Sep 7, 2017

The Cities with the Most and Least Attractive Men

The dating app Clover, which is like Grindr for heteros (although it allows gay members), has analyzed data from 500,000 users, and found the cities and states with the most attractive men in the U.S.

I don't know their criterion is, but presumably it's facial beauty rather than physique or other traits.

1-3. Boston, Minneapolis, and Manhattan.  Ok, those cities are great, full of art and culture and gay venues.  It's the others that tend to be dreary, soulless, and homophobic:

4. Jacksonville, Florida, in the redneck nowheresville just south of Georgia.  A wasteland of car dealerships, fast-food restaurants, and rednecks that has won an award for being "the most racist, homophobic city in the U.S."  I guess they have such awards under the reign of the Orange Fuhrer.  This guy has nice abs, but a rather ugly face.

5. Scottsdale, Arizona, "The West's Most Western City," full of car shows, horse shows, and old people driving cars very slowly.  A scary suburb of scary Phoenix in a scary state where Joe Arpaio ruled and it's illegal to teach Hispanic studies.

This guy definitely has a noteworthy physique, but his face is not quite model-ready.

6. Virginia Beach, Virginia, a scary suburb of Norfolk with strict racial segregation, crazy tourist laws, and a 1950s feel.

Nice physique, but definitely not in the top 10% in the facial beauty department.  Maybe in the top 50%.

7. Lincoln, Nebraska (not even Omaha?).  At least it's a college town.  But according to a Slate article, its residents tweeted the most homophobic slurs per 100,000 posts of any city except Las Vegas.

This Lincoln guy has interesting glasses and nice hair, but he needs something to counterbalance the severity of his chin.

8. Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the state capital, where 84% of the population voted for the Orange Fuhrer, and the top "sights" are the Louisiana State University sports arena and a waterpark called the Blue Bayou. Never been there, never wanted to.  And this guy doesn't make me want to.  Nice physique, smug expression, and what is up with that hair?

Maybe gay men would be better off cruising the cities with the most "unattractive" men.

More after the break.

Ricky Nelson

Ricky Nelson was the first teen idol produced by television.  He was born in 1940 to show biz parents, band leader Ozzie Nelson and singer Harriet, who played "themselves" on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet on radio.  Both Ricky and his brother David began playing themselves in 1952, after the switch to television.

His plotlines were standard Boomer-kid stuff -- paper routes, bullies, homework --until the night of April 10, 1957, when Ricky performed the Fats Domino classic "I'm Walkin'."

Teenagers -- never big fans of the program before -- went wild.  Envisioning a whole new market, Ozzie had Ricky sing every week after that.  At first he used the pretense of a "talent contest" or "school dance," but then he gave up, put a guitar in Ricky's hands, and let him perform to audiences of rapturous teens.

Ricky stayed on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet until it finally ended in 1962, but his parts became increasingly smaller as his performing career took off.  Between 1957 and 1962, he hit the Top 40 charts 30 times, more than any other performer except Elvis and Pat Boone. In the interest of maintaining closeness with his brother, he also performed in "The Flying Nelsons," a trapeze act, as the flier to David's catcher.
Many performers in the 1950s were androgynous or slightly gender-transgressive -- singing itself was coded as a "sissy" activity -- but Ricky was the first teen idol to promote a gender-transgressive image, as soft, shy, introspected, and somewhat dark, as if he had a secret pain.  Though he was attracted to women and married multiple times, his primary relationships -- his most fulfilling, intimate relationships -- were with same-sex friends.  My friend Drake claimed to have dated him.

At the same time, he was rather homophobic.

Teen magazines didn't do a lot of beefcake shots in those days, but that didn't matter.  Ricky looked good in chinos, and he could fill out a cowboy outfit.

Ricky tried to rename himself "Rick," but it didn't work -- fans called him Ricky through his life.  He was busy through the 1960s and 1970s, writing new songs, experimenting with new genres. "Garden Party" (1972), about Hollywood hypocrisy, became a hit for a new generation.

He died tragically in an airplane crash in 1985.

See also: David and Ricky Nelson; Drake on a Date with Ricky Nelson

Sep 4, 2017

The Gay Journalist and the Three Beefcake Boxers

I love researching the people in old beefcake photographs.  These three specimens, for example:

Left, with long arms: Joe-Claes

Center, with basket: Petit Riquet ("Little Riquet." because of his height?).

Right, tall, buffed: F. Sybille

The two guys in suits are "Their managers, Graf = Brothers."

The inscription reads: "Friendly memory to Mr. Francis Soulie, Liege, February 24, 1927."

Apparently they were all boxers.  Lightweight Joe Claes is 24 years old, and has been boxing since 1922.  He retired in 1929 after 46 bouts and 28 wins.

20-year old bantamweight Nicolas Petit-Biquet, "la petite merveille liegeoise," began boxing at age 15 by falsifying his papers, and knocked out his first opponent.  He fought in 109 bouts, with 59 wins and 14 knockouts.  In 1932 he became European bantamweight champion.  He lived in Liege through his life, and died in 1959.

The most famous of the three is 21-year old Francois Sybille, a bantamweight called "La rapière liégeoise."  He won 99 fights and represented France in the 1924 Olympics (this is the Argentine boxing team for that year).  He died in 1968.

What about Mr. Francis Soulie?  A gay right-wing journalist and surrealist writer, suspected of ghost-writing Le Regard du Roi (1954) for his Guinean boyfriend Camara Laye (1928-1980).  

I wonder what happy memories Mr. Francis Soulie shared with the boxers of Liege


Sep 3, 2017

10 Things You Should Know About "The Tick"

1. The spoof superhero first appeared in 1986 as the mascot of the New England Comic Book Stores.

2. His costume looks like this.  The muscles are latex, but the bulge isn't.

3. He has appeared in three tv series, animated (voiced by Townsend Coleman), live in 2001 (starring Patrick Warburton), and most recently in 2016 (with Peter Serafinowicz).

4. Peter Serafinowicz is a British actor known for Shaun of the Dead and Guardians of the Galaxy.

5. The Tick has a sidekick, Arthur, who actually wants nothing to do with him and keeps trying to get out of sidekicking.

6. Their interactions sometimes involve homophobic "real men must never touch!", and sometimes glimmers of homoerotic affection.

7. Arthur was voiced by Micky Dolenz and Rob Paulsen in the animated series, and he has been played by David Burke and most recently Griffin Newman.

8.  This is Arthur in costume.  His bulge must enter a room three seconds before the rest of him.

9. The Tick also features a full roster of beefcake actors playing superheroes and villains, such as Brendan Hines as Superion.

10. And Scott Spieser as Overkill.

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