Oct 14, 2023

Borden's Elsie: Alpha Bull Dad and Gay Son

Sometimes when we were visiting my Grandma Davis in Indiana, my brother and I got permission to go up into the attic and browse through her piles of old magazines. Good Housekeeping, Saturday Evening Post, Grit...nothing really exciting, but we liked to marvel at the craziness of the past.

One day we stumbled upon a series of illustrated stories from the 1940s starring Elsie the Cow, the mascot for Borden's Milk.

Wait -- was this cow selling the milk that came from her body?  Disgusting!  And who would name it "Hemo," after blood?

The stories were about a battle of the sexes between housewife Elsie and her alpha-male bull spouse, Elmer, with an incredibly sexist passive-aggressive vibe and the hint of violence:

"But Elmer, all the answers in the book can't be wrong!"
"I'm not trying to turn the child against you, darling!"
"Why do men lose their temper more easily than women?"
"It's possible to kill a wife with kindness, dear."

Was this an idealization of the 1940s nuclear family, or a critique?

Borden created a whole back story for the cow couple, including a teenage daughter, Beulah, a mischievous son, Beauregard, and infant twins.  Stories of their domestic life appeared through the 1940s, and for the kids, there was a 1950s comic book series.  And so many advertising tie-ins that there's a whole book devoted to them.

Elmer the Bull, future mascot for Elmer's Glue, was blustering but, oddly, sexy.  He was naked though his family wore clothes.  He had thick bull-muscles.  And, most provocatively, his sex organs were coyly obstructed. I had seen bulls on the farm -- I knew what was being hidden.

Beauregard was a general mischief maker, but he also had some gender-transgressive qualities that lent him some gay symbolism.  Here he seems to be trying on green lipstick and hair dye.

In the 1950s comic books, he's a teenager, and also rather muscular.

By now I imagine he looks something like this.

(Image borrowed from Roberto Linares on YGallery).

See also: Grit

Oct 13, 2023

"Game Over, Man": Adam Devine naked for five minutes What's not to like?


Shortly after the end of Workaholics, the guys (Adam Devine, Anders Holm, Blake Anderson) played about the same characters in Game Over, Man (2018), moving their shenanigans into a hostage crisis in a high-rise hotel.  The reviews were unfailingly horrible, 18% on Rotten Tomatoes. Their goofiness conflicts with a jarringly grim, violent plotline, there's way too much vulgarity, disgustingly graphic deaths, a severed penis used as a prop, torture by rimming (wait -- is that torture or a pleasant Saturday night?), plus horrifying homophobia.  I'm afraid to watch the whole movie, but I'll review a scene that the Roger Ebert.com reviewer criticizes as featuring "some pretty extreme homophobia."  

Remember, I walked out of Spider-Man (2002) when Tobey Maguire said "Like all stories, this story is about a boy and a girl."  Claiming that gay men and lesbians don't exist, homophobic jerk!  So this will certainly raise my hackles.

See the NSFW version of this review for the extensive -- way extensive -- shots of Adam Devine's dick and butt.

The set-up: The terrorist's henchmen, Steve Howey and Mac Brandt, are trying to kill the guys.  For some reason Adam decides to pretend that he has died of autoerotic asphyxiation, hanging in the closet with his dick in his hand. Blake and Anders hide under the bed (it would be too confusing to use character names).


Finding the "Corpse"

The henchmen burst into the hotel room, examine Adam's "corpse" (we get a closeup of Adam's hand on his dick).  Steve comments: "Look at this freaky fuck."

Mac: "Rest in peace, you horny bastard."

Steve worries that the job is going badly, but Mac reassures him: "By this time tomorrow, we'll be sipping Coronas in Cabo."  

Steve: "I don't want to see you getting hurt."

Mac: "You're sweet."

Steve: " I love you."

They kiss -- a little peck, then a big smooching thing. Adam, watching, is shocked.  Not homophobic, maybe a little heteronormative: "Wait -- gay henchmen exist?

The Attack

The henchmen decide to do it "real quick," take off their shirts, and jump on the bed. We don't see any more of their kissing.  Guys, your pants aren't off.  Not going to have a lot of sex that way.

Blake sneaks a peek, then turns to Anders and says "Eww, right?"  Not homophobic.  Blake's character is actually gay and closeted (at this point), so he's trying to determine how a straight guy should react.

To defend themselves, the guys throw the blanket over the couple and punch and kick them.  Anders grabs a lamp and beats Steve's head.  Blood alert. . Adam, shocked, says "I am so sorry." But you didn't do it.

Mac throws him across the room (cock shot). 

We Killed the Bad Guys

Mac punches Blake and advances on Anders: "You just killed the man of my dreams. Now you're gonna die."  Anders claims that Steve is just knocked out, but Mac throws him across the room and starts to strangle him.

Anders: "I'm sorry I killed him.  I'll be your boyfriend."  

Blake throws a lamp.  Mac turns and advances on him. He ducks, and Mac flies into a dresser and is knocked unconscious.  Anders: "I think you killed him!"

Adam: "Sorry I didn't help...we killed the bad guys!  My plan worked!" He spins his cock around in celebration. Um...so, can I get this on BluRay?

Anders: "Stop it!  Your plan didn't work!  You got them horny, and got me kicked in the chest."  Blake asks if he's all right.  Aww, fraternal love...

Adam says that since they killed the bad guys, they get to take their stuff (butt and balls shot). That's Video Games 101.  The other guys disagree: "You're only going to get them madder."  Aren't they dead?

He finds some zip ties, a knife, and a gun, which accidentally goes off, then decides to go put his pants on.  A close-up of his cock bouncing around as he walks toward the closet.  Is it getting hot in here?

Anders wants to know why he's getting dressed in the closet, when they've already seen his dick, balls, and butthole.

Adam: You guys saw my butthole?  I haven't shaved in months.  

: I didn't see any, just some heteronormative surprise that gay henchmen exist.  Do the critics know what homophobia is?  Hatred/disgust of gay people, not gay sex.

The henchmen don't seem to be at all into each other -- look at those grimaces -- but that's the actors' fault. 

Adam's Dick: It may be intended to disgust dudebro viewers -- if there were naked lady boobs bouncing around the screen for five minutes, I'd be fast-forwarding.  But if you're into dicks, this is a masterpiece.

My Grade: Based on this scene alone, B.  Based on Adam's dick alone, A+.

The Adam Devine dick and butt shots, plus a bonus shot of Steve Howey's dick, are on Righteous Gemstones Beefcake and Boyfriends.

Fabian Forte at the Beach

Born in 1943, Fabian (he didn't need a last name) was a superstar by age 16.  He was a competent singer, but in a market flooded by teen singers, it was his curly hair, heavy-lidded gaze, and buffed physique that sold his records.  He practically created the teen magazine market, with beefcake pinups boosting the sales of Teen Magazine, Teen Live, Teen Illustrated, and many others.  He even got his own magazine, Fabian: Boy of Mystery.  

After his film debut in Hound Dog Man (1959), buddy bonding with Stuart Whitman, Fabian played androgynous, gay-vague, girl-crazy teens against any number of men's men: Robert Mitchum, Bing Crosby, Stewart Granger, John Wayne.

Surrounding a fey teen idol with all that brawn created a problem: the boy simply did not seem straight, in spite of his girl-ogling, especially when he sang.  So, when Henry Koester directed Fabian, he simply gave up.  

Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation (1962) has Fabian on stage for about five minutes, long enough to dance with Jimmy Stewart's daughter and sing "Cream Puff."

He gets slightly more screen time in Dear Brigitte (1965), but no songs, and though he buddies around with Jimmy Stewart's next daughter, he is never identified as her boyfriend and never gets physical with her.  Instead, his part of the plot involves exploiting math prodigy Erasmus Leaf (Billy Mumy) for capitalist gain.

Ride the Wild Surf (1964) capitalizes on the star's androgyny.  College student Jody (Fabian) hits Hawaii's North Shore with his buddies Steamer (Tab Hunter) and Chase (Peter Brown), to surf amid crowds of male surfers and spectators (only a few girls). Surfing becomes intensely homoerotic spectacle: they stand, their power distilled into a sharp thrust of surfboard, and explode toward the shore, all bronze chests and thick biceps, war-whooping a triumph over the elements that has nothing to do with heterosexist civilization.

Should Jody stay in Hawaii forever, luxuriating in the male beauty, living as a beach bum, or get a girl, go back to college, and settle for the staid heterosexist future of wife, kids, job, and house?  You know how it will end -- he picks the girl. Yet there is no fade out boy-girl kiss: Jody wins a surfing contest and is enveloped by his jubilant buddies, all hugging and hollering, a solid mass of men as the camera pans out to a wide-angle shot of surf and sky.

Fabian continued to act through the 1960s and 1970s, starring in Fireball 500  and Thunder Alley with Frankie Avalon, in an adaption of Agatha Christie's Ten Little Indians, in a cautionary tale about the dangers of marijuana.  And he continued to display his physique, including nude shots in Playgirl.  

You can see the nude photos on Tales of West Hollywood.

Today he is still performing, based out of Branson, Missouri.

Oct 11, 2023

6000 Ways to Say "Penis"

As an undergrad Modern Languages major, I studied Spanish, French, German, and Greek.  In grad school in Comparative Literature, I studied Italian, Russian, and Turkish.  Since then, I've studied several other languages.  Of course, I didn't get far in most, and they fade away over time; today, about all I can get by in are the original Spanish, French, and German.

But I'm still interested in languages, particularly isolates, the remnants of ancient language families that have somehow managed to avoid the encroachment of economically-superior English, Spanish, Urdu, Chinese, or Arabic.

Actually, after my execrable dating experience with Ari the Linguist, I don't really want to learn the languages; I just want to meet men who speak a language unlike any other in the world, and maybe learn a few new words for penis or My hotel is nearby.

1. Burushaski: 87,000 speakers in mountains of far northern Pakistan, near the borders of China and Tajikstan.

Their valley, Hunza, was the source of the Shangri-La legend.  Travelers said that they had no wars or disputes, and eternal youth.  So this Burushaski gym rat could be over 100.  He's had a shipen since he was about 20; before that, it was a sushun.

Tash chom means pull, sex appeal, and to find someone to spend the night with.

2. Tarascan (Purepecha), the remnants of an empire that threatened the Aztecs in precolonial Mexico, now has 240,000 speakers in Michioacan.

Kuini in Purepecha means penis, bird, and prison term.  I'm wondering about the prison term.

3. Mapuche: 250,000 speakers in southern Ecuador.  Their leader Capulican is memoralized in a beefcake statue.

The slogan of the Mapuche civil rights movement is Newen penis, "Power to Mapuche Brothers."

The Mapuche word for penis is punun, which, sounds like punum, and happens to be the same as the Quechua word for bed. 

They specialize in a novelty carving called an Indio Picaro, a smiling Mapuche Indian who, when you raise him up, displays an erect penis.

4. Basque, with 720,000 speakers in the Pyrenees of northern Spain. 

Penis in Basque is zakil.

5. But the biggest of the language isolates is Korean, with 78 million speakers.

The average Korean penis length is 3.8", the smallest in the world (the U.S.is 5.0").

There's a blog that attempts to answer this unjust accusation, offering proof that the Korean eumgyeong is just as big as anybody else's.

"Vice Principals": Gamby dates a high school boy, and gay rumors destroy your life

 I'm reviewing Vice Principals Episode 3.5 because a casual viewing revealed a strong, if rather discomforting, gay subtext and a lot of homophobia.

Scene 1: Lee (Walton Goggins), scheming principal of North Jackson High, and his wife Christine are having dinner in a restaurant. He is being dismissive and controlling.  Suddenly Kevin Yoon (Keong Sim, below) appears -- they haven't seen him since college!  He barely acknowledges Lee while gazing with absurdly overacted "girl of my dreams" longing at Christine.  He explains: "I had a bit of a rough time in college, with the rumors, but after counseling I got my life together.  I have a wife and kids."  What rumors destroy your life and require counseling? Sexual assault of a minor?

Christine promises to "friend" him on Facebook and keep in touch, which makes Lee roil with jealousy.

Scene 2: On the way home in the car, we learn that Christine was dating Kevin Yoon, so Lee told her that he was gay, and she dumped him. Why didn't she ask Kevin about it? Maybe Lee was lying, or maybe Kevin was bi and still interested in her.  

The rumor spread around and destroyed his life. Christine is upset because "wife and kids" -- he's straight! Or bi, girlfriend.   She could have married him and had a happy life, instead of being stuck with a man she hates. This is utterly ridiculous.  Did they go to college in 1958?  Was it Hate-Gays University?  How homophobic does McBride think that American society is?

Leonard and Larry

I moved to West Hollywood in 1985 in the midst of a Renaissance of gay comics.  Humor and not-so humorous strips were appearing in Frontiers and the Advocate, in the Gay Comics magazine, and in the annual Meatmen anthologies.  My favorites were:

Murphy's Manor, by Kurt Erichsen.
Jayson, by Jeffrey A. Krell
Poppers, by Jerry Mills
Dykes to Watch Out For, by Alison Bechtel
The single-panel Donelan cartoons.
And of course the erotic comics of Tom of Finland, Sean, and Cavello.

I wasn't a big fan of Howard Cruise's depressing Wendell, and even less of a fan of Tim Barela's Leonard and Larry.

Maybe I was just jealous of Tim Barela, who my boyfriend Lane had a crush on.  When Tim said "Jump," Lane said "How high?"  I was pretty sure that if Tim ever asked Lane to move in, the U-Haul would be packed and ready to go in five minutes.

But even without the real-life drama, I didn't like Leonard and Larry.

1. Leonard Goodman and Larry Evans are a middle-aged bear couple, one short and Jewish, the other tall and redhaired -- ok, that sounds a little like Lane and me.  Except they live in a house in a straight neighborhood somewhere in Los Angeles, they have mostly straight friends, Larry has kids from a previous heterosexual marriage, and so on and so on.  Way, way too assimilated!

Aside from an occasional depressing encounter with homophobia, they could be Hi and Lois, or Blondie and Dagwood.  What's interesting about that?

2. All of the characters look alike: white, with long faces, sharp noses, and prominent eyebrows. The men all have facial hair.

These are the plumbers, but the guy on the left could be Leonard's brother, and the guy on the right is Leonard's twin.

Ok, so Tim Barela likes a certain facial type, but everyone looks like a clone of the same person, like the Bizarro World in Superman comics.  It's hard to tell who the characters are, who's talking.  And how about a little ethnic diversity?

3. It wasn't funny.  Of course, a lot of gay comics weren't supposed to be funny -- Howard Cruise expected his stuff to elicit anguished wails, not belly-laughs..  But Tim Barela always claimed that he was drawing a humor strip, and there were indeed occasional wry observations on the annoyances of everyday life in the Straight World.  But wry is not the same thing as funny. 

By the way, when I was googling for Tim Barela, I found another one, a 16-year old gymnast from Bochum, Germany (10 in this photo).  The kid has a bright future ahead of him, as long as he doesn't decide to become a cartoonist.

See also: Gay Comix

Oct 9, 2023

"The Quarry": Gay/bi camp counselors fight werewolves, hook up


Someone on Reddit said that Skyler Gisondo was starring in a movie called The Quarry, so I looked it up on Hulu.  No Skyler Gisondo.  Turns out that he is the star of a video game called The Quarry.

I haven't actually played a video game since Super Mario Brothers, so I didn't realize how lifelike the characters are now, practically identical to the actors hired to voice them.  

The premise: after the summer camp of Hackett's Quarry ends, so there are no kids around, the remaining teenage counselors are attacked by werewolves and crazy redneck locals.  They have to survive the night, find out who is sending the werewolves, and develop romances.  You can play any of 18 teen and adult characters, including two who can be gay or bi.

The full review, with two nude photos, is on Righteous Gemstones Beefcake and Boyfriends

Oct 8, 2023

A Perfect Southern Gentleman: A Cousin Karl and Percy Romance. Chapter One: Keefe's Secret


Percy really wasn't paying attention to the movie. Not only had he seen Victor/Victoria like six times, he was too conscious of Karl Montgomery sitting beside him, his massive arm pressed against him, his hand occasionally reaching across Percy's lap to grab some popcorn. It was incredibly exciting, but also comforting. It felt like home.

They only met three weeks ago, when his bff Kelvin Gemstone told him that Cousin Karl had just come out -- at age 43 -- and wanted Percy to play matchmaker. He found three "perfect" matches -- a bodybuilder to match Karl's Strong Man awards, a musician to match the Kentucky bluegrass that he played at the Pour House every Friday night, and a carpenter to match his job in landscaping, But Karl didn't want any of them -- he wanted Percy!

Kelvin sat on his other side, next to his partner Keefe. That was amazing, too -- back when they first met, when Percy was hired to design the new executive board room at the Gemstone Salvation Center,  the poor guy couldn't even acknowledge that he was gay. He pretended that his boyfriend was "just a good buddy"; God forbid that they ever appear together in public. Now, three years later, he was happy to be seen on a double date!

When the movie ended, they strolled through Charleston's French Quarter, past the Lowcountry Art Gallery, The Bakehouse, Sweetgrass Baskets, little gay-owned boutiques and quirky restaurants,  toward their cars in the Queen Street Lot. Heads turned to look at Kelvin, and one guy asked for a selfie-- he was famous, after all, one of the few out gay evangelical ministers in the country.  But maybe they were looking at Karl -- 6'7", 375 pounds, with a long black beard framing a baby face and a smile that could light up the whole state, a macho woodsman holding hands with a skinny, femme interior designer.

"Hey, y'all want to stop at Magnolia's for some pecan pie?" Percy called ahead.

Kelvin turned back. "There's dessert back at the house, if you're up for it. Our housekeeper Martiza made an Albanian walnut-honey cake. What did she call it, Keefe?"

"Shendetlie, I think."

"You know I have a sweet tooth," Percy said. "I'm up for it if Karl is."

"Sounds cool," Karl said. "But...um...Cousin Keefe, can I talk to you?" He rushed ahead and took Keefe's arm. Kelvin hung back.

"How are things going with Karl?" he asked. "What date is this? Your sixth or seventh?"

"If you count ice cream the first night, church twice, the bluegrass concert, game night at your place, and dinner with his Mama, seven.  But I also helped him with Fun Day at the Gemstone Amusement Park, and we've hung out at my apartment -- well, we've been together almost every day."

"But you haven't been intimate yet?"

"Does that surprise you, Kelvin?  Didn't you and Keefe wait like two years?"

"But I didn't even know that I was gay yet. You've been out since age 10."

Percy took Kelvin's arm. "Actually,  I thought would be more anxious to get into the bedroom. Don't get me wrong -- just looking at Karl makes me weak in the knees. I would love to see him naked. But for some reason I'm not in a hurry. Just sitting on the couch with his arm around me -- I've never felt so warm and safe, and...well, loved."

"I know exactly what you mean. I feel the same way about Keefe. The sex is great, but it's seeing him smile that makes my day." He paused. "I thought it would be weird for you and Karl. You're so different."

The  story continues on  Righteous Gemstones Beefcake and Boyfriends.  

Max Gail the Bodybuilding Cop

On Barney Miller (1975-82), an ensemble comedy about the cops and criminals in a wacky New York precinct, Max Gail played the na├»ve/dumb hunk Wojo, a precursor to Woody on Cheers and Joey on Friends. But he was quite a hunk, massive as a bodybuilder in pants so tight he could barely sit down, with soft brown hair, a disarming little-boy grin, and square hard hands that jutted uncomfortably from his wide 70’s cuffs. At least one episode showed him shirtless. Who cared if he always failed the detective’s exam?

But Wojo offered more than beefcake. In its early seasons, Barney Miller featured two swishy gay criminals, and there are hints that Wojo’s attempts to bond with them masks a turmoil in his own mind, a growing realization that he, too, has such “feelings.” In “Quarantine” he demands of Mr. Driscoll, “Haven’t you ever tried it with a girl?” then waxes silent,when the criminal admits that he has indeed tried “it” to the point of siring a son. 

 Wojo himself tries “it” valiantly and exhaustively for awhile, but then his heterosexual profligacy fades in the face of increasing joy with squard room comrades and outside friends. 

In “Wojo’s Problem," Wojo discovers that he is sterile, and Officer Levitt (Ron Carey) exclaims "But you're so. . .big!" "That's got nothing to do with it!", Wojo snaps. Sterility comes dangerously close to a metaphor for gayness.

In “Inquisition," Wojo accidentally “outs” a gay cop, who will probably be fired. He says dismally “I feel like such a Judas.” Dietrich quips “At least you didn’t kiss him.” Could kissing be a possibility?

In “Examination Day," Wojo finally passes the detective's exam, and he excitedly makes a phone call:

We can pick up a little food, go to my place, and start celebratin’. But better be ready. . .’cause this time I’m a sergeant. [Notices Barney staring at him in disapproval, flashes a guilty grin, covers the phone with his hand.] Just telling a few friends the good news.

Presumably the writers expect us to conclude that Wojo is talking to a woman, but he never specifies a gender. If it is indeed a woman, why would Barney evidence such strong disapproval? The cops make personal calls all the time, and certainly Wojo is justified in announcing the good news. Maybe Wojo is planning a romantic dinner with a man.

After Barney Miller, Max Gail played beefy, balding hunks in many movies and tv series, including Whiz Kids, with Matthew Laborteaux. He has played gay characters several times, most notably on The Drew Cary Show, with Batman Adam West as his partner.
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