Oct 10, 2020

"American Pie: Girls' Rules": As Heterosexist as it Gets

 I haven't seen any of the American Pie movies, presuming that they are entirely heterosexist, obsessed with guys "becoming men" by having sex with girls, or pies.  But I figured, it's Netflix, there may be some diversity, and there will probably be some cute guys, so I turned on American Pie: Girls' Rules.

Scene 1: 
Annie, naked in a trenchcoat, tries to climb over a fence.  She trips, falls, and we see her butt.  A lot.   She climbs into Jason's bedroom for goodbye sex before he leaves for college.  Jason (Zayne Emory, left) strips (nice chest).  She puts a condom in her mouth so she can slide it onto his penis.  It looks like she is gagged. 

His parents knock on the door, with his grandparents on video chat.  Trying to escape, Annie chokes on the condom and needs to be Heimliched.  Then she falls backwards out the window. This is funny?  The poor girl is being brutalized.

Meanwhile, Kayla is in bed with Tim (Cameron Engels, below) , asking her to "smash her pussy."  Rather a violent image.  The younger brother is filming them.  Tim gets up to chase him (chest and shoulders shot).  

Meanwhile, Michelle is masturbating to a video of President Kennedy.

Meanwhile, Stephanie has "agreed" to have sex with the pervy Principal Shankman.  Instead, she films him and threatens to let it go viral unless he retires. "Never fuck with a Stifler," she says.  That's supposed to mean something, I guess.

Scene 2: 
 The four girls are in bikinis on a powerboat, discussing last night's events.   They end up on a beach full of fully-clothed guys and bikini-clad girls, where a girl in a bikini announces "The East Great Falls Back-to-School Party!"  It involves drinking, swimming, pontoon-boating, playing frisbee with dogs, and walking around high-fiving each other.   

Stephanie is hit on by it-boy Brett. She criticizes his dick and his body spray.  

Kayla and Tim fight.  He breaks up with her due to her psycho jealousy.

Annie calls Jason at college, and is uptset to discover that he is at a party (Well, so is she.)

Michelle reveals her extensive collection of masturbation aids, while they look on in disgust.

Scene 3: The girls agree that they are deficient in hetero-romance.  They set the goal of each finding the guy they need by Homecoming:

Kayla: a guy who is not so woke, who "just wants to fuck."

Michelle: a guy who is smart and socially conscious.

Stephanie: a nice guy, who buys you presents and asks about your day.

Annie: true love.

I'm pretty sure that Stephanie is going to turn out to be gay.

Scene 4:
The girls are walking in slow-motion through the school, while everyone stops and stares.  I don't see how they are unusual.  They reject a number of eyeglass guys (glasses!  the height of ugliness!) and fat guys (Michelle is rather plump, so what's the problem?)

Michelle is late, running down the hall, when she crashes into the janitor's cart (janitor is apparently someone we're supposed to recognize).   Grant (Darren Barnet, top photo) helps her up.

Kayla tries to get back together with Tim

This is getting boring.  I fast forward.  

Only one more half-naked jock scene.  

Nope, Stephanie is straight.  She gets Edd Quinn (left).

It looked for a moment like Tim was going to be gay, but nope.  

Everyone gets a heterosexual romance. And girl boobs outnumber male physiques 100 to 1.


Homophobic Moment in History: Bob Hope's AIDS Joke

Bob Hope (1903-2003) was probably the most famous and beloved entertainer of the 20th century, from the 1940s Road movies with Bing Crosby (Road to Morocco, Road to Singapore) to 30 years as a radio staple to a series of tv specials in the 1950s and 1960s.

He was known for his snide, snarky one-liners -- over 500,000 through his career, contributed by an army of over 100 writers on his payroll.  Most commented on current fads, fashions, Hollywood stars, and politics.

From the 1950s:
Eisenhower admitted the budget can't be balanced and McCarthy says the communists are taking over. You don't know what to worry about these days ... whether the country will be overthrown or overdrawn."

From the 1980s:
Everything Reagan does, Gorbachev does him one better. Reagan wears the flag of his country on his lapel. Gorby wears the map of his country on his forehead.

During the 1970s and 1980s, gay activists often complained about the raw homophobia in his jokes, but Hope shrugged them off: "They're threatening to get together and hit me with their purses."

Until July 4th, 1986.

Hope was performing at a dinner to commemorate the hundredth year anniversary of the Statue of Liberty.   The aging entertainer told the audience of patriotic Liberty enthusiasts, who paid $1000 apiece to be there ($2000 today):

I just heard that the Statue of Liberty has AIDS.  No one knows if she got it from the Mouth of the Hudson or the Staten Island Fairy.

Ronald and Nancy Reagan laughed, but the rest of the audience sat in stunned silence, horrified by the slur against Miss Liberty's sexual habits.  The Los Angeles Times said:

Hope's "joke" was worse than obscene. It was abusive and unworthy...It is both sad and shameful that a man who many have considered a national treasure should think it would be funny to besmirch Miss Liberty on her 100th birthday.

Gay activists complained again about the raw homophobia,, and AIDS activists complained about the horrifying misinformation.  Hope didn't actually apologize, but he said:  "I've known so many people like that over the years, worked with so many.  But it's different now.  Now they fight back."

Hope continued to make homophobic jokes until 1988, when a reference to "fags" on The Tonight Show prompted GLAAD to demand an apology.  Hope agreed to participate in an PSA, which aired only on local gay tv programs:

"I was amazed to discover that many people die each year in anti-gay attacks, and thousands more are left scarred, emotionally and physically.  Bigotry has no place in this great nation, and violence has no place in this world."

He was amazed to discover that anti-gay violence exists?  Really?

Gay people are not mentioned in the 2015 biography, Hope: Entertainer of the Century.  

See also: Bing Crosby

Oct 9, 2020

The Naked Jocks of Clovis, California


How do they decide which water polo player will cover up?  Physique?  Bulge?  

Seriousness of expression?

They are from Buchanan High School in Clovis, California, a suburb just east of Fresno (it actually abuts California State University Fresno).

Clovis has the Big Dry Creek Museum and an Old Town that is "a collector's dream," with more antique shops per square mile than anywhere else in California. Including three antique malls.

The Hmong, a Miao-language speaking people of southern China and Southeast Asia, form 5% of the population, so there are Hmong restaurants and stores, and you can take Hmong 101 at Buchanan High.

The rest of the jocks are on A Gay Guide to Small Town Beefcake

Spell: Buddy-Bonding Tease and Non-Homoerotic Male Nudity

I started watching Spell on Amazon Prime, thinking it was another movie, about a  cop buddy-bonding with a comic-book fanboy  -- so many one-word titles get confusing.  So I didn't read the plot synopsis, and I fast-forwarded past the film company logos to minute 2.59.

Scene 1:  A scruffy bearded guy, probably the comic book fanboy, is trying to pick up a hustler .  "Are you working/" he asks.  And "Where do people go?"  The hustler: "They usually go to hotels."  "Great, let's go there."

Scene 2: Scruffy bearded guy checks into a hotel.  Wait -- what about the hustler? He licks all of the fixtures and the window.  He then puts pills in his ears and takes a shower fully clothed.  Ok, I'm fast-forwarding.

Scene 3:  When is the fanboy going to meet the cop?  Establishing shots of Reykjavik.  He buys a sweater, then goes to the Penis Museum (and licks a silver dildo.  Schoolboys on a field trips stare at him.

Scene 4:
He goes to the Museum of Sorcery and Witchcraft, where the guide is talking about magic in early Viking Iceland.  Practicing magic then could have gotten you burned at the stake (no, it couldn't, not in Iceland, anyway). The most famous story is about a magic student named Loftur, who created a spell so powerful that it could control Satan (the Vikings weren't Christian, so no Satan).  He died before he could complete the spell, but one day he will return and....

Scruffy Bearded Guy begins trembling and jerking uncontrollably, and runs out.  Guide texts someone: "I think I've found Loftur." So everyone with cerebral palsy is a dead magician?

Scene 5: 
I've figured out that this is not hte comic book fanboy movie, but I keep watching. Scruffy Guy goes to a pharmacy, but they won't renew his prescription, so he calls his psychiatrist and leaves a message: "My OCD is getting worse"   Obsessive-compulsive disorder: that explains why he obsessively licks things.

Scene 6: Scruffy Guy goes to a bar, where a hot babe flirts with him while her boyfriend looks on. Eventually she dumps the boyfriend to kiss Scruffy Guy.  

It's what I get for starting a movie without reading the plot synopsis: "After the death of his fiance, Scruffy Guy is drawn into a supernatural world."  Or watching the trailer, which shows him kissing a girl 3,248 times.

But he goes on some sort of spirit quest into the Icelandic wilderness with an old guy, so maybe there are some homoerotic scenes.  I'll fast forward.

Scene 7: Girl kissing, girl kissing, girl taking, getting a tattoo of the Loftur rune, girl kissing, naked girl kissing, girl sexing.  Poor boyfriend, left at the bar.  He was much hotter than Scruffy Guy, too.

Scene 8: The girl stole a bunch of important stuff from Scruffy Guy, so he goes to see the Old Guy she mentioned before, to try to track her down. Old Guy promises to help, but first he wants to take Scruffy Guy on a trip: "You will eat what I cook, sleep when I say.  You will see beautiful things." (Nice sized dick, huh?)

Scene 9: In the Icelandic Outback, Old Guy shows Scruffy Guy a runestone (Idiot doesn't know what a runestone is?  I learned that when I was about six!)  Powerful magic, yada yada yada.

Scene 10: They look at mountains.  Scruffy Guy opens up about how hard it is to control his OCD. Old Guy: "Then don't control it.  Let it be."

Scene 11: Scruffy Guy draws a comic strip about a boy named Psketti and his dog Ketchup. The long-dead Glen Bean originated the strip, so Scruffy Guy has to imitate his style and subject matter, and can't do his own stuff.  Aww, stifled creativity. Old Guy: "No, it is a beautiful thing. A man wants greatness, so he completes the work of another great man."

Scene 12: They get naked (butt shots) and sit in a thermal pool. Scruffy Guy doesn't like the idea of being naked "with a creepy old guy drinking vodka."  Maybe when you see his penis, you'll like him better.  Old Guy sees his Loftur tattoo, says that he chose it, and orders Scruffy Guy to accept his destiny.  He attacks, they fight (penis shots), Scruffy Guy drowns Old Guy.

Darn! So much for buddy bonding.

The Girl and her Boyfriend jump up out of nowhere and revive Old Guy.  They yell at Scruffy Guy: "You are Loftur!  We've been waiting for you for a long time!  Get busy!"  They drive off, leaving Scruffy Guy alone, naked, in the wilderness.

Scene 13: Scruffy Guy wanders around the wilderness, thinking about his dead girlfriend. He ends up in a house where The Girl is waiting for him.  They chat, drink tea, kiss, have sex, kiss, have sex, kiss, kiss, and chat.  

Scene 14: Back in the wilderness, he hears The Girl's voice: "You're so close.  Go to the water."  So he goes in the water and drowns.  

It was all a feverish hallucination in the last moments of his life.  And no buddy bonding!

Beefcake: Scruffy Guy is naked for about half of the movie. Old Guy is naked for awhile, too.

Other Scenery: The Icelandic outback looks horribly bleak

Gay Characters: Scruffy Guy is intensely, aggressivly, nauseatingly heterosexual. Old Guy might be gay.

Supernatural: It was all in Scruffy Guy's head.  But then, how do you explain things happening when he is not around?

My Grade:  F

Oct 8, 2020

Making Your Own Bulgeworthy Halloween Costume

In gay neighborhoods, Halloween is all about the beefcake.  Your costume should be clever and creative, but it should also display your biceps or bulge to good advantage: the stressful Thanksgiving-Christmas-New Year season is coming, and you need a full social calendar.

But what can you do if you don't have the money for a fancy store-bought costume, and can't sew?

It's easy to improvise with clothing you already have around the house, or a few props from the hardware store.

1. What could be easier than boxer underwear, with a twin-sized unfitted sheet tied around your neck for a cape?  It's good for being Conan the Barbarian, an ancient Greek philosopher, or a Roman centurion (make a helmet out of a paper bag reinforced with tape).

2. Draw a big letter Z on the cape to become Zorro (sword optional).

3. For Disney's Aladdin, you need white pants, tied with a rope instead of a belt, house slippers, and a leather vest.  Toy monkey can be taped to your shoulder.

4. To be a cowboy, you'll need jeans, a belt with a large buckle, boots (snow boots are fine), and a cowboy hat.

5. Add a plaid shirt, and substitute a baseball cap, and you're a farmboy (don't try it in the Midwest).

6. You can easily stencil a Superman logo onto a plain blue t-shirt, but you might have to do something with your hair.

7. Another easy superhero is Aquaman, who wears red shorts and green boots.

8. Tarzan's loincloth can be improvised with an old pair of brown pants ragged-cut in front and back.  Be sure to wear regular underwear, too.

9. Most people doing the Rocky Horror think of Rocky, who wears only gold lame shorts.

10.  But if you don't have a Rocky physique, you can do an easy Brad with white briefs (extremely well packed) and horn-rimmed glasses.

11. A white handkerchief, a black bow tie, black dress slacks, and you're a Chippendale Dancer.  For added effect, wear a white shirt pre-cut and sewn up so it can easily be ripped off.

12. It's never too early to get into the spirit of Christmas, and you can evoke Santa Claus without wearing the whole ensemble.  Black boots, red shorts,  and a Santa Claus hat are more than enough.

Out Our Way: Teenagers Before Girl-Craziness

When I was a kid in the 1960s, I was jealous of the comics they got across the river in Davenport, Iowa.  They got Peanuts, we got Winthrop.  They got The Wizard of Id, we got Apartment 3-G.  I sort of liked Alley Oop and Prince Valiant, but what was up with the single-panel strip, Out Our Way? 

 It was about an unnamed family -- mom, young adult daughter, teenage son, younger son -- drawn in grotesquely realistic detail.

They spoke in nearly incomprehensible slang and had bizarre customs. There was an "ice box" instead of a refrigerator, a gigantic radio instead of a tv.  They bathed in a tub in the kitchen.

The older son had a job, though he looked barely fifteen.

Confused, repelled, yet fascinated, I tried to decipher the strips day after day, week after week.  The world they portrayed was vastly different from the world I knew.

Boys in my world were always fully clothed, except in locker rooms, but in Out Our Way, they stripped down for baths and for bed and to swim.  They were naked in front of each other!  They displayed a remarkable physicality, an awareness of the way their bodies looked and felt and moved.

Boys in my world did not touch each other, except during sports matches and fights. We were expected to find physical contact abhorrent.  But in Out Our Way, boys un-selfconsciously pressed against each other, draped their legs over each other's bodies, hugged, slept in the same bed

In my world, every trait, interest, and concern was gender-polarized.  Boys carried their books at their waist, girls across their chest.  Boys said "p.e." but "gym class," and girls "gym" but "p.e. class."  And the punishment for transgression was severe. But in Our Our Way, boys un-selfconsciously wore dresses.  The teenager performed "women's work," cooked (in an apron), cleaned, tended to his young brother.

Boys in my world were expected to groan with longing over the girls who walked in slow-motion across the schoolyard, their long hair blowing in the wind. They were expected to evaluate the hotness of actresses on tv, discuss breasts and bras, and claim innumerable sexual conquests.  But boys in Out Our Way never displayed the slightest heterosexual interest.  Instead, they consistently mocked the silliness of heterosexual romance.

What sort of world was this?

Many years later, I found that the comics I read in the 1960s were reruns from the 1930s and 1940s,  and even then, many had been nostalgic, evoking the author J.R. Williams' childhood at the turn of the century.

I was gazing into a time capsule, into a era when heterosexual desire was expected to appear at the end of adolescence, not at the beginning, so teenage boys were free from the "What girl do you like?" chant.

Oct 7, 2020

Baby Huey and Dimwit: Bottom of the Barrel Buddy-Bonding

When I was a kid in the 1960s and 1970s, I loved Harvey Comics, in this order:

1.-2. The Ghosts, Casper and Spooky (Casper, Spooky, Ghostland, Spooktown), whose weird paranormal and science fiction adventures were full of gay subtexts.

3. Hot Stuff the Little Devil (Hot Stuff, Sizzlers, Devil Kids).  Sometimes he had paranormal and science fiction adventures, too, but more often he was stuck in crazy pun-ridden lands that made no sense.

4. Richie Rich.  Usually he was insufferable, with joke stories about how rich he was.  Who cares?  But sometimes there were fun adventure and spy stories.

5. The Girls with Halfway Interesting Adventures (Little Lotta, Little Dot).

6. The Girl with Incredibly Boring Adventures (Little Audrey).

7. Baby Huey.  Only if I was desperate.

Baby Huey was a gigantic duck toddler in a diaper and bonnet who got involved in slapstick shenanigans.  He had super-strength, like Little Lotta, but combined with basic lack of understanding of how anything worked.  The result was mayhem. He rarely if ever saved the day, although sometimes he succeeded through pure dumb luck.

He sparred with three normal-sized ducks who disapproved of him, and a fox who kept trying to eat him.  (Although the ducks were civilized and lived in cities, they were still likely to be victimized by predators.)

And he had an annoying lisping girlfriend, Matilda.  What did she see in the baby giant?  "You're so big and shtrong, Huey!"  I get it -- he was three times the size of a normal duck, so if he was proportional beneath the belt...

Who'd believe that there were 92 issues of Baby Huey (1956-1972), plus compendium titles Baby Huey Duckland (1962-66) and Baby Huey and Papa (1962-68).

As in all of the Harvey comics, there was a big change in theme and emphasis after 1966.  Baby Huey was still wearing a stupid bonnet and diaper, but he was older, able to go out on adventures by himself.

He was often accompanied by his Cousin Dimwit: an adult duck, rather cute as anthropomorphic ducks go, with a shirt that extended beyond his hands (a sign of stupidity, I suppose).

A sort of inventor, Dimwit popped in out of nowhere and announced "I want to take Cousin Huey on a trip to the Moon!"  Huey's parents would, strangely enough, permit this.

My favorite Huey/Dimwit stories:

1, They build a mechanical Frankenstein that terrorizes the town.
2. Trying to fly to Florida, they end up at the North Pole
3, They're hired by the governmnt to take top-secret pictures.
4. They use dehydrating pills to foil a criminal gang.
5. They take a wrong turn and end up kidnapped by spies.

Still humorous/slapstick, but with enough buddy bonding and nick-of-time rescues to create at least minimal gay subtexts.

Boy, I could really find it everywhere, couldn't I?

By the way, here are some people and businesses who have taken the nom de plum Baby Huey:

1. James Ramos (left), the front man for Baby Huey and the Babysitters, 1970s precursors to the hip hop style.  He weighed 350 pounds.

2. MMA fighter Tito Ortiz (top photo).  He's not fat at all.

3. Hell's Angels motorcycle club member George Wethern.

4. "Baby Huey," the host of the Saturday night show on The Bone (KSAN, 107.7 FM).  He also does the podcast "The Second Shift" with cohost Chasta.

Baby Huey is also:

1. A popular dance club and hipster hangout in Toronto

2. A moving company in Katy, Texas, and

3. A barbecue restaurant in Fremont, Nebraska.

Bugs and Porky meet a Drag King: Warner Brothers Comics

When I was a kid in the 1960s, my favorite comic titles were Harvey (gay-vague Casper the Friendly Ghost), Disney, Archie, and the Gold Key jungle adventures.

Comics featuring Warner Brothers cartoon characters Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, and Bugs Bunny were low on my list.  Not as low as Woody Woodpecker, but low.

The art was amateurish, with minimal backgrounds, or just blank space.  This is one of the best covers,depicting Bugs opening a door leading to another planet, where a cowboy-rabbit is racing across the desert on a camel.

And instead of the anarchic outsiders of the cartoons, the characters were stable, stolid suburbanites, with houses and jobs and girlfriends. Porky was a single dad, raising his nephew, Cicero, like a Donald Duck knockoff.

But sometimes Bugs and Porky or Bugs and Yosemite Sam teamed up for adventure stories.  Maybe they stumbled upon a haunted inn.  Or they answered a job ad for "undersea explorers"  Or a telegram arrived about "trouble at the ranch."  Buddy-bonding, captures, and nick-of-time rescues followed.

A continuing series had Bugs and Porky working as Indiana Jones-style adventurer-archaeologists, investigating the myth of Pegasus or discovering a lost civilization hidden under the ice of Antartica.  With no girlfriends in sight, and no damsels in distress to be won.

Even when there was no buddy-bonding, the adventure stories offered opportunities for gay misreadings.  In "The Kingdom of Nowhere" (Porky Pig 4, 1965),  Porky wins a contest to re-name a Medieval kingdom (he suggests Boovaria).  But he must fight the other winner, the Black Knight.

When I first read the story, probably in in third grade, I didn't realize that this small, short-haired person was grabbing the king's cape, or that it was supposed to be his queen.  I thought he had a tiny boyfriend grabbing his rump.

When Porky and the Black Knight learn that, as an added bonus, the winner will marry the Princess,  they drop out of the contest and run away.  Porky, because he already has a girlfriend.

But why does the Black Knight run away?  Could it be that he doesn't particularly care for girls?

Later we get an explanation: the Black Knight was really his girlfriend Petunia in drag!  Porky exclaims "No wonder you weren't interested in winning the hand of the princess!"

But this quick-fix doesn't detract from the image of a boy not interested in girls.

And it adds a new question: why, precisely, did Petunia disguise herself as a man?

For that matter, why are Bugs and Porky so comfortable in drag?

Oct 6, 2020

He Walked Around the Horses

I'm a big fan of the paranormal, especially mysterious disappearances, people who suddenly and inexplicably vanish.

You and a friend are hiking in the woods.  He's a few paces ahead.  You see him go around a bend, but when you arrive, a second later, he's not there.

Your father walks out the front door of your house to go to the mailbox, a journey of 10 yards.  He is never seen again.

A man boards an airplane.  He is served by the flight attendant in flight.  When the plane lands, he is gone.

But the greatest of the "they never came back" stories happened on November 25th, 1809.  Benjamin Bathurst, a 25-year old British diplomat, was on the way to Vienna for  a meeting with Emperor Francis II.  He and his assistant, Krause, stopped for dinner at an inn in Perleberg, Germany.  When it was time to continue the journey, he walked around the horses to climb into his carriage.  Except he never made it to the carriage.

He was never seen again.

It was a journey of 10 feet.  He would have been out of Krause's sight for only a few seconds.

A few days later, his coat was discovered on a farm a mile north of Perleberg.  And his pants, in the woods near the town of Quitzow.

The gay connection:
1. Bathurst and his servant sharing a room.
2. Wherever he  went, he was naked when he arrived.

The story didn't get much press in 1809, but when it was rediscovered by Charles Fort in the 1920s, paranormal enthusiasts went wild.  It was repeated in every compendium of the unexplained.

Maybe he was abducted by aliens, or zapped into a parallel world.  Maybe he became a time traveler.  Or a vampire.

Many science fiction writers, including Poul Anderson, H. Piper Beam, Robert Heinlein, and Robert Bloch, have covered his story.

Recently debunkers have been pushing a more mundane explanation: that Bathurst was dragged back into the inn and murdered, with robbery or political assassination as the motive (it was a rough part of town, in the middle of the night).

An adaptation of H. Piper Beam's story He Walked Around the Horses appeared in February 2015, written and directed by Claude Miles, who also played Benjamin Bathurst.  Miles has also appeared in such films as Trouser Snake (aka Penis Monster), The Last Temptation of Fluffy, Cow Tippers from Outer Space, Flying Saucers over Fetishland, and Tarzan's Teenage Daughter, so I'm going to guess that this was not a serious production.

See also: Richard Halliburton

Oct 5, 2020

"The Boys in the Band": Any Day that Ends with a Naked Man is a Good Day


The movie The Boys in the Band, based on Mart Crowley's 1968 play, appeared in 1970.  I watched it on VHS sometime in the 1990s, and even with some leeway for being pre-Stonewall, I hated it.  A party with a bunch of screaming queens oozing with self-hatred, sniping viciously at teach other, obsessed with straight guys who don't know that they exist, trying to seduce a strraight guy who stumbled in by accident.  Yuck!

I just saw the 2020 Netflix version, and liked it a lot more.  The tone was more upbeat and positive, thanks to some subtle changes to the script (the line "if only we didn't hate ourselves quite so much" is gone) and additions to the mise en scene. For instance, we see the characters interacting after the party, eating in a restaurant, attending Mass, cuddling in a cab, having sex, building a life in spite of their homophobic society.

Bob still thinks that Boys is "gay misery porn," but remember, it's 1968.  "Homosexuality" is a psychosis, so you are in psychotherapy searching for a "cure."  Sodomy is an imprisonable offense, gay bars are illegal and underground, and there are no gay organizations except for the highly-closeted Mattachine Society.  The world hates you.  But you are still determined to live, so you throw a birthday party.

1. Michael (Jim Parsons), who is in debt up to his eyeballs and suffering from Catholic guilt, hosts the party.  He gets a shocker when a straight college friend, Alan (Brian Hutcherson), calls out of nowhere and wants to stop in "for a drink."  You never tell straights (the term "coming out" means acknowledging that you are gay), so he asks the other guys to act straight.  

When Alan figures it out anyway yet doesn't run away screaming, Michael introduces a party game to compel him into coming out: you have to call the one person you have always loved and tell them.  He assumes that Alan will call his other college buddy, now out, whom he was obviously in love with.  But the plan backfires when Alan calls his wife.

So Alan was straight all along?  Or is he still in the closet?  Michael is devastated.  But after the party, he goes to midnight Mass and feels better.

2. Donald (Matt Bomer, right), Michael's best friend and former lover, is visiting for the weekend.  He doesn't play the game.  But he does take a shower, giving us a nice beefcake scene that did not appear in the original movie.

3.-4. Hank (Tuc Watkins, left) is in the process of divorcing his wife so he can be with Larry (Andrew Rannells).  Larry recoils at the thought of heterosexual-style monogamy, but still calls Hank during the game.  They decide to try an open relationship.

5. Bernard (Michael Benjamin Washington), who is black and has to deal with racist jokes (even from his friends), has always loved the first guy he had sex with, the son of the rich family his mother used to work for.  In a flashback, we see them frolicking naked in a pool, butts and cocks visible. He calls, gives the message to the mother, and is devastated.

6. Benard's best friend is the campy queen Emory (Robin de Jesus), who was outed and ridiculed when everyone at his high school discovered his crush on an older boy.  Later he apologizes to Bernard for his racist quips, and they are shown having dinner together.

7.-8. Harold, (Zachary Quinto) the guest of honor, is a "32 year old ugly pock-marked fag Jew" who takes lots of weird drugs and  constantly picks at imaginary facial blemishes.  They seem to all love him, but he strikes me as threatening, observing and criticizing the events like a petty tyrant.  I kept wondering what he had on them.

The Cowboy (Charlie Carver, top photo) is a dimwitted hustler hired as one of Harold's birthday presents.  They get more romantic interactions than in the original movie, kissing, cuddling, and, in the last scene, having sex (Harold has a surprisingly nice butt).  

The "call someone you've always loved" game still seems too cruel to foist upon your friends (and you can only play it once), but at least the self-loathing is gone.

Bob: "It was awful!  Gay life as endless misery!"

Me: "But it wasn't all misery.  They had friends.  They had lovers.  Any day that ends with a naked man in your bed is a good day, in 1968 or  2020."

Summer 1971: Donald Duck's Double Life

When I was a kid in the 1960s, my favorite comics were the Harveys (CasperRichie Rich), followed by Gold Key jungle heroes (Tarzan, Korak, Brothers of the Spear), and then Archie, and maybe some Marvel and DC if I could get them.  Disney's Donald Duck was not as low on the list as Bugs Bunny, but it was down near the bottom.
The problem was that Donald led a double life.  I liked the stories where he was an adventurer, brave, resourceful and intelligent, setting out with his rich Uncle Scrooge to explore lost Atlantis, the Yucatan, Tibet, Antarctica, or the Seven Cities of Cibola, in plotlines as macho as Treasure Island, as passionate as Time Tunnel.  It was a man-only world, with no damsels in distress to be rescued and no girls waiting back home at the story’s end.

In fact, no one expressed any heterosexual interest at all, though the nephews sometimes swooned over male crooners and teen idols.  (During the 1990s, Don Rosa retconned the characters to give Uncle Scrooge a long-ago romance with dance-hall girl Glittering Goldie).

But in other stories, Donald transmutated like a zombie into a single father living in the town of Duckburg, where he was saddled with a series of dismal jobs: janitor, gas station attendant, door-to-door salesman, delivery boy. And  he had a girlfriend, Daisy Duck, who was constantly natting her disapproval of  every single one of his interests, hobbies, goals, and dreams (precisely like Poil's disapproval of Spooky's passion for scaring).

The two could not be more different. Donald exuded toughness and aggression, Daisy was dainty to the point of idiocy. Donald bellowed at baseball games, Daisy drank tea at the Tuesday Afternoon Ladies’ League. Donald puttered around in junkyards, Daisy puttered about in her petunia bed.

It was disgusting! Donald had not only abandoned his life of swashbuckling adventure, he could not even enjoy the simple pleasures of boxing matches and working on cars. Instead, he sat bored on a frilly white chair at the Bon Ton, while Daisy tried on hats. Why would he do it? If they shared no common interests whatsoever, why would he even want to hang out with her?

In "The Double Date," Daisy and Donald go on a double date with Clara Cluck and Rockhead Rooster.  Donald and Rockhead exhibit an instant, eye-bulging attraction to each other, and become so engrossed in discussions of cars and sports that they ignore the girls.  They even dance together at a party.  Daisy and Clara agree that "They shouldn't see each other again."

One rainy afternoon in the summer of 1971, when we were sitting on the floor in Bill's family room, reading comic books, I brought up my concerns.  "I don't get it.  Donald Duck has a lot more fun on his adventures with Uncle Scrooge, and he doesn't anything that Daisy likes.  Why does he hang out with her?  What's the big deal?”

Bill's older brother Mike happened to be passing through on his way out, wearing a raincoat and tossing his keychain in the air. He pulled the comic from my hands and leafed through it, murmuring “Hmm…very eenterest-ing,” like the Nazi spy on Laugh-In. Then he returned it with a grin. “Een mine professional opinion, Uncle Scrooge ees a boy, und Daisy Duck ees a girl.”

“So what?” I asked.

Mike  laughed, and reached down to tousle my hair. “So what!” he exclaimed in his normal voice. “Just wait ‘til you discover girls. Then you won’t ask ‘so what’? You’ll say ‘gimme her number!’”  And he was gone. I heard him repeat “so what!”, chortling to himself, as he clomped through the kitchen and out the back door.

Suddenly chilled, I scooted over to sit next to Bill, our backs against the couch.  He smiled, and we sat together, quietly.

Abandon the Seven Cities of Cibola to drink tea from fragile cups and discuss poetry! The idea was absurd!

See also: Heterosexualizing my Childhood Hero

Oct 4, 2020

Miami Beach: Art Deco Capital of Beefcake and Bulkitude


Finding the beefcake and then checking the city is turning out to be fun.  Take these photos from the Facebook page of a high school wrestling team.  "Ok, guys, take off your shirts, and let's get a nice shot of your chests and abs."

Same guy, different match, same attention to detail.

There are about 50 more physique pics of that guy, but let's move on to some others.  The rest of the photos are on A Gay Guide to Small Town Beefcake

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