localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
Behind the Candelabra is a 2013 film about Liberace’s relationship with a young man called Scott Thorson. Starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon this story is a biopic based on a book written by Scott Thorson about the experience.

I’m not going to dwell on the film in the sense of its quality- although I will say with actors like those two in the lead roles what can you expect but reasonably good performances- but about why it made me rather uncomfortable watching it.

Cut because I talk for a long time about this )
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
Yesterday I had booked off originally to do work but then at the beginning of the week my Auntie Irene asked me to 'see if I could get the day off' to go and see the Giants at Liverpool.

The Giant Spectacular is an event that has run in Liverpool before in which these amazing marionette giants roam the city. This year they are comemmorating the centenery of the start of WW1.

The giants are amazing works of art, their faces seem incredibly expressive and they walk through the city with cranes and acrobats making them work.

pictures under the cut )

It was actually a really good day, the crowds of people were insane but in a good way, I particularly liked seeing everyone all joined together and looking so excited- there were kids hanging off the railings waving at the 'BFG's Nan'. Builders and their bosses stopped work on the scaffolding to watch, children climbed up the Chinese Arch to see, teenagers climbed up the bigger trees and I even saw one girl in her teens had shinned barefoot up a traffic pole (the roads were shut, they kind of had to be!).

It was a spectacular in the truest sense of the word. The story finishes on Sunday, which of course I can't go to as I've got Mass, but I'm sure I'll get to see it on the news. It seems very rarely do we get this kind of cultural excitement and enthusiasm.

In other news about a month ago I did a little job for one of my relations and they gave me a £10 national booktoken as a thank you. I subsequently discovered that these days one can redeem them online at a place called Hive, which was even better. (National Booktokens promote shopping at your local independent booksellers, which would be brilliant and admirable if not for the fact that there are no local independent booksellers in this town which means a bit of an out-of-the-way journey just to BROWSE.) Anyway I treated myself, feeling absolutely decadently guilty, to copies of the two books I get most out of the library. 84 Charing Cross Road by Helen Hanff and On Writing by Stephen King. I have already re-read (again) 84 Charing Cross Road doing that delicious thing where on the one hand I can't help but devour it, but on the other hand wish to go slowly and savour it. This edition, as with the library's edition, comes with The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street alongside it which I was very relieved by. Now one of these days I'll be able to get hold of Q's Legacy and my life will be complete!

I have however found time to work on the Dissertation of Doom. Today I locked myself away and have worked very hard on my drafting. I'm about half way through the initial amendments I noted for myself, but I need to keep ploughing on because I know when I reach the end of this one, I will have to go back again for the technicals. But it is hot, and I itch because the horrible flies have remembered that they like the taste of my ankles so I am Having A Pause.

That and the mother wants me to google retractable clothes lines to get the best deal as the one she bought today from B&M is both too short and the retraction mechanism is broken.
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
A little over 10 years ago, I posessed a collection of old issues of Gay Times. When we were about sixteen, a friend of mind paid for a year (maybe two year?) subscription in advance, thinking that there would be rather more wank material than there actually was (it remains a sad fact for him that there are no really just genuinely there-for-the-sex-pics gay equivalents of other 'Lad's Mags' to be found on the shelves of any of our local shops). He used to bring them into school for me, in their discretely white plastic envelopes, and I would read all the articles, make notes of the film festivals (and, if we're being brutally honest here, drool a little myself at the ocassional 'underwear model' photo shoots and the salacious phone lines at the back- anyone who has read my little fic The Vocabulophile will get the idea of the type of thing that you used to find there, and rather more embarrasingly, the sort of silliness that gets me rather steamed). The collection proved very useful over the years for my BA dissertation, though a few years ago I bravely recycled the vast majority as I realised that hoarding magazines in the bottom of an old cupboard was a dangerous thing to do coming from a family hardwired to have issues with 'stuff'.

Of course, working on a similar project for my MA I do rather regret having recycled away that large looming resource and have been buying the odd copy of Gay Times, Attitude and a new publication I rather like called Winq- the latter two can only be found in 'The Big Tesco' where Gay Times occasionally appears in Morrisons.

I have yet to see a gay magazine in Asda. Just saying, I do make a note of this kind of thing.

Anyway, back then in, say the early noughties, the personals column at the back of GT used to say things like 'SA M, 40 WLTM SA older male for fun & more. No fems.' or 'M. 19, Slim, good looking, WLTM SA older gent'

SA, or Straight Acting, was pretty much the key word in every sentence. Its continuing presence said a lot to me about issues about masculinity, about ideas of 'fitting in' about the gay scene as a whole. NOW I thumbed through a copy on my desk yesterday and the personals column has shrunk considerably (after all, we now have apps and a lot more online abilities), the advertisers usually in their 60s and 70s and, from the issue on my desk, looking for, or are, TV or CDs. THere is truly not a single requet for 'straight acting' or 'straight passing' on the whole page.

Things continue to change and evolve, in all cultures, including subcultures. And I continue to be fascinated in seeing these changes- in 10 years again will everyone be looking not for TVs but for Camp, when so many theorists tell us Camp is dying if not already dead? Or will everyone in 20 years time be looking for leather daddies, otters & bears? Will they have all the polari? Or will there be no gay magazines at all only fashion and housekeeping and sewing and hobbyist things that no longer look like a toyshop aisle where 'Men's Hobbies (cars, computers, weirdly in Morrisons, Private Eye) , are sharply separated from 'Women's Hobbies' (which are not called that of course, they're called 'Lifestyle' mags (Home & Garden, Celebrity gossip, fashion, beauty, weightloss (to be beautiful), decorating, cooking etc).

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localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
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