By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
JAMES ST. JAMESnever does the obvious. The sequins-for-blood party presence who found himself the best friend of spiraling club kid MICHAEL ALIG chronicled all that stuff in Disco Bloodbath, and now he wants to hang with reputable publishing types, not drooling dismemberers. He's entering the literary world with his next book, a novel called Freak Show, and it's actually for teens! Who happen to be drag queens! "It's a huge demographic out there," James assured me the other day by phone from L.A. "I get letters from 14-year-olds who go to school in drag in a Texas town. It's a whole new world!" To quote the immortal Bard himself, "Oh brave new world that has such teen drag queens in it."
It won't be James's first young audience, mind you. "When I wrote Bloodbath," he said, "it never dawned on me that teenagers would be reading it. But after the movie version ( Party Monster) came out and then it played on TV, that's all that saw it! I don't know if they get that it's a cautionary tale. I was horrified that kids came away with the message that it's glorifying drugs and murder. It's not about how fabulous the scene isit's about how unfabulous Michael Alig is!" Well, this time, to make things a tiny bit clearer, James is strictly striving to celebrate drag queens, and not the type that lurk around the shower in Psycho.
James and I, of course, were semidrag bosom buddies for years, sharing a young lifetime of primping and blottingand he remembers every dangerous second of it. In fact, James wasn't surprised when I told him that the fat guy from Project Runway recently gave me the finger at a club without provocation. "I remember people throwing drinks at you all the time," James reminded. "Remember when the BEASTIE BOYS came offstage and tipped the table on us? And at the Sid and Nancy party, people were throwing cherries! I guess [the Runway guy] didn't want to be seen kissing your ass, so he went to the other extreme."
I was cheeredpeople throw things because I'm fabulous, that's all! And I hung up with an even bigger grin when we switched topics to the obvious and James swore to me, "Anna Nicole was our Princess Diana." Start singing, ELTON.
TOUCHED BY A TRANS ANGEL
Teen drag queens and even some clear-skinned ones were honored last week at CHERRY JUBILEE's annual Glammy Awards at Webster Hall, where the hair was even higher than the Jersey bouffants that usually fill the place. Best Lip-synch Artist SWEETIE lovingly accepted on behalf of all the drag queens in the world who can't sing a note. Best Singer (yes, he can do so) JIMMY JAMES was thrilled to be the SCORSESE of the night, mock-snarling, "I finally won the fucking Glammy! How long you have withheld this from me for all these fucking years!" And JONNY MCGOVERNwho won a special Trans Angel award for always helping the cd's (cross-dressers) with their CDsgushed, "I'd like to thank Jesus for making me a faggot because there ain't nothing better, baby!"
The only down note? I almost didn't get into the club because after a search of my entire being, they found a pill bottle and couldn't be sure it wasn't something illegal. I guess the Duane Reade on the label wasn't enough to convince them.
I popped the whole bottle's worth for PAUL VERHOEVEN's Black Book, a high-octane melodrama with raunchy touches like pubic hair dying, a gun mistaken for a penis (been there), and a Flashdance-style "Maniac" routine with fecal matter. (I may be trivializing that moment. No, I'm definitely trivializing that moment.) But the moviewhich is basically about how a Cadbury bar helped defeat the Nazishas some real feeling and old-style oomph through its over-the-top theatrics. Nomi Malone would definitely like it.
Another pastel-colored epic, MIRA NAIR's The Namesake, is a lovingly done Calcutta-to-Gotham tale that pits family and tradition against all sorts of brave-new-world possibilities. After a Tribeca Cinema Series screening, Nair praised her star, KAL PENN, though she admitted she couldn't sit through all of his Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle. "It was absolutely puerile," she said, laughing. "But the kids love it." So much so that she threw a pot-smoking scene into The Namesake as an homage.
Take your own giant toke right now and prepare for this head-spinning gossip break: The Dell dudespeaking of pot luckwas spotted tending bar at Tortilla Flats . . . HARVEY WEINSTEIN is doing a club with doorman-turnedFactory Girl actor Armin Amiri . . . DOUGLAS KEEVE (who directed Unzipped) is directing a documentary about the Gramercy Park Hotel . . . On Dancelife, BLAKE MCGRATH is truly butching it up for the camera. Trust me. It's from the bottom of my heart . . . I hit rock bottom watching the NAACP Image Awards and catching Isaiah "you're a faggot" WASHINGTON rise up to accept an award! An Image Award! As everyone stood and cheered for his wonderful guts! What nexta gay-pride trophy for ANN COULTER? That godless, horse-faced neigh-sayer just wet herself againand even conservatives think she was out of line! (No, let me not make any more comments about that one. It turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the word cunt. Besides, I'm sure she was just doing a Sarah Silverman and invoking bigotry in order to comment on it. Weren't you, cunt?)