Archive for December, 2012

‘I got my cock in my pocket
And I’m reelin
Down the old highway
I got my cock in my pocket
And I’m reelin
Down the old highway
I’m gonna whip it on you honey
Taste your blood today
I got my cock in my pocket
And I’m shovin it
Through your pants
I got my cock in my pocket
And I’m shovin it
Through your pants
I just wanna fuck
This aint no romance
I got my cock in my pocket’

This Iggy and the Stooges track is new to me. What I like about it is how it reminds us of the potential for the ‘masculine’ ‘active’ expression of sexuality to be available to anyone. Detaching the ‘cock’ from the body and putting it in one’s ‘pocket’ is what many pop stars, men and women, do when they perform. For the phallus, as Iggy, a doyenne of ‘feminine’ ‘passive’ display knows so well, is far bigger, harder, and more powerful than that pink delicate fleshy member most men carry round in their trousers. I got my cock in my pocket, and I’m reelin’ down the old highway.

Happy New Year #QRGMassive !!

 

gayiconbc

 

Ben Cohen, Calendar Pin Up, anti-homophobia activist and Rugger Bugger, posted this delectable photo on twitter, just before Christmas. He added that he is a ‘gay icon and proud’. This was quite a clever, if a little catty move. And was in response to an interview in the press with Louis Smith, Charleston dancing, hair coiffeuring, boxing winner of this year’s Strictly Come Dancing. The issue at hand is Louis’ disavowal of the ‘gay’ bit of his status as new gay icon on the block. Like many ‘straight’ metrosexual men, especially models, pop stars and sportsmen, Louis is happy to receive attention and adulation from wherever he can get it. But he is less delighted by some of the sexual undertones of this attention. The Telegraph reports:

‘After admitting that he has become a “gay icon”, he adds: “As long as gay people can see the line, and that I fancy women, that’s fine. I don’t want to be put in a difficult, uncomfortable situation.”’

These comments, also discussed in the gay press, received a lot of angry responses from (mainly white middle class) gay men. They seem to feel upset that lovely Louis is ‘playing’ with their affections, but unlike Cohen, refusing to play ball. Not only is Louis NOT an anti-homophobia activist like cuddly Cohen, he also has the audacity to throw a bit of a spanner in the works of gay men’s wet dreams about him. This ‘gay icon’ is doing it wrong!

But I have quite a lot of sympathy for Louis, and all men who identify as straight in our tarty, self-loving metro culture. Life is confusing enough, as it slowly dawns on them that they are as narcissistic – if not more so – as their gay brethren, that hair gel and moisturiser matters to them too, without being told they are also expected to be ‘up for it’ with homos as well!

Yes, metrosexuality is ‘well gay’. But more importantly it marks the ‘end of sexuality as we’ve known it’. And so gay men have no right to put the new generation of men pin ups in a ‘gay’ box. These boys won’t be fenced in and don’t have to be! So maybe the older gay generation are just jealous.

As for Cohen, I think he gets away with being an out and proud ‘gay icon’ because he looks more ‘butch’ than Louis. He seems to be maintaining his ‘straight’ status more successfully than pretty Smith, despite the oiled up calendar shoots and naked exhibitionism the rugby player displays. The irony is of course, that another reason the gays go easy on Cohen is he looks just like a gay bear with his gay beard and big muscles! He’s one of them!

But I vote for Louis in this stand off. We will be seeing a LOT more of him in the  future. He may be a gay icon, but mainly he is his own metrosexual man.

WeekendX390

MetroAuntie is knee deep in mince pie mix at the moment, so this will be a short post. But recently I have been doing some important research to find the most metrotastic video of 2012. After a lot of deliberating I have decided that Carly Rae Jepsen’s Call Me Maybe deserves the gong.

Why? Because it kicked off a whole reem of metrosexy men (and women) dancing and singing into their hairbrushes for the delectation of youtube viewers.

The military and sports teams came up with some sterling performances, but my favourite homage to the pop sensation is by the (topless) guys at Abercrombie and Fitch. However the original version is actually pretty great too. The stud who is the object of Carly’s ‘gaze’ reminds me of the model in that classic Levis ad from way back. And the twist to the tale at the end of the video reminds us that one reason metrosexuality is here to stay, is that it is perfectly able to send itself up. It doesn’t really need people like me to point out how homoerotic and sexually ‘confused’ (or sophisticated) it is.

Happy Christmas everyone!

article-2249647-168D2348000005DC-172_634x409http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2249647/EXCLUSIVE-How-little-joy-Romeo-Beckham-kept-Burberry-team-entertained-modelling-job.html

My favourite aspect of this now well-documented story about little Romeo Beckham modelling for the (sometimes dismissed as ‘trashy’) label Burberry, is that now it is NORMAL for a boy to follow in his father’s footsteps, not as a footballer, but as a pin-up.

You Go Romeo!

brad-pitt-for-chanel

Get out the red carpet, it’s awards season, dahlinks! Over at Grooming Guru HQ, a veritable metrotastic emporium, ‘Lab Series’ has won the male beauty – sorry I mean male grooming – brand of the year 2012. Not being one for facial scrubs, I know nothing of this product. But I have an award for metrosexy brand of the year myself.

In the autumn, I discussed the merits and problems with Brad Pitt‘s appearance as the new ‘face’ of women’s perfume, Chanel No. 5. Overall I thought this marriage was almost as successful as Brangelina.

And now I am going to come all out and say that Chanel is my metrosexy brand of the year. The tagline for Brad’s ad is ‘Inevitable’. And the reason Chanel is my winner is that Brad for Chanel underlines just how inevitable it is that one day an iconic ‘manly’ movie star would represent an iconic women’s perfume. That in time, metrosexuality would permeate the whole of our culture. Chanel are not being pioneers here. With men already having been ‘cover girls’ for Men’s Health, Gay Times, X Factor, Nivea for Men, etc, the ‘passive’, ‘feminine’ man model is nothing new. But for such a huge brand as Chanel to embrace the zeitgeist secures metrosexuality as THE ‘brand’ of masculinity today.

And, whether you love or hate Brad’s TV advert, you have  to admit that if something can be spoofed it usually means it’s not a total failure. And this spoof by an American TV show is really metrotastically funny!

http://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/2012/10/19/team-coco-conan-spoofs-brad-pitts-chanel-no-5-ad/1644589/

So well done Brad and Chanel, you’re QRG’s Metrosexy Brand of the year 2012! Pass me the Babycham I am going to celebrate in style.

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“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day and you shall begin it well and serenely.
 
This was the view from my hotel room when I spent a night in Perpignan during my French holiday in October. Waking up to the sight of the foothills of the pyrenees, dusted lightly with snow on the higher peaks, made my heart soar. I am not in such a picturesque spot anymore. And I long for some beauty and joy to start my mornings, as the shortest day approaches in England. As darkness prevails.
 
But I have my methods for letting go and keeping on. Tai chi, therapy, friends, mindfulness. So, with what sometimes feels like a gargantuan effort, I am able to take Emerson’s advice and begin tomorrow ‘well and serenely’.
 
You might have thought I had this down pat by now. If you had read one of my ‘juvenalia’ poems from around 20 years ago, entitled, yes, Let It Go. The younger, earnest, anxious me wrote:
 
Let It Go
 
Start again,
Breathe slow.
Ease your pain, let it go.
Find a way through the darkness,
Explore the worst that you know.
But in the end, you must
Let it go.
 
It’s taken me two decades but I think I am learning to do just that.
 
 

I’m always wrong.

I am in the feotal position on my bed, at least I think it is my bed, I am not quite sure the world is spinning somewhat. He is standing over me packing his bag, an army type kit bag he would always cart around when we were an ‘item’. He is telling me that he is a ‘misogynist’ and that he would like to gather an army of ‘misogynists’ against me. I am presuming he means to finish the job. It was less than an hour ago that he stood outside my front door and said ‘I’m going to kill you’ and then he got past the door effortlessly - I know, I am one of those women who doesn’t totally lock herself into her own home, what a slut- and stormed upstairs to drag me around. and grab my throat, and kick me in the back – all those cliches that as far as I’m concerned have nothing to do with gender and everything to do with the animal in us all. I’d have done the same given half a chance, given a different viewpoint from my own pathetic masochism. so anyway he said he had this army of misogynists or he wished he did and then when he’d finished packing his kit bag he told me we could play ‘courtroom’. and I knew what he meant, because before, when it was all intellectual conversations and that Nirvana Live at MTV cd he gave me and when he fucked me on the pavement on new years eve down an alley way that I am still worried might have been for an old people’s home. he’d given me that book. Games people play by eric berne. and one of the games was courtroom. games perverts play. and we played courtoom later. nobody won of course. this is courtroom:

Thesis. Descriptively this belongs to the class of games which find their most florid expressions in law, and which includes “Wooden Leg” (the plea of insanity) and “Debtor” (the civil suit). Clinically it is most often seen in marital counseling and marital psychotherapy groups. Indeed, some marital counseling and marital groups consist of a perpetual game of “Courtroom” in which nothing is resolved, since the game is never broken up. In such cases it becomes evident that the counselor or therapist is heavily involved in the game without being aware of it.

Courtroom” can be played by any number, but is essentially three-handed, with a plaintiff, a defendant and a judge, represented by a husband, a wife and the therapist. If it is played in a therapy group or over the radio or TV, die other members of the audience are cast as the jury. The husband begins plaintively, “Let me tell you what (wife’s name) did yesterday. She took the . . .” etc., etc. The wife then responds defensively, “Here is the way it really was . . . and besides just before that he was . . . and anyway at die time we were both . . .” etc. The husband adds gallantly, “Well, I’m glad you people have a chance to hear both sides of the story, I only want to be fair.” At this point the counselor says judiciously, “It seems to me that if we consider . . .” etc., etc. If there is an audience, the therapist may throw it to them with: “Well, let’s hear what the others have to say.” Or, if the group is already trained, they will play the jury without any instruction from him.

Antithesis. The therapist says to the husband, “You’re absolutely right!” If the husband relaxes complacently or triumphantly, the therapist asks: “How do you feel about my saying that?” The husband replies: “Fine.” Then the therapist says, “Actually, I feel you’re in the wrong.” If the husband is honest, he will say: “I knew that all along.” If be is not honest, he will show ‘some reaction that makes it clear a game is in progress. Then it becomes possible to go into the matter further. The game element lies in the fact that while the plaintiff’ is overtly clamoring for victory, fundamentally he believes that he is wrong.

After sufficient clinical material has been gathered to clarify the situation, the game can be interdicted by a maneuver which is one of the most elegant in the whole art of antithetics. The therapist makes a rule prohibiting the use of the (grammatical) third person in the group. Thenceforward the members can only address each other directly as “you” or talk about themselves as “I,” but they cannot say, “Let me tell you about him” or “Let me tell you about her. “At this point the couple stop playing games in the group altogether, or shift into “Sweetheart,” which is some improvement, or take up “Furthermore,” which is no help at all. “Sweetheart” is described in another section (page 107). In “Furthermore” the plaintiff makes one accusation after the other. The defendant replies to each, “I can explain.” The plaintiff pays no attention to the explanation, but as soon as the defendant pauses, he launches into his next indictment with another “furthermore,” which is followed by another explanation—a typical Parent-Child interchange.

“Furthermore” is played most intensively by paranoid defendants. Because of their literalness, it is particularly easy for them to frustrate accusers who express themselves in humorous or metaphorical terms. In general, metaphors are the most obvious traps to avoid in a game of “Furthermore.”

In its everyday form, “Courtroom” is easily observed in children as a three-handed game between two siblings and a parent. “Mommy, she took my candy away” “Yes, but he took my doll, and before that he was hitting me, and anyway we both promised to share our candy.”

ANALYSIS

Thesis: They’ve got to say I’m right. Aim: Reassurance.

Roles: Plaintiff, Defendant, Judge (and/or Jury). Dynamics: Sibling rivalry.

Examples: (1) Children quarreling, parent intervenes. (2) Married couple, seek “help.” Social Paradigm: Adult-Adult.

Adult: “This is what she did to me.” Adult: “The real facts are these.”

Psychological Paradigm: Child-Parent. Child: “Tell me I’m right.”

Parent: “This one is right.” Or: “You’re both right.”

Moves: (1) Complaint filed—Defense filed. (2) Plaintiff files rebuttal, concession, or good-will gesture. (3) Decision of judge or instructions to jury. (4) Final decision filed.

Advantages; (1) Internal Psychological—projection of guilt. (2) External Psychological—excused from guilt. (3) Internal Social—”Sweetheart,” “Furthermore,” “Uproar” and others. (4) External Social—”Courtroom.” (5) Biological—stroking from judge and jury. (6) Existential-depressive position, I’m always wrong.

——-

extract ‘courtroom’ taken from Games People Play by Eric Berne: http://files.myopera.com/eketab3/blog/The%20Games%20People%20Play.pdf?1355075575

Often overshadowed by its big-pecced pert-assed cousin, Abercrombie and Fitch, the all-American ‘Preppy’ brand Tommy Hilfiger has come back fighting with this metrotastic advert.

And MetroAuntie can’t help but feel warmed in the cockles of her voyeuristic heart.  Partly because the slightly hipsteresque twee yet easy on the eye ad from Hilfiger is a great example of the self-admiring, omnisexual,  metrosexy ‘gaze’. This is what has been blatantly ignored by a recent ‘eye tracking study’ that I linked to on twitter on December 2nd, 2012, saying:

‘plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0047870 … The study this piece is based on on men, women, the ‘gaze’ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9715256/Revealed-women-are-the-secret-oglers.html … only had 52 participants! #BadScience

https://twitter.com/Notorious_QRG/status/274840475255586816

Forget the uptight, homoanxious science academics, we know men love to look at each other and themselves, and so does Tommy Hilfiger!

Today is Little Richard’s 80th Birthday!  I can’t help but hope that Camille Paglia might be celebrating the occasion, with pinocalada and some old 78s. Because Good Golly Miss Molly! if the great ball of fire that is Little Richard isn’t a ‘sexual dissident’ I don’t know who is.

It has been well documented that along with Elvis and maybe even Gorgeous Liberace, Little Richard helped produce the strutting, preening, sequinned phenomenon of Glam Rock. But it’s not just skinny white boys that Richard has influenced. When a couple of years ago, I first encountered the amazing Janelle Monae, I wondered if he might have been her grandfather!

The echoes of Little Richard in Janelle Monae reflect the way that metrosexuality is not just a ‘feminine’ expression of masculinity. It is actually a breakdown of gender difference itself! And men’s increasing flamboyance is best understood in relation to women’s growing ‘active’ and sometimes quite ‘butch’ stance. There would be no Little Richard without Marlene Dietrich, no David Beckham without Suzi Quatro, no Morrissey without Elsie Tanner. Glam men are accompanied by and influenced by and reinforced by Punk Women.

Little Richard interests me for another reason. ‘Black Music’ for want of a better term has a reputation for being ‘macho’ and aggressive, an expression of ‘traditional’ (often meaning, especially in relation to hip hop, violent) masculinity. But thanks to pioneers such as Little Richard, there are some brilliant gender blurring R and B and Hip Hop bands and artists. Do I have to remind you of the narcissistic, sexually ambiguous, lame-clad Prince?

 Or what about the retro, yet metro Outkast?

When I saw Ice T’s great documentary about this history and  ‘literary’ culture of Rap Music, The Art Of Rap, I couldn’t help noticing how ‘self-loving’ a lot of the artists featured were, from their gold chains and nifty trainers to their colourful suits, coiffured hair and the way they courted the camera’s gaze. 

There is another reason to open the babycham, metro lovers and gender benders. Because finally, in 2012, the pathologising term ‘gender identity disorder’ has been removed from the American ‘Bible’ of psychiatry, the Diagnostic and Stastical Manual of Psychiatric Disorders. This news will hopefully please Juliet Jacques who has recently published her final column in her Guardian Transgender Journey series. Her writing has shown that far from being ‘weird’ or ‘sick’, trans people’s experiences, feelings and ideas can be representative of the human condition as a whole. I only hope that the DSM maintains this sensible streak and deletes narcissism from its statutes too. But the problem with narcissism is that it is not possible to separate it into a ‘separate gender’ (though I’d argue our attempts to do so with trans identities fail too). So if we admit that narcissism is not a problem, we are conceding that everyone, men and women and those who identify as neither, have a touch of the Little Richard about them.

And that is even to MetroAuntie, quite a scary thought!

‘What if I should fall right through the center of the earth… oh, and come out the other side, where people walk upside down.’

- Alice in Wonderland