Thursday, June 21, 2007

Homosexual gowns by Adrian

A while back, I received a response here from Howard Gutner, author of Gowns by Adrian: The MGM Years 1928-1941 about my ten fave Joan Crawford dresses post. I had stated that he stupidly ignored Adrian's homosexuality in his book. But I decided that the implications of his response were too important to leave in the comments section and that they needed a rebuttal. So I've reproduced his comment here:

"I'm Howard Gutner, the author of Gowns by Adrian, the person who so "stupidly" ignored Adrian's homosexuality. If you'll note the title of the book, it's Gowns by Adrian: The MGM Years 1928-1941. It's NOT a biography, or a look at his private life, but an examination of his WORK at MGM.

Got it?"

Yeah, Howie, I got it. So perhaps I should have replaced "stupidly" with "homophobically."

First off, if the book was not a biography nor a look at his private life, then one wonders why Gutner felt compelled to mention Adrian's marriage to Janet Gaynor (p. 191) which, by the way, was a marriage of convenience as Gaynor was gay too. Second, cordoning off one sphere of life as public and another as private is one of the oldest homophobic tricks in the books. Not only does it ignore how sexualized work environments are; it also suggests that nothing of sexuality goes into work. A very good book could have been written about how Adrian's homosexuality impacted his designs. But unfortunately, Gutner decided that that book would have been a bit too heavy for America's coffee tables.

And really, folks, at the end of the day, could a heterosexual man have created THESE:

I thought not.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Luka in Croatia

There was a pop music lyrics category on Jeopardy today (which I swept, thank you very much). But one of the wrong answers/question was a beaut.

A: My name is Luka and I live here.

Q: What is Croatia?

So sing, y'all: "My name is Luka/I live in Cro-a-atia!"