I probably won’t see the movie He’s Just Not That Into You, whether or not it’s a chick flick, but I sure am into this cute little promo video for all the straight guys out there with girlfriends who do want to see it.
The recent finale of “Make Me a Supermodel,” or rather more specifically, the fact that Ronnie did not win, has bolstered my faith in gay humanity.
You know the homos were coming out in droves to watch those boys love themselves week after week. And week after week, polished, hairless gay hero Ronnie Kroell, glowing like a like a spring pig scrubbed in buttermilk, was snatched from the jaws of death.
Ronnie is hot, but not supermodel hot, whatever that is. And he’s nice. And he’s one of those people we hate who will be successful at everything he does. Yet there can be no other explanation than an army of gay well-wishers with cramped thumbs and light hearts sending text messages from far and wide to vote him back on the next week.
I was one of those gays. No matter the options, honestly, shirtless boys will win out every time.
His not winning was one of the few things that gave that show any credibility. I have a hard time feeling sorry for really beautiful people. I have a hard time believing that it’s so hard to walk down a cat walk. But after watching the show, I am willing to concede that there is in fact a skill to modeling. Not a terribly complicated skill, but a skill nonetheless that clearly comes more naturally to some than others.
So, now I can believe that the contestant with the most — a-hem … skill won. As long as Holly avoids talking to her clients, I think she has a long and successful career ahead of her.
There’s a notion in places like Minnesota and Michigan that people in New York are all thin and stylish. “They all walk everywhere, and they’re all gorgeous, and they all dress in black and look fabulous.”
This is a ridiculous myth. And thank god. Otherwise I’d stand out around here like a pimple on Madonna’s ass.
Daily I see plenty of fat people on the subway who don’t know how to dress. My roommate, an apparent slave to the rumors of the Midwest, says, “Yeah, but those are all the tourists.” I might believe that if these people weren’t on their way to and from work.
Yes, New Yorkers walk more on average than people in most cities in the country. Yes, we are not as fat as Mississippians. But the Naomi Campbells and Beyoncés among us are few and far between, at best — even in Midtown or SoHo or the Village.
I saw Sandra Bernhard in an interview going on and on about how New Yorkers have a great sense of style that no other place in the country can match, and I couldn’t help thinking: “What bullshit. Where do you hang out, lady?” And that’s it. Yeah, there is a small class of people in certain neighborhoods in Manhattan — and by “New York,” unfortunately, she of course narrowly means Manhattan — who push the edges of fashion trends. Of course, Bernhard hangs out with these people. In these places. This is the New York she knows.
The New York I know — the New York most New Yorkers know — is a New York of tank tops, Old Navy t-shirts, frayed jean cuffs, house paint-spattered work boots, dirty fingernails, monochromatic business suits with unimaginative neckties and shoes that don’t match the belt, guts hanging out of ill-fitting halter tops.
Nice shoes, though.
OK. No matter what borough they live in, New Yorkers pay far more attention to their shoes than someone in, say, Minneapolis. I’ll give you that. People in this town may have shitty jeans, but they’ll have fierce shoes.
Apart from that, this panacea of fashion is something I just don’t think exists outside of the imagination.
Anyone who tells you otherwise probably did not grow up here and desperately wants to cling to and be associated with an illogical, unattainable ideal. Indeed, most of the people who will tell you this are themselves fat and fashionless.
I am developing a small obsession with a folk musician from Michigan. I hear him all the time. But the problem is I just don’t like his music.
I want to like it. I really do. Critics roundly praise him. Public radio certainly loves him. (Find him on WNYC.org or NPR.org or MPR.org.) And I love public radio. So, there’s something, right?
But I’m just not feeling it. So I must be a joyless freak for not adoring him, I guess.
I bought Jeff his album Greetings from Michigan for Christmas. <!–(Take one look at Jeff, and you’ll see why.) –>The best thing about it is the cover art and the song titles — clever, promising numbers any Michigan nerd would love such as “Flint (For The Unemployed And Underpaid),” “For The Windows In Paradise, For The Fatherless In Ypsilanti,” “Say Yes! To M!ch!gan!,” “Detroit, Lift Up Your Weary Head!,” “They Also Mourn Who Do Not Wear Black (For The Homeless In Muskegon),” and “Oh God, Where Are You Now? (In Pickeral Lake? Pigeon? Marquette? Mackinaw?).” But listening to it in the car driving from Detroit to Saginaw was a rather depressing experience.
But his music always leaves me with the feeling of having been at a high school music recital. There’s always a weird, unconnected brass arrangement or xylophone or something. His voice is cute but … shall we say unadorned. A whisper. A shadow. He uses layer upon layer of instruments and noise, but somehow it comes off sounding as flat as the Michigan sugar beet fields. It all adds up to a unique, very specific, practiced amateurish sound.
A sound I just can’t love.
Sufjan Stevens and the Michigan Militia
But I will continue to try to love it. He’s more than a pretty picture; he’s clearly talented and prolific and musically versatile. Whatever he’s doing is deliberate, and that’s very cool. He is unique. I wouldn’t deny that I respect him. And I’m delighted that he’s getting so much attention.
The bottom line, I guess is: He’s a fellow Michigander — born in Detroit, raised up north. So I remain loyal to him. I wish him boundless success. I hope that I will begin to like his work very soon. And above all, I dream of the day he shows up at my doorstep, having been caught in a sudden rainstorm, his steaming t-shirt clinging to his lean, lithe body, asking me for a towel.
Let’s get you out of those wet clothes, shall we, Mr. Stevens?