You can choose compassion


I hate everything trite and obnoxious and, being old, I resist trends. But it may shock the pants off you to learn that I dearly loved LOLcats! I loved everything about them except maybe the typography, which really should have been done in Berthold Imago (cf. LOLBESKIND).

Suddenly there is something better than LOLcats. There are in fact two things better, and they are Emergency Fox and Emergency Raccoon.

You know how everything funny is funnier when it’s inappropriate to laugh, as when out in public or on a crowded subway car? I cry endless tears of laughter reading these damned things.

  • Emergency Fox: THE SUNLIGHT OF MAO ZEDONG THOUGHT ILLUMINATES THE ROAD OF THE GREAT PROLETARIAN CULTURAL REVOLUTION

    Red fox
  • Emergency Raccoon: “If they don’t give you work, ask for bread. If they do not give you work or bread, then take bread”

    Raccoon making off with a full loaf of bread

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2015.05.19 15:12. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
http://blog.fawny.org/2015/05/19/emergencyx/

Here we have a photograph by a friend of Canadian bobsledder Ben Coakwell. I die a little death every time I look at it.

Four shirtless men on exercise bikes at a garage-door ramp

It offers a window onto a parallel universe uninhabitable by eldergays, all of whom are incapable of:

  1. being elite athletes and having three pals who also are

  2. working out on exercise bikes without considering it some kind of chore (it’s just a warmup for them)

  3. shirtlessness without a second thought – and alongside other shirtless athletes

  4. just effortlessly raising arms up no problem

  5. being one of the guys; enjoying being one of the guys

  6. being big, strong, muscular, fit, lightning-fast specimens of manhood

Instead, the eldergay (cf. The Velvet Rage):

  • grows up implicitly different (mentioned a lot because it is true)

  • understands this implicit difference and acts on it in ways that are, he fails to realize, explicitly discernible to the outside world, yea unto fellow four-year-old children

  • begins a lifetime of rumination, self-doubt, self-consciousness, and lack of instinctiveness and spontaneity

  • lives in the mind; suffers thorough separation from the body, prefiguring science-fiction brain transplants or noncorporeal alien intelligence

  • is scared to take up space (men might notice him then) and has his elbows glued to his ribs from childhood to coffin

  • is gay all along but cannot come out till his 20s and never actually has sex till that point, if then, and it too is never instinctive or spontaneous

  • cannot actually reconcile being gay – which, however mental, means nothing without physical action – with physical action

  • turns his entire life into words, with, by implication, a need to preserve everything (like the books he grew up reading all alone), leading to a focus on the future; athletes do and athletes live in the present

  • feels he cannot be accepted by men, ensuring he never is (no longer an immutable fact)

The fundamental distinction here is you can teach and athlete to read. You can’t teach an intellectual – all eldergays are intellectuals – that he has a body, let alone what to do with it. Go to the gym all you want; you cannot change your nature. An athlete “thinks with his body”: What does that even mean?

Every eldergay would gladly trade lives with an athlete even if it meant we would end up stupid and illiterate and broken down and washed up by our 30s, which themselves are not remotely immutable facts any longer either.

It is not a coïncidence that the biggest, strongest, loveliest athletes are leading every campaign against homophobia in sport. We just cannot believe a 6′6″, 260-pound rugger could be pro-gay and won’t shut up about it. We grow up dying for the approval of athletic boys and cannot process it once we got it. It’s no skin off their asses and they’re so effortlessly physical they can afford it.

Just writing all this down is a joke. It proves and misses the point. The only tool an eldergay has at his disposal to explain the lifelong prisonlike chasm between the mind and the body is another wall of words. (That is true even though athletes also now publish.) We’re pretty unhappy people. Once we and the generation right behind ours are gone, gay will be extinct.

I’m three years into a project to explicate much of this and more in what could be the first and only book youngergays buy and read. I heap onto my pile of shame with every anniversary of Andrew Wilfahrt’s death. I suppose I could tell you more about that, but only if you have a book contract and an advance to offer me, and, among others, the last real editor in New York publishing and his gay boss didn’t.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2015.05.17 15:40. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
http://blog.fawny.org/2015/05/17/lifeofthebody/

Animal welfare trumps religion. (Also true for kashrut, except Orthodox Jews aren’t trying to kill us.)

(Previously.)

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2015.05.17 14:48. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
http://blog.fawny.org/2015/05/17/dogfatwa2/

Cub by Jeff Mann:

Not every gay teen yearns for fashion and popular culture. Some boys are pure country folk and like the feel of flannel and the smell of the farm. And they’re neither lithe nor musclebound but stocky boys, the ones who develop hairy chests, arms, and faces years earlier than their peers.

One such 17-year-old is Travis Ferrell, shy among most of the other kids at school, but proud of his West Virginia roots. He has not yet admitted his passion for handsome guys – and his idea of what handsome is and what handsome does is not much different from him. Soon he’ll learn that he’s not unique; gay culture has a name for young men like him.

Cubs.

(The library now has this book because I blue-formed it.)

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2015.05.12 14:40. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
http://blog.fawny.org/2015/05/12/bestblurb/

I’ve watched a lot of panels and I’ve appeared on almost as many. What was surely the most sprightly and delightful panel I have yet seen took place last Saturday when a Japanese-American compèred a panel about the cuddliest Japanese smut artist.

I actually had to explain the British expression compère to the very quick and urbane Anne Ishii, our hostess. The star of the show was Gengoroh Tagame (田亀源五郎), writer and illustrator of bizarre sadomasochistic gay erotic comix (really comiXXX) that I had never looked at until last week and was pretty shocked by.

The panel took place under the ægis of the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, a nerd magnet where I have never failed to find something new and where I have always enjoyed myself. TCAF takes over the Toronto Reference Library, which is more than a little ironic considering that the all-female book-selection staff at the Toronto Public Library have deemed The Passion of Gengoroh Tagame and Massive: Gay Erotic Manga and the Men Who Make It as outside the scope of the library, an excuse to turn down my blue-form suggestions they invented just for me. On one of the many other occasions these ladies applied that reasoning against me, the library banned an entire author – not coïncidentally a gay man – for “misogyny.”

While all the foregoing is true, TPL has nonetheless allegedly ordered one copy each of those two books, which will then be carefully situated at the Reference Library away from prying eyes. Meanwhile, there are 29 translated individual works of the Fifty Shades of Grey smut-for-secretaries œuvre in TPL’s collection, plus 101 copies of the movie alone. And a few dozen dirty books for lesbos, including Women with Handcuffs: Lesbian Cop Erotica.

Putting these and many other facts together, I believe the library, which just hates it when I use the terms “Spokesgay” and “Spokesgaysian” on my own time and off their property, is illegally discriminating against gay males. And, for making the foregoing statement (just the beginning of a process), I expect the library’s peon to again threaten to cancel my library card or actually bring me up on charges. All I can say is “One complaint to the Human Rights Tribunal can ruin your whole day.”

My Brother’s Husband

I kept thinking about all the above because the panel, and Ishii’s interview with Tagame at the so-called Queer Mixer later that night, were so terribly charming. I could even pick a few things out of the Japanese, which Tagame definitely speaks with a gay accent. I always had these busybody librarian ladies’ nastiness in the back of my mind.

Yet more charming Tagame’s new foray into mainstream graphic serials, My Brother’s Husband. (The title boils down to just three characters in Japanese [弟の夫] at the cost of losing the possessive.) No, the giant gaijin isn’t a ginger; I asked.

Cover shows Mike, in pink-triangle T-shirt, and his late lover’s brother along with seven-year-old girl, all standing in front of house

It seems like a bemused-fish-out-of-water tale, of the sort I seem to remember but cannot put my finger on, of gays having to come back home and suddenly take care of distantly-related children. One looks forward to an English translation.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2015.05.12 14:38. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
http://blog.fawny.org/2015/05/12/tagame/

Walt Odets, son of Clifford Odets, is a psychotherapist in San Francisco who, in the past, worked mostly with gay men. I say “in the past” because we exchanged correspondence exactly once in 1996 and 1997; because there have been no discernible publications of his past 1998 (save for one); various database searches coming up with nothing but photography books and monographs; and mailing him to ask if he’s all right led to no response, which is troubling.

A New Yorker article from 2013 that I kept, I thought, because it featured the intrinsically interesting Bobby Cannavale turns out to be all about Walt Odets, I see now as I write this.

Forgotten lessons of Walt Odets

  • HIV-negative men exist. They don’t exist in some quantum state of flux; they really exist. It isn’t the case that your HIV-positive diagnosis is a lifelong fact you can immediately trust but your negative diagnosis is a lie.

  • The primary purpose of AIDS education is to keep HIV-negative people (in this case gay men) negative. It isn’t to make positoids feel less bad about being HIV-positive.

  • HIV education lies to men, sets up impossible lifelong strictures, and is obsessed with catering to the feelings of men who are already infected. On top of all that, HIV education has basically been a bust since the 1990s because various measurements have not really changed, including the incidence of anal sex without a condom.

  • Some things in life are risky. But some sexual acts aren’t really risky. Anal sex without a condom isn’t really risky if both guys are negative, which can and does happen because HIV-negativity really exists.

But overriding everything, as he explained in a letter to me, is “AIDS prevention is only possible if people have lives that are worth reasonably protecting from HIV.”

For that to be true, we would have to accept, as Odets does, that gay males and our sexuality are hated and stigmatized. I note we would also have to accept that we have suffered two holocausts already and are going through a third one that will apparently never end (the onslaught by queers, trannies, and LGBTs to tar us as the enemy and render us extinct). [continue with “Walt Odets: HIV-negative men exist” →]

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2015.04.11 16:52. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
http://blog.fawny.org/2015/04/11/odets/

I did paid work for the TTC on signage. And if you want the TTC signage manual, you can now read it.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2015.03.30 16:23. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
http://blog.fawny.org/2015/03/30/ttcsigns2015/

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