Sunday, October 15, 2006

Holy Crap!

This past weekend, I enjoyed meeting (or re-meeting some of) the Queer Boston Blogger group. They all seemed like nifty gents – and I particularly appreciate Chris and Steve for the ride.

For whatever reason, the news media opted not to cover this momentous event. Instead, they talked, talked, talked about earthquakes in Hawai’i or the unending bad news from Iraq. Clearly their priorities remain skewed.

One item that caught my attention in the news feed, though, was Emperor Palpatine’s Pope Benedict XVI’s naming of new saints. His list included some folk gaining media attention, including a Mexican Bishop who defended a greedy and corrupt Church during the Mexican Revolution -- now being remade as a Bishop who “tended to the wounded” during the conflict.

Being raised Catholic, I learned to call upon the saints. Indeed, I am still asking Guadalupe to assist me (and, boy, do I need the help!). Yet, I also came about as a child of Vatican II. You remember Vatican II – When the Church briefly tried to curb some of its excesses. Yeah, that didn’t last long.

In 1969 the Catholic Church actually announced a decision to reduce the number of saints by hundreds because they could not be “historically verified.” Among this list of de-canonized included the quite popular Saint Christopher and Saint Jude (Of course, the truly faithful might see the fact that the patron saint of lost causes losing his status as apropos). In my childhood, therefore, becoming a saint seemed near impossible (though I still had aspirations) and no new saints seemed on the horizon.

The Catholic Church sort of forgot about all of that, though. Since Pope John Paul II, the Church just can’t canonize people fast enough. Benedict XVI continues this trend, but just makes it feel even more evil somehow (being a pope who also happens to have been a member of the Hitler Youth and all). Being a saint these days seems as easy as getting supersized at McDonald’s. Shoot –- I volunteered once at a youth counseling office – Be sure to put me up for canonization after I am dead.

It does make me wonder, though, why should the pope be the one to make these decisions? Who died and elected him pope? Oh – Right – John Paul II and the evil-ass College of Cardinals. Well, fuck the Cardinals – There’s only 190 of them anyway.

I think it’s time that we queer folk start canonizing our own saints. Don’t we deserve figures who we can call on for supernatural intercession during moments of crisis? I think so.

Here are my suggestions for getting us started. Just like the Catholic Church, we need evidence of at least two miracles or martyrdom to qualify for queer sainthood. I am not, however, digging up their corpses to check for decay. That’s just nasty.

    Saint Paul of Lynde, Patron Saint of Queenie Bitchdom

    Miracles Performed or Martyrdom: Have you seen Bewitched? He could fly, disappear, and make things out of thin air!

    He also made Hollywood Squares watchable, a miracle if ever there was one. I mean, it was tic-tac-toe, people.

    Veneration: To call for Paul Lynde’s intercession, the faithful must make five bitchy, but insightful, comments to their guests within a one hour period.

    For serious assistance, some of the truly devout have used their face as an ashtray – much as Lynde did with annoying fan-boys who bugged him on the dance floor.


    Saint Judith Butler, Patron Saint of Gender

    Miracles Performed or Martyrdom: Destabilized biological concepts of gender; defended queer studies to the point of martyrdom; many suggest that her dense theoretical writings are similar to speaking in tongues.

    Veneration: Renounce biological determinism, but recognize that you are a product of cultural power and discourses beyond your control. Dress in drag in order to call attention to how gender is all a culturally-defined performance. Or just wear sensible shoes.


    Saint Andy Warhol, Patron Saint of the Avant-Garde

    Miracles Performed or Martyrdom: Prompted Americans to reconsider their cultural values -- for two seconds (MIRACLE!); Survived gun-shot wound to the chest inflicted by S.C.U.M. leader; managed to get laid looking like Andy Warhol.

    Veneration: Fill your cabinets with Campbell’s Tomato Soup, but do so with irony. Paint all of your rooms in primary colors. Hang four photos of yourself in sequence.


    Saint Liberace, Patron Saint of Closet Cases

    Miracles Performed or Martyrdom: Miraculously, Judy Garland’s purse fell out of his mouth every time he spoke, but nobody seemed to know that he was gay. In a wind storm, his hair would never move an inch.

    Veneration: Attach glitter and rhinestones to every item that you own – Seriously, devotees own a Bedazzler ©. Wear many pastels. Buy a candelabra.

    Saint Kelly of Charlie’s Angels, Patron Saint of Clothes and Hair

    Miracles Performed or Martyrdom: She single handedly could flip full grown men over her head without ever having a hair out of place or makeup smudged; she could run at a full sprint in six-inch heels; and she survived two separate gun-shot wounds – to her head!

    Martyred by staying on Charlie’s Angels longer than Farah Fawcett, Kate Jackson, Cheryl Ladd, Shelley Hack, or Tayna Roberts

    Veneration: Learn judo; drive a Mustang; shop consistently; wear very tight shoes.


    Saint Tennessee of Williams, Patron Saint of Mixology

    Miracles Performed or Martyrdom: Wrote award-winning plays about men tortured by their queer sexuality, yet he seemed to enjoy his own queer life and sexuality with abandon. Indeed, proper iconography of Saint Tennessee should always include a martini glass and cigarette – Optional iconography can show him attached ass-to-penis to Frank Merlo.

    Martyrdom: Victim of gay-bashing in 1979.

    Veneration: Wear lots of tweed and herringbone sport jackets. Grow a moustache. Drink to excess.

    Prepare a small altar and provide a well mixed cocktail for the saint. Be aware, though, that Saint Tennessee will only respond to prayers if his cocktail has top-shelf liquor. This queer saint don’t drink no turpitine.


    Saint Montgomery, Patron Saint of Male Beauty

    Miracles Performed or Martyrdom: His stunning male beauty could stop traffic (literally!). He was physically perfect and exuded beauty. Made being an army guy, priest, and southerner sexy!

    Oh, and I guess he could act or something. Whatever.

    Martyred by driving his car off a cliff while venerating Saint Tennessee. Losing his astounding beauty, he somehow kept on living – I was never really sure what the point of that was.

    Veneration: Post pictures of him everywhere; Contemplate if the left side of his face or the right side of his face is more perfect; ignore rumors of his unfortunate moniker.


    Saint GayProf, Queen of Heaven and Earth

    Miracles Performed or Martyrdom: Could deflect bullets with his bracelets; force a liar to tell the truth, make a hawk a dove. Oh, wait, that’s Wonder Woman. Damn! Let me try again.

    Miracles Performed or Martyrdom: Can suck the joy out of any situation with his astounding gravitas; GayProf is the last person left on earth who still honors UFW boycotts.

    Martyred by being banished to Texas, the land of the accursed.

    Veneration: Just send cash, checks, or money orders. Make checks payable to GayProf’s Bahama Fund.


Anonymous said...

I nominate John Waters, or should that be Saint John of Baltimore?

Anonymous said...

Oooh, so glad you met all those bloggers cuz DesignerBlog was on my faves list back before I switched desks.
Anyhoo . . .
About patron saint GayProf, can't I like, just um, have a few margaritas in lieu of check or money order? (Also, the candles that I lit oh-so-long-ago for your lack of dancing and singing ability are still burning.)

Dorian said...

Ah, Paul Lynde. I've become fascinated with him all over again recently. A friend made me a copy of a comedy album of his, and I was quite taken with it. On the one hand, I almost feel sort of politically obligated to dislike him for perpetuating a negative stereotype of gay men as prissy and effeminate, laying the groundwork for the Jack McFarland-types to dominate the media. But, on the other hand, he's a man who basically made his living being profesionally gay and putting a gay character on America's tv screens. Oh, when will this internal conflict over appropriate role models end?

Anonymous said...

Best post ever.

(No Saint Oscar or Saint Kinsey?)

tornwordo said...

Always a well thought out post that progresses logically and sprinkled with wry bits of humor. I do like your formula (and your pic).

Anonymous said...

Ste. Martina

Will said...

Chalk up one more miracle for Saint Andy Warhol--he made my homophobic parents (well, my homophobic father and step-mother) into great fans. They knew he was gay and since their apartment was at 14th Street and Union Square in NYC very near Andy's building, they knew all about what was going on there and STILL were fans.

Jeremy--I never knew you had me on your fave list at one time. Sorry I fell from grace, but but I just checked out your blog and like it very much indeed.

Anonymous said...

I'd start a novena to Guadalupe for you GayProf, but given my rather bad relationship with all things religious... you are safer without my help.

You might try having a word with Saint Joseph on the house sale. See: Saint Joseph Real Estate Kit (don't buy it - just read) and Saint Joseph and Real Estate

Love your list of Saints. I've always wanted to start my own religion - it's the only way to true wealth. Hell too, possibly, but one can always just confess on the deathbed and leave everything to charity in their will, right?

Anonymous said...

Seriously choked laughing on "Emperor Palpatine."

The Persian said...

I'm with Chad on John Waters :)

I hadn't heard about that proposed 1969 de-cannonization. What idiot came up with that idea?

hm..I hate to say this but Liberace had rather nice legs!


GayProf said...

Chad: Oh, and we can't forget Saint Divine, Patron Saint of Frustrated Queer House-Spouses everywhere.

Jeremy: Consider my lack of dancing and singing ability the queer version of stigmata.

Dorian: What does he do on his comedy album?

GE: Saint Kinsey, Patron Saint of Bisexuals?

Torn: Thanks.

Anon: Saint Martina, Patron Saint of Lesbian Sports Players -- She could be a very busy saint indeed.

Will: Oooh -- So close to Saint Andy. Did you make your own sacred pilgrimages to his NYC building?

Laura Elizabeth: Yeah, Catholics have one of the best escape clauses for your soul, second only to Mormons (who allow conversion after death). I mean, what's a few hundred years in purgatory compared to eternity?

Chris: Careful now -- We don't need a blog related death on our hands.

Persian: They would be nice legs – if they weren’t attached to Liberace.

Mickeyboy said...

Oh my god, Laugh out loud perfect, and Im not even gay (or no one knows that I am). Are you accepting nominations? St Brokeback, whose very life was a martyrdom.


Anonymous said...

Pweety lights over your head, St. Gayprof... Go toward the light, go toward the light!!!

Dorian said...

Lyndes album consisted of in-character monologues. Even by the standards of the time, they'd probably be considered a bit incorrect, politically.

Roger Owen Green said...

Sorry, GP- Ypou need someone ELSE to nominate you for sainthood.

I'll do it.
Miracles performed: Pull obscure facts, such as those about graham crackers and masturbation, out of thin air.
Veneration: Write in your blog self-deprecating yet wise comments. Go to other blogs and spread your great wisdom.

Conor Karrel said...

*writes check to GayProf's bahama fund*...

Oh, hi GayProf, I was just venerating you... that kinda sounds dirty doesn't it?

Does Rock of the Hudson deserve to be a saint? He did, after all, fool all those straight people into believing he was one of them, isn't that a miracle enough?

Anonymous said...

Don't forget our own Feast of the Three Saints (Albert, Casey and Richard).

Adam said...

Excellent suggestions. Monty was so dreamy, sigh.

I read the S.C.U.M. manifesto in HS after seeing "I Shot Andy Warhol" with the amazing Lili Taylor, and I must say I loved it.

dykewife said...

hey, i don't eat grapes because of the ufw and i'm a long, long away from the us of a.

so, saint you, huh? hmm...i'll pray for your fund. what about saint me? or george michael, patron saint of those who get caught attempting to get public bathroom sex?

yeah, i'm a bitch. :)

Reginald Harris said...

Cannonize them all Immediately (St Mad Prof first!)..and BTW, John Waters and Divine are already Saints here in CrabTown...

Anonymous said...

Gawd, Paul Lynde was a bitch, but in a funny-bitchy sorta way. Sorry about getting you lost with us on Sunday, but it was worth it. It was nice meeting Patron Saint Gay Prof and the others and we hope we can get together again soon.

Spider said...

Well THAT was too damn funny! And thank you for posting the sexiest pic of Montgomery Clift ever taken...

Got here from Steve's blog and I am glad I did - and I will be back - so you are warned!

Wol said...

What about St/Ste RuPaul, patron of drag? And I second (or is it third) John Waters.

The "Emperor Palpatine" line had me howling.

bostonwill said...

Funny, worth thinking about some more... and am I the only one to just realize how damn cute you are?

Anonymous said...

I don't know much about them, but there are The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. They gave us Saint Derek (the late Derek Jarman, gay rights activist/filmmaker/artist/writer) although I guess he was more of a British phenomenon. But still worth a prayer or two...

Doug said...

I tried venerating in public once and got arrested.

And GayProf, a warning about Spider (who commented above). He's a warm, friendly, intelligent guy who makes people feel good about themselves. He might reduce your level of Gravitas, so be careful.

Mark said...

OMG! Montgomery. What part of his body could I not just cup in my hands? RE: Sainthood. This is complicated in the gay community by the fact that so many of us are already chartered as divas, others of us proclaimed as goddesses, and the rest of us content to claim certain mutant superpowers. There will have to be a summit, of sorts, to divide up the rights of adoration.

Luciferus said...

That picture of Juday makes her LOOK like a fucking saint. Oh, good god!

Anonymous said...

No St. Alan Turing? He's got to at least make it into the martyrology.

Kalv1n said...

Aw, I do love Monty. And many of the list. We do need a gay hagiography.

Kalv1n said...

Aw, I do love Monty. And many of the list. We do need a gay hagiography.

Anonymous said...

I found this funny, in light of your comments on the pope, because it seems like even his jewelry thinks he shouldn't have the job.
Pope loses rink, faithful give it back [Reuters 10-20-06]

Paisid said...

Yay for Judith Butler! :-)

I was just watching a French documentary on Judith Butler yesterday. The filmmaker hung out with her in Paris and interviewed her. I'd read her work, but had never seen her in, like, every-day life situations. She was so nice and friendly, like someone you'd want to become friends with, which was funny given that her writing is.. well... can we say so un-reader-friendly? (I do admire her work though)