December 20th, 2005



No, the "*" isn't a W. It's an S. I'm talking about the government agency so much in the news these past few days.

It's not on the topic of domestic surveillance per se, but I keep finding myself thinking about a conversation I had with my old pal who works for N*A now. It was a conversation in which he tried to justify, using that old blackmailability argument, the screening for homos the agency did (& surely still does) in its hiring process. If you've got this thing in your life that's so scandalous, the notion goes, it could give foreign agents something to use against you. He did seem to buy that an entirely out-to-the-whole-world queer was no threat by that line of reasoning. But he was never near with me on the selectivity of investigating this particular potential point of blackmail.

The alternative example I gave him was that of the heterosexual married worker who's cheating on his wife. Wouldn't he be every bit as blackmailable? Maybe even moreso, depending on his circumstances? This is what I've been contemplating. I don't recall his ever having a decent response there. But he had/has a belief in normalcy that might well make him think me facetious, comparing a taboo perversion with what happens in regular people's lives. (I won't tell the story about his security clearance being held up, though the reason behind that delay seemed at least as important as whether he s**ked d**k.) (Look at me, [faux] cleaning up my foul language!)

I've gotta say, though: you KNOW this stuff in the latest set of revelations (such as we know of it) isn't the only spying "we" are doing on U.S. citizens. I mean, c'mon. Who you kiddin'. Jeez-oo-Pete. Criminey.

in-house Desert Dykes

Found myself tonight with no Netflix in the house & the only library DVD used up & the gift VCR spitting out the tape (so no gift Celebrity Poker tape tonight) & a bowl of noodles in a mixed-mushroom bechamel sauce I'd wanted to eat in front of moving pictures. So there was the copy of Desert Hearts I bought a good while ago. I watched the director's commentary, which was pretty dull as those things go (she talks a great deal of it about fundraising for the film, which is okay and all, but enough is enough), and the trailer, and now I want to watch the movie through again one of these nights. Even though I've probably seen it 5 times on video by now.

I remember being excited about going to see it when it came out ('86). Went with a handful of folk to a theater in DC we had to search for --- the West End something? --- and I seem to remember we all liked it. I know this baby dyke did. (Baby bi-? Not as pithy, fer sure.) I think I'd heard ahead of time that it had a sex scene that took place in broad daylight with actual sound, and in which you could maybe even figure out pretty much what the women were up to, wonder of wonders. Stevie called the film Desert Dykes, and that's remained my affectionate nickname for it ever since.

On one hand I chuckle at how bold and "out there" the movie seemed at the time; on the other hand, I mourn that the flood of lezbo flicks since has slowed to a trickle, if that. But it was the beginning of something. Some spell of dyke cinema. And I was more than willing to look past a few moments of awkward screen acting and forced dialogue to buy into the picture. Plus the setting (in time & place) was great to be in, completely apart from the lesbian element. That kitchy cowboy decor stuff I do dig. The casino interiors, too, and the exteriors... Transport ya, they do. Or me, anyway. And the songs worked so well in it. (That's one interesting thing the commentary reveals: in the end the rights to the music cost a full quarter of the movie's budget.) Some of the tunes:
"Leavin' On Your Mind" -- Patsy Cline
"Rave On" -- Buddy Holly
"Get Rhythm" -- Johnny Cash
"Blue Moon" -- Elvis P
"Be Bop A Lula" -- Gene Vincent
"Wondering" -- Webb Pierce
"Crazy" -- Patsy Cline
"He'll Have To Go" -- Jim Reeves
"Old Cape Cod" -- The McGuire Sisters
"It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels" -- Kitty Wells
"Cry" -- Johnnie Ray
"I Wished On the Moon" -- Ella

It's no deep analysis, nor even a well put-together reminiscence, but that's a little of what I'm thinking about that movie tonight.