Some Like it Not

When I was in my teens I was pretty obsessed with the 1920s. Though the idea of being a flapper wasn’t very akin to my own very by the book follow the rules goody goody two shoes Hermione of Western New York personality and general behaviour, I loved pretty much every aspect of that period in our history (at least, that is, the study of it). I even did a history term paper on it.


And occasionally dressed up for 1920s photo shoots with my little brothers.


With the recent release of the first film of the Fantastic Beasts set, which takes place in New York City in 1926, my renewed interest has brought me to searching the clothing, home styles, and accessories of the time, while listening to my various Big Band recordings. Unfortunately, this means I get pretty much the same subject line and search result no matter where I look…..


The Great Freakin Gatsby.


Gatsby Party this. Gatsby Costumes that. Daisy Daisy Daisy Daisy Blah.


Look, I enjoyed The Great Gatsby when I read it in high school, but it is not the Be All End All of Roaring Twenties Culture and Existence. And I’m really sick of being encouraged to be the next Daisy Buchanan. She was a shallow bitch and you know it.


(I could be wrong . . . I loaned my copy to a boyfriend right before we broke up, and he, like some tightwad jerk who had just gotten dumped for all the wrong reasons, never gave it back . . . so I haven’t read it in a while. But I’m pretty sure I’m right.)


But seriously, there are so many more great options, besides that trainwreck of a high society ‘love’ affair, that we could be using as an example of the time! Here are some of my favourites, mostly fictional, but all worthy. You could plan a party or a costume from pretty much any of these, without even coming near Fitzgerald.


P.S. this shit’s all from memory, so please don’t mind any accidental inaccuracies or blunders:


  1. Thoroughly Modern Millie – Julie Andrews, Carol Channing, and an all around fantastic cast provide a jolly setting with great songs, fun dance numbers, and unfortunately some extremely racist portrayals, in this modern-gal working woman meets high society jaunt and bungling mystery solving romance and story about friendship. I mean, it’s pretty much all those things. There was even a recent (okay, not that recent…2000…that was, like, two years ago, right?) stage production based on the 1967 hit. Raaaaazzzzzzbeeerrrriiieeeesss.
  2.  Singin’ In the Rain. A personal favourite. Follows actors and a production company through the transition from Silent to Talkie. With Romance. And comedy. “Woooots the Big Ideeea?”
  3. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Wizarding World before Potter. With cocoa. I mean, really.
  4. Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. Sexual Tension. Women’s Lib. Good Vs. some very very nasty Evil. In Australia. The seasonal reverse got me really confused until I remembered they weren’t in England (I have trouble deciphering some accents. Sue me. I have hearing loss from standing next to tympani. Allegedly.) Opening credits, btw, look suspiciously similar to the TMM Stage Poster.
  5. Oscar. Oh Em Goodness. It’s so hokey. It’s pretty perfect actually. Stallone. Curry. Tomei. “Not Lisa. The Other one!”
  6. Some Like It Hot. In black and white to hide the ridiculousness of the boys’ makeup. With voice overs because Tony Curtis’ falsetto didn’t sound right. Comedy. Sleezy old men. Romance vs Gold Digging. Music. Gangsters. See-through dresses. And a teensy hint of lgbt+-acceptance.
  7. Anastasia. This Fox (Not Disney, yo!) musical cartoon gave a romanticized, happier fate to the Romanov princess (based heavily on the Ingred Bergman version of 1956), and ends in the City of Lights. Paris holds the key to your heart! (Or it might have just been Dimitri’s hair.)


I could go on, but as we all know, Seven is the most powerfully magical number.


Despite the end of The Noble Experiment, I seem to have an under-abundance of gin. Shame. Bon nuit, mes amis.



Once Upon a Time in All the Westerns

Tonight whilst watching a piece of absolutely brilliant cinema platinum, I came to the following conclusions: 


Moral of all westerns:

All good women are hookers. All men are bastards. Everyone will die an ugly, dirty, and most likely needless death.


I have hardly been an avid fan of Westerns. There was a short period of time when I was in my early twenties when I watched every western on video available at the local library (lot of John Wayne, plus Paint Your Wagons). And I did spend much of my childhood running around barefoot in ankle length dresses and petticoats pretending I was a Prairie Girl. 

But my real exposure to the wonderful world of the old west came during my late twenties when I moved to the west coast. My sister and brother-in-law have lived there for a long time now, and they have a huge appreciation for westerns and old west culture and history.

I discovered the fictional Weird West during their Sunday night games of Deadlands, a table top RPG set during an extended American Civil War, where other worldly abilities and mystical beings exist. It’s sort of like a D&D meets Zombies meets Ghost Story meets Steampunk meets Straight Up Western role playing game. One of these days we’re planning to get our own east coast campaign going.

In June 2010, we took an epic road trip up the California Coast and back down through Gold Rush Country, seeing this brilliant locale of American history first hand. You can read about that adventure here

I learned a lot from these interactions with western history. But it is still only a tiny bit of what there is to be known, a fraction of the knowledge available. What I guess I could say is that I have gathered a greater appreciation for the old west. 


These experiences are obviously incredibly incomplete. More research is definitely necessary.

Thank you and Goodnight.


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