Nov 21, 2017

The Gay World of Dr. Seuss

When I was a kid in the 1960s, I hated fairy tales, but I liked Dr. Seuss.  No heterosexist boy-girl plotlines, no boy-girl romances of any sort, just pleas for tolerance of diversity, ambiguity, nonconformity.  Lots of alternative families.  Lots of gay subtexts.

Horton Hatches the Egg (1940): Gay man takes over for a neglectful mom, and proves to be a wonderful father.

Horton Hears a Who (1954): Nobody will believe that a community exists until they all shout "We are here!"  Sounds like the Gay Rights Movement.

The Cat in the Hat (1957):  An emissary of chaos, accompanied by the gay couple, Thing 1 and Thing 2.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1957): a gay outsider is accepted by the community.

Green Eggs and Ham (1960): People are into all sorts of different things.  Deal with it.

The Sneetches (1961): Insignificant personal characteristics, like whether you are attracted to men, women, or both, can create crazy prejudices.

But Seussical, the 2000 musical, is a disappointment.  It amalgamates a huge number of books, including some that I never heard of, into two confusing plots -- one for adults, one for kids.

Wait -- those books have no continuity.  They take place in different universes, some populated by humans, some by animals, some by other beings.

And there's a hetero-romantic primary plot, between Horton the Elephant and Gertrude McFuzz (a bird in Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories who thinks her tail isn't fancy enough).

The secondary plot is promising: Oddball outsider JoJo (here played by teen idol Aaron Carter) is ridiculed for "thinking thinks" and finally sent to military school.  He helps save the day without getting a girlfriend.

He buddy-bonds with Horton, but there's not much of a gay subtext between the little boy and the adult elephant.

Except in some local productions where the two actors are the same age, and Horton's elephantness is conveyed through pin-on ears, not an elephant costume.

Nov 19, 2017

Academic Nudes: 18th Century Beefcake

It's a myth that the muscular modern physique didn't exist until the 20th century, when scientific weight-training and nutritional supplements bulked us up.  The muscular physique has always been a source of desire and joy.

In the 18th century, painters went to the Academy of Art to learn their trade.  To learn to draw figures, they drew nude male models.

Very buffed models.

This is not just artistic license: They were supposed to be drawing realistic "life" portraits.

Complete with penis (frontal nudity is legal on a G-rated blog if it's art).

There were flourishing academies in France, Spain, the Netherlands, England, and Italy.

Usually there is no background, but sometimes mythological themes are added.

I wonder what these models did in real life.  Were they workmen?  The lovers of the artists?  Both?

Here's a print of the Academy of Arts examining a male model.

And a rather more buffed one.

Some of these guys would not look out of place in a bathhouse today.

The Midnight Hookups of Philadelphia


I'm back in Philadelphia, where I lived for an execrable nine months.  It was ugly, dirty, crowded, expensive, dangerous, and it had the most unfriendly gay people anywhere.

My horrible flight lands at 2:00 pm.  I check into a hotel about 6 blocks from my old apartment.  It's even worse.  A grim, grotesque pageant of self-absorbed yuppies and homeless people sleeping on air vents.  My crappy hotel is costing me $300 a night.  I can't go a block without being panhandled.  Giovanni's Room, the oldest gay bookstore in town, is gone.

And it's impossible to find a decent guy to have sex with.

Club Philly is only a block away.  When I lived here, it was a gym and private rooms.  You had sex in the steam room and sauna.

Now the gym is gone!  A rack of free weights!  Plus no steam room, no sauna.  They have a glory hole maze now, but it's deserted.  4 floors, rickety stairs, and there's nobody there.

I meet a very hot black guy in his 20s with a slim muscular physique,  So far so good.

 A young Hispanic guy motions me into his room.  He seems to be mute -- he motions rather than speaks.  He motions for me to screw him.  I refuse.  He motions aggressively.  I leave.

I talk to a couple sharing a room.  An elderly guy, chubby, with red scaly psoriasis all over his body, and his boyfriend, elderly, slim, who doesn't speak and seems a little off. 

I go on Grindr and find that there are 3 guys within 20 feet, in the same club.  I say "hello" to them.  Nothing.

So much for Club Philly.

Chinese food for dinner, then back to my hotel.  I put an ad on Craigslist Philadelphia, "hosting downtown."  Nothing.  Not one response.  Back home I'd have 20 guys by this point.

Back to Grindr. There are like 300 guys within 30 feet.  I say "Hi" to about 20 of them.

Nothing.  Crickets.

As a last resort, I put an ad on Craigslist: hosting downtown.  Back home, my ads get 10-20 responses.

Nothing.  Crickets.

Bob calls.  He went to work, then hung out at the gay-friendly coffee house.

A gay-friendly coffee house?  Sigh.

The full story, with nude photos and explicit sexual situations, is on Tales of West Hollywood.