Sunday, October 30, 2005

late love song

I love you
I love you
I love you
I love you

It's late
It's late

Play it again

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Friday, October 07, 2005

It isn't you; it's the Patriarchy.

I did my laundry last night. My laundromat is pretty great, all these old, politically incorrect signs with Indians ("HOW to use these machines") and little boys with slingshots ("Ye better watch out!") and vampires ("Don't dye here.") I don't know if these are standard issue or what. Anyway, I got to watch some TV. First, Alias with the pregnant and Botox-lipped Jennifer Garner. At one point, after I first saw Mission: Impossible, I started writing a story about being a secret agent, until it turned out it was actually another story about finding a boyfriend. Alias is pretty much that story. Then it was some X-Files spinoff, this episode about a charismatic cult leader who possesses people to kill their loved ones. I actually spent about half an hour folding my underwear just to finish watching it. It wasn't that good; I just forget how nice it is to be entertained.

I also watched the trailer for Brokeback Mountain today. I already have plans to go see it when it opens in December wearing cowboy drag. These gay cowboys are incredibly hot, and I'm trying to figure out why. So obviously Heath Ledger and Jake G. are both beautiful, there's that. Same question goes for Queer as Folk. I think there's something on top of the multiplication of men (okay, I'm really enjoying that sentence).

I think, essentially, that gay cowboys make such a powerful fantasy because they're a fantasy that don't have to be filtered through the straight, masculine gaze. Hetero images are, I think, filtered through this gaze. The women in them are straight. If you want to identify with that image, you need to be into straight (though you don't necessarily need to be straight -- put that in your pipe and smoke it). You can tell because straight men don't seem to have a problem looking at men having straight sex. Also, because hetero pictures are normative, we develop a lot of habits in looking at them. I've noticed that I actually tend to look at women in kissing scenes. My hunch is that that's because She's the Object. My gaze knows that. The meaning of the kissing picture is her.

The lesbian image, at least mainstream lesbianism -- consumer lesbianism, as I like to call it, is actually usually meant for men. Watching women kiss each other in movies makes me want to hit someone. I am excluded from the image not because I can't identify with it, but because I feel that the content of the image has already been given to men. As much as I may like looking at breasts -- and I have, in my life, enjoyed this -- it feels, onscreen, rather like I'm looking at a sportscar, instead of a woman's body. Unblemished and aerodynamic, at all costs. This bothers me, as I don't want to believe that women are ideally like that.

So it makes sense that Hollywood gay cowboys would be meant for women. The RARE opportunity to see the rugged masculine ideal turned back on itself, simultaneously capturing the desire for that kind of man, ejecting the normative female image, and approving the queerness that helped make that normative female image such a problem in the first place. And that queerness itself is important: the desire not only to have a man, but also be one.

I guess it's having your cake and eating it too, or, more personally, like when I stepped out of the sweatlodge into the New Year's air and felt the wonderful cold of the air without myself feeling cold. What a liberating, transitory moment. Soon I was shivering.

And, for the visual studies people out there, I just want to linger for a moment on the fact that libidinal interpretation is directed toward the whole image, not just one of the figures in it. If I do focus on one character out of two (or more), it's metonymically, as a part for the whole. The relationship between the characters is what I see, and what I interact with. My attraction to the gay cowboys is analogous, in its feminine exclusivity, to the demand for complex female protagonists, female agency. Equally rare and equally resistant to the hetero male perspective.

For those of you who don't know, the story "Brokeback Mountain" was written by Annie Proulx.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

how do i

write the opposite
of writing
more words
but more sense

i close my hard wings
like a lady bug

shiny shiny red
for you