Nov 16, 2019

"How to Be a Latin Lover."

This Speedo shot almost makes me want to see How to be a Latin Lover.  Except he isn't actually the star, he's Vadhir  Derbez, playing Maximo at age 21, when he marries a 55-year old woman.

We're supposed to believe that Maximo has "made a career of seducing older women."  Except they stay married for 25 years,when she finally dumps him.

Ok, that's not a career, it's a romance.  He happens to like older women.  Big deal.

Here's the contemporary Maximo (Eugenio Derbez).  A Saturday Night Live parody.

With nowhere to go and no job skills except sex, Maximo seeks out the advice of his kept-boy friends, notably Rick (1980s prettyboy Rob Lowe), whose sugar mama is played by 1970s sitcom star Linda Lavin ("there's a new girl in town, and she's looking good").

Maximo moves in with his estranged sister (Salma Hayek) and starts giving seduction lessons to his 10-year old heterosexual nephew.  Meanwhile he sets his sights on the grandmother of the boy's crush, played by 1960s superstar Raquel Welch (age 79).

Ok, a 10 year old with a heteronormative crush.  And no gay people.  Next!

I don't even care about the speedos.

Nov 15, 2019

"Muddy Max: The Mystery of Marsh Creek"

I didn't expect much from the graphic novel Muddy Max: The Mystery of Marsh Creek.  Judging from the cover,  a boy/best friend gay subtext disrupted by The Girl.  But it turned out to be quite a bit more queer.

Middle schooler Max has overprotective parents who can't abide the slightest bit of mud.  So why do they live in Marsh Creek, the muddiest place on Earth?

Mom is a soil scientist.  She works with mud all the time.  It doesn't make sense that she would disapprove of Max getting muddy.

And why do Mom and Dad go jogging every day wearing heavy backpacks containing food, water...and scientific textbooks?

And what about the mysterious photo of a baby that Max found in the attic?

Max sleuths out the answers with the help of his buddy Patrick, a stereotypic black nerd with a bit more androgyny in his dress and mannerisms than one would expect.  The two have an unselfconscious physicality; after all, a lot of their experimentation involves applying mud to Max's body and then washing it off again.

Turns out that, due to some mishaps in  his mother's soil science experiments before he was born, Max acquires superheroic speed and strength from applying mud.  But it is also becoming more and more difficult to get the mud off, and he's being drawn to the Marsh, as if he belongs there.

The first two chapters involve Max finding the answers and saving the schoolbus from a mudslide.  In the third, we discover that he has an older brother, Milo, who was also drawn to the Marsh, and finally got stuck there.  His parents tried everything to get him out, but it was no use.  They built him a small mud house (inspired by a real-life Anton Gaudi house), and bring him books and food every day (in the backpacks).  Thus their refusal to leave town.

They were desperate to save Max from suffering a similar fate.  Thus their paranoia about mud.

Discovering that he has a brother, Max wants to reconnect, "hang out."  But his parents forbid it, for fear that the mud will take him.  They even try to separate the two by sending Max away to Death Valley (no mud).  A nice "forbidden love" gay subtext.

The girl (I don't remember her name) is a minor character, mostly an onlooker.   But she adds to the gay subtext by asking Max out twice.  He refuses. Not into girls, Max?

Beefcake:  Max is in middle school, and Milo about five years older, but they both develop chests and biceps when they're covered in mud.

Color Pallette:  All browns and blacks, which isn't as boring as it sounds.  The backgrounds are cleverly applied.

Activities:  This is a book for middle-schoolers, so it contains several pages of factoids and activities that are actually quite interesting. Did you know that 1 acre of mud typically contains 1,000 pounds of earthworms, 15,000 pounds of bacteria, and 2,000 pounds of fungus?  Or that nematodes (ringworms) are the most common form of animal life on the planet?  2 out of every 5 animals is a nematode.

My grade: A.

Nov 14, 2019

"Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse": How Is This Not a Coming-Out Movie?

Spider-Man, introduced in 1962, was one of the first in Marvel Comics' stable of flawed superheroes, a welcome counterpart to DC's indefatigibly stalwart square-jaws:  high schooler Peter Parker is bitten by a radioactive spider, gets spider-powers, and doesn't know how to save the world while negotiating teen angst.  Many high schoolers in the Vietnam-Nixon-Kent State era could relate.

Since then Spidey has spun off into comic books, movies, a tv series, a Broadway show, and dozens of "what if?" alternatives, some of whom come together in the gay symbolism-packed Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

In a trippy near-Earth,  Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore, top photo) is a outsider (gay) kid, obsessed with comic books, street art, and his hero, Spider-Man.

His (homophobic) straight-laced father, police officer Jefferson Davis (Bryan Tyree Henry) doesn't like (gay people) Spider-Man.

Time out:  who decided to name a black guy after the President of the Confederacy?

Miles (realizes that he's gay) is bit by a radioactive spider, joins a gym (gets muscular overnight), and excretes sticky webs  (you figure it out).

He sneaks out to visit his Uncle Aaron (Mahershala Ali, who played a gay character in Green Book and the father of a gay kid in Moonlight).

Aaron is estranged from Dad because he's (gay) a screw-up.  He gives Miles lessons on how to talk to girls (guys): hand on shoulder, intense gaze, sultry "Hey."

Spider-Man dies, and Miles must take his place.  He negotiates high school, not telling anyone that he is (gay) the new Spider-Man, wishing that he wasn't the only (gay person) Spider-Man in the world.

Due to a space-time vortex created by the (heteronormative) Big Bad, Spider-People living in alternate worlds  are swept away from home and  end up in Miles' world.

Miles bonds with Peter B. Parker (Jake Johnson), a middle-aged Spider-Man who married his girlfriend Mary Jane, but now is divorced because he is (gay) a screw-up.

The other (gay people) Spider-People include Gwen Stacey, a (lesbian) female Spider-Man; Spider-Man Noir, from a film noir world; Peter Porker, aka Spider-Ham; and Peni Parker, a girl from a distant future world.

The  (gay club) secret Spider-Man group works together to defeat the (heteronormative) Big Bad and (assimilate) get back to their home dimensions.

Miles now accepts his role as a Spider-Man (gay person).  Still in disguise, he rushes up and hugs his Dad, who is shocked by his (gay) affection. Dad says "I don't approve of your (lifestyle) methods, but I respect you."

Miles concludes:  "When I feel alone, like no one understands what I'm going through (as a gay teen), I remember my friends who get it. I never thought I'd be able to do any of this stuff, but I can. Anyone can (be gay) wear the mask. You could (be gay) wear the mask. If you didn't know that before, I hope you do now. Because I'm (gay)  Spider-Man. And I'm not the only one. Not by a long shot."

Nov 13, 2019

10 Things You Should Know about Chris Petrovski

Someone found his way onto this website by googling "Chris Petrovski gay."  I never heard of Chris Petrovski before, so I had to look him up.  I discovered 10 essential facts.

1. He is 27 years old, born in Macedonia but raised in New Zealand.  He moved as an infant, so he has to fake his Slavic accents.

2. His first role involved displaying his chest in Spartacus: War of the Damned (2010).

3. After college he moved to the U.S. to become a serious actor.  He graduated from the Stella Adler Academy.

4. He starred in Live to Tell (2012), about a gay teenager who keeps a vblog, and Finding Dad (2012), about a teenager who comes between a long-term gay couple.

5. He starred in In the Moment (2016-2017), about the life of a struggling actor, with episodes on "what to do if your friends aren't actors" and "where to work out in L.A."

6. Currently he is appearing on Madam Secretary, about a female secretary of state (not based on Hillary Clinton).  His character is a Russian soldier who becomes an American spy.

7.  He has a lot of male friends.

8. He has a wife.

9. Finding beefcake pics is easy. The guy doesn't appear to own a shirt.

10.  I also found an underwear pic,but it was too revealing for a G-rated blog.

Nov 10, 2019

David and Ricky Nelson: Teen Idols Show Off on the Flying Trapeze

Sons of bandleader Ozzie Nelson and his wife Harriet, David Nelson (born 1936) and his kid brother Ricky Nelson (born 1940)  began their careers playing "themselves" on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, first on radio (1950-52) and then on tv (1952-1966).  They shared equally in their parents' fame.

But then one day in 1957, Ricky sang the Fats Domino hit "I'm Walkin'" on the show, and suddenly he was a superstar, arguably the first teen idol of the Boomer generation, selling millions of records, performing at sold-out concerts, interviewed in every teen magazine.

David. . .wasn't.

The brothers had always been very close, and it hurt Ricky -- and his parents -- to see David left behind.  But how could he help?

David was much more muscular than Ricky, an accomplished acrobat (and apparently much more gifted in the beneath-the-belt department).  If his voice wouldn't bring fame, maybe his biceps and bulge would.

Ricky and Ozzie used their connections to get him a starring role in The Big Circus (1959), as Tommy Gordon, a teenage trapeze artist with murderous intent.  Not only did he get to play against type, he spent most of the movie in a tight, revealing leotard.

David showed so much talent that Del and Babs Graham, "The Flying Viennas" who performed the movie's stunts, asked him to join their troupe.  He agreed, and Ricky, sensing an opportunity for fraternal togetherness, joined as well.  Soon they were performing as "The Flying Nelsons," with Ricky as the "flier" and David as the "catcher" (not the gay meaning).  Dad had a circus big top installed next to the studio for them to practice in.

Is it just me, or is there something decidedly homoerotic about the sight of Ricky hurling through the air and landing in David's muscular arms?

Ricky didn't really like hurling through the air, so after the brothers performed on a 1960 episode of Ozzie and Harriet, he dropped out.  But David starred as a trapeze artist in The Big Show (1961), doing all of his own stunts, and performed on The Hollywood Palace (1966) and several Circus of the Stars tv specials (1977, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982).  It was a lifelong passion, all due to brotherly love.

See also: Ricky Nelson; and 1970s trapeze artist and Playgirl model Jim Cavaretta;
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