Dick Van Dyke or the muscular Barry Van Dyke of the show biz dynasty, Phillip Van Dyke was a popular child star of the 1990s, with guest spots on Picket Fences, Baywatch, and Step by Step. His teenage roles lasted for only a few years: he starred in Safety Patrol (1998), as the leader of the bullies who bedevil Bug Hall, and in The Modern Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1998), as a Tom Sawyer whose best buddy (Adam Dior) is named Chuck, not Huckleberry.
But he's probably most famous for his role as Luke, the goblin-turned human who assists the teenage witch sisters in Halloweentown (1998) and Halloweentown 2: Kalabar's Revenge (2002). Except for a few feeble flirtations, Luke displays no interest in girls.
He received massive media exposure for his blond hair, blue eyes, and massive biceps, which he showed off whenever possible, even while playing a goblin.
As often happens with teen stars, when Phillip moved into adult roles, his adolescent buddy-bonding dried up. He played some aggressively heterosexual characters on Boston Public and NYPD Blue before retiring from acting. Today he lives in San Francisco with his second wife and works in the corporate world.
Jun 10, 2017
Jun 7, 2017
PaJaMa: The Gay Painter-Lovers of 1940s Fire Island
In the 1930s and 1940s, a domestic-erotic collective of artists lived in the gay capitals of Provincetown, Fire Island, and Hartland, Vermont:
Paul Cadmus (1904-1999)
His young lover George Tooker (1920-2011)
His ex-lover Jared French (1905-1988)
Jared's boyfriend Jose Martinez.
And Jared's wife Margaret Hoening (1889-1973).
Their group was called PaJaMa: Paul, Jared, and either Margaret or Martinez, depending on who you ask (George was left out, since no one wanted PaJaMaGe).
They all used the medium of egg tempura, which gave their work a shimmering, otherworldly effect, enhanced by their use of surrealist images and symbols. And beefcake, of course.
Trauma, Terror, and Beefcake of Junior High Shop Class
This is a cause for celebration. Shop class was the biggest trauma of junior high.
Washington Junior High was segregated by gender. All girls had to take home economics, to prepare them for their future as housewives, and all boys had to take woodshop, to prepare them for their future as...um...carpenters?
It was horrible. The "teacher," Mr. Worse Than Hitler, was the nastiest, meanest, most despicable martinet who ever lived. You tried to be as quiet and inobtrusive as possible: if he noticed you, he would criticize you, call you stupid, berate you for having a "smart mouth." And God forbid those times he walked around the class.
Head down, hands at your side, no eye contact.
And what, exactly, did Mr. Worse Than Hitler teach?
If I taught a shop class, I would start off by explaining what the various tools were called and what they were used for. Maybe some safety tips.
Then the types of wood, what each was used for.
Demonstrate some simple projects.
Explain how this stuff would be useful to us in the future.
Nope -- he just let us loose: "The tools are over there -- the wood is over there. Go to it."
I had no idea what to do, and I didn't dare ask Mr. Worse Than Hitler. He would glare at me, call me stupid, or give me detention for having a "smart mouth."
Finally I figured it out -- I was already supposed to know all about working with tools. All boys were. It was part of our DNA.
Claiming ignorance about something that was innate? You might as well claim that you didn't like sports, or girls.
There were no tests, quizzes, or graded projects. But still, I got a D- for the semester.
1. Not keeping my eyes lowered when Mr. Worse Than Hitler walked by.
2. Hammering a nail wrong.
3.-4. Just because he felt like it.
But there was a bright side.
Washington Junior High was also segregated by social class. Middle class kids, got college-preparatory science, math, English, and foreign languages.
Working class kids were channeled into remedial English, bonehead science, and "business math."
The only time we saw each other was in the classes required for everyone: gym, woodshop, and metal shop.
Italians and Greeks with thick biceps and big hands and dark slick-backed hair.
The only black kid at Washington, tall, lithe, with an enormous Afro that he combed constantly.
Catholic boys, future priests wearing scapulars.
Hints of transgression, lawbreaking, sexual profligacy.
It was almost worth the daily trauma of Mr. Worse Than Hitler.
But I still run fast in the opposite direction whenever I am asked to do something involving hammers, nails, or screwdrivers.
See also: What is Gym Class For?
Jun 6, 2017
Four Bacon Beefcake Artists
John Henry Bacon (1868-1914) was an illustrator and portraitist. Here he illustrates the story of Beowulf. If you overlook the guy with his arm torn off, there are some nicely drawn nude male physiques.
Jun 4, 2017
One of the original Boomers, Stallone began his career in 1970, at age 23, in the hardcore porn Party at Kitty and Stud's. Repackaged as The Italian Stallion during the 1990s, it became the bestselling porn dvd of all time.
Stallone was in a number of films during the early 1970s, including Lords of Flatbush, but he hit it big as the underdog boxer in Rocky (1976). Many starring roles followed, some straight policers (Nighthawks), some comedies (Rhinestone), one trucker-arm wrestler (Over the Top, with David Mendenhall), but Stallone was at his best as a man-mountain who grunts, snarls, flexes, and saves the day.
Movies by other man-mountains -- Schwarzeneggar, Lundgren, Norris, Van Damme -- drew the crowds with their reactionary political agenda, heterosexist girl-rescues, and climaxes where the effeminate gay-coded villain gets his just deserts, so there wasn't much for gay fans to watch except the beefcake. But Stallone was different.
Even his beefcake was different. Other man-mountains were rarely nude -- you don't need nudity to demonstrate that you are strong enough to lift a small country. But Stallone never shied away from frontal and rear nudity. His muscles were objects of utility but also of beauty, offered to both male and female fans.
Nor is Stallone homophobic in real life. He is so gay friendly that when his son Sage Stallone died tragically in the summer of 2012, the homophobic Westboro Baptist Church picketed his funeral, "accusing" the elder actor of teaching him tolerance.
There are nude photos of Stallone in the story of his hookup with the Satyr on Tales of West Hollywood
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