A screencap from the finale of Top Chef: Las Vegas, and screencaps from the first five episodes of this season of Top Chef Masters.
Thursday, May 06, 2010
Possums, we are great believers in the powers of time, and just look what time has done for Gael Greene. Though scarcely four years old, her memoir, Insatiable: Tales from a Life of Delicious Excess, has gone from being execrable (and we were trying to be kind) to being a minor camp classic, and may soon be a television series.
How do you judge campiness in the case of memoir? Well, just imagine a drag queen doing a dramatic reading. Would a drag queen love it? Would it work?
We submit that, under this criterion, Insatiable qualifies. Just have a look at this passage:
“I…remember the terror and joy of discovering masturbation. I shared a bedroom with my sister….At night after lights-out, I would get my sister to sing along with me so she wouldn’t hear the sound of the bed creaking as my body rubbed against my wadded-up pajama bottoms. I did my heartrending Judy Garland vibrato as we sang ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ and then segued into a popular wartime anthem, ‘The White Cliffs of Dover,’ and its reassuring images of bluebirds flying free in a near tomorrow. Till, exhausted and satisfied, I fell asleep.”
Now, possums, take a minute to catch your breath. Let your eyes, which undoubtedly were popping, settle gently back in their sockets. That was quite something, eh?
Be honest now, possums. If you didn’t know it was Gael Greene’s story, wouldn’t you think it was the memoirs of a drag queen, and perhaps a parody of what an ur-drag queen’s childhood was like? Who else would beat the bishop while vocally impersonating Judy Garland?
As you can see, Gael Green really is Top Chef Master of Her Domain, and we urge you to get yourself a copy.
There is one another thing that intrigued us about this passage—the bluebirds. The cited Vera Lynn World War II classic famously promises that “there’ll be bluebirds over/ the white cliffs of Dover,” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” asks, “If happy little bluebirds fly/ beyond the rainbow, why can’t I?” Would it be unreasonable to assume that Gael Greene associates bluebirds with masturbation and sexual release? Could that be why she has taken to vigorously to Twitter?