Page 235 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
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Gay San Francisco: Eyewitness Drummer                 215
                Some people think my Robert Mapplethorpe was a photographer
             when he was actually first an artist who was second a photographer. Never
             take this writer-editor-photographer-videographer, who was a founding
             member of the American Popular Culture Association in 1968, for any-
             thing less.
                That pop-culture sensitivity and my education (which I earned,
             thanks to my working-class parents) trained me with a PhD in American
             literature and criticism, so that I was formally prepared, with my home-
             work done, to take on gay culture’s ignition at Stonewall and blast-off into
             the Titanic 70s for the cruise altitude of Drummer.
                When the love that dare not speak its name began to scream, Golden
             Age writers’ duty and necessity was to name those unspoken acts, facts,
             and people. Erotic writers are endlessly inventive creating infinite syn-
             onyms for sex organs and sex acts.
                Actually, I had to determine for the 70s “Gay Culture Style Guide”
             that cum would be spelled “c-u-m” to match the Anglo-Saxon “f-u-c-k.”
             and that hardon had no hyphen.
                My name being “Jack” tuned my familiarity with the word manjack,
             as in “every manjack for himself.” So I wrote a portmanteau word by plant-
             ing the word man as a prefix as in “mancock.” Oi and vay! Every imitator
             on the block has prefixed everything but the “mankitchen sink” into what
             is now a total cliche of “manporn.” (Nothing’s worse than jerking off to
             some writer’s story and realizing he’s imitating your style. Bummer.)
                Pioneer writers had to create new vocabulary to spin/spin/spin queers
             from hated stereotype to heroic archetype.
                Stereotypes can be down and dirty shorthand to create a quick vil-
             lain; but heroes need to be archetypes.
                I admit I write as a Platonist. Plato said that out there somewhere
             exists the Perfect Lover.
                Quentin Crisp, who was not a Platonist, told me there was no such
             thing as the perfect tall, dark, and handsome Platonic Ideal.
                I told Quentin, “Of course, there isn’t. He’s blond.” Style sample:

                    That first night when I first saw Kick, I recognized one
                of life’s long shots at the Perfect Affirmation. He was a man.
                He had a man’s strength and fragility, a man’s grace and inten-
                sity, a man’s joy, and a man’s passion. He seemed my chance to
                celebrate the changes in me as growth. He was so fully a man,
                he was an Angel of Light. To him I could say nothing but Yes.
                One thing, you see, I know for sure: Nature very rarely puts it
                all together: looks, bearing, voice, appeal, smile, intelligence,
                artfulness, accomplishment, strength, kindness. That’s what I

           ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 05-05-2017
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