Page 91 - Gay San Francisco_Eyewitness Drummer
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Gay San Francisco: Eyewitness Drummer                 71
             understood and encouraged in his lover Mapplethorpe the heady mix
             of Catholicism and Satanism inherent in much very potent gay art; for
             instance, Mapplethorpe’s most Satanic and scatalogical photos graced a
             new edition of the poet Rimbaud’s A Season in Hell.
                Charles Winnic, Ph.D., Professor of sociology at City University of
             New York, writes of Mapplethorpe: Assault with a Deadly Camera:

                    Jack Fritscher’s memoir is a marvelous recreation of an
                epoch, an art, and a man. Mapplethorpe was a . . . romantic figure
                who did more to liberate popular taste than any other artist . . . .
                Fritscher  is  the  perfect  interpreter  of  Mapplethorpe,  and  his
                beautifully written book helps us to understand how an apoliti-
                cal photographer became so politically potent a culture symbol.

                Like many great writers, Fritscher knows himself well and has clearly
             developed tremendous confidence. His knowledge of human sexuality
             runs deep, both from academic study and hands-on experience with the
             13,000 veterans of the gay liberation wars to whom he dedicated Some
             Dance to Remember, which is an autobiographical novel that is also very
             much the autobiography of San Francisco, 1970-1982. Fritscher’s tales
             of the City are a bit more realistic, and certainly more historical, than
             Armistead Maupin’s  Tales of the City for which Fritscher has an Irish
             storyteller’s respect. Maupin has said he himself writes to capture people’s
             hearts, not their sex; Fritscher says he aims for both, and for their intel-
             lects. (The resounding opening line of Some Dance is “In the end, he could
             not deny his human heart.) Asked about his own dual role as author and
             historian, he writes,
                    Perhaps I am a unique hybrid: I am personally leather and
                a pioneer “action figure” (according to Drummer cartoonist A.
                Jay) in leather culture as well as a scholar-historian of gay male
                leather culture. But I am not part of the establishment Leather
                Reich of “Mother-May-I S/M.” In my Porno Manifesto, art for
                art’s sake may go beyond the pale of consent.

                Fritscher is also a pop-culture scholar and expert on cinema and tele-
             vision, and has published numerous articles. In his pioneering 1972 media
             book, Television Today, a chapter titled “Americanned Creativity” goes:

                    For TV now, the Commercial Sell is the Frankenstein
                that creates our buffered, not-so-glad-wrapped, gotta-have-
                a- gimmick Americanned  culture. Whenever business lays  its

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