Thursday, September 17, 2015

What the Fuck? Marriage, Equality, Assimilation or Rebellion?

When I was 17, in 1967, I fell madly in love with a rock'n'roll drummer, Tony. He was 16 and we ran away from home together, got a small inner-city flat in Richmond,Melbourne, and tried to live-out a great friendship. He might have been bisexual and thus given me a chance at domestic bliss, for awhile, but such was the state of oppression towards gays in those times, he wouldn't dare contemplate it, there was just too much hatred, disgust and violence towards such relationships. His mates wouldn't tolerate it either.

Gays were hunted down, tortured, beaten, jailed or sent to mental institutions, we had to remain hidden, seeking out our fellows for quick zipless sex in dark parks and toilets, few of us, especially from the working class, able to settle down and experience an ongoing, loving partnership. Thus the year I spent with Tony in our aborted love-nest was one long hissy fit on my part, always throwing temper tantrums and frustrated squabbles, never getting to caress him though often we slept in the same bed. Sometimes we'd even have showers together, scrubbing each others backs, me with an erection that I hunched over so as not to reveal.

I dreamed of taking Tony home to my parents and telling them, "This is the guy for me! I want to commit to him for the rest of my life!" A silly fantasy I suppose as few things last in this world and if we'd been given a chance it probably would've been over at the point of the seven year itch, at best. But at least I would've liked the chance, instead of wondering all my life how it would've worked out, and missing him terribly for all these years too, so bad I still cry, late in the lonely night, thinking of him, wondering what happened in his life, that I missed out on. (Most of us never get over our first love.)

It was not to be as society in those dark times would not have it and Tony was too chicken to give it a try. He left me after a year to go back to his parents' house but realizing he needed me in his life, after some months, he asked me to join him in his bedroom, next to that of his parents, where we might carry on a clandestine affair I suppose. I'd already come-out to most of my teenage friends, I was tired of secrecy and shame, I would've liked a partnership, but it was not to be with him, we were too young anyway. I didn't want to spoil his chances for a normal life with some sweet girl with whom he could be happy, and find a position as family man respected by the straight world.

So I walked out on him, left him in his bed where he was holding out his hand to me, and I spent the rest of my life wandering the world's highways, a loner, a rebel, a libertarian Situationist, always impulsively ready to enact a spectacular stunt to astonish the Het spectacle dumped on me eternally from every direction. I was a twisted sister indulging in endless one-night stands and sleazy pick-ups. Because I was fucked up, unable to commit, maybe that from the beginning anyway, but I didn't get a chance to find out otherwise.

These days I'm arguing with my anarchist friends over the right for gays to marriage. They say it's an outmoded institution, oppressive and violent to women, angling for assimilation into a fucked up society, backed by a bigoted Church and State. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I myself don't want it, I'm too restless and horny, I'd like to fuck everybody in the world. But for those who want it, let them have it, equality in everything, for everyone I say. There's just as much violence in de facto relationships, (it's mostly the male psyche that's the problem), and there's always divorce when love is lost. Once gays get the right to marry they can then eschew it, such freedoms are not going to bring the world crashing down or destroy "the Family" as the far right/religious bigots would have it. And it's not going to fuck the minorities, as the far-left carp on about, it'll all work out in the wash.

It would seem to me that if the entire progressive "Western world" accepted gay marriage it would send a strong message to all those other States where gays are oppressed, jailed, murdered, (Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Eastern Europe, South America, Pacific Islands), that gays should be respected and welcomed into the fabric of humanity. And one day, maybe, hopefully, they too will decriminalize and love their homosexual own. We have always existed, we are part of the human condition, evolution made us, we were born that way and live it when the environment allows it, we are needed as a safety valve to population explosions and we contribute tp joyous, colorful living.

Gay marriage is just one tiny step along the way to a united humanity, global and future historical. And when we get over such artificial methods of bonding we might enter a Utopianist phase, of just plain happily living together with no sexual/racial/political/religious/class distinctions, and of no wars and environmental destruction either. Maybe that would be boring, I don't know. I just wish I'd been given a chance with Tony. Seven years in his arms would've been delightful, maybe ending in antipathy, but these painful regrets I linger upon are possibly worse. I only hope he had a happy life, I think I broke his heart y leaving him bas mine was broken. I've got the awful sense he died some years ago and I'll never get the chance to say, "I'm sorry, I was fucked up, and I loved you too much!"

P.S. Considering James Franco's line in his movie "Interior: Leather Bar", that if gays got marriage equality they would be assimilated into straight society and no longer be "different', "other", "rebels", and that those who don't want to get married, who remain promiscuous and kinky, would be pressured by straight society into conforming into nice normal married couples , I've got this to say in reply. As far as I'm concerned most gays are already assimilated, they work hand and glove with the straight world, as govt. bureaucrats, police, school teachers, designers, filmmakers, CEOs etc etc. And they worship all the things the straights worship, money, celebrity, designer clothes, cars, possession, status, power etc etc. Those like me who don't want to get married and maybe get pressured to do so will just have to keep rebelling, as I've done as a gay all my life, it'll give us rebels something ongoing to resist.

For all his liberalism, Franco's just doing the usual Het thing, directing us gays as to how it should be without really having a clue what it's like to grow up gay and live under intense oppression. Though he IS right about the constant Het brainwash raining down upon us all. Even when we get married bigots will still snigger and call us faggots. To reiterate, those who want it, let them have it, if they find it to be a chimera, they can walk away from it. There are such things as happy marriages, and ingrained promiscuous renegades, no matter the sexuality. This rave is coming from a gay who will never be assimilated.

(And I do appreciate Franco's attempt to understand and support our "difference". Yet he seemed to miss the point of the movie,"Cruising", that Pacino's character becomes more and more fascinated with gay sex and lifestyles and by the end of the movie discovers his own latent homosexuality. Franco himself seemed excited by the homo action, maybe dying to be "transgressive". Come on James, have a go! If you really want to please us gays you should do a sexy gay love story with Seth Rogan and fuck him stupid!)

I might actually get kicked out of the "anarchists' club" for supporting marriage for those who want it, but I've been kicked out of every club I never meant to join. I've even been kicked out of the "gays' club" for not conforming to their poncy demands of "work, obey, be silent, get fucked!" We rebels rioted which started the fight and eventually won the battle for decriminalization all those years ago, now the "straight gays" feel safe to come out of the closet, rule us riff-raff and run the scene for $300,000 a year plus, brooking no rebellion in the ranks, because they've always been straight, married or not.

Back in the day, when S/M leather clubs were all the rage, there was pressure from the "gay community" to join in all the whipping, gang-banging and amyl-sniffing, bare butt hanging from black-leather chaps, it was de rigeuer and you weren't quite gay enough if you didn't comply. It all left me cold, I'm another kind of gay altogether, liking it all sweet, vanilla, loving, private, one on one, plenty of lights, showers before after. It could be part of the reason I never got HIV and survived that epidemic, anyway I was into safe sex, all that stuff in bath-houses turns me off.

I once was a film-maker like James Franco and when I tried to enter my work, "Virgin Beasts", into the Sydney Film Festival in 1992, ran by an elitist fag for a conservative movie cognoscenti crowd, I was knocked back, not good enough for his poncy taste. On THEIR opening night THEY showed a documentary on "Tom of Finland" and all the leather crowd showed up, their bare arses gleaming in the State Theatre foyer. I premiered my rock'n'roll animated sci-fi burlesque on the same night in a punk rock venue, "Jellyhedz", a converted mechanic's garage, with bands and a crowd of street people, hustlers, hookers, goths, addicts, the non-assimmilated, in contrast to the leather culture vultures at the State Theatre. So what the fuck James...?

William Burroughs on Yage.

If you enjoyed this story please go to the WEB address above and consider buying my book of tales about growing up anarcho-queer, rock and roll punter and mystic adventurer in Australia and India of the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s.

Monday, September 07, 2015

It was the Mystique of the Super-Hero That I Fell For.

When I was a boy, between the ages of seven and fourteen, I was mad for comic books, particularly the super-heroes, many of whom I fell deeply in love with. I collected hundreds of them, stacked all about my bedroom, no god knows where I got the money to buy them all, my allowance wasn't that generous. Perhaps I swapped them for toys from other kids, maybe I even shop-lifted them, I was that addicted. Encouraging my bent, my parents bought me the hard-cover albums for birthdays and Christmas, books that contained several issues so you could follow the ongoing stories all at one go. Though I treasured them I gave them away to all the poor neighborhood kids, already an altruist, half regretting it as they'd be worth a fortune now.

I adored the hunky guys in tight, revealing costumes, Superman, Batman, Spiderman, Marvelman, Aquaman, Phantom, Tarzan, Mandrake the Magician, Doc Savage and Conan the Barbarian. Now in my old age I realize it wasn't just the overwrought masculinity of these super-heroes that was attractive to my burgeoning homosexuality, it was also that there was an inherent mysticism behind the training of many of them. Many of the great comic book writers/artists, such as Jack Kirby, Jerry Seigel and Steve Engelhart, were fascinated by, and students of, Paganism and the Occult, investing many of their story-lines with gods of ancient mythology and mysticism.

Madame Blavatsky's Theosophical writings was especially influential. She asserted that there were seven enlightened great Masters hiding out in the Himalayas training any worthy acolytes who had the strength, courage and heart to find them. Super-heroes such as Batman, Doc Savage, Phantasma, Mandrake, Doctor Mystic all trained with these "secret chiefs" to get their powers. As a child, reading of the existence of this kind of knowledge was fascinating and seemed to promise there was more to the mundane world than the dreariness of the housing estate and domestic violence I grew up with, that my life could indeed get inspired with some magic, if only I dared seek out the wonders over the horizon. (One of my favorite movies, "The Lost Horizon", I'd seen on '50s television and that also bolstered my enthusiasm for mysticism.)

Swami Compassion.
Little did I know that all this mystic training of super-heroes had sunk into my Unconscious, influencing my life path, guiding my steps a decade later, when I was nineteen, wandering down Collins Street, Melbourne. I noticed a sign outside the creaky arcane building of the Theosophical Society, announcing a free lecture inside on Yoga being given by some outlandish fellow named Swami Compassion. I traipsed inside and was immediately smitten by the old fellow, eventually sitting at his feet for several years, indeed nursing him until his death in Rishikesh at the foothills of the Himalayas, imbibing tales of India, power-training and enlightenment that I lusted to achieve for myself.

As a nobody weakling, working-class poor boy, destined to grow into the monstrous demon of the night that was homosexuality in those days, I longed to overcome my diminutive status and emerge in adulthood as some kind of super-hero, perhaps even to save the world. For I had felt the sexual desire in my guts for my fellow childhood mates and was smart enough to know what this portended but somehow I would still get a life.

One of my favorite heroes was Doc Savage, he who got trained by the Himalayan Masters, I devoured every comic I could get my hands on, he was so handsome, manly, human, didn't come from another planet or fly with a cape, it was possible I could grow up to be just like him. And so I spent many years in India, seeking out enlightened masters to study with, so many of them. And I search always for the Secret Community in the high mountains, where I might find refuge, succor and knowledge, but I haven't found it yet. ( Perhaps it's all around me, hiding in plain sight, wonderful souls who toil for humanity without recognition and fortune?)

I do believe some of the Big Babas charisma, energy, powers, rubbed off on me and I got back to Auz with my batteries over-charged, somewhat deluded that I could achieve great things, influence history, like Doc Savage or Superman, even save mankind. I got involved in lots of political activism, the fag super-hero who helped stop Uranium being shipped out of Sydney, which maybe was destined to end up fueling nuclear bombs. It was a small victory but I was kidding myself, THEY shipped it out of Darwin instead, and it's probably Aussie uranium that's in the Fukushima power plant that blew up not so long ago and is still poisoning the world.

Getting involved with "The Prisoners' Action Group" we did improve conditions for inmates in our medieval jails. As squatters we saved many heritage buildings from demolition and now, renovated, they are tourist attractions. Supporting Aboriginal Rights we helped get respect for our indigenous Australians and some of them eventually got Land-rights though their struggle for dignity continues. And after a riot of gays with police in 1978 we got decriminalization in 1983 and thus I don't have to be the deviant monster prowling in the night any more, though growing up twisted it's not possible for me to find love in a committed relationship, THEY took that away from me.

And there's my downfall, SEX, it overwhelms me and has my Kundalini leaking out of my second chakra, or so the mystic teachings say. It's a pity that Sex is so put down by much of the esoteric sciences, the Masters seem to have a phobia about it. I wouldn't mind mastering Tantric Sex, where orgasm is felt as a divine gift enthusing all the Universe. But my mind slips, I get horny and forget the numinous, I vibrate with my mantra all the day long, and still lose my temper, get impatient, paranoid, grumpy, randy etc. I guess I'm only human after all.

Luckily, we evolved to lose our libido in old age and I'm not so randy any more. I guess that's why most of the supposed Masters are old, with long white beards, it's not only that they're wiser, they simply don't want sex as much as they did in their youth and so it doesn't bring them down. (Though I've heard the old folk-tale where Shiva disguises himself as a gorgeous dancing girl to test the mettle of many meditating adepts and they all fell flat on their face for her in lust.)

When I hit puberty at fourteen the chief icons of my masturbatory fantasy were Superman, who I wished would fly me away to some high tower and make mad love to me, Tarzan who would swing me on a vine up to his tree-house and open up his loin-cloth, and Doc Savage who would carry me crushed against his bronze chest to some mountain retreat and let me fuck him stupid.

In my ongoing travels in the Himalayas I had a dream in which I was taken into a cave system where the esoteric Masters dwelt in eternal meditation and just as I felt overjoyed to finally find them, shutters came crashing down to block off my further entrance and sight of them. And a voice echoed through the caverns, "You are not ready yet, you are still too weak and distracted by desire. Maybe next life..."

Back down in the lowlands I have happily discovered that there were gay comic book super-heroes imagined for such souls as I.  Apollo, (a clone of Superman, powered by the sun, sent from the heavens by his father to save the earth) and his lover, Midnighter, (a clone of Batman, denizen of the night, vigilante knight fighting evil-doers who would bring co-operative society down.) But being a heterosexual supremacist world, they were not popular and their line died out as sales dwindled. Oh well, better luck next time.

As I grew into adulthood I gave comics away for the most, finding them infantile and repetitive. I switched over to literature, thousands of books from which much knowledge of history, science, anthropology, philosophy, psychology and politics has been gained, and many mysteries solved. I still long for the mystic though, often finding it in cyberpunk science-fiction. And the few comics I still read are those of Crumb, Shelby and the Anarchists. I didn't make it to super-hero status, am just a furry freak bro smoking pot, the man who got trumped, gambled and lost, I followed my dreams, stepped off a cliff and flew into the void, without a cape.

P.S. This essay was inspired by my reading of "Our Gods Wear Spandex - The Secret History of Comic Book Heroes"  by Christopher Knowles.

If you enjoyed this story please go to the WEB address above and consider buying my book of tales about growing up anarcho-queer, rock and roll punter and mystic adventurer in Australia and India of the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Artists in the Firing Line.

A pig pushed his way into my flat today after flashing a bullshit badge, ostensibly to look for defects in the recent renovations but possibly he was a spy, hoping to incriminate me. He marched about like a gorilla with a broomstick up his arse and took photos, and when I complained that he was invading my privacy he stood over me like a thug, making me feel like I had a serial killer on my hands.

(Who was he? I don't know. A cop sent to harass, a thief casing the joint, a brute contractor squeezing out more renovation work he can overcharge for? His dumb greed over-rode my need for rest and convalescence, he didn't give a shit if I was dying in my bed. So many dicks are out to strip the flesh from whomever, it's a cold and callous world here in 2015.)

His thuggery scared me, in my paranoid delirium I imagined THE POWERS THAT BE didn't take kindly to my recent art show wherein I succinctly, intelligently critiqued THEIR criminal, cruel, stupid MO in running the world. The art from "The Fool's Journey Thru Sydney in 7 Pictures" went all around the world, shared by many Libertarian friends and groups on Facebook, and Big Daddy Censor in the Sky probably hated it, if He noticed it that is. I believe Fascism didn't get defeated in World War 2 but carried on, having learned nasty techniques in eliminating people, all on behalf of a powerful/wealthy elite made up of industrialists, aristocrats, pseudo-celebrities, judges, generals and politicians.

And in times of trouble, the Fascist forces crack down heavily on even the slightest of resistance, THEY can't handle any critique, especially if it's spot-on. Think of the tyrannies throughout history, Bolshevick Russia up to Putin's rule, Maoist China up to the Central Committee's rule, Nazi Germany, Fascist Spain, the oligarchies of South America, artists and free-thinkers are some of the first rounded up and disappeared. It's not just agitators and activists who quickly get put in front of the firing squad, sharp art gets quashed, these days under the banner of "the war on terror" and "the war on drugs", or how They got me, "property-crime", I got framed for an armed robbery, whatever.

Things are getting real bad on planet Earth. Economies are crashing, vicious wars destroying all, stateless refugees flooding across borders in their millions, workers conditions eroded, industrial accidents exploding, the environment collapsing, the climate changing, disasters piling up and up, and in the face of all this shit Fascism rears its ugly head, to control populations and preserve the privileges of the Elite. Whatever "liberties" have been given to the people can be taken away, unless there is great resistance.

Whatever the Police State dictates many citizens obey, out of conviction, stupidity and wimping out. While a few artists/intellectuals resist and fight the robopathic bullshit, most toe the line and in their art say nothing, they're still wiping their arse across the canvas and calling it "abstract expressionism" or painting soothing landscapes so as to forget the poison raining down on us all, or they paint still-lifes that go very well with the wall-paper, matching the fabric of their furniture, or they pile on heaps of oil-paint like cow-patties to represent dickhead half-famous nobodies which then hang very nicely in corporate boardrooms, the very place where a lot of psychopahic acts are instigated against the world.

I know this sounds like the rave of a loser from the lunatic fringe, I don't give a shit, to me art should speak to world events, reflect the society the artist is embedded within, critique the fuckers who own and rule the world, (because the media and the arts mostly trumpet "the party line"), and report on the human condition in contemporary times. Art for art's sake has had its day, they are now just wimps looking for the money and fame, too chicken to talk about reality: when Fascist forces are jailing, torturing, starving, killing people, art has a duty to speak up.

THEY framed and tortured me once before, in the '90s, because of my activities and artistic endeavors, THEY may come again to crush me, but what can I do? This is my Art, replying to THEIR outrageous rip-offs is ingrained in me, I've been a freak since childhood, it separated me from the herd. And now I'm 66, my life's nearly over, I'm not going to change and I have nothing to lose, I don't mind the Big Sleep when IT comes, it's been a long hard road.

Being a rebel is even supposed to be part of the Aussie character, to question, to not follow blindly, to stand up to one's oppressors. But you wouldn't know it by looking at Auz today, our present govt. is the worst that's ever been voted in, everyone is a "terrorist" to them, if THEY get Their Fascist way even graffiti artists will go to jail for life. It's almost back to penal-colony times, the poor being whipped near to death on the chain-gang and fighting over a crust of bread. Our right-wing Pollies are climate-sceptics, against marriage equality for gays, want to do away with environmental-impact studies in the name of mining profits, and hope to curtail the freedom of expression and put us all under constant surveillance to name just some erosions of our "democracy". It's 1984 writ large only with 100 brands of toothpaste to give the vacuous a cheesy smile.

I know this rave sounds hopelessly Utopianist. How else to run the world you may say? But surely the human race could have done better than this mess, that looks like it's heading for nuclear war, among many possible catastrophes? I can only dream on, wanker though I be. Though this Blog is now filtered, blocked, de-linked and banned in much of the world it may somehow survive and inspire a few, it has much of my art in it and altogether it is my "artist's manifesto" and I'm sticking to it.

If you enjoyed this story please go to the WEB address above and consider buying my book of tales about growing up anarcho-queer, rock and roll punter and mystic adventurer in Australia and India of the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s.