On the left, the cover of today’s homosexualist trash fortnightly (a phrase that can be rearranged however you wish), Fab. On the right, an ad from the April 1988 Spy.

The Fab issue devotes most of its feature well to a set of fashion spreads. “Dead Sexy” carries the following lede:

Tragedy struck en route to Fab’s annual underwear shoot. Swerving to avoid an adorable fluffy kitten, Fab’s busload of models and undergarments plunged off a cliff and all on board succumbed to the injuries sustained. Due to the recession[,] Fab was unable to afford a new crew of models…. [E]ver-resourceful photographer G. Elliott Simpson… was able to convince the coroner [continues for some time – Ed.].

In other words, it’s a fashion shoot of skinny boys in underwear pretending to be dead. I gather this is sexy as far as some young fags are concerned.

When Fab’s associate editors were still in kindergarten, Michael Max Leather’s advertisement in Spy, headlined “Another Fashion Victim,” prompted a minor scandal. Note the model on the slab is actually toe-tagged. Note also it’s an illustration.

If gay porn isn’t like straight porn (it isn’t), is gay fashion photography different from fashion illustration? Yes, because it’s real. Here Fab makes fucking a dead guy seem racy and naughty. But where does that idea fit in the continuum of gay history?

They wouldn’t know, of course. They’re too young to have anything resembling the general cultural memory that let me dig up the antecedent in Spy in mere minutes. They don’t know the story of Dennis Nilsen, a British homosexualist mass murderer with erotic fantasies of death. (They haven’t read Killing for Company.) The Nilsen case was so shocking and, as serial killings tend to be, celebrated that it inspired a dance piece, and later film, by DV8 Physical Theatre, Dead Dreams of Monochrome Men (q.v.).

They don’t even know about Jeffrey Dahmer.

Here, then, is the future of the gay community – the gay community, not any other one – in a nutshell: Twinks ignorant of the history of their own kind blithely reopening old wounds. These are, of course, the same guys who in fact only know unsafe sex and will keep AIDS alive for another hundred years (even as it kills them all off or turns them into Joe·My·God-like deformities).

It is even more unnerving that this abomination saw the light of day given that Fab is operated by the same conglomerate that owns all or part of nearly every other gay media outlet in Canada – including, soon enough, one of the porn channels. One would have expected more in the way of institutional memory.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2009.08.06 20:23. 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:

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