18 August 2003
George is cutting.
The two men are in a sawdust and spit tavern, and they are there because the older man has come to see another, to come to an "arrangement". Both men are beautiful, pretty boys in different ways, both with long dark hair and beards and 'tashes. The older is a roughened man about town with trinkets in his hair and gold in his teeth, and a possible alcohol abuse problem. The younger is cleaner, more shaven and trimmed, and far far less learned in the ways of the world.
The two have been together for a reasonable period of time now. Their relationship encompasses many clichés of duality - master/apprentice, innocent/worldly, lawkeeper/rebel, clean/scruffy, top/bottom. Before leaving for his meeting, the older one leans in close so that his breath warms his partner's cheek and mutters in his cockney accent a warning for the younger to be on the alert.
And pinches his arse.
You missed that? Maybe your mind was on other things such as the ongoing love triangle between the captain, the goalkeeper and the junior of the England squad. No? Well, you can't have missed the nine-way relationship going on between the friends who were doing a bit of camping and pot-holing whilst trying to offload a piece of mystical (but quite tacky) jewellery.
I see slashed people. It is my curse. In the shadows, in the pauses in conversations, in the looks thrown over shoulders, in the tension of body language, I see slash. It's been a very long time since I last saw or read news or film or print that had two or more men in it, and didn't see their relationship for what it was.
I was initially shown the way in films. Two rival dancing gangs on the streets of New York, battling it out for turf and respect. Even the prepubescent innocent that I was then knew the threat that the Puerto Rican gang leader posed to the long-term relationship between the American leader and his deputy. Why stay with drab T-shirts and jeans when there was the allure of suits and bright shirts and a funky dancing style to be sampled. And even then I also knew that the women were just fronts, rubber ducks rather than real birds. No fully heterosexual man that isn't rampantly banging his daftly named deputy has a girlfriend called Graziella. The only women presented were either fronts, feisty dykes or drag queens.
(How about: the bleach blond guy with sharp teeth and his fuckpuppet/archnemisesisies, the large-set brown haired builder. They exchange biting insult and retire to the blonde's crypt).
Thus it started. I had no words then for how I perceived things, nor would I have known how to ask about it. ("So that film that we saw in English Lit; was it just me or were all the guys constantly at it?")
The breakthrough came with 253. One of the passengers (I forget which) was writing slash in her notebook on the underground. Discovering that this type of sight had a name, a history and (now) several hundred thousand fan sites was a boost, and helped to develop and hone my sight to the fearsome laser-like level that it is today.
(Or the boarding school that's probably somewhere in the north of England, given that the train there leaves from Kings Cross, where the staff and pupils are at it like knives, as their parents were decades before them.)
Now there is nothing that my slash-vision doesn't see and slice through. Batman and Robin is an obvious starter for ten, but still works. Male politicians shouting and sneering in the House of Commons? Just wait until they get home. And as for the male members of the 'Clown contingent...you should be able to work it out by now.
18 December 2003. George writes: This List
Most recent ten:
15 December 2003. Jamie writes: Seven Songs
11 December 2003. Dan writes: Spinning Jenny
8 December 2003. Victor writes: Rock Opera
4 December 2003. Matt writes: The Mirrored Spheres of Patagonia
1 December 2003. George writes: Charm
27 November 2003. James writes: On Boxing
24 November 2003. Jamie writes: El Matador del Amor; Or, the Man who Killed Love
20 November 2003. Dan writes: Rights Management
17 November 2003. Victor writes: Walking on Yellow
13 November 2003. Matt writes: Disintermediation
(And alas we lost Neil, who last wrote Cockfosters)
Also by this clown:
1 December 2003. George writes: Charm
10 November 2003. George writes: Dead beat
20 October 2003. George writes: Shortening
29 September 2003. George writes: Manhattanites are Cleavage-Starved
11 September 2003. George writes: How to Bring Us in Line With the Future
18 August 2003. George writes: Slashtastic
28 July 2003. George writes: Underground Independent Small Press Comic Fight Club
7 July 2003. George writes: Careering
16 June 2003. George writes: Choose your own adventure
26 May 2003. George writes: Revelations
8 May 2003. George writes: Picture Perfect
14 April 2003. George writes: MetaPirate
24 March 2003. George writes: Preparation X
3 March 2003. George writes: F of x
13 February 2003. George writes: Three is the magic number
23 January 2003. George writes: Recorded Delivery
30 December 2002. George writes: Meat Bingo or Death
12 December 2002. George writes: Royal Inquisitor
21 November 2002. George writes: This Clown is Cancelled
28 October 2002. George writes: Shopping with God
3 October 2002. George writes: SaferSpoony
16 September 2002. George writes: Supercalanthropomorphicexpealidocious
26 August 2002. George writes: The deformed animal menagerie
5 August 2002. George writes: Plaice that Funky Music, Whitebait
15 July 2002. George writes: Safe as Houses
24 June 2002. George writes: Two Lions (DB/DS)
30 May 2002. George writes: Series 8
9 May 2002. George writes: Market Stall
11 April 2002. George writes: I, the Enlargened, Crunchy Product
18 March 2002. George writes: Cakexterminator
21 February 2002. George writes: Fiction Suit
28 January 2002. George writes: Spunk Gunk
31 December 2001. George writes: Fairytale of New Pork
10 December 2001. George writes: Circular
15 November 2001. George writes: A Man With No Ass Is No Man At All
22 October 2001. George writes: One Night in Heaven
27 September 2001. George writes: Uncut
3 September 2001. George writes: Porn Pants
9 August 2001. George writes: Names of the Roses
19 July 2001. George writes: No Fun Here
21 June 2001. George writes: All Your Elections are Belong to Us
28 May 2001. George writes: Pierced as Fuck
3 May 2001. George writes: My Lovely Horse
9 April 2001. George writes: Eight Hundred and Forty-Three
12 March 2001. George writes: Kill 'Em All
19 February 2001. George writes: Formal
25 January 2001. George writes: Sticks and stones
11 January 2001. George writes: A Thought on Morality
11 December 2000. George writes: You can't put that into a soufflé
13 November 2000. George writes: Lyrical Genius
19 October 2000. George writes: Wet wet wet wet wet
25 September 2000. George writes: Built on an Indian burial ground
31 August 2000. George writes: This Way
31 July 2000. George writes: Runt of the Litter
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