Jan 23, 2015
And cute guys.
Stop at the Place des Jacobins, to see the Quinconces Park and the Cultural Center, and this monument to a nude Wilbur Wright.
Not a lot of gay life, but there are a few bars.
Day 2: West on the E50 for about two hours to Rennes. the heart of eastern Brittany (though only about 2% of the population speaks Breton). See the Musee de Bretagne, and then stop at Parc du Thabor, which has some nice views, and some nude statues, including Faune a la Flute.
Day 4: It's an hour and a half drive to Bourges, and the Cathedral St. Etienne, and then another three hours on to Dijon. You'll have just enough time to go to the Place Francois Rude, with this nude statue in its center, for dinner. Then spend the evening at Le Bossuet Sauna, near the Cathedral.
More after the break.
Jan 21, 2015
It came along to grad school in Bloomington with me, along with my Greek New Testament and the copy of The City and the Pillar that I bought in West Hollywood.
I was mesmerized by these 1970s college students, who live together on a commune outside Walden College, and form an alternate family, with heterosexual romance virtually absent.
The radical hippie Mark Slackmeyer.
Pot-loving "freak" Zonker Harris
Conservative all-American B.D.
And especially Joanie Caucus, a housewife who abandoned a heterosexual life for the wild freedom of the commune.
In Bloomington in 1982, I started reading the strip in the Herald-Times. The politics bored me, and I disliked the custom of using weird icons for political figures, like a cowboy hat for Ronald Reagan.
But hetero-romance was still virtually absent, and there were occasional glimmers of the same-sex friendships that once fueled Walden Pond.
From January 1983 to October 1984, Trudeau took a hiatus from the strip. When it returned, I was in Houston, teaching at Hell-fer-Sartain State College, the worst place in the world, and to my consternation, the characters had "grown up." That is, most of them had acquiesced to the heterosexist life trajectory of husbands and wives. Mike married J.J. , B.D. married Boopsie, Joanie married Rick Redfern.
But I have researched the gay story lines.
1. Andy Lippincott appeared in January 1976 as a fellow law student Joanie is crushing on. In February, he tells her that he's gay. She's shocked -- she asks "are they sure?", certain that he must have gotten several doctors to diagnose such a serious condition.
Then Andy vanishes. In the late 1980s, he appears again, to die of AIDS. Many newspapers refused to run the continuity, stating that the topic of gayness was "inappropriate for the comics page."
Not a lot, but still, more than most newspaper comics.
See also: Hell fer Sartain State College.
Jan 18, 2015
But there's a lot of attractions in the north. Two distinct languages: Galician (close to Portuguese), and Basque, unique among the languages of the world.
Some of the world's best beaches.
Some of the world's best beefcake.
And a surprising amount of nudity in male art.
1. Avila, about an hour's drive north of Madrid, is a beautiful walled city, famous for the Medieval mystic Teresa de Avila and for a naked limestone monster just outside the city wall.
Everyone thinks he's a soccer star raising his hands in victory. Actually, Leon Felipe was a poet.
More after the break.