Saturday, 17 May 2008
When is the next stage to Carson City?
Carson: "Hey!" Horse: "Hay?"
Polyclitus, a great Greek writer of antiquity, or maybe Arthur Wilson, said something along the lines of “Proportion is not merely a matter of individual taste, but belongs to mathematical laws of harmony, that can only be broken at the expense of beauty”. Pretty neat, eh?
Carson Kressley: "Lions, and tigers, and bad taste, oh my!"
Now my Japanese wife lived in New York for quite awhile and loved it, and if we could, we’d burn down our apartment and leave for NY now, and if you saw the curtains, you’d know why. Where would I be without my wife? Somewhere better! Er, no, not really. I’d probably be mailing from a rented palm tree somewhere on Saint Kilda foreshore.
Too often, I’ve focused on the wrong things, like the wrong hairstyles, the wrong girls, the wrong people, the wrong places, the wrong pursuits and especially at the wrong time. At least I was consistent.
Tina: "Everyone needs a junk drawer".
Carson Kressley: "Yeah, but a junk wall?"
Curiously, our son has the rock n’ roll hair I wanted when I was fifteen years old, when I imagined if I just had hair like David Cassidy, the Swiss Whizz of rock, then everything would have been really er, cool and happening! Er, no. That was never going to happen with my hair, cos' when grown longer, it looked like Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon, which seemed like a good idea at the time. Sadly at the time, circa 1975 to 1995, I rarely had a good idea that ever worked out.
Thom: "These are total Vegas outfits".
Carson Kressley: "Do I look like Liberace threw up on me?"
Thom: "The jacket looks like the interior of an old Studebaker".
It’s funny that we can so often have wistful hair based and other naff dreams that get everything so terribly wrong. I didn’t know anything about David Cassidy except he had great layers that seemed so controllable and carefree. While my hair reminded me more of the ad that asks accusingly and inquisitorially “Is your hair dry, lifeless and hard to manage?”
"Well is it, punk rocker?"
It's pretty daft now to ever have imagined I could've had a teenage hairum like Dave. Unlike me, Cassidy could get a close up look from under his happy, lightly swept-back fringe at the lovely and edible Susan Dey. A myopic kids vision could blur when thinking about her. Aah yes. Susan Deyyy...
What this all means, is that for a lot of early life, I’ve not had much idea of how to achieve sophistication or taste to put it mildly, in either styling or grooming or even what it meant and just like nearly everyone else. Not as bad as a Saturday night carnie on a bender and sometimes I did manage to achieve an urban ranch hand feel, or a cool man in a suit look, but still, rather clueless and crappy all the same.
So along with my wife’s guidance and er, ridicule, plus some Carson Kressley, I’ve improved a bit. I'm unfortunately reminded of my favourite columnist hero, Mark Steyn, saying how he went along with his kid’s to see a Star Wars festival, in all its excitingly wooden and one dimensional glory. Mark noticed a pathetically shabby looking middle-aged guy, with the grooming often found within nerd land, and thought, gee what a sad looking boob. Until he realised he was looking into a mirrored wall panel.
Carson: "They're definitely one Brady short of a bunch!"
The old wife and Carson too, have helped me go from kerosene to Nivea. Ok, an exaggeration. It wasn’t that bad. The kerosene was top shelf. Some people are hip to the Carson shtick, but some ain’t. Hey, what can ya do?
Retired English Major: “No! I won’t have it! I won’t allow it, I say! I won't hear any bad words against the Fab Five! Those plucky lads meant a lot to the tank regiment when we were held up by Jerry in Wadi Ben Sharif during 1944
If it wasn’t for young Kressley and the other chaps showing the way, in matching casual slacks with an elegant, natural cotton shirt, finished with classic but comfortable Italian loafers, I do feel that we would have all gone barking mad! What with the continuous artillery bombardment for days on end. What! Is that a zebra?”
I no longer wear flippers formally, or pith helmets in the bath, and the days of roguishly sporting casually thrown on plaid Nehru trousers are long gone. I’ve thrown out all my purple tufted bunny suits however much it pained me. And as for the salad days of wearing acid washed velveteen…
Carson: "You look like a million Drachmas".
I really do like what I've seen of Kressley, well, as much as you can like a person you only know from the media. Not only is he a quick thinking sarcastic like me, but because he’s also seemingly kind, fun, funny, witty, courageous, stylish and successful. Plus he’s qualified and has correct cuff lengths. Carson has that show must go on, relentlessly constructive and positive thang, without the phony saccharine.
Thom: "He has no connections at all".
Carson: "He's going to have to sleep with someone important".
Thom: "Immediately! If not sooner".
He’s also triumphed over a rather isolating and sometimes violent childhood at the hands of routine junior criminals, and just because he was different, blonde, small and gay. I was at least three of those things myself, as a somewhat permanently dazed kidoid.
Miles: about his status at college: "They changed my sex from female to not reported".
Carson: "Talk about an undeclared major".
If only I had a Carson all those years ago as a boorish and callow youth, to re-arrange my wardrobe. If only I had a Bruce Lee. But all I had in storage was a cheap baseball mitt, autographed by my Uncle who never played baseball and never played cheap baseball, a toothless papier mache T-Rex and a cardboard box full of Jerry Lewis comics, and not the sophisticated ones.
Kressley has that cheery, up-tempo, naughty charm with an understated thoughtfulness and he’s a sophisticated man. And all kinds of people like and warm instantly to him. But why anyone would allow the people out in television land to see the mundane world of their own home, I don’t now.
“Hey, I love what you’ve done with the tea towels!”
Carson and the groovy Fab Five, are very thoughtful to people, guiding so genuinely and enthusiastically, without trying to change the er, essential person. I like the slogan of “…we don’t want to change you, just make you better”. And on Carson’s book Off the Cuff, it’s “the essential style guide for men and the women who love them”.
Carson bearing gifts: "We're like the five Wise Men. But we're gay".
And Carson's book is a lot like a great Sinatra book I had on Frank and Dean’s essential style tips. After all, the fundamental things apply. As Shirley call me Cleopatra in cloud land Maclaine said, “Frank and Dean always smelled so good”. And like Carson, they sure knew how to focus and concentrate, especially on a woman. And Frank n' Dean were authentic and er, dig, strong, funny, unsophisticated-sophisticated, masculine men, with a bawdy and curiously often light touch. And all that great life long friendship they had, based on common ground and loyalty...and broads.
Dean apparently had his dream of the solitude of a ranch, horses, coloured earth and the sky. Carson's a champion equestrian and has his own rural idyll. Interestin' innit, pally? Ah, if one has the cash...
Carson: "So, why doesn't he say, 'Just donate them to charity?' Those people have enough problems, okay?"
Carson: "You know what? We can either clean this place or sing show tunes!"
Ted: "Show tunes!"
Carson: "You know what I love about Corel? Non-breakable! drops plate on floor. 'I really shouldn't be drinking and cooking". Starts dropping more and accidentally destroys plates."Apparently, when you bang the two together, all their magic power goes away".
Carson: "This is like a Suzy Homemaker vacuum. It would take me hours".
Brandon: "My mom thought my room was nice, for some reason".
Carson: "She did? Did she have a German Shepherd and a cane, too?"
Ok, Carson has the usual soft boiled head of Left Liberal celebrity politics, I know. And if I had to hang around even a semi-permanently hysterical gay scene for too long, I’d maybe feel like I was going mad. Or I'd trained a little too long at my local gym. But one could think of worse company, say like being trapped in a lift with Alec Baldwin and the Clinton's.
But in truth, Carson and the Fab's often come over more laid back, easier going, mature and observant than almost everyone else around 'em. That's why I like them. Ah, editing. If only I had more friend's that could dress and act so well, but still wanted to schtupp women. Maybe I should live on a ranch but there's so few Double Z's in the inner-city.
So yes, however the TV show is tailored for the medium, I very much dig the light hearted, cheerful, adaptive and spontaneous skill that Carson applies; modified and honed from his pretty serious experience. Carson has brought a lot of happiness to people, and in often practical and simple ways. My wife being Japanese, is hip to his whole eye for the dynamic, for ease and of harmony. The fact is, never has a gay man helped more straight guys to get laid regularly. For just that and hip curtains alone, we should all be grateful.
Carson: "I need you to engineer and build your own oven. And then I need you to make some homemade pasta for 300."
Some more great quotes, and being quotable, old sports, is a rare and enjoyable talent.
Thom: Is this the shared space for the both of you?
Miles: It's the common room.
Carson: Yeah, it's pretty common.
Carson: Jeans are like the UPS man. They should always give you a nice package.
Carson: Oh boy. I have all these gay men offering me fudge pops.
Carson: You look like a gay bank robber. "Give us all of your sweaters!"
Carson: They're very Woody Allen and Mia Farrow. Minus the Woody Allen part.
Carson: I always get the people I really like better outfits.
Thom: You do.
Carson: I was like, "I like them. Let's go with Chanel."
Carson: Put the tramp in trampoline.
Ted: I think you've done that already.
Carson: Does it get any better than this? First gowns and now shoes. Later I'll dip you in chocolate.
Carson: Behold the hard wood suite!
Ted: Carson's been arrested by Roman guards!
Carson: A funny thing happened on the way to the forum shops.
Carson: They're like a whole bunch of Lizas
Ted: He can actually gift wrap.
Kyan: You guys, they do a lot of gift wrapping in the Marines.
Carson: It's part of their corps training.
Carson: You should get that thing so that babies don't stick thing in electrical outlets. My parents never got those.
Carson: Oo, I'm getting an apartment complex!
Carson: Oh my god, who saw Annie? Oh, my god, who saw Oliver? Oh my god, who saw Valley of the Dolls? Me!
Ray: It's not a very good laptop.
Carson: No, it's like an Etch-a-Sketch!
Carson imitating the wife's reaction: Those rascally gays moved our dining room.
Carson: What the hell is he talking about? This looks like new math.
Carson: There's no "I" in team.
Carson: There is an "M" and an "E" though.
Carson: You always have to look your best, even at home, because you never know when a striking Jehovah's Witness is going to come to your door.
Carson: This is like a bad episode of Soul Train with really bad dancing white people.
Thom: No Soul Train.
Carson: Did you see he has a 14-size shoe? You do the math.
Jai: I don't know if you've picking up on it, but the entire night her body language has been saying, "I am so into you."
Carson: Ray Charles could pick up on it.
Carson: You look like a million dollars. Canadian dollars, but a million dollars.
Ted helpfully: It's still a lot!
John B.: People say I look like Keanu Reeves.
Kyan: Really? People say I look like Keanu Reeves.
Carson: People say I look like Ellen Degeneres!
Carson: When was all your furniture repossessed, then?
Thom: Were you robbed?
Carson: Do you have bad credit, or just bad taste?
Lisa: I thought they would have made you into some corporate yuppie type.
Carson: Who are we? The five fags from IBM?
Carson: We're not here to change you, we're here to make you better.
Carson: I used to have hair just like yours. But I also used to be named Louise and I lived in Germany.
Carson: You know, I was always the last kid picked in dodge ball. They were like, "Um, okay we'll take Sharon. Now we'll take the girl in the iron lung and... you guys get Carson."
Quotes from planetclaire.