Under The Influence of Freddie Mercury.

So I was, like, all “WTF?? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!” last week when I discovered that WordPress changed itself into a new platform that I could not figure out for the life of me, but then today I found out that I could re-install the old circuits and pretend that the future had not already happened, just like I was a Republican or something, and now I’m all like OMG What a relief! I don’t have to learn anything new after all!!

This old format that I am still using will be good until 2021, at which time I will have to learn the new platform but a lot can happen between now and 2021, which looks devastating for the Earth in general but awesome for those of us who want to see Trump behind bars, In jail, Convicted, Disgraced. And take Donny Jr. with him. And Melanoma. And Stinkvanka. All of ’em. But not Eric. Being Eric is punishment enough.

Top Cat and I went to see the Queen biopic last weekend. I’ve been a bit obsessed with it ever since.

Note to Megan McCain, who interviewed the cast on The View and kept calling the film  a “bi-op-ic”, as if the first two syllables were borrowed from “biopsy”. It’s a bio-pic, a portmanteau of the words “biography” and “moving picture”. How can she be 34 and on TV and not know that??

Anyhoo, back to Bohemian Rhapsody, I get why the film got a lot of criticism for it’s shallow handling of Freedie Mercury’s interesting private life. The life-long bond that he shared with the love of his life, Mary Austin, in spite of his rather robust homosexuality was handled with Made-For-TV-quality cliches, but then, that got the film a PG13 rating which allowed my friend’s 14-year-old grandson into the theater and he loved it. Yay. Rock and roll in not dead yet if 14-year-olds can still be persuaded to listen to it!

I liked seeing the ’70s again. My eyes have been missing the world of my youth. I miss when people used to dress to thrill by wrapping themselves up in yards and yards of lace and velvet and creative and colorful cross-dressing, and not by just letting their bazingas hang out.


Freddie Mercury, 1974


Rapper Nicki Minaj attends the Haider Ackermann show as part of the Paris Fashion Week on March 4, 2017 in Paris, France. (Photo by Peter White/Getty Images)

Jesus. Her mother must be so proud. (After all, in addition to her daughter going around Paris with her bazingas hanging out, her son was recently convicted of child molestation.)

I also liked watching the group, Queen, and Freddie in particular, work themselves into being QUEEN. How an artist finds his or her way in the world is always fascinating and, yeah, it’s not like this biopic is an exhaustive study on the emergence of genius, but it still shows enough of the process to hold my interest.

The actors did not sing in the movie. They lip-synched to the original Queen material, and it’s fantastic. They even re-created, step by step, Queen’s 20-minute set on July 13, 1985 in Wembley Stadium, for Live Aid.

Oh, man. I miss the ’80s.

All in all, it’s a very entertaining movie that covers most of the band’s history up until six years before Freddie Mercury’s death, in 1991, from AIDS. Making those years, 1970 – 1985,  the timeline of the movie, and not going into the final years of Freddie’s life, is something else that critics don’t like about the film. But, to quote The Independent newspaper from Oct. 24 this year:

On the film’s approach to Mercury himself, [Rami] Malek reflected: “I think if you don’t celebrate his life, and his struggles, and how complicated he was, and how transformative he was – and wallow instead in the sadness of what he endured and his ultimate death – then that could be a disservice to the profound, vibrant, radiant nature of such an indelible human being.”

Freddie Mercury. We will never see the likes of him again.

The truly amazing thing is how the producers found actors who are dead ringers for the members of the band.

Actor Rami Malek:

Freddie Mercury of Queen, back in the day:

Actor Ben Hardy:

Drummer Roger Taylor, of Queen, back in the day:

Actor Joseph Mazzello:

Bassist John Deacon, of Queen, back in the day:

Actor Gwilym Lee:

Guitarist Brian May, of Queen, back in the day:

And here’s Brian May this year:

It’s sobering to see a rock star at age 71.

Brian May is actually, for real, a Ph.D. in astrophysics, so in this one instance I will not begrudge him his 1970s hair. It suits him. I think it makes May look a lot like Isaac Newton:

I also like Brian May, aging rock star, because he chose an age-appropriate second wife, the actress Anita Dobson, who is only three years younger than he.

I read in the Daily Mail that Mick Jagger’s latest girl friend, and inevitably his next baby mama (he has EIGHT kids with five women…Ew) , is 53 years younger than he. Jagger is 76. So, yep, that makes her 22. Ew. Ew. Ewwwwwwwwwww.

Well, that took a weird turn, so let’s banish those hideous mental images of the Living Cadaver Jagger with some kitty news!

I was sitting in the den one night last week reading a great book — Orange is the New Black — that I got at the used book store that I co-manage for the benefit of our local library, and I was feeling crowded into one little corner of the couch, so I got up and took this picture:

And for all of Taffy’s fans, here’s his latest roll in his favorite dirt patch on a frigid December day:

And then, now that he’s covered in a fine dusting of Long Island’s best filth, Taffy saunters into the house and warms up:

Here are all the other cats in a feature that I call Competitive Napping.




Lickety, as usual, doesn’t quite understand the gist of things:

And lastly, there’s Dennis, from next door:

I know you need to see our feral cat, Steve, so here’s a recent photo of him in his heated acrylic cabin under the shrub by the front stoop:

So all is well in our little Catdom.

Except that I can’t stop humming Somebody to Love.

I can’t get Freddie Mercury’s voice out of my head, and if you click onto this video, you won’t either.

Next Friday, our favorite holiday happens so you know what that means. We break out the annual ChrisHanuKwanSolstice festival!

Have a great weekend, everyone. Stay the Queens you are.


P.S. I am publishing this at 9:00am Friday Dec. 14. Let me know how long it takes for this to actually show up on your reading device…lately there has been a horrendous lag of nine hours between the time I hit the Publish button and the time you can read it. Must be the Grinch.

11 Comments, RSS

  1. Post received a few minutes after 7:00am here in the Great Pacific Northwest of the U.S.A. No Grinches allowed!

    Queen rules, and Freddie Mercury had an astonishing voice (a wise move to not have the actor attempt to replicate it). I’m 64, and so I got to have a lot of fun with late 1960s and early 1970s styles in my teenage years. We would wear lots of vintage clothes or paint stuff on boring clothes, and I had a lot of funky hats. We participated in the artistic creation of our wardrobes, instead of letting some massive fashion industry dictate our style. Sigh.

    I’m looking forward to the ChrisHanuKwanSolstice festival!

  2. Megan

    Glad I found you, last night at 23.00 Australian eastern daylight saving time your post hadn’t turned up… glad it did. So glad you liked the film, I was so excited about it and it lived up to expectations. I agree about the casting but I do have a soft spot for Rami Malek and Taffy. I thought it was a fabulous film and I am glad they handled the material as they did and didn’t focus on the last years of Freddie’s life. It was life affirming. What talent, it’s quite amazing they found each other, so glad that they did. Love the sleeping cats, they are conserving energy. Ah Taffy I know how you feel… get wet and dirty outside go on the white bed and clean that stuff off, normal in my household. I am normally so overjoyed to see any rain I don’t mind Clive drying off on the absorbent white bedspread! Good news about the future being delayed until 2021, yay!

  3. Kirra

    Great review of the Queen movie, I still haven’t seen it but I’ve heard it’s good. Will see it one day! The 70’s and 80’s sound pretty fun.

    Glad you found the revert button for the blog, sometimes it’s just too hard to switch all your learnt technology over in one hit.

    Thanks for the lovely cat update, I’m not sure what room you had to sit on the sofa, ha ha.

    Let’s all hope Donal Trump goes down and somehow takes to Australian and British PM’s with him!

  4. I love the Queen movie, too, although I thought it was a bit too Hollywoodized. That whole scene where Freddie and Allen Leech’s character (can’t remember his name) are arguing in the rain outside the house in Germany? What the heck? Who would stand in the rain like that? And apparently it never happened. Still, it was a good film, and I was fascinated to learn that Freddie was born with extra teeth. I never knew that!

  5. As for your blog platform, I can’t say when the post first appeared, but one thing I’ve noticed is that the commenting is very quirky. I’ll see a few comments, and then leave one myself, and when the page reloads I see only one and it’s not mine. I can never see mine until later. It’s very weird.

  6. Patricia

    I agree the film was sanitized but the music absolutely rocked! Can’t say enough good things about Rami Malek.
    I checked for your post several times Friday morning but didn’t see it till Saturday morning. Always worth the wait.

  7. Margaret

    I’m behind on my reading, but according to Bloglovin, the platform I use, your post was published Dec 13 at 7:04am. Some kind of time travel magic? I loved the film and have only one problem with what I saw as an inconsistency – Rami Malek never once touched any of the cats. There are lots of pictures of the real Freddie Mercury loving on them!

  8. Bunny

    Well, I wasn’t able to read you blog at all on Friday, at least during daylight hours, the only time I’m at a computer (except to play a little on line poker late at night), but I’m glad I came and checked on Saturday.
    Thanks for the comparing the actors vs. the boys in the band, it eerie how great casting did with their choices.
    I liked the movie as a celebration of the great music, that over the years seems to have gotten much more enjoyable, as “back in the day” I was not at all interested in the Queen movement, as I was aboard the Grr8ful Dead bus to never ever land.
    And when Alex mentioned she was 64, I thought to myself, wow, I’m 64 too! We went through all that life together, but about a minute later, I remember I turned 66 just two weeks ago.
    And when Meg mentioned that the future had been delayed, well, i was overjoyed, in that this will be my LAST birthday, and I’ll stay on route 66 for the rest of my life. Now there’s an idea for a supersonic life.
    And to Kirra, I was thinking of all the things I plan on doing, yes, “one day”, thousands of them.
    And lastly to my favorite author, blogist, and all around creative genius, Vivian, thanks for the great looks at the kingdom of wild, right in your very living room (and of course the wittiest of wits, yours!)

  9. Becky

    I am really behind in reading. I have to say that the castles looked absolutely stunning on display. They looked amazing when posted individually, but seen in the austere case really exhibited how gorgeous they are.
    The movie I’m waiting to see is the drumpfs in orange marching behind one another in shackles….yay!
    Loved the competitive sleeping pictures. Taffy is not alone in rolling in the dust and then rolling on the couch….my dog has it down to a science.
    Happy ChrisHanuKwanSolstice festival.

  10. Love me my kitty porn! Hi, Taffy and company! (Dennis looks right at home!) Not to bad to sleep through a potential government shutdown on Festivus Day (or is that tomorrow?) Wish I could! I have a few grievances to air.

    Thanks for showing the Boho Rhap cast and their live counterparts. It’s been a long time. I didn’t know that about Brian May but was able to casually toss it off in a conversation the other day, which made me look smart when I told them I learned it all from blogging.

    Can’t tell you when this hit because I opened it right away and then I got sick and now six days later I’m actually back. But I’m guessing it was pretty good. I hate computer problems like the plague. Can’t wait for tomorrow, which I hope I’ll actually comment on in a timely fashion.

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