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Shane and Alice – by Audrey Wallace

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Oh Wow!!  It’s Shane and Alice from the hit Showtime series ‘The L Word’!  Two of the most entertaining characters from the edgy and provocative show, based on the fictional lives of sexy gay chicks living in WeHo! I can totally relate to Shane’s boyish charm and sure wish I could live through my 20 & 30’s again just to be more like her.  Alice is FUN with all caps!  Although her high-pitched smeary voice initially raised my skin, she always posted up right next to her bestie Shane, while they both tried to manage the dysfunctional swirl of women at their fingertips.

No need to push through all the bad acting in seasons 1-4.  Seasons 5 & 6 wrap up the series in a smart and interesting nutshell.  Enjoy one, sometimes two, lusty lesbian sex scenes in each episode.   And check out the view of pretty faced, vibrant women with nice bodies, especially those of characters Bette (Jennifer Beals) and Tina (Laurel Holloman), who also raise a darling daughter together in the show.  I inevitably found my attraction turned to an androgynous character named Dylan, played by Alexandra Hedison (Jodie Foster’s new wife in real life).   Her smooth voice pours out of her sexy mouth, and her light brown eyes make my knees buckle.

Set in one of Los Angeles’ most enchanting neighborhoods, the cast is just as sunny, thrilling, and bright.  The entire crew elevated the bar for Lesbian Film & Series Makers, and painted a new picture in my mind of whom my ideal woman may one day be. I am smart enough to know, however that such a person may turn out to be just as imaginary as the groundbreaking Showtime series!  Check it out now on Netflix.

Old Fashioned Print

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Take a look and enjoy some nostalgia. Before smart phones, blogs, apps and instant social media updates we all communicated though words and images brought at a different speed. A typewriter reminds us of how tangible communication can be. The typewriter with its noisy clanging, banging, keys and rattling hardware strikes each clean white page and leaves its imprint like a fist striking a bruise on an unsuspecting limb. It is a far cry from the glossy and sleek screens of our many devices, so clean, distanced, impersonal.

  While the instantly available (and disposable) interactions of mass communication have their perks, no doubt, there is something about the permanence of creating old fashioned print, in this tactile and physical way. We get a unique experience using this antiquated machine that demands so much space with its awkward dimensions and weighty metal frame. It consumes our full attention, as it fills our ears, our presence, and our fingertips with the promise of creating something we can physically hold, rather than just scroll through or close with a click. So as you read this blog, on your phone or PC and scroll to the next new thing that consumes your attention, this images asks that you pause for just a second and feel whats under your fingers and have a sensory, human moment.

“King of Pop”

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Much can be said about our fascination with celebrities. We emulate them, idolize them, obsess on the details of their wardrobes and their love affairs. They are somehow both so alien and so familiar; simultaneously as mysterious as a language we don’t speak and as predictable our best friend of twenty years. We may never have met them but we feel we know them intimately.

  It is upon these very public figures that we project our best qualities, they are the heros and princesses of our E Television fairytales. Yet, we also love to demonize the rich and mighty, enjoying their flaws and struggles with the sadistic pleasure of a pack of eighth grade bullies.

  Who captures these contradictions and polarities in sentiment better than Michael Jackson? We may laugh at the absurdity of a MJ impersonator but our reaction says more about our own ideas and presumptions than they do about this controversial man. Do you remember him as a young music prodigy with an angelic voice and dance moves that defy gravity, or as the MTV megastar “The King of Pop,” or perhaps as a criminal and abuser preying on the weak and trusting? In this image, if we look beyond the sparkle on the surface, we can see our own assumptions about celebrity, about a man we only think we know. The truth, like the man, is neither black nor white, but rather an illusion, a construction, a trick we play on ourselves every time we “love” or “hate” a star be it Jackson or Kardashian.

– text by Gwendolyn Guza

Mixed Messages

Model

When I look at this image I get a lot of mixed messages: there are so many cues telling my mind different insinuations that it makes me a little crazy. It reminds me of when I was younger, and I had a crush on a boy (or girl, for that matter) and I simultaneously gave the object of my affection signals of “come get and get me,” and “what? I hardly noticed you are alive.” It is an age-old game, a tug-of-war we all love. I think we get a thrill out of it, for the very same reasons we hate it; the butterflies in the stomach, the adrenaline to the heart, the racing mind that loves to play out the possibilities and scenarios of a hook-up or intimate moment.

            So, when I look at this picture I recall my teenage years of teasing and ever-changing, ever-contradicting signals. Here is why: in one picture we are getting a bombardment of things that tell the viewer “yes” and things that argue, “no.” For example, the silky sexy negligee the model is wearing, it is obviously playing up her natural sex appeal, this not a garment for business or workouts at the gym… this slip of skin grazing fabric is something that is meant for the bedroom, not intended to stay on the body for long. Yet she sits on a hard plywood box, hardly the comfortable bed or inviting sofa that beckons to lovers, it reminds me more of a coffin, a cruel contrast to the softness of the lingerie, or seductive makeup highlighted by the vampy red lip.

Similarly, one could argue that everything about the model, her pose and her body language continue to give an onlooker mixed messages. We have her in the gesture of playing with her long hair, which anyone who has taken Psych 101 will tell you are a common indicator of female flirtation, and sexual interest. So why then does the look on her face say she is indifferent, even disapproving and full of contempt? The lack of smile or sparkle or warmth in her expression clearly doesn’t say what her gestures and come-hither body posture would suggest.

I could go on listing several more ways I feel both invited, and rejected, by the beautiful model that confronts me in this gorgeous photo, but in the end it is just my interpretation. Perhaps, you have your own ideas. I just know that something in me gets a rush, feels that familiar youthful game that comes with the power-play of telling my crush “no,” with my words, but “yes,” with my body language and the wink of my eye. It was always one of my favorite games, because it always felt like I won.

Jesus

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There he is again, we all know him know him when we see him, it’s Jesus. This image, like so many paintings and photos through the ages is dominated by Jesus in his familiar place on the crucifix. And yet, this photo doesn’t seem to be about Him at all. This isn’t an image that asks us to ponder the mysteries of salvation or even to revolt against the perceived hypocrisies of organized religion. Here, the rapture of the artist in a creative frenzy is paramount to anything else.

This image is not about religious response, it is about the moment of excitement we all feel when we witness a rare moment of creation. It is what the devine and the artist have in common: creation. We marvel not only at the end result, but at the process, a sort of magical voodoo that defies most of our understandings. Here we glimpse the ecstasy of that moment, when blank wall becomes living canvas and tells our psyche a story. But it’s a story told in code, and each viewer must decipher it  for himself. Our reaction to the iconography is temporarily irrelevant, it can’t compare to the rush of watching the artist’s vision come to life before our eyes.

-text by Gwendolyn Guza