By Catherine Wagley
By Channing Sargent
By L.A. Weekly critics
By Amanda Lewis
By Catherine Wagley
By Carol Cheh
By Keegan Hamilton
By Bill Raden
America seems to me to be about five or six different countries. The Southwest, for example, is so different from the Northeast and the Midwest, as different as Germany and Spain.
It would be the same in Europe, but different carvings up. I suppose there’s two or three or four bits to the United Kingdom. Geographically, you’re so big that it makes things ... You’re all spread out. So far it’s been the people in the middle going, “There’s no one else on the planet, it’s just us.’ I think that must be somewhat of the thinking, because they could drive for hours and not see that many other people.
Yeah, that’s where I’m from. You mentioned when we chatted briefly in St. Louis that on your off days while touring you like to do sightseeing and get a better sense of the cities that you’re in. I’m wondering if there are specific things on this tour that you saw, say for example in Tampa, or wherever, in Detroit.
When it comes to the cities, and particularly in the Northeast, we pick up a long history. I was getting tours around Philadelphia, Boston. Went to the Boston zoo around the back, which was very interesting. By the time we got to Tampa I was quite exhausted, and it was so hot that the idea of wandering around and looking at things ... I was told that St. Petersburg was the place to hang out, but I just couldn’t get there. The energy — I have to keep very careful on the energy because I get ill. I did go to Houston Space Center, and to the one in Washington as well. I’m really into the astronaut program that you have, and one day maybe Europe will have but we don’t have it now. I saw Shiloh, that was very interesting — the battle of Shiloh between Pittsburgh and Memphis.
Wow, I know absolutely nothing about that.
Oh, really. Yeah, I’ve watched the Ken Burns documentary quite intensively and I find that fascinating. And your Revolutionary War, your Civil War, a lot of that military history. And, you know, to understand that, World War II, World War I — I know the overarching side to that. I was going to be in the army, so I do have a military brain that’s going on inside this action transvestite body.
I didn’t realize you were going to be in the army.
Yeah, I was considering doing an officer cadetship. But I think that being a transvestite could have been a down-marker on TV there. I was very much in the scouts. I was like your equivalent of an Eagle scout, called a Queen’s scout. Got all those badges up the wazoo, camping, rock climbing, canoeing, pot holing, what you call spelunging, I think.
Spelunking, yes. Pot holing?
Yeah, we call it pot holing. It’s going down in holes, that’s why we have the word “pot” there. Why do you call it spelunging?
Spelunking. I don’t know. It’s one of my favorite words, though.
Yeah, it’s like someone just said, “Look. We’ve got all these letters, can we just make a word out of it? Let’s give it to the guys who go down in the holes because they need a word.” Spelunging. Is it a hard G or a soft G?
It’s a hard K. Spelunking. K-I-N-G.
K-I-N-G. Spelunking. Anyway, so that, and then I went to a boarding school that had an enforced cadet thing for three years, and I was trying to get promotions in that. I did this special course. So military history, military tactics, Battle of Austerlitz, what Napoleon did at Pratzen Heights ... you know that battle?
No, no, my military history is ... somebody punched me in the shoulder once during Boy Scouts and I quit the next day.
Well, the Battle of Austerlitz is the one to know about because it shows Napoleon at his most cavalier. It’s like almost insane what he did, but because he was traveling on this massive confidence — he did blitzkrieg. The Romans, I think, invented blitzkrieg, or maybe Alexander the Great invented it. Blitzkrieg is just moving faster than any other fucker. That’s the trick of it. And Napoleon did it. He moved his troops about 10 miles faster a day than anyone else, so they turned up places when they weren’t expecting him. And Austerlitz is just weird. There are these things called Pratzen Heights, they’re like a raise in the ground, and he put his troops on it, and then he started shooting the peace with the Austrians. And so the Austrians were going, “Oh, he’s scared.” And he said, “Well, go get your guys up to Pratzen Heights because there’s a good peak there. And so they thought that he was running scared. And he took his people off it, and they put their people on it. And then he just turned around one way and said, “No, fuck it, let’s fight.” And they were totally thrown ’cause they thought he was shooting for peace. And then he had his men creep up to Pratzen Heights and take it again, and then they turned the guns on the Austrians and they said, “Oh, fuck it” and they gave up. It’s just insane what he did there. I find it handy to know these things. I don’t know why, but there you go.