I didn't feel like writing much more than the title.
A blog about LGBTQ+ History, Art, Literature, Politics, Culture, and Whatever Else Comes to Mind. The Closet Professor is a fun (sometimes tongue-in-cheek, sometimes very serious) approach to LGBTQ+ Culture.
Monday, July 31, 2017
Sunday, July 30, 2017
Rock of Ages
1 Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
let me hide myself in thee;
let the water and the blood,
from thy wounded side which flowed,
be of sin the double cure;
save from wrath and make me pure.
2 Not the labors of my hands
can fulfill thy law's demands;
could my zeal no respite know,
could my tears forever flow,
all for sin could not atone;
thou must save, and thou alone.
3 Nothing in my hand I bring,
simply to the cross I cling;
naked, come to thee for dress;
helpless, look to thee for grace;
foul, I to the fountain fly;
wash me, Savior, or I die.
4 While I draw this fleeting breath,
when mine eyes shall close in death,
when I soar to worlds unknown,
see thee on thy judgment throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
let me hide myself in thee.
Rock of Ages is a popular Christian hymn by the Reverend Augustus Toplady written in 1763 and first published in The Gospel Magazine in 1775.
Traditionally, it is held that Toplady drew his inspiration from an incident in the gorge of Burrington Combe in the Mendip Hills in England. Toplady, a preacher in the nearby village of Blagdon, was travelling along the gorge when he was caught in a storm. Finding shelter in a gap in the gorge, he was struck by the title and scribbled down the initial lyrics.
Saturday, July 29, 2017
Friday, July 28, 2017
The History of Gay Porn, Part III
Thursday, July 27, 2017
History of Gay Porn, Part II
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
History of Gay Porn, Part I
Many gay men, and nearly all of the ones that I know personally, love gay porn. Gay men and their attitudes toward pornography tend not to be as stigmatized as it is with heterosexual men and women, though there are plenty of them who enjoy pornography as well. Pornography as a whole does not have the stigma that it once did, at least not with the majority of the population; in fact, in some ways, it is becoming somewhat more mainstream. I've noticed even with my students, they are willing to admit that they like porn and are much more likely today to admit that they masturbate than my generation had been. I think that my generation was the beginning of that change, but as a whole, the attitudes toward sex are becoming more liberal. I think that part of that is the fact that many people dismiss the AIDS crisis as being something of the past, when it most certainly is not, no matter who well the drug cocktails are working. All that being said, I thought that I would write a post about the history of gay pornography.
I haven't done a really salacious post in a while, and 2011 is the 40th anniversary of Falcon Studios. Founded in 1971 by Chuck Holmes, the company is one of the most recognizable brand names in gay pornography. The estate of Chuck Holmes, who died of AIDS complications in September 2000, gave $1 million for the completion of the San Francisco Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Community Center, the largest individual donation ever to any gay community group in San Francisco.
The Swimming Hole (1884–85) by the American artist Thomas Eakins (1844–1916) is regarded as a masterpiece of American painting, and has been called "the most finely designed of all his outdoor pictures". The painting has been "widely cited as a prime example of homoeroticism in American art". Eakins himself appears in the water at bottom right – "in signature position, so to speak." According to Jonathan Weinberg, The Swimming Hole marked the beginning of homoerotic imagery in American art.
Homoeroticism has been present in photography and film since their invention. During much of that time, any kind of sexual depiction had to remain underground because of obscenity laws. In particular, gay material might constitute evidence of an illegal act under sodomy laws in many jurisdictions. This is no longer the case in the United States since such laws were ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 2003 in Lawrence v. Texas.
The Surprise of a Knight ushered in a brief period of homosexual hardcore pornography in the stag film era. About a year later, in A Stiff Game, an African American male would engage in fellatio on a Caucasian man without the need for drag. The appearance of gay sexual contact on film would soon end, however, and not reappear until the advent of legal gay hardcore pornography after 1970.The film opens with an elegantly attired "woman" with short hair as she finishes dressing for a visitor. As the "lady" completes her boudoir, she lifts her skirts to reveal a thick patch of pubic hair. At this point, an intertitle reveals that the screenwriter is "Oscar Wild" (clearly a pseudonym).
The "lady" goes into the drawing room and offers her well-attired gentleman caller (her "knight") a drink. He refuses it, and she drinks the cocktail. They talk briefly, and then engage in passionate kissing. Whenever the gentleman caller puts his hands on the "lady's" breasts or genitals, "she" pushes his hand away. Finally, she slaps him coyly. The "lady" then apologizes for her aggressiveness by fellating her partner.
The "lady" stands and raises her skirts to reveal that "she" is really a he. The film's second and final intertitle announces "Surprise." His penis is exposed. The man in drag then dances about briefly, making sure that his penis bobs up and down in the air. The gentleman caller re-enters the camera's view, and helps the other man remove his skirt and most of his other clothing. The gentleman caller (now completely clothed again) dances briefly with the nude young man. After a jump cut, the "lady"—now dressed completely in business attire—walks back on screen, winks at the audience, and walks off screen.
It has been noted that the lead character (the "lady") is in costume, yet costumes are the antithesis of the hardcore pornographic film (in which nudity and the display of genitalia and penetration during intercourse are key). "The costume spectacle either steals the show..." as film historian Thomas Waugh put it, "...or becomes a grotesque distraction..." The revelation of the "lady's" penis is not real surprise, Waugh concludes, as audiences knew what sort of film they were getting (e.g., homosexual porn).
The use of drag in The Surprise of a Knight also distances the audience from the performers on screen, Waugh argues. The main character of the film is a drag queen, and yet nearly all the audience members could say that they were not drag queens. Waugh see the film not depicting gay men on screen, but reaffirming heteronormativity and negative stereotypes of gay men and gay sex. John Robert Burger writes that it is unclear from the film whether the visitor knows of the drag queen's gender before the encounter, and that hiding the gender of the drag queen makes it "faux homosexuality". Burger also writes that The Surprise of a Knight is an exception to the norm of stag films, in which the receptive parter in same-sex anal sex is typically perceived to be victimised or punished.
The Athletic Model Guild (AMG) founded by photographer Bob Mizer in 1945 in Los Angeles, California, was arguably the first studio to commercially produce material specifically for gay men and published the first magazine known as Physique Pictorial in 1951. Tom of Finland drawings are featured in many issues. Mizer produced about a million images, and thousands of films and videos before he died on May 12, 1992. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, the advent of 16mm film cameras enabled these photographers to produce underground movies of gay sex and/or male masturbation. Sales of these products were either by mail-order or through more discreet channels. Some of the early gay pornographers would travel around the country selling their photographs and films out of their hotel rooms, with advertising only through word of mouth and magazine ads.
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
Not marble, nor the gilded monuments
Of princes shall outlive this powerful rhyme,
But you shall shine more bright in these contents
Than unswept stone, besmeared with sluttish time.
When wasteful war shall statues overturn,
And broils root out the work of masonry,
Nor Mars his sword, nor war's quick fire shall burn:
The living record of your memory.
'Gainst death, and all-oblivious enmity
Shall you pace forth, your praise shall still find room,
Even in the eyes of all posterity
That wear this world out to the ending doom.
So till the judgment that your self arise,
You live in this, and dwell in lovers' eyes.
Talking directly to his beloved, the speaker begins with some confident words of assurance: no other memorials, however beautiful or permanent, can outdo this sonnet, which will live longer and shine brighter. Other human creations have to deal with time and violent war, but this poem escapes both of these downers.
And because this poem is a poem of praise, preserving the memory of the beloved's beauty and all-round awesomeness, there's good news: the beloved will also escape destruction. In fact, he will live comfortably inside the sonnet and the minds of readers until the end of the world itself.
Monday, July 24, 2017
Astronomy, Part II
Sunday, July 23, 2017
Love Lifted Me
- I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore,
Very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more,
But the Master of the sea heard my despairing cry,
From the waters lifted me, now safe am I.
Love lifted me!
Love lifted me!
When nothing else could help,
Love lifted me!
- All my heart to Him I give, ever to Him I’ll cling,
In His blessed presence live, ever His praises sing,
Love so mighty and so true, merits my soul’s best songs,
Faithful, loving service, too, to Him belongs.
- Souls in danger, look above, Jesus completely saves,
He will lift you by His love, out of the angry waves;
He’s the Master of the sea, billows His will obey,
He your Savior wants to be, be saved today.
Saturday, July 22, 2017
Friday, July 21, 2017
Stellafane. Your first question is probably: what the hell is Stellafane? Stellafane (Latin for shrine to the stars) is the name of the clubhouse built by the Springfield Telescope Makers club of Springfield, Vermont in the early 1920s, and has since come to refer to the club's land and buildings on the summit of Breezy Hill. It also refers to the Stellafane Convention, a gathering of amateur telescope makers and amateur astronomers (star party) held every year at that location. The Springfield Telescope Makers grew out of a class on how to make telescopes that was started by Russell W. Porter in Springfield, Vermont in August 12, 1920. The members of this small group decided to form a club and held their first meeting on December 7, 1923.
The reason I mention Stellafane is because I am going to the convention today. Porter was an alumni of the university that I work for. They are the curators of some Porter material that my Museum would like to borrow. Porter built some great telescopes such as the Hale Telescope at the Palomar Observatory in California. Porter was a pretty fascinating guy as an artist, an Artic explorer, and a telescope builder. So I'm going to Stellafane to help borrow some of the artifacts they have about Porter. It should be an interesting day.
Thursday, July 20, 2017
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Has anyone watched Will? Will is an American drama television series about the (fictional) life of William Shakespeare in his early 20s. The series was ordered for a first season containing 10 episodes, on May 18, 2016, and premiered on TNT on July 10, 2017.
While the show is fictional, there are certain things true about it. There is a real debate over whether Shakespeare was a closet Catholic or not. Also, it shows Christopher Marlowe as being gay, which history says he probably was. Marlowe is played marvelously by Jamie Campbell Bower.
I am also quite fond of Mattias Inwood's character, Richard Burbage. He has a magnificent butt that is shown off quite well in episode two. Also, Colm Meaney is in the show and as a Star Trek fan, I love him.
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
A Better Life
A Better Life
after Julio Cortázar
It’s silly to think
fourteen years ago
I turned thirty.
How I made it that far
I’ll never know.
In this city of hills,
if there was a hill
I was over it. Then.
(In queer years,
are more than.)
Soon it will be fifteen
since the day I turned thirty.
It’s so remote.
I didn’t think I’d make it
to fourteen years ago.
Fear lives in the chest
You say my gray, it makes
me look extinguished;
you make me cringe.
I haven’t cracked
the spines of certain paperbacks,
or learned a sense of direction,
even with a slick device.
But the spleen doesn’t ask twice,
and soon it will be fifteen years
since I turned thirty.
Which may not sound like a lot.
Which sounds like the hinge
of a better life:
It is, and it is not.