What do Rock Hudson and J.D. Salinger have in common beside the obvious, that both of them kept much of their private lives hidden? It’s the fact that I watched biographic documentaries about each of them recently and was both amused, dismayed and depressed by the way fame dealt with them and the way they dealt with fame.
J.D. physically hid, removed himself from the public eye, and chose not to publish but to write. The documentary did open some aspects of his life to us but nothing, to me, terribly profound. He wanted his privacy and he got it. Talking heads talked about his books. If a copy of my book had been found in the possession of three high-profile murderers I might have some serious thoughts about publishing. I really would have like to know what his were. Perhaps that’ll be in the vast, soon to be published, writing he left behind.
I’ve read his books and enjoyed them but didn’t find they moved me as much as they did the talking heads. Perhaps coming from a different generation, different geography & dealing with my own identity issues they didn’t speak to me.
Rock on the other hand hid in plain sight. One of those well-known secrets. The documentary ‘Dark and Handsome Stranger’ was a powerful reminder of the power of the press and the damage of the closet. The emotional pressure of hiding his true self must have been intense – I can’t find the words for it. The saddest thing about Rock’s death was the panic and ignorance around HIV – hen we was brought into the Paris hospital – all new borns & maternity wards were emptied within half-an-hour.
I was amazed at the number of talking heads in this documentary who said they never saw him as gay, never suspected, can’t see it in his performances on screen – but what they are saying is that he wasn’t standard issue bitchy campy queen. The notion of a masculine homosexual was unfathomable to them. Being told Paul Lynde was queer was a yawn, being told Rock was gay shocked the nation. Also making it harder was that he preferred adult men not pretty twinky guys.
I wondered if he shared his frustrations with some of others in a similar situation: Sal Mineo or Nick Adams. Now there’s a conversation worth finding out about.
February 21, Friday – featuring – Racket at the Rocket: 7 p.m., Red Rocket Cafe, 1364 Danforth Ave. https://www.facebook.com/events/818441091515505/
March 1, Saturday – attending – Toronto SpecFic Colloquium
June 6-8 – attending – Bloody Words
June 23-27 – attending – Manuscript to Book – Loyalist Summer Arts – Belleville https://www.facebook.com/events/589522924455695/
August 28-31 – attending – FanExpo Canada
it is time for the workers of this world to unite – time for change and revolution – time for us to be the ones of privilege to grind those who have ground us, under our not so fine heels – time for that change – because everyone needs someone to grind down – that is the purpose and aim of progress – of life – to find new ways and means of repressing one another –
so workers let us unite – let us boldly throw off the yoke of servitude that has been ours for too long – let us go forth with our bare hands and wrest what is ours from those who haven’t done a lick of work to earn or deserve what is rightfully ours – the opportunity to be the privileged class – the chance to look down our noses at those who sweat and toil till they rise up against us –
there will always be someone to look down upon – for even as we workers have so little there are those who have less – we all have found a way to disenfranchise some one segment of the populace – even if we can’t subject the upper classes to our hunger for power we can look down upon those who have less power than us – we can deny, as we have been denied, the dignity of being mere humans –
since when is being human enough to deserve what we have to work for – since when was there no need for revolt and change – always – and we who are down trodden – tread even harder on those we deem beneath us
so workers of the world it is time to unite – the glorious opportunities will soon be upon us to make those who feel they are our betters suffer for their erroneous thinking – we will correct and redirect their unsound ideologies till it fits in with ours – there are so many more of us and once we have their power – their wealth – their privilege – those who foment revolt beneath us will have no hope –
our revolution will allow us to put down the revolution of others – once we hold the power we can crush without mercy those who would dare to contradict us – we will crush, as others have attempted to crush us – others who have failed to crush us, for we are right might and once that right might is combined with privilege the power we will be unstoppable
no puny uprising will stand a chance – there will be no political bloc strong enough to resist the tide of our cleansing and righteousness – so workers of the world unite with us now or fall beneath our boot heels as we make the world a better and finer place tomorrow – if you don’t join you will fall – you will become one of the puny forces who are less than us – who do not deserve the privileges we don’t have but deserve and which we will with wrest from those who have them and then crush them all –
so join now – throw your might in with ours – the more who join the stronger we will be – we will move as a single fist to smash the oppressors – to oppress those who would deny us the right to smash the oppressors – who would hold us back with their fears and ill conceived ideologies –
join with us and rise up, as we rise up, as we take over even the highest chambers of our world to remake it into the vision – into our glorious and faithful vision of what is best for all