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Posts Tagged ‘Poker Face’

Don’t Mess With Idina!

June 27th, 2010 2 comments

Yikes! A silly post that I wrote about Idina Menzel last night while wasting time in front of the TV elicited some of the nastiness comments I’ve gotten.

Interesting. I’ve written about very sensitive stuff, including abortion, and generally gotten respectful disagreement. Granted, my tone here was snarky — but it was mostly a joke, people. I don’t really think Menzel believes her son can dream about unicorns, and really, does it matter? There’s hardly a lot at stake here.

Don’t insult celebrities, or their fans will come after you. One even criticized my parenting, questioning my decision to leave my kids home with a sitter when, he claims, there were tornado warnings in the area. I’ve done my share of bad parenting, but if there really were tornado warnings I’m guessing the concert would have been called off. Oh, well. It’s not like I let them sail around the world, or anything.

And for the record: Read the previous post, and you’ll see that I did like her music (even “Poker Face”), and the way she dealt with some of her more obnoxious fans (who knows? maybe they’re the same ones who wrote me). She was even kind of sweet about it, obligingly singing a quick “Happy Birthday, Anniversary, and Anything Else” and telling the story about her visit to the hospital to deal with broken ribs.

But I defy anyone to listen to her random musings and tell me how she gets from A to…some non-contiguous letter.

Hmm….is there a future in gratuitous celebrity attacks? Does Liza Minnelli marry gay men?

Idina Menzel Knows Nothing About Cognitive Development

June 26th, 2010 10 comments

On Thursday evening, David and I left our two kids with a babysitter and a few flashlights (we’d had a major storm that took out our power, knocked down a branch and shattered our lamppost), and headed off to see Broadway and Glee diva Idina Menzel at the Mann Music Center, an outdoor venue that hosts all kinds of stuff every summer.

OK, she can sing — well enough to make the members of the Philadelphia Orchestra wonder why they spent countless thousands of hours studying incredibly difficult instruments only to be back-up to a (pretty clever) cover version of “Poker Face.” (To her credit, Menzel, who studied at NYU, really did seem to understand and appreciate the talent behind her; she thanked them profusely and endlessly.)

She should have done more of that, and less of her incomprehensible, meandering, and self-absorbed stage patter. At her best when she sparred with idiot hecklers in the audience — just the right mix of pissed and playful — she otherwise rambled about various and sundry aspects of her — as she knows you surely know — amazing career. Most of the time I had no idea why she was putting one thought next to each other. I felt as though I was being subjected to live broadcasts of random neural firings.

You wouldn’t expect such a person to be a good songwriter, and Menzel isn’t. Or at least she should never be permitted to write another lyric. She sang one of her self-penned dance hits, Gorgeous, which has a shamelessly catchy pop hook, but features these wince-worthy words:

When all of the beauty turns to pain,when all of the madness falls like rain, as long as we crash and we collide, we will be gorgeous you and I.

Well, it could have been worse. As a proud and often surprisingly irony-challenged parent, I’m reluctant to criticize others for cooing about their kids. But her paean to her infant son, Walker, was enough to make me want to call the Department of Human Services. I could imagine her belting out the song she’s constructed to her helpless child, drawing screams that she probably mistakes for the adulation of her fans. And she was singing about his dreams, which are supposed to have included such storybook stock characters as — wait for it — unicorns.

OK — the kid is still an infant, about nine months old. He’s not dreaming about unicorns. Menzel, apparently, can defy both gravity and neuroscience.

Lady WordinEdgewise Visits the (Not so) Sunshine(y) State

March 3rd, 2010 No comments

In my previous post, I wrote cheerily about developments in DC and Maryland. Meanwhile, here in Florida matters are considerably less cheery. I’m down here with the kids for a short vacation. Right now, they’re at the zoo with my parents, while I’m wrapped in ice after apparently rupturing a muscle this morning on the tennis court– which caused much full-throated gloating among the seniors: “See? It can happen at any age!” Last night, I became the last one on my block to finally see Avatar (3D, of course)1 Afterwards, I ventured to a nearby gay bar here in Melbourne, there to see, first-hand, the effects of second-class citizenship.

Florida’s laws are among the most gay-hating in the US: No adoption (although this law is under review in the state courts), no employment protection, and an especially broad constitutional amendment against any type of relationship-recognition for gay couples. But what do you expect in a state so backward that it’s among only three that don’t require booster seats for pre-schoolers? Shoulder straps around the neck will do nicely, thanks!

And the kids might be smoking in those unboostered backseats, too. The choking plumes of smoke that almost bowled me over as I entered “The Cold Keg” reminded me of the state’s legislative foot-dragging in yet another area. I  had walked in on some kind of poker night, with two oblong tables peopled by the dysfunctional gay and lesbian version of my parents’ sex-segregated poker nights. I could say a great deal about this sad lot, but one example will do: a forty-something lesbian in a Metallica tee shirt, with a hairstyle that made the mullet seem a high-fashion statement. Other than that, the bar seemed not to have sensed the passage of time, with depressing wood walls, a few sorry, hanging lights, and no real sense of decor.

At least the jukebox was state of the art. When the second-form Lady Gaga hit “Bad Romance” issued forth, the patrons joined in song. (Wouldn’t “Poker Face” have  been the more obvious choice, btw?) OK: Some things, it seems, are Gay Universals. When the Lady Parade then continued with the inexplicable country sensation Lady Antebellum, I realized that it’s now “all lady, all the time.” I was half-expecting “Lady Marmalade” to follow.2 So maybe this blog needs a new name (see title of post).

As I neared the bottom of my first and only drink, the bartender approached me and asked the usual, friendly questions that the job demands. When I told him that I was in Florida with my kids, the issue turned to adoption. He reminded me that gay adoptions were illegal in the (No) Sunshine (for Gays) State, and then related a conversation he’d had with family members, where he’d defended himself by saying: “I’m gay but I’m not a pedophile.”

Yikes! I don’t know any gay person who’d feel the need to add the qualifying part of that sentence, which somehow suggests that the listener (and the speaker) might have reason to think that gays are pedophiles. But I don’t know many gays in out-of-the-way places in such homophobic states, either. There isn’t one linear gay rights movement, and last night’s visit was a depressing reminder that in some places full dignity and equality are far off.

But even here, there are glimmers of hope. On the otherwise dismal bulletin board, there was a neatly typed request for donations made by the local high school’s Gay Straight Alliance. (Yes, I did wonder whether the lack of a hyphen between gay and straight was simply poor grammar or a more disturbing distancing between the gays and their not-quite-comfortable straight allies.) Perhaps even in the remotest areas of the cruelest states, better things are only a generation away.

  1. What a visually stunning film! The plot was OK, if derivative of Pocahontas, until the final chapter which culminated in a tiresome Marine general, encased in a giant robot suit, facing off against the gone-native protagonist, in a battle that for some reason reminded me of Cameron Hodge’s last-stand from an old X-Men comics plot.
  2. “Hey lady!” “What?” “What lady?” That lady?” No!” — Funplex, the B-52’s.