About Imogen Binnie
(Editorial note: Imogen says she did this interview with the ghost of English writer Angela Carter- who died of lung cancer in 1992- with a haunted ouija board.)
PQ: Hi Ms. Carter. Thank you for doing this interview.
PQ: For any of our readership unfamilar with your work, would you mind characterizing it?
GOAC: Of course! I was an English novelist and journalist, known for my feminist, magical realism, and picaresque works.
PQ: That’s it?
“I don’t know why we thought…that the brutality of patriarchy was solely the province of cis women, as if it were…something that lived inside your chest and wasn’t impacted by the world outside your ribcage.”
– Ghost of Angela Carter
GOAC: Well I don’t want to brag.
PQ: Okay I will brag for you: Between the mid-sixties and the mid-eighties, you had one of the broadest bodies of work of maybe any other writer alive: you wrote poetry, fiction, nonfiction, plays, adaptations of your own work and that of others for the screen, and curated anthologies. You were on the right side of the sex wars; I usually think that nonfiction is boring, but your book The Sadeian Woman and the Ideology of Pornography is a classic- and, characteristically in your body of work, iconoclastic- feminist re-reading of the Marquis De Sade, in which one of the most important themes was the relationship between power- social, cultural, and otherwise- and sexuality. I mean, it was basically Foucaultian, contemporaneous with Foucault, a more explicitly perspective on a lot of similar ideas.
GOAC: Well, sure.
Editorial note: Imogen swears that this is a real interview that happened in the real world, but to be frank, we at PrettyQueer don’t believe her, and want to be explicit that we are running it as fiction.
A week or so ago, I got an e-mail from Chaz Bono, asking to be interviewed on PrettyQueer. Stoked for the opportunity, I emailed back and forth with him a couple times, just to make sure that his interest in PQ was sincere; I’d have a hard time even expressing how many important celebrities are clamoring for space here. But after a couple of exchanges, I felt like his interest was coming from a good place, and also like he would be willing to answer difficult questions if they came up– an instinct that proved true. He invited me to Café Gratitude in San Francisco for this interview, where we shared the I Am Grateful, an I Am Grounded, and– the boring appropriateness was noted and mocked off-record– the I Am Transformed.
It’s interesting and worth noting that our whole process didn’t involve his publicist in any way.
PrettyQueer: Ok cool I think it’s recording. Hi Chaz, and thank you for offering to do an interview with PrettyQueer!
Chaz Bono: No problem! Thanks for having me. You know, I don’t really identify as queer in any way, but I’m always happy to help out a cool project, and I really respect the work that you and the other folks at PQ are doing. And I have some things that I want to talk about.
PQ: You mean after that New York Times article, and that “Becoming Chaz” documentary.
CB: Yeah, definitely. I’ve been thinking about stuff a lot, and talking to some folks about some stuff… see, there was some pretty intense backlash against some stuff I said, both in that article and in that documentary, but not from the places I was expecting it to come from. I was prepared for conservative folks not to get it, and like, old people, religious people, y’know– the people from whom we’re told to expect intolerance. But most of those folks have been surprisingly cool! I’ve been getting more static from the queer community, like folks with more aggressive critiques of our culture. Even though ike I said I don’t identify as gay or queer or anything, that stuff really hurt my feelings- accusations of misogyny, for example, that I’ve been essentializing masculinity, specifically by conflating testosterone with this callous, uncritically privileged way of being a man. Embodying hegemony, basically?
Red Durkin on Point: Ghosts are not real
Sometimes people blame confusing experiences on supernatural forces instead of thinking about the logical, scientific cause. Ghosts and spirits are a common example of something that is not real, but that individuals use as a replacement for the truth. I know a person that has convinced themselves that ghosts are real because of a terrifying experience one night in their bed. They woke up suddenly and couldn’t move. Despite being totally awake, their body wouldn’t respond to them, and it felt like someone was holding them down. Since then, they have remained convinced that it was an evil spirit or a ghost that kept them from moving.
Good news, it was not a ghost.
1. That folk singer lady who plays at Michfest and house shows in Chicago and stuff. The one who I think is white, and has dreads? BORING. Have you ever noticed that whenever she posts an essay about how it would be impossible for her to ever do anything transphobic, it’s a long, self-congratulatory “I have black friends” argument?