Sunday, March 8, 2015

Love letter to Divine


So many current events this week. Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery marches AND the 27th anniversary of Divine’s passing.  Today I will write about Divine.

Oh, Divine! What a wonderful hero! The embodiment of so many fantastical qualities and a creative force to be reckoned with, Divine is the mother of modern drag. Drag has been around for centuries, particularly in theatre where men played the women’s roles, yes? The drag scene of the 1950’s and 60’s was still very underground and even criminalized. The act of dressing up as a woman and being in the world was a subversive act, but Divine took it to the next level. Divine blew the roof off of the drag world. Having a large body and not giving a fuck, she subverted the subversive. I mean think about it, people still freak out over bodies that veer from the slim and pretty, look at the backlash to Lena Dunham. People still cling to the dated concepts of linking beauty and perfection. Divine was bringing flesh to the public AND bringing attitude to drag. She was a sexual outlaw, a revolutionary, whether she wanted to be or not. Her truth was so loud and bold, she paved a newer, wider path to freedom of expression, and did it with so much joie de vivre, and made it fun and hot and inspiring and beautiful!!

I cut and pasted this paragraph from Wikipedia, read it and weep with joy:

“In 1970, Divine played the role of Lady Divine, the operator of an exhibit known as The Cavalcade of Perversion who turns to murdering visitors in Waters's film Multiple Maniacs. The film contained several controversial scenes, notably one which involved Lady Divine masturbating using a rosary while sitting inside a church. In another, Lady Divine kills her boyfriend and proceeds to eat his heart; in actuality, Divine bit into a cow's heart which had gone rotten from being left out on the set all day. At the end of the film, Lady Divine is raped by a giant lobster named Lobstora, an act that drives her into madness; she subsequently goes on a killing spree in Fell's Point before being shot down by the National Guard.”

I cannot watch Divine without smiling, or howling aloud, and feeling the urge to mess shit up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Glorious Divine, with the best sense of style, and the most attractive attitude of rebellion, she seemed like the funnest person you would ever want to go to a party with. Thank you thank you thank you for being the epitome of brilliance, a magnificently subversive artist and a pioneer of irreverence, shining so bright and changing the world forever, for the better. The planet misses you.



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