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Thoughts Amongst Wanderers: Part 1

10 Sep


Hello, Rebellious Revelers! It’s KJ here. Some of you know that I’ve had a tremendously challenging few days which included emergency bypass surgeries, ER visits, business license procedures and publication requirements to fulfill. I questioned on whether I’d be able to write Musings at all this week. But because the captains of Team Other have stepped up and gone above and beyond to support Musings and the independent little business I’m starting, I am able to post today. @Bouffant, my dear friend and regular guest-writer has anticipated my needing some help this week, and as a result, we’re presenting to you a unique layout in today’s edition: A K&B Collaboration. Big Ups and undying gratitude to B for her willingness to be my pinch hitter in this time of unrest and the eloquent results. Please take a moment and bow down to my Queen, @Buff_82 who not only designs and maintains Musings, but she possesses incredible patience for me and is in the midst of designing an insanely beautiful website for The Little Practice. Last, but of course, not least, I want to hug and kiss my soul sistah @CynicallyConvivial of KStew Is Better Than U, a proud Musings Affiliate, who not only inspires and keeps me laughing, but shows me how to move through challenges and junctions with grace and enthusiasm. New journeys are opening up for both of us, and it’s incredibly thrilling. Plus she pre-reads my ramblings at 2AM if I ask her to with minimal complaining. After this essay, I’ll make some notes about the music of Musings. Today’s essay is for Gram Other, Chew, Puss and Monkey, my family.

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time
A condition of complete simplicity
…And all shall be well
~ T.S. Eliot
Road Trip Ruminations: Bouffant
A road trip is a quintessential coming-of-age American experience. The automobile. Why, we even build shrines to dead cars here…

The car may have been invented in Europe, but it was made for America. Rock & roll music, birthed in the USA, is made to be listened to while driving down the highway, or getting down in the back seat (Hmmm… remember bench seats…). When your family lives in New Jersey and Grandma lives in Kansas, you’re not getting a plane ticket forChristmas, you’re getting about 10 inches of space in the back seat and a comic book to read on the way… or, in my case, you and your brother will trade off bunking on the back seat and on the floor, while your dad stretches out in the front seat, on your way from Chicago to Denver for a wedding (Dad broke down and bought camping gear for the trip back). Just about everyone I know has done multiple multi-state road trips, with families or with friends.

The romance of the open road was used thematically in Kerouac’s On The Road, written between 1949 and 1951. Reigning Other Queen Kristen Stewart has been on the road herself for the past couple of months, busy with the role of Mary Lou in the film adaption. She started with Beatnik Boot Camp (the coolest summer camp I’ve ever heard of) in Montreal, swung down to shoot in South America, and is now filming with the production in New Orleans. Presumably to prep for her role, fans heard that Kristen took a road trip of her own with some girlfriends a few months back, across the country from Los Angeles to Ohio, winding up at a Rob Zombie concert (now that’s random).

News about the production has been less than forthcoming… frankly, I’ve given up on trying to figure out their plans. The obfuscation could be due to the indie nature of the production, without a budget for PR efforts during filming… or it could be Walter Salles’ way of protecting the set and Kristen from over-zealous fans, allowing cast and crew to focus on their project without distractions. And who could blame them? That’s what they’re bring paid for, and they’re taking their work seriously. And the benefit will ultimately be ours, when we see the finished product.
Please, ladies… the arm hairs need to stay
with the rest of that fine body.
*Kj waves* HI TOM!!
While Kristen/Mary Lou quietly works in the Big Easy, her Royal Consort Rob Pattinson is making a bit of a splash with his own road trip. In between jobs at present (we know of nothing until Breaking Dawn pre-production begins next month), Rob had been mostly undercover in LA recently, until news broke on Sunday of a Rob sighting in New Mexico, of all places, at a restaurant, ordering wine with friends. The restaurant employee confided that Rob was with friends on a road trip, and was on his way to New Orleans…

courtesy of @bragirl2 &; Twitpic

Then news broke retroactively that he’d been spotted in Mesa, Arizona on Saturday, and Monday evening was photographed at a Lubbock bar, hanging out with friends Sam Bradley and Tom Sturridge, drinking what looked to be whisky and beer and perusing a karaoke songlist.

Tweet from Santa Fe, NM:

And fans all over the world pulled up Google maps and feverishly discussed whether Rob was REALLY going to NOLA, and if so, what route would he take and where he might stop next. The romance of a world-famous Brit taking off on a road trip through the Southwest with his buds captured the imagination of fans. Nevah understimate the power of Twitter and Facebook…and camera phones…

Tweet from Lubbock, TX:
Apparently Robert Pattinson just bought out the entire bar at Crickets. Yes, that Crickets. The Lubbock one. What a mindf**k.

May we take your order, Rob?

It’s about 500 miles from London to the northern tip of Scotland. The islands of the United Kingdom would fit neatly into the state of Oregon. The British didn’t grow up in a driving culture like we did. What they did grow up with were westerns, and rock & roll songs that make you feel like you have the pedal to the metal, cresting a hill with nothing but clear blue sky and open land as far as the eye can see.

Now, the Brit adored by Americans is roaming our magnificent Southwest with his BFFs… sightseeing, boozing, sampling local delicacies, showing us his love for America and endearing himself to us forevermore.

Earning new fans one town at a time.

There is so much goodness in this picture. No words.

Not only that, he and his compatriots (one of whom is actually IN On The Road), are very publicly making their way to Rob’s very own Valley Girl, his American sweetheart and our Other Queen, Kristen Stewart. It’s a parade from Los Angeles to New Orleans, with thousands of fans cheering him on to go get his girl.

*wistful Kj thoughts*

I’d drive across the continent for this girl too

There has been much drama surrounding these two Royal Rebels in the last couple of years. They have consistently deflected and avoided questions about their personal relationship. They clearly want a measure of privacy, and they deserve that. They owe us good performances in their films, a little promo now and then, and nothing more. The curiosity surrounding them is understandable, given the explosive chemistry evident between them onscreen and off. Not everyone has wanted to respect those boundaries they have asked for. Their attempts to ensure privacy have allowed for misunderstandings, eagerly pounced on and spun into wild fictions by some. Just recently, Rob and Kristen have appeared to be more comfortable allowing themselves to be seen as a happy couple, although the verbal embargo stands.

Methinks Rob Pattinson is a sucker for a poetic gesture… a true romantic. Do you see that he has found a way to publicly declare his love, without saying a word or even acknowledging his audience? He is making his way across half the country to claim his girl. The paparazzi who make money off his mug are hundreds of miles away. Instead, fan photos and tweets act as pushpins in a map to chart his progress. Rob and Kristen know we are watching. I hope they know our delight – both at following an abbreviated version of the Britpack on a real, old-fashioned American road trip, and in the anticipation of a Royal Rebel Reunion. This may be as public a statement as we will ever get from them about their relationship. It’s beautiful, and more than enough.

End of PART 1 Because Blogger is Being RIDONK Difficult. KJ’s Misfit Musings on the Wanderlust, plus more on the Featured Rebel Royals will post Tomorrow. Perhaps Blogger can handle it then. But here’s a look at our Lovely Rebel Queens, anyway. Because above all, it’s really about Other Royalty is it not?


See you tomorrow, my Extraordinary friends…

xo, KJ

Special Edition: Rebel Queen Retrospective

2 Sep

*** *Jumping up and down, waving madly at the brilliant readers of Musings* Hi everyone! How have you all been? Happy Thursday, and thanks for coming back and checking in as you have every single week. Today, because she’s a good friend and a gifted writer to boot, my grrl Bouffant is back to school us Retro-style on a Misfit Rebel Queen that we may not have known about before. But since you all are devastatingly clever and outrageously cool peeps (um, hello, you’re Kristen Stewart fans, also enthusiastic Eminem fans I’ve discovered!), I’ve found there ain’t nothin you aren’t already in the know about. Today’s Featured Rebel is probably already a friend of yours. I will be posting my usual essay this week too, probably tomorrow, the latest, Saturday. With the Launch of The Magical Little Practice yesterday, I need a teeeeensy bit more time to organize Musings this week. This will not be a regular habit, me slacking off on posting days, I promise. It was just a particularly gnarly week and I want to give you all of myself per usual, and this was how I proposed to do so. Plus, you get to read one of Bouffant’s excellent essays on one of the many, many Royal Rebels out there….All. Around. WIN. A couple notes: I was able to get onto the comment section of last week’s Musings and reply to some of your comments, check it out when you have a chance. Also, when you leave your Twitter ID or an active email address, if I don’t already know ’em, it makes it easier for me to reply as well. Please know that even if you don’t hear from me right away, I read and am blown away by each and every one of your comments, tweets and emails, and you all give me ideas to laugh and cry about; courage and wings to soar and conquer; beautiful pictures (Kristen and Rob are sooo easy on the eyes) and articles over which to marvel. We really are Royal Misfits together, aren’t we? It’s been a pleasure, my friends. Ok. So I’m done weeping through this introduction…..I’ll see you cats tomorrow….*clears throat* AHEM. Without further ado, let’s give a warm Rebel reception (Fist pumps, W000Ts and a cooler-than-fuck Jay-Z Head Nod of Acknowledgement) to the hairdo that keeps me in line: BOUFFANT……***

w00t! Bouffant in the hizzzouse!
How’s this for a warm welcome, KJ?

Hello, Royals and Rebels! I am gingerly stepping into KJ’s shoes this week, as she launches her Magical Little Practice, experience the euphoric rush witnessing doors opening, circumstances lining up, and opportunities flooding her way. BTW KJ, may I take a moment here to ask you to consider dropping the “little”, and inserting instead “marvelous”, “blindingly brilliant”, “knockout”, or “astonishing…? Y’know, something along those lines — think about it, bb.

So — Bouffant is in the house! Take a stroll with me down memory lane to spend a little time with a Royal Rebel of Yore. Don’t forget to grab a cold one as we go…

Other Queen, Retro-Style

Ellen Burstyn

Do you know her? I bet you know her face, if not her name. Television fans, especially younger fans, might recognize her from a memorable performance on Law & Order SVU as Elliott Stabler’s mentally ill mother, or as Barb Henrickson’s mother in Big Love. Maybe you first saw her as Vivi in Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. It’s likely you were seared by her Oscar-nominated performance in Requiem For A Dream, 10 years ago.

Since beginning her career in the 1950’s, Ellen has worked regularly on stage, in film and on television, beginning with the proverbial move from the midwest to New York City and a gig as a showgirl on “The Jackie Gleason Show”. She also found time to study with Lee Strasberg at The Actors Studio (a veritable breeding ground for Other Queens and Royal Rebels). Going against the grain in Hollywood, her career surged as she turned 40, and has not yet abated, although she turns 78 this December.

*Kj peeks in*.
Dayum. Me.OW.

I first saw Ellen Burstyn in The Last Picture Show when I was but a lassie; it ran regularly on television B.C. (before cable). Based on a 1966 Larry McMurtry novel, The Last Picture Show was the story of two teenage boys, best friends, in a small Texas town (I cringe to include the phrase “coming-of-age”, but it’s no cliche here).

Have you not seen it? Promise me you’ll click right over to Amazon and buy it (for the low low price of $11.49!)… right after you finish reading this, of course. The cast is full of great actors young and old, giving among the best performances of their careers, and it’s arguably the best work of Peter Bogdanovich’s directing career. Ellen evoked a haunting portrayal of Lois Farrow, the wealthy, alcoholic, former beauty, coping with the consequences of her choices and pushing her daughter to choose differently; and earned an Oscar nom for it.

A sitcom called “Alice” ran on television for about 10 years in the ’70s and ’80s. I was vaguely aware that it was based on a film, but I was grown up and the sitcom was off the air before I saw “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore“, starring Ellen as Alice Hyatt, the widow who revives her dream of becoming a singer, and drags her son along with her. It’s a 1974 Martin Scorsese film, and need I really describe it further than that? (Again – hold your horses, you can watch the movie when we’re DONE here.)

Ellen gave an Oscar-winning performance as a woman attempting to sort out the chaos of her life, brave enough to change direction mid-course, perhaps not quite brave enough to trust in a relationship again. Burstyn and Scorsese succeeded in reflecting the challenge middle-aged American women were currently facing in incorporating the radical changes of the second wave of the feminist movement into their lives. It’s a dramatic, funny, emotional story, about relationships, mainly. Kris Kristofferson (there’s a nominee for the Royal Rebel court) played Ellen’s love interest, and a 12-year old Jodie Foster appeared in an eye-opening, kinda hilarious supporting role.

More attention deserves to be paid to Ellen’s acting career and its numerous related honors and awards (5 Oscar noms! The Tony! Emmy noms! First woman elected President of Actors’ Equity! Artistic director of the Actors’ Studio! Starring role in the Exorcist! …ahhh, I give up), but this is KJ’s blog, and I’d rather not overstay my welcome… Ellen’s work as an actress is enough to ensure her a place in the Other Queen Royal Court, but the authenticity of spirit behind her work has also pushed her to new and interesting non-acting-related places that she has seen fit to share…

“As we grow up–I’m sure it’s true for men also, but I don’t really know about that–women want to please. And we develop a false face that says, “I am what you’re looking for, I am what you want me to be, I am pleasing to you, I am a good girl.” So the process of becoming yourself is a process of mask removal, letting them fall away until your own face shines through.”
-Ellen Burstyn

An upbringing in the Catholic church apparently was not enough to feed Ellen’s soul (hello, me!), nor was a long period of psychoanalysis (no matter what Woody Allen says about it). She spent several years studying Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam, and by the mid-70s had settled into practicing Sufism, and in fact, reaching the status of a Sufi minister. She continues this practice today, illuminating her work with her ongoing journey toward inner transformation.

In 1999, Ellen undertook a spiritual retreat. We’re not talking about sitting in a temple and ohm-ing. Ellen followed the practice of the Zen Peacemakers’ Street Retreats, and lived on the streets of New York City for three days with no money or possessions. She wrote about it in her memoir “Lessons In Becoming Myself”.

“I did the street retreat because I was so afraid of it. I could physically feel how much fear I had about being away from my comfort zone, my bed, and especially not having any identity. The whole idea of begging was terrifying. The first time I did it, I had to a cross a street to a restaurant with tables outside. Two women were eating there and I decided to approach them. As I walked toward them, I felt like I was crossing over some line that I had consciously never known was there. I was purposefully stepping through my ego to experience what was on the other side. I approached the women and simply asked, ‘Excuse me, but I need a dollar for the subway. Could either of you spare a dollar?’ The woman closest to me reached into her pocket and handed me a dollar without taking her eyes off her companion’s face. I said ‘Thank you’ and walked away. I felt a strange pride that I had really accomplished something, but then enormous sadness as I realized that neither of the women had looked at me. I had got what I needed, but I had been disregarded, I had not been seen.”

How many of us would have the courage to do that? To have the compassion to literally put ourselves in the shoes of those people in our society who have the very least? To see living on the street as a spiritual practice?

Offenses of Otherness:

**Gets more work as a middle-aged woman and senior citizen than most actresses under 30**

**Practices a religion related to Islam and little-known in western culture**

**Chose to experience life as a homeless person**

Ellen’s actions brought home to me a new awareness of the people I walk by every day. For the past ten years, I’ve had my own spiritual practice going. I look at homeless people, whether or not I give them money. I look them in the eye. I acknowledge their request. I acknowledge their presence, their humanity. I see myself in them, and them in me. And while Ellen’s performances have touched me, this personal, spiritual experience she shared has truly affected who I am. In every one of Ellen’s photographs or films, I see her wearing her crown from the Court of Other Queens.

Thanks for shoving over on the couch and making room for me, KJ 😉 For those of you jonesing for some Kristen lurve, I know KJ will serve it up soon. Although Kristen has donned her NinjaStew disguise, knowing she can go about her business undisturbed makes me happy. This week’s playlist is all NOLA-inspired, in honor of the reigning Other Queen – enjoy!

Special Edition Rebel Royal of Yore: Judy Garland

13 Jul

Hello, Lovelies! It’s Kj. Every week I write Musings on my own, then hand it off to my awesome pre-readers/Betas for review. Today’s Special Edition of Musings is featuring a contributing writer, Bouffant. Remember, when I told you I would have different folks stop by and drop knowledge on all things Rebel Royalty? Yeah, well today is our First Ever Rebel Royal of Yore essay. Bouffant is my dear friend, and one of my pre-readers every week. Additionally, she is a talented thinker and writer in her own right. She keeps me in line when I go rogue (which, um, is frequent). Her hope is to introduce us to some of the Forgotten Queens. The Royal Misfits who blazed trails for our Other Royals today. I’ll post my regular Musings on Thursday. We just get a little extra treat this week. I’m going to settle into my bean bag chair and enjoy story time. But since I can’t keep my pie-hole shut, I’ll probably pop in from time to time. Look for me here **…and near gratuitous pictures of our Reigning Queen The Stew and her Rebel Partner In Crime: JawPorn** Ok. Take it away, B.


As with many of you, my friend KJ’s weekly thoughts on Other Queens have captivated me.  KJ elevates us all- because who among us not an Other Queen, on the inside if not the outside? – by placing us in the court of Rebel Royalty.  Princess KJ honored me by asking me to contribute to her musings, and I leapt at the opportunity. But what to talk about?  KJ’s writing is like poetry to me, and I don’t mind telling you it’s slightly intimidating, adding my voice to hers.

*Oh, B. I’m blushing.I am honored that you’re contributing your voice. Here, this is for you and all our Rebel Sisters who have something to say:*

Our reigning Other Queen (and if you need me to tell you that’s Kristen Stewart, you need to turn around and read this blog from the beginning) has talked in recent months about her decision to play Joan Jett in The Runaways.  She said she wanted to make people her age aware of The Runaways.

*(throat clearing) Just in case, you know, you lost focus.*
um. Ohai DakotaStew. unf.
Here, I’ll confess to two things.  First, I’m old (relatively speaking).  Second, I am usually not aware that I’m old.  Both of those things will happen to you too someday, if you’re lucky. Anyway, I’m about three years younger than Joan Jett.  I remember the original Runaways lineup.  And I forget that people Kristen’s age wouldn’t know a lot of the music and bands from that era.  Kids today!  OK, I’ll stop.  BTW you have my permission to shoot me if I ever say that and mean it.  So, like KJ, I am using Kristen as my writing inspiration today.  I want to tell you about Other Queens from past courts.  Not Joan, not today, although she definitely owns a crown (which looks awesome with her leather pants, incidentally).  Today I’m going to talk about Judy Garland.

You may only know Judy’s name because she starred in The Wizard of Oz.  I hope you’ve seen it!  It’s a classic film and a cultural touchstone.
*absolutely agree with you on this, B. But those freaky-ass flying monkeys are a hard limit for me, just sayin’*
Judy delivered a lovely performance in it, and gave the all-time definitive rendition of ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’.  If you’ve never really watched/listened to her sing that song in the film, do yourself a favor and pay attention to it.  Judy’s innocence and yearning in that performance is heartbreaking.  Judy often performed it live in later years, and said about it:
“…but maybe I get more emotional about ‘Rainbow.’ I never shed any phony tears about it. Everybody has songs that make them cry. That’s my sad song.”

Everyone loves Judy Garland.
What makes her Other?
Sometimes you can have the admiration of everyone you know, yet still feel Other on the inside.
“If I am a legend, then why am I so lonely?”

“Hollywood is a strange place if you’re in trouble. Everybody thinks it’s contagious.”

‘In the silence of night I have often wished for just a few words of love from one man, rather than the applause of thousands of people.”

“As for my feelings toward “Over the Rainbow”, it’s become part of my life. It is so symbolic of all my dreams and wishes that I’m sure that’s why people sometimes get tears in their eyes when they hear it.”
— Judy Garland

Judy was 16 years old when she made The Wizard of Oz.  She had been performing on stage since she was two and a half (her parents were vaudevillians), and signed with MGM at 13 years old; around the time her father died of meningitis.  Louis B. Mayer recognized her extraordinary talent, although he had no idea what to do with her at first.  He referred to her as his “little hunchback”, had her fitted with caps for her teeth and prosthetics to alter her nose, enforced a restricted diet for her, and had the studio doctor prescribe Benzedrine to shrink her waistline — all with the complicity and approval of her stage mother, who Judy once called “the real Wicked Witch of the West”.
*that is all kinds of ridonk messed up. So she really was only seen as ‘pretty’ when she was bound and prostehtically-enhanced? um. NO.*
She attended studio school with teen queens Ava Gardner, Deanna Durbin and Lana Turner, which did nothing to alleviate her physical insecurities.

Co-stars at study… or a photo op?

Mickey Rooney was another classmate, and Judy’s co-star in the Andy Hardy films.  Andy and Betsey (their characters) were about as wholesome a pair of kids as you could find on the silver screen.  Mayer hit on a winning girl-next-door type for Judy to play, and the  series was very successful.  The following year, Shirley Temple being unavailable, Mayer cast Judy in The Wizard of Oz, ordering her to bind her breasts to appear younger onscreen.  Her drug cocktail was increased – she was given uppers to get her on set and downers to get to sleep.  She talked in later years about being allowed to sleep for four hours, then being given more uppers to continue filming.

At sixteen years old.  Not just sanctioned, but ordered by the authority figures in her life.
*The LiLo of the 30’s? Thank goodness there weren’t rabid papz then like there are now.*

As we know, Judy knocked Dorothy Gale out of the park.  At the 1940 Academy Awards, Judy received a “Juvenile Award” Oscar celebrating her performances in 1939.  Her star rose.  Judy transcended adolescent parts and made a slew of successful films, some classics. If you haven’t seen Meet Me in St. Louis, Judgment at Nuremburg or A Star Is Born… just do.

As film roles dried up (due in part to her mental instability), Judy segued into live concerts and television appearances, solidifying her legend with the stunning combination of her astounding vocal quality and her personal charisma.  Like Fred Astaire did with dance, Judy disguised her considerable artistry.  Her vocal appeal was open, vibrant and warm, much like her personality.  Her technical skill was unmatched, except perhaps by Frank Sinatra.

You won’t be surprised to learn that through all this, Judy struggled with drug addiction, while denying it publicly. There weren’t any rehabs back then for Judy.
*No Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew? No Intervention on A&E? Whaaa?*
She did visit psychiatric hospitals now and then, for breakdowns and suicide attempts.  Her addiction and health problems meant that that she was not dependable professionally, particularly in later years.
*The chick’s hardcore*

She also struggled to find lasting and true love, marrying five separate times, beginning with an engagement to David Rose at the tender age of 18.  MGM pressured them to delay the announcement for a year as being married did not jibe with her girlish image.  (Not to mention that Rose was still married to Martha Raye when he proposed to Judy.)  Her next four marriages each had their own unique set of problems, but the result was the same – disappointment.

How do I get to Carnegie Hall?
Practice, practice, practice

As turbulent as Judy’s personal life was, her talent was such that she worked consistently, was excellent frequently, and now and then made truly great art.  In April of 1961, Judy gave two concerts at Carnegie Hall.  The audience was packed with superstars of the day (and lucky regular folks).  Judy was at the peak of her powers, and faced with an audience who really knew her (professionally, and for many, personally), she created magic.  Judy’s vibrance, vulnerability, voice, and her incomparable ability to connect with her audience were fortunately captured for posterity by Capital Records:

The April 23rd performance has become commonly known as “the greatest night in show business history”.  Almost 50 years old, it’s hardly wrinkled and dusty.  It commands one’s attention.  It strikes straight through to one’s soul.  It’s a magnificent triumph.  It’s still a touchstone for performers today — in fact Rufus Wainwright actually recreated it four years ago in a live Carnegie Hall show.  I was fortunate enough to be in the balcony that evening.  Everyone present, from Rufus up to the last row in the house, was there to honor Judy’s spirit.  It was a daring effort, and I doubt many performers alive today could have pulled it off, but Rufus approached it with the correct measures of dedication, devotion, talent, historical perspective, humor, and balls.  As an homage to a legend, it fit the bill.

Judy died eight years after her landmark performance.  She spent that time working, mostly on stage, and battling her demons.  She divorced her fourth husband in 1963, and married again in March of 1969.  Two months later, she was dead of a barbiturate overdose, at age 47.

That’s the age I am right now.
That’s a short fucking life.

Beauty Marks: 1. One of the most technically accomplished voices of the 20th century. 2. Oscar winner. 3. The one and only Dorothy Gale. 4. Credited with creating the greatest night in show business history.

Offenses of Otherness: (Per Other-Hunters, Mother-Exploiters, Studio Heads, and AssClowns) 1. Looked like a normal, pretty young girl. 2. Had breasts. 3. Defied manipulation attempts by parental authority figures as soon as she was old enough. 4. Battled drug addiction (with little to no professional help).

“After 9/11, when we first were going to war and the state of things looked pretty dismal, I bought the rerelease.  Somehow that album, no matter how dark things seemed, made everything brighten.  She had this capacity to lighten the world through the innocence of her sound.  Her anchor to the material was obviously through her devotion to music.  You never feel that she didn’t believe every word of every song that she ever sang.”
–Rufus Wainwright

Judy had no family stability, no parents to turn to for support.  She was expected to be an adult while still a child.  She was professionally exploited before she was old enough to drive.  She was in the grip of addiction from adolescence on.

*I am being schooled in the legend of Judy. I’m in speechless awe.*

Yet she gave so much of herself.  She laid herself bare in performance.  She received love from the world, but what she gave of herself must have cost her much.  Because she can still touch us 40 years after her death, because she’s the girl who taught us how to get back home even though she couldn’t, because she laughed and sang through her pain, Judy Garland is an Other Queen.

“Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.”
–Judy Garland

Judy is Other.
Kristen is Other.
Others push onward despite lack of parental support
Embrace your Other.
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