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The Public Blogging of Pomosexuality, Homotextuality, Homophobiaphilia, and Drear Theory (aka Career Theory) [aka Gay4Pay]. We also read the Corner and OpJournal so the right buttock will be punished as well.
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The Woman Named Therein or Her Father Flouted or His Frantic Rival or The Reader Bespoken or The Course of Their Careers or The Folly of Searching Through the Pockets of a Dead Man's Overcoat: A Novel and Photo-Play
I always visit the thrift store that time forgot when I'm home at Christmas. How bereft is it? Among the dozen and half CD's for sale was an AOL start up disc (7.0). I did once find a complete set of the 12th edition Britannica there (the Workingman's set with semi-soft covers and onion skin pages) for five dollars, so I'm forever hooked and always stop in, even though no other of my seldom discoveries there has ever come close to the encyclopedia.
Today's trip was somewhat rewarding. I bought a book called Elementary Composition And Rhetoric from 1894 for 25 cents. I will attempt at some later date to absorb the lessons from the chapters entitled Awkward Construction, Themes Too Difficult, Loose and Periodic Sentences, and False Concords.
But for now, let us turn to my other purchase. It is the second book of this sort I have stumbled upon, a book/movie tie-in from the silent era. In case you think this sort of thing didn't happen until the decades of the mass market paperback and the talking picture show, I shall quote the preface to One Wonderful Night: A Romance of New York (Grossett and Dunlap, 1919), 50 cents:
Moving picture enthusiasts who reveled in the romantic mysteries that tangled the plot of One Wonderful Night will find even more pleasure in reading this fascinating story.
THE LADIES' WORLD contest--the greatest in the history of motion pictures--has just come to a close. Under the auspices of Ladies World with its million circulation monthly, moving picture lovers all over the United States have been voting for an actor to impersonate the heroic part of John Delancy Curtis in the photo play of ONE WONDERFUL NIGHT--probably the most interesting and absorbing presentation ever made on the screen.
Four million, four hundred and forty thousand, seven hundred and sixty votes were cast. Francis Bushman won the prize. With a vote of 1,806, 630 he was chosen the typical American hero. In the Essanay Company elaborate production of ONE WONDERFUL NIGHT. Mr. Bushman is supported by a strong cast, including beautiful Beverly Bayne as Lady Hermione
Those who have witnessed the photo play production will find the book even more intensely interesting. The hero, John Delancy Curtis, drops in from Pekin, China, for a brief rest from strenuous engineering work, and on his first night in New York finds a marriage license in the pocket of a murdered man's coat, rushes off in a taxi to the address of the woman named therein, marries her, punches a frantic rival in the nose, flouts her father (an English Baronet), takes the fair one to a hotel, holds a banquet at which the Chief of Police of New York is an honoured guest, and sits down to gaze contentedly into the future of bliss that a half a million a year will bring.
We bespeak for the reader pleasure, entertainment and diversion in this absorbing and unusual story.
Indulge me as I further quote the opening to Chapter the 12th, Two-Thirty A.M.:
Few men or women of sympathetic nature, and gifted with ordinary powers of observation, can through life without learning, at some time or other in the course of their careers, that circumstances wholly beyond human control can display on occasion a fiendish faculty of converting patent honesty into apparent dishonesty--and that which is true of motive holds equally good in the case of conduct.
Tell me about it.
I should note that the book also includes thrilling photographic stills from the Essanay Company's faithful motion picture production of Louis Tracy's magnicent ONE WONDERFUL NIGHT.
Andrew Sullivan quotes Rosie O'Donnell this morning:
The country was really taken over. It was a coup. This man was not elected, he sits in the White House and he's declaring war. That's a coup d'état. America should be in the streets picketing. And our boys and our girls, our teenagers and 20- year-olds, are off there killing people. And war begets war
Those of us not completely memory wiped by the Mad Cow will recall a different Rosie from a couple years back. Dig the monumentally amusing culture-con cluelessness of the headline.
André from Outkast just acid-spaz danced across my TV screen wearing gray ski pants hitched up with pink satin suspenders and accented with 12 inch wide swatch of pink fake fur that ran the length of the outseam. His shirt was white with pink horizontal stripes and again pink fur on the sleeves from cuff to neck. His hair was Don King the-early-years, held back with pink ski goggles. He was, of course, singing Hey Ya.
He is such an ornament to our culture. How long can the comically attenuated kabuki menace of the current roster of rock and rap careerists withstand Andre's fake fur assault? Is the Glam-Hop rapture imminent? Will the new-kids-on-the-make be trading in their DMX and Rage Against LaMachine insta-kits (Christmas gifts from 1998) for fagadelic drag?
Paul Varnell makes the seasonal point *(or unseasonal jibe to those likely to be bugged by this information) that of the three most hard-ridden musical warhorses of Christmas, two were certainly, and one very likely, composed by gay guys. You probably know about the first two, but maybe you join me in being surprised (or as surprised as you can be by learning any particular composer is gay, i.e. not very) by the third:
....Tchaikovsky's homosexuality is well-documented in his letters and the memoirs of friends. In fact, the major crisis in Tchaikovsky's life came when he persuaded himself that he should marry, then immediately regretted doing so, and briefly became suicidal - a cautionary tale for any would-be "ex-gays."
...Menotti himself is openly gay, and his sexuality has often been noted. He discussed his life and his long, productive relationship with fellow composer Samuel Barber in an interview with The Advocate newsmagazine more than a dozen years ago. Barber even helped with the rushed last-minute orchestration for "Amahl."
...Handel's homosexuality is all but certain. Handel was discreet about his personal life, and left no direct evidence of homosexuality, but there is abundant indirect evidence pointing in that direction. Wayne Dynes' exemplary "Encyclopedia of Homosexuality" notes that Handel never married or had children: "His associations point to homosexual inclinations, but if he exercised this taste he covered his tracks so successfully that modern research has not been able to find the evidence."
The encyclopedic "Gay Histories and Cultures" agrees: "The record of the composer's lived experience reveals ample evidence of a homosexually inclined man."
Noting that Handel was a frequent houseguest of men known to be homosexual, the book continues, "Handel lived virtually his entire life in the company of demonstrably homosexual men, in precisely those subcultural venues most closely associated with them."
Paul V. is too subtle a writer to indulge in mere namecheck gay boosterism, so read his conclusion on why its important to make these facts more generally known.
*The Varnell link is dead. Google hasn't found me another copy of the column yet, but I imagine one will turn up eventually. I'll relink it when it does.
This cultural blurring is reflected in a new lexicon of marketing spiel, spotlighting such emergent consumer groups as the "kidult" or "adultescent" (whose age ranges from 25-35), the "middle youther" (35-45) and the "silver surfer" (internet users in their dotage).
I love all such market survey wisdom, because I believe it truly is wise. The delineation and naming of all the consumer tribes, culture cohorts and niche cults is one of the great undertakings of our time.