Tom of Finland is the pretty good biographical feature film I ultimately saw in an actual movie theatre after vainly vying for Jon Bernthal to portray Kake.

Setting aside the hideously unreadable Arial “subtitles,” which are not the sort of thing one can really set aside, the picture betrays Touko Laaksonen’s entire life’s work and legacy in its last minutes.

  • Who, Tom asks, falls within his pantheon?

    straight and gay…

    No. Just men who love, and fuck the living daylights out of, men. No straights.

  • Who can be a “Tom’s Man”?

    Strange-looking creature with lipstick. Touko: Who can be a Tom’s man?

    Well, first of all, not a man in a dress, or a female (elsewhere seen, I thought – on review, it was this tragic cross-dresser all along).

    Crowd shot shows young Chinese male among others, all older and White. Anyone can be a Tom’s man

    And really, probably not epicene stick-thin Gaysians, either.

Of course there is room to cast nonwhites in White literary roles when it comes time to shoot a filmic adaptation. Not a lot of room, but some, and if anything I would prefer so-called colourblind casting to intentional diversity propaganda.

But Tom of Finland illustrations, like any other visual work (including comic books), specify the visuals. It isn’t left to your, or an activist’s, imagination. Scarlett Johansson (q.v.) actually cannot play Major in Ghost in the Shell, except for the fact that she looks just like the animé progenitor.

Tom of Finland’s beloved men in uniform were not females, transgenders, or epicenes in uniform. We know that conclusively because he drew them for us and pictures are real.

Just as there aren’t two kinds of women (including those with penises [“Get over it!”]), in this context there’s a border, a fence, a wall between men in Tom of Finland’s imaginings… and everybody else. Nothing says you’ll be on the inside, and yes, we will tell you that to your face and we will keep you out.

(Cf.Tom Girls.” Separate is equal here.)

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2018.05.23 15:32. 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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