MAD, BAD & DANGEROUS: THE ANDROGYNE (Part I)

MAD, BAD & DANGEROUS: THE ANDROGYNE (Part I)

See these eyes so red Red like jungle burning bright Those who feel me near Pull their blinds and change their minds –          David Bowie, “Cat People (Putting Out Fire)” Who else could portray the Goblin King? David Bowie’s status as the High Avatar of 20th-Century Genderfuck made him the natural choice to personify Jareth, the sinister lord of Labyrinth. It’s a fitting role for an artist who’s been a vampire, a shape-changer and various forms of alien. Regardless of Labyrinth’s kid-friendly tone, Bowie’s seductive presence lends the film a sinister allure. Literally glamour-us, he struts the haunted landscape of the Androgyne… and, as always, Read more »

MAD, BAD & DANGEROUS: THE ANDROGYNE (Part II)

MAD, BAD & DANGEROUS: THE ANDROGYNE (Part II)

It is clear that I must find my other half. But is it a he or a she? What does this person look like? Identical to me? Or somehow complimentary? Does my other half have what I don’t? Did he get the looks? The luck? The love? Were we really separated forcibly or did he just run off with the good stuff? Or did I? Will this person embarrass me? What about sex? Is that how we put ourselves back together again? Or can two people actually become one again? –          Hedwig (John Cameron Mitchell), Hedwig and the Angry Inch It’s no Read more »

MAD, BAD & DANGEROUS: THE ANDROGYNE (Part III)

MAD, BAD & DANGEROUS: THE ANDROGYNE (Part III)

Don’t dream it Be it… –          Frank N. Furter, The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Torrey Stenmark rocking Bowie’s Goblin King – complete with trouser bulge.)  Hidden beauty seems forbidden as well. And because our Androgyne exists beyond conventional gender limitations, s/he appears beyond morality as well. Common folklore presents androgyny as a netherworld where any vice or sin is possible, and while that impression is inaccurate as hell, the image endures. That wolf in Grandma’s clothing offers up a wide array of damnations, especially if – as in Angela Carter’s “The Company of Wolves” – s/he wants more than just a quick Read more »

MAD, BAD & DANGEROUS: THE TEMPTRESS (Part I)

MAD, BAD & DANGEROUS: THE TEMPTRESS (Part I)

Everything that reminds me of her goes through me like a spear. — John Keats Some days, it must suck to be Angelina Jolie. To embody an archetype everybody wants but few people respect. To have photographic parasites crouched around each corner waiting to add the newest chapter to a very old drama: The Innocent, Prince Charming, and the Temptress who stole him away. It doesn’t matter what the human beings inhabiting the lives of Jennifer Anniston, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie do; it doesn’t matter what deeds good, bad or indifferent they perform, or how they get along when Read more »

MAD, BAD & DANGEROUS: THE TEMPTRESS (Part II)

MAD, BAD & DANGEROUS: THE TEMPTRESS (Part II)

She bedecks herself with all kinds of jewelry Like an abhorrent prostitute posing on the corner to seduce men. The fool who approaches her, She grabs him and kisses him, Pours him wine from the dregs, from the venom of vipers — Zohar Sitrei Torah 1:147 The fearsome powers women hold over life and desire seem to have captivated yet terrified men since the earliest days of recorded history. Although speculative anthropologists like Merlin Stone and Margaret Murray proposed a golden age of Goddess-worship in books like When God Was a Woman and The Witch-Cult in Western Europe, the earliest folklore we possess contains brutal Read more »

MAD, BAD & DANGEROUS: THE TEMPTRESS (Part III)

MAD, BAD & DANGEROUS: THE TEMPTRESS (Part III)

You’re not too smart. I like that in a man. — Matty Walker, Body Heat Far beyond the Fertile Crescent, the Temptress and her kin bedeviled frail humanity. The Greek hills, forests and seas teemed with seductive nymphs, bloodthirsty maenads, voracious sirens and savage Amazons. Norsemen spoke in hushed tones of gold-hoarding Rhine Maidens, slaughter-loving Valkyries and the icy halls of Hel. Camelot shuddered under the carnal treacheries of Guinevere, Viviane and Morgan le Fay, while vain Queen Maeve washed Connaught in blood and sent black ravens to bring down Cuchulain. Romanian peasants feared the capriciously vampiric ielles and their mistress Aripa Satanei, Read more »

MAD, BAD & DANGEROUS: THE DEMON LOVER (Part I)

MAD, BAD & DANGEROUS: THE DEMON LOVER (Part I)

But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover! A savage place! as holy and enchanted As e’er beneath a waning moon has haunted By woman wailing for her demon-lover! — Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Kubla Khan “I don’t get this Twilight thing” my friend complained. “That’s not vampires!” She went on to lament the lack of true bloodsucker lore in Stephanie Meyer’s Cullen clan cash cow. “Why,” she groused, “are they so popular?” Why, indeed? As of this writing, the sanguinary Mormon’s sparklepire chronicles remain staggeringly lucrative. According to Locus Magazine, Meyer’s Twilight tales accounted for almost 16% of all books sold in Read more »

MAD, BAD & DANGEROUS: THE DEMON LOVER (Part II)

MAD, BAD & DANGEROUS: THE DEMON LOVER (Part II)

Flesh comes to us out of history; so does the repression and taboo that governs our experience of flesh. — Angela Carter, The Sadeian Woman and the Idea of Pornography Stories of dark tempters are as old as tales themselves. Genesis 6:4 refers to the Nephilim, “sons of God” to whom “the daughters of men… bare children.” This passage has been interpreted many ways over the millennia; even Jewish scholars disagree about the proper interpretation of Nephilim. Various sources trace the word to Hebrew roots meaninggiants, wonders and – tellingly! – those causing others to fall. The Targum Yonatan claims that the Nephilim were descendants of fallen angels Read more »

MAD, BAD & DANGEROUS: THE DEMON LOVER (Part III)

MAD, BAD & DANGEROUS: THE DEMON LOVER (Part III)

What we often call morality is in fact defense… The only morality adequate to the complexities of life is one that has been sculpted in the presence of the shadow. — Thomas Moore, Dark Eros: The Imagination of Sadism In no guise is the Demon Lover gentle. He’s an erotic force of nature. He’ll gobble you up like a wolf, drain you dry and leave you wanting more. He’ll compose fantastic symphonies in your honor before killing you, or lead you “over the mountain” and “into the woods.” His “teeth do brightly shine,” even as he shifts from fox to wolf Read more »