Friday, January 18, 2008

Out and About- Fibers Style

I hate to admit it, but I really really enjoy finding out that some of my favorite People are gay.  And I'm not talking about celebrities (although, did anyone else see those photos of Paris Hilton with Kate Moening??!  Hot?  Not?  Confused...)  or even prominent book figures (Dumbledore?!?  I have so many FEELINGS!).  No, I gain a specific pleasure in discovering that vaguely famous, incredibly nerdy individuals are as gay as a maypole.  Or anyway, as gay as I am.

I think it started when I discovered that, not only are both Michel Foucault and Roland Barthes gay, but that they were lovers in the 60's!  I had the fortune to come across this information right in the midst of my infatuation for both of their post-structuralist theories.  To imagine the two of them sitting together, smoking cigarettes and debating language made me infinitely happy.  

Recently I have become rather enamored upon a certain knitting podcast:  "Cast-On!  with Brenda Dayne".  (I think I may have mentioned it to a few of you?  All of you?!  A number of times?!!  Sorry... enthusiasm is just ok.)  Anyway, it's so fabulous!  Brenda is an American ex-pat living in Whales.  She publishes her hour long podcast almost once a week.  Ish.  Her show is full of fibers community announcements, lingo, storytelling, and independent music.  I knew I was going to be hooked when, half-way through my first episode, she played one of my favorite Girlyman songs!  Girlyman!  Enamored doesn't quite cover how much emotion I feel for this show.

So, in case you couldn't put 2 and 2 together, I found out today that Brenda's a les!  She has a civil partnership with a woman named Tanya!  Tanya doesn't feature often, but is referenced in a subtle way that suggests a total intimacy.

Ok, I know that remarking upon (and writing an entire blog about) someone's sexual orientation seems sensationalist at best and immature at worst but, I feel the need to explain why this makes me so happy:  I think it makes me feel even more connected to people who, in most respects, are completely separate from me.  In the case of historical figures, it gives me a little bit of insight that I... wouldn't even have noticed I was ignoring.  (Although, I grant that this particular situation may not only occur in the gay community, but simply in the learning of historical persons romantic relationships makes their lives that much more real.)

 As you may have surmised... I overthink... pretty much everything.  (I like to attribute it to being a cancer.)  I am constantly weighing the relationship between "traditional women's work" and contemporary feminism.  (It is a conflict that is so intriguing to me that I am considering finding a way to study it academically.)  Knitting, spinning, weaving, dyeing, sewing, embroidery and the rest are still seen as something for "old biddies" and "spinstresses".  Even this new wave of popularity is still striving to break away from old stereotypes and knit a new manifesto for consciousness and political awareness... without stumbling back into the pit of "kitsch" and trend.   

To find out that Brenda was gay was especially bolstering.  Her lifestyle is one of a sort of.. technically savy, socially conscious Martha Stewart.  She's always telling stories of walking the dog though the hills of Whales, knitting by the window while watching it snow and rain, and fixing elaborate and delicious sounding meals.  She spends her time in the pursuit of happy crafting:  dabbling in almost all of the afore-mentioned women's traditions.  It was such a relief to find out that my dream life (wife, dog, yarn and astounding intelligence) are inspiringly achievable.  The reality of such a compromise between tradition and technology allowed me to realize just how much I want to find it for myself, both in my art and in my life.

Le sigh.  Next stop: grad school?  Or me stalking Brenda Dayne in the Welsh countryside.  One or the other, I suppose.  Here's the link for the cast-on website so you can revel in the same glory that I revel in. .  Enjoy!

Ok... lots more projects to post so stay tuned to "overthinkers anonymous"... 

Happy friday!


Nelly Face said...

You should have seen my mind slowly explode when I found out Oliver Wendell Holmes gave Henry James a blow job. I was all like, Oliver Wendell Holmes?! But he was pure and good and true! He wrote such beautiful letters in the civil war! And then was one of the most fantastic supreme court judges! But then I did a little digging, and I found out that Oliver Wendell Holmes JUNIOR was the supreme court justice. It was his father who engaged in unspeakable acts with the author! Ehem. That was pointless. Did we ever talk about the fact that Joan Watson lives with a woman? Also, knitting makes all life the ideal life.

Fiberista Nora said...

1. Joan Watson is Art-sexual. I don't know who this woman is who she's living with, but CLEARLY she must take a backseat to the many trays Joan's Sculptural Forms slide lectures.

2. That's gay-tastic! Yeah, after writing I realized I probably should have also mentioned Suzy Bee Anthony... but c'mon. Everybody already knows she was a lez.