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John Tumblred [Tumbld?] this yesterday about transmisogyny in Rocky Horror, which got me thinking. The original post focuses on the terminology as a source of transmisogyny, but the whole portrayal of Frank as a literally unhinged debasement of stereotypical painted femininity also reeks of transmisogyny. For example, there's a part in Sword of Damocles where Rocky receives admiration from all the partygoers, which pisses Frank off because Rocky is eluding his control. He chases after Rocky, warbling his name, tripping up in his high heels and kind of running into the wall in melodramatic distress. Even though I didn't identify this particular instant as transmisogynistic when I first saw it, I remember saying to myself, "He wouldn't do that -- he's a flamboyant control freak, not a sniveling mess. I'm taking this character seriously -- why isn't the movie?" Well, okay, the response was less coherent than that; it was more like, "Why is he bouncing off the walls? That doesn't fit." Now, a decade and a half [!] later, I can finally call out some of the rank bigotry at work here. Blarf.

Thinking about RHPS always gets me thinking about Mad Mazzy Mickle Goes Looking for Love, which, I reason, has its own problematic elements that I just haven't thought up yet. Hmmm, let's see: racism [two characters of color only], stereotypes about bisexuals [sexually voracious, attracted to everyone], disparagement of traditional femininity [characters not into car-related activities coded butch are looked down upon].

Peter: "It's a cesspool of noxious stereotypes."

Isabel: "But I love it! It changed my life. I came out to the soundtrack!"

Peter: "Me too. But it's still a cesspool."

Well, clearly, Isabel and Peter connect over their shared interest in this movie, though Peter examines it much more critically than she does. Wonder if I could work a Mazzy reference -- and thus conversation -- into their initial meeting, which does, after all, involve a car crash, and Mazzy's all about souped-up drag racers [har!], so there's the hook.


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[Remember those?] Anyway, they never capture the subtleties of human face-making the way that indiscriminate use of animated GIFs can. Today, for your viewing delectation, here's a completely decontextualized GIF of Frank giving exactly zero craps about your big song and dance number:



"I think I left my curling iron on..."

THAT MOUTH!!!!!
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Gaystarnews is running an article based on an interview that Richard O'Brien recently did with the BBC in which he's talking about gender identity. GSN's title for the article is "Rocky Horror writer Richard O'Brien believes he is ‘30% female’ after taking hormones," which is NOT WHAT HE SAID.

This is what he said:

"It's my belief that we are on a continuum between male and female. There are people who are hardwired male and there are people who are hardwired female, but most of us are on that continuum and I believe myself probably to be about 70% male, 30% female."

He was also talking about having been on estrogen for a decade, but he never made the causal connection between his hormones and his 70/30 split. Given what he says about his history, it's possible that he experienced this 70/30 split well before taking estrogen and therefore started estrogen because of it. That makes for a much more complex, much less lurid headline, however, and GOD FORBID that news outlets reflect the complexities of reality.

O'Brien's experiences with gender provide instructive background against which to interpret RHPS.



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"Well, how 'bout that?" From here.
P.S. This is my idea of how to apply makeup. Read more... )
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It's Toy Fair time again, folks. Time for all 3 of you to listen to me hold forth on Mattel's upcoming offerings.

Read more... )
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Jennifer Boylan writes in the New York Times [in the Style section, of course, because that's where all the sex- and gender-related concerns of women get relegated >:{ ] about her transition when her kids were very young and her decision to continue her marriage to her wife. She alludes to Frank as a memorable figure [singing Sweet Transvestite, no less!] in her historical search for self, and, as she worries how her boys will adjust to having a "maddy" [mommy + daddy], she sees them try to carve out their own identities in ways that echo her own. Wait for her son Zach's big confessions.

Hooray for happy families, flexible marriages, accepting kids and RHPS as a catalyst for developing one's own, non-heteronormative gender identity.

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Taken from a list via twilightsm about surviving horror movies and annotated with my own RHPS-specific comments.  Read more... )
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Continuing in a long tradition of mediocre remakes of classic films [Psycho, Wicker Man, War of the Worlds, King Kong, et hoc genus omne], MTV and 20th Century Fox are apparently retreading The Rocky Horror Picture Show movie. Like most remakes, it will be weak, pointless, dull and did I mention POINTLESS? Useless, pathetic remakes always make me roll my eyes in disgust; my eyes are revolving especially hard in their sockets now because Fox and MTV are messing around with a movie that I like. Blech. WHY???
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Inspired by The Bride of Frankenstein, The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, here's a future LHF cast member, Gemini Beaumont, dressed up for one of Will's shoots.
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Somethingawful.com's Photoshop Phriday made a phunny...

EDIT: I found a similar Photoshop for RHPS, but it's not as amusing.

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While clicking around, I discovered a site by Seanbaby devoted to those bizarre, grainy ads on the back of comic books. I remember, for example, this Charles Atlas ad, this very same one, from a childhood comic book. As soon as I rediscovered it on Seanbaby's site, I immediately thought two things:

1. That ad struck me as poorly drawn, hokey, outmoded and a big fat lie when I first saw it around age 7.

2. Richard O'Brien didn't have to push very far to make a parody of the Charles Atlas campaign when he wrote I Can Make You A Man for Rocky Horror. In fact, the ad copy here uses many phrases that show up, barely altered, in that song. I am, however, surprised that Richard O'Brien's lyrics didn't use some of the screamingly homoerotic subtext in such phrases as "Do you feel soft, frail skinny, or flabby, only HALF-ALIVE?" and "You want the Greek god type of physique...that makes other fellows green with envy."
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...I Learned from A Film Freak Commentary...

In any event, this is not supposed to be a speech about a dragon. This is, indeed, a song about a dragon...

No, seriously...In Film Freak Central, Alex Jackson provides some personal and perceptive commentary on Rocky Horror [and Shock Treatment, but I'm ignoring that part].
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Home At Last, from Labyrinth. This is actually an instrumental that plays when Sarah is putting away her toys and pictures. It's a very slow, tinkly version of As the World Falls Down, also known as the Jareth Is Dead Instrumental. You see why I hate it?

Superheroes, from Rocky Horror. This is the song that Brad and Janet sing in the wreckage of the Frankenstein Place as it's blasting off to a distant planet.  Also known as the Frank Is Dead Song. Of course it depresses me.

However, for sheer slit-your-wrists despair, nothing beats the cover of Mad World on the Donnie Darko soundtrack. The original by Tears For Fears balances mopey lyrics with a surprisingly up-tempo beat so that the song veers between precious and poignant, making it a perfect evocation of teenage self-consciousness. The Donnie Darko version strips away almost all instrumentation, leaving just the singer's quiet, steady voice. It is the naked, vulnerable personification of melancholy. I've listened to it on repeat, and every single time it gives me chills of beauty and gloom.
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Thank you to everyone who posted comments here and over at this thread on DOA. With your help, I learned where to add color to Frank's face, both in terms of shading and blush. Read more... )

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