Page 659 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
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Gay San Francisco: Eyewitness Drummer                639
             am just one of thousands of cameras shooting every which way. All this
             combines to give me the leeway, like a hunter in a duck blind, to imprint
             the documentary with my own point of view, which, after thirty years of
             feedback from readers and viewers fairly understands the market of gay
             erotic taste.
                While my camera seeks out archetypal leathermen, musclemen,
             fetish men, bears, and cigar smokers, the context around them reveals
             the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and other GLBT types also in atten-
             dance. This collection of homomasculine archetypes is for me the erotic
             documentary point: to capture the essence of “Folsom” at the Folsom
             Street Fair the way, for twenty-two years I captured quintessential males
             for Drummer. I confess I love these intensely interesting men who dare to
             put their sexuality out so publicly. My relentless camera is my post-HIV
             attempt to save them all for posterity, to have them all on digital video to
             admire forever.
                Years from now when there is a gay satellite network streaming 24/7
             programming to the Space Shuttle and Mars and beyond, my promise
             as a cameraman to these men I’ve shot will come true: “Want to become
                Sometimes, after editing the footage, and sitting back and watching
             an hour of all these men montaged together, I can only admire the Fellini-
             thon of men that gay culture offers to western civilization as an alternative
             to traditional ways of being a quiescently frozen male.
                The journalism of this Drummer article on the CMC Carnival? And
             the video documentaries of Folsom Fair?
                This work is all about storing documentary words and images in a
             time capsule.
                After all, the final thirty years of the twentieth century were host
             to the first generation after Stonewall. That era was populated by men
             who grew up in closets and secrecy. Back then, all of us continued on in
             amazement that cameras finally were allowed in to chronicle the public
             image of a culture that once had dare not record more than one or two
             Polaroids of itself.
                In 1969, a camera in a gay bar started a stampede to escape out the
             exits. At the end of 1999, a camera at a gay event makes men ready for
             their close-up.
                Actually, I think one street South of Market should be renamed
             “Drummer  Way” or “Leather Lane.” (What a photo opportunity for
               tourists!) It must intersect Folsom Street between 6  Street and 12
             Street. It need be no longer than one short block like Dore Alley or Hal-
             lam Close where the Barracks Baths once lit up the SoMa night and then
             burned down. Because gay culture traditionally has been so much a street
           ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 05-05-2017
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