I can't remember a time when I didn't love Bea Arthur. I was too young to watch Maude, but I was instantly in love with The Golden Girls. I think I honestly just wanted them all to be my grandmothers. How awesome would it be to go to Miami for the weekend to stay with Blanche, Dorothy, Rose, and Sophia. I am sure this was not every kids dream. But it was mine. I didn't have some Harold and Maude type fantasy. I was gay after all. But I just wanted to hang out. Talk about current events. Make fun of celebrities or people in general. I loved that sarcastic and humorous outlook on life. And The Golden Girls might have been the first show that I remember to feature gay characters. There were other shows of course. But not many. Dorothy's old friend visits and turns out to be lesbian and falls in love with Rose. Blanche's brother visits and comes out to her in his golden years. And of course the very first episode features a gay housekeeper. My favorite character was of course Dorothy, played by the amazing Bea Arthur. If there is one celebrity I could go back in time to hang out with or have dinner with, It would probably be Bea Arthur. She was hilarious and sarcastic. But also brutally honest and warm and sincere. She loved her friends and her family more than anything. But she understood a good joke and could never be mad at anyone for too long. She was sort of my role model. And she also got me in love with the female comic. Gay guys have always flocked to the female comic. There just are not that many out gay male comedians. At least there weren't in the '80s and '90s. So these comics were all we had to relate too. And honestly, they were a whole lot better than any of the gay male comics that I had seen or heard about. Female comics were sort of outsiders just like the gays. Bea Arthur probably opened the doors for a lot of these women. At least the TV comic. There would probably be no Roseanne without Bea Arthur. I seriously can't imagine my life with either one of them.
Today would have been the 330th birthday of one of my favorite composers, Georg Philipp Telemann, if he hadn’t tragically passed away in 1767. What follows here is a brief history of his life which isn’t entirely a made-up lie.
Telemann was born in Magdeburg, the capital of the wild and swinging Duchy of Magdeburg, Brandenburg-Prussia, into an upper-right middle of center just-under-the-yellow-bit class family. His parents were Heinrich “The Tickler” Telemann, deacon at the Church of the Holy Spirit & Wafflehouse in Magdeburg, and Maria Haltmeier, daughter of a clergyman-turned-female impersonator (most famous for his rollicking version of O, Thar’s a Terryble Byrn in Mye Nawty Place which he’d perform while re-enacting the signing of the Treaty of Bakhchisarai in a particularly saucy fashion involving a few busty courtesans, a trained parrot and some offensively-molded birdseed sculptures).
Telemann's father died in 1685, leaving Maria to raise the children, protect them from their grandfather and his birds, and oversee their education. Telemann studied at the Altstädtisches Gymnasium and at the Domschule, where he was taught the catechism, Latin and Greek, and American History (then a very short and easy class). At age 10 he took singing lessons, studied keyboard playing, and learned some tips on how to make perfect pancakes for two weeks with a local gourmet organist. This was enough to inspire the boy to teach himself other instruments (recorder, violin and zither), start composing, and dabble in making his own syrups. His first music pieces were arias, motets, some freestyle rap and instrumental works, and at age twelve he composed his first opera, Sigismundus, a drama which told the story of a young man who was eager to see a woman naked but was thwarted by having acne and a reputation at school that he was a “total fag.” The opera was not a success.
GWAR or Joan Rivers, at the moment I don't know who I love more. GWAR has always been near and dear to my heart as hometown RVA homeboys, familial connections notwithstanding, and as general criminal art-students against society, popularizing songs with lyrics like "this is your ass/ and I'm in it" and proliferating blood-stained concert tees as "you had to be there" tour souvenirs (including, ladies, your white undergarments which will forever be a faded shade of pinkish-red a.k.a. your "GWAR bra"). Like the fiercest of Drag Queens wielding a gaudy bauble of accessories, milady Joan Rivers, on the other hand, never fails to hypnotize me with her keen wit, fathomless fashion sense, talk show know-how and Dot Matrix/lady-robot realness in Mel Brooks' Spaceballs; I'm pretty sure I've loved her my whole life. But what happens when Gwar meets Joan Rivers? The answer is: everyone wins! Don't you just love that she thanks God for GWAR's Scumdogs of the Universe CD release and that she dressed from head to panty-hosed toe in rich reds. This is how I prefer to spend my Sundays, ya'll. Check it out: