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Gay San Francisco: Eyewitness Drummer                603
             Fascist politicians and Mafiosi whom Pasolini dismantled in films such
             as Salo.
                The film caused an international sensation that only increased with
             Pasolini’s murder two years before this feature essay, “Pasolini’s Last Pic-
             ture Show,” was published in Drummer. His murder rocked the gay world.
             Pasolini and anti-gay Fascism were extremely hot topics in the politics and
             pop culture of the 1970s. I wrote this essay to pique reader interest and to
             make Drummer respond realistically to homophobic attacks by American
             Fascists such as Anita Bryant and John Briggs who began the culture war
             that continues to this day.
                Pasolini was born March 5, 1922, the year Fascist dictator Benito
             Mussolini came to power over Italy. He took esthetic cue for his irony
             from Dante who also punctured politicians. Lest anyone be confused
             about precisely why the S&M images in Salo are so extreme and so tai-
             lored to history, note that Pasolini lifted his title from the Repubblica di
             Salo. This Salo Republic during World War II was a sham government
             much like the Vichy government in France. At Hitler’s orders, it was
             established in the North of Italy by Mussolini after Mussolini had been
             driven out of Rome. The Salo government was Hitler’s hand puppet in
             rounding up hundreds of Italian Jews, gays, and gypsies. However, before
             Salo officials — living aristocratically in art deco palazzos — sent them to
             concentration camps, they played terminal sex games with them. Such is
             the mise en scene of the film, Salo.
                Pasolini, always bucking authority, was very much part of the 1960s
             and 1970s gay lib zeitgeist. Fascism specifically is an authoritarian political
             movement that flourished in Italy under Mussolini and in Spain under
             Franco. World linguistics often applies the Fascist label to any oppressive
             government limiting civil liberties. I use the term, always capitalized, both
                That said, now, so many years past the Titanic 70s, the films named
             in this essay may guide S&M enthusiasts and queer studies professors
             seeking “must-see viewing” within BDSM culture. These 1970s films
             have been resurrected on DVD as leather-heritage art objects.

                                 American Fascism 1
                If there is an Absolute Timeline on an Absolute LGBT Calendar,
                one  date  requiring annual observance  is February 19, 1942:
                President  Franklin  D.  Roosevelt  signs  Executive  Order  9066,
                the internment order requiring Americans who happened to be
                of Japanese descent to be held in concentration camps for the
                duration of World War II.

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