Jul 01 2006

I Do Not Remember Life Before Netflix

Cauliflower with chick peas, spinach, apples, and Spice Islands Curry Powder

Recent commentarian speculation leads me to observe that I am widely perceived to be dead. Not true! It’s just a flesh wound.

Chump that I am, earlier this week I wrote, but neglected to actually post, a post. This post was to have announced that I would be frolicking in the woods, dressed like a Grecian urn, with a pan flute—Bacchanalian revels, etc— nowhere near any internet, for several days, and not to expect any posts. Tragically, that post exists now only as a glimmer of a half-recollected dream adrift in the sands of time, which is a shame, since it was extremely scintillating, and would likely have entered the literary canon as one of America’s greatest contributions to Western civilization.

Unless you strike the back button instantly, you are stuck instead with this post. It is more or less about the Hollywood Mexican art thriller ‘Frida’, which I watched yesterday while internalizing the above-pictured cauliflower curry.

Although it was very pretty and lurid, I could not enjoy this movie ‘Frida’ at all, and not just because I was fatally distracted by the exquisiteness of the cauliflower dish, or because there was too much Diego Rivera and not enough paint. What ruined it for me was mostly the curious absence of even the slightest hint of a mustache on A-list celebrity hottie Salma Hayek.


It is not often that I spend two hours repeating the phrase “what the fuck?” but that is precisely what I did last night, so mesmerized was I by the strange and unnecessary impertinence of portraying Frida Kahlo as a 21st century patriarchy-approved international supermodel. I would like to ask young Salma Hayek how, having depilated one of the world’s most celebrated and iconoclastic upper lips, she can sleep at night.


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  1. hedonisticpleasureseeker.wordpress.com

    Oh, what luck:


    Thank the Gods/desses. I have fond memories of my own pagan woodland frolics.

  2. So happy you’re back. I was wondering if, in fact, there was no more patriarchy to be blamed.

  3. flyinfur.blogspot.com

    Ah; it’s been too long since I frolicked. Although, with my kid visiting his father, I have the house all to myself and it’s close enough for now.

    I hope it was lots of fun.

    I can’t understand why they didn’t give her a mustache. It’s not like any het guy is going to find Salma Hayek any less hot.

    It seems crazy to me that men can have anything from no hair to gorilla hair anywhere on their bodies, and it’s OK; but women have to have gigantic flowing masses of hair on their heads, but hair anywhere else (even practically invisible hair) is hideous. What’s up with that?

  4. She did at least sport the uni-brow, didn’t she? She must have had the unibrow. Glad you are back safely from the woods to enjoy that beautiful cauliflower dish.

  5. Do they show the accident on the streetcar or whatever it was?

  6. I’d love the recipe for thecauliflowery goodness if you have a chance to type it up.

  7. reclusiveleftist.com

    Twisty! I’m so glad you’re back and doing fine and dressed like a Grecian urn.

    To give Salma credit, actually she did everything she could to get a realistic depiction of Frida onscreen. She shepherded the project for years and finally got it made by Miramax. Of course compromises were required, Hollywood being the home of Satan and all. Salma managed to get the unibrow and underarm hair approved, but apparently Miramax balked at the mustache.

  8. scienceblogs.com/ethicsandscience

    Surely the technology exists to digitally add a moustache and include that as one of the selectable options on the DVD (like subtitles, but less wordy).

    And I second the request for the cauliflower recipe, if such a recipe exists or can be coaxed into existence.

  9. hattie.typepad.com/hatties_web

    We’re so glad you’re back. I am willing to donate my mustache, if one be needed, for a remake of the film.

  10. faultline.org/place/toad



    Damn, I love it when you talk Borgy.

  11. What a timely topic. My wife of twenty years informed me last week that she wants to get some kind of laser mustache removal thing done. What’s up with that? Why is she doing this? I didn’t even notice that she had a mustache, and if I had I wouldn’t care. J’accuse! I blame the patriarchy, and if I find that guy I’m gonna kick his a**.

  12. i am suspicious of the “only a flesh wound” explanation. is it real, or is it monty python? costumed like a grecian urn also makes me suspicous, in that urns tend not to frolic through the woods — certainly not with embellishments. if, perchance, you have been waylaid by the fucking C and its disgusting minions, my heart is with you. in any event, great to see you back in form, and with an appropriate dinner and movie review.

  13. ozma.blogs.com/hah

    Dang, I’m such an idiot sometimes. (Make that often.) I just spent a half hour looking for photos of Salma as Frida to see if you were right.

    I mean, why would I ever doubt you? It’s just so bizarre I would never have noticed that. The bosoms may have distracted me or something. I try to console myself with the fact that I maybe noticed and forgot?

    Why do you always put up these glorious photos of delicious food whenever I am hungry and all out of food? I am eating old mealy carrots right now, gazing mournfully at your glorious dish.

  14. flyinfur.blogspot.com

    fatmaw, if your wife goes ahead with that, make sure she goes to someone who’s done a lot of them (and make sure the technician isn’t new also).

    I went to a conference on laser hair removal several years ago, and the pictures of people (almost all women) who had been burned due to technician or MD error made me very sad.

  15. Mmmmm, cauliflower curry. A recipe, please.

    I was equally disturbed by the lack of ‘stache. And by Geoffrey Rush as Trotsky. And Edward Norton as Rockefeller. That was just craziness.

  16. saraarts.com

    Twisty, I’m so glad you’ve been off having a good time. Also, that curry looks lovely. The basil leaf on top is a nice touch.

    I always wondered about the moustache thing, and thanks, Violet Socks, for the explanation. Still, there are actually a lot of things about this movie and the way it was marketed that not only kept me out of the theater when it came out but have also served to keep it off of my Netflix queue even though by the size of said queue one might not think I was really all that picky.

    On a shelf in my studio is a very interesting book called Devouring Frida: The Art History and Popular Celebrity of Frida Kahlo, by Margaret A. Lindauer (Wesleyan University Press 1999). To give you an idea, the last sentence of the synopsis on the back of the paperback reads, “Accompanied by 26 illustrations and deep analysis of Kahlo’s central themes, this provocative, semiotic study recontextualizes an important figure in art history at the same time it addresses key questions about the language of interpretation, the nature of veneration, and the truths within self-representation.” It’s a short book, only 179 pages of text, but it’s densely packed with ideas and information. All the images are in black and white, though, so unless you really know Kahlo’s work well, I recommend grabbing a separate book with good reproductions in color and keeping it on hand while you read.

    Of course, you could also skip it for now and just go outside and play some more. It’s a nice read for a lazy lemonade-and-hammock afternoon, though, should one crop up. Substitute “screen house” for “hammock,” and you will know I speak from experience.


  17. That curry looks lovely. I am a curry addict.
    The casting in Frida was a constant irritation while watching the film. Made it very difficult to suspend my disbelief, which you wouldn’t think would be necessary since it was about real people, but there it is.

  18. norbizness.com

    I liked the cinematic mashup where Diego Rivera turns into Dr. Otto Octavius. I have to admit that, flowing moustache aside, some of the visual conceits thought up by director Julie Taymor (who also did the remarkably disturbing Titus, not to be confused with The Chris Titus Show) were amazing.

    I blame the Ed Nortonocracy.

  19. hippocampus.com/magi/art/index.html

    While I was waiting for brunch today, my eye was caught by a lovely bunch of hairs highlighted by the sun. There they were gently nestled in the small of the back, that lovely dip right above the sacrum, of a mother holding her newborn. I suddenly remembered Kahlo’s exposed upper lip and realized, yes, only pre-pubescent girls have no hair. Certainly plenty of patriarchy-blaming grist there.

  20. kelleybell.blogspot.com

    “This post was to have announced that I would be frolicking in the woods, dressed like a Grecian urn, with a pan flute—Bacchanalian revels, etc— nowhere near any internet, for several days, and not to expect any posts. Tragically, that post exists now only as a glimmer of a half-recollected dream adrift in the sands of time, which is a shame, since it was extremely scintillating, and would likely have entered the literary canon as one of America’s greatest contributions to Western civilization.”

    Where did you learn to create such delicious literary tirimasu?


  21. Actually, Salma Hayek shaved her upper lip everyday to make the mustache grow. That didn’t work. So they tried eye shadow. Still didn’t work. They tried everything and they couldn’t find a solution to make it look natural. They had good intentions, honestly.

  22. Give her twenty years – with hair and heritage like hers, odds on she will get one.

  23. nursepammie.blogspot.com

    You are correct and I am ashamed to say that I missed it. I was so busy drooling over Salma’s unibrow and other nice body parts that I simply missed it. And yes, moonrose, they showed the streetcar accident.

    How anyone can be so achingly beautiful in a full body cast is beyond me. Being a nurse, my main concern was trying to figure out how she/others took care of her natural bodily functions. I don’t remember seeing any openings in the cast.

  24. Mizz Kate: Nice to see your racist roots showing. It won’t take twenty years to see the unattractive person you are – we have a clear picture now.

  25. thenextfewhours.com/blog

    If I weren’t a red-headed blonde, and I had darker hair, I’d already have a visible corner-moustache, probably due to my Irish, Hungarian, French, Scottish, and German heritage. I have so much hair that my ponytail routinely breaks any constraints, snapping them in two like a tired world-view.

  26. Oddly enough I recently was remembering an early love, Anji, who used to claim that she really wanted a mustache to twirl. The image of her twirling her imaginary mustache is till strong. At the time I merely thought the 1970 version of “whats up with that?” and was glad she didn´t have one. Today I still wonder what was up with that, struggle with my own prejudices, reach no conclusion but it´s still one of the reasons I still love her even if only in memory.
    Violet, is it possible that your being just a touch too heavy handed?

  27. Twisty

    Oh come on, Violet. What is racist about observing that dark-haired people have dark hair?

  28. “What is racist about observing that dark-haired people have dark hair?”

    violet didnt say “with selma hayek’s dark hair, she has dark hair.”. she said ‘mexicans have mustaches’–which of course they do. but so does everybody else. So why bring up mexicaness?

  29. MsKate and Violet: speaking as one of those afflicted with the dark hair heritage, I read MsKate’s comment with nothing more than a wry smile of recognition. It’s just a fact – women of Indian (ie Indian subcontinent), Mediteranean and East European origin tend to have darker and thicker body hair. Very fair people often have fine, fair hair and those of Chinese and African ancestry, for instance, tend to have less body hair full stop.

    Violet’s response therefore comes across as somewhat off the mark. Particularly with the bowlderisation of MsKate’s title to “Mizz”. An affectation that is usually spat out by those who are full of resentment towards women who dare to lable themselves as something other than property of father or husband. What’s all that about then ?

  30. Read the comment again, Twisty. The “one” in Kate’s sentence clearly refers to a moustache. She then goes on to mention Selma Hayak’s “heritage”. The racist element of the comment is pretty obvious.

    CG: I have no idea what your post (above) means. Please do not put quotation marks around your own words to incorrectly paraphrase me.

  31. hedonisticpleasureseeker.wordpress.com

    Oh, HERE WE GO. So much of a persons real attitude is stripped out of electronic postings. Can we really be so sure about other people’s intents?

    I suggest key lime martinis instead. I’m buying! I’m sure it’s 4:00 somewhere . . .

  32. I made some fantastic key lime martinis the other night! Tasty. They are truly the source of all goodness in the world.

  33. I’m betting she waxed her natural mustache off. And she is half arab. Who cares? I sure don’t, but I’ll blame anyway.

    Happy Twisty’s back.

  34. scienceblogs.com/ethicsandscience

    OK, can we get the key lime martini recipe to get us through our longing for the cauliflower curry recipe?

  35. Acquisition of mustaches can be a strange thing. Heritage is a part of it. I have only recently acquired a patchy under chin beard that has appeared in my mid forties, while my youngest sister has been fighting a mustache since her twenties. I received a generous dose of our Welsh/German genes- blonde-brown hair, pale skin and green eyes. My sister got the full dose of our native American genes- dark hair, golden skin and dark brown eyes. I am a strawberry all summer long in between peels and she glows with a tan in winter. If she hadn’t had a mustache, I would have done something extreme long ago. I am sincerely hoping that acknowledging that my sister’s genotypes make her mustache-prone is not racist.

  36. Oh yes! The key lime martini recipe, please!

  37. I blame the patriarchy for making you people think your aimless patter on this blog sets you apart in some way.
    If you don’t like the effect, don’t produce the cause.

  38. hedonisticpleasureseeker.wordpress.com

    Key Lime Martinis, as requested!!!!!!!!! With PICTURES!


  39. More on the mustache trope – Black Irish are small boned with aquiline features. Both sexes have lots of body hair including a noticeable mustache.

    So it’s not only Latino heritage that gives a person a dark upper lip – and I Blame The Patriarchy for giving anyone ammunition to blame a person for this pansexual virility.

    Regarding Kahlo – I have wondered why U.S. liberal circles make so much of someone who so obviously suffered? Reminds me of the NYT spate of articles on how you can’t be a woman and a whole human being without giving up something essential.

  40. Just in passing: I believe this whole body hair thing disproves “intelligent design”, at least I can´t figure out why at 56 I suddenly have to shave the top of my nose and ear lobes (O.K., I don`t HAVE to but…) and just why am i suddenly sprouting a 6 inch hair in the middle of my forehead? The only “intelligent” purpose I can find in this development is that god wants to make sure that not only does my body run down as I approach the end but I (we) are to be randomly and absurdly humiliated and deprived of dignity on the way.

  41. faeriedust2001.blogspot.com

    I’m of Welsh/Swedish descent, so I have pretty light hair. I have a fuzzy upper lip, which, in the right light, glows a little. Friends with coarser hair are envious of my ability to go months without leg-shaving (even in summer) and not show stubble unless you get really close. Of course, all that thin, unprotective hair on my arms means that I’m covered with age spots on my arms already at 34. I blame the patriarchy that they were called “freckles” when I was 10 and “age spots” in my 30s.

    The man I married and chose to reproduce with is of Russian Jewish descent–lots and lots of hair. And so our children have hairier legs than I do, and the youngest still has that little patch of hair at the small of the back that children are born with (I think it’s cute and fuzzy).

    Frida is in my TiVo, awaiting my viewing. I admit much ignorance re: Ms. Kahlo and her art, remembering just bits and pieces from my freshman contemporary art history class–I blame the patriarchy that influential women artists get short shrift whilst I know more about Jackson Pollack than I’d like. I shall mix up a pitcher of mojitos to enjoy whilst viewing.

  42. Yeny

    Wow, I was just going through old posts and came across this discussion. FYI, I’m hispanic, so believe me when I say that people who aren’t hispanic talking about what is a general physical characteristic of hispanic people, are talking out of their arse. Ms. Kate’s comment seemed tinged with racism to me: “with a heritage like hers”. What the hell? Only one of my cousins is not 100% hispanic, the rest of my family is, and of the HUGE family I belong to only a couple of the women have light moustaches.
    Most of us are dark-skinned and dark-haired, it doesn’t automatically mean we are hairy. God, I hate ill-founded stereotypes.

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