Saturday, July 23, 2005

Gay Cancer, like I said before at one point AIDS was called Gay Cancer, but today there is a health condition called gay cancer. Here's a bit more history, elaborating on what was previously posted: In the early years of the epidemic and before the discovery of HIV in 1984 by Robert
Gallo, health officials assured the "general population" that there was nothing to fear from the new illness attacking young white gay men from New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The mysterious sickness was quickly labeled gay-related immune deficiency syndrome, or GRID for short. Some people simply called it the "gay plague." The hallmarks of the new epidemic were so-called "gay cancer" the purple skin tumors of Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) found on the bodies of some homosexuals and a rapidly fatal parasitic-caused pneumonia dubbed "gay pneumonia."

Today, it was announced that there is a need for over 55 million dollars for AIDS research from now until 2008, a headline from Le Monde: La lutte contre le sida nécessite l'apport de 55 milliards de dollars supplémentaires d'ici à 2008

But Andy, how did Andy become contextualized in relation to "gay cancer?" His art has been related to the tragic developments of AIDS and its early days as "gay cancer": His choice of endangered species from the animal kingdom is a curious one. Many critics at the time reviled the series as kitchy and blatantly commercial. But when this series was produced, the HIV/AIDS epidemic was in its early years; although not well known across the country, the “gay cancer” was wreaking havoc on the New York art and fashion scenes. Art historian Wayne Koestenbaum was the first to point out that gay men were an endangered species, and that perhaps Warhol was reacting to the threat.

Here's a commentary on AIDS, its early days as "gay cancer" and its relation to Andy's diary: Prior to Steve Rubell's (owner of Studio 54) arrest for tax evasion, the entries were dominated by descriptions of New York City nightlife and name dropping. In 1982, there seemed to be a renaissance of social activity, albeit tempered, with a new group of regulars (Chris Makos and his boyfriend Peter, Jon Gould, etc.). AIDS was originally referred to as "gay cancer." What is striking me most in this re-reading of the Diaries is how much has been left out. There are a lot of gaps, especially when it comes to Warhol's personal relationships. For an overview of NYC's nightlife and artworld circa 1977 - early 1987, this book is essential. Social and popular culture historians will delight at Warhol's wry observations of celebrities and superstars in his immediate sphere. I remember when this book was first published, without an index. That was, in retrospect, a public relations coup. People were forced to comb through the volume to see who merited a mention.

And Fire Island, where Andy attended Calvin Klein's parties is now being historized in relation to AIDS: White Party, T-Dances, AIDS activism — so many of the silly and profound cornerstones of contemporary gay life were born on the narrow beaches of New York’s Fire Island, or so states this fine documentary by Crayton Robey. It’s the post-Stonewall, early AIDS years that dominate Island history and this film — from the wild abandon of outdoor sex in the Pines, to the summer Larry Kramer stood on the ferry landing handing out fliers warning of a new “gay cancer.”


Friday, July 22, 2005

Real apartments. Just what are real apartments after Andy? Given that the comment on a desire to shoot real apartments is in the same entry as to someone speculating he is a "has-been," one has to wonder what real really meant to Andy.

Here is a "has been" turning 12 Million: Andy Warhol's 1963 portrait of film icon Liz Taylor has been auctioned for more than $12.6m (£6.7m) in New York.

Beyond kitsch, a has been finds himself in books professing high culture based on the careful appropriation of rear-guard aesthetics: In his bravura account of Warhol's life and work, scholar and culture critic Wayne Koestenbaum gets past the contradictions and reveals the man behind the blond wig and dark glasses. Nimbly weaving brilliant and witty analysis into an absorbing narrative, Koestenbaum makes a convincing case for Warhol as a serious artist, one whose importance goes beyond the sixties.

And what people want out of Warhol is best understood in a brief comment following the above review: I am a huge Warhol fan. This book is pretty self-contained about Warhol's films. Nothing else. No Studio 54 anecdotes. A TOO brief mention of shooter Valerie Solanas. Not much gossip. Just about the films. Very, very, boring. Stinky even. The writer tries too hard at being artistic and is smuggy and smirky as if he and Warhol are pulling one over on you. I now know everything about Warhol's films...but little about him.

Andy, the "has been" is only second to Picasso in the art market, arcording to, and his foundation still makes 8 Million a year. The machine keeps producing even after the "has been" has been gone. It is funny that Andy thought it was funny.


Thursday, July 21, 2005

Tootsie and drag. The white man and the east, that's what I'm talking about: Men have been dressing as women on stage for hundreds of years, dating back to the thirteenth century when the church forbade the appearance of female actors but condoned that of men and boys disguised as the opposite sex.  Forms of transvestism can be traced back to the dawn of the theater and are found in all corners of the world, notably in China and Japan.

Hoff it up Dustin (How many four word reviews can you take. Following are some; note that these are separated as short sentences): Hoff-man, hoff-woman. offman's Best Actress Oscar. Conan the Author. Drag to riches story. Actor in cross-dress rehearsal. Durning: yearning... learning... burning. Dustin becomes 'TV' star. Almost turns Lange lesbo. Over-actor becomes over-actress. Ugly shemale gains employment. Dustin's drag defies detection. Hoffman is ugly bitch. Hey! I'm draggin' here! Cross actor becomes cross-dresser. Tranny Hoffman gains employment. Jobbing actor acting female. Hoffman's crossover appeal. Hoffman's posture is terrible. Unemployed actor dons breasts. Chauvinist turns transvestite feminist. Hoffman becomes better half. Hoffman fails to convince. Dustin dusts, makes point. Dustin Hoffman in drag. Actor goes drag; wins. Dustin's Dorothy's a drag. Durning experiences 'Crying Game'. Frivolous (Hoff)man in drag. Busty Dustin bustling, dustin'. Hoffman makes fine woman. Actor falsie-fies resume. Wo-man Dustin and cleaning. Hoffman frocks up. Dustin drags in soap. Dorsey dons Dame Dorothy. HoffMan Trans is shunned. Dustin becomes leading lady. Dustin touches female side. Michael Dorsey = Dorothy Michaels. Hoffman wears the panties. Hoffman's temporary sex change. Hoffman does Drama, Queen. Hoffman becomes soap starlet. Hoffman creates 'dotty' charactor. Transvestite funds roomate's play. TV stations of Cross-Dresser. Feminist comedy stars man. Dustin time for crossdressing! Dustin dons dame face. Pauper is the princess.Hoffman- queen of soaps. Soap-opera surprise stripshow. Unemployable actor becomes actress. Hoffman comes out closet. Desperate Dustin does Doubtfire. Fame finds fake female. Sexism other way around. Hoffman's dragging. Dustin does drab drag!


Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Looking into Bo Derek's role in Tarzan, all I found were her breasts all over the net. And this review: You know this isn't your father's Tarzan movie when the MGM logo appears on screen and the lion's roar is replaced with a Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan yell. The adventure begins with a narrator (Wilfrid Hyde-White) relating the legend of Tarzan to his fellow club members, one of whom is presumably Edgar Rice Burroughs. This storytelling device might explain why Tarzan the Ape Man (1981) focuses on Jane's point of view. After all, a bunch of dirty old men would much rather hear tales about a nubile blonde than the Lord of the Apes. Need one say more... Bo did not need to eat a banana according to Hollywood standards--it was all about her physique. Although considering a Freudian reading on the banana eating performance, one must wonder other things about Bo.

Andy, Andy, screaming at people. Pat Hackett, who's the editor of the Warhol Diaries used for this set of entries, is not scared to show the true face of the celebrity butterfly. Although in her introduction, she makes Andy's rants at the office to be somewhat liberal acts of expression where nobody got fired. She writes,

Andy had three ways of dealing with Employee incompetence, depending on his mood. Soometimes he'd watch for minutes at a time and then, raising his eyebrows and closing his eyes philosophically, turn away without saying a word; sometimes he'd rant and rail for hald an hour at the offender, though nobody would ever get fired; and sometimes he'd suddenly break into an impromptu imitation of the person--never a literal one, but rather his interpretation of their vision of themselves--and it was always funny.

Now we have Hackett's own interpretation (her disinterested interpretation as editor) of Andy, defining how the man who desired to be a machine functioned, not according to her, but to himself.


Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Wassup with CK, Andy gives much to speculate about. Apparently, the fashion guru did his thing since his early teens: Can you imagine a young boy growing up in Brooklyn in the late 1940’s whose major pre-occupation was designing, sketching and sewing fashionable outfits for women? It is sometimes hard to understand and visualize genius. This particular boy spent his childhood on such projects, and eventually earned himself scholarships to both the New York High School of Art and Design; and the Fashion Institute of Technology at a time when America’s tastes were just emerging as original tastes from an uniquely American experience, rather than a copy of the European masters. 

Hook up the Bronx for its rich history: Fashion designer. Born November 19, 1942, in the Bronx, New York, Klein was raised in the borough's Mosholu Parkway sectionÑa middle-class Jewish community of first and second-generation immigrants.

And this is when I really had his name in my head, day to day: Throughout his career, Klein has come under criticism for his ubiquitous and controversial ad campaigns, most notably those that featured Kate Moss, Mark Wahlberg, and Antonio Sabato Jr. In 1995, he roused antipornography advocates with a series of commercials that featured adolescents in sexually evocative poses. Klein pulled the ads after being denounced by President Bill Clinton and the Catholic League. Polemics, how far will they get you? As far as being watered-down to a single descriptive line: Show some flesh in a particular magazine and you’re a pornographer ... flash some skin on a public bus and you’re a Calvin Klein ad. And since Andy talks about how they all talked "gay gay gay" at Calvin's hook up, here is a list of commercials with gay subtext. Calvin, as you will notice, has a nice place on the list.

A snippet: In an unusually controversial Calvin Klein campaign made to look like child pornography, youth are asked revealing questions by an unseen man from behind the camera.


Monday, July 18, 2005

The Marquis de Sade, what did he do? This sounds quite nice about him: Sade's was often a life in which reality and fiction were intertwined. As a passionate libertine and lover that he was, the time he spent in prison must have been devastating. Let the intellectual speak: In his imprisonment, his sexual drive became a sickness through which he strove to extend from the very body, which kept it captive. The body Sade had such control over had become a prison much as Vincennes, the Bastille, and finally Charendon. The depths to which he fought to escape his body compared, and not unreasonably, to the Psychopathia Sexualis of Krafft-Ebing.

Why was de Sade convicted? Here a version of the incident: Upon entering the room, the Marquis bolted the door behind them and immediately demanded to know if Mlle. Testard had religious convictions, if she was a faithful adherent to the teachings and practices of the Roman Catholic faith. When she responded affirmatively, the Marquis proceeded to harangue her with the most vile and degrading insults. To Testard’s horror he also began to engage in the most provocative and blasphemous acts, including masturbating into a chalice, referring to the Lord as “motherfucker” and inserting two communion hosts into the terrified young woman before entering her himself, all the while screaming, “If thou art God, avenge thyself!”

And then he went to jail: At 9:00 am the following day, Mlle. Testard’s procuress arrived to find her young charge in a most hysterical state. They rushed immediately to the local police commissioner who took the young woman’s deposition. Donatien Alphonse Francois, Marquis de Sade was arrested ten days later by Paris Police Inspector Louis Marais, and, for the first of several times in his life, the Marquis was imprisoned for acting on his lewd and debauched convictions.

I dont think this is exactly what Vicki Morgan was referring to. Maybe some of it had to do with Salo-like material. But one thing that I have always encountered about De Sade is that everyone mentions him and nobody really wants to talk about what he did or what he professed. No details. Maybe most people have not read him. But he certainly is known for his Sadism... I do remember a friend once telling me that she had seen Salo and that she could not eat for a week. She was sick to the stomach. And when I asked her to tell me what happened in the film, she evaded telling me details. Everything was really abstract. The closest she got was, "the children were sexually abused by these army officials, who made them eat shit and torture them, and ughh... some people walked out of the theater, and I wonder if it is really a film that should be shown?" So, I wonder what those things Vicki Morgan had to do were...


Sunday, July 17, 2005

Teeth! Teeth in Manhattan. Teeth stores, dasswat i'm tawkin'bout. What to find online when looking for a teeth store... Float a Horse's Teeth -- What Does that Mean and Why is it Necessary? [...] Floating means to smooth or contour your horse's teeth with a file (called a "float"). Unlike your own teeth, your horse's teeth keep growing. At times, your horse's teeth may develop sharp edges, making it difficult for her to chew food, hold a bit, or simply have pain and discomfort inside her mouth. Admittedly, that is not a human teeth store, but that's what I got in the search. C'est l'algorhythm de Google that made it possible.

But what did Andy do with those teeth he carried home? Are there any traces online? Not sure. This is what I got, a page on Andy's U.S. stamp, which has a link called "show your teeth," which describes a set of stamps as follows: What a country can become proud of! In 1897, the Irish author Bram Stoker (1847-1912) wrote a book on the adventures of Count Dracula.
This added to the recognition of the vampire in the literary world. Genre amateurs know the name Transsylvania, a Roman province where the bloodthirsty noble was born. That’s why the Roman Postal Services decided to issue a Dracula block which was released last year. Now it turns out that, apart from 15000 perforated blocks, 10000 blocks were divided that lack this perforation. A job for Count Dracula and his ferocious teeth probably... ?

Andy did think about teeth a bit it appears: Ugly teeth and perfect teeth
Thus, even as a rich and famous man, whenever he could, he would go to help feed the homeless at the church of Heavenly Rest on 90th Street. “Andy would fix the coffee, serve the food, and help clean up. He was truly a friend of these friendless people. He loved these forgotten people of New York and they loved him back,” one witness recounts. Warhol did not keep these gestures of his secret. On the contrary, every so often he would try to drag one of his reluctant friends to this kitchen for the poor. And once they were inside, he did not allow any protesting, commenting, “If we are here, it is because we wanted to be here.” Later, in his diary, he left a trace of this experience: “It is a different world. You see people with ugly teeth. And we are used to all these people with perfect teeth.”

And what about Andy TV?
Andy Warhol's Fashion was shown on Manhattan Cable, Andy Warhol's TV was shown on the the Madison Square Garden Network and Andy Warhol's Fifteen Minutes was shown on MTV

More, The artist began the 1980s with the publication of POPism: The Warhol '60s and with exhibitions of Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century and the Retrospectives and Reversal series. He also created two cable television shows, "Andy Warhol's TV" in 1982 and "Andy Warhol's Fifteen Minutes" for MTV in 1986.


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