I condone myself with professionalism

I watched

Saturday Night At The Baths

To understand the Conservative voting, heteronormative gay male of today, we must first understand the "predatory homosexual" of yesteryear. That grotesque stereotype of the feared and loathed homosexual is present in writer/director David Buckley's fascinating 1975 film Saturday Night At The Baths. But Buckley (who's straight) comes with good intentions, and his film is a brave one.

It's clear the director is straight, because of the prolonged straight sex scene at the beginning of the film. In fairness, there's also a (shorter) gay sex scene towards the end, featuring the beautiful Don Scotti, an actual employee of the Baths who has since disappeared off the face of the earth. If you're buying the film, take care to purchase the uncut director's cut, and not the earlier butchered release, which saw the gay sex scene cut.

This story from New York's infamous Continental Baths, shot forty years ago, ain't perfect. Its low budget shows, and the performances are straight out of the porn school of acting. But it's a fascinating, pre-AIDS time capsule of a New York long since disappeared, and worth seeing for the incredible Beyond The Fringe drag show alone.

RuPaul's Drag Race
S7 Ep14 - Reunited!

Is the mask slipping, Ru? There has been muttering about this year's season having been below par, but to me it seemed like business as usual. The big success was Untucked's much-needed facelift; this stripped back version was more intimate, more real, and a demonstration of that old adage "less is more".

Early on in the season, it really did feel like Aryan Airlines, with a gaggle of young, pretty white boys I could barely tell apart. And it seemed inevitable that one of these commercially acceptable young white couture queens would win, but I was holding out for Kennedy Davenport and Ginger Minj. If I want skinny bitches doing fashion I'll watch America's Next Top Model, thanks. Let's hope next year's run is more diverse.

But back to RuPaul himself. "If you hear somebody talking about good vibes and letting it all hang out, run a mile," Captain Cook once said. I learned that lesson myself last year, when someone I looked up to and admired turned on me like a Cobra when I didn't toe the line. He, like RuPaul, is fond of preaching positivity, love and acceptance. The emphasis being on preaching, you understand.

But, in coming out in support of right wing bigot Katie Hopkins, RuPaul made a serious error, and this interview (in which he talks about apparently leaving a drowning man to die) is pretty disturbing, too. I guess there's only so much concealer can do for a girl...

Randy Blue
Dominic Santos & Austin Wilde

When I put together the biannual KAOS Top 30 Porn Star list earlier this year, I wasn't really aware of Dominic Santos. Had I witnessed his stunning clash with Austin Wilde, Santos would easily have been top ten material.

The Sword is calling it "the hottest scene of the year", but that's underselling it. In twenty years of porn watchin' (my first movie was Kristen Bjorn's Gangsters At Large. On VHS), I can recall just a handful (fistful?) of scenes that match the intensity of Wilde and Santos' pairing. This is intimate love making at its finest, and by the end of the scene, you're convinced the boys are going to move into a cute loft together in San Francisco. "We just started dating, like, what, six hours ago," Austin jokes in the post-coital interview. "The wedding invites go out next week."

Coronation Street
20th September 1989

I was a kid when I started watching Coronation Street in late '80s Northern Ireland, and a depressed, isolated teen when one of Australia's commercial broadcasters finally starting airing episodes from 1989, several years late, in the mid-90s. Those episodes were a reminder of a time of when I was happy, before I was uprooted for a new life in "the arse end of the world". I recorded the episodes on VHS, and watched them back, over and over. Sad, yes, but it was better than real life.

Thanks to the miracle of the internet (and the work of other "Corrie" devotees), most of those old episodes are now available to view on YouTube. And so I gave up watching the desperately sensationalist pap my favourite soap has degenerated into in recent years (a slow decline that began in the late '90s with the axing of several older actors, an increase in the number of episodes, and the end of rehearsal time) and returned to the exquisite characters of old, performed by actors who could flip from comedy to drama in the blink of an eye.

As painful as Corrie's decline is, there's still forty years worth of episodes to look back on. That's summed up in this 1989 episode, which saw Mike Baldwin's factory demolished. Walking away from the ruins, Phyllis (who has a voice like Harvey Fierstein) tells Percy, "That's why we've got us memories. That's what's permanent. And they can't knock them down, try as they like."

This episode also features Gail and "Poison" Ivy's epic row. "You still blame me for what happened to Brian," Gail spits. "May God forgive you, Gail," Ivy gasps. "Yes, well he might, but you never will," Gail hits back. Oh, gurrrl...

More What I Watched Last Night.

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