Burlesque. The word itself summons images of tuxedo-clad gentlemen at small tables in a dim lounge watching beautiful women tease and vamp, while the cigar smoke drifts to the ceiling. A simpler time, before anyone with a digital camera could become their own porn star, no matter how offensive or grotesque.
I need to stop watching TV again. I never learn my lesson. TV exists to offend me, I think, because at it's worst it shows me how stupid and close-minded people can be. I refer, in this case, to NBC's America's Got Talent.
The shows premise is that people of all talents get to come on stage, perform their act, and be ridiculed by a has-been, a twit, and a Brit, all in the hopes that America will pay their $.99 a vote to send them to the million dollar prize at the end.
Last night, you see, Brandy really pissed me off. One of the talents is a young woman whose stage name is Michelle L'Amour. She's a professional burlesque dancer, a teacher of that art, and a very talented performer. And Miss Brandy dislikes her, because she feels it's not a talent to be able to perform a classical, non-revealing strip tease.
L'Amour performed what I believe is a very foreshortened version of her "Snow White" routine the first time, and last night did a very funny, somewhat barbed homage to David Hasselhoff which had me laughing to the edge of tears while she performed a very skilled tease. Ms. Brandy was not amused, and was a snotty punk the whole time.
So why, to pun, did it get under my skin? Because I've seen far more skin and far less subtlety on public beaches and in the mall and on television and movies, all performed with FAR less panache'. And let's not forget the internet, where for the cost of a free search you can discover niche sexual acts and performers that you've never even HEARD of. Did you know there's a super-specialised group of bondage afficionados who like to use women as horses? Right down to pulling carts and wearing blinders? I sure didn't, until the internet came along. Call that classy? I sure don't. Grotesque is more like it.
This snarkiness is coming, mind you, from a woman who owes her career and fame to an industry that revels, excels, gloats in it's use of sex, perversion, and pusing the boundaries of good taste as far as it'll go, and doesn't mind showing everything whenever it gets the chance.
So. I've stopped watching TV again, and hope that one day The Lavender Cabaret will go on the road, or at least get close enough here that I can attend a performance, wearing my best suit, smoking a fine cigar, and so I can applaud enthusiastically for this talented, lovely performer who is trying, I feel successfully, to bring back a classy, less in-your-face performance art.
And Moesha? Why don't you just F off, kid? You're a twit.