People who think they have me figured out would be very surprised to know that I have a soft spot for Bettie Page. I have a very cute vest with her pin-up photograph on it. I always found her career interesting: a very cute and perky woman as a fetish model, looking as if she had no idea she was in bondage skivvies. There was always an element of Candid Camera to it all (or, the raunchier Candid Candid Camera that I discovered existed when I was a kid and video rental place had the VHS tapes mixed up. No naked men, just women. Of course). She is the original perky goth, and good on her for it.
I stumbled on Bettie Page as a teenager. I was doing research for something in school, and came across a reference to her, and was very surprised when I found out what she did for a living. This was pre-Internet days; so it wasn’t that easy for me to find, and when I asked who she was, the males either smirked and wouldn’t tell me, or went all Victorian on me, and wouldn’t tell me because it was a “bad” thing to know.
I could pretty much figure out things just by the refusal to tell me that she was a pin-up girl. You have Playboy, Penthouse, and Hustler in the same variety store that sold kids candies, but I am going to fall apart knowing that are such things as fetish models?
I think David Lee Roth gave an interview of his affinity for her years prior to his album.
And then, when I finally knew who she was and her place in popular culture, whenever I mentioned her, guys my age flipped their lids. How could I know about Bettie Page?
I also knew about G.G. Allin, which I would then bring up, creating a bigger flip out as if no young woman could possibly know about both Bettie Page and G.G. Allin.
I also knew about obscure comic book characters, the ribald version of Chuck Berry’s Reeling and Rocking, which I owned, and I knew lots of very dirty jokes, too. I may be prim and proper, but I am still a punk.
I found it strange that there was some sort of expectation that my knowledge bank should just include My Little Pony and Revlon.
My reach is global and goes back to ancient times because I am inquisitive by nature, and always up to learning and embracing different things.
I am not petty or jealous. I will learn from all sorts of people past, present, and future, nor do I hoard knowledge or draw artificial lines in the sand.
And if you think you are going to draw a line in the sand and think I won’t cross it, think again. I will not be shamed in some bid to hold me back or frustrate my journey of finding all the deepest truths of the universe.
But it isn’t just Bettie Page I like. My co-favourite queens are Queen Victoria, and the mighty Queen Nzinga, who happens to be Person #32 on the List of People Everyone Should Know. Queen Ana Nzinga was as liberated and badass warrior queen as you can get.
You did not screw around with her.
And that’s an inspirational mindset to live by and I do.
I may get inspired by all sorts of people — notorious, obscure, or even reclusive, but I am not a follower.
Your life must be your own. No one is you nor has the right to set the terms of what you are or are going to be. They will never be you, and drawing lines in the sand is just a game because people think they can shut down any competition because if they don’t, they will “lose” to others.
I am not of that ilk. I never have been, and never will be.
I always respected people who did not heed to authorities or mobs, and could stand alone because they knew what they were doing or saying was the truth.
People will praise you one day, and want to burn you into the ground the next.
So be it.
Their decrees are not mine, nor should they be because people are governed by fear — and do you really want that to be what defines your life?
It doesn’t define mine. It is a wasted emotion.
And I have better things to do than that.
Because in an Age of Propaganda, there is an attempt to shackle people with invisible chains.
They don’t exist. It is a ruse and a scam, just like the line in the sand.
The visionaries see the game and perform a simple, but powerful form of magic.
They align their perceptions with reality, and then see the shackles do not exist, and when you defy the fake shackles, there is no stopping you.
And that’s how new worlds are created…