A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘glbt issues

[PHOTO] On a sky that was a Derek Jarman blue

leave a comment »

Yesterday was a glorious spring day in Toronto. I was out early in the morning to do my laundry, and was walking around my neighbourhood. The warmth was glorious, as was the return of life, but the sky stood out. It was perfect, cloudless, what I called on Instagram and Twitter a “Derek Jarman blue”.

Sky of Derek Jarman blue #toronto #dlws #weather #spring #blue #derekjarman #Derek Jarman’s last film was the 1993 Blue, completed as he was dying of HIV/AIDS. Visually, the film was a constant blue, “International Klein Blue”, a manifestation on film the deterioration of filmmaker Jarman’s sight worn away by cytomegalovirus.

The words, spoken by actors including Jarman himself and the later-famous Tilda Swinton, are beautiful poetry, preserved at the website of the Queer Cultural Centre.

Blue Bottle buzzing
Lazy days
The sky blue butterfly
Sways on the cornflower
Lost in the warmth
Of the blue heat haze
Singing the blues
Quiet and slowly

Blue of my heart
Blue of my dreams
Slow blue love
Of delphinium days

Blue is the universal love in which man bathes – it is the terrestrial paradise.

Jarman has appeared on A Bit More Detail before: he manifested in a 2006 post looking at a poetic passage from Terry Eagleton’s script for Jarman’s Wittgenstein; a 2009 celebration of the video for Annie Lennox’s “Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye”, to which he contributed; a somewhat silly 2010 meditation on a photo that did not quite turn out; a <ahref=”https://abitmoredetail.wordpress.com/2014/09/23/photo-purchased-at-word-on-the-street-toronto/”&gt;2014 celebration of a Derek Jarman biography I bought at Word on the Street. (The Ke$ha book also photographed there was extra, free.)

I like the poetry of Jarman, his art. His life is also a wonderful example of struggle and survival despite everything. Yesterday morning, his blue mattered particularly to me. It was a hard winter, and I’m glad to be rid of it, and more glad to have proof of it.

Written by Randy McDonald

April 16, 2015 at 7:17 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “Lesbians lead the way when it comes to neighbourhood gentrification, research shows”

leave a comment »

Zosia Bielski’s interview last week with sociologist Amin Ghaziani about the different roles played by gay men and lesbians in different stages of gentrification is fascinating. A sample is below:

You found that – like artists – lesbians are early gentrifiers in cities. They’re the trailblazers in frontier neighbourhoods, not gay men. How do they start to gentrify areas?

The idea that gay people instigate urban renewal is widely known, but it’s imprecise. Lesbians actually come first. In a 2010 interview with The New York Observer, sociologist Sharon Zukin offered a provocative image of lesbians as “canaries in the urban coal mine.” The idea here was that lesbians were actually the urban pioneers.

Gay women create a “girl’s town” for themselves. It’s a stage of incubation or pre-gentrification; there isn’t widespread awareness that the area is a gay district. Women are motivated by feminism and counter-cultures. This is why lesbian neighbourhoods often consist of a cluster of homes near progressive – but not flashy – organizations like co-operative grocery stores, coffee shops, alternative theatres, bike shops, secondhand bookstores and performance spaces.

That sounds like a hipster’s dream.

Gay women plug into existing progressive facilities in affordable neighbourhoods. The effect is that lesbian neighbourhoods, if you even know about them, will feel quasi-underground or hidden.

What’s the difference between a lesbian enclave and a gaybourhood?

Men are much more influenced by sexual transactions and building new commercial establishments like bars, big nightclubs, saunas and trendy restaurants. As property values increase, because women make less than men, gay women will feel priced out, before straight people arrive and push out the gay men. Straight households come last in the advanced or late gentrification stage.
What’s the difference between a lesbian enclave and a gaybourhood?

Men are much more influenced by sexual transactions and building new commercial establishments like bars, big nightclubs, saunas and trendy restaurants. As property values increase, because women make less than men, gay women will feel priced out, before straight people arrive and push out the gay men. Straight households come last in the advanced or late gentrification stage.

Written by Randy McDonald

April 16, 2015 at 1:04 am

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

leave a comment »

  • Anthropology.net notes the discovery of some Neanderthal skeletons showing signs of having had the flesh carved off of them.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at the messages carried by the New Horizon probe.
  • Crooked Timber makes the case for the continued relevance of Bob Marley.
  • The Dragon’s Tales looks at recurrent streams on Mars carved by perchlorate-laced water.
  • A Fistful of Euros’ Edward Hugh argues that Spain is still digging out of the long crisis.
  • Joe. My. God. notes the story of a Louisiana trans man fired from his job for not detransitioning.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes that China is not really a revisionist power.
  • Justin Petrone looks at ways in which young Estonian children are demonstrating and developing a fear of Russia.
  • The Planetary Society Blog examines the failure of the Dragon rocket.
  • Towleroad notes that the Russian-language version of Siri is quite homophobic.
  • Understanding Society looks at the criticial realist social theory of Frédéric Vandenberghe.
  • Window on Eurasia looks at trends in violence in the North Caucasus and warns of Central Asian alienation from Russia.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

leave a comment »

  • blogTO examines the nature of Toronto’s abundant consumption of electricity.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a study of the atmosphere of Wasp 80b.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes that Russian rocket manufacturer Energomash may go out of business as a result not of sanctions but of threatened sanctions.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money does not approve of Kenya’s plan to deport Somali refugees.
  • Mark MacKinnon shares an old 2003 article of his from Iraq.
  • The Planetary Society Blog looks at the new Vulcan rocket.
  • pollotenchegg maps, by province, the proportion of Ukrainians claiming Russian as their mother language.
  • Registan argues that NATO and Russia might be misinterpreting
  • Spacing Toronto shares a screed on cyclists.
  • Towleroad notes that Chile now has same-sex civil unions.
  • Transit Toronto notes that the TTC has hired an external corporation to manage the problematic Spadina subway extension.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy argues that libertarians do exist as a distinguishable political demographic.
  • Window on Eurasia examines turmoil in Karelia and terrorism in Dagestan.

[BLOG] Some Monday links

leave a comment »

  • Anthropology.net notes the embarrassing discovery that one of the vertebrae believed to have been part of the skeleton of early hominid Lucy actually belonged to a baboon.
  • Antipope Charlie Stross comes up with another worrisome explanation for the Great Filter.
  • BlogTO visits the Toronto offices of photo community site 500px.
  • Centauri Dreams features a guest essay from Ashley Baldwin about near- and medium-term search strategies and technologies for exoplanets.
  • Crooked Timber examines problems with non-copyright strategies.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper noting oddities in the protoplanetary disk of AA Tauri.
  • The Dragon’s Tales considers how how to make enduring software.
  • Mathew Ingram notes that Rolling Stone encountered ruin with the story of Jackie by wanting it to be true.
  • Joe. My. God. notes a New York City artist who took pictures of people in adjacent condos won the privacy suit put against him.
  • Language Hat looks at foreign influence in the French language.
  • Language Log links to a study of Ronald Reagan’s speeches that finds evidence of his progression to Alzheimer’s during the presidency.
  • Languages of the World considers the geopolitics of a military strike against the Iranian nuclear program.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money argues that Jonah Lehrer was not treated unfairly.
  • Marginal Revolution approves of Larry Kramer’s new GLBT-themed history of the United States.
  • Justin Petrone at North contrasts Easter as celebrated in Estonian and Russian churches.
  • Savage Minds features an essay in support of the BDS movement aimed against Israel.
  • Spacing engages David Miller on the need of urbanites to have access to nature.
  • Torontoist notes the popularity of a bill against GLBT conversion therapy at Queen’s Park.
  • Towleroad observes the beginning of an opera about Grindr.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy takes issue with Gerry Trudeau’s criticism of cartoons which satirize Islam.
  • Window on Eurasia looks at a Tatar woman who kept Islam alive in Soviet Moscow, argues that the sheer size of Donbas means that Russia cannot support it, looks at the centrality of the Second World War in modern Russia, and suggests the weak Ukrainian state but strong civil society is the inverse of the Russian situation.

[LINK] “‘The American People, Volume 1’ by Larry Kramer Retells History With Passion”

leave a comment »

Dwight Garner’s review in The New York Times of the first volume of Larry Kramer’s ambitious GLBT-themed history of the United States makes me curious.

Most histories of gay men in America begin around the time of the Stonewall riots in New York City in 1969, when homosexuality fought its way into the national consciousness. Mr. Kramer’s novel rewinds to prehistoric monkeys swapping viruses in the jungle. You get the sense he’d like to go back further. One narrator comments, “Everyone has been infecting everyone else since the Garden of Eden.”

From here on out, like a Sabbath elevator, Mr. Kramer’s book stops at every floor. American Indians bring “anal intercourse into general use in this country.” The mostly male settlers at Jamestown take a great deal of comfort in brotherly love. In this telling, George Washington, who disappears into the woods with “cute young Indian fellows,” is gay, as are Hamilton, Franklin, Lincoln, Jackson, Pierce and Buchanan. Minutemen jokes? Check.

Mr. Kramer doesn’t skim demurely over this material. Scenes don’t dissolve when the candle is snuffed out. Lincoln stars in a sex scene in which, his lover reports, “my big bed took quite a beating.” Lewis, in this book, is frequently, secretly fond of Clark. Samuel Clemens: totally gay. Huck and Jim are “the country’s first gay rock stars.”

There is a method, of sorts, to Mr. Kramer’s madness. He combines these stories with those of unknowns, fictional men of no special importance, some of whose tales are moving. Under this novel’s busy surfaces, the author is saying something quite specific: That gay men have always been with us, long before homosexuality had a name, and it is past time we extend to these men our historical sympathy and imagination.

Americans may have pretended they didn’t know gay men existed. One character, during the Truman presidency, addresses this nonsense in his own way: “You can’t work in a haberdashery in the sticks without knowing what a fairy is.”

Written by Randy McDonald

April 13, 2015 at 10:20 pm

[BLOG] Some Friday links

leave a comment »

  • At Acts of Minor Treason, Andrew Barton is very unhappy with the misuse of the Hugo Award.
  • Anthropology.net notes that DNA has been retrieved from an ancient and mostly fossilized Neanderthal fossil.
  • Centauri Dreams examines the early history of the Milky Way Galaxy.
  • Crooked Timber looks at the controversies over religious liberty.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze considers how extraterrestrial life can be detected through disequilibria in exoplanet atmosphere and notes the recent Alpha Centauri B study.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes that by 2018 a laser will be deployed on a drone.
  • Geocurrents shares slides from a recent lecture on Yemen.
  • Language Hat examines the Yiddish word “khnyok”.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money considers the Republican race.
  • Marginal Revolution notes the unpopularity of political jobs among young Americans.
  • The Planetary Society Blog notes SpaceX’s problem with retrieving the first stages of its rockets.
  • Torontoist looks at beekeeping in Toronto.
  • Towleroad notes a Kickstarter fundraiser for Emil Cohen’s photos of queer life in Providence.
  • Transit Toronto notes the expansion of free WiFi throughout the subway system.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes that divorce papers can be served via Facebook if it is the most practical alternative.
  • Window on Eurasia fears a summertime Russian attack on Ukraine, notes Russian fears of rebellion at home, and looks at Russian Internet censorship.
  • The World’s Gideon Rachman wonders if the Greek demand for Second World War reparations will bring the Eurozone crisis to a head.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell notes the essential lack of difference on government spending between Labour and the Tories and looks at flawed computer databases.
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 426 other followers