Sunday 14 July 2024

shelly’s leg (11. 690)

For Bastille Day 1970, Seattle’s gastronomical scene arranged a dinner party and parade to showcase their establishments, and a freak accident involving an antique cannon loaded with confetti, which during the route had dipped from its skyward trajectory and fired into the crowd resulted in the establishment of the city’s first disco—we learn via the New Shelton wet/dry an all inclusive space—yielding a triumph, fabulous but short-lived and returning to tragedy, from this mishap.

Among the spectators was one Shelly Bauman, whom at close range sustained life-threatening injuries from the festive munitions and the eponymous (in the tradition of taverns of olde) leg had to be amputated. Confined to a wheelchair for the rest of her life, Bauman sued the municipality and event-planners for a settlement of several hundred thousand dollars and eventually used this as seed money to purchase a former hotel and turn it into a rather fabulous club scene and outreach centre, no expense spared and unapologetically gay, running from 1973 to 1977. Read more at the links above. 


one year ago: the Talking Heads’ second album (with synchronoptica), molecule of the month, social summaries plus misquoting Marie Antoinette

seven years ago: Trump in Paris, personality quizzes plus the composite photographs of Fong Qi Wei

eight years ago: but let us return to our sheep at hand

nine years ago: wiping out the buffalo, assorted links to revisit plus the Greek economic crisis

eleven years ago: making banking scary again plus a visit to Bad Homburg

Friday 12 July 2024

blowed ‘em up reeeeeal goooood (11. 685)

As our faith chronicler reminds, one this night in 1979, the US baseball team the Chicago White Sox playing in their home stadium of Comiskey Park against the Detroit Tigers, held as a promotional event to attract flagging fans during a poor season Disco Demolition Night—previously. In exchange for bringing a record that they wanted to see destroyed, the audience was extended a discounted admission of ninety-eight cents—a reference to the frequency of some popular local radio stations seen as betraying their rock credentials and base by playing the now mainstreamed genre, the host team engaging local shock-jock and fervent anti-disco advocate Steve Dahl to capitalise on the polarising matter of taste in music, with disco’s normalisation to the point of saturation seen by some as degenerate and rooted in gay culture—for frigid women and effeminate men and minorities, whose activism had already stoked riots. With more individuals coming to see the spectacle rather than the game during a pause in play, DJ Dahl collected the albums in a crate and detonated it on the field. Due to damage to the outfield by the explosion and an ensuing onslaught of rowdy fans, the White Sox were made to forfeit the game for the damage to the Tigers. Though already on the decline, disco’s growing unpopularity coincided with this biblioclasm, with artists and labels rebranding it as dance music and many stations returning to a rock format.

Tuesday 9 July 2024

in the year twenty-twenty-five (11. 676)

By inference, example and declaration, the American people and the world has been warned repeatedly, relentlessly of what a second Trump term would entail, a conservative agenda of policy proposals that failed to coalesce on the first attempt radically transforming the republic into a regressive evangelical hypocracybased on the rule of tribal grievance and restoring the patriarchy. With the express aim of purging what’s characterised as “woke propaganda” in regulation and curriculum under a Trump regime, emboldened and enabled, the administration not only is plotting to gut the administrative state under a unitary executive with autocratic powers, eliminate environmental regulation (framing global warming as a hoax), consumer safety, civil liberties and protections (framing affirmative action and equality as “reverse racism”), mass deportations, stripping of citizenship, abortion access, pornography as well as no-fault divorce—essentially rolling back the hard-fought progress of the past seventy years and this all, with the extensive blueprint pre-positioned, might happen on day one.

Saturday 15 June 2024

8x8 (11. 632)

anabolics: the mainstreaming of casual steroid use  

cover model: the identity of the individual on the iconic Duran Duran album revealed four decades on—via Miss Cellania  

rank and file: a woodland-themed chessboard that rolls up into a log 

the imitation game: researchers claim that GPT-4 has passed the Turing Test—see previously 

london underground: spelunking through the strata of the ancient city  

non-playable character: determinism versus emergence and the question of free will  

ticino: a cache of five-thousand photographs spanning from 1900 to 1930 taken by a poor seed-peddler captures life in a remote, Italian-speaking Swiss canton  

food that makes you gay: stereotypes and gender in what we eat—via Web Curios

Thursday 13 June 2024

7x7 (11. 626)

senza vergogna: some notes for Martha-Ann Alito on her anti-Pride flag (see previously)  

factory floor: inside Andy Warhol’s studio—via Messy Nessy Chic  

prospecting: Norwegian mining firms discovers Europe’s largest cache of rare-earth metals  

adaptive force controlled shaving demonstration: a robot barber in Shanghai  

daily bread: an overview of the staple foodstuff’s contribution to civilisation  

hydrant directory: colour palettes of New York’s suppression points—via Pasa Bon!  

gruppo dei sette: following EU elections, the G7 forum begins in Puglia


one year ago: a top album by Alanis Morissette plus an early world-traveller

two years ago: a chronic case of the hiccups, a hit by Paul McCartney plus international crisps flavours

three years ago: the G7, Shangri La the musical, St Anthony plus two very prolific travelogues

four years ago: illustrator Wilbur Husley, assorted links to revisit, the Pentagon Papers (1971) plus a banger from Mungo Jerry

five years ago: the elusive American Middle-Class plus x before x-rays

Thursday 21 March 2024

eo 9835 (11. 439)

Also knowns as the “Loyalty Order” and instituted to combat supposed communist infiltration in the echelons of the federal government, the executive order was issued by US president Harry S Truman on this day, primarily in response to criticism that the Democrat administration had been too lax about suppressing Soviet influence, fuelled by ongoing investigations by the House Un-American Activities Committee. Although Truman hoped that this move might placate his dissenters, it quickly snowballed, leading to the creation of the Attorney General’s List of Subversive Organisations and a sweeping FBI inquiry of all three million federal employees—three hundred were ultimately dismissed as security liabilities—warranting further research if the subject was disposed to disloyalty in the form of sabotage, espionage, treason, sedition or advocacy thereof. The order was ultimately revoked in stages by Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter and repealed entirely under Bill Clinton in 1988, eliminating fealty in favour of allegiance, which had become entrenched as discriminatory hiring policies that barred gay individuals from foreign service positions and that required that gay charitable and educational organisations applying for a tax exempt status with the Internal Revenue Service publicly disclaim that homosexuality was a “sickness, disturbance or a diseased pathology.”

Saturday 3 February 2024

9x9 (11. 319)

thinking of you. i mean me. i mean you: a new exhibition on the artist Barbara Kruger advances her legacy up to the present—see previously  

hi neighbour: Johnny Costa introduced jazz to Mister Rogers along with his audience  

una vincenzo, the lady troubridge: fashion icon, sculptor, translator and unashamed, power lesbian  

baud per second: Eclectic Method’s dial-up modem song  

unexcused absences: obstructionist state senators cannot run for re-election in Oregon after constitutional amendment—via Super Punch 

unwatering: researchers find the solution the Richard Feynman’s hypothetical reserve sprinkler  

amateuraufnahmen: colour footage of Berlin, Leipzig and Bad Schandau from the 1960s  

please don’t try to print it: unlocking the page dimensions in Adobe to create a PDF larger than the entire Universe—via Kottke  

friend or foe: Clownfish count stripes to keep out adult interlopers from their territory—via Damn Interesting’s Curated Links—see also strange sex lives of the species

Wednesday 31 January 2024

nichts der homosexuelle ist pervers, sondern die situation, in der er lebt (11. 308)

Having premiered at the at the Berlin International Film Festival the prior year, Rosa von Praunheim’s It Is Not the Homosexual Who Is Perverse But Rather the Society in Which He Lives was broadcast for the first time on the television network Westdeutschen Runk on this day in 1972, the exposure to a wider audience considered emancipatory and resounding globally helped informed the Lesbian and gay rights movements in Germany and the rest of Europe and encouraged individuals, particularly following the liberalisation of Section 175 in 1969 of the German Criminal Code (see previously), to come out of hiding and be seen in a society becoming more tolerant and accepting. Despite criticisms that the film itself was not very good or revelatory (since reappraised for its historical and socio-political influence)—the narrative of a country boy meeting a city boy that in the capital is honest but perhaps not the most ingratiating with promiscuity thwarting attempts to copy the heteronormative lifestyle, though ultimately leading to community activism—it has had an enduring and impactful legacy. Watch the entire film with English subtitles here.


one year ago: the first McDonald’s in Moscow (1990) plus assorted links to revisit

two years ago: more on the International Geophysical Year, St Geminianus plus more links to enjoy

three years ago: advocating a base-eight system, the Winter Soldier Investigations (1971) plus the first chimpanzee in space (1961)

four years ago: ancient aliens and the Gorn Hegemony, the UK leaves the EU, hidden thread plus Primal Scream (2000)

five years ago: a monument to Scrabble plus division bells

Tuesday 16 January 2024

latrinalia (11. 272)

Via the peripatetic online explorations of Messy Nessy Chic, we are referred to the doodle books, Klotterbรถckers—a five volume collection, of Stockholmer Bengt Claudelin, professionally an assistant to a wealthy art-collecting countess (whom eventually bequeathed her collection along with Claudelin’s research to the state though first censored then forgotten in the archives), of the graffiti in public conveniences, documented in his free time. There’s the usual toilet humour and bragging (see also for another ethnographic study) but an overwhelming preponderance of propositioning and profusion of male prostitution. Although the entries (often illustrated which Claudelin faithfully copied) are anonymous—one group in particular stood out: soldiers, for whom it was not uncommon almost a century earlier to offer sexual favours for sale, particularly given the low wages and dearth of obligations during the duty week, to have some extra spending money for the weekend and a proper date. Claudelin’s patron, Wilhelmina Hallwyl, donated her home and collection on the condition that it would remain unchanged and always kept together in 1922, offering like her secretary’s hobby, a unique insight into the lifestyle of the Swedish nobility of the era.

Saturday 6 January 2024

you can get yourself clean, you can have a good meal, you can do whatever you feel (11. 247)

Topping out at number two on Billboard around the same time, the Village People’s only single from their 1978 studio album Cruisin’ reached number one on the UK charts on this day in 1979. Rhythmically complex and with lyrics full of double-entendre, the singer-songwriter Victor Willis has affirmed that the song is to be understood on many levels and not just a celebratory anthem but also praising the diversity that the organisation fostered, the boarding house function originally founded in the 1880s to provide affordable rooms for people from rural areas coming into the cities to look for work had by the time the song was composed had seen a demographic shift to the unhomed urban population and displaced youth cohabitating with the older, more typical tenants, with a not insignificant proportion who were gay. Initially, the YMCA was going to sue the band for besmirching their name but later settled and came to embrace the enduring number for singing the praises of the institution. Inscribed by the US Library of Congress into the National Recording Registry as culturally important and “proof that disco never truly died,” the number and routine is a popular cheer for sporting events and over the eventual objection of The Village People, featured in Donald Trump’s campaign rallies—see also. Once defeated, YMCA was adopted by supporters of his challenger Joe Biden and was blasted on loudspeakers as Trump boarded Air Force One for the last time to leave Washington ahead of the inauguration of his successor.


one year ago: assorted links worth revisiting plus FDR’s Four Freedoms (1941)

two years ago: a figure skater assaulted (1994), Soylent Green (1973) plus the Night of the Big Wind (1839)

three years ago: your daily demon: Amy, photographer Ute Mahler, more links to enjoy, the South Sea Bubble, an airline safety campaign, the Bad Drawing Club plus the US Capitol stormed

four years ago: US threatens Iran, First Nations’ custom emoji plus artists’ final works

five years ago: more links to visit

Friday 22 December 2023

one summer never begins, one summer never begins (11. 206)

Featuring the acting talents of Elizabeth Taylor, Montgomery Clift and Katherine Hepburn, the cinematic adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ play of the same name (screenplay by Gore Vidal), the last in a trilogy to get the treatment for the silver screen of works dealing with homosexuality, following A Streetcar Named Desire and A Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, premiered on this day in 1965, as our faithful chronicler informs. Under the direction of Joseph L Mankiewicz, special dispensation was granted by the National Legion of Decency and the Motion Picture Production Code administration to depict—decidedly off-screen—the perversion of one of the main characters since it dealt with the lifestyle choice as a tragic flaw and leading to his own downfall. Reviewed by some as one of the more bizarre films to come out of Hollywood, the narrative centres around a prospective lobotomy (to hide the embarrassing truth) for the niece of a wealthy young woman after witnessing the violent and inconvenient death of her cousin whilst vacationing in Spain the previous holiday season. Her cousin uses her as bait to attract young men in desperate situations as his own conquests to much success. When planning to depart, however, the fleeing visitors are pursued by a gang of past lovers until finally her cousin is cornered only to be ripped apart and consumed. Despite somewhat similar themes of loss and transformation and coincidentally released during the same month as Williams’ death in 1983, the Motels—having never seen the movie nor the play—chose the title for its alliterative quality.

Monday 18 December 2023

looking for his love and mercy should not be subject to an exhaustive moral analysis as a precondition to receiving it (11. 192)

Reversing a 2021 ruling that characterised such relationships as not conforming with God’s plan for matrimony and family, the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith expounding on a missive sent to two conservative cardinals by the Pope which suggested that blessings could be offered by priests to same-sex couples—and those in “irregular situations”—in limited circumstances decreed that such benedictions, at the discretion of ordained ministers, could be offered freely and without stint (see also) provided that conferring of them could not be confused with the sacrament of marriage and resemble the rituals associated with it. 


one year ago: a Paul Rand Christmas

two years ago: Assassins (1990), St Winibald plus pingxiety illustrated

three years ago: St Sebastian, The Nutcracker (1892) plus a special Nativity Scene for the Vatican

four years ago: the moons of Saturn plus the self-injuring Anglo-Saxons

five years ago: postage art, a clock that requires maths plus a miniaturising ray

Sunday 26 November 2023

7x7 (11. 143)

sonic deconstructions: 1950s radio broadcaster’s album of Foley art, “Strange to Your Ears”  

onfim’s homework: a Wikipedia rabbit hole inspires an individual to get a tattoo of an eleventh century Novgorod pupil’s writings and illustrations discovered preserved on birch bark—via Hyperallergic’s Required Reading  

year in review: Time magazine’s one hundred top images of 2023—via Nag on the Lake’s Sunday Links (lots more to explore here) 

amaterasu: scientists detect an ultra-high energy cosmic ray—the most powerful in thirty years of observation 

<!--: a collection of historic HTML innovations—see also  

kenough: the story of Denny Fouts, hustler and literary muse for Truman Capote, Gore Vidal and Christopher Isherwood  

pie hole: a silly twenty-year-old vocal exercise that holds up

Friday 10 November 2023

welcome to the pleasuredome (11. 109)

Released at the end of October and assured a chart entry due to advanced sales of over a million records, the debut studio album of Liverpudlian synth-pop group Frankie Goes to Hollywood climbed to the top spot in the domestic market on this day in 1984, coinciding with their first US television appearance on Saturday Night Live, performing the tracks “Two Tribes” and “Born to Run.” Though incredibly commercially successful, the record drew some criticism for being heavy with remixes and cover versions (“Relax”) of their repertoire that had already received a lot of airplay, songs like the below ballad have given the album enduring, iconic status.

Friday 27 October 2023

9x9 (11. 078)

page rank: the SEO trend of naming establishments X Near Me seems to actually drive customers—via Waxy  

cyanea pohaku: a species of tree discovered right before it was driven to extinction

saint eom: the psychedelic compound of folk artist and fortune-teller Eddie Owens Martin outside of Buena Vista in the US state of Georgia and listed on the National Register of Historic Places  

usonian homes: a pair of Frank Lloyd Wright (see previously) houses on the market in Kalamazoo in the US state of Michigan  

saob: the official Swedish dictionary published after one hundred forty years of work

the united states of guns: another sadly evergreen post about how an armed society is not a free society   

happiness hotel: a luxury kennel once occupied the grounds of New York City’s Lincoln Center 

report of my death having been most industriously circulated by several of the london daily newspapers, would the times permit me to contradict the same through your valuable columns and refute the account: sculptor John Ternouth, designer of the plinth for Nelson’s Column, was surprised to learn of his premature demise—via Strange Company  

i am altering the deal—pray i don’t alter it any further: Amazon’s Alexa is ending inoperability support with severe punishment for those who try to hack their way around it

Sunday 1 October 2023

claire rayner’s casebook (11. 033)

Accomplished nurse and prolific author, the broadcaster is probably best known for her public advocacy and outreach in the form of her advise column, frank and often controversial in dealing with taboo subjects in a non-judgmental fashion that encouraged dialogue. Graciously sharing a rare Betamax find after sifting through hours of old video tape, Curious British Telly introduces Rayner through an episode originally airing during the first week of October of 1983 on the subject of homosexuality, featuring her own son—which although dated and a product of its time, is still insightful and relevant. More Ben Ricketts at the link above.

Monday 11 September 2023

galvanic response (10. 997)

Via the New Shelton wet/dry, we learn that from 1950 to 1973 the Canadian civil service, to include the Mounties and the armed forces, amid the general moral panic applied to different lifestyles and the notion (reenforced by social pressures to hide one’s identity) that gay men were susceptible to honey-pot operations and recruitment by Marxist espionage utilised a device called the “fruit machine”—a pejorative yet re-appropriated term—to screen out homosexual candidates and eliminate government workers (see also). Test subjects were sat in a dentist’s chair and made to view a series of pictures, ostensibly to rate stressors, but from the pedestrian to the pornographic gauged pupillary (eye dilation) to other involuntary responses as a proxy for erotic thoughts with a deeply flawed set of assumptions that potentially (funding was withdrawn in the late 1960s but the technique was still employed) cost up to nine-thousand individuals their careers.

Monday 4 September 2023

fireworks (10. 982)

Filmed on a sixteen millimetre camera received as a birthday gift from his grandmother and a significant upgrade from his former hand-cranked camera at his home in Beverly Hills whilst his parents were away for a long weekend in 1947, the debut short from Kenneth Anger (previously) was one of the first works in this media to focus on a homosexuality as a subject. Inspired by witnessing a group of US sailors attacking men with Mexican heritage during the Zoot Suit Riots, which is manifest in dreamer of Fireworks—the filmmaker to later add that “this flick is all I have to say about being seventeen, the United States Navy, American Christmas and the Fourth of July”—and is scored with the tone poem Pines of Rome by Ottorino Respighi. American sexologist Alfred Kinsey bought the film’s original print, and although the first cinema owner who screened it was arrested on obscenity charges, the case was overturned on appeal by the Supreme Court of California, ruling that homosexuality—even overtly referenced—was a valid theme for artistic expression.

Thursday 10 August 2023

7x7 (10. 934)

latent stage—this is where boys and doing boy stuff, girls are doing girl stuff and most children typically purchase their second firearm: the state of Florida’s revised psychology advanced placement curriculum

songs in the key of z: a documentary about outsider musician Peter Grudzien who recorded one of the first gay country albums  

savey meal-bot: a frugal-minded grocery store app gives out a recipe for deadly chlorine gas  

the judgment of cambyses: documenting the thirty-eight luxury vacations that other billionaires have treated US Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to—via Kottkesee previously  

lฤhainฤ: wildfires engulf the historic royal capital of Hawaii with dozens killed on the island of Maui 

the green m&m: Steven Miller of America First Legal complains that Kellogg’s is sexualising its products, violating federal statues by promoting diversity in its workforce—see previously 

handmaid’s tale: professors and teachers’ union challenge laws that forbid the teaching of reproductive rights

Sunday 30 July 2023

chick tracts (10. 914)

99% Invisible turns our attention to a strange and virulent form of evangelising in the form of an oddly collectible and exhaustive series of Christian comics from erstwhile cartoonist and Born-Again Jack Thomas Chick. First published in the 1960s from its headquarters in Rancho Cucamonga, California and continuing through to today, this pocket-sized artefact of conservative mainstream Protestant theology that’s become a self-parody veered at times to hate-speech and attacked Catholics, Masons, queer-people, socialists, Communists, drug-users, trick-or-treaters (collect them all!) and denounced non-conformists and non-Christian faiths as devil-worshipping as well as stoking ugly conspiracy theories and paranoia. The back-panel of each tract includes a blank spaces for churches to stamp their name and contact information as well as a bespoke salvation prayer for sinners to recant their ways. More at the links above. 


one year ago: assorted links to revisit

two years ago: the Norse goddess Freyja plus recreating classic screen-savers

three years ago: the microcars of Robert Hannoyer, pioneering oceanographer Marie Tharp, special edition Canadian coins,  fashion designer Kansai Yamamoto (RIP), St Hatebrand plus the rich tradition of Japanese souvenirs

four years ago: algorithmically-directed decisions and the architecture of choice, disruptive jewellery plus non-overlapping magisteria

five years ago: Outsider Art from Austria, BBC’s sound archives plus building a Martian base in situ