Gay culture—enamored of celebrity in one version—also took glamour to the wilder edges of danger. In the 1960s, Andy Warhol and his friends had invented new definitions of glamour and consumption at the Factory in Manhattan. This counter- culture displayed not the madness of untrammeled wealth, but the glamour of madness itself. Drag queens on acid, debutantes, outcasts and artists manque, or not so manque, dared one another to see how far over the edge they could go. Incandescent moments of crystal meth individualism were worth the price of suicide and psychosis. In any case, perhaps the ultimate drug was simply that: unbridled individualism, swallowed neat. And the attention of an audience: the Factory merged audience and actor to create the sublime experience of a self without boundaries, an ultimate freedom, filmed in movies that lasted for eight hours and in which nothing happened except the spiraling display of excess personality. The shimmering powder of glamour transformed the marginalized and rejected into stars in a parallel universe.
~ Elizabeth Wilson, slaying me. (via reichsstadt)