What Makes You Have a Fabulous Life (Ep. 201 - Madonna)

This Week’s Guests: David and John

How do you measure your success? For a lot of us it's career or fame or money or family, but the common theme among all of those is happiness. That is, what makes you happy? But often happiness as a goal gets drowned out by the things that we think are supposed to get us there. My guests this week are John and David, a husband-and-husband team behind the Queer Money podcast. They met on the dance floor and formed a bond that's only grown stronger for more than a decade. And one secret to their relationship's longevity has been some honest, and at times difficult, conversations about whether they needed to change everything about how they were living their lives.

BTW, I hope you'll also join us for the next Sewers of Paris live chat on November 17 at 2pm pacific. There's a link at the top of the Sewers of Paris twitter feed.

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Head over to SewersOfParis.com to see clips of the stuff we talk about on each episode of the show. And for more queer podcasting, check out Queens Of Adventure to hear drag queens on an epic Dungeons & Dragons quest. That’s at QueensOfAdventure.com.

This Week’s Recommendation: Marilyn Monroe & Madonna

Thanks again to John and David for joining me. It's a real pleasure to have double guests every now and then, and I have a double recommendation this week as well. Start with Marilyn Monroe in the film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes -- specifically the number Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend, in which she's wearing a pink strapless grown and is presented with all manner of riches by tuxedoed chorus boys. Then once you've watched that, jump over to Madonna's music video for Material Girl, shot 30 years later, in which she wears a pink strapless gown and is presented by riches while surrounded by chorus boys.

Both songs are beautiful, but there's an interesting contrast between them. Marilyn's character is enamored with riches, while Madonna -- despite the song's lyrics -- dismisses them in favor of simple romance. Madonna clearly employed comparisons to Monroe throughout her career in the 80s, and but she never overdoes it -- it's never an imitation, but instead a reference from which she quickly diverges.

Madonna's agreeing to Marilyn's sex appeal, but she adopts a third-wave feminist spin by turning herself from an object to be acquired into a sexual being whose needs must be met. As the lyrics conclude, it's her experience that's made her rich -- built her personality -- and that's a greater value than any diamond.

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Stuff We Talked About