enjoying the foliage

Archive for the ‘nostalgia’ Category

If you knew me in high school, you knew that John Cameron Mitchell rocked my world and you probably saw me at Artsfest in grade 11 – Salvation Army fur coat, blonde Tina Turner wig, neon-orange fishnets – singing Wicked Little Town and its reprise with Tracy and Jade. I’ve outgrown Hedwig and the Angry Inch a bit since then, but I think I’ve found a replacement in JCM’s new film – Shortbus.

If you’ve heard of it, it’s probably because of Sook-Yin Lee and the real sex she has in the film. So let me just say it: there’s a glorious amount of sex on celluloid here. It’s not clever camera angles and lighting and heavy breathing; it’s real peopleĀ  having real sex with one another, and it’s great. You’ll have to trust me when I say that it’s not pornographic. There is so much sex (and of all kinds too), so many happy naked limbs flailing around, and yet it’s fabulous because it really is just about more than a bunch of people fucking. Somehow, JCM manages to efface all of the dirt and shame that weighs down just about every other depiction of sex in the history of North American cinema and to make sex a joyous and transcendent affair. Really, Shortbus just makes me incredibly happy.

Watch this when you need to be reminded of the fact that there is love in the world or when you have someone you love beside you.

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I’ve been thinking lately about bits of mass media from my childhood that marked my consciousness and made me into the chronically overcommitted would-be hippie I am today. Here are a few of the most dastardly offenders:

Fern Gully: The Last Rainforest – What more do you need in a kids’ cartoon? A little bit of fantasy, a little bit of awesome soundtrack (“Batty Rap,” “If I’m Gonna Eat Somebody (It Might As Well Be You)” and “Toxic Love”), and a little bit of really powerful message make this movie the complete package. Plus, I just found out it had Christian Slater as Pips (who I’ll admit I had a total crush on — Pips, that is, not Christian Slater!) and Tim Curry (who’s basically a god) as Hexxus. (I won’t mention Robin Williams.) This movie may have been my personal Inconvenient Truth. Just saying.

The Little Mermaid – Okay so I can’t really back this one up, but it made me want to be a pretty fishgirl like Ariel and live under the sea, just like millions of other impressionable young people. Is that a crime? It was really about the nature part anyway — Prince Eric is about as dumb as his sloppy old dog, and definitely not worth risking your life and losing all your sea friends over. Please. Anyway, to this day I’m still obsessed with the sea and surfing, and filled with fantasies of moving to someplace warm and maritime, especially in times of record-breaking snowfall and general crappy northern weather.

Ghostwriter – This show was basically awesome and speaks for itself. It’s easier to pinpoint its impact on my dad than on me, since he still thinks every black kid on my brother’s soccer team is named Jamal, but that aside I guess there were some pretty good role models in that show. I mean, no one was particularly ditzy and they were all out worrying about real issues, not who was cheating on who or whatever. Plus they had those pens on strings, those were friggin cool.

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I’m starting to feel like I could go on for a long time about this, so I’ll shut up and turn it over to you: What books, movies, songs, whatever else, totally brainwashed you for life? Comment plz.

– K8