Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Bettie Page vs. Che Guevara (and the Hoff)

•So, feminists, should I like or dislike the recently-deceased Bettie Page (for whom my conservative girlfriend Helen had to write an obit)? I think this is one that may divide the Second Wave from Third Wave feminists. She’s a girlie-mag pin-up queen, for crying out loud — but the Third Wavers pride themselves on seeming to have more sex (and loving transgression even more) than us normal, non-feminist folk, plus Bettie’s sort of strong in some vague way, and has been rendered rather “meta” by the past couple decades of Tarantino-style pop-referential/reverential use of her image, as in Rocketeer comics, which (a shout-out to my fellow nerds here) I think played a huge role in turning her into a newly-relevant millennial icon (note that this means that Jennifer Connelly was, in a sense, playing Bettie Page, or at least the implied Bettie-analogue character, in the Rocketeer movie, despite its safe, glowy, Disney-like vibe).

Above all else, to my mind, Bettie was the model for all those straight-bangs tattooed bartender chicks who were mandatory in formulaic dive bars (with rockabilly and punk on the juke box) over the past decade or so — and I am not complaining.

•Far more troubling, of course, and also in the news recently (because of the release of Steven Soderbergh’s biopic about him) is the vastly more dark and evil — yet probably more widely revered — Che Guevara. And since Che was a mass-murdering totalitarian, I’m very proud to see my friends Ted Balaker and Kyle Smith taking him down a peg, in a short film and a review of the Soderbergh film, respectively. Ted takes on Mao in the same film for extra credit. Rotten, homicidal totalitarian bastards — and beloved from Berkeley to Paris.

•And speaking of Europe, TMZ noted Friday that David Hasselhoff, rather delusionally, has claimed that his song “Looking for Freedom” helped inspire the end of the Cold War and German opposition to the Berlin Wall. They also note that he has the words “Back Hoff” embroidered on the seat of his jeans. So you see, crazy or not, it seems I have to give the prize for most libertarian of these three icons to: the Hoff.


jenny said...

did you know Bettie personally? i should think that would have more to do with whether you like or dislike her than what flavor of feminism you don’t subscribe to.

the irrational infatuation with ché · Notes From Off-Center said...

[...] HT: Todd Seavey [...]

Ken Silber said...

I haven’t seen Todd in any of the Bettie Page photos I’ve been looking through.

Gerard said...

Old Feminist’s Take On Bettie Page’s Passing

I don’t know if that answers your question.