Judge not lest ye be judged

This is a snippet from a fascinating little documentary called Dressing for Pleasure by John Sampson. (Unfortunately the site that used to host the whole thing has shut down, and this is all I can find at the moment.) I totally lack the energy to combine this barrage of related links into a proper post right now, so just think of this as sort of a pervy brain dump:

Kids those days

From the foreshortened perspective of the 21st century, this extraordinary clip just reads as a bunch of old or dead people doing stuff a long time ago that sure looks goofy now:

But yet if we pick it apart, we can see that it was even ridiculous back then. Like a lot of stuff that made its way onto variety TV, this blends enough weird stuff together in a way that would make anyone cool just want to scratch their skin off. It’s kind of like watching Celine Dion do a Britney Spears dance to gangsta rap, if you want to put it in a modern context.

Some notes:

All those elements are pretty great in their own ways, but really almost none of them should ever go together. It’s a clear sign that just about every cultural influence noted above had lost its edge or relevance by the time they all got thrown together for the benefit of viewers of network TV.

Of course, I also think it’s kind of amazing, but maybe that’s just me. My pop culture interests cross encompass all the stuff they’re throwing together, and I’m a huge homo with a penchant for dated camp and no patience for ironic detachment.

Edwardian masher

While I’m on this Joe Orton kick, here’s another great bit from the diaries:

Saturday 15 April

Watched Doctor Who on television. Rubbish, but there’s a young boy in it who’s worth looking at; like an Edwardian masher at a Gaiety show, I mentally undress him. I’m sure the BBC would horrified if they realised that even a science fiction series can be used erotically.

Judging from the date, I’m assuming that the episode in question was part of “The Faceless Ones“, and that the alluring lad in question was probably young sailor Ben Jackson, played by Michael Craze.

Ben Jackson

“Edwardian masher at a Gaiety show” is my new favorite phrase, by the way. And though Orton is a good enough writer for that quip to feel very off the cuff, it’s actually the one instance in his diaries where I spotted him re-using an earlier joke. On the 24th of January, 1967, Orton paid a visit to meet Paul McCartney and Brian Epstein to talk about writing a script for the next Beatles movie. During the course of the evening, a pop group called the Easybeats drop by, about whom he says:

…about five very young and pretty boys trooped in. I rather hoped this was the evening’s entertainments. It wasn’t, though. …After a while we went downstairs. The Easybeats still there. The girl went away. I talked to the leading Easybeat. Feeling slightly like an Edwardian masher with a Gaiety Girl.

The Easybeats

Battlestar Barbarella

Barbarella Galactica.

When worlds collide, eh? I love both Barbarella and Battlestar Galactica, but for very, very different reasons. Seeing them mashed together for a promo shoot makes my head hurt a teeny bit. If I were more of a straight persuasion, though, this would make me all tingly, though.

Of course, Apollo or Helo done up as Pygar would certainly do the trick.


Barbarella — The Bob Crewe Generation

Pygar’s New Wings — The Bob Crewe Generation

HX Site of the Week

Hey, did anyone catch this? The May 27 issue of New York City’s HX magazine featured a write-up about the Poseable Thumbs:


G.I. Joe Type ISO Same

Handcuffed studs, boot-licking slaves, leather-clad muscle queens — sounds like that notorious party at the old Lure, but this web site is different in one critical respect: The men are all six-inch-tall [actually, they’re all twelve inches] action figures. “I’ve heard from a lot of guys who used to have their own G.I. Joes act out their burgeoning sexual fantasies — and a lot of guys who are surprised to find themselves so turned on by the photos I’ve taken,” says Pete Handler, the site’s New York-based photographer and designer. Indeed, the various clever scenes — of fisting, bondage, gangbangs and more — could easily be mistaken for commercial pornography. All the pictures are for sale, along with a book of them, and you can send in your own suggestions of storylines or poses you’d like Handler to shoot, which fits in perfectly with his master plan. “I’m trying to get people’s circuits to cross,” he says, “almost daring them to see how much about what turns them on is in their imagination.” — Jonah Tully

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