Category Archives: dance

In Which We Are Appropriated

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Let me share my outrage with you, yet again. Our story begins in New Orleans in 1985. Homogay mrpeenee is busy leading a happy, quiet homogay life when his puny attention is snagged by a snappy tune called Smalltown Boy by Bronski Beat.

And what a brilliant song it is. It’s the story of a young gay man thrown out of his home because he’s queer, everything he owns “in a little black bag” after already experiencing ostracism and gay bashing. Even those of us lucky enough to have avoided that extreme when we came out could still identify with the pain and the alienation and the fury in that song. Plus it had a really rockin beat.

The singer, Jimmy Somerville, is a role model, fierce and furious and pissed off and not willing to take any shit. He’s a humpy, short redhead (I’ve always had a weakness for them) and his videos dancing around to his music are very appealing, but the message in his songs was for his gay brothers to demand to live our lives unafraid. FUCK TOLERANCE, I DO NOT WANT TO BE TOLERATED. Oops, sorry, I got carried away.

Anyway. Try to imagine my feelings when Super Agent Fred sent me a video of Smalltown Boy covered by some yahoo, Marcus Layton. I’m not including it here because I don’t want it to get even a single more view. The cover is so unoriginal it might as well have been karaoke. The video itself is a classic of the “My cousin has a camera” with abrupt quick cuts of bland youth rollicking around some parking garage with a boosted grocery cart: urban but not too urban, we don’t want to have to mess with any riff raff. It is stripped of any politics in the original and it includes heterosexual humping just to rub salt in the disco wound.

Did anyone involved in this production ever listen to the original, could they have possibly understood the lyrics? Or did they just hear a song they liked, downloaded the lyrics from Google, and recorded their own stupid Brady Bunch cover.

I worry that some people vaguely think the struggle for gay equality is over, that somehow, the right to marry means that The Gays won and now we all can go back to not worrying. I got news for you. In living memory there was a time when simply being gay was illegal, not merely frowned upon or socially awkward. It was against the law and you could go to jail. Not just in some bum fuck rural outlier, but in London and New York. I worry that young people, young queers, think the fight is now about the right pronouns and including the right colors on the right flag. Our living an out life is not inalienable. A Supreme Court Justice recently included, in a draft decision for the court, the suggestion that attacking gay legal rights would be just peachy keen with him.

The kind of appropriation this cover represents, where the queer context of the song is erased, shows how easy it would be, in small encroaching ways, to shove us back into the good old days closet. Just like women and abortion, I can’t believe we’re still fighting this fight. Oh well. At least we know the words to the song.

Smalltown boys, naked edition:

Love them big boys.

You need to get out of the sun, baby.

Dappled.

It’s the peak of beachy weather. At least it is if you’re not living in San Francisco where it remains chilly.

oh, my dudes, I forgot to mention, on July 25, that it was the 15th anniversary of my little blog. Yay.

This seems to have been the first dick pic I published, from August 25, 2007. Another anniversary.

That first year, when I was much more apparently energetic, I cranked out fifty-four posts in one month.

I’m pretty sure I couldn’t think of 54 words now.

Life is a Dance Floor

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I was dancing just now (Pink, God is a DJ.)  Actually, I was just bouncing rhythmically in my chair with lots of head bobbing and drag queen hand gestures and realized Saki was watching me with great concern.  Then he tried to swat at me.

Tragically, I was not accompanied by Jane Lynch and a trio of safety gays since I’m sure Jane would have protected me from Saki.  Or she might have taken his side.  No telling, really.

Brainstorm – Lovin’ Is Really My Game 1977 DISCO

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http://youtube.com/v/kS7UEqO6gjc

Thirty years ago, this was setting the dance floors on fire and it still can. I recommend doing up a whole bunch of coke first and then snorting as many poppers as your nose will hold before cranking this bad boy up cause that’s what it requires.

There’s a long instrumental break in the middle, thoughtfully included to allow dancers to retire to the men’s room to snort up more enthusiasm before they return to the floor. Plus the rythym section includes castanets and how many songs can say that?

My Secret Shame

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OK, all right, I admit it – I actually kind of like Beyonce Knowles. It could be worse. You know the video for “Irreplaceable” where she lowers her chin and rolls eyes at the camera in exasperation about her lunky boyfriend she is busy kicking out the house? You know that look? It’s the exact same look I give R Man when I see how he’s “loaded” the dishwasher. Amazing! It’s like we’re psychically bonded, Beyonce and me. And then, well, actually there’s nothing else, that’s the only reason. But still. I mean, I’ve sexed it up with guys for less reason.

Shut up.

I gotta go.

http://www.11alive.com/assetpool/images

Tripping the Light Fantabulous

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Maybe it was the poll on Fabulon’s blog asking who was the most fabulous, Pet Shop Boys or Erasure that set me off brooding about music from my misspent youth. So now I’ve been haunting YouTube’s videos of bands that have gone the way of all vinyl twenty and thirty years ago. Punk and electronica and New Wave and New Romantics and New This and New That and New Knickers and all of it so very important to someone I can hardly remember being, except for the music.

I was a big Flock of Seagulls fan, yes, it’s true, I have no shame. Ramones, Pete Shelley (I have three versions of “Ever Fallen in Love” currently on my iTunes,) the Go-Gos, Roxy Music, Soft Cell, B 52s – as long as it was loud, I’d embrace it.

And dancing, or rather, the wild flailing I claimed was my dancing. Interpretive movement for the absolutely graceless, didn’t bother me. You know the incredibly annoying queen thrashing in the corner of the bar with his head down and eyes closed, colliding into anyone unlucky enough to fall into his orbit? That was me and I guess I should apologize now, years later about knocking the beer out of your hand, but I can’t because I still don’t care. I said then if no one is bleeding, you haven’t really been dancing and I stick with that.

I suppose it would have been bad enough had I been some Kylie Minogue sized threat, but I’m 6’2” and my arms are more than a yard long. When I would launch into my dervish routine, I would take up considerable real estate.

My main patch was a dingy, tiny bar in New Orleans called Jewel’s. Do you remember the glory that was Jewel’s? No dance floor, not that that slowed me down and staffed with a fabulous DJ, the late, totally great Doug Bryson. Doug would crank up the bass so far, song lyrics were completely obscured. Imagine my surprise to find out all these years later that Joy Divison had words to their music.

My dear friend, the divine DianefromTexas would simply dive for the sidelines when she saw me winding up for some of my terpsichorean madness, it’s one of the reasons I adore her so. Magda, another long suffering accomplice from those vanished days, would just get behind me and enjoy the open space I would clear.

When Tim, the urban street pirate artiste (http://www.superagentfred.com/ ), recently told us about a mutual friend, Jen, who defended her personal space in a bar from some Dancing Queen by giving her a good stiff bif, it was like a bad flashback. Jen’s on the wee side and so cute, but she’s tough. I applauded her, but secretly shuddered, knowing that it could have been me. Of course, I haven’t cut loose in years, but it could happen. Just don’t start up any Buzzcocks.

I gotta go