|Quiet_Riot_Girl (self image)*|
Quiet_Riot_Girl (aka @Notorious_QRG) is one of the naughtiest persons of the Twitterati. She's the constant scold of Metrosexy author Mark Simpson, the hostile chorus to Guardian columnist Suzanne Moore, the cryptic antagonist of certain London gay media heroes such as Time Out's Paul Burston (who recently crossly outed her as one Elly Tams) and sheer online thunder to the Guardian.
Thoughtful gay men plainly interest her as a species of intellectual combatant or stimulant, yet something about some of them clearly rankles her - I'm not certain what that is. Matters have come to such a pass that a voodoo doctor (yes, below: patience) has placed a curse upon her via an animal carcass. Wouldn't a carrot have sufficed in these horrible times? After all, a carrot has life force, too.
Naturally, Madame Arcati felt it was time to give Quiet_Riot_Girl a prod. She gamely agreed to an email interview.
Q: Quiet_Riot_Girl! You were outed recently weren't you? That naughty Paul Burston of Time Out fame said you were Elly Tams - are you cross about this? And who are you? Out with it!
I'm not cross to be out in the online world as myself. I quite like me! But I am a bit cross that Paul Burston and his sidekick Julie Bindel painted me as a bad person, and an enemy of women and gay men. In fact, I am just a scrappy kid. Albeit one who remembers when Are You Being Served? And Dad's Army were on telly.
Q: He described you as a troll and an anonymous blogger who was ghastly about 'feministas' such as Suzanne Moore. A troll in my dictionary is someone who is repeatedly abusive and threatening on the internet - is that you QRG? Has it come to this? And what's wrong with Suzanne? She has great shoes, loves a glass at night and has a big heart, doncha think?
I was born out of the womb of feminism, back in 1970. And ever since then I have been told it is the only way to look at men, women, and gender relations. It took me forty years, but I finally realised it's not the only dogma in town. And Suzanne Moore once said in the Guardian that she is a feminist because 'men do horrible, horrible things'. Which I think is a bit mean to men. I'm not a troll (whatever that is). I am just someone who annoys the media establishment. And takes some pleasure in that.
Q: But you do mention writer Mark Simpson a lot on Twitter - and he's blocked you from his website and Twitter account. Are you trolling the poor mite? Are you trying to push your way back into his affections? You can tell Madame (where to go...).
My subconscious may be trying to get back into Mr Simpson's affections, but consciously no. I have found his work on metrosexuality - men's 'desire to be desired' - to be the most exciting theory I've read in years. And I do go on about him and his writings quite a lot it's true. I also helped him publish his 2011 book Metrosexy, so I have my uses.
Q: Are you quietishly riotous?
Yes, and sometimes not so quiet.
Q: Are you a cunt-cocker or a cunt-cunter or a cunt-cocker-cunter or a cockless-cuntless cunter? Just asking.
I'm a proud cocksucker.
Q: Now I know you're a conceptual sexual sit-down activist of some sort with an interest in the work of Michel Foucault - you've even written a novel that has Foucault's name in the title. Now, I get confused. Plainly you're fascinated by queers yet you fall out with a lot of male queers. What's the story, Elly?
My novella is called Scribbling On Foucault's Walls, and it is about what might have happened if Michel Foucault had had a daughter. Sometimes I think in a previous life I might have been an old-school homosexual, like the marvellous Kenneth Williams or Charles Hawtrey. Much of my interest in homos is identification. But I'm a girl so they (apparently) don't identify with me. And this can cause resentment on my part.
Q: In no more than 100 words could you describe your position on whatever it is that gets you up in the morning. Your philosophy on sex, your position on breakfast cereal; whatever it is, I want you to state plainly your position! Please.
It's funny that someone recently identified one of your photos Madame, as a shot of the inimitable Miss Marple. Because I, like old Jane Marple, am driven by wanting to solve the mysteries of life. Luckily I've not stumbled across any murders as yet, but I am forever trying to work out why the world is how it is. Especially the world of gender and sex, as it seems so confusing and not working in many people's interests. My philosophy on sex these days, is that sex probably doesn't go very well with philosophy. Foucault may differ with me there, but I think all that physical activity, and needing to be wanted, takes away from one's brainpower!
Q: Do you have a cat?
A cat? No, I'm not a lesbian.
Q: Are you a Dr Elly Tams? Do you inspect people's bodies? Who's that voodoo person trying to put a curse on you? What's that about, Elly?
I am a doctor of what they still call philosophy, but my Ph.D was in gender studies. Another doctor, who calls himself 'doctor snake', put a curse on me, via the modern means of his website, under instructions from Paul Burston. But so far I'm not feeling any ill-effects.
Q: As you write on Twitter, what can you see out of the window (if any)? Do you drink a beverage at your pc? Do you rant and rave at the screen?
My study is on the first floor and looks over a very suburban street. But you know what they say about the suburbs! I am genuinely pretty calm when faced with the mayhem of the social media world. Except for when I read the Guardian, which is bad for my blood pressure. I'm a tea drinker - like Miss Marple.
Q: What's your star sign? Do you think astrology is rubbish? I suspect the editor of The Lady thinks astrology is rubbish.
We Virgos are known for our scepticism, so I don't use astrology to guide my own life. But in this increasingly rational, Richard Dawkins-style bureaucratic world, I am pleased to see people finding more imaginative ways to make sense of things. And I love the Gospels.
Q: What's this about the Polari Prize? Certainly Paul Burston is no fan of yours and he runs Polari, doesn't he? So do you think your work stands a chance? If you like, quote three lines from the work so you can say, 'As published on Madame Arcati'.
I withdrew my novella from the Polari Prize after Paul Burston outed me. I didn't think he could read my work properly through that red mist of his. And anyway, I think it is just too gay for me and my novella. At the end of my story the woman in it asks her male companion:
'If I was the last human being on the planet, would you do me then?'
'No, but I'd enjoy watching you squirm.'
Q: What makes you laugh heartily?
The film Sideways, about the two American guys on a disastrous stag weekend in the Californian vineyards, made me laugh heartily, alone in the cinema. I have to say your blog, Madame, and especially some of the comments, make me laugh out loud on occasion.
Q: Would you say there is a male queer conspiracy in the media as distinct from a male cock-cunting media conspiracy to turn the world into one big stereotype? (Personally I've always felt outside all groups and associations - but I love the word queer)
I think the gay men of the London media set (and their equivalents like Dan Savage and Andrew Sullivan in America) are feeling very insecure at the moment, bless them. Because the fact is people don't care as much as they used to about who has sex with whom, and how. We actually live in quite open-minded times, and this is not very good for gay men's sense of being special and specially oppressed. I love the word queer too but that is too subversive for many. And Suzanne Moore actually wrote to me once saying that 'queer bollox' (sic) belonged in the 90s where it came from.
Q: So, darling, where do we go from here? Will you leave Mark alone? Will you unleash your inner Mother Theresa and spread love instead of scorn? What's the game plan, my sweet?
I will struggle to leave Mr Simpson's ideas alone, as they are so important in this 21st century, narcissistic, big tits and big hair (and that's just the men) world. And I'm writing a book based on his theories. But I'm happy to give the man himself a break. I'm not a quitter so I'll continue to critique the Guardian on my Graunwatch blog. And frankly Suzanne Moore's columns are boring me to tears these days so I expect she's off the hook too for the time being! Maybe I'm mellowing in my middle age.
Q: Do you like flowers? Which are your favourite?
I'm a big fan of pansies.
Elly! Thank you for your time. MA x
Quiet Riot Girl's blog, click here
* Photos of Charles Hawtrey can be purchased here