Jun 23, 2017
Bob Morley and His Posse
I never heard of any of them before, but it turns out that they're mostly starring in The 100 (2014-2018), about juvenile delinquents sent to a dead Earth to repopulate it
And they all either play gay characters, or are gay in real life, or both.
In Lost in the White City (2014), he plays Avi, an Israeli soldier who has a 3-way relationship with artists Kyle and Eva.
He doesn't like appearing shirtless on screen or otherwise being treated like "a piece of meat."
Straight in real life, but at least he doesn't mind being treated like a piece of meat.
The Homophobic Small-Town Manhattan of "Friends"
And while Seinfeld was mostly heterosexist, assuming that gay people did not exist (except for a few homophobic episodes), Friends knew about the existence of gay people. And was scared stiff.
It was about six heterosexual young adults who hung out together to commiserate over their terrible jobs -- though they still managed to afford huge apartments in Manhattan -- and terrible love lives -- though the women still managed to date a never-ending stream of chiseled hunks, including Adam Baldwin, Tom Selleck, and Brad Pitt.
Neurotic, easily-befuddled Chandler (Matthew Perry), who worked as a statistician.
Former spoiled rich kid Rachel (Jennifer Anniston), who lost her silver spoon and worked as a waitress.
Nebbish paleontologist Ross (David Schwimmer, left), who had a crush on Rachel in high school.
His sister Monica (Courtney Cox), formerly fat and unpopular, now a control freak caterer.
Italian-American stereotype Joey (Matt Leblanc, top photo), a muscular but dimwitted aspiring actor.
Ditsy Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow), who worked as a masseuse, and had an equally ditsy brother (Giovanni Ribisi).
Eventually they paired off into Chandler-Monica and Rachel-Ross. Joey and Phoebe stayed unattached.
Gay people intrude in a number of episodes, as problems to be solved:
Chandler is horribly embarrassed by the fact that his Dad is a drag queen.
Ross's ex-wife is "now" a lesbian, and actually intends to "marry" her girlfriend.
Ross is horrified when his male student comes on to him.
But more common, in nearly every episode, is the men's homophobia -- a literal fear of gay people.
Tijara Mamula has uploaded a remix, "Homophobic Friends," with the highlights of the homophobic and transphobic jokes that form a constant undertow to the series.
If a guy has male friends, people think "he likes guys, he's gay."
If he has female friends, people think "he's like a woman, he's gay."
Chandler, Ross, and Joey are each mistaken for gay at various points in the series. To gales of audience laughter. To be thought gay is second worst humiliation possible.
The worst humiliation: to really be gay. So the guys often criticize each other, and the other male characters, for acting "too gay." They police the slightest gender-atypical behavior, horrified that signifies some inner gayness that must be stopped before it grows like a malignant tumor and destroys them.
Ross didn't know that his wife was a lesbian! He must be gay!
Joey and Chandler hug! They must be gay!
While on a ride-along, Ross refers to himself as the cop's "partner." He must be gay!
So much for the cozy, small-town Manhattan of Friends.
But it gets worse: An incredibly homophobic joke in the first season turned a million gay fans away from the series forever.
See also: Homophobia on "Friends": This Time It's Serious.; and Giovanni Ribisi
Jun 22, 2017
Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin
He loved that darn thing, and played it over and over and over. It was a small house, so there was no place to escape from the torture.
It begins with "From all of us to all of you, a very Merry Christmas," a song I've never heard anywhere else. Then we get some non-Christmas stories:
1. Little Black Sambo, who has a New York accent: "All the tigahs have turned into buttah!"
2. Scrooge McDuck ships his money to the moon for safekeeping.
3. Winnie the Pooh, a fat, stupid bear with a chalkboard-grating voice, braves a natural disaster that floods his home. Winnie is a girl's name, and "pooh" means feces, and it only goes downhill from there.
Later I found that the nightmare-inducing hell-voice came from the evil Sterling Holloway (1904-1992), who also voiced the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland and Kaa the Snake (who hypnotizes and tries to eat Mowgli in The Jungle Book).
Little Boy kneels at the foot of the bed,
Droops on the little hands little gold head.
Hush! Hush! Whisper who dares!
Christopher Robin is saying his prayers.
The teacher expected 10 year olds raised on a diet of Lost in Space, Star Trek, and Magnus Robot Fighter to read this? And like it? Really?
But the main atrocity, the Pooh Demon, comes from stories originally published in St. Nicholas, Punch, and other magazines before settling down into two books, Winnie-the-Pooh (1926) and The House on Pooh Corner (1928).
They star Milne's son, Christopher Robin Milne, and his coterie of toy and real animals: Rabbit; Owl (very creative names); Kanga and Roo (mother and child kangaroos); Piglet; Eeyore (a donkey), and the titular Winnie (although Milne's teddy bear was actually named Edward).
The short adventures generally involve Christopher Robin's demonic minions misunderstanding things. For instance, when he writes a note explaining that he'll be back soon, his demonic minions misinterpret "Backson" as a person, conclude that he has been kidnapped, and mount a daring rescue operation.
Or Eeyore the clinically depressed donkey loses his tail in the woods. Owl finds it, thinks it's a doorbell, and takes it home. Not to worry, he gives it up without a fuss, and Christopher Robin nails it on.
The beings all have separate houses in the 100 Acre Woods, based on the 500 Acre Wood in Ashdown Forest, East Sussex (100 acres is .15 miles, so about a block and a half square). It's mostly not woods at all, but swampy fields and dreary sandpits, and a river full of boulders and "rox." Nice.
The gender-bending "Winnie," with his rather obvious lack of sex organs, has raised the ire of the city council of Tuszyn, Poland, which banned him for being transgender or "a hermaphrodite."
Some internet pundits try to make Piglet into a gay character due to his sense of style and interest in flower arranging -- and desire to see Christopher Robin naked.
But I find no gay subtexts in the books. Although the characters are all male, except for Kanga, and there is no hetero-romance, no one lives together. They are isolated individuals, not domestic partners like Toad and Rat in The Wind in the Willows.
Same-sex bonds belong to childhood. The cold, hard work of adulthood requires heterosexual marriage and reproduction.
In gay subtext stories, men don't leave!.
Besides...that grating, infuriating voice!
When Lane's mother was sick, he bought her a Winnie-the-Pooh figure, thinking it would cheer her up. She threw the darn thing across the room.
Rosa and I didn't agree on much, but I have to applaud that act of resistance.
He served in World War II, married his cousin Lesley de Selincourt, and opened a bookshop in Dartmouth. He wrote several autobiographies, but mostly tried to distance himself from Winnie the Pooh.
The illustrations, by the way, are from actors who have played Christopher Robin during his 31 film and tv appearances, or others who are named Christopher Robin.
2. A costumed Christopher Robin character at Disneyland
3. Frankie Galasso
4. Alex Lawther
5. The real Christopher Robin, his dad, and his demonic hell-beast.
6. Tom Wheatley.
Oumpah-pah and Hubert
They were translated into Spanish, German, Dutch, Greek, and English, but the English editions are very rare and go for hundreds of dollars on Ebay. There are no plans for re-issues, due to the negative stereotypes of Native Americans as patois-speaking savages.
But on amazon.fr, you can get the French reissues for 10-15 Euros each, or "the complete adventures" used for around 20 Euros.
Why bother, when Asterix is readily available? Because Oumpah-pah has some advantages that his more famous cousin doesn't.
When French aristocrat Hubert de la Pâte Feuilleté, sent by the king to establish peaceful relations with the natives, is captured, Oumpah-pah rescues him and escorts him back to Fort Petit. They become "brothers."
They sail for France to get some horses, and encounter the pirate Brake, who captures Hubert and...
You get the idea. A lot of captures, a lot of muscles straining at ropes, a lot of nick-of-time rescues and stammered "If it weren't for you, I'd be dead!"
Jun 21, 2017
10 Shirtless Pictures of Daniel Skye, Sort of
He's got 9 songs listed on AZ Lyrics, all about love, 5 of the 9 using an incessant "girl! girl! girl!"
Sounds horribly heterosexist.
But I still googled "Daniel Skye" and "shirtless" to see what pops up.
1. Two guys, maybe one is Daniel.
2. I'm pretty sure this is Boo Boo Stewart.
3. Blue eyes.
4. Nice abs. I'm not usually into earrings, but that black one makes his face.
More after the break.
Jun 20, 2017
The Beefcake and Homoerotic Art of Ex Libris Bookplates
"Ex libris" (from the library of) bookplates were first used during the Renaissance, and became very popular during the 18th and 19th centuries. By the turn of the 20th century, artists such as Robert Anning Bell and Charles Ricketts made practically their whole careers out of designing intricate bookplates for their customers.
Today bookplates are little used, but bookplate collectors have their own subculture, with clubs, magazines, and conferences.
Homoerotic and beefcake-heavy bookplates are especially prized.
1. Wilhelm Mertens, a German herpetologist, professor at the University of Frankfurt and author of 13 books, promises that he's "immer an deck" (always alert), like the semi-nude muscleman looking at the stars.
4. A rather minimalist David slaying Goliath, but unusual for its coloration. I don't know who this was for, maybe painter Franca Moggioli, who died in Turin in 2015 at the age of 94.
More after the break.
A Beefcake Tour of Amsterdam
Boomer's Small Town Beefcake
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