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Divine Inspiration: Jeffrey Schwartz’s New Doc on the ‘Drag Queen Who Ate Dog Shit’

Here’s the typical path from underground hero to mainstream celebrity: Gain cult following of people who are edgier and wilder than most (see: gay crowds, college kids, artists); sweat in small theaters and films for years; get the attention of a powerful tastemaker; take the edge way off your persona and appear publicly as a watered down version of your earlier self, bringing slight thrills without actually pushing any boundaries.

And while you could say this is what happened to 1970s and ’80s drag star Divine — who went from eating dog poo in the John Waters film Pink Flamingoes to playing a Baltimore housewife who’s only compulsion is ironing — the real story, told in the new documentary I Am Divine, is anything but typical.
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Up Against Vito, Antonio Reynoso Has Been Knocking On a Lot of Wood Lately

Reynoso and Melinda Katz in Ridgewood. (Photo: Nicole Paluska)

Reynoso and Melinda Katz in Ridgewood. (Photo: Nicole Paluska)

“I’ve got the easiest pitch in the city,’” District 34 City Council hopeful Antonio Reynoso said at a fundraiser earlier this year: “Hi, I don’t sexually harass my staff, will you vote for me?”

Media coverage of 30-year-old Reynoso’s campaign to win tomorrow’s Democratic primary has overwhelmingly focused on the bad behavior of his opponent, former State Assemblyman Vito Lopez. Lopez, who is 72, resigned from the State Assembly last May when several female staffers accused him of sexual harassment. Soon after, Lopez began raising money for a City Council run in District 34, which encompasses Williamsburg, Bushwick and part of Ridgewood, Queens.
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