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January 1997

The Art of Kissing

The Art of Kissing

I have HAD It!

One of the recurring themes of my sad, sorry life is my inability to find that ideal sidekick who's just the right combination of brainiac, goofball, sidekick, hipster, nerd, sexual dynamo, little kid, and muse. Granted, I’m pretty fussy, but I can't be the only fag in the world whose criteria are so inconveniently eclectic, can I?

Are you wondering if you're the kind of fella I might like? Browsing around here in the RumpWeb will certainly give you some idea of the kinds of things that capture my interest. Of course, you probably wouldn't even be considering all this nonsense if the things here didn't strike a chord with you already. As far as the looks and style issue is concerned, see if you fit the bill by checking out the next page for some visual references.

NOTE TO THE OLD-FASHIONED: If you don't want to think about this sort of thing, DON'T GO LOOKING AT IT! I’m not saying there's anything smutty ahead — there's definitely not — but there is some pretty strong imagery best left to the eyes of those who care for it, and I don't want to hear any clucks of disapproval because you've got a hopelessly fifties attitude about my penchant for other guys.

(Read the rest...)

Shocking Personal Facts About Sparky

Hi boys and girls, I’m Sparky, known to my parents, relatives, co-workers, and many of my pals as Dan Rhatigan. (To my dismay, many of the kinfolk still refer to me as "Danny," the diminutive of my name that I seem destined never to shake.) I’m the egomaniac behind Rumpus Room, and your host for the evening. I am a professional graphic design nerd. I wear much nicer glasses now than the ones you see before you.

Born youngest of six (Irish Catholic — go figure) 1970 in Staten Island, New York, to Betty and George. Had overactive imagination as a child (was convinced for a long time that I really was a superhero, and also set up my room so my Star Wars figures could move around more easily while I slept). Went to St. Sylvester, Regis High School, and Boston University and turned into a real smart alec. Comfortably settling into a new pad in scenic Fort Greene (near Spike's Joint, for those in the know). Ardent desire to leave the country before Congress really fucks things up here. Gay (and lonely as hell, but that’s another problem altogether), and convinced I came that way — no big deal for me. Listen to inordinate amounts of Ella Fitzgerald, Man or Astro-Man?, David Byrne, Elvis Costello, Brave Combo, Beastie Boys, Squirrel Nut Zippers, and mambo. I’ve got the funk, and I don't mean I need to take a shower. Have always wanted to tap dance and play the accordion. Never driven a car in my life.

For a sense of perspective on my life and work, check out the Rumpus Room Manifesto. A lot of my thinking about my life and my goals has changed since that was written a few years back, but the immediacy of it still tells a lot about how I’ve gotten to where I am today. That is to say, I don't feel a lot of the frustrations I mentioned quite as accutely as I once did (and I’m not as insufferably whiny), but they set the stage for a lot of growing that I have done since then. But enough of that wishy-washy "feelings" claptrap.

NOTE: I have selfishly refrained from including links to bands and things that interest me, since I’m trying to hold your attention right here for now.

The Rumpus Room Manifesto

Originally written in February 1994.

I tend to feel disenfranchised, outcast, eccentric. I’ve got feminist sensibilities that make me feel guilty because I’m a man. I feel like my manhood is skewed because I’m not a straight man, so I can't buy into the whole straight, white male cultural elite mindset. I feel alienated from the gay community because I can't fathom or play the social/power games I see all over it, I bristle at a lot of its affectations, and can't understand its rituals and customs. I feel separated from my friends for being too weird or not weird enough. I have no lover, so I don't feel like I belong to a cozy twosome. At work I feel too young or too powerless and impatient.

My vision of the Rumpus Room . . . is to define my place, my sensibilities, my ideas. Ideally, others will respond, but this project is too personal for me to make concessions for the sake of popularity. I want to use Rumpus Room to explore my philosophy, my humor, my politics, my aesthetic, my abilities.

My vision for the magazine (my marketing vision, my conceptual vision) is to give other people a chance to respond to what's in Rumpus Room, not allow it to become so half-assed that it becomes accessible to the lowest common denominator.

The rumpus room is a place to gossip, to gab, to argue, to tell jokes, to watch TV, and to play cards and stuff. It's the rec room, the family room, the living room.

Ha-chah chah cha!

You've either got a morbid curiosity or a hopped-up libido. Either way, here's a peek at the racier side of the Rumpus Room.

Imagine you're hearing a low wolf whistle

If you've come this far, you should know right off the bat that I’m not holding out for some unearthly hunk that’s so far out of my league that I may as well be playing another sport altogether. Attraction is a delicate balancing act of looks, personality, wit, style, and all that other junk. It's too hard (and it would be too misleading) for a simple guy like me to try and come up with a bulleted list of stuff that makes me all hot and bothered and sappy and mushy. Of course, I also know what will make me lose track of what I’m thinking if I see it walking down the street. So to give you some idea of what sets my hormone's a-raging (as far as purely external qualities go), here are a few quick things to look at.

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