I was reading a review of John Cameron Mitchell’s new movie Shortbus. He’s the creator of Hedwig, and this new movie includes real sex scenes between amateurs cast via internet calls.
The sex is too clinical, the review noted, but under all that weight, beat a sweet heart. Yeah.
Some critics were blathering about August on Broadway, and while one admired the ambition of Kiki And Herb Alive On Broadway, another dismissed it as another parody of an aging diva.
And when I went to Boscov’s, dragged though the women’s department, the poly-blend sweatshirts with angels and kitties and rainbows printed on them reminded me of Oscar Levant’s line about Dinah Shore: “I can’t watch her. I have diabetes, you know.”
If the big secret of meek, sunny and normative people, like the women who wear those corny sweatshirts, is that they have a dark & stormy side, then the big secret of powerful, edgy and queer people, like Hedwig and Kiki, is that they have a beautiful light & sweet side just inside the crust.
Listening, deeply listening though the bombast that is Kiki is to hear the tender pain underneath, the sweet heart still hopeful that someone will love all of her.
Do you prefer Leno or Letterman? They expose this challenge, Leno being the bad good boy, nice on top but with an inner wicked streak that can be glimpsed, and Letterman being the good bad boy, a cranky cuss in whom you can glimpse a tender heart of gold. I’m a Letterman gal myself, as you might well guess.
This is the secret of so many queers, who flip the normative paradigm by being all different and unique on the outside while being connected and embracing on the outside. Cheap over-cute commercialized sentiment may gall us, seeming to be manufactured subsitutes for real feelings, but those real feelings inside of us, well, they are sentimental, loving and yes, corny.
When you can externalize your queerness, you can be centered on connection, but too often when you externalize your connection, you end up centered on your own hidden darkness, at least in my experience.
I guess that’s one reason I love the people who are different and a bit scary on the outside, because I know they probably are the ones with the tender centers. Dark and rich on the outside, and on the inside tender, sweet and loaded with unique flavour.