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strelsau's Journal
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Date:2011-11-05 09:59
Subject:Wuthering Mountain?

I've already noticed from the posters for the new Wuthering Heights that it completely, shamelessly steals the tagline for Brokeback Mountain - Love is a force of nature - really? really? I mean I can see how that fits with WH, but it fit so perfectly and multi-layeredly (and pointedly and politically, and yet not) with BBM, and BBM was such an iconic film, that stealing it just feels a bit... cheap. But now there's also this from the Economist's new review of WH:

Among the other-worldliness of the rolling hills, their love appears entirely natural. But real-world prejudices mean that they can never be together.

Well. Maybe they were consciously going for some sort of BBM echo. Or maybe - as my friend said when we first saw BBM - the story is actually perfectly archetypal, so much for the so-called radical gay twist - two people in a pastoral landscape, and then the fall into the real world.

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Date:2011-10-29 00:06
Subject:"You wouldn't fare too well in a federal prison"

George Clooney makes this oblique tribute to Ryan Gosling's beauty in The Ides of March, a film that also features Ryan getting distracted by the televised image of George while in bed with his girlfriend, and George receiving a call from his ex-lover's phone, only to find that the person on the other end of the line is Ryan. From the poster I expected the movie to be sort of unconsciously homoerotic, I just didn't realise that it would be this blaring.

That said, the thing that interested me most was how normatized the Clooney character was with regard to sexuality. Playing a presidential candidate who's obviously a sort of avatar of himself, who gets to say all the things that real presidential candidates aren't allowed to say - he's an atheist, he's against the death penalty, he favours a non-violent solution to dealing with terrorism, he doesn't think socialism is a terrible thing - the one Clooney-like, anti-presidential attribute that he's missing is Clooney's bachelorhood. He has a pretty, adoring wife and a child. Apparently Clooney could, or wanted to, conceive of a world where a man who supported those policy positions could get elected - but a world where a Clooneyesque bachelor could is beyond even imagination.

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Date:2011-10-24 20:47

I had a weird, hallucinogenic night: waking about 3:20am with increasingly wall-crawling pain, sprawling all over the bed and squatting in increasingly primitive postures in an attempt to find some way to ease it, resting my forehead on my hands in the dark and pretending simultaneously to be a woman pregnant with her first child, her husband looking at her and feeling powerless to help her, and a gay male novelist writing his first heterosexual-themed novel about the pair of them. How damn weird.

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Date:2011-10-12 21:24
Subject:The selection of my pattern

'You think there never might have been a Mrs Lorry?' asked the gentleman of that name.
'Pooh!' rejoined Miss Pross; 'you were a bachelor in your cradle.'
'Well!' observed Mr Lorry, beamingly adjusting his little wig, 'that seems probable, too.'
'And you were cut out for a bachelor,' pursued Miss Pross, 'before you were put in your cradle.'
'Then, I think,' said Mr Lorry, 'that I was very unhandsomely dealt with, and that I ought to have had a voice in the selection of my pattern.'

There's got to be a way into writing about Dickens and... not homosexuality exactly, because the whole point would have to be that it wasn't homosexuality yet. (If you wanted to start your essay, maybe the fact that 1870, the year of Dickens's death, just happens to be the year that Foucault chooses for the birth of the concept of the homosexual). I know, vaguely, that Kosofsky Sedgwick has done stuff about Headstone and Wrayburn and Our Mutual Friend, and the sheer cruisiness of those walks through London. But there's surprisingly little out there, critically, on him and this topic. Frustratingly for me, there seems to be absolutely nothing that I've come across, in the twelve volumes of his letters, to suggest that he was in any way consciously plugged in to the possibilities of gay life via friends who had open same-sex relationships - unlike, say, Browning and his 'two dear Greek ladies'. (Which... Dickens knew everybody. He was keen on the theatre. There's got to be something, somewhere?)

I've just been re-reading A Tale of Two Cities, which seems almost comically suggestive in terms of what would later harden into recognisable queer stereotypes - Miss Pross, the mannish strong spinster devoted to pretty, clinging Lucie Manette (and thinking that the only man good enough to marry her would be her brother); Mr Lorry, the fussy bachelor. And, you know, the exchange above, which would seem to lead so perfectly and neatly to identities and homosexuals as a noun and sexology and John Addington Symonds. Except that it's too neat: and it seems obvious, in context, that Mr Lorry is regretting the fact that he's not going to have a bride like Lucie, he's not regretting his Sekrit Gay Life. So I guess the essay would have to be: what or how much did Dickens's novels contribute, consciously or unconsciously, to the eventual formulation of homosexual types, to ideas about what homosexuality was? And the gossipy, curious, unacademic question would be: how much did he know? And what did he think about it?

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Date:2007-01-04 16:17

From The Advocate:

"I believe in the sanctity and unique role of marriage between man and woman, but I certainly don't believe in discriminating against any American," McCain said in November. He added: "I believe that gay marriage should not be legal."

Seeking to be seen as more conservative than McCain on issues dear to the right flank, Romney seized on the comments, saying: "That's his position, and in my opinion, it's disingenuous.

"Look, if somebody says they're in favor of gay marriage, I respect that view. If someone says, like I do, that I oppose same-sex marriage, I respect that view. But those who try and pretend to have it both ways, I find it to be disingenuous," Romney added.

I hate you, Romney, but I thank you for telling it like it is.

Although the fact that you know how it is may have something to do with the fact that you've been doing the same thing yourself:

Never mind that Romney's own position on same-sex marriage has been questioned in recent weeks after a 1994 letter surfaced from his unsuccessful Senate challenge to Senator Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass. In it, Romney pledged to be more effective in promoting gay issues than the liberal senator.

Sigh. Apparently "lining up to cynically kick the gays no matter what one's private beliefs" is going to be as popular an electoral tool this time as it has been the last two elections.

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Date:2007-01-02 22:16

Apparently John Edwards is "not there yet" on gay marriage.


Consequently, I am "not there yet" on voting for John Edwards. Nor do I really anticipate being "there" any time soon.

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Date:2006-10-09 22:05
Subject:Closet atheism comes to the United States...

But, Franks adds, "my religious preferences are my private business. That's not the business of anybody else."

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Date:2006-05-12 20:07

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