Well, hello there, dearest Filthy Dreams readers! What’s that? You’re bored after ten-ish weeks of quarantine? Is that how long it’s been?!!! What month is it? I thought it was still March! Or May! Or November!
And I know. I know. It’s just so difficult to be in lockdown, sheltering in place, staying at home, self-isolating, and quarantining, while lying amidst and amongst your tower of hoarded toilet paper and paper towels. How many rolls do you have left? Is it enough? Or have you been wiping with cocktail napkins. I see you! I know you did!
Now, there’s nothing more challenging than being at home. It’s just so hard! If you’re stuck with someone, whether your partner, family, your dreaded roommate, or a random Grindr hookup that never left, you have to be staring at them wondering if there is a kind of quarantine panic insanity defense that will absolve you of any and all violent crimes, like a pandemic version of the gay panic plea. Why shouldn’t there be? A plague seems just as stressful as being hit on in front of trash talk show audiences.
And if you’re stuck quarantining alone, well, then you only have yourself to blame and to entertain you! Try striking up a conversation with one of the inanimate objects in your apartment. Trumpy Bear and I have had some pretty tense political discussions over the past few months.
But, what am I saying? Quarantining hasn’t really been all that insurmountable for me–a COVID-19 survivor. Even over two months after getting sick, I barely have energy to get out of bed or take care of myself. No use being disappointed in not being able to go anywhere if you don’t have the wherewithal to do it anymore anyway. But, please go ahead and scream, “HIPPA!” and refuse to wear a mask in public. I’m sure it’ll just be like the flu for you. Don’t let the sheeple tell you otherwise!
And if you think the quarantine crazies have got to you already, as your face is pressed against your window, begging for the great outdoors, just wait for the warm weather wackos. That’s right–it’s Memorial Day weekend! The official unofficial start of the summer season. And here, you thought staying in was a downer in the cold! What will you do without being able to go to the beach in late May, wading into the frigid waters and trying to pretend as if you can still feel your extremities? If you are so lucky to live where you’re allowed on the beach, how are you going to avoid the most mortifying of this year’s summer accessories? The mask tan line! Gah! And you thought bikini lines were bad!
Now, I know that some of you, faithful and fearless Filthy Dreams readers, will throw caution to the wind. Fuck it, you’ll say! I’m partying anyway! Pop some hydroxychloroquine, the hottest of the new club drugs, and hope for the best! And look, I love fatalistic decadence as much as the next nihilist, but I’ve also had the unfortunate pleasure to see the social media shaming images of bros and woo-girls on the Upper East Side un-social distancing and drinking outside as if Lexington Avenue was Bourbon Street. Hey! I thought partying while the world burned was OUR thing! Ye-uck! These fools are making it look garish and oh-so-lame. Not to mention giving a new meaning to bug chasing.
So for those who don’t want to pal around with the bro bores or beach-bound grim reapers, what is left for us? Day drink and learn to flag dance like Little Edie? Plaster on pancake makeup and give monologues to the mirror? Finally break with reality and give in to psychosis in whatever unique form that will take? All of the above?
Clearly that’s the answer. As always, dedicated Filthy Dreams denizens, we’ve got you covered with seven videos that will help push you into your summer season quarantine nervous breakdown. So sit back, refuse to relax, bite your nails, tear at your hair, scream into the abyss (no one can hear you when you’re self-isolating), and let these videos push you over the edge that you’ve been teetering over for months now:
1. GLA’s Joan Crawford Montage
The sun comes up–I think about you. The coffee cup–I think about you….Is there any song that best represents the process of going berserk, bonkers, bananas, batshit crazy like Liza with a Z’s “Losing My Mind”? If so, I can’t think of one. I know that I love songs that sound as if they could score a mental break, but even just the first few seconds of “Losing My Mind” make me want to run through the streets in a wild frenzy. Something about the combination of Liza’s account of delirious obsession and the disco backing track just tugs at my synapses, begging them to misfire. Well, as if Liza’s music video itself wasn’t a monument to madness, this video tribute to our ranting and raving fairy godmother Joan Crawford scored with “Losing My Mind” is an inspired choice. A marriage made in camp heaven! Yes, I know this was posted a little less than six years ago in a summer far, far away from a pandemic. But doesn’t this just feel like the perfect illustration of our current era? I don’t know about you, but it makes me want to unravel in the way that only the greats like Joan and Liza can.
2. David Lynch FIRE (POZAR)
Ever since watching David Lynch’s 2015 short film FIRE (POZAR) this week after its YouTube premiere, I’ve been daydreaming about long-limbed elk people stiffly dancing around a barren, black, and bleak field with a factory in the background. And I’ll tell you, it is not a calming sight! Despite my distress, shouldn’t David Lynch be the person to whom we all turn in quarantine? Why, he’s already formulated himself as the King of Self-isolation, gracing us with his daily weather reports for Southern California from his dimly lit, chain smoke-filled studio. But more than his future fallback career as a meteorologist, Lynch’s FIRE (POZAR) will send you spiraling off into a demented dreamland in only a little over ten minutes. Written, drawn, and directed by Lynch himself, the film was animated by Noriko Miyakawa with a score by Marek Zebrowski whose name you may recognize as Lynch’s collaborator on Inland Empire and his subsequent album Polish Night Music.
FIRE (POZAR) has more in common with Lynch’s paintings and drawings than his cinematic work (though the two are inextricably intertwined). Like his visual art filled with the enigmatically surreal, the film depicts an alarming vision of desolate landscapes, floating bodies and heads, and any number of mysterious yet deeply unsettling imagery. Wormlike figures fall from the sky, ghostly shadows of hands flow from empty eye sockets, disembodied eyes float through the air, and a violent inferno ravages a house and a tree during a hailstorm. Don’t ask me to explain. And don’t ask Lynch to either!
3. All Of Leslie Jordan’s Instagram
Well…..shit. What’re y’all doin’? If David Lynch is the King of Self-isolation, than our sordid favorite Leslie Jordan has to be the Queen of Quarantine! Don’t believe me? Then take a peak at his Instagram, which features video after video of the actor sheltering in place at first in Tennessee with his mother and now back in California. Unsurprisingly, Leslie’s Instagram has become somewhat of a sensation during these last couple months, and after taking a look, nobody can wonder why. While probably the most talked-about of the posts are his videos of Hollywood gossip (my particular favorite is a tale about that crazy bitch Faye Dunaway comparing Leslie to our preeminent Southern bohemia filth elder Tennessee Williams), that’s not all that Leslie divulges. He attempts yoga on a filthy floor, watches true crime, eats meals out of the pot (I mean, serving dish! I mean, ok, he was eating out of the pot!), and tells family stories, including about a trip to a Burger King in Kissimmee, Florida . It’s just so relatable! I’m proud to be a fellow hunkerdowner!
4. Kate Smith “The Way We Were”
Nothing says I’ve been stuck inside for too long like howling out old standards as loud as humanly possible. And if you’re looking to land that note, look no further than Kate Smith, yes, Kate Smith of “God Bless America” fame. Kate has become a newly minted idol here at Filthy Dreams as her ear-piercing renditions of gospel songs and other classic numbers just motivate us to attempt to destroy our vocal cords in hysterical and overcome zeal. Witness songs like “It’s No Secret (What God Can Do),” in which Kate builds and builds and builds on the volume until finally she reaches a fevered, ungodly, dog-triggering pitch. It’s certainly not a secret now, Kate! And well, what more could you want from a songstress! Perhaps my favorite, though, is this rendition of “The Way We Were,” as she clutches her hands, belting and bellowing out the song with such an unrestrained fervor that you’ll consider risking a COVID-19 infection to visit the doctor after blowing out your eardrums. It’s no mistake she stands posed on a star surrounded by what appears to be pipes or metal bars. It’s as if she’s imprisoned you with her loudmouthed star power!
5. Liberace Music Video and Entrance (1981)
Quarantine presents the perfect opportunity for an amphetamine-fueled obsessive compulsive reconsideration of your own interior decorating, doesn’t it? What else do you have to do? Throw some Adderall into your skull and figure out what you really need in your studio apartment. What’s missing? I know! Luxurious candelabras and chandeliers! Sure, your shoddily built tenement building’s ceiling may come crashing down, but it would be worth it. Where did I learn to covet these opulent and gaudy design staples? From our camp messiah Liberace, of course, whose over-the-top camp apex concert introduction features a flamboyant flit through his home, from the swimming pool to his bathtub to his fur-filled closet (there were more than a few closets in that home!). Naturally, Liberace’s abode is perfect–a heavenly Vegas mix of the lavish and the garish. Beyond the litany of glittering light fixtures, Liberace also reveals just how many piano-related frills he has squirreled away within his house, which he bangs on throughout the introduction. Now, I don’t want to give away his final onstage entrance, but just know that it’s how I plan on entering anywhere and everywhere after this COVID-19 nonsense is finally over–whenever that is.
6. The Donna Summer Special (1980)
Do I even need to explain why you should watch this? I don’t think so.
7. Lana Del Rey Live at Eurockéennes De Belfort (2012)
Oh, Lana, Lana, Lana…our blessed mother sure had quite a week, didn’t she? After ten years of being dragged through the mud by press calling her anti-feminist and declaring that she glorified abuse with songs like “Ultraviolence,” our Lady of the Sad Girls, Cherries, and Beaches finally spewed a decade of rage-induced bile onto social media in teeny, tiny, probably ill-advised letters. Now, I refuse to comment on why the blue-checked righteousness brigade and opportunistic think piece writers, trying to hold on to their jobs before the inevitable lay-off chops, decided it was time to cancel Lana. Come on–we all know what she meant! Should she have written this in her journal and locked it away rather than posting it on Instagram and going straight to bed? Of course! But if she did, she wouldn’t be Lana–or my favorite! And she’s done a good enough job of defending herself by posting on Instagram with captions like “#fuckoff” and calling her rabid fans “little drama stirers (sic).” And for those of you wanting to argue or even worse, virtue signal, don’t even fucking try it! Filthy Dreams is a Lana Slander Free Zone!
What this week’s Lana drama accomplished, though, is pretty much guaranteeing that Lana’s new album, set to be released in September, will not receive the same critical acclaim as Norman Fucking Rockwell! as writers have decided yet again that she’s problematic. It’s as if we’ve returned to 2012-2014, but in a day. A time when if you idolize her, then you’re vilified as well. I mean, I don’t mind. As a fan of other musicians with unrestrained, uncontrollable, and unhinged social media presences like Grimes and Azealia Banks, that doesn’t bother me in the least. In fact, it makes me only like her more!
Since we’ve reverted back to those openly anti-Lana days, maybe Lana should regress to her Priscilla Presley bouffant-ed Lolita look as seen in this festival from 2012. This is perhaps my favorite concert from that era because, well, it’s…um…not so good. Lana understood that if you’re not going to be pitch perfect, at least be shockingly bad! She howls, she grinds, she caterwauls, she smokes, she repeatedly stands off to the side of the stage and moans like a dying animal. There’s something just so subversive about this wrenching performance. It’s as if she’s forcing the audience to endure the entirety of her emotional pain in all of its torturous glory. Good for you, Lana! Make us suffer!
Lots of magic here, but Donna Summer singing “On the Radio” with a sort of vapor wave background was the highlight for me.