Page 146 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
P. 146

128      Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999

            Ads for the gay National Socialist League, with the Nazi insignia (the first
            issue, Drummer 1, page 26; Drummer 2, page 43; Drummer 3, page 38)
            featuring a “camp” line spun off the 1972 anti-Nazi film, Cabaret. The song
            “Tomorrow Belongs to Me” became the Nazi tag line “Tomorrow Belongs
            to You!”
               Jeanne Barney told me:

                   John ran the first ad without my knowledge. I loudly protested
               running the ad in Drummer 3, but John told me that it had been pre-
               paid. I told him to refund their money. He removed the ad, sneaking
               it back in after I’d read the flats and before they went to the printer.

               Finally, with Jeanne Barney and with “Letters to the Editor” protesting
            the gay Nazi ad (Drummer 3, Drummer 5, Drummer 9), Embry bowed to
            reader pressure and stopped running it. As a result, the National Socialist
            League sued Embry who claimed he lost the case (Drummer 13, page 4).
            Hemorrhaging cash for legal fees from this suit and his Slave Auction court
            hearings, Embry groused that somehow the LAPD was behind this second
            expensive lawsuit brought by the “Gay Nazis” (whom he couldn’t afford
            to fight), writing “you can’t do business with Hitler.” It seemed he also
            included LAPD Chief Ed Davis in the “Hitler” epithet he threw. Twenty
            issues later, in Drummer 33 (December 1979), page 6, the fight over whether
            Drummer—as a champion of free speech—could print the Nazi advertise-
            ment continued in a letter to the editor from F. K. L. Meir, a subscriber
            in Germany who thought Embry needed to be “less right wing.” Embry
            responded with the courtroom lessons he had learned which had cost the
            Drummer development fund so much cash:

               Drummer does not accept advertising from any political organiza-
               tion that bases its philosophy on fascism. A long and bitter court
               case resulted from our [Embry’s] past attitude that anyone had the
               right to believe in whatever they wish; and that Drummer could not
               act as a censor. We no longer feel that way.”

               In 1981 in Drummer 49, professional man-hater and scold, Arthur Evans,
            who made a career sucking joy out of homomasculine leather culture, wrote
            to Embry: “In issue 47, you try to justify your recent Nazi sex fantasy [story]
            on the grounds that it was a joke, and not meant to be taken seriously....What
            kind of people think Nazis are funny, anyway?” The answer: Bars full of gay
            men watching Charlie Chaplin  in The Great Dictator and Mel Brooks in the

              ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 03-14-2017
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