Anthropology

Tom of Finland
A tame Tom of Finland

I can’t remember the first time I saw one of the drawings by Touko Laaksonen, better known as Tom of Finland. It’s as if they were already in my head, iconic of gayness and man-ness, when I came out in 1992. I’d been titillated by some of the drawings of…

Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson
An essential document for our collective queer history

After Roland Emmerich’s Stonewall was rightly lambasted two years ago for focusing its story on a fictional middle-class white boy, I expressed hope that the film that would eventually become The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson would help correct the record. I think it does, becoming an essential document for our collective queer history.

Ex. 1 of cultural discourses of addiction
On the effects of cultural discourses of addiction

If you’re not one of my Facebook friends, you may not know what’s going on in my non-film-critic professional life. I’m an anthropologist, remember?If you’re not one of my Facebook friends, you may not know what’s going on in my non-film-critic professional life. I’m an anthropologist, remember?

Best of Enemies
Punditry, celebrity, and linguistics

In looking at the last three reviews that I’ve published and forgotten to post here, I realized they were all documentaries. Since I’m only getting published every two weeks now, I’m feeling less of a need to be focusing on what’s big right now and rather on what I think you should see that you probably haven’t heard about. Or that’s the idea anyway.

Votives for Leonardo Gabriel Ramirez on July 3, 2015
Virgil and Burns

Yesterday evening, I was walking up Virgil, and a half block from the corner of Burns, I saw a stereotypically dressed and affected hipster — that slur for creative class types — strolling around the corner laughing on his cell phone. He strolled right into the collection of votive candles that have populated the southwest corner of that intersection since Leonardo Gabriel Ramirez, a 17 year old boy from the neighborhood, was shot and killed on May 23.

all-about-eve-anne-baxter-bette-davis-marilyn-monroe1
A whole bunch of movies every queer boy should see

Last weekend, I was hanging out with a sweet young faglet, and it became clear that many of my boyfriend and my film references were flying over his head. I take my queer culture and queer acculturation seriously, so while we were all watching Victor Victoria, I set out to write a list of a movies that every queer boy should see. It got long.

Longtime Companion
Again, Never

It’s a fantasy; it will never happen, of course, and it is only in the film to make you cry, to create a false catharsis that once recognized as a lie will make you very angry. And so, it is required watching.

Harvey Milk
This is why I do what I do

Today is the first Harvey Milk Day. After a long battle, our governor signed Mark Leno’s bill making Harvey Milk’s birthday a state holiday “day of recognition.” The law, SB-572, simply “encourage[s] public schools and educational institutions to conduct suitable commemorative exercises on that date.” Whatever that means. Well, it means that if you live in a county whose school board is run by anti-intellectual bigots, you’ll never learn about Harvey Milk.

Simmah Down Now
#AmazonFail: Simmer down now. Or not.

I think I’ve pissed off some of my friends and colleagues over the last couple days by not being as quick to boycott Amazon for their newly discovered “policy” concerning “adult” books. Well, it probably wasn’t my reticence that annoyed. I may have pissed off some folks by playing Devil’s…

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