Thursday, December 04, 2008
Cool White Girls
I'm taking a very brief break from alienation to write about cool white girls, er, I mean, women. I used to wonder if such a thing were possible.
Ever since Mark and I bought the Anita O'Day Mosaic box set, however, I've been hopeful about the possibility of cool white girls in the world. Anita O'Day is cool, especially when she sings "Let's Begin" but even when she's singing a song as ridiculous as "Harriet":
"all the cow hands wanna marry Harriet / Harriet's handy with a lariat / but she don't wanna marry it / she's having too much fun..." etc
When I talk about "cool," I don't mean interesting, Feminist, laudable, amazing, talented, original or inspiring--a lot of white girls are all those things and more, and sometimes cool white girls are also all those things. If you're cool, you're not easily upset, and problems slide off you--you're controlled, stable, and composed. Like Anita O'Day, you can live well into your 80s even though you did heroin for years while still recording and touring. I certainly am not a cool white girl, although I am fabulous--I am hyper, easily baited, and have terrible hangovers.
Anita O'Day is at the top of my cool white girl list. However, she shares the top with Mae West and Jean Rhys. After that though, the list becomes more difficult. Mina Loy, Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, and Jane Bowles, you'll notice, are not on it--and they are some of my favorite white girls in the entire word. But they're not cool. Jane Bowles drank herself to death.
Here's my list--feel free to add to it and debate it:
Simone de Beauvoir
Lee Ann Brown