Feb 3, 2018
Iolaus, his charioteer. The three great gay couples of the ancient world were David and Jonathan, Damon and Pythias, and Heracles and Iolaus. Edward Carpenter named his anthology of gay verse Iolaus.
Nireus, the most beautiful man in the world. It was quite a coups for Heracles to win him.
Iphitos, whom Heracles won in an archery contest in lieu of a princess.
Hylas, whom Heracles won by saving the king from a barbarian invasion.
The list goes on and on.
So what do contemporary filmmakers do with the ancient hero?
In the post-peplum era:
Feb 1, 2018
Two racing enthusiasts, working-class country boy Lucky (Elvis Presley) and elite Italian Count Elmo Mancini (Cesare Danova) accidentally encounter each other at an auto garage. They know each other by reputation, but have never met before. Mancini offers Lucky a job driving his car in upcoming Las Vegas Grand Prix, and Lucky refuses. He will drive his own car. They will be competitors.
They spend the next several days together, hitting the Vegas nightspots, ostensibly looking for Rusty, but obviously having a wonderful time without her.
Only he doesn't leave.
The two "competitors" spend the rest of the movie vaguely competing over the race and the girl, but it's obvious that they don't care much who wins, as long as they can cling together like long-lost brothers.
The gay subtext is blatant, yet so dependent upon intonation and gesture, that one wonders if Elvis and Cesare Danova were really into each other. Elvis has long been rumored to be bisexual. I haven't heard a lot of gay rumors about Cesare Danova, only that he became a born-again Christian in the 1970s, and had his tombstone inscribed with "Praise the Lord."
The music is energetic, and the dance numbers are great. Ann-Margret steals the show. Highly recommended.
Jan 31, 2018
In one of your stories, you said you didn't think Jackie Coogan would be talking about the gay hookups of his youth with his 12-year old grandson, Keith Coogan.
Well, my Grandpa Sammy talked about all that, and more! He was born in 1922, but didn't come out until 1990, when Grandma Lonny died. After that, there was no stopping him -- he moved to Palm Springs, cruised in leather bars, went to bear parties, joined Gay and Grey clubs -- nonstop schmoozing and screwing. And whenever my boyfriend and I drove up from West Hollywood to visit, he told us the raunchiest stories about his youth.
Here's one about Milton Berle's penis.
[Comedian Milton Berle (1908-2002) was famous for two things:
1. Being the host of Texaco Star Theater, an early comedy-variety tv show (1948-1956) that everybody watched -- it was single-handedly responsible for selling 300,000 tv sets.
2. Having the biggest penis in Hollywood. It was so famous, it was even mentioned at his funeral.]
When Sammy was in high school in Queens, many Jewish boys got summer jobs at the resorts in the Borscht Belt, Sullivan County in the Catskills. He was an all-around athlete and a state tennis champ, so he landed a job as a tennis instructor and life guard at Grossinger's, the biggest and most elegant of the resorts. 35 buildings, indoor and outdoor pools, three restaurants, big name acts like Glenn Miller and George Burns.
And Milton Berle, the 30-year old comedian who had been playing the Borscht Belt since he was 15, plus appearing on the radio and in movies like Radio City Revels. He had a standup comedy act involving nonstop patter, joke after joke that had the audience rolling in the aisles. When they weren't gazing at him with that vacation-enhanced horniness -- he was goodlooking, well-built -- he filled out a swimsuit beautifully
Berle always had a girl or two on his arm, but Sammy still hoped he was queer.
The rest of the story, with nude photos and explicit sexual content, is on Tales of West Hollywood.
Jan 30, 2018
12-13 gauche Disney World theme parks with admission prices beginning at $100 apiece, Universal Studios Orlando, Sea World, and an endless number of crazy "attractions" opened to catch the gullible: Madame Tussard's Wax Museum; the Holy Land Experience, the Crayola Experience (I'm not kidding).
But I investigated the beefcake possibilities anyway, to see what I'm missing.
And wrestling teams in very tight singlets.
Lake Highland Prep goes in for weird camera angles.
More after the break.
Jan 29, 2018
Ishmael was sixteen years old when he and his mother were cast out, an adult in ancient society, but a lot of artists like to make him a baby or a little boy, to emphasize the pathos.
Simone Cantarini (1612-1648) compromises. Ishmael is that chubby baby in the background, dying of thirst while a naked, muscular male angel is appearing to Hagar.
Others, like Lodovico Caselli (1817-1862) have the naked, dying youth wrapped in his mother's arms, a sort of Pieta.
At least Jean Charles Cazin (1840-1901) gives us a nicely shaped bum.
As does Edward Sheffield Bartholomew (1822-1858)
Fidardo Landi (1865-1918) skips Hagar and concentrates on Ishmael.
He also played a gang member named Squirt on a 1974 episode of Happy Days, and a high schooler in the 1978 comedy Cotton Candy; which Ron Howard wrote and directed.
Manuel's acting career ended abruptly when he grew into adulthood, and no longer had big eyes and a pout. We don't know much about his later life, except that it was "troubled." He scrounged around to find work. He married twice -- both marriages ended in divorce -- and had five children and a grandson. But by the 2000s, he was unemployed, living in a spare room at his father's house.
On January 29, 2008, Manuel died unexpectedly, shortly after appearing as a celebrity guest at the Grand National Roadster Show in Pomona. He was 52 years old. A tragic ending to a troubled life.
This is a story from happier days, told by Rory, one of Manuel's childhood friends.
In Hispanic cultures in the 1970s, there was no conception of "gay" and "straight." Every man was expected to marry and raise a family; there could be no exceptions. But girls were usually unavailable, uninterested in sex, and anyway trying to save their virginity for the wedding bed. Boys had to be hombres muy hombre, varones, sex machines, always on the make. That meant that they spent a lot of time seeking out each other.
Anal was out of the question, unless you were into maricones, but oral was more common than you think. Every group of friends had at least one guy who was willing to go down on them while they thought about girls.
In Pomona in 1974, I was that guy: 17 years old, slim, bookish, with nerd glasses and a gleam in my eye. and a constant protest that "I should really be studying" as Manuel, Jorge, Roy, and Sock pushed me into their 1963 silver Camero to cruise down Towne Avenue, stop for burgers, honk at girls, and finally end up in the basement of Manuel's house to watch old movies on tv, smoke some joints, and drop their pants for me.
[Sex scene censored]
My special, special fetish was for Ron Howard. I loved him even when I was a kid, and he was playing Opie on The Andy Griffith Show. Opie was only two or three years older than me, but his life was so different, so exotic -- fishing, swimming, going to county fairs and church socials with Sheriff Andy.
I knew that Manuel had been in some movies and tv shows -- I saw him as Jai in the old Tarzan movies -- but I didn't know that he was friends with Ron Howard until one day in July 1974, when he said "I can't go. I have to drive up to L.A. to have lunch with Ron Howard. He wants to talk about bringing me back to Happy Days. Not playing another gang member, I hope."
Manuel grinned. "You would like him, ese. He's got a serpiente down there, almost as big as me. And he likes brown boys. Nicest guy in the world, but muy maricon."
"Como? How do you know that?"
Manuel told me that Ron Howard was about "girls! girls! girls!" on the surface, but in the wee hours of the morning, after you'd spent six hours watching old movies on tv and eating pizza and drinking beer, and everything was musty and slo-mo, he'd drop the girls! girls! girls! and take a brown boy to bed. Mamiendo, cojiendo, even besando...kissing..
Kissing Ron Howard! I had to meet him!
The full story, with nude photos and explicit sexual situations, is on Tales of West Hollywood.
Jan 28, 2018
1. He grew up in Wyoming
2. He was kicked off his college basketball team for hanging out with ladies.
3. He worked as a cowboy before getting his start in Hollywood.
4. He had a very, very, very hairy chest.
5. He had a very, very, very large penis (ok, that one's not from the IMDB).
6. He mostly played villains and gangsters.
7. He had sex with lots of ladies.
9. He died while on a boating trip with an all-girl crew.
#1-9 don't necessarily require heterosexual identity. And there's more:
White Heat (1949): He plays Big Ed, the sidekick/gunsel who betrays volatile boyfriend Cody (James Cagney).
Private Hell 36 (1954): detective buddies (Steve, Howard Duff, top photo) steal money, and count it while shirtless. The headless lady is Ida Lupino.
Then there's The Beat Generation (1959), which has nothing to do with the literary movement of Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg; in search of a serial rapist, detective Steve immerses himself in the seedy, decadent, gay-vague world of the Beatniks. Sort of like Al Pacino's descent into the "gay world" in Cruising twenty years later.
Even someone who is "all man" invariably has a gay subtext or two somewhere in his career.
But there were lots of humor and adventure stories, too -- sports, jungle adventures, pirates -- which made for some odd juxtapositions:
"Get to Know the Sacraments" oddly juxtaposed with "El Vaquero the Cowpunching Bear."
The history of the Canadian Mounted Police juxtaposed with "But Aunt Eileen, does modern life help to destroy true values?"
How'd you like to read that over your Corn Flakes in the morning?
Next was a humorous story about ice hockey.
Why invisible? So you can perv on his pecs, duh!
He also drew E.C. Horror, the Flash Gordon comic strip, and a series of illustrations for Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan books.
"Confirmed bachelor," right.
I imagine that George A. Pflaum, the publisher of the Treasure Chest, never realized that one of his chief contributors was a gay man.