While they often presented themselves as bodybuilders’ publications, their chuckle-prompting titles — Torso, Adonis, Honcho, Mandate — didn’t lie. Gay men’s magazines of decades past were bought by gay men who wanted to look at the erotic illustrations of well- built male bodies therein. Because any- one known to possess such material in the homophobic 1950s and 1960s could experience serious consequences, men hid the magazines under their mat- tresses. These illustrations have now inspired a traveling exhibition, Stroke: From Under the Mattress to the Museum Wall. Curated by notable erotic artist Robert W. Richards and orig- inating at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, the popular show contains 24 original illustrations that ap- peared in gay magazines from the 1950s to the 1990s. It also looks at how gay men, forced into the closet during those decades, used these pictures to explore their sexuality intimately. It additionally serves as a showcase for the artists in- volved. On view are works by two dozen top artists of the times, including Touko Laaksonen (Tom of Finland), Antonio Lopez (Antonio), and David Martin.More
We were recently surprised to learn that, while print and e-book publishing lan- guishes, audiobooks do better and better with every passing year. (Downloads in 2015 were up 38 percent over 2014.) We like to imagine that it’s the allure of the well-trained dramaturge that makes emotional connections while leaving some- thing to the listener’s imagination — not background noise for long commutes. In such a case, there can be no finer pleasure than a staged reading by longtime favorites Word for Word, a company that has brought countless short stories from page to stage, including “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin, “The Fall River Axe Murders” by Angela Carter, “Berenice” by Edgar Allan Poe, and “The Bunch- grass Edge of the World” by Annie Proulx. During “Off the Page,” devotees help the company massage prose into parts, and sometimes, as was the case with Al- ice Munro’s work, choose the next story for production. Tonight, the actors ap- proach short fiction from Jamie Quatro’s highly lauded IWanttoShowYou More, which explores faith, (in)fidelity, and family along the border between Georgia and Tennessee.More
A storytelling night with Carnie Asada, Profundity, Coco Buttah, Mahlae Balenciaga, Greg der Ananian, and Fauxnique, celebrates Shark Week with accounts of dangerous, deadly, and treacherous creatures.More
Be there when Cara Black discusses her new book: Murder on the Quai. Aimee Leduc is in her first year of college at Paris's preeminent medical school. But Aimee's world is crumbling: her boyfriend is leaving her, her father leaves for Berlin for a mysterious errand and asks Aimee to look after his detective agency. She begins to investigate a murder. A book sale by the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library follows the event.More
The Tenderloin was set to lose another irreplaceable when the Ha-Ra Club — a low-ceilinged dive of the slummiest reputation, long fallen into neglect, but nevertheless beloved for strong pours, idiosyncratic bartenders, and a long history — was taken over by the crew who run Ace's and Dobbs Ferry.
In case you missed it, last Saturday, while performing at Brazil's SWU festival, Courtney Love had a minor meltdown after an audience member repeatedly held up a photo of Kurt Cobain. "I don't need to see a picture of Kurt, asshole!" she yelled. "And I'm going to have you
fucking removed if you keep holding that up. I'm not Kurt, I have to
live with his shit and his ghost and his kid every day and throwing that
up is stupid and rude and I'm going to beat the fuck out of you if you
do it again."
On first seeing this, we thought, "You go, Courtney!" Just as Yoko Ono will always be remembered under the specter of breaking up the Beatles, Courtney will never get out from under the shadow of her deceased husband. It must be a heart-breaking, ultra-stressful, and, on some level, insulting thing to be faced with every day.
But then, just as we're with her, she goes and does what she always does: veers right and heads straight on into crazy town. "You didn't get kicked out of a band by him like Dave did," Courtney yells at the audience member. "Go see the fuckin' Foo Fighters and do that shit." After that, it's all downhill. Observe:
Leaving the stage to make a point is one thing, but why on earth keep dragging Dave Grohl into this stuff? She is quite literally obsessed with him -- we know that from the sheer number of times she feels the need to bring him up and talk shit in interviews. It's something she's been doing for years. She clearly feels genuinely cheated by the Foos frontman and yet she never utters a word about Krist Novoselic, who also profits from the Nirvana back catalog. It is obsessive and a little disturbing.
Further, getting an entire audience to chant "The Foo Fighters are gay" is not only entirely out of left-field and bizarre, but also completely childish and not a little offensive. We understand that people who use the term "gay" negatively frequently don't literally mean homosexual, but using the term in this context, to such a large audience, is both irresponsible and offensive. Could she not have used "shit" or something instead? Language issues aside, the whole incident is an embarrassment. Is she really upset with Dave Grohl over financial issues? Or is she jealous that his band is bigger than hers? Why else get thousands of people to chant negative stuff about Grohl's entire band and not just him?
But let's take a step back and take a look -- a really, really close look -- at Courtney Love here. She is emaciated, seemingly intoxicated, and quite literally screaming for attention. She does not look well. These images of her -- breast implants barely contained, arms barely there, clinging to the limelight and the tiara she's been wearing since 1990 -- are incredibly sad once you get past all of the annoying acting out she's doing.
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Love has been lost and alone for a long time -- titling her 2010 album Nobody's Daughter is no accident -- and has had to contend with two decades of hatred from a large portion of the public. Who could withstand that without going a little cuckoo? Certainly not someone who started out a little unstable in the first place.
When Vanity Fair interviewed her earlier this year, the grunge queen was trying to get along with English gentry and trying to find her place in a different community -- one as far away from her own as possible. She was also obsessed with "the fraud" -- Love's assertion that she and her daughter have been ripped off when it comes to Nirvana royalties and that this was going on even when Kurt was alive.
It's been standard practice for the world to refer to Love as a crazy bitch since her fame first blossomed. It's something she hasn't discouraged either -- her erratic and sometimes violent behavior has been evident from the mid-'90s (remember when she punched Kathleen Hanna in the face at Lollapalooza? That was all the way back in 1995) and she's never shied away from controversy.
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But has anyone ever really considered the fact that Courtney might be really, truly mentally ill? That she might have post-traumatic stress disorder? That maybe all that paranoia requires some medical help? That maybe she has anger management and depression and persecution issues? It's easy to dismiss these very real problems she's suffering through as something somehow "deserved" or "self-inflicted," but maybe Courtney's critics need to take a step back and acknowledge that maybe her behavior is a medical problem and not merely a personality-based one.
Yes, Love is annoying. Yes, she's a brat. But she's also fiercely intelligent as well as musically talented (she needs more focus these days, sure, but Live Through This remains a classic -- and even when that came out, far too many people suggested she didn't write it herself). If it's socially unacceptable to subject mentally ill people to ridicule and abuse in our everyday lives, maybe the world needs to lay off Courtney for a while, on the grounds that she is probably one of them. Maybe if she didn't feel she was always fighting the world, she could get some help.