Jonny Approved: Man I Feel Like a Woman
This week’s update starts with a heartfelt apology for the absence of last week’s edition. My personal computer went on the fritz for several days, leaving me feeling naked and afraid, lost and befuddled, hopeless and helpless. Of course, there are countless alternatives and solutions for churning out an edition, but they were no match for my endless excuses. Alas, here I am on President’s Day, finally putting some words down as appeasement to my adoring fans. I’m considering writing a few “standby” updates just in case it happens again. If news outlets can get away with writing “in memoriams” too quickly just to get them on-air, I certainly can get away with composing a few crisis preparation newsletters. And luckily some facts will never change, no matter the time and date. Halo Top ice cream will never taste good. Austin traffic will always be a nightmare. Jonathan Taylor Thomas will always be a heartthrob. Velvet Hammer will always be the most fantastic beer to drink as a gateway to serious injury and poor decisions. And no major news channel will ever have to use the obituary for Betty White, as she is immortal.
Read: Fergie sure has had a tough week. It seems most new memes and jokes on Facebook revolve around her awful rendition of the National Anthem at the NBA All Star Game on Sunday. Another day, we’ll talk about my feelings about the National Anthem itself, but she did take a difficult song and made it into . . . something else? It has certainly been a comedian’s dream scenario to come up with jokes regarding the ridiculous performance, but I have seen several comments and posts referencing Colin Kaepernick. I’m all for a great joke, but I have discovered over many months that many people have no idea where the Kaepernick protests originated and their true meaning. It’s easy to simplify situations and to avoid the deep complexity of a person’s intentions. Certainly Kaepernick could never be summed up on Twitter or Meme, but this is much of the coverage we get bombarded with. I would encourage you to read a moving article from the New York Times Magazine linked here:
This piece provides a bit more nuance regarding Kaepernick’s decision to take a knee and how he has represented himself during his banishment from the NFL. And a note here about the NYT. You usually get a handful of free articles a month from the site before you have to start paying. Keep in mind how much money you might spend on a cocktail at a hip bar, or even a lunch with friends. Cut back a bit and give your money to worthy news outlets that are focused on reporting and long-form journalism. And consider giving not only to national outlets, but local media sources as well. Your money provides you access to great coverage that digs deep into stories to give various perspectives. It’s money well spent.
Listen: Jessica Williams is one of the hottest women on planet Earth. And this physical attractiveness is multiplied by her absolutely hilarious personality. On the podcast 2 Dope Queens, she and her pal Phoebe Robinson banter about their lives, chat with special guests, and give new and up-and-coming comedians a chance to deliver some solid stand-up. The stand-up can be hit or miss, as is usually the case, and the special guest segments can sometimes bog down. But this podcast is not to be missed due to the incredible chemistry between Williams and Robinson. No subject is off limits for the duo, which makes this podcast rather edgy at points. No complaints here, because the comedy that ensues is worthy of parking on the side of the road to get full belly laugh experiences. Seriously, drive safely if you have this podcast on while driving . . . the tears from laughter might lead to poor visibility.
Watch: RuPaul and her Drag Racers are all the rage these days. I seem to be the only queen in Dallas who doesn’t attend a weekly watch party and reference catch phrases in normal conversation. And it’s not that I don’t like RuPaul. I find him absolutely entertaining and I LOVE DRAG QUEENS. But, a mix of not having cable and not caring to watch television leads me to a major gap in understanding the latest news on the show. Though drag queens are always finding ways to innovate (our own local diva, Jenna Skyy is a classic example of unbounded creativity), the foundational ideas and themes have been steady in drag through the decades. Perhaps one of the most important documentaries regarding the drag scene and the gay lifestyle in general is Paris is Burning. I tend to force friends to sit down and watch the amazing piece of history regarding the “Ball Scene” in 80s NYC. The concepts and catch words like “shade”, “reading”, “werk” and “yaasss queen” fill the movie, giving a great perspective of the longevity of ideas and jargon that still seem fresh today. The movie is full of hilarious moments and personalities, but multiple viewings give a much deeper view of the struggles of gay African American men fighting for self identity and freedom of expression. As Black History Month moves towards its culmination, I encourage you to check this movie out on Netflix. A truly moving tribute to spectacular men living out loud and proud.
I hate to drag myself into this: The latest craze on Facebook is to utilize your photo to generate an image of what you would look like as the opposite sex. I guess at times it can be funny to see poorly rendered images of your college buddies as middle aged women, but I would argue that there is an easier way to find out how you look as another gender: DRAG. I for one have never been shy about donning a dress and wig for the sake of a good cause or a good laugh. My first appearance in drag was at Baylor in Roxy Grove Hall, where I won the Mu Phi Alpha Drag Show as Janet Reno. Honestly, I didn’t put a ton of effort into it, but apparently my rousing number of “Stand by Your Man” impressed the judges panel. Keep in mind, this was Baylor in the early 2000s, on campus, with music professors as judges. Thankfully we didn’t get shut down by Robert Sloan and the Baptist Brutalists. Since then, I have worn variations of women’s garments for Halloween and charity events and had a blast each time. But perhaps the greatest moment of my gender-bending was for a friend’s birthday. Stephanie Krall declared that she had always wanted to take an old-timey photo and as the birthday girl, part of her dream was for me to be a saloon girl. Visual proof is here today that I made a damn good saloon girl and I had great legs a few years ago. True friendship knows no bounds.