“Lindsay’s hat was not this way—and to me, the hat began with Lindsay. I would like to know which Hollywood stylist put a fedora on Lindsay Lohan’s head because I think that person is a genius. Lindsay first began to appear in hats after the first cycle of her eating disorder, post-rehab, during her lesbian relationship with Samantha Ronson. It was Lindsay’s funny way of saying that she was the femme—because of course Ronson, a DJ with a UK skater-boy thing, would always out-butch her: tight pants, big shoes, greasy hair tucked back, vampiric dark circles. In photos Samantha was always snarling like a tough orphan, though under the soot and freckles you knew she had nice parents. Instead of just wearing lipstick to imitate a woman, Lindsay wore a fedora to imitate a man imitating a woman—imitating, more specifically, a sort of closeted ’50s homosexual whose excessive display of formal masculinity revealed how much of life was costume. On Lindsay the hat said: Yes, I am experimenting, but not in the way you think. Also: leave me alone. This is an essential quality of hats: they announce one’s desire to be unannounced. A hat is an advertisement for a disguise.”
Take yourself, multiply it by 10, add a sprinklez of Cool Potion from the witch down the street, and you will be Dayna Tortorici.
If you missed the Whitney’s expressively surprising, wackily cerebral, wonderfully confounding Blues for Smoke exhibit, I apologize to you 100 times over on your own behalf, because that means you missed Stan Douglas’s Hors-champs. The 1992 film, mounted in the lobby gallery, features four musicians tackling Albert Ayler’s insanely knotty “Spirits Rejoice” (above) shot with two cameras. On one side of a projector screen is the shot of the soloing musician; on the other is a fellow quartet member ‘off camera’ (“hors-champs,” you see). As The Times’ Holland Cotter described it:
“One by one, and together, they pry the piece apart, pump it up, empty it out, add vinegar to its gospel riffs, make its mocking quotation of the French national anthem sound positively sardonic, all the while detonating explosions of fioritura. The music they make is violent, adamant, enthralling; unmistakably political; almost embarrassingly expressive; for fleeting instants, sweet; and from start to finish go for broke, which is where blues goes every time.”
Once in a great while, when I’m having a bad day and can’t manage to giggle uncontrollably at rude internet comments like I normally do, I look back at something that took me longer than an hour to write and feel OK. I wrote this in my last year of college, as a part of a project to construct a narrative of my mother’s life when she was about my age.
All of it is true.
On Valentine’s Day 2011, my mother’s high school boyfriend sent me a love poem.