Music of Masculinity

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I recently did a couple of posts in my music series about The Rolling Stones. It started me thinking about the role music played in my teenage year. How what I listened defined what I believed was masculine. In all footage I’ve seen of The Beatles there is nothing but screaming, swooning girls – no boys. In fact pop rock music fell into those two camps – most of it was in the girls camp. The Beatles, Herman’s Hermits were for girls, The Rolling Stones, The Who were for boys. Donovan: fem; Bob Dylan: masc. Boys who like music too much were suspect – girls could sing along – boys couldn’t – lol. 

The Stones ‘Satisfaction’ was clearly about getting laid, The Beatles “I want to Hold Your Hand’ was clearly about holding hands period. Hand holding was safe for girls. The Stones were never innocent & many of their songs were clearly misogynistic i.e. ’Under My Thumb’ or were calls to violence ‘Street Fighting Man’ – these were the proper role models for real boys – real boys wanted more than holding hands. They wanted action, or revenge. Never mind the fact that by the time they recorded ‘Street Fighting Man’ they were millionaires not revolutionaries.

So how did this resonate in my life at the time? The sneering misogyny & objectification of girls (rarely were they women until they got to the Honky Tonk) was masculinity defined. I felt I would never be masculine enough, aggressive enough, daring enough to live in the reality of their songs. They sold a myth that I saw as reality – much like the Hollywood fantasy that the love of the right person would give you reason to live.

I don’t even think I found the Stones sexually attractive – even then there were rumours that Mick was a bit bi – I had a buddy who said he’d have sex with Jagger but, to be honest, I found Jagger to be too lizard like for me. Speaking of lizards I my first pop jo sex fantasy was the Lizard King, Jim Morrison, then Foxy Jimi Hendrix, but I digress.

I’ve blogged about growing up with out any real role models in a culture that had distorted sense of gender that I ended up with my own distorted sense of masculinity. Pop music of the time merely echoed that that distortion – real men were Born to Be Wild whereas faggots like me could only dream about it.

Rolling

 

Stones 

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Paywall

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Would you pay for FaceBook? How much would you pay to be ‘verified’ on Twitter, or to even use twitter? Would to pay not to have ads on yahoo, tumblr – your television? Whatever happened to MySpace – (according to internet it ‘has mostly transitioned away from social networking to become a curated music and entertainment site.’)

Most publishers require that their authors have an online media presence – a webpage, now of course, one must also have twitter, instagram, tictok, tumblr, WordPress, Facebook & be an influencer. All at your own expense. Of course maintaining all that connectedness leaves little, or no time, for actually writing anything. You also have to have verified followers – the more the better.

All of these media traps were intended to give the writer a way to promote their work – to make the public aware of them – you know the most frequent followers I get on twitter are other indie writers looking to promote their work – not followers who want to discover anything about me or want to explore my work. One thing wordpress doe sis show me where my ‘clicks’ come from – I don’t think I’ve ever had one from twitter – even for posts of mine that have been liked & even reposted. zip. 

I am glad that all of these sites do allow me to ‘curate’ who I follow & who follows me – I am fast to block followers who are clearly spammers or who don’t interest me. Annually I go through various lists of followers & who I follow & remove people (that is if they are people & not bots).

Most of these free sites aren’t actually free. Supposedly information based on each of your clicks is marketed to advertisers so they can target their products more successfully – never mind the fact that most people are more annoyed by ads than are clicking on them to shop. We click on Amazon or Esty etc to shop for what we want. Though one can now pay at many sites to have your post promoted to people the site feels would respond to it – whatever. At once time I used FB to promote events, there would be dozens if not hundreds ‘I’ll be there’ responses & if two them showed it would be a miracle. Same with events that I said ‘‘I’ll be there’.

How much would I pay for any of this, beyond what my provider charges to access the internet in the first place? Not much – though I have paid for some sites. My WP site had a business plan so I don’t have to worry about the photo archive. I do also have ‘subscriptions’ to a couple of gay men’s cruising sites as the free membership is severely limited. 

If I paid for anything, say, at Yahoo, it would be to be targeted by products I might actually use, not by this endless barrage of smart skirts, beachwear, strapy sandals, t-shirts covered with kittens, etc all for women. Where do I sign up for an endless barrage of men’s underwear, bulky snow boots or t-shirts covered with barbed wire. So much for the accuracy of algorithms that are selling my privacy. 

Would you pay for twitter? 

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Nests

As the leaves drop from the trees nests are revealed. I noticed these every years so this year I decided to get some photos. With the provincial government putting money into housing I think they might consider repurposing these as shelters for the homeless 🙂

great view

airy
cozy
the perfect loft
friendly neighbours
private
recently renovated
fixer-upper
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The Old Gods Are Fading

A couple of summers ago many of the ancient Greek mythological gods were painted on the Danforth sidewalks in Toronto’s Greektown. After a few years they have started to fade.

Apollo’s six-pack
Apollo eager to pluck you
the sun sceptre
Dionysius in the bike lane
Hephaestus
Artemis on the move
Hestia working her corner
Hermes without a scarf
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The Paranoid Blues

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I’ve gotten my annual flu shot. I know I’m playing into the hands of the big pharma conspiracy to keep getting bigger – after all they made the myth of covid into hugely profitable reality. I’ll get the next covid booster too. I’ll also apply for the dental cost supplement – playing into the hands of the dental conspiracy that tells me good teeth are a good idea.

I wear a mask on TTC, when shopping, when going to the theatre because I’m one of those gutless guys unwilling to take a chance when no one else is taking a chance. I’m okay if that mask mandate comes back based on the figures I’ve seen.

What figures you ask? Well, to be honest I haven’t seen any – they are nearly impossible to find – at least for Toronto. The fact that some hospitals have seen an alarming increase in cases is enough for me. Gone are the days when got regular media reports on such matter – the info didn’t find the right advertisers. It wasn’t bringing in enough money except for big pharma & they are being quiet about their profits. 

Even new variations are old news now. People seem to have become inured to threat, risk, precautions. ‘We’ll have a shot for that soon’ is the attitude, so meanwhile don’t get annoyed if I happen to cough in your direction’ My response, ‘don’t get annoyed if I don’t want to shake your hand or give even a little hug.’ I’ve got better things to do than take a home covid test just to be sure.

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Heretical Front Yards

Halloween decorations around my neighbourhood is east end Toronto – some just for fun, some serious statements.

Did someone order a tall one?
The possessed garden hose
some body you know?
gateway to Hell
Muffit frightener
that darn cat
another body
boo
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Halloween 2022

Glory Glory

some of the other morning glory variations in my garden – pictures taken over the past couple of months. Heavenly blues still blooming in October

a pair on the front trellis
triplets on the back trellis
close up of the triplets
closer up of one of the triplets
pale purple
from behind
ready for my close up
heavenly blue backside
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No Contest

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It’s no secret that I enjoy competitive cooking shows, mainly on Food – things like Chopped, Top Chef & their endless array of Halloween variations: cakes, cookies, giant cake sculptures & even one devoted to pumpkin carving. Sometimes the hosts & even judges, have a cooking background & one often sees competitors in one season show up on a different show the following season. 

But wait there’s more! I also enjoy LegoMasters – US & Australia, Domino Masters, Project Runway, A Cut Above – shows where a different set of skills come into play. The first two are disguised ads for products but I’m not inclined to start building or toppling anytime soon. But the engineering of the builds is amazing. A Cut Above is the quintessential Canadian competition for chainsaw carvers! Some of the results are astonishing.

The structure for most of these is similar – a round for some sort of skills demonstration & an elimination challenge. All time limited & the winner of that first round often gets an advantage in the second – either more time or choice of ingredient, log, pumpkin. Luckily none of them makes me want to eat, buy a chainsaw or design evening wear using the contents of a dumpster.

Most of them rely on the personality of contestants to hold our interest. Top Chef & Project Runway were pioneers in diversity & have always had lgbtq competitors. Plus cultural diversity. Project Runway does suffer from edited cast interaction for drama though.

Some I have to confess I often fast forward through – as I get bored with ‘oh no my sauce broken’ ‘I can’t get this zipper in’ are so frequent I no longer care. I just want to see the reveal & the judging. Everyone is a good loser – ‘I’ve learned so much & am grateful etc.’ Sure – learning how to cook steak in twenty minutes in front of cameras is a useful skill. I’d love to see a contestant say ‘you assholes got it wrong’ but then again the shows are so heavily edited if someone did call out the judges we’d probably never see it. I’m looking at you RuPaul.

Competitions I’m waiting for: food plating: who cares how it tastes, as long as it looks good on the plate. Halloween costumes are due for their own show. Maybe it’s time to make Monty Pythons’s Summarizing Proust a reality.

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