilla. But how about her pink taco? Ay-oh!
See the whole skit here yourself. Have we decided on a shipper name? Kemily? McBlunt?
Monday, October 17, 2016
Whenever the ladies of SNL get together for a music video, you know it’s going to be good. And this, this is pretty good. The show is finally starting to tighten up its Trump skewering. You know it is starting to work when that thin-skinned narcissistic circus peanut says the show should be cancelled. Enjoy!
Friday, October 14, 2016
Some day, hopefully on Nov. 9, I will get to stop writing about the hellscape that is our current political landscape and start writing about cute women kissing each other again. But as vile and, yes, deplorable as this election has become let us not become beaten down by its seemingly endless awfulness. Let us instead be steadfast, determined and above all resolute that we deserve better than this. That we can do better than this. That we are better than this. And we will win. And to help us remember that I advise you watch this speech by First Lady Michelle Obama at least once a day until Nov. 8. Yes we can do this. I’m with her and her. We’re going to win this thing. Happy weekend, all.
Thursday, October 13, 2016
If you really stop to think about it it’s pretty freaking amazing that possibly the biggest young star in Hollywood today speaks openly about being in a relationship with her girlfriend and also shows up to the red carpet of movie premieres looking like this. Like, really think about it. Yeah. It’s pretty extraordinary. Also, love the suit, darling. And hair. Yeah, it’s working. It’s all working.
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
You know what? I sure miss Waverly and Haught. Though, fortunately, they’re coming back for a second season and there is always YouTube until then. There’s just something so uncomplicated and essential about their romance. It’s like watching magnets find each other and delight at their mutual and unmistakable attraction. Oh, WayHaught, come back. Come back now. Is it spring yet?
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Four weeks. Four. Weeks. FOUR WEEKS. Four weeks until Election Day. Four weeks until the end of this seemingly never-ending infernal election. Four weeks until I finally get to cast my vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton. We talk a lot about what makes Donald Trump so spectacularly unacceptable as the next President of the United States of America (to recap: racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic, narcissistic, greedy, braggart, thin-skinned, know-nothing, sexually predatory demagogue, et al).
But can we talk for a little bit about what makes Hillary so exceptional? There’s so much relentless talk of her “unlikeability,” which is really just sexist code for an uncowed woman. But when people talk about her favorability, they fail to factor in the 25-years of relentless criticism of her every move, smile (or lack thereof), outfit, headband, you name it. They fail to mention the partisan politics that orchestrated decades-worth of calculated campaigns to discredit and disrespect her simply for being a smart woman who dared to have an opinion and vie for power. When people discuss their distaste for her it is more often than not some intangible question of style - her speaking voice, her stiffness, her steady ambition, her stubborn pragmatism. The thing is we don’t have the proper language to discuss Hillary because our political discourse has never had a Hillary to discuss before. She is the first, the pioneer, the one who must endure and overcome so that some day it will be easier for another woman – and then another and another and another.
So, hell yeah, I’m excited to be able to get to vote for Hillary. Does she have flaws? Duh. Is she perfect? No one is fucking perfect. But she is far from the so-called “lesser of two evils” far too many people are selling her as. She is a tireless and hard-working public servant who, by all accounts of those who have known her the longest and the closest, is a warm and caring and principled person. You may disagree with some of her policies or wish others were more progressive. (Though, have you really read her policy platform? It is truly one of the liberal agendas we’ve seen in any of our lifetimes.) But if you doubt her commitment to these issues then you really haven’t been paying attention to her track record.
She is rock-solid on women’s reproductive rights. She is rock-solid on gun control. She is rock-solid on climate change. She is rock-solid on LGBT rights. (Yes, I know – she wasn’t always for same-sex marriage, but neither was Obama and now they both are. That’s what we want in politicians, people who can evolve and grow with society, not fight against it tooth and claw.) She is openly talking about the very real issue of implicit bias and saying Black Lives Matter. Not to mention her policies on criminal justice reform, debt-free higher education, raising the minimum wage.
And health care, OMFG guys. You realize her stance on health care reform is what made the entire Right Wing establishment come after her with torches and pitchforks in the first place, right?
The crazy thing is, once Hillary has a job people tend to love her. They loved her as senator in New York. And when she left the office of Secretary of State, Hillary has an approval rating of 69 percent – higher than any other administration member at the time, including Obama. Remember that whole Texts From Hillary thing? Yeah, we fucking loved her – everyone did.
But once she dared to try for another, even higher job? Whoa, whoa, whoa, missy. Who do you think you are?
The one thing that does encourage me is the more people see and hear the real Hillary, the more they seem to like her. Her two biggest polling bumps came after her two biggest public exposures. The first was the Democratic National Convention. And the second was the first debate. It’s like all of a sudden we’re reminded – without the spin or the preconceived notions – that Hillary really is an intelligent, qualified and well-meaning human person. She is not the caricature that’s easy to dismiss. She is a woman to be reckoned with. She is the woman we want in charge.
So enthusiasm gap, my ass. I’m enthusiastic to vote for Hillary. I’m thrilled to vote for Hillary. I’m so fucking ready to vote for Hillary. And you know she’s so ready to get to work for us, too.
Monday, October 10, 2016
What a time to be alive. And by alive I mean living in constant state of fear, panic and outrage that an orange-tinged buffoon of a man who represents every horrifying –ism and -phobia that people can perpetrate against each other there might actually assume the Presidency of the United States of America.
What a time to be alive. And by alive I mean feeling exhausted and beat down by this infernal, seemingly endless presidential election. Remember last week, when we learned he had paid no taxes in almost two decades? Doesn’t that seem like forever ago? Things we learn in the morning seem ancient by the evening. They are instantly supplanted by something almost certainly worse. Yet somehow, almost inconceivably, we still have a month of this until we are finally allowed to cast out ballots and end this pain and suffering. Can we vote now, please can we vote now.
What a time to be alive. And by alive I mean being reminded daily that the worst in our natures still simmers so close to the surface. That all it really took was one loud, angry, ignorant man with unfettered access to the media to coax it out into the daylight. To embolden our most hateful tendencies in a group whop sees them as points of pride. Yes, they’re really saying this stuff out loud, without shame. Neo-Nazis, white supremacists, anti-Semites, sexist trolls, plain-old bigots all banding together. Deplorable is not a compliment, people. It never was.
What a time to be alive. And by alive I mean fearing that as a woman all men are talking about you exactly the way this man talks about women when he is alone in a room – or a bus – with other men. To confirm that for men like this women are just sexual objects to be conquered. (Except women who dare to put on a little weight because you’re just pigs and tremendous problems – duh.) Consent doesn’t exist in this world because the female body is just a vessel to receive male desire and power and fame. So what if she’s married, try to fuck her anyway. Oh, and never mind that grabbing a woman by her pussy is sexual assault. No, really, it’s sexual assault.
What a time to be alive. And by alive, I mean working hard and trying to make a better life as an immigrant who has come to this country that promises right at its gateway to take all those huddled masses yearning to breathe free. Yet here is a man who calls you rapists. Who says you only bring drugs and crime. Who promises to build a big, beautiful wall to keep you out. Sure, almost every product this man has slapped his name on in an oversized font was purposely outsourced to workers who lived in a country whose initials weren’t U, S or A. But immigrants who come here seeking the American dream, yeah, they’re the ones stealing our jobs.
What a time to be alive. And by alive I mean trying to survive as a person of color in this country still so rife with institutional racism. Yet being told by this man and the other also white man who agreed happily to run with him that to even bring up the concept of implicit bias is somehow offensive. To hear daily that calling someone a racist is a more grave insult than having to experience actual racism. Yet the face of actual DNA evidence and an overturned convictions, this man will still believe your guilt simply because the color of your skin. But, hey, your lives are already waking hellscapes, right? So what do you have to lose?
What a time to be alive. And by alive I mean worshipping another faith from your neighbors. Imagine, for a second, if a man running for the most powerful position in the world said, because you’re Muslim, you were banned. But don’t imagine because this man said it and meant it. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof – unless you’re a Muslim and then we’ve got to shut you down until we can figure out what’s going on.
What a time to be alive. And by alive I mean falling in love with a person of the same sex and building a life together now that finally, finally our federal government has sanctified our marriages. Yet here is a man who has selected another man who has made refusing to treat LGBT people equally one of the hallmarks of his political career. So then this man, who thinks as a queer American you shouldn’t even be allowed to order a slice of pizza if the pizza provider thinks gay people are gross, would be one heartbeat away from the presidency. Oh, and he also thinks you can pray away the gay with conversion therapy. Get that, queers – we’re not praying hard enough clearly.
What a time to be alive. And by alive I mean lying awake at night and staring into the inky blackness and wondering if this is really who we are. As a nation, are we this man? Where our political discourse becomes a trigger warning. Where our worth is judged by our fuckability. Where our skin color is justification to be stopped and frisked. Where our love is something to be regulated, just like our bodies, just like our faith or lack thereof. How much more can we – as women, as members of the queer community, as human beings just trying to inhabit this planet peacefully – can we be asked to endure?
What a time to be alive. And by alive I mean feeling ecstatic because on Nov. 8 we will end this shameful chapter of American history with an exclamation point. There is one very simple, very clear way to refute everything this man says, does and stands for. And by doing so, we will also give this nation its first female president in its 240-year history.
What a time to be alive, indeed.
Friday, October 07, 2016
So “Westworld,” yeah – let’s talk about it. I watched the pilot and was impressed. Like I was really, really impressed. So far from what I’ve seen it’s a morality play crossed with a human “Jurassic Park” crossed with “A.I” crossed with a Sam Peckinpah fever-dream. Part of what makes it so impressive – besides its very, very big picture scope – is its very talented star Evan Rachel Wood. Make no mistake, at least in the first episode, her Dolores is the show’s big breakout.
Granted, we’ve known how great Evan was since way back in her “Once & Again” days. We loved her in “Thirteen.” We wished there was more of her in “True Blood.” And we continue to be so proud of her as she is out and very proud as a bisexual woman in Hollywood. So, yeah, is most certainly someone worth rooting for.
Does the show bring up the specter of sexual violence against woman (yes, and more than just a specter – unfortunately)? Yes, and I am so very tired of having to trudge through that kind of trauma in pretty much every television show. But given the subject matter and questioning of our very humanity the show implies – it at least has a reason.
Also, there was the intriguing matter of the scientist character played by Shannon Woodward (girl, it’s good to see you outside of “Raising Hope”) kissing one of the newly rebooted android hosts on the sly. Hello, what was that all about? And will it lead to anything or just a little titillation? We shall see. We shall see, indeed. Because you’d better believe I’ll be watching. Happy weekend, all.
Thursday, October 06, 2016
So, goodness, it seems like forever since we’ve talked – really talked. I mean we’ve talked about AfterEllen. And then I was moving so mostly I just showed you pictures. But by “talking” I mean talked about random super gay stuff which makes the important ephemera of our lives. Like, the fact that Wonder Woman is now officially queer. When current Wonder Woman comic writer Greg Rucka said those words out loud during an interview last week it was a simultaneous “Wow!” and “Duh!” Duh, because Wonder Woman comes from a Paradise Island populated only by Amazonian women. So, obviously, if the women on said island are leading healthy, happy lives and relationships those relationships are with other women. To quote Rucka:
“…when you start to think about giving the concept of Themyscira its due, the answer is, “How can they not all be in same sex relationships?” Right? It makes no logical sense otherwise.That is a pretty thoughtful and thorough explanation of the very nature of Wonder Woman.
It’s supposed to be paradise. You’re supposed to be able to live happily. You’re supposed to be able — in a context where one can live happily, and part of what an individual needs for that happiness is to have a partner — to have a fulfilling, romantic and sexual relationship. And the only options are women.
But an Amazon doesn’t look at another Amazon and say, “You’re gay.” They don’t. The concept doesn’t exist.
Now, are we saying Diana has been in love and had relationships with other women? As Nicola and I approach it, the answer is obviously yes.”
Now the wow part comes in because, wow, Wonder Woman really is a queer lady. Sure we knew. Like nudge-nudge, wink-wink knew. But to hear it said out loud still matters very deeply. Earlier this week a while vice presidential debate went by without a single question about LGBT people despite one of the candidate’s record as being one of the most virulently anti-gay governors in the nation. So, yeah, it matters each time another person, real or fictional, comes out and is counted. Also, come on, she is Wonder Woman. With all due respect to Supergirl and Batwoman, Wonder Woman is the most famous female superhero – period. So to have her be a queer lady is a Big Fucking Deal, Joe Biden.
Yet the question remains, will we see it. You can say all you want that a character is queer – heck you can even make them queer after the fact à la J.K. Rowling. But as the saying goes, seeing is believing. Or that old writer’s rule: Show, don’t tell. To that point Ruckas was equally thoughtful, if much more open-ended. As such I’m not expecting a, “Yep, I’m a gay Amazon” moment from Wonder Woman anytime soon. But he also seems to realize the importance of Wonder Woman’s queer visibility on the page.
“It doesn’t matter if I say, “Yes, she’s queer.” Or “No, she’s not queer.” It matters what you get out of the book. Can you find it? Is it there? Is it on the page in action or in deed? Then, there’s your answer.”So, she’s here, she’s queer. But we won’t get used to it until we see it.
Wednesday, October 05, 2016
A photo posted by Samira Wiley (@whododatlikedat) on
Sometimes you need a little pick-me-up to remind you that the world isn’t all just head-shaking white men trying to gaslight you into believing the horrible things you know were said weren’t actually said. I remain convinced that Mike Pence shaking his head at you with that smarmy grin forever is one of the rooms in Hell. As a palate cleaners to the obvious lies (and the fact that a politician whose career has been literally built on barring women from making their own reproductive health decisions and banning LGBT people from even being able to buy a slice of pizza never got asked about either at his only debate), here is a reminder that love is real. “Orange is the New Black” actress Samira Wiley and writer Lauren Morelli are engaged. Say it with me, “Awwwww.”
Tuesday, October 04, 2016
I am so sorry for not posting yesterday. After two straight weeks of nothing but moving, I took the day off. Here is a photo of Serena Williams in a tank top from Fader magazine to make up for it. You are welcome.