Country music’s outlaw icon and great American artist Willie Nelson, was asked about his take on marriage equality for Texas Monthly magazine:
Texas Monthly: For better or worse, you’ve also grown into a reputation as something of an authority on marriage itself.
Willie Nelson: I’ve been there and back a few times. It’s not perfect, so why should we expect it to be perfect for everybody?
Texas Monthly: But to be clear, you think everybody should be able to get married?
Willie Nelson: Absolutely. I never thought of marriage as something only for men and women. But I’d never marry a guy I didn’t like.
Texas Monthly: A lot of people think this battle echoes the fight for civil rights in the sixties.
Willie Nelson: It does. It’s about human rights. As humanity, we’ve come through so many problems from the beginning to here. I guess it finally had to come around to this. This is just another situation, another problem. We’ll work it out and move on.
Texas Monthly: And what do you think they’ll say when they look back on this?
Willie Nelson: We’ll look back and say it was crazy that we ever even argued about this.
BOOM! Score one for the red-headed stranger!
Texas Monthly invites readers to use Willie’s boss weed-equality avatar themselves. The design was created by the Austin-based design agency Helms Workshop.
Vincent Price started collecting Art at the age of 12.
‘It was just one of those things. I’d read so many books on Art that one day I walked into a little art store, downtown St. Louis—mainly a framing place—they were having an exhibition of Rembrandt etchings, and there was one that really took my fancy.
‘I said, “How much is it?” And the man said, “It’s thirty-seven dollars, and fifty-cents.”
‘Well, I had $5 in my pocket, so I said could I put that down on it? And he said, “Yes.” I think he knew my father was good for the other thirty-two dollars and fifty-cents.
‘I paid for it myself, and from it, I learned a tremendous amount about the importance of the ownership of Art. The importance of buying a recording, of owning a work of Art, so you could study it, and live with it, and make it really your own, rather than just a thing you pick-up at a cursory glance in a museum. And [Art collecting] lasted all my life.’
Alas, Mr. Price had to sell his Rembrandt when he was broke, but his love of Art and Art History never left him.
It was in London, while working as an Art Historian at the Courtauld Institute, that Mr. Price’s love of theater began. As the theater was cheap in London, he saw as many productions as he could, before taking the plunge. He quickly moved form bit part to lead, and was on Broadway by 23.
A fascinating, and thoroughly enjoyable interview, in which Vincent Price relishes discussing those things closest to his heart—Art and Acting. From the public access TV series Day at Night, April 1974.
A brief interview with the legendary film-maker Kenneth Anger, in which he discusses Magick, the O.T.O., Bobby Beausoleil, and Henri Langlois, with interviewer Jean-Emmanuel Deluxe. Recorded at the Galerie du Jour Agnès B., in Paris, November 2012, for Standard magazine.
Latrice Royale onstage at The Castro Theatre, photo by Robby Sweeny.
NOTES FROM THE NIALLIST
If you have not seen Paris Is Burning, you’re just not doing it right. I’m talking Life, honey.
I’ve written about Paris Is Burning before, and referenced it in my recent ballroom piece for Boing Boing, but the truth is that the impact of this film on gay culture, and by extension culture at large, cannot be overestimated. That a film about underground drag culture and voguing resonated so strongly amongst gays should not be a surprise, but what is surprising is how far its influence has spread in “straight” circles. Its language and imagery are now common parlance, and it won a recent PBS “best documentary” poll by an overwhelming landslide.
Which is why I was so delighted to see Paris Is Burning get recent a Midnight Mass screening in San Francisco, hosted by the queens Peaches Christ and Latrice Royale. Barring stars of the film itself (most of whom have sadly passed) I could not think of a better pair to present it. Peaches Christ is a legendary San Francisco performer and the regular Midnight Mass movie hostess, and is so obsessed with films, ickiness and camp that her boy alter ego, Joshua Grannell, recently directed the future-cult-classic All About Evil, starring Natasha Lyonne, Mink Stole and Elvira. Latrice Royale, meanwhile, was a competitor on last year’s season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, and through a combination of straight-talking and motherly warmth, went on to win the show’s “Miss Congeniality” prize, and has become one of the most popular contestants that Drag Race has ever seen.
I couldn’t waste this opportunity to ask two legends of drag about this legendary drag film, so I sent them both a set of questions to answer.
Peaches Christ and Latrice Royale
THE NIALLIST: When did you first discover Paris Is Burning?
LATRICE ROYALE: I believe it was 1995.. I know a little late, but again I was very new to the lifestyle at this time in my life.
PEACHES CHRIST: I was a junior in high school and the movie was such a huge indie hit in the urban markets that Miramax did a wide release, which meant it played at the local Maryland mall where I grew up. I remember going to see it with my closeted lesbian friend and my hands were literally shaking when I went to purchase a ticket—I was a closeted queen and was terrified someone would see me buying a ticket to the movie—that my secret would be revealed. I watched it wide-eyed and in awe and while there is clearly a tragic element to the film, especially ending with Venus’ murder, I found it to be inspiring, creative, loving, and it really showed me that there was a way people like “us” could find a family, create a world for ourselves, and that the world could be imaginative, unique, and FABULOUS. I went to see it three more times in the theatre and each time I did, my hands shook a little less when I bought a ticket.
TN: What kind of an impact has it had on your career, and how has it influenced you personally?
LR: Well from my own personal experience in life, I totally could relate to these young kids. As I was one of them. I was too scared to come out after being outed by my brother. But I did learn that you could rebuild your family with people to your liking.
PC: I kind of feel like there are two drag worlds- the one pre-Paris Is Burning and the one post-Paris Is Burning, because after the movie came out and was widely distributed, queers sought it out, understood it, embraced and appropriated its culture on all levels of queer culture. It’s effect on our language, style, dance, etc. can not be underestimated. Whether people know it or not, it changed queer culture and then of course popular culture because it’s my belief that most of the best parts of popular culture start with the queers.
TN: How do you feel time has treated the film?
LR: Knowing what I know now, and seeing how bullying is such the trend.. We need to have a world wide revival of this movie. So many are unaware of a crucial part of our history.
PC: I watch it today and am again- blown away by how much of everything we do and saw comes from this seminal film. It’s timeless.
TN: What would you say to younger queens who haven’t seen the film?
LR: Well as I stated earlier we need a revival!! Our youth should be aware of just how far we’ve come, while realizing we still have so much further to go. But with knowledge comes power, and hopefully our youth will learn that they too, have a voice.
PC: It’s a must see of course. Completely required viewing. I’m actually teaching a class in 2014 at the SF Art Institute that’s essentially “Drag In Cinema” and I’m building the course around this film.
Peaches Christ as Dorian Corey, photo by Nicole Fraser-Herron
TN: Who is your favourite character in Paris Is Burning?
LR: Pepper LaBeija LEGENDARY MUTHA!!
PC: I can’t choose one- seriously. I’m obsessed with Dorian Corey, Willi Ninja, Pepper LaBeija, Venus Xtravaganza, and Octavia St. Laurent. I love them all.
TN: Peaches, could you tell us about the process of getting Paris Is Burning to the big screen again?
PC: I’ve wanted to do a Peaches show around Paris Is Burning for years and years but really needed to do it the right way and create a show that felt authentic- so it took some time but I was able to seek out members of the West Coast ball scene who came on board to create the show with us. I reached out to Latrice because I really feel like she embodies the true spirit of the film—inspiring a new generation of queens to perform with style and grace, understanding their history while also serving it to audiences—making them eat it. I have been in touch with Jennie Livingston, the film’s director, and she’s been so supportive and WONDERFUL and we’ve been talking about how this Paris Is Burning zeitgeist will hopefully lead to more projects, more longevity, more celebration, and that this community’s legacy will live on forever.
TN: And finally, Latrice, how was the Paris Is Burning Midnight Mass screening?
LR: I must say the whole experience working with Peaches Christ was one thatI will never forget!!! So brilliant, and such an honor to be apart of more history in the making.
TN: History indeed!
To end, here’s another bit of history, the original 1991 TV trailer for Paris Is Burning, complete with that guy doing the voice-over:
For more info, and to view the picture gallery of images form the screening, visit PeachesChrist.com.
Italian disco producer and recent Daft Punk collaborator Giorgio Moroder must have multiple vaults of material just screeching to be heard. Because not only is he uploading hours of rarities on SoundCloud, but he’s now releasing a 51-track (!) compilation cleverly titled, Schlagermoroder (Volume 1: 1966-1975).
As the title insists, the release collects Moroder’s earlier non-disco and film work, specifically tracks like “How Much Longer Will I Have to Wait”, “Doo-Bee-Doo-Bee-Doo”, and “Son of My Father”. If these go over your head, it’s probably because most of it was released under the pseudonyms Giorgio, George, or Snoopy — and were released in various languages over several territories.
The remastered album features liner notes by journalist Michael Heatley and surfaces April 22nd via Repertoire Records. Consult the entire tracklist here
It seems inevitable that this track will be on the compilation. Can you spot the sample? It’s not that hard…
To: George W. Bush and Dick Cheney
From: Tomas Young
I write this letter on the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War on behalf of my fellow Iraq War veterans. I write this letter on behalf of the 4,488 soldiers and Marines who died in Iraq. I write this letter on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of veterans who have been wounded and on behalf of those whose wounds, physical and psychological, have destroyed their lives. I am one of those gravely wounded. I was paralyzed in an insurgent ambush in 2004 in Sadr City. My life is coming to an end. I am living under hospice care.
I write this letter on behalf of husbands and wives who have lost spouses, on behalf of children who have lost a parent, on behalf of the fathers and mothers who have lost sons and daughters and on behalf of those who care for the many thousands of my fellow veterans who have brain injuries. I write this letter on behalf of those veterans whose trauma and self-revulsion for what they have witnessed, endured and done in Iraq have led to suicide and on behalf of the active-duty soldiers and Marines who commit, on average, a suicide a day. I write this letter on behalf of the some 1 million Iraqi dead and on behalf of the countless Iraqi wounded. I write this letter on behalf of us all—the human detritus your war has left behind, those who will spend their lives in unending pain and grief.
I write this letter, my last letter, to you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. I write not because I think you grasp the terrible human and moral consequences of your lies, manipulation and thirst for wealth and power. I write this letter because, before my own death, I want to make it clear that I, and hundreds of thousands of my fellow veterans, along with millions of my fellow citizens, along with hundreds of millions more in Iraq and the Middle East, know fully who you are and what you have done. You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans—my fellow veterans—whose future you stole.
Your positions of authority, your millions of dollars of personal wealth, your public relations consultants, your privilege and your power cannot mask the hollowness of your character. You sent us to fight and die in Iraq after you, Mr. Cheney, dodged the draft in Vietnam, and you, Mr. Bush, went AWOL from your National Guard unit. Your cowardice and selfishness were established decades ago. You were not willing to risk yourselves for our nation but you sent hundreds of thousands of young men and women to be sacrificed in a senseless war with no more thought than it takes to put out the garbage.
I joined the Army two days after the 9/11 attacks. I joined the Army because our country had been attacked. I wanted to strike back at those who had killed some 3,000 of my fellow citizens. I did not join the Army to go to Iraq, a country that had no part in the September 2001 attacks and did not pose a threat to its neighbors, much less to the United States. I did not join the Army to “liberate” Iraqis or to shut down mythical weapons-of-mass-destruction facilities or to implant what you cynically called “democracy” in Baghdad and the Middle East. I did not join the Army to rebuild Iraq, which at the time you told us could be paid for by Iraq’s oil revenues. Instead, this war has cost the United States over $3 trillion. I especially did not join the Army to carry out pre-emptive war. Pre-emptive war is illegal under international law. And as a soldier in Iraq I was, I now know, abetting your idiocy and your crimes. The Iraq War is the largest strategic blunder in U.S. history. It obliterated the balance of power in the Middle East. It installed a corrupt and brutal pro-Iranian government in Baghdad, one cemented in power through the use of torture, death squads and terror. And it has left Iran as the dominant force in the region. On every level—moral, strategic, military and economic—Iraq was a failure. And it was you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney, who started this war. It is you who should pay the consequences.
I would not be writing this letter if I had been wounded fighting in Afghanistan against those forces that carried out the attacks of 9/11. Had I been wounded there I would still be miserable because of my physical deterioration and imminent death, but I would at least have the comfort of knowing that my injuries were a consequence of my own decision to defend the country I love. I would not have to lie in my bed, my body filled with painkillers, my life ebbing away, and deal with the fact that hundreds of thousands of human beings, including children, including myself, were sacrificed by you for little more than the greed of oil companies, for your alliance with the oil sheiks in Saudi Arabia, and your insane visions of empire.
I have, like many other disabled veterans, suffered from the inadequate and often inept care provided by the Veterans Administration. I have, like many other disabled veterans, come to realize that our mental and physical wounds are of no interest to you, perhaps of no interest to any politician. We were used. We were betrayed. And we have been abandoned. You, Mr. Bush, make much pretense of being a Christian. But isn’t lying a sin? Isn’t murder a sin? Aren’t theft and selfish ambition sins? I am not a Christian. But I believe in the Christian ideal. I believe that what you do to the least of your brothers you finally do to yourself, to your own soul.
My day of reckoning is upon me. Yours will come. I hope you will be put on trial. But mostly I hope, for your sakes, that you find the moral courage to face what you have done to me and to many, many others who deserved to live. I hope that before your time on earth ends, as mine is now ending, you will find the strength of character to stand before the American public and the world, and in particular the Iraqi people, and beg for forgiveness.
Salon reports that the Green Street United Methodist Church in Winston-Salem will stop performing weddings for straight couples until same-sex marriage is legal in North Carolina (Emphasis added):
As an Anti-Racist, Reconciling Congregation, Green Street United Methodist Church seeks to be in faithful ministry with all people in the brokenness of our world. This statement is being adopted as a sign of our commitment to love and justice for all people.
The Marriage Covenant between two people is a ministry of the church. Couples making a commitment to one another need a supportive community of faith to sustain and uphold them so as to grow in faith and love. Weddings are the occasion for covenant making, a time to seek God’s blessing on their commitment to one another. When a couple chooses to be married in the church, they should also be conscious that they are making a declaration of their relationship as a new ministry for the congregation and the world. At Green Street Church, we claim the committed same-sex relationships as no less sacred in their ministry to us and the community.
But sadly, at this time in the United Methodist Church, marriages, weddings and holy unions are limited to heterosexual couples. As our nation struggles to provide legal recognition to people in same-sex relationships and provide them the privileges allotted to opposite-sex married couples, our denomination struggles to overcome the sin of reserving these sacramental privileges for straight people only. We, the leaders of Green Street Church, see people in same-sex relationships as completely worthy of the Sacrament of Marriage. We reject any notion that they are second class citizens in the Kingdom of God.
WOW. Just wow. That’s some statement.
Tell me again, “What Would Jesus Do?”
Although support for gay marriage has reached a new high of 58% of the American public—including 81% of 18-29 year olds—same sex marriage is constitutionally prohibited in North Carolina. It’s worth mentioning that the Green Street United Methodist Church are also bucking the 2012 vote of their own church elders by supporting gay marriage rights. 59% of Catholics, 62% of independents, and 34% of Republicans are pro-gay marriage according to recent polling.
‘A good photograph,’ says Steve Gullick, ‘is one that looks great, one that captures an interesting moment in time, one that tells a story, or in the case of a portrait, offers an insight into the subject.’
This is could be a description of Gullick’s own photographs—his beautiful, inky black portraits that are amongst the most recognizable and iconic images of the past twenty years.
Gullick was influenced ‘Mainly by the dark imagery of Don McCullin and Bill Brandt. I tried to infuse my photos with a similar drama—I spent all of my spare time in the darkroom working on getting good.
‘It was more difficult with color but when I started printing my own color stuff in the late 1990’s I was able to match the intensity of my black & white work.
These photographs have captured succeeding generations of artists and musicians from Kurt Cobain, Nirvana, Nick Cave, Patti Smith, Depeche Mode, Foo Fighters, Bjork, The Prodigy, through to Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy and Richard Hawley
‘Photography is magic. The ability to capture something forever that looks interesting to you is magnificent.’
Now an exhibition of his work Punk as Fuck: Steve Gullick 90-93 is currently running at Indo, 133 Whitechapel Road, London, until 31st March, and is essential viewing for anyone with a serious interest in photography, music and art
To coincide with the exhibition, film-maker Joe Watson documented some of Steve’s preparation for the show, and interviewed him about the stories behind his photographs.
For more information about Punk as Fuck and a selection of Gullick’s brilliant work check his website.
A review for Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot from when the play first opened in England, at the Arts Theater Club, London, in August 1955.
Writing in the Guardian, critic Philip Hope-Wallace described Beckett’s play as “inexplicit and deliberately fatuous..” and claimed it “bored some people acutely. Others found it a witty and poetic conundrum.”
‘TWO EVENINGS WITH TWO TRAMPS
“Waiting for Godot”
By Philip Hope-Wallace
“Waiting for Godot” at the Arts Theatre Club is a play to send the rationalist out of his mind and induce tooth-gnashing among people who would take Lewis Carroll’s Red Queen and Lear’s nonsense exchanges with the food as easiest stuff in the world. the play, if about anything is ostensibly about two tramps who spend the two acts, two evenings long, under a tree on a bit of waste ground “waiting for Godot.”
Godot, it would seem, is quite possibly God, just as Charlot is Charles. Both tramps are dressed like the Chaplinesque zanies of the circus and much of their futile cross-talk seems to bear some sort of resemblance to those music-hall exchanges we know so well: “You know my sister?” “Your sister?” “Yes, my sister,” and so on, ad lib. One of the tramps is called Estragon, which is the French for tarragon herb; the other is called Vladimir. On the first evening their vigil is broken by the arrival of a choleric employer called Pozzo (Italian for “a well”), and a down-trodden servant Lucky, who looks like the Mad Hatter’s uncle.
On the second evening this pair reappears, the former now blind and led by the latter, now a deaf mute. As night falls on both seasons a boy arrives to announce that Godot cannot keep the interview for which the tramps so longingly wait. And at the end of it, for all its inexplicit and deliberately fatuous flatness, a curious sense of the passage of time and the wretchedness of man’s uncertainty about his destiny has been communicated out of the very unpromising material.
The allegorist is Sam Beckett, who was once James Joyce’s secretary and who writes in French for preference. His English version bears traces of that language still. The language, however, is flat and feeble in the extreme in any case. Fine words might supply the missing wings, but at least we are spared a Claudelian rhetoric to coat the metaphysical moonshine.
The play bored some people acutely. Others found it a witty and poetic conundrum. There was general agreement that Peter Hall’s production did fairly by a work which has won much applause in many parts of the world already and that Paul Daneman in particular, as the more thoughtful of the two tramps, gave a fine and rather touching performance. Peter Woodthorpe, Timothy Bateson, Peter Bull and a boy, Michael Walker, the mysterious Godot’s messenger all played up loyally. There was only one audible retirement from the audience though the ranks had thinned after the interval. It is good to find that plays at once dubbed “incomprehensible and pretentious” can still get a staging. Where better than the Arts Theatre?”
While the daily papers were generally negative in their reviews of the play, Kenneth Tynan was more favorable and wrote in the Observer:
By all the known criteria, Mr Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot is a dramatic vacuum.
It has no plot, no climax, no denouement; no beginning, no middle and no end.
Unavoidably, it has a situation, and it might be accused of having suspense, since it deals with the impatience of two tramps waiting beneath a tree for a cryptic Mr Godot to keep his appointment with them; but the situation is never developed, and a glance at the programme shows that Mr Godot is not going to arrive.
Waiting for Godot frankly jettisons everything by which we recognise theatre. It arrives at the custom house, as it were, with no luggage, no passport and nothing to declare: yet it gets through as might a pilgrim from Mars. It does this, I believe, by appealing to a definition of drama much more fundamental than any in the books.
A play, it asserts and proves, is basically a means of spending two hours in the dark without being bored.
Not long after this review, Waiting for Godot transferred to the West End, London, and went on to win an Evening Standard award.
Dangerous Minds is a compendium of oddities, pop culture treasures, high weirdness, punk rock and politics drawn from the outer reaches of pop culture. Our editorial policy, such that it is, reflects the interests, whimsies and peculiarities of the individual writers. And sometimes it doesn't. Very often the idea is just "Here's what so and so said, take a look and see what you think."
I'll repeat that: We're not necessarily endorsing everything you'll find here, we're merely saying "Here it is." We think human beings are very strange and often totally hilarious. We enjoy weird and inexplicable things very much. We believe things have to change and change swiftly. It's got to be about the common good or it's no good at all. We like to get suggestions of fun/serious things from our good-looking, high IQ readers. We are your favorite distraction.