Aug 13, 2016

10 More TV Hunks I've Never Heard Of

TV is proliferating with hunks these days, and they don't need much of an excuse to take off their clothes.  Here are 10  more tv hunks that I've never heard of, but would like to.

1. Barrett Carnahan.

2. B. J. Britt.  Forget about the Britt; let's concentrate on the B. J.

3. Dante Swain

4, Justin Prentice

5. Matthew Josten.  He looks a lot like Justin Prentice's younger brother.

6. Nick Roux.  How do you get such veiny wrists?

7. Ryan Wynott

8. Sam Claflin.

9. Tony Goldwyn

10.  Vladimir Furkit.  Forget the Vladimir, let's talk about the Furkit

I have got to start watching more tv.

Aug 10, 2016

Peter Pat, the Preteen Powerhouse with Plentiful Pro-Gay Plotlines

I've never heard of Peter Pat, but who wouldn't want to read about a toddler with an adult head beating up a loincloth-clad gorilla?

Apparently he was the star of a newspaper comic strip launched in 1934 by someone named Mo Leff.  It lasted only a year, but was reprinted in comic books in both the United States and France.

Peter Pat, aka just Pat, was carried off by a winged warrior to Pagoland, a sword-and-sorcery fantasy world, where he proved to be a superb fighter -- for a three year old.

Notice that there are no word balloons. Descriptions and dialogue appear at random places in the panel.

What's up with the oversized Dick Tracey head?

Pat has a sidekick named Pom, a even younger toddler (is he wearing a diaper?) with an old man's head.

Is Mo Leff just inept, or is there some reason for this weird phenomenon?  Maybe in Pagoland heads get older and bodies get younger.

Pat displayed a respectable teenage physique, but the giant head grafted onto his body would probably deter all but the most avid beefcake fans.

I don't know why his shorts and belt changed color.

The people of Pagoland had a preference for "p" sounds.  Pat's prim pony Pepper promenades in Pagoland pastures.

Mo Leff was also the ghostwriter for the Joe Palooka strip.

The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam is probably the most famous work of Middle Eastern literature worldwide, except maybe The Arabian Nights.   You're probably familiar with some of the passages.  But do you know what the poem is about?

Omar Khayyam (1048-1131) was a Persian poet, astronomer, and mathematician who may or may not have written the ruibaiyat (4-lined verses)  ascribed to him.  The compilation came three hundred years after his death.

It became famous in the English-speaking world with the translation by Edward FitzGerald (1809-1883), based on original manuscripts in the Oxford Bodleian Library.  The first edition (1859) contained 75 quatrains.  New editions increased the number to 101.

The plot is simple: a scholar abandons his studies for a romantic interlude with a young friend.

Here with a Loaf of Bread beneath the Bough,
A Flask of Wine, a Book of Verse - and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness -
And Wilderness is Paradise enow.

After all, life is short: we should seize the day:

Ah, make the most of what we yet may spend,
Before we too into the Dust descend;
Dust into Dust, and under Dust, to lie,
Sans Wine, sans Song, sans Singer, and - sans End !

Who is the Poet seizing the day with?  Translators and illustrators tried their hardest to make it a heterosexual romance, but some of the quatrains describe a young man.

Up, smooth-faced boy!  The daybreak shines for thee!

Translator Edward FitzGerald was gay.  He was with William Kenilworthe Browne from 1832 to 1859, in spite of their both being married.  His romance with his second lover, a fisherman named Joseph Fletcher, or Posh, lasted from 1865 to 1873.

Aug 9, 2016

The Loud House: Gay Dads on Nickelodeon

The Loud House is a Nickelodeon cartoon not connected to the Loud Family that introduced gay people to PBS back in the 1970s.  

It was created by Chris Savino, who previously worked on such gay-context classics as Rocko's Modern Life, Dexter's Laboratory, and My Gym Partner's a Monkey.  It's a naturalistic series about a contemporary Michigan family with a husband (Brian Stepanek), wife (Jill Talley), and ten daughters, all apparently biological progeny: Lori, Leni, Luna, Luan, Lynn, Lucy, Lana, Lola, Lisa, Lily.  

And one son, the central character, 11-year old Lincoln Loud (Grant Palmer, left).

You might expect a lot of "battle of the sexes" plotlines, with stereotypic boys and girls fighting it out over pink ponies and baseball practice.  But conflicts are mostly about the sheer size of the group:
Lincoln wants to sit at the "adult" table at dinner.
Lincoln struggles to get a favorable seat in the van for a family trip.
Lincoln buys headphones to drown out the noise in the house.

There are few boy-girl dating plotlines, but few gay-subtext plotlines either.  Lincoln has a best friend, Clyde McBride (Caleel Harris), with a standard preteen bromance going on.

But Clyde has two Dads, Howard and Harold McBride, the first male-same sex couple to appear as a couple in any children's program in the U.S.

They are not a stereotyped fey gay couple: one is tall and thin, the other chubby and balding.  

Nor do they appear just once, for shock value, and then never again. They have appeared in at least four episodes, and been referenced in more, a standard part of the Loud House world.

They are voiced by Michael McDonald and Wayne Brady, comedians who have played gay characters in live productions, and are probably aware that they are making history, even if the kids watching are not.

Aug 8, 2016

Michael J. Pollard, Lost Boy

When I was a kid in the 1960s, I thought Michael J. Pollard was the cutest guy around.  He was short, husky, and blond (I thought), with an impish smile. And he always played lost boys.

I first saw him in "The Magic Mirror" (1966), an episode of Lost in Space, playing a boy trapped in the mysterious world on the other side of a mirror.

And then in "Miri," an episode of Star Trek (1966), as the leader of a group of kids trapped in a perpetual childhood.

And then in "The Scene," an episode of The Danny Thomas Hour about a girl lost in the psychedelic world of the hippies.  He played her hippie friend.

He befriended girls, but never displayed any romantic interest in them.  Maybe he liked boys!

Years later, I saw some of his more serious roles, where Michael used his boyish quirks to play man-childs, sometimes affecting, sometimes dangerous and deranged.

In Bonnie and Clyde (1967), Michael played C. W. Moss, who befriends the criminal duo (Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway) and has a rather obvious crush on Clyde.

In Little Fauss and Big Halsey (1970), he is the inept, childish motorcycle racer Little Fauss who can barely contain his crush on the superstar Big Halsey (Robert Redford).

Dirty Little Billy (1972) is an unromantic portrayal of Billy the Kid (Michael) as a leering psycho.

Off camera, he was a leather-jacket rebel. Once when he was in Morocco with Jim Capaldi, he helped write the lyrics for "Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys," a gay-themed song recorded by Traffic (1971).

If I gave you everything that I owned and asked for nothing in return
Would you do the same for me as I would for you?
Or take me for a ride, and strip me of everything including my pride
But spirit is something that no one destroys
And the sound that I'm hearing is only the sound
The low spark of high-heeled boys

I don't know if he is gay or bisexual in real life, though he was married to actress Beth Howland (of Alice) from 1961 to 1969.

Actor Michael Andrew Fox changed to Michael J. Fox as a homage to Michael J. Pollard.

I haven't seen much of Michael's more recent work, though I understand that he's still playing mostly hippies, psychos, and man-childs, and in a humorous turn, the mischievous transdimensional Mr. Mxyzptik on Superboy.

Here he is recently.  An elderly, white-haired gentleman with an impish grin and a black leather jacket. I'd date him.

But I'll always remember the Lost Boy of my childhood.

See also: Lost in Space

Aug 7, 2016

The Torgerson Twins

 Have you ever heard of the Torgerson Twins?  Probably not, unless you were reading teen magazines or watching teen tv in the spring of 1996.

The 14-year old identical twins starred as Ranny and Danny (yes, someone named their son Ranny) in the short-lived tv series Second Noah, about a couple, baseball coach-writer Noah (Daniel Hugh Kelly) and veterinarian Jesse (Betsey Brantley), who live near Busch Gardens in Florida (holy product placement, Batman!), and adopt lots of kids and animals. Teen idol James Marsden takes his shirt off.  There was no ark.

Most episodes concerned one or more of the kids getting a heterosexual crush, falling in love, or breaking up, but there was some brotherly-love-style, and gay teens found the twins dreamy.

Not to mention eldest adoptee, 23-year old James Marsden (now Cyclops in the X-Men franchise).

Gay preteens had a role model in 10-year old Jeffrey Licon, who would go on to star in Nickelodeon's Brothers Garcia and the gay-themed Mysterious Skin. 

And for the adults, Daniel Hugh Kelly, previously the Hardcastle and McCormick hunk.

The series specialized in shirtless and semi-nude shots.

 However, it came on Saturday nights opposite Doctor Quinn, Medicine Women, which was aimed at a similar tween stay-at-home audience.  And it may have been a little too edgy, with Jason Marsden's character a teenage dad, and lots of implied sex.  12 episodes aired in the spring of 1996, six more in September-October of 1996, and the remaining three were "burned off" during the summer of 1997.

During those few months, Jeremy and Jon Torgerson received an amazing amount of teen idol attention, including gushing articles and endless photos, including some of the chummy, nearly holding hands, homoerotic subtext sort (notice the ultra-feminine jewelry).

In January 1998, Jeremy had a one-shot on the preachy, hetero-horny Seventh Heaven (1998).  And that was it for their television careers.

Unscathed by the momentary fame,  Jeremy attended the Fashion Institute of Art and Design and now works behind the scenes as a set designer.  Jon is a studio chef and also works in human relations. They're both married with children.
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