Sunday, July 26, 2009

'Boy Meets Boy' - A Very Sweet Sex Education Film from the Korea Gay Men's Human Rights Group

This is a very sweet sex education film from the Korea Gay Men's Human Rights Group about, among other things, the dangers (and thrills) for younger inexperienced gays of picking up a guy in the streets ...

The central safety message is put in a song from a rather magical kinda creature ...

... who gives some general tips ...

Then there's a cartoon with some specific pick-up techniques that (I think they're saying) will help prevent you hitting on straight guys ...

The result of which might be ...

Hope you like it ...

... cos I think it's effective and cute!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Music from Heaven at 5.15am

Just been listening to some heavenly music from Jeff here - slow, exquisitely sweet, introspective, simple, sensuously caressing, the instrumentation pulled right back to essentials ...

... bliss.

Just thought I'd like to share it before I hit the sack - it's 5.15am!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

'I Never Knew How Good Our Songs Were Until I Heard Ella Sing Them' (Ira Gershwin)

Ella Fitzgerald (1917-1996)

I was listening to some Ella this morning - 'Manhattan' - and understood it just couldn't be sung any better - differently yes but not better.

This first lady of song molds every single musical phrase and lyric so that the combination is totally meaningful and individual and never musically commonplace.

So I needed to post a couple of songs!

'Every Time You Say Goodbye' (London, 1965) ...

Ella Fitzgerald 'Bewitched Bothered and Bewildered' ('The Nat 'King' Cole Show', 1960s) ...

Did Anyone hear her live?

And can say what the experience was like?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

What You'd Do for Love

A man escapes from a prison where he's been locked up for 15 Years. He breaks into a house to look for money and guns. Inside, he finds a young couple in bed.

He orders the guy out of bed and ties him to a chair. The convict gets back into bed, handcuffs the wife to the bedposts, gets on top of her and begins kissing her on the neck. Then he gets up and goes into the bathroom.

While he's in there, the husband whispers to his wife "Listen, this guy must be an escaped convict - look at his clothes! He's probably spent a lot of time in jail and hasn't seen a woman in years. I saw how he kissed your neck. If he wants sex, don't resist, don't complain - just do whatever he tells you. Satisfy him no matter how much he nauseates you. This guy is obviously very dangerous. If he gets angry, he'll kill us both. Be strong, honey. I love you!"

His wife replies: "He wasn't kissing my neck. He was whispering In my ear. He told me that he's gay, thinks you're cute, and asked if we had any Vaseline. I told him it was in the bathroom. Be strong. I love you, too!"

Monday, July 13, 2009

Richard Kennedy 'A Boy at the Hogarth Press' and Other Glimpses of Virginia and Leonard Woolf

Richard Kennedy - 'Virginia Woolf Setting Type at the Hogarth Press'

A while ago I did a post on a talk given by Virginia Woolf on the BBC in 1937 and added the audio cos I was interested in the immediate sense it gave of the writer, well, sort of but that's explained in the post.

And today I was reading a little book written and illustrated by Richard Kennedy in 1972 about his time as a 16 year old factotum at the Hogarth Press in 1928 ...

It is written in the first person narrative of the boy who had just left school to go to work, with this being enhanced by the inclusion of letters to friends at that time.

The charm of the little volume is in part due to the insights into the ordinary day-to-day life and conditions at the Hogarth Press ...

The Hogarth Press where I'm working, is in the heart of the literary world. ... The premises are a bit smelly as we work in the basement which was the kitchen quarters in an epoch when light and sanitation were not considered important for servants. ... The WC is just a cupboard without light and some holes in the door. ... Birrell asked me if LW still uses proofs in the WC. ... (one day) a large rat ran across the floor of the office towards Mrs W's studio.

... and into the working lives of Leonard and Virginia Woolf, away from the glittering literary world of Bloomsbury.

We get very un-Virginia-like glimpses of Virginia ...

I sat next to Mrs Woolf who rolled her shag cigarettes on a tray in front of her

... and descriptions of her in old slippers and a worn dress packing up bundles of newly printed books to send to bookshops, a fag hanging from the side of her mouth.

Whereas the more expected image of Mrs Woolf smoking might be ...

We hear about VW knitting and reading 'The Sexual Life of Savages'.

And of LW skating in Richmond Park ...

'and stopping to pee in a very casual sort of way without attempting to have any sort of cover'

... and talking with the author about pornography ...

Leonard Woolf and I have long discussions about pornography on our walks around the square. It seems he condones it when it's to do with sex, but doesn't enjoy lavatory humour.'

And stories such as ...

'Mrs Woolf was in a very happy mood. She said she had been to a nightclub the night before and said how marvellous it was inventing new foxtrot steps. ... Mrs Woolf [went] on to say how much she had enjoyed kicking up her heels.'

... all of which makes me not so afraid of Virginia Woolf!

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Last Tasmanian Tigers (Thylacinus Cynocephalus)

The very last Thylacine or marsupial Tasmanian Tiger died in Hobart Zoo in 1936.

Hobart Zoo in the 1930s

And what makes this even more galling is the fact that there's the fair amount of film footage of this now extinct large mammal - taken between 1912 and 1932. Mainly at Beaumaris Zoo (later Hobart Zoo) and at London Zoo.

Animals caught in the wild were usually sold to zoos, like this mother and her three pups who were trapped by Walter Jack Mullins at Tyenna in the Florentine Valley in southern Tasmania in February 1924 ...

Mother and her three pups, trapped by Walter Jack Mullins at Tyenna in the Florentine Valley in southern Tasmania in February 1924

... and then sold to Hobart Zoo. It's very probable that the very last thylacine was one of the pups in this litter.

The earliest tiger footage is from 1912 and shows a thylacine being fed through a wire fence, while the owner of the Beaumaris Zoo, Mary Grant Roberts, stands by. Her long black dress is just visible to the right of the keeper at the beginning.

The next clip was taken in early 1928 and firstly shows a man teasing two tigers with his hat, and then the animals going into their wooden enclosure shed where perhaps they sleep.

This footage below was taken in late 1928 and shows a tiger interacting with a man through a wire fence. What's revealing here is the way the animal moves : rising up easily and steadily on its hind legs a bit like a kangaroo.

This last clip is from 1933 and shows the last thylacine prowling its cage ... and also demonstrating its enormous jaw extension.

There have been countless searches over the decades in more and more remote places for any last surviving tigers - to assuage our collective guilt in this extinction. But of course, nada!

In a further and latter day guilt-reduction exercise, there's a pretty big effort on at the moment to extract DNA from a female infant preserved in alcohol in 1866 ...

Infant female thylacine preserved in alcohol in 1866, Australian Museum, Sydney

... to implant it in the egg of (perhaps) a Tasmanian Devil host and ... well, you know the rest.

Hopefully people have learned the lesson ... what do you reckon?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

'Take the Parcel, Feel It and Pass It On, That's All You Can Do'

There's a metaphor in the 2006 movie 'The History Boys' (based Alan Bennett's 2004 award-winning play) that seems to work particularly well - for me - in catching the experience everyone probably has of striving for their necessarily tentative and incomplete 'meaning of life'.

The metaphor is being passed a parcel, feeling through the wrapping to intuit the contents and then having to pass it on.

This metaphor is offered by Hector (Richard Griffiths), the general studies teacher of final year students in a secondary school in the UK in 1983 ...

... during a excursion in 1983 of teachers and boys to a medieval abbey ...

It's been ringing round in my head ever since I saw the film ...

... so I thought it was a sign for a post!