Yo I wrote about PRIDE for Hustle and Flow, check it out if you want some words from me on standing up next to our LGBTQ+ sisters, brothers and siblings.
There’s this really great episode of BTVS (I mean… they’re all great, though, aren’t they? Well, except for maybe this one piece of shit extravaganza:
Altho, can I just say that Buffy’s hard Ke$ha look is slammin-outrageous here and I’m fully locked in on it?) Anyway, so there’s this great episode of BTVS Called “Lovers Walk.” It’s the one in which Drusilla dumps Spike so he comes back to Sunnydale, kidnaps Xander and Willow and forces Willow to do a love spell so he can get Dru back. MEANWHILE, Xander and Willow have been having an intrigue, and when Oz and Cordelia finally track down their respective significant others to save them from Spike, THEY’RE KISSING! KISSING I TELL YOU! Those sluts!!!!
Then Cordi falls through some rickety old steps onto, like, a fucking railroad spike and Oz, Willow and Xander have to deal with that because Buffy is busy fighting some demons or whatever, but Cordi ends up ok tho she tells Xander to fuck off, and Oz is like totally containing his werewolf rage when Willow tries to apologize for breaking perfect, darling, sensitive, smart little Oz’s heart.
But this is my favorite part of the thing, the crucial detail, the little hamfisted touch that they sprinkle into every episode to drive their point home because we Americans sometimes need help connecting the dots: Spike at some point mentions that Drusilla left him for a Chaos Demon. A CHAOS DEMON! Those clever little pieces of shit in that fucking writer’s room.
What better metaphor for affairs of the heart is there than a Chaos Demon? Because no matter whether you’re at the beginning or end of an affair, who dumped who, who’s chasing who, who wants to bang who but SHOULDN’T, those core feelings like you’re out of control, that you’re totally possessed by a force you cannot understand, they show up. They take hold and fuck your life right up. You’re not yourself - either in a good way or a bad way or just no way at all. You probably make a bunch of bad decisions, maybe you hurt someone you love, maybe you cheat, you’re just possessed. Possessed by a demon who, apparently according to the Buffyverse, has antlers, wears a bespoke suit and oozes slime everywhere.
Heh. I mean, I MEAN. SLIME. SUIT. HORNS. DO YOU GET IT YET PEOPLE DO YOU GET IT?!?! COME OVER HERE SO I CAN HIT YOU IN THE HEAD WITH THIS SLEDGEHAMMER!!
But also, like, demons are SCARY. People, relationships, new shit breaking or forming or frothing around in its own primordial juices, it’s fucking scary. Nobody wants to be the Cordelia, literally getting broken. Nobody wants to be the Spike, so possessed with reclaiming what is his he loses sight of who he is. But that’s what starting something new means: making yourself vulnerable to the fact that you very well MAY be the Cordi, the Spike. You may very well end up being Oz, stoic and withdrawn, thinkin’ real hard about shit that feels fucking awful. You could be the Angel and Buffy of this episode, wanting each other and pining for that moment of oneness that you simply cannot ever have. In fact, chances are pretty fucking good that you’ll end up one of those sad sacks of angsty shit by the time the thing you’re drilling leaves you for someone better looking or who has more money or what the fuck ever. So it’s scary. Because who wants that?
But, you know, chill out for a second. Because you know what, you’re fine. Cordi gets better, and moves to LA and eventually bangs Angel I’m pretty sure and though he may be a dullard who is always doing shirtless tai chi next to a FIRE despite being a VAMPIRE and fancies himself a slick detective, Angel is a HUNK and a BEEFCAKE, and go Cordi, get that shit girl with yer giant boobiez and perfect face and completely perfect popular girl personality. And she’s kind of a better person for her wounds. You could be the Oz, who takes Willow back because he decides he just misses her and his pride isn’t worth the misery. OH YOU SWEET LITTLE BOO BOO!!! You could be the Spike who, in the end, realizes that Dru left him because he had lost a piece of himself, he had become a different man than the Spike Dru originally fell in love with. That’s some complex, adult shit, and you know that bleached out Billy Idol bitch got in his car and went looking for her so he could front with her and pretend he hadn’t changed (side note: if someone you know super well tells you you’ve changed, you have, you should probably just accept it). You could be the Buffy, who, once she’s gotten that velvet-and-satin-clad wheel of smoked gouda out of her head, basically saves the world and then goes on to, like, SPOILER ALERT, live in Italy and run a huge team of slayers and fly and shit. She becomes a total badass is what I’m saying.
We hurt and we leave scars, and once we heal from the ones left on us, we’re better, richer, more complex, more compassionate, more empathetic, we are more beautiful people. It might not be worth it to just be closed to things. Be safe, take care of yourself, do what you need, but consider an open door from time to time if things feel scary.
At this point you should probably be wondering if I’m writing this to you or to myself. Once Ke$ha gets in the mix TWICE, you know I'm being serious.
ANSWER: BOTH! I benefit from this shit too! “Dear Diary, please help me be less of a self-obsessed nightmare human who can’t leave the house without dangly earrings even if she’s wearing fucking sweatpants and can't have a normal conversation without having an anxiety attack.” I mean Jesus H. Fucking Christ, already. Get a grip.
No seriously, though, things have gotten totally out of hand and I have no idea who the fuck I am right now. The Chaos Demon is messing with every single one of us.
Anyway, so, in lieu of doing any hard work on myself and trying to figure some shit out, I’m just going to be super immature and drown my FEELS in hot, gristly music all weekend. Join me, won’t you? I promise I won’t get my oozing slime all over you, though I may ask you to touch my antlers.
Friday June 15
Welp, ya heard? It’s Pride month, and this Saturday is the Pride parade, the culmination of all of the events and shit that lead up to that big glittery, be-winged situation. Pride events begin to accelerate leading up to the parade, so here’s some shit we got:
Drag it Up Portland! Guess what it is? It’s a drag show! I know, I wouldn’t have known either! It’s at Pot and Pat Kitchen on Forest Avenue. Yeah, I have no idea what that is either. Is that because I’m not a part of the gay community? Maybe? Probs? Whatever, this looks fun.
SPACE Gallery has the Outright Prom, whose theme this year is Queer Heaven. Go read the description at that link, it’s goddam gorgeous and I want to go to there. Plus? Costumes encouraged! Just like in my daily life! Love it.
PCMH has A Big Queer Variety Show, which looks to be a sweaty, lipstick-caked soiree involving drag queens, music and comedy. Sarah Violette is running this thing, go get some of that HARD QVEEN’s perfection (the royal kind, not the drag kind... I don't think Sarah does drag).
Over at Flask, they’re doing a Pride version of their Friction Friday dance party. One assumes that this is where you’ll end up once you’re finished being “good people” at whatever party or show you attend.
Non-Pride events include Five of the Eyes, Mirth, KGFREEZE and Added Color at PHOME. For all you metal types who are totally, like, down with the gays but who can’t deal with dance music because you’re so fucking metal, go to Geno’s for Feral, Infernal Coil, Toxic Cross and Nycterent. Or, potensh, get thee to Bri Lane with The Very Reverend, Salem Wolves and The Body Electric at Empire. I don’t know from Salem Wolves, but the rest of that lineup is TOIT, yo!
Saturday, June 16
Go to the parade! It starts at noon, it’s on Congress Street, and may I suggest Sagamore Hill as your drinking spot because they have a lovely patio right on the parade route and also they kick ass? Yep.
There are a lot of Pride events going on after the parade, including the little Deering Oaks festie thing, which has a stage and music but they tend to import from out of town.
Later, I’d suggest going to see This World Has Bees, the second of the bands that have the word “Bees” in their band names here in Portland, a very small but respectable niche. They are at Genos with Wait, Glacier and Weighdown. I don’t know any of those bands and you probably don’t either, so, hey, great opportunity to OPEN THE DOOR TO SOMETHING NEW EVEN IF IT IS SCARY! See, I always have a point.
The insanely talented (and, not to objectify her, but, like, HUBBA HUBBA SHE IS SO GORGEOUS PLEASE HAVE ALL MY BABIES) Katie Matzell is at OLS with the Amarantos Quartet. Katie’s music is just really feminine and contemporary if that makes sense, and she’s a little unintentionally sultry like a Norah Jones type.
Marimba Cabaret, though…
OK MY BEAUTIFUL BABIES WHO ARE LIGHT AND LOVE, be safe, be kind, feel deeply, don’t delay. It’s Pride weekend, so create safe spaces (you should always do that) and be conscious of appropriation and bigotry and touch performers or people in costumes only with consent, ok? And sing it with me if you know the words, which I know you do: tip your bartenders and never ever no not ever don’t do it not even once! I love you and I want to be inside of you. No I mean like flaying your torso and crawling right inside, Tauntaun style. Chunky.