May 5, 2018

Magyar Izom: Hungarian Muscle

Hungarian is a Finno-Ugric language, distantly related to Finnish, and not at all related to the Germanic and Slavic languages that surround it. 

I want to go to your room.
German:  Ich möchte auf dein Zimmer gehen
Czech:  Chci jít do svého pokoje
Hungarian: Akarok menni a szobájába

So in searching for Hungarian beefcake, I had trouble with deciphering locations.  Mostly I found just the pictures.

1. Juszp-csapat.  "Csapat" means "team." 

2. The other half of the same photo, with the girls omitted.

3.  Some laughing Hungarian athlete, one with a basket.

4. I like the eyeglassed guy in the back.

5. Is he trying to be Marky Mark, grabbing himself to music?

More after the break

Heterosexism on Netflix

In spite of the gains that we have made during the last two decades, mass culture is still overwhelmingly heterosexist, endlessly portraying boy-meets-girl hetero-romances and erasing gay people from the universe.  Let's see what's "Popular on Netflix"

Day of the Dead: Bloodline (2018):A former medical student battles for survival against an evil human-zombie hybrid.  0% chance that she will be gay, 100% chance that she will fall in love with Jeff Gum (left).

Revolt (2017): Following a devastating alien invasion, an American soldier and a French foreign aid worker attempt to find refuge in the Kenyan countryside.  0% chance that those two will be of the same sex.  100% chance that they will fall in love.

Marvel's The Punisher (2017): A former Marine out to punish the criminals responsible for his family's murder.  100% chance that he has a dead wife., 100% chance that he gets a new girlfriend.

Game Over, Man! (2018).  Three buddies go from slackers to badass warriors when their posh hotel is taken over by terrorists.  0% chance that one or more of them is gay, 100% chance that one or more of them gets a girlfriend.

Candy Jar (2018):  The title makes it sound like softcore porn, but it's actually about duelling high school debate champs.  One is Jacob Latimore.  0% chance that the other one is a guy, 100% chance that they fall in love.

Amateur (2018): After he's recruited to an elite prep school, a 14-year old basketball phenom is confronted by corruption and greed.  0% chance that he is gay, 100% chance that he gets a girlfriend.

Babylon Berlin (2017): A haunted copy and a poor typist uncover a political conspiracy in 1929 Berlin.  100% chance that they are male and female, 100% chance that they fall in love, 0% chance that there are any gay characters, except maybe some decadent, overly-made up types at the Kit Kat Club.

May 3, 2018

Tony Sansone: Jazz Age Bodybuilder and Gay Icon

Born in 1905 in New York City, son of Sicilian immigrants, Tony Sansone began working out at age 14, and drew the attention of physical culturalist Bernar McFadden and early strength-and-health advocate Charles Atlas.  This was before the days of professional bodybuilding, but still, Tony was entranced by the "rags to riches" stories of the Jazz Age, and found a way to make money from his physique:  he began modeling for photographs and selling them via mail order.

Who was interested in photos of a muscular man in a posing strap, or fully nude?  Mostly gay men.

How did he get around the Comstock Act?  Apparently his body was so perfectly symmetrical that it looked like a sculpture.  Works of art could be nude.

He became nearly as famous as Charles Atlas himself, sought out by artists like Arthur Lee ("Rhythm," 1930), praised as "the most beautiful man in America," compared to film star Rudolph Valentino.

In the late 1920s, Tony began expanding his enterprises, publishing photo books like Nudleafs and Modern Classics.  He also performed in films and on stage and opened his own gyms, but his first love was always modeling, displaying his body for aesthetic and erotic appreciation.

He lived through the "man-mountain" era of bodybuilding in the 1940s and 1950s, but continued to pose in the old-fashioned lithe, limber style, to be admired for his beauty rather than his bulk.

He lived through the Gay Liberation Era of the 1970s, and into the age of AIDS, knowing that most of the men who collected his photographs were gay.

No hint of Tony's own sexual identity, although he did have a wife and two kids.

Later in life he moved to St. Louis to be close to his son.  He died in 1987.

There are nude photos on Tales of West Hollywood.

The Homoerotic Icons of George Platt Lynes

George Platt Lynes (1907-1955) was an intimate of many of the gay writers and artists of Paris between the wars, such as Gertrude Stein, Thornton Wilder, Rene Crevel, and Jean Cocteau, as well as the gay literati of 1940s New York, such as Paul Cadmus, Jared French, and Gore Vidal.

He photographed any number of luminaries, many of them his lovers, as well as a stable of young musclemen, many of them his lovers, too.

But his most beautiful and homoerotic photos were taken in 1943, featuring the lithe, muscular, very well hung Charles "Buddy" Stanly.

Most involve a partner, Charles "Tex" Smutney.

We are told nothing more about them except they were gymnasts, and sexologist Alfred Kinsey expressed surprise that they never got erections, in spite of their intimate poses. In his memoirs, Lynes' lover, novelist Glenway Wescott notes that they did get erections, off camera.

Who were these icons of homoerotic art?

I find no further mention of Buddy Stanley, but Charles Smutney moved far afield from Texas, to become a choreographer and dance instructor at Smith College in Massachusetts.

All we have are the photographs, a memory of a long-ago summer day

May 1, 2018

The Clones of "Saved by the Bell"

During the 1990s, as advertisers were squabbling over the affluent teen market and cable stations were struggling to fill slots, Saved by the Bell-like teencoms appeared regularly: Welcome Freshmen (1991-92),  California Dreams (1992-97), Running the Halls (1993), Saved by the Bell: The New Class (1993-2000), Hang Time (1995-2000), Breaker High (1997-98), USA High (1997-99), City Guys (1997-2001).

The formula was easy: take six to eight beautiful people, three or four boys (schemer, hunk, nerd, and ethnic minority), three or four girls (cheerleader, feminist, princess, and ethnic minority).  Give all of the boys some tongue-lagging, eye-exploding girl-craziness, and all of the girls an obsession over boys.  Give them three sets: high school hallway, locker room, and teen hangout.  Add a clueless principal and an occasional parent, and voila!  The scripts write themselves (or actually, they can be recycled from  40-year old episodes of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis).

In spite of the dull repetitiveness of the plots, gay teens might find them worth a look.

1. The shirtless, swimsuit, and speedo shots were constant, and the muscles often spectacular.  Even those teens who weren't man-mountains got their turn in the wrestling singlet.

Or found some other reason to take off their clothes.

2. Many of the high school hunks came in pairs, polarized into white/nonwhite or nerd/jock.  Breaker High was notable for having two homoromantic pairs: the nerd  Sean (Ryan Gosling) was paired with the schemer Jimmy (Tyler Labine); and the jock Max (Scott Vicaryous) was paired with the ethnic minority Alex (Kyle Alisharam).

These pairs often enjoyed emotional bonds much more intense than those of their knee-jerk heterosexual romances.  Plots often involved threats to their relationships.  For instance, on Breaker High, Alex and Max break up, and Jimmy jumps at the chance to befriend the hot jock.  But then he realizes where his true affections lie and returns to Sean.

But at the same time, they constantly patroled the boundaries of their relationship, evoking and rejecting the possibility of homoromance in joke after joke, episode after episode.  The studio audience usually responded with hysterical laughter: they knew exactly what was not being mentioned.

Beefcake, buddy-bonding, and borderline homophobia.  What else could a gay teen want from a Saturday morning teencom?

The Small-Town Beefcake of Spain

Finding small-town beefcake in Spain is somewhat easier than in France.  Every town has a Club de Natación, which sends swimmers to provincial and national contests.  But the photos commemorating their wins are problematic

1. The swimmers tend to be young -- not at lot of grown-up or late-teen musclemen, and when you find them, they're standing behind kids.

Club de Antequera, a city of 41,000 in the mountains of Andalusia, known for its medieval Moorish fortress.

2.  There are boys and girls both, making it hard to separate out the masculine.

Only one suitable candidate in this photo of the Club de  Algeciras, a port city on the Bay of Gibraltar.  But with those abs, I couldn't resist.

3. There are a lot of people in the photo, making it hard to zero in on the just a few.   A winner of the provincial title in Extremadura,  a region in southwest Spain, bordering Portugal.

But I've managed to come up with a few gems.

4. Club Ateixo, a town of 30,000 near A Coruña in Galicia.  Galicia is known as the backwater in Spain; actors speak with Galician accents to demonstrate that they are "hayseeds."

5. Club Sanlúcar de Barrameda, in Andalusia, population 67,000, known for its beaches and waterfront horse races.

I can't figure out if the person on the right is a kid or a short adult.

More after the break

6. Club Cádiz, population 119,000, a major port city in Andalusia.

7. Provincial winners from Jaén, in southern Spain near Granada.  I'm not sure about the pastel-colored swimsuits.

8. Club Carmona, a town of 30,000 near Sevilla, full of Roman and Moorish antiquities.  Again I'm not sure if the guy on the right, with the Beijing panda briefs, is a teenager or a short adult.

9. Club Vinaròs, a town of 28,000 in Valencia, eastern Spain.  Not a lot of antiquities, so it doesn't get many non-Spanish tourists, but it has beaches and an "escapatorium."

And more pastel swimsuits.

10. Club Sabadell, a suburb of Barcelona, so the main language is Catalan.   A buffed swimmer demonstrates that he doesn't need goggles,  But the photo crops his basket.

Top 12 Public Penises of Spain

Spain is my favorite country in Europe.  Interesting cultural and archaeological sites, multiple languages, vibrant gay culture, and the cutest men this side of Estonia.  And an extraordinary amount of beefcake art.

This post has moved to Small Town Beefcake

Apr 30, 2018

Deciphering the Mysterious Water Polo Team Photo

This photo of buffed guys holding soccer balls over their crotches is labeled "First Year CBC JV water polo team finishes third in state tournament."

I have no idea what any of those words mean, but the sleuthing will be fun.

1 JV is easy.  It means "junior varsity," a team representing a high school or college at a level below "varsity" (the main team).  Here's a varsity swimmer with a Halloween pumpkin on his trunks.

2.   What is CBC?  Clicking on the link doesn't help: it's from a newspaper website called STLToday, with all of the text blocked out until you subscribe.  None of the menu items tells you what or where STL is.

3. I know the article was published by Katie Siebuhr in May 2012.  Googling her leads mostly to some articles by "Aaron Siebuhr,"  who lives in Toowomba, Queensland, Australia, where you can join the Coogee Life Saving Club.

4.  Finally I find another Katie Siebuhr article:  "Gateway FC Vest took on challengers across the Midwest," from the same STLToday, October 2012.  No idea what any of those words mean. Maybe Gateway is a high school?

There's a Gateway High School in Osceola, Florida, with a wrestling team, the KowBoys.  But this is in the Midwest.

5. Ok, another article:  "Eagles' Hruby good as gold this summer," in July 2010.  "American National's Brian Hruby is a St. Louis Cardinals kind of pitcher." 

Does he play for the Eagles, the American National, or the St. Louis Cardinals?

All three, evidently. The American National Eagles is a baseball program that began in 1975.  The have teams in the 15U-18U levels, and play for the SLABA (St. Louis Amateur Baseball Association).

15U means "15 and under," and 18U, "18 and under."  So what if you're 14 years old -- don't you qualify for both groups?

American National Eagle J'lil Cage (great name!) played basketball, baseball, and football at Orchard Farm High School in St. Charles, MO.

St. Charles is a northeastern suburb of St. Louis, about 30 miles away.  It has its own Gay Pride Festival.

At least now I know that STL is St. Louis.  Clever to make it so hard to figure out, STLToday!

6. CBC in Saint Louis = Christian Brothers College High School, a "Lasallian Catholic college preparatory school for young men," founded in 1850, tuition $14,700 per year.  Notable alumni include King Baggot (silent film star with a weird name) and a lot of professional soccer players.

It's not at all confusing to have both "college" and "high school" in your name.

7.  There are 16 "Christian Brothers Colleges," but only two in the U.S.  The other one, in Memphis, is an actual college (post-secondary education).

Wasn't that fun?

The Small-Town Beefcake of France

Finding small-town beefcake in France is not as easy as it sounds.  There just aren't a lot of pictures of swimmers, wrestlers, and other beefcake icons posted online.  But by doing a judicious search on lycée, université,  équipe de natation, and nageurs, I've managed to come up with some high school and college swimmers.

1. The  Lycée Camille Jullian is in Bordeaux is one of the few schools in France to offer Slovak instruction.

2. The Lycée Carnot in Paris is the alma mater of former French president Jacques Chirac and postmodern philosopher Gilles Deleuze.

3. Swimmers from the Stade Français Olympique, a swim club in Courbevoie, near Paris.

I like the peace-sign swim trunks.

4.The Lycée Monge is a technical school in Chambéry in southeastern France, the home of philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

5. I don't know who these swimmers are, but they're from Bagnères-de-Bigorre, a commune in the Pyrenees Mountains, very close to the Spanish border.

More after the break.

Apr 29, 2018

The Top 10 Hunks of "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend"

The second and third seasons of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend are up on Netflix, continuing the saga of Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom), who runs into her grade-school crush Josh Chan (Vincent Rodriguez III) one day on the street, and drops everything to move to West Covina and stalk him.

It turns out that Rebecca really is crazy; she has Borderline Personality Disorder, characterized by extreme mood swings, impulsivity, obsessions, and relationship problems.  She moves too fast and overreacts violently to rejection or just "let's slow down."  People who suffer from BPD in real life have praised the show for its realistic portrayal, finally "getting mental illness right."

In addition to Rebecca's ongoing pursuit of Josh Chan and other guys whom she believes will make her life perfect, the palette of the show expands to include subplots.  Josh and his posse don't have perfect lives, after all.  Nearly everyone is involved in a toxic parent-child relationship.

It's one of the most diverse casts I've ever seen, and one of the most beefcake-heavy.

1. Josh (above) is riddled with insecurities, indecisive, and rather dimwitted (not quite Joey Tribbiani, but close).  He still lives with his mother, in spite of her entreaties for  him to move out.

2. He works for an over-accommodating boss (Johnny Ray Meeks and seeks advice from an over-accommodating priest (Rene Gube, left).

3. White Josh (David Hull), who is gay, has a major inferiority complex.  He can't understand why someone as great as David Whitefeather (Pete Gardner) would be interested in him (um...have you looked in a mirror lately?).

By the way, Vincent Rodriguez III is gay in real life, and David Hull is straight.

3. Hector (Erick Lopez) has an unhealthy dependency on his mother.  He's dating Heather (Vella Lovell), a perpetual college student, taking every class, sometimes twice, afraid to graduate and move to the next stage of her life.

4. Greg (Santino Fontana) dates Rebecca for awhile, then realizes that he's an alcoholic, and goes away to get help.

5. Nathan Plimpton (Scott Michael Foster), Rebecca's boss after Darryl sells the company, is an amoral schemer constantly trying to win his dad's love.

More after the break

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