Archive for the ‘Movies and tv’ Category

Arthur Laurents

May 25, 2017

Collecting material for Tuesday’s gay-interest posting on Farley Granger led me to Arthur Laurents (who I wrote a bit about on the occasion of his death in 2011). Yesterday’s posting in this run-up to Pride Month switched to rainbow clothing. Today I’m back to accomplished LGBT people, with a brief posting on Laurents.


Laurents in 1984


“Farley”, the dog said, “get me a slice”

May 23, 2017

Three cartoons in today’s feed: a Bizarro with a talking dog; a One Big Happy with a slice that OMG might grow into a pizza; and a Zippy riff on Farley Granger and They Live by Night:


Write like the wind

May 16, 2017

A few days ago on Facebook a friend despaired of ever getting his Master’s thesis written, and others chimed in with reassurances and encouragement. Somewhat bizarrely, I was reminded of something I wrote to the newsgroup soc.motss back in May 1996: a recollection of a radio dramatization of Ouida’s romantic adventure novel Under Two Flags (set in the Algerian desert), with a character who cries out at a crucial moment.:

My name is Cigarette, and I can ride like the wind!

And so she can. Meanwhile, I slightly revised the quotation, to:

My name is N, and I can write like the wind!

A mantra for the frustrated writer.


Reading in the ’50s

May 15, 2017

(Not much about language here.)

From Eleanor Houck on the 13th, a Mother’s Day posting from Reading Historic Neighborhoods on four places to take your Mother in downtown Reading PA in (roughly) the middle of the last century. Including a place I remember with particular affection, the Crystal Restaurant — which was more or less around the corner from my parents’ store: the Memo Shop, a little costume jewelry store a few doors north of Penn Ave. on 5th St.(while the Crystal was a half block east on Penn Ave. from 5th). Penn Square — 5th and Penn — being the very center of the city. The relevant map:


One of the named features turns out to be key: the Wines & Spririts Stores are right where the Crystal used to be (from 1911 to 1981).


Fags Before Flags, and other in-your-face t-shirts

May 14, 2017

(Plain talk about men’s bodies and sexual practices, so use your judgment.)

Thanks to Greg Parkinson for a link to this John Crisvitello t-shirt:


The slogan is a send-up of the odious BROS BEFORE HOS, preserving only the rhyming, the street language, and a message about balancing allegiances. My reading of the slogan is that it calls for gay men to generally value bonds to other gay men — fags stand with fags — over the sorts of allegiances expressed in flags: nationality, regional identity, religion, race and ethnicity, political affiliation, etc.


Toxic moments

May 13, 2017

First, a story came by on NPR in which a tale of five dead hunters in Oregon played a central role, as did the terrible poison tetrodotoxin. And then an episode of the tv series Death in Paradise in which this poison plays a central role. Rough-skinned newts, pufferfish, and garter snakes all have parts to play in the story, as do arms races in evolution. And of course tetrodotoxin and the entertainments of Death in Paradise.


The news for food, 5/11/17

May 11, 2017

Following on yesterday’s food bulletins — “The Z with the ‘za”, on robot pizza trucks (here), and “Regional potato chips” (here) — today brought Facebook postings by Dan Everett and Kyle Wohlmut, taking us to: recursive pizza, a pizza place in Williamsburg (A Slice Bakes in Brooklyn), camo gouda, a cheese shop in Utrecht, cheese slicers, red and green gouda, camo ice cream, and camo cheesecake.


Four Days in May

May 5, 2017

(There will, eventually, be some references to mansex for Cinco de Mayo, so use your judgment.)

Four occasions that come around every year on the same date: yesterday, the silly Star Wars Day and the sad Kent State Day; today, the pleasantly celebratory National Cartoonists Day and the wildly celebratory Cinco de Mayo (which I’ll focus on in this posting).


Star Wars Day

May 4, 2017

Today, May the Fourth. Yes: May the Fourth be with you. Groan.



May 4, 2017

Two recent items focused on gay men in the closet, though in two quite different ways: Dominic Dunne (1925-2009), the subject of a recent biography (Money, Murder, and Dominick Dunne: A Life in Several Acts by Robert Hofler); and James Beard (1903-1985), the subject of a recent documentary film (America’s First Foodie: The Incredible Life of James Beard). Dunne, who died 40 years after Stonewall, nevertheless spent a lifetime cringing in the closet. Beard, who died only 15 years after Stonewall, was an exuberantly gay man to everyone who knew him, but his acquaintances and employers and the media built a protective closet around him, one that he decided to break out of publicly only at the end of his life — so that the world was robbed of an example of a gay man of great talent, living a rich, full life. (Dunne was, to my mind, no kind of model of how to live a life.)

For what it’s worth, neither man was flagrantly flamboyant, but I pegged them both the first time I saw them talking about their lives and work.