Page 600 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
P. 600

580                                     Jack Fritscher, Ph.D.
            I equated what was a “happening” in the Mineshaft as being no different
            than what straight guys like the Marines or SERE recruits do when their
            survival training gets them into some really twisted stuff: bondage, inter-
            rogation, torture, sexual abuse, piss, and scatology. I’ve always thought
            that everybody always does what they want and calls it by the best name
            possible. The message of the Golden Age of the Titanic 70s was that a
            man could liberate himself to do whatever he wanted.

               The tactics and behavior of self-fashioned identity that were good
            enough for the Black civil rights movement, for the peace movement,
            and for the women’s movement were good enough for us gays liberating
            ourselves, but we had to tell ourselves that this equation was valid. That
            was always the humanist political message coded behind my erotic writ-
            ing in Drummer.

               Unlike latter-day puritan kveens who strangle gay literature and cas-
            trate gay studies, I have always believed gay writing should be about sex,
            even though such dead-on honesty runs the risk that such writing, no
            matter how journalistic or literary may be dismissed as pornography. I
            chose early on, in 1968 in my first gay novel, I Am Curious (Leather) aka
            Leather Blues, to skip fantasy and to write about the actual sex lives and
            real sex practices of contemporary gay men.
               I was lucky. In the first decade of gay liberation the gay press was not
            its own worst censor — as it became with the politically-correct puritans
            who in 1982 were swept to power in gay culture on a disaster-wind of
            AIDS rather like the dubiously elected George W. Bush was swept from
            mere presidential to imperial power by airliners crashing into the World
            Trade Center. Talk about two acts in the Theater of the Absurd! No one
            told me not to write about the real lives of actual gay men. Well, once
            or twice, publisher John Embry censored a piece or two that I wrote. He
            always blamed the fundamentalist printer who had religious and moral
            reservations about going too far.
               Embry, having been arrested by the LAPD for the Drummer “Slave
            Auction,” was correct in his fear of the religious right. In the 1970s, the
            Christianazi Anita Bryant was running her anti-gay crusade in Florida
            where she taught the Republican Neocons who came after her to hijack
            government to support traditional values. So I forgave Embry for not
            publishing my very psychedelic poem, “Jesus Depressed; Or, Kenneth
            Anger, Make a Movie.” I also forgave him for pulling the feature article
            in Son of Drummer titled “Scum That I Am,” because that special “New

          ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 05-05-2017
   595   596   597   598   599   600   601   602   603   604   605