Feb 21, 2015

Gods' Man: Lynd Ward

In Glimpses of the Devil (2005), psychiatrist M. Scott Peck, who wrote the excellent Road Less Traveled, goes crazy.  Peering into closets and under beds for evidence of demons, he latches onto the "the darkest, ugliest book" in the world, Gods' Man, by Lynd Ward.

The author was certainly possessed by demons, Peck yells, and anyone foolish enough to read it is in grave spiritual danger!

So, naturally, I had to dig up a copy.

Turns out that Lynd Ward (1905-1985) was not at all obscure. He illustrated over 100 books, including Frankenstein, Beowulf, stories of O. Henry and Ambrose Bierce, modern bestsellers, and children's classics.


And he was not a Satanist.  The son of a Methodist minister, he was a conservative Christian.  His six wordless "novels in woodcuts," forerunners of the modern graphic novel, all excoriate the decadence and decay of a modern civilization that has turned its back on God.

Gods' Man (1929): a man sells his soul to a Mysterious Stranger in exchange for artistic fame, but hates the decadence, decay, and sexual licentiousness of the art world.  He tries to find happiness in the woods with a wife and kids, but it's too late: the Stranger comes for him.

Madman's Drum (1930): a demonic drum from Africa destroys a man's life. His wife and two daughters succumb to sexual licentiousness and die, and then, driven insane, he consorts with his wife's lover.




Wild Pilgrimage (1932): a factory worker escapes from the decadence and sexual licentiousness of the modern world by fleeing to the woods, but sexual licentiousness follows him there.

And so on...

Grotesquely over-moralizing contempt for modern society, and especially for sexual desire.  An over-idealized heterosexual nuclear family provides the only salvation from the horrors of sex.

Both men and women stand at the gate of Hell.




And the woordcuts show them.  In detail.

Stylized art deco muscles. Men shirtless and nude. Bulges. Backsides. Penises.

The physiques mostly belong to monsters, or to men who are doomed by their sexual licentiousness.  But still....Lynd Ward liked drawing men.

He also drew nude women, symbols of the sexual licentiousness that leads men to destruction.

He was an equal opportunity Puritan.

Maybe his temptations...and his passions...extended to both men and women.




By the way Ward's protege, Don Rico (1912-1985), published many novels about gay men and lesbians: The Man from Pansy, The Odd World, Brand of Shame, Women Like Me, School of Lesbos, The Gay and the Savage.




Peer Gynt: Your Grandfather's Heterosexism

Rock Island had a large Scandinavian population --we even rated a visit from Carl Gustaf, the King of Sweden -- and our teachers, from grade school through college, felt it their duty to introduce us to "our" heritage (mostly Swedish, but also Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Finnish, and even Estonian). I liked Vikings and Norse mythology, but not much else:

1. The horrible fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen, which usually ended with a kid dying
2. The Wonderful Adventure of Nils, about a boy who visits every single one of Sweden's 25 provinces.
 3. A Doll House, about a woman in an unhappy marriage
4. The Growth of the Soil, about a married couple trying to eke out a living on sparse ground.

Wait -- I could be reading The Lord of the Rings instead of this stuff, or parked in front of the tv watching Chips. 




5. But the worst was Peer Gynt, the 1867 Ibsen play set to music by Edvard Grieg.  I had to read it, play it, perform in it. During my freshman year in college, I had to write a paper analyzing it.

Ok, here's my analysis: Peer Gynt is an irreverent rapscallion, like Tom Jones, whose adventures mostly involve sex with women.  After having sex with the sister of his true love Solveig, plus three dairy maids and a mysterious Lady in Green, Peer ends up in the Hall of the Mountain King, a haven of trolls.

The troll king offers to scratch his eye so that he can see clearly, know things as they are, but Peer refuses and runs away.  After many  adventures as a brigand and a businessman, he returns home, elderly and bitter, and reunites with his true love Solveig on her death bed.




The troll king asks "What is the difference between troll and man?"

The answer is the same as in Pippin: men don't aspire, don't dream, and certainly don't try to see things as they are.  They stay home and marry women, meekly accepting their destiny in job, house, wife, and kids. They aren't gay.

I got a B-.

In spite of my antipathy, Peer Gynt is very popular.  There have been at least 20 film and television versions in French, German, Norwegian, Dutch, English, and Hungarian.  Versions with street people as performers, with Peer as a young boy, with Peer as a hillbilly.



A 1971 German miniseries had 7 actors playing Peer Gynt in various stages of his life.

A 1941 student film had a very young Charleton Heston (future star of Ben Huras Peer Gynt (top photo)

There was a 1960 cartoon called Peer Gynt's Adventures in Arabia.

The 2006 tv movie was set in modern times. Robert Stadlober played a gay character in Summer Storm, but his performance was still entirely heterosexist.

Plus many stage versions and ballets.

There's a Peer Gynt festival every year in Vinstra, Norway, featuring a performance of the play next to Lake Gala, where Grieg found his inspiration.


Feb 20, 2015

Geography Club: Gay and Straight High Schoolers

Juvenile lit with gay characters almost invariably is about straight juveniles coming to terms with the gay adults in their lives.  So I was intrigued by the premise of Brent Harlinger's Geography Club (2003), which was made into a play in 2004, and is now a movie (2013), making the gay film festival circuit.  It really should be seen by high school students, not the film festival crowd.  It's  rated PG-13 due to the existence of gay people.

Two gay high schoolers, the nerd Russell Middlebrook (Cameron Stewart, left, of Pitch Perfect) and the jock Kevin Land (Justin Deeley, below, of 90210), want to form a gay club, but they are strictly closeted, and besides, the homophobic backlash would be life-threatening.  So they get faculty permission to start a "geography club," presuming that no one but their LGBT friends would come anywhere near it.



I don't know; geography was my favorite subject in school.  Who wouldn't want to know about far-off, exotic countries?

A heterosexual girl who actually is interested in geography shows up.  After some harrowing moments when they believe that their secret will be revealed, she argues that she should be allowed to stay in the club, because she has an alcoholic mother: "The whole world has to tell me how normal they are and how different they are from me." The gay kids can certainly relate, so she's in.













I'm not happy with the extreme closetedness, which seems a little anachronistic for 2003.




Meanwhile Russell is pressured into dating and trying to have sex with girls by the jock Gunnar (Andrew Caldwell).  When he has difficulty performing, Gunnar retaliates by submitting an application for a "Gay-Straight Alliance" under Russell's name.  Homophobic reprisals result, with Kevin participating to keep his cover.  Gunnar later apologizes.




In a noble act of self-sacrifice, the oddball outsider Brian (Teo Olivares, the gay-vague Crony on Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide) submits a new application under his name, thus relieving Russell from suspicion.

In the end they form a Gay-Straight Alliance after all.

It's all very depressing, but thinking about the horrors of high school for gay kids is always depressing.  Heterosexism reigns supreme, more intense and demanding than at any time before or after, augmented by incessant homophobic slurs, jokes, and "accusations."

And only about 10% of LGBT adolescents know that there's a gay culture and community out there, in spite of adult assurances that "it gets better."  (30% are aware that gay bars exist, and the other 60% think that there's nothing out there but homophobia and silence).

Home and Away: Gay Subtext Soap Opera

When I was working on my doctorate at USC, I spent the summer in France, and I watched a soap called Summer Bay (original title Home and Away), an Australian soap opera (1989-) centered on a group of foster children, their parents, and the residents of a nearby trailer park. I'm not much for soap operas, but this one seemed to feature a lot of buddy-bonding.  No gay characters, but enough gay subtexts to fill a book  (and a lot more swimsuit and semi-nude scenes than One Life to Live).

Blake Dean (Les Hill) moves to town, clashes with adult authority figures, and can't find a true friend until the hunky Simon (Richard Norton) moves to town.


Nick Smith (Chris Egan), a foster kid on the run from a drug lord, buddy-bonds with Duncan Stewart (Brendan McKesey), until Duncan's bad behavior forces a breakup.














The foster child relationships themselves provided moments of homoromantic buddy-bonding, as with school principal Donald (Norman Coburn), who opens his house to a surprisingly number of hunky teens, including Sam Marshall (Ryan Clark).












Even when there was no subtext, there were lots of hunky actors, such as Geoff Campbell (Lincoln Lewis). Nearly every hunky actor in Australia started his career with a season or two as a troubled teen on the beach: Heath Ledger, Julian McMahon, Guy Pearce, Ryan Kwanten....

Spring 2009: The Pitcher with a Secret Move


When I moved to Upstate New York in the fall of 2008, my social calendar was soon crowded with invitations from members of the Gang of Twelve, guys who had known each other for years, and who shared everything, from gossip to boyfriends.

They had a hierarchy.  The Upper Class got the first shot at the New Kid in Town: The Rich Kid, The Grabby Nurse, and The Satyr .

Next came the Middle Class: The Truck Driver, The Rapper (though they cut in line due to the special circumstances of their breakup), The Klingon, and The Sword Swallower.

By March 2009, I was getting calls from members who were not at all well off financially, but some of the more attractive of the Gang of Twelve.  Like the Pitcher.

  Date #8: The Pitcher with a Secret Move

He was, in fact, a former pitcher for the semi-pro Oneonta Tigers. Now he worked as a desk clerk at a hotel in Oneota, and was a volunteer umpire every year at the Cooperstown Dream Park.

The selfie he sent showed a guy in his 40s, broad-shouldered, muscular, clean-shaven, with "matinee idol" good looks.

He had been friends with several members of the Gang of Twelve for years, and dated a couple of them, but the usually-gossipy bunch didn't say much about his past, and nothing about his bedroom activities.

I was intrigued.  Maybe he was spectacular, and they didn't want to ruin the surprise.  Or awful, and they didn't want to ruin the surprise.


Turns out he was great, except for that sports thing, and one other problem.

See if you can guess what it was:.

First clue: He arrived at my apartment for our date all hot and sweaty from the gym, and asked if he could take a shower first.  Of course I wanted a glimpse of his physique, and "accidentally" walked in while he was putting on his underwear.

Very distinctive: white mesh, extending from his waist to just above his knee.

"Are you a Mormon?" I asked.

"Oh, no, this is French.  Very comfortable.  And it shows off my basket nicely, don't you think?"

I had to agree that it did.

"I always wear it to gym  It gets me lots of attention."

Second clue:  We went out to dinner at a Thai restaurant (since he was not well-off financially, I paid).

The Pitcher didn't say a lot about his past, so I didn't bring up my usual stories of my date with Richard Dreyfuss, the bodybuilding contest in Turkey, or how I single-handedly bankrupted the porn industry.  Instead, we talked about gay rights, tv -- he was a big fan of RuPaul's Drag Race -- and -- yawn -- sports.

"Which date with the Gang of Twelve have you liked best so far?" he asked.  "Myself excluded, of course."

"I can tell you the one  liked the least -- the Sword Swallower.  He freaked me out!"

"I know!" the Pitcher said.  "I've told him a dozen times to tell people what he's into, don't just spring it on them.  For instance, I'm into a lot of things.   But do I just jump into it?  Of course not.  I always talk to the guy first."

"What, exactly, are you into?" I asked.

"Oh, lots of things...bondage, spanking, water sports, master-slave scenes, talking dirty, underwear, leather, drag, porn, shoes, feet.  Do you find any of that appealing?"

"Definitely the leather and the underwear," I said with a grin.  "Of course, I like the guy best when he's out of his clothes."

Third clue:  After dinner, I invited the Pitcher back to my apartment, but he refused.  "I have to go to work at midnight. But how about next weekend?  Come over Sunday night, and I'll fix you a nice big home-cooked dinner. Then afterwards we can see what happens."

So the next Sunday I went to the Pitcher's place -- a small house trailer in Milford -- for a dinner of brisket, matzah ball soup, mashed potatoes, beets, and hamentaschen (someone in the Gang of Twelve told him I was Jewish).


Then we sat on the couch, watching The Amazing Race and Desperate Housewives, and kissing and fondling.

He let me grope his fancy French underwear, but when I tried to reach under his shirt, he moved my hand away.

When Desperate Housewives was over, the Pitcher said: "Well, it looks like we've gotten to know each other.  Why don't you slip out of those clothes?  I'll be right back."

I assumed that he had to use the bathroom, but instead he disappeared into the bedroom. I heard the door lock -- no peeking this time!

He wanted to get undressed in private?  Weird.

I took off my clothes and waited on the couch.  And waited. And clicked through the channels. And waited. And wondered if it would be impolite to help myself to more hamentaschen.

Was he putting on some fancy fetish gear?  Preparing for a bondage scene?  I was about ready to knock on the door and see if he had fainted.

Finally the door clicked open, and the Pitcher appeared.

Have you figured it out yet?

More after the break:

Feb 19, 2015

Marat Sade: We Want a Revolution

Want to see a man sitting naked in a bathtub for 2 hours?

I thought so.

You'll have to see Marat/Sade, a 1964 play by Peter Weiss set in the Charenton Asylum in France in 1808, where the inmates, led by the Marquis de Sade, are putting on a play about the assassination of Jean-Paul Marat.








Marat was a radical journalist, a vocal supporter of the Revolution.  He was assassinated on July 13, 1793 while taking a medicinal bath for a mysterious skin condition.  Since then, he has become an icon for revolutionaries.

He's the subject of the famous painting The Death of Marat, by Jacques-Louis David.

Back to the play: in 1808, Napoleon Bonaparte has become the Emperor of France.  The asylum director, Coulmier, supports the new administration, but the inmates, led by the Marquis de Sade, believe that no political regime effects real change.


We've got new generals our leaders are new
They sit and they argue and all that they do
Is sell their own colleagues and ride upon their backs
And jail them and break them and give them all the axe

It all sounds hyper-political, and in fact Marat/Sade was understood as an indictment of the Vietnam War, Communism, and all sorts of local politics. And for gay liberation:

We want our rights and we don't care how
We want our revolution now



The film version (1967) features Patrick Magee as the Marquis de Sade and Ian Richardson as Marat.

Sade, by the way, wrote the 100 Days of Sodom, about libertines trying all of the sexual acts they could think of.








Feb 17, 2015

Mitch Gaylord: Hunk of the Month


In a December 1984 episode of Diff'rent Strokes, Willis (Todd Bridges) inspires his paralyzed friend by introducing him to. . .Mitch  Gaylord!!!  The studio audience gasps in awe.  Mitch Gaylord on the set, only a few feet away!!!  Much more exciting than Arnold saying "What you talkin' about, Willis" for the 800th time!

Ok, the guy was extremely muscular, and I liked the sound of his last name, but why the awe?  Was he, like, famous or something?


I started noticing him in ads for Diet Coke, Levis, Nike, and Vidal Sassoon Shampoo, and, when I moved to Los Angeles in 1985, sundry posters in gay bookstores.


After the hasty (and perhaps homophobic) firing of Scott Madsen, he became the new spokesman for Soloflex exercise equipment, flexing while lady fingers caressed his shoulder, with the risque tagline "A hard man is good to find."


In March 1985 he appeared with Lucille Ball, Scott Baio, Douglas Barr, and practically every other celebrity I had ever heard of on Night of 100 Stars.  

Celebrity?







I asked around, and discovered that Mitch Gaylord was a gymnast in the 1984 Summer Olympics.  He won a gold medal, a silver medal, and two bronze medals.

I don't follow sports.  Who knew?

Mitch Gaylord wasn't in the spotlight for long. He starred in American Anthem (1986), about two gymnasts, male and female, who fall in love while training for the U.S. Olympic team.  He was nominated for a Razzi award for the Worst New Actor.





And in the Italian movie American riscio (1990), about an American college student framed for the murder of a televangelist's son, who teams up with a stripper and a witch to find the real killer (I'm not kidding).

And in a couple of softcore porn movies.

And as a contestant on American Gladiators (1994-95).

He hasn't made any public acknowledgement of his gay fans, but I guess that's better than Scott Madsen's homophobia.

Besides, he was the Hunk of the Month.

Feb 16, 2015

Here at the New Yorker: Homophobia, Elitism, and a Scary 18th Century Dandy

I've spent 28 years on college campuses, as student, grad student, and professor, but still, I often feel out of place.

When I'm not out, there's constant heterosexism:
"Will your wife be coming with you?"
"There will be a lot of single women at the party."
"There's not a man alive who wouldn't want to be with her!"

When I'm out, it changes to homophobia:
"How do you know you're gay if you've never tried it with a woman?"
"Why do gay men act so feminine all the time?"
"Are you the boy or the girl in your relationship?"

And the elitism is constant:
"How could you stand growing up in Illinois?  Nothing to do but ride tractors and milk cows!"
"How could you stand growing up with parents who didn't go to college?  They must have been so ignorant!"
"Why did you go to Augustana?  It's such a third-rate clown college!"

Elitism and homophobia come together in The New Yorker, a weekly magazine for people who think that Manhattan is the center of the universe, regardless of where they happen to live.

I lived in Manhattan for three years, and none of the gay people I knew read it.  But all heterosexual college professors did.  And quite a few outside of New York, in California, Florida, and Ohio.

Why is it required reading for elite heterosexuals but anathema for gay people, regardless of their elitism?

1. It's the height of insularity.  Manhattan is the center of the universe, California is full of wannabes, the rest of the U.S. is a "flyover" full of cows and rednecks, and the rest of the world doesn't exist.

Gay people know that West Hollywood is the center of the universe.

2. It's the height of heterosexism.  Endless stories about elite heterosexuals agonizing over failed marriages and dying relatives.

Endless cartoons about heterosexuals saying things that make sense to them, but not to gay people.  This guy tells his date, "I want Chardonnay, but I like saying 'Pinot Grigio."  She is shocked.  What's going on?










3. Gay people appear only as subjects of heterosexual discomfort.  In a similar restaurant, perhaps the same one, two feminine stereotypes are arguing (notice the limp wrist).  One says: "I wouldn't marry you if you were the last gay person on Earth."

Why is this funny?  Because he specifies "last gay person?"

Because it's rather disquieting for a heterosexual to think about gay people discussing marriage?



4. An 18th century Dandy and an owl form the masthead "The Talk of the Town", a section of brief stories that elite heterosexuals in Manhattan find amusing.  I find it disturbing.  I don't even like to look at it.

Apparently the Dandy's name is Eustace Tilley, and he was featured on the first cover, drawn by Rea Irwin in 1925.


Occasionally The New Yorker gets something right.  It rejected a homophobic "gay marriage" cover by Robert Crumb, and when the Supreme Court rejected DOMA, it printed a cover of Sesame Street's Bert and Ernie cuddling on a couch.

But those glimmers of "gay is ok" don't make up for that 18th Century Dandy and his owl.  Shudder.

See also: Robert Crumb: From Fritz the Cat to Gay Marriage.; and Pearls Before Swine.


Feb 15, 2015

Fall 2000: I Teach My Nephew the Gay Facts of Life

I always wonder if I have any gay relatives, or if I am alone on my family tree.

One doesn't discuss such things among conservative fundamentalists, and God forbid you ask!  But by checking carefully for hints and signals, or by catching them "in the act," I have determined that among my 8 pairs of uncles and aunts and 18 cousins, one is gay, and another straight but "open to suggestions."

And I've been watching my nieces and nephews throughout their lives, looking for signs of gayness.

But Josh took me by surprise.

December 2000: Yuri and I flew out to Rock Island to spend a week with my brother Ken.  On Christmas Eve we would all drive out to my parents' house in Indiana, and stay there until January 3rd.

Ken lived in a huge, rambling house downtown Rock Island, really two houses crammed together, with two living rooms, two kitchens, four bathrooms, and eight bedrooms.  Which he needed: he had eight kids, ranging in age from 19 to 2, plus a seemingly endless array of dogs, cats, parakeets, and hamsters.

While visiting, Yuri and I played it cool -- that is, we stayed closeted.  Ken knew, but he was a conservative fundamentalist, and didn't like talking about it.

And since neither of us was dating anyone special at the time, there really wasn't much to talk about.

At bedtime, we got a small bedroom in an isolated corridor on the second floor, with two twin beds.  Of course, we only used one of them.

 At 6:00 am on the morning of our third day in Rock Island, I was awakened by an elated voice. "Aha, I knew you were gay!"

I opened my eyes.  It was Ken's son Josh!

"Don't you knock before coming in someone's room?"

"It's my house -- I can go where I want."  He grinned. "Don't worry, I won't tell my Dad."

"He's known since before you were born.  Now do you mind if we get dressed?"  I was painfully aware that we were both naked under the covers.

"Why do you care if we are gay?" Yuri asked.

"I don't -- not much, anyway.  I mean, it's pretty weird, but as long as I don't have to watch, it's ok."  He sat on the foot of the bed.  "Did you bring any porn?"

"No!  And anyway, it would be gay porn, right?"

"I guess."

Wait -- he wasn't letting us get dressed, and he wanted to see gay porn?

I'd been keeping close tabs on Ken's kids, looking for evidence of gayness, but I hadn't figured on Josh.  He was always talking to girls on the telephone, and rushing off to dates with girls.  Or was that a screen?

"Josh," I said, "Are you gay?"

"Me?  No way!" he exclaimed, offended.  "I like girls!"  He paused.  "So...have you had gay sex?"

"Yes, sure, why?" Yuri asked.

"Well, see..."  He paused again.  "My friend Max..he's not gay, either.  But we were wondering what it's like.  Could you...you know, let us watch?"

I thought for a moment.  "Tell you what -- meet us for lunch today, and we'll show you how gay guys lose their virginity."

While Josh happily ran off to tell his friend about their upcoming orgy, Yuri punched me on the arm.  "Ti choknutiy!  You are crazy! We can't do sex with kids!"

"Don't worry, we won't.  I said how gay guys lose their virginity.  Remember what I told you about that?"

He grinned.  "You are a genius!"

That afternoon we met for lunch at Mulkey's, up the street from Augustana College.  Max was a cute football jock, wide-eyed at meeting two gay guys, one of them from Russia!  We talked about growing up in a world where same-sex desire was never mentioned, where "what girl do you like" was a constant mantra.  We told our coming out stories.

Max was more interested in gay culture.  "So you were both dating Jaan?"  he asked. "Didn't it make you jealous?"

"Not really. Straight guys want exclusive relationships, because they want to make sure that if the woman gets pregnant, the baby is theirs.  But gay guys don't have that concern."

But Josh was anxious to get started.  "When will we get to see you...you know, do it?

We went to Lincoln Park and walked along the snow-covered trails.  I asked: "What are the steps you straight guys have to go through before going all the way?"

Reddening with embarrassment, Max listed the same steps that I heard as a kid, from #1 (Kissing) to #6 (Putting your penis into her).

"Do you know why Step #6 is last for straight guys?"

They shook their heads.

"Because the girl might get pregnant, so she has to be very careful, and reserve it for only very special relationships.  But gay guys don't get pregnant, so they don't care."

"It's not special at all," Yuri added.  "We don't even say that it is sex.  It's playing around."

"Then what is special?" Josh asked, perplexed.

"This is Step #6 for us."  I looked around to see if anyone was nearby, then drew Yuri into my arms and kissed him.

It took a few moments to disentangle myself and face them again.  They were both staring.

"Kissing?" Max asked.

"Right.  That's how gay guys lose their virginity.  It's the most intimate thing you can do.  Everything else is just foreplay."

"But...you can kiss anybody.  You can kiss your grandmother."

"Not like this.  Try it and see."

Josh and Max faced each other, leaned in -- and started to giggle.  They leaned in again -- and Josh pushed Max away.  Max kissed him on the cheek.

"I guess you're not ready for the advanced step yet," Yuri said.  "Give it time."

We never talked about "gay sex" again, though sometimes when I visited at Christmastime, Josh would ask, with a knowing grin, "Are you...kissing anyone special?"

Josh is 28 years old now, with several ex-girlfriends and an eight-year old son.  I'm not sure if he's bisexual, straight "but open to suggestions," or just plain straight, but I found Max among his Facebook friends.  Max is gay.

See also: The Night I Lost My Virginity.

Michael Cade


Do you know this man?  You should.

Saved by the Bell (1988-93) was a mega-hit, especially among teenagers, so of course it spawned countless imitations (even a cartoon series, Tiny Toon Adventures).  Suddenly Friday night and Saturday morning was crowded with buffed twentysomethings attending affluent high schools that required their students to be semi-nude most of the time.

In addition to the usual problems with parents, teachers, dating, homework, and sports competitions, California Dreams (1992-97) put the high schoolers in a band.  The members kept changing, but they included Brent Gore, William James Jones, Jay Anthony Franke, and Aaron Jackson.

20-year old Michael Cade played Sly Winkle (yes, that was his name), the fast-talking, scheming manager of the band. Oddly, Sly was not the least concerned with heterosexual hookups.  He liked modeling, wrestling, surfing -- anything that required his shirt to be off -- but he only dated girls in two or three episodes, and they were all designed to give him a comeuppance rather than demonstrate girl-craziness.








All of the male cast members were attractive enough to become the first crush of gay boys everywhere, but Michael Cade was stunning, a worthy successor to Mark-Paul Goesselar or even such 1980s hunks as Alan Kayser and Robby Benson.  He also had a winning smile, and enough charisma to shine in even the most pedestrian plotlines.













After California Dreams, Michael continued to work in television and movies, mostly independents with limited release, such as Along the Way (2007), and shorts like The Trip (2007) and Customer Service (2009).

They may be difficult to find, but they're worth seeking out.  Even without the shirtless shots.

Michael is a gifted performer, and his characters are usually immersed in groups of male friends, with no hint of a quest for heterosexual romance.

See also: Weird Science.