We’re aiming below the belt this week in Richard Jackson’s Long Reads, with a famous drag queen playing a literary witch, a new brand for the Koch bros and a rubber cock (yep).
Ursula, the evil witch who tricks Ariel into trading her voice for legs in The Little Mermaid, is quite possibly the most vicious, menacing and evil Disney villain. In reality, however, it turns out that there is actually quite a sweet story behind the inspiration for Ursula: Divine, a famously curvy, foul-mouthed drag queen and creation of Glenn Milstead. Now Devine and Glenn are immortalised in cartoon form as the thing that terrified the shit out of me growing up…and to think I was about to dip a stiletto into Queening!
For backstory for those who don’t know, the Koch brothers are basically these two ridiculously rich American oil billionaires who peddle their influence throughout America, gifting money to political causes and candidates that support their interests, which is ostensibly big oil over the environment. On a practical level, this means the deregulation of laws to aid their business and right wing causes. In my opinion, their level of influence is almost cartoonish.
As this article documents, after their failure to buy Mitt Romney the 2012 Presidential nomination, they realised that a shift in personality was needed, hence the push for a more positive PR machine that dispels them being seen as America’s bogeymen.
Go on. Read it. You know you want to.