Wednesday, May 12, 2010

On This Episode of Lifestyles of the Young and Fabulous: In Defense of "D-List" Celebrities

What part of "I'm a FREE BITCH, baby!"
did you not understand?

"Hmmmm... let's see:

"Sandra Bullock -- A list
"Jesse James -- D list
"Bombshell McGee -- D list
"Johnny Depp -- A list
"Kelly Osbourne -- D list
"Johnny Weir --    "

"Hey Mom?"

"Yes, dear?"

"Who decides who's A-list and who's D-list?"

"Well, the term 'A-list' comes from James Ulmer, who sort of invented this scale to determine how bankable celebrities are--who is worth investing money in because they'll generate a lot of money in return, and who isn't. He doesn't include a D-list on his scale, but others came up with that term as sort of a joke for bottom-of-the-barrel celebrities."

"Oh. So this is a made-up thing? By people who took it upon themselves to judge other people and decide who's at the top and who's at the bottom of some fake barrel?"


"Like how in junior high or high school, the jocks and the cheerleaders get to decide who's popular and who isn't, who gets bullied and who doesn't? Like that?"

"Yes, pretty much exactly like that."

"Even though these are grown-ups we're talking about?"

"Yes, even though."

"So it's not based on the real value of a person, like how God sees them? It's based on artificial stuff that some really insecure people think is important--especially money--but that people who aren't completely clueless know is not important?"

"Yes, I'd say that's accurate."

"So why do people say that Johnny Weir spends too much time hanging out with 'D-list' people and that it's going to ruin his career?"

"I think they forget that Johnny doesn't see people that way. Remember we talked yesterday about how he embraces people and life with an open mind and an open heart? He doesn't rank people in those ways. And I think he's probably drawn to so-called 'D-listers,' people who have been judged by others to be outsiders and misfits, because he very much identifies with being outside the mainstream. Even though he appreciates surface trappings--like fabulously fashion-forward clothes and gender-bending accessories--he is kind, gracious, sensitive, and perceptive, and he sees people's hearts more than their status--or the status that's been forced on them by others."

"So he hasn't turned to prostitution or started smoking crack or agreed to star in a porn movie or anything like that even though he's been hanging out with the 'wrong' people?"

"Not that I know of, no. So far the worst that's happened is that he's decided to sing a song, and to accept an invitation from Donald Trump (A list? B list? Z list? Hell, I don't know. I just don't see people that way either) to judge the Miss USA pageant this Sunday."

"Did you say JUDGE? A BEAUTY pageant? Isn't that the opposite of everything Johnny stands for?"

"Well, it might seem so, on the face of it. It's sure to be sparkly, though, so he'll like that. And I'm also sure he'll bring his unique viewpoint to the show, so it promises to be interesting. And I think I'm not going to judge his decision to participate any further than that. He's on the panel with a lot of well-known names--although I have no idea what list Paula Deen and Oscar Nunez are on--and that can only increase his visibility and maybe help him get sponsors for the ice show he'd like to do."

"Wow. Johnny Weir and Paula Deen in the same sentence is like caviar with corn syrup. So why are people freaked out when he's photographed with 'D-listers' or wearing eyeliner or whatever? What's with 'the-sky-is-falling' stuff?"

"I think people's reactions to those things speak volumes about themselves, not about Johnny. I think it shows prejudices that they may not even be aware that they hold, and how little they really understand Johnny. I think some are very uncomfortable with Johnny when he chooses different looks that don't fit our society's accepted 'suit-and-tie' definition of 'masculinity.' Johnny challenges stereotypes and is not easily categorized. People feel more comfortable with stuff that fits a pattern with which they are familiar. They like it when he's doing and saying and wearing what they think he should be doing and saying and wearing."

"But it's not up to them, right? I mean, hasn't he managed his own life pretty well up to this point without any input from people he doesn't even know?"

"Yes, I would say so. But people have strong opinions because they care so much about him and they don't want to see him make mistakes and get hurt."

"So criticizing everything he does that they don't agree with helps because....?"

"Well, I don't know that it helps him, but it helps them when they feel that they can express their opinions. Although I personally don't think free speech should be used as an excuse for being harshly judgmental."

"So we left church because of the pervasive prejudice and judgmentalism and hypocrisy, and yet here we are...."

"Yes, here we are, in the real world, where those things flourish just like they do at church or pretty much wherever groups of people gather. And good word usage with 'pervasive,' BTW. But that's not what's really important anyway."

"No. What's important is that God sees people for who they are, and loves them, and doesn't rank them or put them on stupid lists. Which is how we ought to try to treat each other."

"Yes. And we have to remember that everybody is on their own path. Nobody has to walk your path but you. Nobody has to walk Johnny's path but Johnny. You can encourage others; you can offer advice if asked; but ultimately, you're responsible for your path and your choices and your mistakes. And since none of us is in charge here, we don't know where someone else's path needs to go or what twists and turns it needs to take in order for that person to learn and grow and become who he or she is meant to be in the end. It's a lifelong process that comes with lots of opportunity for screw-ups and triumphs and renewal and redemption. And if anybody on this planet already knows that at the young age of 25, it's Johnny Weir."

"Yep. He's pretty cool. Hey Mom?"

"Yes, dear?"

"The cat just threw up behind you again."

PLEASE VOTE HERE for Johnny to win
the 2010 Readers' Choice Skater of the Year Award!
And please keep voting for Johnny
as "Most Addictive Reality Star"
in the NewNowNext Awards! Vote here
(he's the last one listed in the fifth category--scroll down!)
or on Twitter by constantly tweeting #realityWEIR.
Voting ends June 4, which gives us plenty of time
to get Johnny oh, say, ONE MILLION votes!

copyright 2010 / Binky and the Misfit Mimes / Lynn V. Ingogly / all rights reserved


Anonymous said...

*thunderous applause*

Very well done and point on.

Anonymous said...

:D Loved this one, a reply to many not as wise

nancy king said...

your best blog post yet.. wow your writing is fantastic and you express exactly how I feel about all these "opinions" being expressed. We are fans and fans are supposed to just love. that's it and unconditional I might add too. thanks for your unconditional love of johnny. Nancy

bsontwit - twitter said...

Good points Binky!

I am happy to say that Johnny is probably well above D list these days, not that it matters, but I hope he gets what he wants out of this fame. I am sure that Miss USA will really get him seen even more. I think its great he tries different things and meets different people. Who knows for sure who he hanging out with, and like you said, its really not for us to judge. I say let him be a 25 year old and enjoy himself for awhile however he chooses. The world is open to him right now and I am glad he's embracing it.

Personally I love his different looks and personalities, who is the same all the time anyway? As far as advice, one thing I know is I have none for him. Its a fun but crazy Hollywood world and I would not have a clue whats right for even myself in that world. He seems to be handling it well so far. As always, I hope the best for him!!

Anonymous said...

Oh girl, I love you!

It's a shame there are always people who can't find their own path and think it's wise to start "walking" on anybody's own path; they don't realize they will never be able to do so.


auntyamyj said...

Hugs and kisses to you, Lovey! Well said!

Anonymous said...


My sentiments - EXAAACTLY!!!!!

Iam so glad that you have this Blog where you can voice your thoughts/beliefs concerning Johnny separate from his fanpage on Facebook. I read the many comments posted there and often refrain from commenting at all because I do not care to be bothered by those who choose to criticise Johnny. Yes, I know, they don't feel that it is negative or criticism. But that is what it is. Just because a comment is void of any blatantly harsh words does not mean it is not judgmental.

Yes, so much of what Johnny does is precisely why he is more than just a skater to us. And yes, he talks to everyone...he would even talk to a bush!

Always in awe of your candor and wit...Bravo!


Anonymous said...

I love you, Binky. I want to let you know I still read your blog/"stalk it like it's hot" even though I'm not able to inhabit the net frequently these days. And although I don't always leave a comment (I know I should, but sometimes words just...escape me), I always love and appreciate your posts.

Your post today reminded me of part of an old saying: "If you love something, let it go..." I guess that can be hard for some people, but I do agree it's completely necessary. Johnny's not just a figure skater (as remarkable and talented and marvelous as he is) -- he is a person on his own journey, trying out and testing the various options before him and to put him in a box and dictate "Yea, he should" or "He shouldn't" is one of the most stifling things to do. Frankly, I think that would kill him. He doesn't just grow and learn within his ice rink, he has to get out there as well and enjoy the life around him and breathe. The extremists who like to dictate his every move should probably consider cultivating things that are totally dependent on them -- like some pea plants or a box of marimo -- to give themselves something that actually needs their constant attention.

Anonymous said...

Misfit, I was so moved (and completely thrilled) by this blog post that I just can't help it . . . I'm giving you another title:

The Shining and Crystal-Covered Heart of Weirlandia ♥

'cause you remind us all to love, love, love Johnny in a wise and kind way & cause you're saying LOUDLY and eloquently what a lot of us are thinking.

Oh yeah, and 'cause your post tags completely and absolutely RULE!


Robin aka Princess Johnny-Love

Nico said...

This is incredible! Thank you.

While I respectfully acknowledge that there is great validity in the following statement: "I'm a free-to-bitch baby," it simply doesn't hold the same appeal, excitement and ferocity as the original quote: "I'm a free bitch, baby!"

I think people confuse the subtleties between these two often, and that's understandable. Seeing it through the eyes of a curious, unbiased child makes it all crystal clear, to me.

Much love! And huge cheers for our guyliner-wearing dreamboat: Gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

OMG! Johnny Weir is doing something different, unexpected, things that make some people uncomfortable?! How stunningly shocking!

I don't understand why fans who claim to adore him are only willing to support him when--and if--Johnny does something they approve of.

It's a good thing Johnny has Patti and not these fans for a mom:
Young Johnny: Mom, I want to learn to ice skate.

Fan Moms: Johnny, don't ruin your life! You're meant to be a rider. You've already spent so much time riding, and we know you're good at that. It gives me such joy to see you ride. Stick with things you're already doing, don't try new things. That'll make me so happy. might want to quit prancing like a pony down the halls in school, because the other kids will probably think you're weird and make fun of you.
--Nancy K.

WheresMyKoppy said...

Well said, thanks for writing it!

One thing separates Johnny from many on the so-called 'D List' (and I'm not sure Bombshell Mcgee and the likes even belong up that high, lol!) is genuine talent and having done something useful with his life so far. (Someone on FB compared JW with Heidi Montag which made me cringe. Someone who is known more for having her boobs enlarged than anything else is not comparable to JW and BGJW. He's been an elite athlete for years!) But some of the folks he's been hanging out with are decent people who seem to genuinely like him. So why not enjoy himself while he can? He's got to go what he's got to do; and frankly there aren't a lot of opportunities out there for figure skaters right now. I wish there were more, I wish there were pro comps and that COI was still around; but they aren't, and since JW didn't win a medal, the fact that so many people loved his skating and thought he was screwed has given him the opportunity to go in another direction along with his skating. Good for him, and I hope he has success in all of his endeavours!

BTW, Paula Deen is a celebrity on Food Network and many cooking shows. She's not a 'chef', but she is a wonderfully funny, and caring touchy-feely Southern woman who learned to support herself and her two sons from her first marriage by cooking. She is the author of a number of cookbooks and on one of her food network shows she cooks in front of an live audience, often with a celebrity guest or two (including a number of athletes) making an appearance. I can't help wondering how much fun she'd have with Johnny on her show.

Anonymous said...

What an incredible talent you have! Words are so powerful; they should always be wielded, and interpreted, with kindness and tolerance.

Jenn Kittler said...

Thanks Binky. Your writing has helped me process this wonder that swept into my life this past January with the Olympics. So if you're ever feeling lonely and uncommented on, just think of me saying THANK YOU, because I'm thinking it even if I didn't have a chance to say it.

Two of the incidents that drew the most ire in this episode of wankdom were from Johnny's private life, and that really bothers me. Johnny went to a bar in Chelsea to have a good time. He went to a show in Vegas to have a good time. Who cares who was there. He deserves to do whatever he pleases in the precious little time he has to himself. That people criticize him for it just irks me so…

As does the idea that these 'fans' are 'better' because they do not 'enable' his behavior. Ridiculous.

So thank you again, Binky, not just for the writing, but for providing a safe space. I certainly don't feel like I could say this on the Facebook page.

Wendy said...

I have rewritten my comment so many times I've lost count! Apparently, I could write a book on this topic, and am determined not to. Today, I win, tomorrow - who knows? :)

Today, I'm simply going to say: If you are tempted to judge or bemoan any (perceived) decision that Johnny has made for himself in his life -- *instead*, why not give him the benefit of the doubt. He is not naive, has been exposed to the world for a long time for his age, and deserves it. Just assume he is a capable adult -- start from there, and work forward.

Now back to my regularly scheduled programming. xoxo. #realityWEIR

WheresMyKoppy said...

To add to what I originally posted here I would like to add; remember in BGJW when Johnny was talking about how in many ways he was 'missing this time in his life', and talked about things he could be doing, dinners he could be having, dates he could have gone on and so forth?

He's 25 years old, and he has the rest of his life in front of him. He's probably got at least fifty years of the rest of his life to worry about. He should be having some fun now and doing what he can to make a life for himself. This life is HIS life, not mine, not any of the overly critical fans, and not anyone else's either. It's Johnny Weir's life, let's let HIM live it!

Misfit Mimes said...

Hey all: Thank you so much for reading, and for all these well-said, thought-provoking comments. I really appreciate your taking the time to post, and reading your comments always enriches me.

@Robin: I'm happy somebody noticed the post tags/labels! :) When I first started out blogging, I took those kind of seriously and was very straightforward with them. Now I'm like, "Oh yay! Here are 200 more characters--cuz that's the limit for tags--where I can say SOME MORE of what I think!"