Jun 16, 2016
Being Asexual in a Sex-Infused World
Most conversations involved who you were having sex with and who your friends were having sex with.
Most leisure activity involved having sex, watching someone else have sex, or looking for someone to have sex with.
Sex was used to introduce new guys into your social circle, to be polite, as a party game, as a form of recreation. You went to bed with the boyfriends of your roommates and friends, and with the roommates and friends of your boyfriend, without giving it a second thought.
Imagine, in that sex-infused world, simply not being interested.
Turns out about 1% of the population is asexual, not interested in sex with anyone.
They usually (but not always) experience aesthetic desire, finding some people hot and some not. According to a survey conducted by the Asexual Visibility and Education Network, over half have a sexual orientation: 27% are heterosexual, 26% bisexual, and 13% gay or lesbian.
They often enjoy romantic relationships (only 20% are a-romantic, interested in friendships only).
But they are not into it. They would rather eat cake.
Asexuals face an uphill battle. Doctors want to give them hormones, psychiatrists want to treat them for a presumed history of abuse, they're asked "if you've never tried it, how do you know you don't like it?" and told they just haven't met the right person yet.
The same things LGBT people hear from their straight "friends" all the time.
Politician Ralph Nader
Comedian Janeane Garofalo
J. M. Barrie, creator of Peter Pan
Artist Edward Gorey
Sir Isaac Newton
Jonathan Frid, Barnabas on Dark Shadows
T. E. Lawrence, "Lawrence of Arabia"
And Jughead Jones from the Archie comics. For years he was a "woman hater," not interested in women, so we all assumed that he was gay. Then, in the 1980s, to assuage suspicions, he was heterosexualized, and given about as many girlfriends as the girl-crazy Archie. But in his most recent rendition, a reboot by Chip Zdarsky and artist Erica Henderson, Jughead is outed as asexual.
Jun 14, 2016
Cain and Abel: The Homoeroticism of the Biblical Brothers
They are the children of Adam and Eve, the first two brothers in the world. They both offer food to God, Abel animal meat and Cain fruit.
God, being a carnivore, prefers Abel. Cain gets jealous, and in a fit of rage, kills his brother.
He is then forced to wander, but he worries that everyone he meets will want to kill him (the world has filled up quickly). So God gives him "The Mark of Cain" so he will be safe.
Rather thoughtful. I would have gone with life in prison for murder, but...
The story has a number of plot holes and inconsistencies. But look at those sculpted abs and enormous biceps!
Throughout history, artists who wanted to depict the homoeroticism of two muscular men together, without women around, have drawn on Cain and Abel. They struggle, strain, press together so tightly that you can almost forget that they're trying to kill each other.
And, in the modern era, you can comment on warfare, bigotry, and homophobic hate crimes.
Abel is the quiet, gentle, gay-coded shepherd. Cain is depicted as a big bully, a rough-and-tumble farmer.
I have to include this version by Bill Hoope (2001), if only because I want to know where they got the globe, and why they're attacking it with animal bones.
Jun 13, 2016
Zagor, the Italian Tarzan, Batman, Robin, Phantom, and Cisco Kid
It is set in early 19th century Pennsylvania, a pristine wilderness where young Patrick Wilding becomes Batman: he sees his parents murdered, and grows up lusting for vengeance.
Or maybe he becomes Robin: he trains with a group of acrobats, like Dick Grayson.
Or maybe he's the Phantom: "Zagor" is short for the Indian name Za-Gor-Te-Nah, the Ghost with the Hatchet (his preferred weapon). Like the Phantom, the Ghost Who Walks.
Note that he always wears a red sleveless shirt with a yellow bird emblem.
There have been three movie versions in Turkey:
Zagor (1970), starring Cihangir Gaffari (who appeared in American films as John Gaffari and John Foster).
Zagor kara bela (Zagor and the Land of Trouble, 1971) and Zagor kara korsan'in hazineleri (Zagor and the Black Pirate's Treasure, 1971) starring Levent Çakir.
Levent Çakir is rather inadequately muscular, even though he also starred as the Turkish Superman.
There are two English-language translations: Zagor: Terror from the Sea (2015) and Zagor: The Red Sand (2016).
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