Musto, Michael, “La Dolce Musto: The Zaniest Writings by the World’s Most Outrageous Columnist”, Carroll & Graf, 2007
The Queen of Dish
Michael Musto is a guy who seems to be everywhere these days. He is a columnist for “The Village Voice” newspaper and “Out” Magazine. He is on television on channels as different as can be—MSNBC, E! Entertainment and VH 1 and he seems to always have the best dirt. He is the kind of guy whom you love to hate and hate to love. Not much happens in the world of celebrities without hearing a “Musto moment” and his comments are biting and funny, endearing and brutal. He is openly gay and never ever shies from the public and pubic eye. He is both delicious and caustic and mean and wonderful. Now he has a new book due to be released in January, 2007. I was lucky enough to receive an unpublished proof from his publicity agent and I can tell you this—you will be hearing a lot about him come January.
Musto has been one of the leaders reporting on gay issues among celebrities and politicians. The “Toronto Star” dubs him “the Hunter S. Thompson of snark”. He is opinionated and doesn’t seem to care whose toes he steps on. He is a regular on the pop culture scene and always seems to know what is happening among the “hip and hopeful”.
This book is a collection of some of his columns, all of which have something to say about the world in which we live. You may agree with him and you may not but you have to give him credit for speaking his mind. He admits about himself that he is “devilishly nasty and dubious” and feels he has the right to “dissect” the sexuality of public figures. His gayness is way out there and he revels in it rather than hide like so many do. He can taunt Clay Aiken for not being out and not care that he has done so and can fight with those who turned a blind eye to the devastation of the AIDS epidemic. He has ceaselessly promoted his talented gay brothers and sisters and he defines himself by the use of the word “rage”. He outed Ellen DeGeneres long before she made her own move and he taunted Rosie O’Donnell to stop pretending that her sex life was ambiguous.
Musto was way ahead of his time. He was snarking before anyone knew what the word meant and he was an out gay man when the rest of us hid. He, himself, says he is somewhere between “legendary” and “verging on obsolete”. Regardless of how one may feel about him, we have to admire him for having the guts to always be who he is and never pretend otherwise. I am not sure he is my own personal role model but he did forge the way so many of us can love openly and at peace with American society.
The book is divided into sections and undoubtedly the ones which we will read first are the ones that deal with our community: “Stars and Bars”, “Twitter and Be Gay”, and “24 Hour Party Peephole”. As clever as the section names are, they do not come close to the cleverness of the chapter titles: “A Man, duh?”, “Hair Piece: the Wigstock Drag Festival”, Act Up! Fight Back, Book a Hotel!” and “Rosie’s b.s. isn’t a cutie patootie” to name a few. But the book is not all gay. There is a night out with the Kids in the Hall and a session with Anita Ekberg, as well as a column about Miss Buttah—“La Streisand”. John Waters says of Musto, “…smart, funny, and his use of sexual policitics make him the best social columnist in New York. Now I realize we are in Arkansas and not in the Big Apple but we hear what is going on. For a new and wonderful take on those goings on, have a look at “La Dolce Musto”. You will not be sorry.