Page 334 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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316      Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999


                   2. In the midst of the culture war over art and homosexuality in
               America, the 1989 “Pentimento” rose like a flare over the memory
               of the sinking Titanic 1970s.
                   3. Its publication in  Drummer  133 (September 1989) com-
               pleted the eleven-year “circle of life” I had begun by reporting on
               Mapplethorpe in Drummer 24 and Son of Drummer (both September
               1978).
                   4. On May 9, 1990, Mark Thompson, who was collecting authors
               for his landmark anthology,  Leatherfolk: Radical  Sex, People,
               Politics, and Practice, wrote:

                   Dear Jack, Thank you for the...[article]  on Robert
                   Mapplethorpe. I sat down and read the essay last night
                   and  was  completely overwhelmed  by the  power  and  the
                   beautiful writing of the  piece. You’ve caught something
                   extremely important. So, a  thought  occurs: What  would
                   you think about including the “Arnett” [an article I’d writ-
                   ten on artist, Chuck  Arnett,  in  Drummer  134 (October
                   1989)] and “Mapplethorpe” pieces together, back to back,
                   in  the  leather  anthology? Both  are  very personal  pieces
                   about two important artists, from different decades and
                   coasts, yet who had immense influence over the culture
                   of the time. Furthermore, each man liberated the leather
                   image, advanced its meaning, each in his own particular
                   way....Having both pieces of your articles together would
                   also express an historical continuity as well....
                   —Warmly, Mark Thompson

                   If Embry had still owned Drummer in 1989 his Blacklist would
               not, in my opinion, have allowed any obituary of his nemesis
               Mapplethorpe to darken the pages of Drummer, much less one writ-
               ten by me, his “rogue” editor. The consequence of Embry’s “embry-
               onic 180 degrees of separation from the evolving soul of Drummer”
               would have segregated Drummer into a marginal ghetto of sex fan-
               tasies, with one less connection to the real world of erotic art and
               politics.
                   When Embry’s hired gun of a book critic, John F. Karr, reviewed
               Leatherfolk in Manifest Reader 16 (1992), page 88, Karr extended
               himself into liking the book of essays even though he could not resist
               one flick of his vanilla wrist: “At times this collection makes S/M
               sound like a civic duty.” Nevertheless he listed ten of the twenty-five
               contributors, mostly Drummer authors, by name: John Preston, Pat
               Califia, Scott Tucker, Jack Fritscher, Sam Steward, Dorothy Allison,
               Arnie Kantrowitz, Joseph Bean, Geoff Mains, and Mark Thompson.


              ©Jack Fritscher, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved—posted 03-16-2017
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