Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 16, No. 36, Ed. 1 Friday, January 7, 2000 Page: 4 of 76
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3000 Carlisle St., Suite 200, Dallas, Texas 75204
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Robert Moore, 112
Larry Mosely, 110
Nows & Friitorial__
Dennis Vercher, 113
Daniel A. Kusner, 118
Tammye Nash, 117
Chris Leeds, 128
Julian P. Hobson, 124
J. H. Johnson
CONTRIBUTING FILM CRITIC
Michael Thomas Angelo
Keith N. Anderson
Leo Cusimano, 114
Timothy W. Watson, 111
Benjamin LaMaster, 126
Tami Manning, 115
Greg Hoover, 123
Tony Martinez, 127
K. R. Murphy, 119
Rob Kennedy, 125
Rex Ackerman, 124
The Associated Press
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A tacky red cat: the start of an obsession
THE SURFING MAY
NOT BE SO GOOD HERE,
BUT I SURE LIKE
e mail: pierbeTgeigaol.com
i Last year 1 was p°k"
ing around an antique
, S^°P * town looking
Lee Lynch ale such a tasteless
Amazon Trail insult to feline beauty?
Yet my eyes were
drawn back again and again from the flower-pat-
terned chamber pots, the iron door stops, the
huddles of blue glass on old maple highboys. I
bought the red cat.
If I'd left that red cat behind, life as I knew it
would have gone on. Instead, I set it on a shelf
and grew to love the thing. How many objects de
non-art out there depicted cats? Wouldn't it be
fun to have a Tacky Cat Collection?
Poor Lover. How was she to know when we
got together that my addictive nature would take
this form? How was I to know?
For a while, I hit that same shop monthly.
Then I branched out to another a few miles away.
(I didn't want anyone to know I was out of con-
trol.) Bingo, another kitty collectable.
Meanwhile Lover, inadvertently and to her
subsequent dismay, thought to please me with lit-
tle surprises from her favorite antique shop.
Every time she stopped, she'd bring home anoth-
er deliciously tacky cat. Except they weren't so
tacky any more. They'd become too appealing.
Maybe, 1 decided, it's the concept itself of col-
lecting cat figurines that's tacky. I remember all
the old women of my childhood who first set
porcelain figurines of clowns and birds and chil-
dren on doilies and inside glass cabinets. Or
women of my generation with our political pins
or crystals or stuffed animals. Ah, I'm just a late-
blooming collector. Except for old books, that is.
And mini toy vehicles. And —
In any case, once I received Lover's uninten-
tional blessing, I was lost. Anything was fair
fame. I now have a Cheshire Cat grinning from
the bathroom wall, a crouching blue-eyed kitty
under the chair by the hearth, several figurines
prancing across my dresser, a cat clock on my
desk, a shelf of miniatures and several more
shelves of wood, glass, porcelain, ceramic ....
It's been a challenging year. Not to find all the
little guys, but to do anything else but look for
them. The temptations go well beyond antique
shops. As a matter of fact, I stay out of those.
They're way over-priced. We went with friends to
a junk shop up north, and one of them proudly
revealed her find for me: a homemade, two-foot-
tall, sitting, putrid green cat. It was truly tacky
and resides next to the roly-poly papier mache
tuxedoed cat who's adorned with a rhinestone tie
pin and cigar. People are weird.
Weird enough to think anyone would bid for
such items in online auctions. But the prices! The
oddities! The adorability quotient! I am sure I sin-
gle-handedly drove up the price of cat figurines
within a month of discovering ebay. Partly
because I didn't understand how some auctions
worked. In between bidding on cat statuettes I
managed to purchase a new computer by mis-
take. Luckily, it was a good deal.
Soon, what with increasing numbers of gifts
and exciting finds, I began to run out of shelving
... and floor space ... and windowsills ... and
bookshelves. Lover suggested I purchase a CD
case, one of those stand-up jobs with multiple
shelves. That soon filled up, too.
Then an ebay auction yielded the first three
miniatures. Definitely the cutest doodads I've
ever seen with their pastel-painted clothing and
tiny detailing. This was the answer to the space
problem! I'd only collect miniature domestic
felines. Alas, other compulsives happened on that
solution, too. Miniature cats are difficult to find
and fiercely bid on at auction sites. It's hard to
win an auction when you have a three-dollar
price ceiling, like I do.
I found new miniatures in a gift shop in New
Hampshire last fall that were a better buy and,
after an extensive wrapping session, flew them
Then last weekend, when I was buying some
fabric, I passed the button rack. There was a pair
of cat-shaped buttons. They were the smaller than
the smallest figurines. They were hand-painted.
They were under $3.
In the blink of an eye, I had a new fever. I'd
micro-specialize! Kitty buttons don't take up
much space at all! If I avoid brass and pewter, fab-
ric-covered and large, I'll reclaim that feeling of
being challenged, and we won't be crowded out
of our house. If I can learn to resist every red and
putrid green and pastel cat figurine I see.
But still____will buttons be tacky enough? V
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In favor of marriage
What an interesting article concerning gay
marriage written by Jim Eigo [Dallas Voice, Dec.
24, p. 4]. As a 33-year-old gay man in a relation-
ship of a few years, this topic is near and dear to
my heart. I am a U.S. citizen, and my partner orig-
inally came from Rome, Italy. Although we met in
Florida, we currently are spending a year in
Holland due to his job. I read your publication
regularly, as we hope to relocate to Dallas perma-
nently in September.
Holland is very liberal with regards to gay
relations and is similarly battling the topic of
completely legalized gay marriage—scheduled
for legislative approval in just a few more
In contrast to Mr. Eigo's opinion, I believe that
the option of legal marriage should be granted for
gays. Regarless of its risks, setbacks and history,
marriage has become two things for people. First,
it has become a largely recognized form of soci-
etal validation for those who choose to enter into
it. This sort of societal recognition currently does
not exist for gay people and would be a definite
Second, marriage brings legality to the table.
For example, I currently pay hundreds per month
for health insurance — that wouldn't be the case
if I were the recognized legal spouse of my part-
ner. Is that right? The aspects of shared property,
and many other benefits that are present for those
who choose a family life are absent for us. Why?
Perhaps at the heart of the issue is that of chil-
dren. We can't make them ourselves, like the
majority of straight couples can, but under cur-
rent laws we can't raise them, either. While I per-
sonally am aware of tons of research showing no
negative effects to children of gay-coupled par-
ents and have a dear friend who is a foster parent
himself, society still freaks out at the concept of a
family headed up by two same-gendered parents.
Marriage rights can shatter that ridiculous per-
Marriage is not for all gay people. But for
many of us, it's a very viable option.
January 7, 2000
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Vercher, Dennis. Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 16, No. 36, Ed. 1 Friday, January 7, 2000, newspaper, January 7, 2000; Dallas, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth615552/m1/4/: accessed May 25, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.