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New York city drag queen icon Miss Understood presents rants, musings, and observations from her East Village headquarters.

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Sweden/Prague 

Princess Diandra and I will be performing in Gothenburg Sweden at the end of August. Since the plane changes in Prague I'll be spending some time there too. if anyone had been to either of these two places please let me know your thoughts. My email address is MissU@screamingqueens.com.

I wonder if I can find good cheap tailors in Prague? I'm so addicted to getting clothes made when I'm in Thailand. Boy AND Girl clothes!

Saturday, July 26, 2003

Rosie's Big Taboo 

I was never a big fan of Rosie O'Donnell. While I like the idea of the "real" girl next door image, I always felt Roseanne pulled that off in a much more accurate fashion.. at least for a few years. Rosie's just reminded me of the overbearing theater students I remember from college. They would consistently exhibit their dire need for attention, yet never provide you with any good reason to pay it to them. While I did like the fact that she was sort of (kinda sorta) a leftie, I found it difficult to accept a raging lesbian who spoke out about gun control yet was silent about gay rights.

Then the big coming out happened. Event that didn't initially impress me. Rosie made it clear that she was coming out only to serve the interest of children, not for any sort of gay rights agenda. if you weren't paying attention at the time, she was speaking out about a Florida case in which some gay foster parents were being denied the right to adopt a child they had raised.

But then, little by little, this Rosie thing became more interesting. She started being less "nice," a label she had been given during her talk show reign, and becoming more outspoken and opinionated. She expressed disgust for michael Jackson, got a dykey haircut, and started using fowl language in public. Now who does she remind me of? The REAL girl next door! And everybody is dumping on her for it.

Rosie is producing he Broadway production of Taboo, London's hit musical about the 80's/90's alternative club scene written by Boy George, who is portraying the infamous performance artist Leigh Bowery. This is a HUUUGE step for Rosie, who was always know for her ties to "family" projects such as "Seusical". Taboo is far from family entertainment. In fact, it may be the most subcultural thing to hit the Broadway stage in decades.

Page Six in the New York Post went off on her earlier this week. They are basically painting her as a crazed lesbian bent on offending the world. They made it sound like the billboard for the show is desecrating the otherwise pristine Times Square! The image is a paining of Leigh in gorgeous freak makeup standing in a men's room. Behind him is the back of a man at a urinal. Big deal. Times square is full of giant underwear ads! The Taboo poster is a refreshing bit of art in an ocean of mediocrity.

There was a phase, let's say between 17 and 25, when many of my peers found ourselves and hooked up with like minded people. I mean this in terms of:
A) Coming out and exploring the ins and outs of gay culture and identity and
B) Discovering and experiencing alternative culture, going to clubs, getting into non-mainstream bands, etc.

Rosie's going through that phase now. I think she spent so much time in a more mainstream culture pursuing her standup and acting, and later her TV career, that she never really found the time to let loose and explore. I doubt she knew who Leigh Bowery WAS before she saw Taboo in London.

My friend John thinks she's just a hypocrite. She made a lot of money while pretending to be something she's not and now she expects us to respect her. I can't completely argue with him, he's right. But hey, who wouldn't tone it down to have a TV show and make millions. It's awfully tempting.

What I have to commend her for is being able to say "Enough already!" How many people who have achieved such mainstream fame ever just jump off the carousel to follow their heart? Why does Donald Trump continue building? He could give away 75% of his money and not feel it one bit. How much can a person spend in pursuit of happiness? Why doesn't he spend the rest of his life building free hospitals in Africa? Madonna likes to speak out against materialism but when will she stop practicing it? I have rarely seen a celebrity or a prominent wealthy person every make a real sacrifice. I think Rosie made a big one. She said "Hey, I have more money than I'll ever need, so why don't I just stop kissing everyone's ass all day and just do my thing!" Or maybe it wasn't so big. Maybe her way of living before was becoming so painful that she HAD to stop. Maybe other celebrities in her position who don't stop just become drug addicts or Scientologists as a way of coping.

My point, if I have one, is that media in America is all about phoniness. Any attempt at being yourself is criticized. Remember all the hubbub about Roseanne screeching out the national Anthem at some sports event? Big deal. If your kooky aunt did it you'd laugh and think it was cute.

Anyway, I can't wait to see Taboo!!!!

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