Well, my esteemed colleague accompanied me to the inaugural Spunks®: Skinheads & Punks Night at the Black Eagle, or, as I immediately started calling it, Pinheads & Skunks Night.
“Why’d it take you so long?” one could verily ask. Well, some weeks back, apparently everyone from Toronto on Worldskins (op. cit.) received spam alleging that the Black Eagle was entertaining the option of a “spunks” night, as was a bathhouse, at the instigation of the author of the spam.
I wrote back pointing out that the typical Black Eagle “punk”-style wastrels were too poor and strung-out, and were too obviously afflicted with rickets, to make for much of a “scene,” but that the sauna idea was splendid. Imagine bald-headed guys in towels and army boots. I suppose they could keep the braces on. Small danger of nipple chafing, admittedly.
So here we were, walking manfully into the banner-bedecked back room (not, it should be explained, a backroom) downstairs on Friday night. I was shocked out of my gourd to hear Bad Religion playing. Admittedly, one of the more commercial singles, but still: Auspicious! Now follow it up with the Pet Shop Boys and we’ll be all set.
(Aside: So help me, a while back I wrote a little table, rather presaging the current rage for mash-ups, comparing Bad Religion vs. the Pet Shop Boys. The sole remnant I can find is a graphical header.)
The room was one-third “chasers” (and not entirely the usual crowd, either), two-thirds the real thing or reasonable facsimile.
Shall we discuss the punk look?
I am perfectly happy to call it an archetype of the 20th century and concede that shaving your head and wearing tight jeans, certain kinds of shirts, suspenders, and (invariably) Doc Marten boots is merely a form of drag. But it’s oldschool and tends to be meant sincerely. Even if it’s simply a turn-on for you, that qualifies as sincerity in my book.
What the look actually has to do with the original punks, with their Jamaican ancestry and ruffian backgrounds (working class in the English sense), is no longer an issue. William Gibson gave us a brilliant new term: de-recontextualized.
Ngemi’s “shoes are black four-eyelet DMs, the ur-Martens of the first decade of punk, long since de-recontextualized into the inexpensive everyman’s footwear they’d been designed to be.”
The entire punk æsthetic has been de-recontextualized, I think. It is one of the many available hair and wardrobe styles. Because of its greater modesty compared to, say, leather outfits, I think it’s more austere and open to interpretation (“projection”).
In short, I’m OK with the wannabes. Anyway, I was wearing my Doc Martens (vegan cherry).
They were running some skinhead porn for a while there, but it petered out. Anyway, the on-site entertainment was good enough. (I exclude the spectacle of an old fag giving a short dyke a Nº 1 buzzcut.) I wondered where the hell all these lads came from. A well-known leather “educator”/leather-porn “actor,” rarely seen in the wild, appeared out of nowhere decked out in highly convincing skinhead drag, and immediately ordered the highly convincing skinhead fashion accessory of a pint glass of lager. He was swarmed by well-wishers.
My esteemed colleague and I noticed that, despite his large head and superb nose and enormous shoulders, long arms, and gigantic hands (all buttressed, based on my observations, by a rather genial attitude and quite a sharp mind), the nice tight suspended jeans revealed that he has, in Jeff’s turn of phrase, Kermit the Frog legs.
Another illusion shattered. Welcome to gay life.
After getting volubly greeted (we got greeted) by some rat-arse-drunk fella from Geneva, New York (“the middle finger [makes gesture] of the Finger Lakes”), we stood around not getting noticed. That’s not what I go to the Eagle for. I go to the Eagle because I go unnoticed in the other bars.
(Merely as an example, the frog-legged leather “educator” looked me over for exactly a long enough time to decide he should be looking at someone else. Merely as another example, a smart young lad who stood me up for a date situated himself centimetres away from me and succeeded superbly in his goal of ignoring me completely. He then went home with, or at least walked up Church and then disappeared with, a friend of my esteemed colleague.)
Perhaps the skinheads and manqués are more conformist than I had thought. Perhaps they are like Jewesses who just want a nice Jewish husband, and make use of Jewish dating services to find one. Except this skinhead dating service never existed before and will run at best once a month.
While backed against the wall (we were already being ignored, so why not act the part?), I observed one of the tubbier skinheads getting backed against that same wall and very sincerely tongued by a lad who could actually make a mohawk work in ’03. The tubby skinhead (really, this is one part of the stereotype they’re not living up to) then enjoyed having his Fred Perry–manqué shirt hiked up and his nipple tasted.
It was so romantic. I looked at it and all I heard was a song playing in my head: “Take the skinheads kissing. Take them kissing.”
A new miniature research paper I wrote on exactly what happens when your Google search results turn mams-up. What should Google do with a URL you try to search for? What about locked-down PDFs? And is Google tracking your searches?
Dan Savage, Skipping Towards Gomorrah, at the convention of the National Assn. for the Advancement of Fat Acceptance:
[Fat girl] Teresa’s marriage began to fall apart when her husband started putting on weight. “You want to know one of the dirty little secrets of NAAFA?” Teresa said. “There’s a lot of talk about accepting people of different sizes and how beautiful fat is and fat people are. Well, most BBWs aren’t attracted to fat men. I know I’m not. Most of us want nice, good-looking men. Thin men.” Why? “For all the usual looks reasons. When I was really big, I would look at my body and feel disgusted. I don’t want to feel that way when I look at my husband’s body.”
If you’re in any kind of a sub-subculture, chances are you don’t fancy whoever’s in the same boat with you. How many Orientalist fags have Orientalist-fag boyfriends? How many black negroes of colour go out with other black negroes of colour?
I know of some exceptions: Bears (I use the term advisedly) often seek out other bears. Actually, that’s pretty much the only exception. The phenomenon extends all the way to the overhomogenized, overregimented gay-sexualism scene, where your options are top or not-top and that’s where you stay forever. (Worldskins, to its credit, lets you rank yourself by percentage.)
Elsewhere, Dan Savage hires a $500-an-hour whore for the evening.
During the walk to the restaurant, I confessed everything – writer, doin’ research, not interested in “hitting it off”... I was taking her to dinner and a show to pick her brain, not her booty, and anyway I wasn’t the kind of guy who gets into drunken fistfights over women. Emily nodded. She’d picked up on that the moment we met in the lobby.
“Usually when I meet a man at his hotel the first thing out of his mouth isn’t ‘Wow, I totally love your jacket.’ ”
I was thinking about people who want to create their own Weblog, but don’t want to be involved with the set-up, etc., and I figured if you’re really lazy you could just start your own Weblog in the comments section of someone else’s Weblog. I call this concept a “virusblog,” because everything needs a name.
PR-otaku: Logging and annotating William Gibson’s Pattern Recognition is substantively completed. A few odds and ends to tie up. Apart from traveling the world and shit, that’s what I’ve been doing.
I’m trudging through Pattern Recognition by Gibson, logging and annotating it. The book follows the odyssey of a coolhunter obsessed with anonymous video footage posted online.
Spy beat me to it by 12 years.
Joe Clark Had a Posse is my inevitable serial recollection of my time in Austin, wowing the crowds at South by Southwest.
I can confirm that I am appearing at South by Southwest Interactive Festival this Saturday at 5:00 in Austin, Texas. (Texas!)
If you want to have bruncheon or whatever, arrange ’er now, because it’s a whirlwind visit – in on the 7th, out on the 9th.
Pink Bunny is a character in Joshua Kastorf’s Crypto-Candida. Is she real? If she isn’t, how can her LiveJournal be?
In furtherance of my attempt to be mature, pace myself, log gradually, achieve incremental progress, I am finally, after unconscionable delay, posting my recollections of doing New York.
I fell asleep during The Robin Byrd Show, and shot the shit with a blind man. And lived a quasi–Groundhog Day simulacrum for five days.
Read about it all in “International Dateline.” It’s another ongoing serialization project.
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