Thursday, February 11, 2010

Rest in peace, sweet prince.

This past year or so has been a really rough one for the deaths of truly iconic people, and I haven't really commented much on any of them, partly because there are so many and partly because I just didn't feel that I had much to say. There were those that I was sad but unsurprised to see go (Norman Mailer, Irving Penn, Dominick Dunne, Howard Zinn & J.D. Salinger just recently), and the big gone-way-too-soon shockers that nobody seemed to see coming (John Hughes was a big one for me, and, of course, Michael Jackson.)

But when I heard that 40-year-old fashion designer Alexander McQueen had died this morning, I knew that this was one upon which I would have to reflect and work through. I was actually a little surprised by how much it had affected me, and I'm still not entirely sure why it did. Suicide in someone so young and so unbelievably talented is always tragic, no matter who they may be, but I didn't expect the oddly visceral feeling of personal loss that the news brought me.

It's always odd and intriguing to me to see how people react to the deaths of famous people - people they knew in a certain way, people to whom they feel a personal connection, but who they didn't really know. When a person feels really affected there's something proprietary about that, claiming that person and their affects on the world for oneself. That's really how I feel about Kurt Cobain - even though I was only four years old when he died, I definitely feel a sense of possession and even a kind of ownership, a way in which I take him for myself.

And as someone who loves the world of fashion, who believes in the power of its art and artifice, of the creativity and its reflection on the world - and how the world appropriates it back again - I am, in a way, claiming the the innovation and genius of McQueen for my own. Maybe that's why it's hitting me hard - that this is a world I really care about, and know that while other people certainly share that, not everyone does, so there's a kind of necessity of appropriation there. Bottom line, I know that McQueen, and his incredible impact on the fashion world, will never be forgotten.

And I know I will never forget the day of his death, either.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Characters: a devolutionary chain.

Okay, so I'm taking a medical leave this semester to try to figure out this body shit. As you might expect, this has led to me having WAY TOO MUCH free time on my hands (and I've only been home again for a few days...) It'll get better, I think - there will be some temping jobs in my future, and my mom is suggesting that I go to bartending school (hooray for marketable skills!) but in the meantime, I'm left to my own devices and coming up with shit like this.

So it has come to my attention recently that pretty much all of my favorite pop culture characters are basically THE SAME PERSON. Charismatic, witty, highly sexualized, and self-absorbed, with terrible pasts, intelligence, and a healthy level of cynicism, and a somewhat sociopathic view of the world. No, seriously, it'll become more and more clear. Let's start with a perennial favorite:

Dr. Gregory House

I love this show a lot, even though it's kind of devolved into mostly shittiness for the last couple of seasons. It basically kind of sucks now, but as long as House himself is there, doing his thing, I will keep watching. I love him so much. He is so funny and brilliant and complex and dynamic and Hugh Laurie plays him so goddamned brilliantly. I have had numerous dreams in which House and I are best friends. (I actually think he and I would get along quite well, as weird as that sounds.)

Okay, so House? Change his occupation from a doctor to an advertising executive, make him about 20 years younger, and make him gay, and we have...

Brian Kinney

Much like House, Queer as Folk's Brian has a strange sort of mythology surrounding him, with an appeal that can only really be understood by a big fan of the show who watches continuously. Deeply cynical and ridiculously selfish, Brian nonetheless has frighteningly keen observational skills (much like House) and an incredibly warm heart that he hides unbelievably well. He also utterly makes the show. I mean, yeah, the smut is fun, but without the character of Brian pretty much all of the emotional and dramatic plots would fall flat. He is just so fucking beautiful. I can't watch the show that much anymore, because it makes me unbelievably depressed, but Brian makes it worth it, as does Gale Harold's acting. In real life, Gale is both very straight and very shy, mild-mannered, and unassuming. Holy. Fuck.

Okay, so take Brian, make him straight again (sorry Bri!), make him a teenager, plop him down in the 80's, and you have...

John Bender

Yes. Evie and I actually discovered this one last summer. I've been in love with Bender for God-knows-how-long, since it's been years and years since I first saw the Breakfast Club, and upon the first viewing I fell hard. There's just nothing like a wrong side of the tracks bad boy with a fucking razor-sharp wit and a hardon for Molly Ringwald. I mean, can you blame me? I'm probably doomed to fall for a hilarious sociopath.

Now, take Bender, make him a girl, make him prettier (because as fuckable as he is, I think we can all agree that Judd Nelson would make a fuggin' fugly girl), put her in modern times and give her a big dose of compassion. What results?

Veronica Mars

Yeah, it all comes back around to Veronica. It's a devolutionary chain, yo! They are all the same.damn.people. And I'm out.