Jan 30, 2014
In the German tv movie Nichts mehr wie vorher (Nothing is Like Before, 2013), a young boy is molested and murdered, and 16-year old Daniel Grudermann (24-year old Jonas Nay, top left) becomes the prime suspect.
Daniel's mother and lawyer support him, but his father is suspicious, especially when he discovers a link to a gay hookup site on Daniel's laptop. Gay men are uniquely violent, prone to murder those who reject their advances, right?
When news of Daniel's gayness reaches his classmates and the townsfolk, they call for his lynching.
Then someone else confesses to the crime, and Daniel is released. He goes home.
But he can't go home again. He can't forget the suspicions and accusations, particularly from his father. He now knows what's lurking just beneath the smiling "hello" of tolerance.
This is a gripping, depressing story about the tenaciousness of homophobia.
Jan 29, 2014
Buddhist, but not gay-friendly: same-sex activity is illegal, and according to a recent survey, 60% of the population thinks being gay is immoral.
Sounds about as homophobic as the U.S., where same-sex activity was illegal in many states until 2003, and 50% of the people you pass on the street think that you're evil.
Besides, there's a good reason for visiting (other than the scenery and the hunky men).
More public penises than Finland, Iceland, and Prague put together.
The erect penis is a common artistic motif, painted onto houses for good luck and to keep away evil spirits.
They're combined with dragon or animal motifs, or with all-seeing eyes. Sometimes their owner is displayed as well, usually a very happy monk.
Penises sculpted in wood fly from rooftops and and dangle from ceilings, sort of like the lucky horseshoes in the U.S.
When you move into a new house, you have to hoist a basketfull of penises to the ceiling and attach them to each of the four walls.
There are penis door handles and flagpoles, and people carry around pocket penises of various sizes and shapes.
See also: The Penis Cemetery of Iran.
Jan 27, 2014
In addition to being one of the most accomplished actors of our time, Robert De Niro is a strong gay ally. One reason why: his father, artist Robert De Niro Sr., came out as gay when he was three years old, and divorced his wife but stayed close to her and his son. In the documentary Remembering the Artist, the elder De Niro is remembered as a father, an artist, and a gay man.
You could write a book about the films of Robert De Niro (and there are several), but the most memorable for gay fans must include:
1. Bang the Drum Slowly (1973): buddy-bonding between two baseball players, one dying an incurable disease.
2. Mean Streets (1973): buddy-bonding between two Italian-American hoods, De Niro and Harvey Keitel.
3. 1900 (1976): buddy-bonding between two Italian boys, one rich, one poor (De Niro, Gerard Depardieu). Their three-way encounter with a woman features frontal nudity.
4. Taxi Driver (1976): Travis Bickle becomes a vigilante, and rescues lesbian Jody Foster. Mega beefcake.
5. New York, New York (1977): "Lullaby of Broadway" romance between De Niro and gay fave Liza with a Z.
6. Raging Bull (1980): De Niro as a self-destructive boxer. Beefcake.
7. The Mission (1986): buddy-bonding in 18th century South America, between a Jesuit priest and a reformed slave trader (Jeremy Irons, De Niro).
8. Midnight Run (1988): Bounty hunter De Niro and prisoner Charles Grodin become the hunted.
9. We're No Angels (1989): Escaped cons De Niro and Sean Penn hide out as priests.
10. A Bronx Tale (1993): Father (De Niro) disapproves of his son's friendship with a gangster (Chazz Palminteri).
11. Flawless (1999): Homophobic cop (De Niro) moves in next door to a drag queen.
Sorry, I ran out of room in 1999. There's another 14 years to go.
I heard that Maulik Pancholy, previously on Weeds and now the voice artist for Nickelodeon's Sanjay and Craig (2013-14), is gay, and recently got engaged to long-time partner Ryan Corvaia. So I watched some episodes to see if there were any gay subtexts.
Other recurring characters include parents, friends, bullies, a girl who has an unrequited crush on Sanjay, and a girl on whom he has an unrequited crush.
Any gay subtexts? A few
They idolize a washed-up action hero named Remington Tufflips.
They try to save their friend Hector from wolves.
They drool with lust over the ginormous calves of an overdeveloped police officer, and even invent a "mirror on the shoe" device to spy on him better:
Sanjay: Those calves are the best!
Snake-hating neighbor Mr. Noodman is feminine-coded.
Craig has many feminine mannerisms.
Craig masquerades as a girl to enter a beauty pageant, and loves his new role.
Sanjay believes that he is pregnant.
Nothing spectacular, but Nickelodeon animation has always had a pitiful gay-subtext record, especially when compared to the Cartoon Network's Adventure Time, Regular Show, and Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy. This is a good start.
Jan 26, 2014
Everyone thought that superbly muscled 34-year old Reb Brown, who played Yor, was named after the Confederate Army's Johnny Reb, but he was actually born as a more humdrum Robert Brown in Los Angeles, and adopted the Southern redneck name for reasons unknown.
Plus a few more movies so bad that they rated Mystery Science Theater 3000 riffs, such as Howling 2: Your Sister is a Werewolf (1985) and Space Mutiny (1988).
Gradually he moved out of acting into production. Probably not gay in real life.