Culture

Flower Power: How Oscar Wilde's Green Carnation Became a Symbol of Gay Pride

Oscar Wilde/Image via LibraryofCongress.gov
Oscar Wilde/Image via LibraryofCongress.gov

Ever since last Thursday's National Coming Out Day, I've been doing a little digging through traditions that have survived since the notorious life and times of Oscar Wilde. Wilde, an Irishman, used to wear a green carnation in his buttonhole; so notable was this trademark that the 1894 novel loosely based on the playwright's exploits was called The Green Carnation (details contained therein led to the Wilde being tried and convicted on charges of Gross Indecency). Ever since the Victorian period, the flowers have been adopted as a wearable symbol of one's homosexuality. There's a nod to it in a Noel Coward song from the musical "Bitter Sweet," oddly -- or perhaps, very appropriately -- set to video clips featuring Jeeves and Wooster from the TV adaptation of P.G. Wodehouse's book series (video below).

Buzzfeed would like to remind us of the reason for the season with this list of twenty-three reasons why "Hocus Pocus" is the best Halloween movie of all time. Not only was the movie a playground for the talents of comic actors like Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker, but if you watch closely you'll also see Doug Jones, who later went on to make a name for himself in movies like "Pan's Labyrinth" and "Hellboy" as a man of a thousand faces --- most of them terrifying.

I'd never noticed before, but now that you mention it, Sam Rockwell ("Moon," "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind") is a no-holds-barred dance machine. The proof is in the playlist below. The video captures all the bits and pieces of Rockwell's dance magic from various movies and TV appearances. How has he not ended up in a musical yet? (Although, I admit his style might be a bit too contemporary for, say, "Les Miserables.")

An interesting wrinkle in the journey toward yet another "Superman" film: The daughter of Superman co-creator Joe Siegel has written an open letter to fans, commenting on her family's dispute with Warner Brothers over who owns the rights to the character, and how much money she believes they are owed. Obviously there is a complex story here, but it's sad to think that those who were so instrumental in the creation of this fundamentally American mythology (Siegel's wife was the model for the original Lois Lane) would be left with so little to show for it.

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