Blog On, Biatches!

Blog On, Biatches!

Jonathan Alder answers viewer mail.

Bonjour. No new episode this week, so no proper blog. But, I'm answering some of the questions that y'all have posed in response to previous blogs.

I have chosen to answer the fabulous people who asked interesting questions. I have chosen to completely ignore the naughty person who said that I look just like Margaret Hamilton, the wicked witch from the Wizard of Oz.

Patti wrote: The birds in Michael's room reminded me of the the animated partridges from "The Partridge Family" opening. Did he think they were kitschy?
Them birds are one of the great mysteries of our time, up there with crop circles and the popularity of Dane Cook. I found the birds so mystifying that I've spent an inappropriate amount of time pondering what Michael might have been thinking. If I'm feeling charitable, I imagine that Michael wanted some decorative motif for his room and, under time pressure and suffering from exhaustion he just chose those birds and moved on. The less charitable me has hypothesized that he's insane. In any event, it was a bad idea, second only to them colors. I suppose he could have thought that the birds were a kitsch gesture and that it would be cute. Re: kitsch, I've often been accused of being a kitsch-enthusiast, which is totally untrue -- I actually hate kitsch. Pink flamingoes on the front lawn? No, merci. But, in the hands of some creative mavericks, traditional kitsch iconography transcends its kitschiness and becomes fantastic. For instance, I have a giant poodle lamp in my bedroom that's so big and well-crafted that I couldn't say no. I have series of clown pictures that are intricately crafted in wood marquetry and they are so brilliantly designed and made that you really can't argue with them. Sometimes it's the things in questionable taste -- inappropriate, vulgar, or a little kooky -- that make a room memorable. Diana Vreeland once said, "A little bad taste is like a nice splash of paprika. No taste is what I'm against." Anyway, whatever. That still doesn't make them birds okay.

Cate wrote: Jonathan, just a quick question about tonight's decision. I was under the impression that pleasing the client was priority #1. Why then did Carisa win over Matt, given that his client was thrilled with the finished product while Carisa's client was less than thrilled? Carisa basically ignored her clients request for storage, a huge necessity in a small room. The decision left me puzzled. Can you shed some light on that?
Totally agree that Carisa didn't address her client's needs fully and that did factor into my thinking. But, Carisa's room was the most appealing and the happiest (read moi's previous blog about the mood-altering power of design). Sometimes clients don't know what's best for them and they want dreary old storage instead of beauty, and you just have to ignore them. I hope none of my clients are reading this. Carisa's room rocked!

Jeff wrote: Hi John, I would like to buy you some socks. What kind would you like? If you need to wear a sweater it is cold enough to warrant some socks.
Jeff, are you straight? The whole socks or no socks thing has caused a great divide among the gays and the straights. We gays recognize the majesty of a sock-free lifestyle. I suppose it connotes a life of country club casual leisure, or it calls to mind Cary Grant zipping around the Cote d'Azure in To Catch a Thief. Of course, sock-free living is a terrible idea and, when a gay trolls around the D&D building on a swatch hunt sans socks, nasty blisters are the price he pays. But, frozen ankles and painful blisters are the cost of fashion. We sockless ones are the male equivalent of those poor chicks who teeter on improbably high, foot-mangling heels, all in the name of la mode. In our defense, I must say that straights often go a bit too far in the opposite direction. All that conformity and practicality ("These pleats are so comfy", "It's much easier to access my cellphone if it's strapped to my belt," "I'll just wear my Tommy Bahama shirt -- it's nice and roomy") results in a certain je ne veux pas. I admit, no straight guy risks ankle frostbite. But, maybe they should consider it. Re: la mode, I take my cue from the animal kingdom, peacocks in particular. Male peacocks strut around in full colorful glory while the females are the frumpy practical ones. Come on Jeff, be a man -- get in touch with your inner peacock!

Alicia wrote: I'm not sure which is funnier -- your blog or Simon's books -- but I do know I want to come live at your house.
As much as I love my own blog, I am sorry to say that Simon's books are way way funnier. That little husband of mine is a brilliant writer who manages to be funny and profound and always on point. Y'all must read his most recent book, Nasty, a tongue-in-cheek memoir about his childhood in a house full of lunatics, including his lobotomoized grandmother and his paranoid-schizophrenic uncle and a pill-addicted blind lodger. I've read it about 27 times and so should you!

Amy Hopkins wrote: Mr. Adler, All that genius talent of yours, and a delightfully self-deprecating, witty personality to boot? I just can't get enough. You should have your own network, sir.
See, this is exactly the kind of comment that will capture moi's attention! More of this and less: "You look like Margaret Hamilton" "You are pretentious and stupid" "You are ageist and mysoginist and I hate you" "Time has not been kind to you" etc. Flattery will get you everywhere. Blog on, biatches!

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