Susan Boyle Sings on Britain’s Got Talent

Britain’s got Talent! As for the opening act of the season, we were told as children: Don’t judge a book by its cover. The old “freakshow” is alive and well, and it’s still got morals for the masses. The embedded video doesn’t run, so see it here. What I’m doing with this A group of […]

Pink by Aerosmith

A pink song of the week? I could have posted Pink’s “Dear Mr President”, but I don’t even want to think about the guy. Pink Floyd? Too serious. But Aerosmith’s Pink is old and it’s still nice. Back in 1997 when this was a hit I was writing about freaks and monsters. It must have […]

Creatures of the night

Campy creatures of the night: Restrained Edward (Robert Pattinson/ Twilight) has replaced unrestrained Dr. Frank N. Furter (Tim Curry/ Rocky Horror Picture Show). Poor Edward: a brooding, earnest, long-suffering teenager without the relief of being able to laugh himself out of his addiction. No, give me liberating camp any day. Read Susan Sontag’s “Notes on […]


Halloween is a wonderful celebration for young people. But in Ireland, where it originated, and in the States, guys, not here in Germany. Here, it sucks. There is no tradition, and it just doesn’t work. My mother sewed me my first costume at age two, and I went as a green Peter Pan. At four […]

For the Leos

An amazing number of Leos populate my world. Family and friends, colleagues and students, this one is for you: Meet Lionel, the Lion-Faced Boy, aka Stephan Bribowski from Poland, who graced freakshows at the turn of the century. He was covered in luxurious blond hair, a condition called Hypertrichosis, which according to circus lore was […]

Maurice Sendak turns 80

Maurice Sendak, writer and illustrator of immortal children’s books, turns 80 today. He finds that children’s experiences in particular—joy and discovery, fear and suffering—are among the purest and strongest ones there are. And children recognize that he is truly talking to them. For me, “Where the Wild Things Are” picked up where “Beauty and the […]

Animating girls

Two very different scenes – street theater and pixels – and yet somehow they are mirror worlds inhabited by the same kinds of dreams. We love puppets of all kinds, don’t we, especially those who seem to really come alive when we pull the strings. Who’s controlling whom? A little creepy (unheimlich) and wierd – […]