Page 452 - Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999
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434      Gay Pioneers: How Drummer Shaped Gay Popular Culture 1965-1999

            academia (graduate school plus ten years of tenured university-level teaching
            of literature, writing, and film), corporate business (eight years writing and
            managing writers for Kaiser Engineers, Inc.), and government (two years of
            working as a writer with the San Francisco Municipal Railway).
               Subjective insider experience must always be verified objectively through
            internal evidence, such as found in the pages of Drummer. As a survivor
            of the twentieth century, I am an artist who is a writer who lived inside
            Drummer. If, by default, AIDS deaths made me a motivated keeper of the
            institutional memory of Drummer, then great is my responsibility to the
            dead for presenting true internal evidence in writing this New Journalism
            remembrance of things past.

                       HOW THE EMBRY BLACKLIST WORKED

            For the last quarter of the twentieth century, and until he died in 2010, John
            Embry nursed grudges. Jeanne Barney in 2006 painted a cosy, but lonely,
            picture recalling that partners John Embry and Mario Simon frequently
            whiled away the hours sitting on the front porch of one of their homes at
            the Russian River, going over and over the Blacklist of people they imagined
            had “done ’em wrong.”


            From his early 1970s start in publishing, John Embry wanted to be a player
            in gay liberation politics. His personality, however, subtracted what gravitas
            he might have exerted as a publisher. He was strategically unwise using
            Drummer, a dedicated sex magazine, as if it were an anti-establishment
            political tract. Well into the 1970s, conventional gay wisdom counseled
            keeping politics out of newly emerging sex publications to protect the maga-
            zines from the revenge of powerful politicians who used the sex as the excuse
            for government censorship when it was really the politics they sought to
            silence. Embry was born a hard man with that kind of entitled male hubris
            that usually destroys guys who think they are tough.
               Wanting a high-profile adversary, he tried to bait and provoke the most
            powerful lawman in LA, Police Chief Ed Davis, whom he variously satirized
            through the years as “Crazy Ed” (Drummer 9, page 4), and, again, through
            the century, showing venom never dies, twenty-four years later in his Super
            MR #5, 2000); as a “liar” (Drummer 7, page 68: “Chief Davis lied...”); pic-
            tured in an unflattering photo (Drummer 6, page 14); and fiercely parodied
            as a bit of a “pedophile S&M crusader” (Drummer 14, page 82). In Drummer

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