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…..Or Treat

December 28th, 2008

I just watched Trick for the first time in nine years. Well, pregnancy by watched I mean flipped through to the scenes that I remember from that first time I saw it, anesthetist which was on what turned out to be my first date ever. I recall few things about that day, treat or even the other guy (despite dating him for a month or so, I now cannot picture his face no matter how hard I try) which worries me as I ought to be able to remember these things and the only other dates I have been on are with my first, only, and current boyfriend….but I’m getting ahead of myself.

The truth is I expected to be appalled at how bad the movie is. It’s been my experience recently that certain things that brought me tremendous joy in childhood or my teenage years fail to arouse even nostalgic glimmers of happiness because now, with adult eyes, I see that they are in fact TERRIBLE. Certain phases I went through in high school spring to mind as being particularly embarrassing, (Pokémon, for example), and even some of my favorite CDs that I would listen to over and over I now cannot stand. (Bernstein’s Mozart Requiem – what is up with the fucking Lacrimosa?)

This turned out not to be the case at all, although it’s a strange feeling to watch it because in a way I am also watching myself nine years ago watching it. What’s even weirder and meta-er (whatever) is that all those years ago I was literally experiencing that same newness, longing, and anxiety that the movie’s protagonist was, which made for a very maudlin reaction I’m sure. (I can imagine the frantic arm-flailing that must have accompanied my re-telling of the story at the time)

All my memories aside though, it’s not as bad of a movie as I remember…plot-wise it’s pretty straightforward – boy meets boy, they try and hook up but end up having a night of misadventures instead. Gabriel, the protagonist, is a musician: a philosophical soul uninterested in the tecno-and-poppers gay lifestyle and its bear-/boarish ways. He is essentially a platonic form of innocence that is frighteningly easy to graft onto yourself if you’re not careful. (needless to say I was not) Tori Spelling as Gabe’s friend essentially plays herself (a ditzy, two-bit actress) and the slutty go-go dancing love interest, Mark, is quite the hottie. Let me rephrase that: he’s SMOKING hot. The roommate and her boyfriend comprise a forgettable subplot, boring in their heteronormativism, but there are two minor characters who essentially act like the muses in Classical myth: they impart their wisdom and then vanish. And it was these that I took more notice of this time.

The first is Gabriel’s teacher. We find out in an opening scene that Gabriel is writing a musical (which unfortunately means that one of his songs occurs throughout the movie like an annoyingly catchy leitmotif) but can’t quite figure out the love bits. His teacher encourages him to search the world for experience, to “grab life by the balls,” which he proceeds to do. Hence the story. Surprisingly, the teacher reappears later in the movie, and tells the pair about his relationship woes. It seems that despite his devil-may-care attitude, he is upset over his recent breakup. They’d been together three years, which is said in italics as though a plaque ought to have been made, and he thought it was over. When, however, they encounter him on the street, a blubbery and oddly touching reconciliation takes place, and witnessing it brings Gabe and Mark a little closer together. This wisened, though imperfect, figure shows Gabe what he wants to see – that romance and a real relationship can be difficult, but is certainly attainable.

Then there’s the drag queen. She encounters Gabe in a bathroom (mirroring another pivotal scene in a bathroom later on….as though all gay transactions happening in public bathrooms is a stereotype we need to reinforce!) and proceeds to describe to Gabe the other, more menacing side of the picture. It seems she, too, had taken a fancy to Mark, and in telling how they met describes pitch-perfectly the scene where Gabe encounters him for the first time. This is the first real evidence that Mark might really be what he seems: a flirt just looking for a quick score and nothing else. She then dramatically relates the whole of their encounter and, well, maybe I’ll just let her do the talking.

This scene was burned (no pun intended) into my memory for years, and still remains sharp even now. It is also probably the best acting in the movie – I dare someone to do it as a monologue.

She turns out, luckily, to be wrong about Mark, who appears by the end to be interested in more than a one-night stand – whether he changes as a result of the events of the movie is unclear, but it is comforting to think that he did, and that the young innocent with no knowledge in the ways of love converted him. While the budding romance of the film’s main characters is what caught my eye all those years ago, I find myself now thinking about these two older, experienced characters: the gaytriarchs, if you will. They both desire the same thing, but have approached it from different ways, and in the end the teacher appears happy while the drag queen is an object of laughable pity. We are led to understand that you reap what you sow, and if one seeks affection and romance without having it first one is ultimately burned. BURRRRRRRNED. (did you watch it? you should. at least start at 3:45. doesn’t she look and talk just a a little bit like Lucille Bluth? It’s funny because she had a brief cameo in Arrested Development as a wig shop owner….but I digress)

Rather than the young, naïve musician with whom I had so much in common nine years ago, I now find myself empathizing with these two – and thankfully, more to the teacher than the silly cuckholded drag queen. I find myself, like them, looking back on people like Gabe with a vague smile, as though they’re telling me a story I’ve already heard – I don’t cut them off, correct them, or finish it for them, but I let them tell it to me again so I can try and remember what it was like to hear it for the first time. I’m not looking forward to the inevitable conclusion with wonder like I was years ago, but hearing it again allows me to reflect on my own story and realize just how lucky I am. I would never have imagined nine years ago that I was only three years, three quasi-sexual encounters, two major crushes, two rejections, and only one graduation ceremony away from the day I found what true love is.

But back to Trick. Would I reccommend it? I think so….there’s a certain charm to it which is undeniable, and while not Oscar material it’s a good deal better than most “gay” movies I’ve seen. (All Over the Guy was also very good, if I remember correctly) Although the end is satisfying and the overall effect is uplifting, I wish there was a wedding or something at the end like in other romantic comedies, where you get a chance to see all the little characters and be assured that they’re just as happy as the now-hitched protagonists. I can just picture the teacher and his equally cubbish boyfriend, their matching sweaters a perfect reflection of their love. And the drag queen, snarkily demeaning someone’s attire at the reception, when lo and behold the bouquet lands in her manicured hands and she breaks into tears of joy and hope. Tori Spelling meets someone at the wedding who gives her the break she wanted, and the roommate is still off shagging her boring boyfriend, happily off-camera. It might just be this movie’s particular specificity in the story of my romantic development, but perhaps it really is a funny, gay, feel-good movie that can help you believe in love again. Or, if not love, than just the power of a nice set of pecs on the dance floor.

Did I mention don’t pay him any attention? Ah yes, I did.

November 21st, 2008

Sometimes I feel like I’m not doing my duty here. I mean, abortion after those first few posts about opera I’ve managed to suppress most my classical-music-nerdiness for the sake of broader appeal, erectile but now maybe I’ve dug myself a new hole with all this talk about Murder, She Wrote, The Golden Girls, and Betty White. I mean, if that’s not narrow appeal, I don’t know what is. So I’ve been trying to think of something a little more “now” that could bring fetch to the masses, or at least bring the masses to fetch. Maybe this’ll even bring the Germans back.

It was while pondering this that I realized that the last thing I am is “now.” My last non-classical iTunes album purchases were Shanghai (Twelve Girls Band) and You’ve Stolen My Heart (Kronos Quartet and Asha Bosle, so it only half counts). Of the top 10 tracks on iTunes I have heard of three of the artists (Beyoncé, Kanye West, and Britney Spears) and I have heard only one of the songs.

Luckily, this song is #1 at the moment – Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)” (I’m glad that the convention of enclosing the song’s hook in parentheses after the actual title to make it more recognizable is still used) and not only had I heard it, but I am dimly aware of the youtube phenomenon that has sprung up around the video; it’s no Soulja Boy, but still…..

There is of course the original and the SNL sketch featuring Justin Timberlake. (watch that one before it goes down) Then there are the hundreds of people on Youtube who have taken it upon themselves to do homáge to the rather catchy choreography, and of these this one is undoubtedly the best. (if you have to verify your age don’t worry: his outfit’s just a little skimpy. here’s a mashup with the original video and without the age restriction, but with some annoying annotations) If you can’t get enough of this guy, there’s the local CW news team’s story about him, as well as his appearance on the Bonnie Hunt show. (wait, really? she has another ill-hated TV venture? I could do a whole MSW/Betty White-style post about her….no! must….be………..mainstream……..ackkkkk)

Besides the good Mr. Mercado’s famous rendition, here are my other personal picks:
- alone in the snow of Alaska. Finally, a mention of Alaska without Palin!
- a pretty talented ensemble….much more together than the corps of some ballets I’ve seen (no! must be mainstream!)
- this rather confusing video which took this and made it into this. Apparently this is not the first song to receive such treatment. NEWSFLASH: This meme might have actually BEEN THE INSPIRATION FOR THE VIDEO. What?????

OK, I have to stop now. That discovery made the meta-ness of this whole experience way too creepy. But before I go, might I suggest the following for protracting Youtube’s obsession with this song:

- a video with the song overlaid on clips from LOTR. Also acceptable: new lyrics to the song which describe Frodo’s journey.
- perhaps a video featuring other things on which one can put a ring, capitalizing on that pun
- to return to the underlying meme, videos of Beyoncé’s choreography with different music. Might I suggest this, which is of poor quality but is in fact of my own creation? (spoiler – it’s not me dancing…)


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhu7K606uuM

(It breaks down a bit in the middle, but don’t leave without seeing 1:14 to the end: I worked hard on that final cadence. HARD.)

I’ll admit, at the end of this little experiment I’m right back where I started: with the lame classical music jokes. Oh well….I should probably just stick with what I know……….

Verbing weirds language

November 20th, 2008

As I noted in my previous post by the use of the neologism “Netflixed, dentist ” I am a huge fan of the popular online DVD rental service. In fact, since now we don’t have cable, my only outlet to popular video entertainments are the DVDs from Netflix, Netflix’s own online video player (where I’m getting my Murder, She Wrote and Xena: Warrior Princess fixes), southparkstudios.com for, yes, South Park, and Hulu for more shows of the now: 30 Rock, The Office, The Simpsons, Fringe, Kath & Kim, The Daily Show/Colbert.

So for you inquisitive minds, here’s what I currently have at home:

High School Musical 2 [thanks, mysterious enabler!]
Ugly Betty: Season 1: Disc 1
Magnum P.I.: Season 7: Disc 2 [this is for you, people, you'll see....]

and in my queue:

Star Trek: TNG: Season 2
That Touch of Mink
Murphy Brown: Season 1
Monty Python’s Life of Brian
All of Me
Troy
Poirot (Volumes 6-12)
Adaptation
A Clockwork Orange
Star Trek VI
Divine Madness
Oscar
Kentucky Fried Movie

and the list goes on….something like 100 items, most of them dreck. When the fetch happens, you’ll be the first to know. For example, this amazing clip from MSW that I watched this morning:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWm7XuHEZLA

p.s. bonus points for anyone who can name the source of the subject line. No googling!

Call it Zubin,

November 3rd, 2008

’cause it’s so Mehta!

Get it? Because it sounds like Meta?

I forewent the LOL here ’cause I got to make this quick, meningitis gotta get up tomorrow at 5. hahahaha.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVm_HJ_ax8o

Found here, through kottke.org. The other ones have even more meta goodness……

Really…..wait, really?

November 2nd, 2008

I just saw this and didn’t exactly believe it. But then, dentist it wasn’t so overly funny as to be obviously fake, phimosis so I was confused. Then I saw this article from the BBC, web and they say it’s real. So I think it is.

Personally, I think a joint hunting trip with Palin and Sarkozy would be a fascinating cross-cultural experience for both parties. You could also take the opportunity to make some jokes about the French demeanor, perhaps working in a joke about French military victories. (I know, I know “did you mean ‘French military defeats?’” hahaha I get it because no one else would ever use “I’m feeling lucky” except for those Google jokes. Humor!)

Don’t forget to vote if you haven’t already…..we’re almost there! I don’t know if I’m more excited about the real possibility of an Obama win or for this whole thing just being OVER. But the end of the candidates’ SNL spots and the genius of Tina Fey’s Palin does give me a bit of pause…….

Oh, and if you’ll forgive me my flights of fancy, I’m thinking of returning to an unfortunate habit…..yes the LOLs. Look, people didn’t replace the first letter of my last name with L as a joke to make my initials RL. (and if you don’t know my last name, I’ll give you a hint: it’s not Amfao. But that would be funny. Think about it……..)

Betty White, how will you enhance the current political discourse?

October 10th, 2008

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfrx-cbGjtc

(In case you’re bored by dialogue, skip to 0:45 for the real meat of the clip.)

OK, look. I was researching Betty White for my next post (don’t laugh, you’ll see why) when I notice that she won an emmy for her appearance as herself on The John Larroquette Show (which I don’t remember either). My interest picqued, I thought I should Netflix the DVD so I could watch the episode in question (not an unprecedented move, as you’ll see), only to find that the show didn’t make it to the home video market. I shouldn’t have been surprised, but there you go. I mean, in a world where even Designing Women only gets a lousy single “best-of” DVD, and we’re supposed to be satisfied with two such discs of Cybill, I shoudn’t expect much. So after some digging on the YouTube I found what’s probably the highlight of the episode. The only backstory one might need know is that the episode is a spoof of Sunset Boulevard: John is writing Betty’s memoirs, and they’re staging this musical and recasting her character as central. It’s still pretty bad, but I’m glad that someone else had the idea for a musical and actually went through with it…….

Now I just need to find some clips of her hosting the game show that won her a Daytime Emmy: “Just Men!”
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxL7MKsGoPo

This is slowly turning into Betty White Week here on the Fetch. Or perhaps, with this clip, it has become the Year of Betty.

This actually may have made me laugh harder than fucking Groban.

Thanks Andrew!

A Truly Golden Moment

October 9th, 2008

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfrx-cbGjtc

(In case you’re bored by dialogue, skip to 0:45 for the real meat of the clip.)

OK, look. I was researching Betty White for my next post (don’t laugh, you’ll see why) when I notice that she won an emmy for her appearance as herself on The John Larroquette Show (which I don’t remember either). My interest picqued, I thought I should Netflix the DVD so I could watch the episode in question (not an unprecedented move, as you’ll see), only to find that the show didn’t make it to the home video market. I shouldn’t have been surprised, but there you go. I mean, in a world where even Designing Women only gets a lousy single “best-of” DVD, and we’re supposed to be satisfied with two such discs of Cybill, I shoudn’t expect much. So after some digging on the YouTube I found what’s probably the highlight of the episode. The only backstory one might need know is that the episode is a spoof of Sunset Boulevard: John is writing Betty’s memoirs, and they’re staging this musical and recasting her character as central. It’s still pretty bad, but I’m glad that someone else had the idea for a musical and actually went through with it…….

Now I just need to find some clips of her hosting the game show that won her a Daytime Emmy: “Just Men!”

I Love Pants Roles, but This?

October 6th, 2008

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OK, so here’s the guy I briefly mentioned earlier. It’s sad, really, because even hand-picking this little gem and writing this post while it’s encoding and uploading will still not produce anything as funny as this blog’s first post, and I’m beginning to suspect that nothing will be.

I will say that watching this in class was completely priceless. I should say that this particular class was a great class overall, one of my favorites, and that we watched this on a day when a bunch of people were going to be absent and so we couldn’t do our normal thing and it ended up being fabulous. I learned a lot about French Baroque opera, but also I learned how to suppress abject laughter at something which was supposed to be teaching me something.

If you don’t want to watch the whole thing, skip to some part in the middle and just bask in the trashy dragness. (I know trashy, honey: the one time I did drag I was instructed to pull my leg hair through the fishnets) I’ll highlight some salient points:

0:20 – Lights come up and singing starts. I really love his voice
1:17 – tongue flickering? prancing? gotta do something during those dance breaks
2:10 – hissing, followed by the best laugh EVER. Unbelievable. It’s also at this point that the choreographer clearly ran out of baroque gestures.
3:10 – after an ECU (why I sometimes hate watching opera on DVD) his two boy-toys come and stage to dance and pose with him. It’s at this point that I would break all semblance of period and just have them do a can-can or something rather than pretending. The singing is OK here, but the choreography is pretty blah. Maybe it’s because the camera is tracking them so closely, but it seems really futile to make all these little circles on stage…
5:23 – I can’t watch this moment enough. I can’t help but think of when I was in a production of Hansel and Gretel and right in the middle of the dress rehearsal one of the violists had a panic attack, ran up to the stage through the wings the stage, and for a good minute the show desperately tried to go on around her before she tried to jump back into the pit….it was sad, but priceless.

Now I think this is a fabulous production, and a really worthwhile DVD to rent if you like French Baroque opera. And really, this wouldn’t be as funny as it is if the entire production wasn’t so stellar (and he really is good at what he does) but godDAMNit I just love it.

p.s. the link below the video is for facebook, since it can’t embed the videos. blech.

Finally

September 30th, 2008

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No, I haven’t seen There Will Be Blood, but thankfully pop culture quasi-ruined the ending for me. (also ruined: Rosebud and To Serve Man)
Something. What do you know that after such an un-fetch weekend (oh it was fine, find
just nothing jumped out at me in that way) this would fall into my lap so unexpectedly. Literally a random google search I thought would point me in the direction of another video I was looking for brought up this little gem.

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Florence and Charo, will you be my new mommies?

There Will Be Milkshake Jokes

September 26th, 2008

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No, I haven’t seen There Will Be Blood, but thankfully pop culture quasi-ruined the ending for me so I could enjoy this clip. (also ruined: Rosebud and To Serve Man) I’m also glad youtube wasn’t around when I was a child: God knows how many songs from the hit shows I sang to myself, not to mention the Hepburn impersonations…….

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