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608                                     Jack Fritscher, Ph.D.
            believe everything literally — that “the South will rise again.” Red State
            voters are in angry denial that the South lost the Civil War and they seek
            a restoration of their confederacy of dunces.
               In the sturm and drang of the operatic 1970s, the cast of characters
            was huge and the plot lurched forward on events that were epic. (That’s
            why, as critic Michael Bronski, pointed out, Some Dance to Remember, like
            Gone with the Wind, sweeps through fifteen characters and a dozen plot
               It is an intellectual mistake, especially for GLBT people, to dismiss
            the 1970s because of cliched and jokey attitudes about disco, grooming,
            clothing, political incorrectness, and pre-AIDS behavior.

               In the 1970s, we took the virtual world that had been the gay world
            before Stonewall and worked to turn the virtual dream into actual life.

               The night of that LA “Slave Auction,” April 10, 1976, Davis arrested
            approximately forty gay personalities and stars including Drummer’s first
            editor in chief Jeanne Barney, Drummer’s first publisher John Embry, porn
            legend Val Martin, and director of Born to Raise Hell, Terry LeGrand.
               They were charged — and here’s a pattern! — with breaking the 14
            Amendment to the US Constitution forbidding slavery. Invoking an
            antique law twenty-eight years later (2004) was the same way that then
            Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney denied gay marriage in his state to
            people who did not reside in Massachusetts.
               The LAPD asked Jeanne Barney if she was a real woman and she
            answered, “Honey, if I were a drag queen, I’d have bigger tits.”
               The way John Embry, ever ambiguous, handled the advertising,
            charged for the event, and changed his story about the nature of this event
            (was it for charity or was he charging admission for profit?) had played
            into Davis’ hands. Whatever happened, this raid drove Drummer to San
            Francisco to escape Davis’s clutches the way that Jews fled Hitler.
               One cannot help but remember that the inspiring text for gays in the
            1970s was the iconic, political, and sexually liberating film Cabaret (1972)
            which as a 1960s Broadway musical initiated an equation between Nazi
            Germany and Fascist America beyond, I think, even what Christopher
            Isherwood intended in what he called his Berlin Stories which were Herr
            Issyvoo’s combination of his two short novels, Mr. Norris Changes Trains
            (1935) and Goodbye to Berlin (1939).
               His autobiography,  Christopher and His Kind (1977), was a gay
            best seller at the same time I became editor in chief of Drummer and

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