Tuesday, March 07, 2006

St Sebastian...

(We are sitting in the National Gallery opposite a very large religious painting, Madonna and child with assorted saints)
"That St Sebastian's really rubbish, isn't he?"
"What, with the arrow through one of his arms? Yes"
"And vaguely disjointed"
"You know he's a gay icon?"
"Male, obviously"
"Well, yes. Why?"
"They have far too many. I have to sit here and go "okay, Highsmith" and they have tons. It's not fair."
"Are those arrows supposed to be phallic or something"
"Very probably. I think it's to do with him wearing very little clothing and the faint look of religious ecstasy"
"There isn't very much of a loincloth, is there?"
"There must be some story explaining it"
"I think there is. I may even have read it, I just can't remember"

(we go and look at other St Sebastian paintings)


Blogger Juliet Evans said...

"I have to sit here and go "okay, Highsmith" and they have tons. It's not fair."

Heheheheh, brilliant.

9:55 AM  
Blogger pseudo bohemian loser said...

True, as well.

11:15 AM  
Blogger Juliet Evans said...

It's an unfair world. You can always remedy the situation for successive generations..

12:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nick some of theirs. Camilla PB is going spare... only Toby likes her.

12:34 PM  
Blogger pseudo bohemian loser said...

Who is Toby?
Can we have Minelli? I presume Garland would be heretical :(

1:23 PM  
Blogger Juliet Evans said...

Reasoning behind Minelli/Garland, for the record?

Toby is a 'net friend of Katie's (very gay, very sweet, rather stereotype-embracing, looks good in a binbag). Katie, that's because CBP is a rubbish icon.

1:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No to Minelli. Same issue as Tartt & Highsmith. Garland is slightly better... but heretical. So no.

1:39 PM  
Blogger Juliet Evans said...

Your issues with Tartt, Highsmith et al should not discount them as icons, chiefly because you are wrong.

1:53 PM  
Blogger pseudo bohemian loser said...

Was speaking specifically about Minelli as Sally Bowles (JE, have you not seen Cabaret? The reason she should be an icon being that film... or rather that costume)

Garland is the gay icon. Because, I think, of her tendency for marrying gay men? (a weakness Minelli shares) and because of "Wizard of Oz".

K, but both have amazing, relatively low voices!

Am going to add Lotte Lenya because she wasn't but should have been. And the voice.

Oh, am not being ridiculous/stereotypical but have just discovered an amazing fact...

Robespierre was Irish!

1:56 PM  
Blogger Juliet Evans said...

I feel I ought to point out here that we are not in fact looking for gay icons but for subculture icons and the two are not interchangeable (well, some of the time, anyway).

I have no objection to having Sally Bowles as an icon, however, because she is great. Minelli can be annoying, however.

I can see no justification for making Garland a subculture icon.

Robespierre was Irish?

1:59 PM  
Blogger pseudo bohemian loser said...

No, I think we are at present looking for sapphic icons. Which are in limited supply. (Sappho, Highsmith, Rich... they run out fast)

His family were.

2:09 PM  
Blogger Juliet Evans said...

Oh, well, that's all right then.

11:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous Webster said...

Garland as a sapphic icon? Now I KNOW you can do better than that. It's unimaginative and it's theft (as is also male icon, obviously).

Carol Ann Duffy (ok, not that imaginative) anyone?

Maybe Sarah Walters?

7:58 PM  
Blogger Juliet Evans said...

Oh, not CAD, please.

3:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CAD is awful. Really. Sarh Waters is ok, but, well.. I think we should stick to dead people anyway.

9:26 AM  
Blogger Juliet Evans said...

Hurrah for dead people!

9:28 AM  
Blogger pseudo bohemian loser said...

Yeah (am responding to anonymouswebster) I know but I do find her voice in later life (by the time she was in her thirties or so) deeply sexy. It is mostly a personal fixation (my father wants to reclaim her for straight men anyway, and led to me listening to far too much Garland as a child.)
Am not a mad fan of Carol Ann Duffy as I think she plays to stereotype, and I don't really like the poetry. Adrienne Rich and Sappho are very good poetic icons, Rich especially (who also writes nice reasonable feminist essays).
Am going to rise to the challenge:
Lily Tomlin. Yes she is, and she is a very good actress and comedian.
Kathy Bates. (although that's more a general: anyone who makes there film debut aged forty as an insane nurse deserves approval)
She's already an icon but very definitely Katharine Moennig, as she is amazing and caddish etc. (alas she is not in fact gay in real life as far as anyone knows...)
Does anyone know if Angela Carter was? Am going to claim her anyway.
Sarah Waters is too obvious and FAR too cross over to count.
And I think Donna Tartt is married but she does cultivate a certain look and is extremely attractive and, I don't know, there is stuff at which she hints so her. (regardless of K's views on her looking like a dominatrix)

9:58 AM  
Blogger Juliet Evans said...

Angela Carter was married twice, so I should think probably not.

10:19 AM  
Blogger pseudo bohemian loser said...

But she could write about it well.

10:27 AM  
Blogger Juliet Evans said...

I wouldn't know, my brother has stolen all the books.

1:47 PM  
Anonymous anonymous webster said...

Does someone have to have actually been so to be an icon?

Angela Carter writes so well on the subject I think she deserves it.

Personally I don't get the Carol Ann Duffy backlash. Is it a case of people not liking that they had to study her in school?

Or do people just not like the poetry 'cos they've only read Valentine and stopped there?

Or is she just not as good as I think?

On CAD playing to sterotype, I think the stereotype she plays to is more a feminist one than anything else. World's Wife etc. As there are only a few actual lesbian poems.

5:14 PM  

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