At the Kaffeehaus that straddles artisanal and mainline, out of the corner of my eye I spotted a strangely coloured skin illustration. I also saw trees.
The bearer later walked by – a solid thick classic regular guy with a C. Kent haircut and E. Costello glasses.
Everyone with a tattoo has a story they’ll tell you more or less unbidden. This Michael became an illustrated man to commemorate his family cottage (hence the stand of trees under the Northern Lights); the place he comes from; Rocky Balboa (“Inevitably”); a Roman numeral I didn’t have the heart to tell him he got wrong; and a murder of crows on a wire standing in for him and his buddies.
“Why? What do you do?” he asked. I couldn’t quite tell him “I see all,” but I did say I had an eye. I talked about my other acquaintance, the man with the vines growing up his side.
I told Michael if he gets more tattoos to stick to the right side. Why? “Staying on one arm is a statement.” He got that immediately. This is a man (very much so) who can be taught to design. He’s halfway to a classic male designer already.
Queers, LGBTs, and trannies – being opposed to fact and being mortal enemies of gay men and simply enemies of men – have no tribe. Their lives are Venn diagrams of negation. That makes sense, though, seeing as how they are an abnegation of life itself. There is nothing elemental and timeless about resentment, chest scars, self-hatred, and make-up slathered on a linebacker. Trannies, queers, and LGBTs have become what neoconservatives became in the 1980s: A collection of hatreds. Nothing can nourish them because they taste of bile.
Whereas I can talk to a man, one who commemorated the other men in his life on his very body, be taken seriously, and walk away nourished by the feeling that men like him and me matter.
The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2016.06.13 13:48. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen.
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Julia Fleischaker at Melville House, a female working in an industry where most workers are in fact female while most executives aren’t, takes time out of her busy day to belittle men’s book clubs. Fleischaker couldn’t be bothered answering the following question:
Yeah! Just keep reading other men, all you men out there, and maybe one day you’ll be taken seriously! […] That’s hard to argue with, and we would never discourage reading, or joining a book group.
Yet that’s exactly what you’re doing.
But, as Meredith Clark at Glamour… points out “rather than think about it too much, pick up a book – any book – and if you don’t like it, pick up another one, no judgment on the gender of the author or characters needed.”
In other words, when presented with men’s private spaces making their own rules, you show up and tell them they need more women and fewer rules.
For attribution, answer this question: Why?
Dyspeptic Jessa Crispin founded and ran Bookslut, a title that dares you to call her dyspeptic. She shitcanned the joint and offered this aperçu about her next book.
That contemporary feminism is not only embarrassing but incredibly misguided to the point where I can’t associate myself with it. There’s outrage culture, safe spaces, the lean-in culture – but also the Gen X/BabyBoomer rah-rah capitalism, yay ! And also a lot of misguided notions about gender. As if women are somehow more naturally empathetic than men, and all we need is full participation in public life and somehow the world gets better. Which is not the case.
When I asked for more detail (initially branded “not for publication”), Crispin’s answer was “I mean, who are you?” And that is the kind of answer I publish.
Not everyone believes “women are somehow more naturally empathetic than men.” Certainly Ed Champion doesn’t, based on the dealings he separately told me he had with Crispin. But Champion is one of those men who simply deserves what he gets – à la Mike Daisey, he warrants perpetual destruction.
The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2016.06.08 12:19. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen.
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Bruce LaBruce has a set of scans of his old “queer punk zine” J.D.s up on some horrific site that presents PDFs in Web pages. Because I am actually competent, I merged all eight issues’ files, ran OCR, and added bookmarks and tags. Hence you can now read all eight issues of J.D.s in one go.
The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2016.06.08 11:52. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen.
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John D’Agata, The Making of the American Essay, prologue (ancient Amerindian recitation):
Water went, they say.
Land was not, they say. Water only then.
Mountains were not, they say.
Stones were not, they say.
Fish were not, they say.
Deer were not, they say.
Grizzlies were not, they say.
Panthers were not, they say.
Wolves were not, they say.
People were washed away, they say.
Grizzlies were washed away, they say.
Panthers were washed away, they say.
Deer were washed away, they say.
Coyotes were not then, they say.
Ravens were not, they say.
Herons were not, they say.
Woodpeckers were not, they say.
Then wrens were not, they say.
Then hummingbirds were not, they say.
Then otters were not, they say.
Then jackrabbits, greysquirrels were not, they say.
Then long-eared mice were not, they say.
Then wind was not, they say.
Then snow was not, they say.
Then rain was not, they say.
Then it didn’t thunder, they say.
Then trees were not when it didn’t thunder, they say.
It didn’t lighten, they say.
Then clouds were not, they say.
Fog was not, they say.
It didn’t appear, they say.
Stars were not, they say.
It was very dark.
(Cf. Here. [Via.])
The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2016.05.30 11:59. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen.
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Well, that’s not really the live issue. Not one but two Tom of Finland movies are apparently in process. Neither producer acknowledges the existence of the other. (The producer of the “official” film, Tom, denies that. The other producer ignored my question.) If either movie, or both, actually came to fruition, the producers could easily hire any number of Finns to play Touko Laaksonen at his various ages.
What’s harder to cast is the idealized model in Tom of Finland’s drawings, generically named Kake in the comic books that are not as well known. As the queens on DataLounge pointed out, not only do all Kakes make mesomorphs and roidheads look like 98-pound weaklings, they all have the same nose. It’s a short, flat nose, and it occupies the top of the flowchart when it comes to casting a live actor to embody the illustrated man.
The problem has a solution, and his name is Jon Bernthal, a big strong strapping specimen with in fact just the right nose.
Here we have to be sensitive to Hollywood’s century of casting against type. Bernthal is a hot Jew (if only he were also a ginger), and Tom of Finland knew not of Jews. He could barely draw blacks. For his lovemap was drawn from his time in the Finnish army, from its enlisted men and officers and most of all from their uniforms.
Tony Shalhoub isn’t Italian; Scarlett Johansson (q.v.) is not Japanese; Jon Bernthal is not a Finn, real or imagined.
He is, however, perfect for the role. And he’d do it! Bernthal and Andrew Lincoln achieved the impossible when, in The Walking Dead, they hugged and nuzzled and held and grappled each other with complete violation of each other’s personal space yet no eroticism whatsoever, only brotherhood. I have never seen this before or since.
Here, compare the casting in Beefcake, a film that still holds up and that starred a cast of thousands of very game young men. I know one of them is mildly embarrassed by the whole thing, though I told him not to be. Then there is Bernthal manqué Josh Peace, who these days sports a shaven head but has always been the lissome and open figure you see in Beefcake. I’m sure he looks back fondly on his time there. (Despite walking by his house for years, and despite observing him stride manfully about town, I found no way to ask him. I am still sure that’s how he feels about Beefcake.)
Imagine Jon Bernthal as Tom of Finland’s ideal. An instant classic. Bernthal could just stand there and look beautiful. Easily.
It’ll never happen. Niklas Högner plays Kake in the “official” Tom of Finland film.
Further concerns: Nordics thinking they speak good enough English and can replicate even an iota of the American experience that was half Touko Laaksonen’s life in his later years. In either or both films, I expect Finns looking Finnish, and speaking English in an accent they by definition cannot even detect, acting as “Americans.”
The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2016.05.22 13:48. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen.
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Snowpiercer is a totalizing visual obsession with returning one’s gaze to the symmetrical features of, the gleaming blue eyes of, every bristle of hair on American actor Chris Evans.
To watch Snowpiercer is to enact the “concentration, immensity and intensity” of a timeless Hollywood masculine archetype, a man “ust tall and handsome enough, just manly enough, good with his hands, nonjudgemental, with intelligent eyes and a rich sonorous voice, shivering, cold, vulnerable, needy, beaten to shit and crying.”
The Koreans who created this picture – as Me and Earl and the Dying Girl showed, Koreans are working on another plane of cinematic existence – would be expected to direct such adoration at a blond or a ginger, two somatotypes unknown in their land. But not even with fair delicate Jamie Bell do they do that. Snowpiercer is a hindbrain obsession with finding an excuse to look at Evans’ face over and over again, and, implicitly, an obsession with how that face diverges from Koreans’. An exemplar of the narcissism of small differences, Chris Evans is as Kim Novak to Hitchcock.
If my analysis stretches the bounds of credulity, you must be an heterosexualist male. Cinema is not all about you. Besides, I can prove it.
The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2016.05.14 13:17. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen.
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Fuck-Yeah Tumblères are indeed what the Post said they are – “the happiest blogs on the Web.” I was pleased with how this lamestream-media article dealt with the obscenity built into every title (though it needed to use nonbreaking hyphens). I was even more pleased when the hack, Julia Carpenter, chose a wise instead of a trite example: Fuck Yeah, Brutalism is an ongoing work of scholarship with a six-digit subscriber base.
Then we have Fuck Yeah, Martin Freeman, which illegally but usefully reposts dozens and dozens of photographs of the best-dressed man in England. Freeman to the Times of London:
Many of his clothes are made by the Soho tailor Mark Powell. “What Mark doesn’t know about street fashion and style isn’t worth knowing,” he says. “All the things I’ve been into since I was nine, from teddyboy to skinhead to soulboy to mod, he’s all over it, gets every reference. I also go to George Dyer, the last tailor standing on the Walworth Road, who has a loyal clientele of dodgy old mods and soulboys. I really love Paul Smith and his designs….
“I like people who like clothes. I immediately trust men who are into clothes, even though they could turn out to be horrible people. There is an intelligence around caring about what you wear.”
I have previously laboured to explain to homely, pudgy, body-rejecting hateful downtown progressives (again: tautological), that appearance matters. The “travel-sized” M. Freeman, who is a tad full of himself and has bragged about his big house, redeems that by looking so great absolutely all the time. A sizable contribution to his overall look is his uncanny liminal quantum-state fair hair, which is never the same shade twice but is also never naturally black.
Of all the photographs on Fuck Yeah, Martin Freeman, it is the one I have cropped and included here (origin unknown!) that shows his uncanny colour sense.
It will now be disclosed that for some years I have imagined a kind of independent film, already a doomed prospect right there and more befitting a previous century, in which some duo from the Hart/Freeman/Simm Axis are longtime lovers into whose lives the other one enters. But how? And given that Martin Freeman is wildly better looking than the other two even when calibrated on the sliding British scale inescapable here, how does one make that work?
Why is the only image I have of one of them at the wheel of a right-hand-drive BMW en route home? What happens then?
Further, could Freeman ever be remotely credible as an homosexualist? Not at his current age, I don’t think.
The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2016.05.01 17:11. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen.
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