Thursday, July 13, 2017

Anthurium no. 1153 "Tintim"

This one's not especially interesting, but there's a run of unusual Anthurium seedlings coming up after it. Just in case you feel like getting excited early.

It's hard to come up with much to say about TinTim; its most notable for being one of the few known seedlings of 'Pandola' to bloom. 'Pandola' was a great plant, and we'll eventually see that some of its seedlings are quite nice,1 but most of them have problems with thrips to some degree or another, and TinTim has really bad thrips problems. The photo above is of his first bloom; below we have the second.

In fairness, the crack on the right side is my fault; I did it while setting the bloom up for photos. All the cracking at the bottom of the spathe, though, is not my fault. Probably the thrips' idea.

Also, for whatever reason, both spadices to date have had multiple slight bends in them, which does happen with the Anthuriums sometimes but it's unusual for them to be quite this crooked, two blooms in a row.

Also the plant as a whole is in bad shape, though some or most of that is my fault; his root system's never been very good, and recently the plant was almost entirely pulled out of the pot, so right now he's trying to function on a single root.2 I doubt this is going to work for very long; I actually can't remember a time when giving a seedling a chance to re-root has ever been successful, and the leaves are already wilting.

Verdict: almost certainly not a keeper.

The drag queen TinTim is difficult to search for,3 but I did find a YouTube channel and Twitter account.

I found one video especially interesting, in which TinTim answers a question about whether or not faux queens (biological women who perform as drag queens; I've mentioned them here a couple times before) are appropriating gay culture. TinTim's answer is basically no, but what I liked about the video was that she links it to the question of whether drag itself is appropriative of women, and then talks about the way that RuPaul's Drag U was a little uncomfortable to watch sometimes because of the dynamic between the drag queens and the women they were helping.4

My general feeling on this sort of question tends toward let a million flowers bloom, i.e., let everybody do what they want unless it's directly harmful to others. There doesn't seem to be any evidence that gay male drag queens are having trouble finding gigs because of the existence of faux queens; I might feel differently if there were. But I think it's delightful we're at the point where women performing as men who are performing as women is a thing. (It's just so ridiculous. . . .)

I'm unsure whether drag queens are appropriative of women or not: I lean toward the idea that they're at least not necessarily so. Some individual queens are sexist or racist or otherwise objectionable, but I don't think that reflects on the form specifically; to the extent that drag is a mockery of femininity, it's more often a mockery of extreme, cartoonish, over the top femininity. And these days, we have drag kings to mock extreme masculinity in turn,5 so it seems the two things should cancel one another out.6 But I'm also only seeing it from my own perspective, as an enthusiastic outsider, so I'm sure I'm missing a lot of things. Even if the answer truly is no, drag queens are not stealing anything from women, it's still worth asking the question occasionally.


1 The only 'Pandola' seedlings to bloom so far, besides 1153 TinTim, are:
0045 Lineysha Sparx (fine but nothing special; was lost in one of the purges)
1256 Mr. Completely (meh but at least not terrible)
1262 Reggie (a little bit interesting, maybe actually good)
1265 Inez Paloma (very nice . . . except for one thing)
2 (The photo of the whole plant was taken before this happened; it looks considerably worse now.)
3 "TinTim" mostly gets you stuff about the comic The Adventures of Tintin. My French and Portuguese aren't good enough to understand why, but it looks like the same character is named "Tintin" in some languages and "TinTim" in others. I have no familiarity with the character at all personally; apparently he was never that popular in the U.S., and was a little before my time as well.
4 RuPaul's Drag U was a short-lived (3-season) reality makeover show in which cisgendered, mostly straight women were given the opportunity to dress up as drag queens, with the assistance of some of the queens who had appeared on previous seasons of RuPaul's Drag Race. Basically a sort of "faux queen for a day" deal. I didn't watch all of it, and don't have particularly vivid memories of the parts I did watch; it was meant to be a fairly lighthearted makeover show without all the drama and competition of Drag Race, and it was.
I do remember thinking that it was a weird choice to only makeover women, that a show in which aspiring or new drag queens got help and tips from older and more experienced queens could be a lot more interesting. (Especially since Drag Race spent less and less time explaining how drag actually worked as it went on -- a show that focused more on the art and technical aspects, instead of the drama and performances, would have been very compelling to me.) I suppose the producers might have foreseen problems with male Drag U contestants applying to be on Drag Race somehow; maybe it would have been perceived as stacking the Drag Race deck in favor of some contestants and not others? Though the editing on Drag Race did that anyway, really blatantly, so I'm not sure why it would matter.
5 This is one of the reasons why I wish drag kings were more prominent and famous: I feel like extreme, cartoonish masculinity is a much bigger problem at the moment than extreme, cartoonish femininity, because there are a lot of people who genuinely behave as though being a man hinges on emulating cartoon masculinity, in destructive ways. A few well-placed drag kings could go a long way toward puncturing that belief. Or at least I'd like to think they could.
6 Not to mention that the extreme femininity that drag queens parody is, itself, mostly the creation of powerful and influential men.


Paul said...

TinTim looks like one best relocated to the compost pile. You've had others that were far better.

mr_subjunctive said...


Yup. It's not even trying to re-root, and the leaves are all wilted and getting more so. If it weren't such a hassle to change all the spreadsheets, I'd have tossed it already.