Monday, September 28, 2009

Girl Goddess #9

http://people.lis.illinois.edu/~cajenkin/images/GirlGoddess9_1996.jpg

I've reviewed another Francesca Lia Block book. This one was comprised of nine different stories, and I'm going to review the four that I read and reread the most. The good news is that I did have fun rereading and snarking. The bad news? I've got Love Potion #9 stuck in my head.

Girl Goddess #9

This story was written in a zine format. You remember zines, don't you? They're what girls with something to say did before we had blogs. This one's called Girl Goddess (and is the ninth issue, hence, Girl Goddess #9) and is written by two girls who call themselves Lady Ivory and Alabaster Duchess. Their faux names and their zine name come from song lyrics of a (thankfully fictional) singer, Nick Agate. In this issue of Girl Goddess, the gals explain how they got started and how they got to meet and interview idol Nick Agate. But first, an intro to our girls.

Alabaster Duchess describes her hair as "ebony." Her least favorite things are people who eat meat, people who are mean, and people who make fat jokes. Between this and the detail about how one day after school, some boys made fun of Alabaster Duchess's figure for being "too womanly and voluptuous," I'm seeing less punk rock Vargas girl, and more pale, tubby goth kid.

Lady Ivory is incessantly quirky. Her favorite things are "dancing around [her] room in [her] silver platforms from the 70's, reading poetry, having picnics in the backyard when the moon is full." And she's dyed her hair so many times, she doesn't even know what color was originally anymore. God, Lady Ivory, how many times did you rent Garden State and Eternal Sunshine before you got your delightfully quirky persona down pat?

May I present, Alabaster Duchess.

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And Lady Ivory.

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They write a letter to one of their favorite authors who passes their zine on to someone who knows Nick Agate. Eventually they get to meet him and interview him for their zine. How to describe Nick Agate, whose life ambition is to one day be described by Rolling Stone as a latter day David Bowie? Think the ego of Kanye West, the pale sunken chested allure of Sid Vicious, the sensitive pussitude of Connor Oberst. He features midgets, naked children, jugglers, and dancing trees at his concerts. He's also got pierced nipples and a tattoo of Venus on his back. And if you're wondering how we know these asinine details, yes, he did give his interview topless. At this point, the only thing that makes him less assy than he could be is that there's no detail about his tattoo having implants.

The girls ask Nick Agate about his position on drugs. Nick: "Let me put it to you this way, my body can handle a whole lot of shit. My veins are like gold-plated...My gut is like a crystal cave." Nick, baby, have you been listening to your personal physician again? Dr. Conrad "Seriously, baby, I can prescribe anything I want!" Murray can't write poetry for shit.

After the interview, Nick Agate's gorgeous, pale skinned girlfriend (Celeste) comes in, and since she makes Edgar and Johnny Winter look swarthy, our girls stop idolizing Nick Agate and get massive girl-crushes on his galpal and start to realize how douchey the world of rock stars is. I envy them for their moment of truth--even Tootie on the Facts of Life got one when she realized she spent every waking moment idolizing a member of the Jackson family whose greatest claim to fame in the 00s wouldn't be a huge memorial in death, or bringing sexy back to the Superbowl, but getting voted off Celebrity Big Brother.

I myself wouldn't realize how truly unworthy of my time rock stars were till my late teens...not till the dawn of reality TV when I got to watch Leif Garrett wrestle Vern Troyer on Celebrity Big Brother, or when I saw Ozzy Osbourne go through the bowel movements of an aging constipated bulldog for his lost Viagra tablets.

Celeste and Nick:

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Words to live by, (Nick Agate) "I just want to write songs that make people's flesh start dancing on their bones without them even realizing what's going on. I want to create something to take you into the fuckin' solar system." Hey, it's fifty percent less douchey than, "If I heard [my album] and it was made by somebody else, I would go to the bathroom and take a shit, because I would be scared." (Yes, that's Kanye.)

Rave

This is written as a memorial piece to a girl that the nameless protagonist knew in high school. Our protagonist sang in a kiddie rock band until he stopped being cute (so I guess this is what happens if you have a Toddlers and Tiaras type mom, but you're not a girl). In his post Menudo days at a high school, he meets a hot girl who's a rock star groupie. They both feel like freaks, him because he used to be a kid star, and her because of all her rock star sex. Even though he would never tell her what to do, he hates that she has sex with all these rock stars who (in his opinion) aren't good enough for her. He secretly loves her and wishes he could rock her world. Years later, now that he's writing the story, he finds out that she overdosed when she was only seventeen.

Worst dialogue ever?
I said, 'You're so soft,' and she said, 'I have a special beauty secret. Rock star body fluids.' 'No way, Rave,' I said. 'By touching you they're getting their power,' and she just looked at me. Her eyes got really wet.
Rock star body fluids. I haven't been so skeeved since the time I read that Michael Jackson used to refer to ejaculate as "duck butter."

A snapshot of our two young freaks:

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Dragons in Manhattan

Tuck Budd is a young teenager in Manhattan who has two mommies--Izzy, a sexy six foot tall redhead, and Anastasia, who's very quiet and short-haired. They do socially relevant things like watching the play Angels in America and acting out parts of it in Central Park, and going to the shrine at Saint John the Divine to cry over the people who died of AIDS. But one day Tuck freaks out when she goes to a real school and gets teased, wanting to know why she doesn't have a dad like everyone else. She does some research and finds a baby book in Izzy and Anastasia's closet that contains a postcard of a hotel in San Francisco called the Pink Gingerbread. Tuck steals some cash from her parents and flies to Frisco to find herself and her father.

She meets a cast of characters and to make a long story short, she learns where she came from. Back in the day, Izzy was a guy with gender identification issues, named Irving Rose. But a guy who wanted to be a woman and was attracted to women. (Sigh. I blame this book for all the skeevy guys who, when I tried to blow them off with, "I like girls!" responded with, "Cool, I'm a lesbian trapped in a man's body!") Irving Rose met Anastaisa in high school. Anastasia was a lesbian whose girlfriend was forced to move when her parents found out. So, Irving Rose asked Anastasia out and told her he was in love with her and wanted to be a woman. The two of them ended up getting married and conceiving a baby (Tuck) after which Irving Rose got surgery and became Izzy.

Incidentally, when Tuck got home, she gets no hide-tannin' for stealing and running. away from home And neither a a hymen check nor a drug test were in the works (either Izzy and Anastasia are super progressive or they just haven't read up on their Go Ask Alice).

Pixie and Pony

Pixie and Pony have been friends for years, and tonight is prom night. They, and their third friend, Pony's "BFF" Mini go to the prom, drink a lot, and fuck their beaux. Pixie reminisces about how Pony never really considered Pixie her "best friend" even though she always wished they could be best friends. They try really hard to be cool and quirky. Like on Pony's thirteenth birthday they have a pig party (make a pig cake, silk screen pig t-shirts) and on Pixie's birthday they have a peach party.

Anyway, basically Pixie feels that she's a hanger-on in Pony's way cooler life because Pony always has official best friends which change about as often as Pony changes lip glosses. At the end, Pixie says that she wishes they could be best friends. Pony replies, "'Best friends?...We are sisters.'" Well, that explains why you and your other best friend in elementary school stole Pixie's lunch bag and made her cry and why your first choice activities all involved your "real" best friends.

Pixie, I'm going to tell you the same thing I tell all awesome but overlooked girls with hot, bitchy best friends. I told it to Veronica when Heather Chandler dubbed her Pukeahontos at that awful college party, to Amanda Seyfreid when she decided to take a role playing second banana to Megan Fox, and to Thora Birch when Scarlet "I Reinvented Curves" Johansson got all those magazine covers post-Ghost World and Thora got bupkis. And that piece of advice is: diet coke covers the taste of Drano perfectly. (How come only Klepto McStealy listened?)

And scene! Expect California Girls! by the end of the week.