Jul 23, 2016
And Joanna Lumley as her best friend Patsy, a boozing, promiscuous fashion photographer or editor ("He wanted to show me his..er...portfolio").
Episodes could go off the deep end, as when Patsy sold Saffron into slavery in Morocco or Edina adopted a child to make Saffron jealous, but mostly they involved relationship issues: Eddy's 40th birthday; a visit by Patsy's older, crueller sister Jackie; Patsy takes a job in New York, thus threatening to break up the duo.
In spite of the occasional mention of heterosexual exploits, Patsy and Edina were most obviously life partners. They may exploit others, but they never waivered in their commitment to each other.
But it was the over-the-top camp that made Ab Fab a gay classic. On Halloween in 1993, half of the drag queens in West Hollywood were dressed as Patsy.
And there were ample gay men and lesbians among the duo's friends and clients. In the 2003 special "Gay," we discover that Eddy's son Serge (Josh Hamilton, left) ran away to New York because Eddy couldn't accept him as gay-and-boring; he wasn't flamboyant enough to be a chic shopping accessory.
Not a lot of beefcake in this female-oriented show -- just an occasional male model or shirtless boyfriend. But who cares? Patsy and Edina were absolutely fabulous all by themselves.
David Cassidy, whose last charting single was in 1972 in the U.S. (though he was still selling records in Germany and the U.K.), tried to reinvent himself as a serious dramatic actor. In 1978, he played a cop who goes undercover as a high school student in "A Chance to Live", an episode of Police Story.
Unfortunately, they didn't learn from the example of Bobby Sherman in Getting Together. They made a lot of mistakes.
Mistake #1: The title. Everybody thought that David would be playing himself, a sort of teen idol secret agent.
Mistake #2: the wife and kids. Teen idols should be single, so the fans can fantasize about getting them for themselves.
Mistake #3: his costumes. All tight jeans and shirts unbuttoned to the navel. It was the style in 1978, and it was nice to see a basket, but it didn't mesh with the androgynous shoulder-length hair.
Mistake #5: instead of going undercover in a high school, Dan went undercover as a different ludicrous character every week, to snoop out a different ludicrous crime. See if you can tell which is which:
He went undercover as a: biker, college student, drifter, high school student, hot rodder, junkie, medical patient, pimp, prisoner, trucker, weapons buyer.
To crack the crime of: baby selling, biker gang, drugs, homicide (several times), and supermarket break-ins.
Eight episodes aired during the Thanksgiving-Christmas season 1978, and another two were burned off in the summer of 1979, and David Cassidy: Man Undercover went into the records of "worst series ever."
David Cassidy found the experience painful. After 1979 he concentrated on his music, and limited his tv and film work to occasional guest star spots. Recently he starred in Ruby and the Rockits with his brother Patrick and current teen idol Austin Butler.
See also: David Cassidy's Comic Book Career
Jul 21, 2016
My favorite hero/villain of the Old Testament was Jacob, son of Isaac. It had deceit, sibling rivalry, and weird paranormal experiences. .
1. Esau, the eldest son, gets the birthright, but when he comes in famished from hunting, the sneaky Jacob tricks him into trading it over in exchange for a "mess of pottage." Surely that constitutes duress.
2. He sneakily pretends to be Esau to get his father's blessing, too (his conniving Mother puts him up to it).
3. By this point, everyone is mad at him, so he runs away. On the road, has some weird visions, like a Stairway to Heaven, with angels climbing up and down it. Weird!
Wait -- "thigh" is an ancient Hebrew euphemism for "penis." Maybe these guys weren't exactly "wrestling."
Other passages in the Bible state it was a "man" or "God," adding to the mystery of the encounter.
The "Wrestling with an Angel" story has received the most artistic interest, since it allowed artists to depict a homoerotic embrace between two naked men who aren't trying to kill each other.
This nude head-grabbing statue is by Hendrik Christian Andersen (1872-1940), the boyfriend of author Henry James.
A more stylized pair, with their crotches pressed together, was erected on the grounds of the University of Scranton in 1982 by sculptor Arlene Love.
I don't know what these guys are up to, but Jacob's backside is emphasized. It's by British artist Sir Jacob Epstein (1880-1959).
Painters have gotten into the act, too. The muscular legs and backsides are emphasized in this painting by Leon Bonnat (1833-1922).
Eugene Delacroix (1768-1863) clothes the angel, but gives Jacob almost a modern bodybuilder's physique.
Contemporary painter Paul Gilbert Baswell mysteriously hides the angel's face.
Jul 20, 2016
Kevin is now a regular part of the gang, but his sexual identity is definitely in the background. He is rarely shown dating, and he never kisses boys. For that, we had to wait for Little Lulu.
Luzinha Teen e sua Terma (Teenage Little Lulu and Her Gang) was a Brazilian comic reboot (2009-2015) of the classic comic book series, drawn in manga style.
Luluzinha is 15 years old, intelligent, resourceful, with a passion for dots (um, that's another character altogether). She has a number of boyfriends, including Zico, Patrick, Ball, and the vampire Vincinius.
Ball (Tubby) is a slim, athletic aspiring rock musician, lead guitarist for the band Loki. He is in love with Luluzinha, although he dates a number of girls.
Glorinha (Gloria) is into shopping and fashion. She has several boyfriends.
Annie is a video game and computer geek. She is dating Icarus.
Alvinho (Alvin) is a rebellious preteen who aspires to become a surfer. He is dating Lila.
The gang is nonchalant, but Edgar's homophobic father is horrified, and assaults him. Vicente, the school director, steps in.
On the whole, it's a "coming out" episode like what we saw on tv frequently during the 1980s, but in 2013 in a Brazilian children's comic.
It's a start.
See also: Little Lulu
Jul 18, 2016
My email to my friend Eli in Amsterdam contained only one word: "WTF????"
He had just told me that he was taking a job in Oman.
That's right, Oman, the sultanate just south of Saudi Arabia, on the Indian Ocean.
I called. "But...but...but it's the Arabian Peninsula! I wouldn't set foot in any country where being gay brings the death penalty."
"No, that is Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. In Oman the penalty is only three years in prison."
"Only three years in prison?"
"Most of the states in the U.S. had worse penalties. Besides, it is only if you are discovered."
"But...you live in Amsterdam, where everything is open. Gay life in Oman must be incredibly closeted. No bars, no bathhouses, no organizations."
"They have Grindr. And it is a very good job, and it will last only one year."
Eli's Dispatches from Oman (modified slightly for grammar).
"You were thinking mud streets and minarets, yes? Oman is modern! The Food Court in the Muscat Grand Mall has Charley's Grilled Subs, Curry in a Hurry, Hungry Bunny, KFC, Papa John's, Mr. Pretzels, and Wok and Roll."
"Half the people here are guest workers from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Last night I met a very cute boy from Bangladesh on Grindr. He never met a black guy before.
The full story, with nude photos and sexual content, is on Tales of West Hollywood
Jul 17, 2016
Other books in the series, Land of Stories: The Enchantress Returns (2013), Land of Stories: A Grimm Warning (2014), and Land of Stories: Beyond the Kingdoms (2015), have also done well.
A gay author who played a gay person on tv and supports innumerable gay charities, from It Gets Better to the Trevor Project to Uprising of Love (for LGBT Russians)? Obviously he would make gay people an unremarkable part of his fictional world.
The premise is well known from such properties as The 10th Kingdom and Once Upon a Time: fairy tales are real, historically accurate depictions of events that occurred in a parallel reality. Teenage twins Alex and Connor (a boy and a girl) find themselves in Fairy World, and change the course of both fairy and human history. Let's go through a run-down of the major characters;
Alex dates a boy named Rook, and Connor dates a girl named Bree. Next!
Their mother, Charlotte, gets a new boyfriend. Next!
Jack, the grown-up Beanstalk Climber, marries Goldilocks of Three Bears fame.
The Evil Queen of Sleeping Beauty fame had a boyfriend. Sleeping Beauty herself is married to Prince Charming.
Froggy, aka Charlie Charming, aka the Frog Prince, is dating the grown-up Red Riding Hood.
That leaves a couple of very minor characters who don't mention any specifically heterosexual interests.
There isn't even any room for a Dumbledore to be gay and closeted and come out after the fact.
There aren't even any potential gay subtexts, as every major relationship is carefully organized into a boy-girl pattern.
A gay author who played a gay person on tv and supports innumerable gay charities has written a series of juvenile fantasy novels in which every single character of consequence is firmly and undeniably identified as heterosexual.
Hey, Uncle Tom...um, I mean Chris, I thought you supported gay kids' right to exist?