(Gay) Identity and Future

They asked me how I knew
My true love was true
I of course replied
Something here inside
Cannot be denied
About this blog
This is my first blog. It's a mixture of weblog and journal, with postings about my life as a gay man, and gay issues I care about. The idea is to talk about my own identity, and about what "gay identity" is now - and is becoming.

The relationship between gay sexual feelings, gay sex, and the rest of life, has always been one of tension and conflict -- within individuals and between gay people. The places where these differences show most acutely are in views and decisions about "coming out" and "equal rights". But what it is to be gay, and what it means to live openly as a gay person, have changed. They're enormously more varied. And so the meanings of "coming out" and "equality" have changed too.


John Adams (#)
Thomas Ades (#)
Julian Anderson (1 2)
Harrison Birtwistle (#)
Hans Werner Henze (#)
Magnus Lindberg (1 2)
Colin Matthews (#)
Peter Maxwell Davies (#)
Thea Musgrave (1 2)
Esa Pekka Salonen (1 2)
Kaija Saariaho (1 2 3)
Mark Anthony Turnage (#)

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September 30, 2002
I am in serious pain from laughter following a round of daily reads. Su(zi)e brings us this -- the longer it runs, the funnier it gets. Frankie provides a list that is so funny (and so true). And for all time Monty Pythonesque seediness, can there be a more hilariously dismal local gay bar than Dave's?

And today is Frankie's personal anniversary -- may he have many more blogging birthdays.

This photo shows a scene at a Spanish anti-War demonstration. As Charles Johnson (whose Little Green Footballs blog is the source) commented: 'I have never seen a better illustration of the sick anti-Semitism that characterizes European “pacifism” than this photograph from Madrid.' One wonders what the little girls in this photo would have thought of the display of Iberian anti-war high fashion. N.B. The photos were hotlinked in the original post and appeared in this blog. The display change has been made to address download time problems.

All the recent attention to designs for a replacement for the World Trade Centre, and the horror a year ago of the destruction of the twin towers, have largely obliterated the facts of their architectural and historical significance. The World Trade Center entry in Great Buildings Online is a splendid corrective. A detailed financial-political history of the building's origins (first published in 1991) reveals the personal and corporate machinations that formed the public foundations of the building, while a splendid gallery contains some wonderful photographic images displaying the full spatial and symbolic significance of the twin towers.

From the sublimely cerebral to the ridiculously libidinous, the latest edition of the San Francisco Bay Guardian brings "results" of their "first ever" sex poll - its kinda funny if you're in the mood for that kinda thing.

The July page of The Flummery Digest (which trades mostly on the excesses of anti-sexist political correctness) includes this classic piece of moral cowardice dressed up as academic redundancy (and in "killee" possibly the most sickening neologism I have ever come across). In a speech delivered at Leeds University in June 2002, Professor Gayatri Spivak of Columbia University declared:
    Suicide bombing---and the planes of nine-eleven were living bombs---is a purposive self-annihilation, a confrontation between oneself and oneself, the extreme end of autoeroticism; killing oneself as other, in the process killing others. It is when one sees oneself as an object capable of destruction in a world of objects, so that the destruction of others is indistinguishable from the destruction of self.... Suicidal resistance is a message inscribed in the body when no other means will get through. It is both execution and mourning, for both self and other. For you die with me for the same cause, no matter which side you are on. Because no matter who you are, there are no designated killees in suicide bombing. No matter which side you are on, because I cannot talk to you, you won't respond to me, with the implication that there is no dishonor in such shared and innocent death.
The same edition has an amazing report of the PC contortions of the New York education authorities which remove offending "passages" from texts, irrespective of their structural significance:
    In the Chekhov story The Upheaval, a wealthy woman looking for a missing broach strip-searches all of the house's staff members. While that passage was removed, students were still asked to use the story to write an essay on the meaning of human dignity.

September 29, 2002
Listening to: Naive and Sentimental Music by John Adams. Esa Pekka Salonen conducts the L.A. Philharmonic in a new recording of the massive work Adams wrote in 1999. Though the title comes from Schiller's philosophy of culture and instinct, it is massive and totally absorbing orchestral sound. An amateur reviewer of the 2001 Proms said: "The last time I was this excited by music new to me was my first hearing of Stravinsky when I was about nine. I found the work powerful, energetic, flowing, challenging and vital - and yet accessible with so many pumping and thrusting passages forcing the whole piece along. Think of the last section of Rite of Spring, with attitude, and you are part way there."

Junius (by Chris Bertram) is one of the most consistently intelligent and enlightening blogs around. A couple of days ago he drew attention to two articles in the October issue of Prospect Magazine. In view of the heightened party political rehtoric that seems to be flying about on blogs, following the so-called Countryside March and the latest revelations of the moral bankruptcy of John Major and his government, it's interesting to read these "insider" critiques of the Labour Party (by Michael Jacobs) and the Tory Party (by John O'Sullivan).

Chig's countdown of the top 50 number one records is well under way, with number 47 due to be revealed tomorrow. Meanwhile, in the Shangri La Project 20 countries have now been chosen by participants from five nations, and it's very close at the top. There's still plenty of time to send in your top five.

September 28, 2002
Returns are trickling in for the Shangri La project - and one country is way out in the lead right now. I know one person who would be well pleased! To my surprise, one traveller was decidedly reluctant - he's more than happy in England, and would only move under duress. Should I assume all those not sending in their choices are immovably attached to their current residences?

Here Inside's musician in residence, the outrageously talented Tarantella Serpentine (a.k.a. Marcus Lanyon) sends news about his latest activities. The most exciting development is that he has become the new live vocalist for the group Sheep on Drugs and will be appearing with them in Bristol (Sunday 20th October at the Bierkellar) and London (Sunday 27th October at the Astoria). He will also be making live appearances at the Garage in London (Friday 1st November, supporting Jayne County), and the Pit and the Pendulum, the vampyr venue in Nottingham (Sunday 3rd November). Marcus Lanyon (grandson of the acclaimed St Ives painter Peter Lanyon) is also working on a video to accompany a new album, and on what he calls an "arthouse documentary". Here Inside will continue to keep you posted.

September 27, 2002
It's not too often that one gets as totally delightful a piece of spam as this:
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    The exact application of our detergent is for cleanning and eraing oil, greasy, lubricants and other similar dirt on the surface of various implements, such as metal, plastic, aluminium, glass, stone, wood, ect. It cleans the greasy dirt in a soft way instead of diesel oil, gasolene, kerosene other strong solvent, with no harm or irritating to eyes, skin and nose. At the same time the peculiar and abnormal smell will be splited out thoroughly.The use of our envirounmental safe product proves benefical to employees, consumers, and neighborhood air and ground quality.

    All the greasy dirt will be emulsified and wiped out immidiately and not neccessory to wash with water except those vessel use for eat and drink such as pot, bowl, cup, inside of the icebox and the microwave ect.. It will be widely used in the household, industrial and minitary field. God willing if I will be successful to have a kind and sicere cooperation with your honour which will be a nice contribution to the enviromental protection and humanity.

    Price: FOB Guangzhou, China: US$2.00/perkg (water soluble for five times) 25kgs. in white pail. abt. 20tons/ 20'container. You could also purchase the syrup of concentrated form which is water soluble easyly for ten times. Sincerely yours, William Lau.

September 26, 2002
A couple more thoughts on the Guardian competition. (1) I don't have any quarrel with the winners themselves. They are (just as I am) free to write what they like how they like. I don't visit them or link to them, and (except insofar as they are held up by a national newspaper as the best of British blogs) I have no interest in them. (2) Quite a few really good blogs were included in the 24 short-listed blogs, including Naked Blog. But this list of about 8% of the entries (not one of which is seriously at odds with the Guardian reader's world view) looks to me like a tokenistic selection intended to legitimate the winning decisions, and which will in any case disappear from public sight almost immediately.

The Guardian blog competition results have been announced. My response (before reading any other bloggers' comments): what a joke. The winning formula was simple: mindless left-wing junk and plenty of links to the Guardian. The stated judging criteria were simply not employed in deciding the winners. I expected better, and I am very pleased I did not enter. I am sorry for all those top-class blogs that were suckered into this political exercise.

Here Inside Pledge of Integrity: I promise not to fuck with the Shangri-La Project returns for political reasons.

September 25, 2002
Shangri La. If you had the opportunity to live anywhere else in the world but the country where you are now, where would you choose? I thought it would be interesting to know where Here Inside readers would go. If you e-mail me your top five choices, I'll compile a little league table (5 points for the top choice, 4 for the next, and so on). It doesn't matter what prompts your selections -- climate, politics, food, people's looks, flora and fauna, tax levels, ease of sexual contact, job opportunities, family -- but it would be interesting if you gave an indication. Oh - and please say where you live now! I'll provide the results in 10 days time (6th October). Send your e-mail to Shangri La Project.

September 24, 2002

All human kink is herein contained (or less than all, depending on your view of these things). Katharine Gates has produced the most spectacular map of fetishes. Where do you fit (or are you missing)? It is, I think, a serious exercise. But I just loved feeling a rebel and laughing with delight at all the subjects (though I could certainly have added a few!) and at the very words -- is that a fetish itself? (Thanks to Making Light for this, who also offers criticisms that are taken up in 20 amusing and interesting comments.)

For anyone who finds this just too much, Photodude has a really lovely pic of a pussy.

This week's Sunday Times came with a free Elvis Costello
[1 2 3 4 5] promotional CD. Listening to "Accidents Will Happen", "Pump it Up" and "Man Out of Time", and tasters from his newly released Album When I Was Cruel, made me realise that E.C. has now been for over two decades the most riveting and talented singer-songwriter in Britain -- for all that he
never sold many records. Reviews of the new album are pretty good:
    This is our beloved E.C., in all his unbridled fury and anger. Welcome back, you angry little man... Costello’s trump card has always been his way with words, and Cruel is jam-packed with shining examples of his advanced lyrical vocabulary. The song "45" presents that number in all its many contexts, from the old 45 rpm, to its spot in the male aging process. He even refers to the handgun it is oftentimes associated with.
So tomorrow I'll be getting it. Anyone for Kylie?

September 23, 2002
Earthquakes. Here. In the middle of England. Chig and I were both shaken. Water mains are broken and fellow workers are arriving unwashed - this is bad. Someone needs to make an international appeal for lavendar water supplies.

September 22, 2002
I had a lot of fun choosing my Top Ten No.1 records for Chig's Top 50. It was like a huge personal "desert island discs" - as I remembered where I'd been and what I'd been doing when many of the songs hit the top of the UK charts. I tried to pick the songs I'd liked most (not the ones that recalled the most pleasant or interesting memories), but it was impossible some of the time to disentangle the two. If I'd picked the song say, to which I'd made it with the most Portuguese soldiers, Abba's "Fernando" would have been included. As it was the Swedes had other claims on my loyalty.

I was surprised by just how many No.1s I had enjoyed at the time (though many had dated beyond recovery), by how many favourite and popular numbers were missing (making No.1 not being at all the same as popularity or total sales), and by just how many cover versions of older songs made it to No.1 years or decades after first release (including my own top-placed record). I was also quite pround of myself for choosing a top ten that included three from the 1960s, three from the 70s, three from the 80s, and one from the 90s --- though that came from a final list of 77 that was somewhat less evenly distributed. I'm dying to see the results on Chig's blog from the 25th of September onwards (which is where any comments should be left).

My Porno Star Neighbours: No.2 - The Bulgar

Varya and his young wife have just moved into the house next door. He is for ever setting up the first scenes of sizzlingly hot porno movies. About 25 years old, and 5'9" tall, with soft dark brown hair and eyes, he comes from somewhere in the South Balkans -- Rumania, or Albania, or Kosovo. I have decided he's from Bulgaria. He is the Bulgar.

Through a smile that could disarm several regiments, Varya speaks broken and deeply accented English (such linguistic disability is essential to porno movies, where sudden shifts in "plot" and coupling combinations must be achieved with a minimum of irrelevant dialogue, and where every single word must be saturated in some special sexual significance), and his efforts to communicate are conducted in a deep, soft, imploring voice that instantly renders one butter or putty or some completely workable material (or if it does not, the gaze of heartfelt longing which he fixes on one and maintains throughout a conversation does so).

All weekend he works on their house, and is for ever knocking on our back door to ask to borrow a brush, or ask where he can buy cement, or make sure he won't disturb us. He wears tight ripped old jeans and often has nothing on his feet, while stretched across his upper torso is an old, threadbare t-shirt to which sand and streaks of paint adhere. When I reply to his questions his hands move about and his brow wrinkles in deep consterntion at his incomprehension, and he looks as if he anticipates any moment becoming victim to some irresistably pleasurable sexual predation. It is obvious by any standards of pornographic movie production that if not, then in seconds he will himself be driven to initiate sexual antics of the most energetic nature, as he wanders about the kitchen, laughing and asking me to say something over a third time.

Equally pornographic are the sprouts of soft chest hair visible over the neck of the t-shirt which is also riding up from his waist at the bottom. Surely he will find his place in the script, rub a dusty hand across his tummy and reach out with his other to... when his charming, English, assertive, shrill, tall, blonde wife erupts into the scene and clarifies, directs, organises and dispels every ounce of highly-charged ambiguity. Like a little boy that has had his sweets taken off him, Varya's face falls, and before she has done, he turns to go.

"Hey, do come round any time you need something," I call.
The smile revives and he straightens his back, "Yes, of course. Thank."

Yesterday he watered the garden in nothing but old blue jeans cut-offs that were ripped to shreds. But where was the director? Nobody contrived any acrobatic sex sequences. Varya clearly needs lessons from another of my more experienced, recently arrived porno star neighbours... [Click here for Porno Star Neighbours No.1]

September 21, 2002
Gay Financial Network is a great website -- I wish we had a similar one that focussed on gay money in the UK. It's also a much more wide-ranging website than its name suggests. I particularly enjoy reading the real-life workplace coming out stories. While coming out to parents is the final stage in developing a coherent personal identity, coming out at work is the first stage of living it. It's in the workplace that all the crap about "just one piece of my life" runs up against the reality of eliminating self-censorship (what Gay Liberation used to call "internalised oppression" in the lingo of the revolutionary 1970s). Benjamin King, a 28-year old media account manager, explains that being openly gay means doing things the same way as straight people do:
    In the workplace [straight people's] family, partners and lovers are often discussed, in addition to work-related subjects. Many of my heterosexual co-workers proudly display photographs on their desks of husbands, wives, partners and families. Gays and lesbians are unfortunately often taught not to discuss their lovers and families. Some argue that "sex" has no place in the business world. In the literal sense, that may be true. However, I believe that making "sex" a taboo subject is often a double standard and a ploy to frighten gays and lesbians into silence.

Listening to: The fantastic new recording of Mozart's Idomeneo. Heading the cast is Ian Bostridge, certainly the finest English tenor around at the moment -- with superb interpretations of Die Winterreise (DVD), Britten's Turn of the Screw and Canticles and the Janacek Diary of One Who Disappeared. (He's also an academic historian, author of a book on witchcraft in the 1600s).

September 20, 2002
Coming Out to Parents (Part Two)

The idea that everything in the gay garden is (almost) beautiful has become an ever more common refrain in "progressive" gay circles. Nowhere is this more typically expressed than by Philip Hensher in a column in the Independent this March. I have never read such complete bullshit, nor such a self-satisfied disservice to gay people -- whatever the state of their relations with their parents. Or have I completely lost touch? Here is the central passage:
    Coming out used to be a big deal – so big that people used to write entire novels about it. Personally, I always found such effusions rather baffling, and without exception as dull as anything written since the death of Herman Melville. They all seemed to me rather like novels in which the hero is left-handed, is ashamed of being left-handed, tells his family he is left-handed, meets someone who is left-handed too, and learns to be proud of the fact that he is left-handed.

    To most people now, I suspect that things are much more prosaic than that. Of course, there are still tragic stories of people who are disowned by their families and lose their jobs and their homes when they tell people that they are homosexual. But this is not a universal or even common series of events, and there is something rather unpleasant in the assumption that it might be.

    In reality, now, I think most people who are homosexual tell their family and friends about it early on, and everyone makes the best of it for one simple reason; the alternative is just too much like hard work. Turning up every Christmas and pretending that you just haven't found the right girl – who could be bothered? Or, worse, ruining someone else's life by getting married – you'd have to be extremely stupid, if not actively wicked, not to consider that no one should go to bed with someone who finds their body sexually repulsive.

    Basically, I suppose that the ordinary story of the ordinary homosexual is much like mine. When you're six, your Christmas present from your parents is a scale model of the Battle of Waterloo, which makes you burst into tears (I'm not making this up) because you were rather hoping for a doll of your own. Your parents' intuition is confirmed when they observe you re-enacting the Miss World Competition with Matchbox toy cars. At fourteen, you tell all to a nice girl; at seventeen, there is a deeply embarrassing conversation with your family about the boy who is phoning up four times a day; and by the time you are twenty-two, your boyfriend is helping your dad to fix the carburettor.

After a long overture we now have the first act in the disintegration of British public examination standards, while immediately the universities face demands they cannot meet. From the comments on the BBC's forum on the subject, there is little confidence in the QCA (Quality and Curriculum Authority) -- which claims to be the "guardian of standards in education and training". The root of the problem is the use of state-controlled educational agencies to achieve social and political outcomes. That which these bureaucratic-egalitarian gods would substantively destroy, they first drive mad with their sheer incompetence and untrustworthiness.

September 17, 2002
Coming Out to Parents (Part One)

Parental reactions to being gay are central factors in Bart's and Rob's emotional lives right now, and evoke important recollections for Duncan. For me, and for Noah, the death of parents is occupying as large a place. They are the central and in many ways defining moments of gay people's lives, instants in time about which many other things turn. Unique and individual, they will always make the lives and circumstances of gay people different, no matter how many walls of oppression fall, no matter how equal social conditions become.

To come out to parents, whatever the circumstances, deliberate or accidental or inevitable, is a re-birth -- a radical re-definition of relationships, in which unconditional love must appear to both "sides" to be in question.
"Is your personal identity compatible with loving us?" (parents ask, in one way or another).
"Is your reaction to a 'new' me incompatible with loving me?" (offspring in effect demand).
When those doubts, on both sides, are sufficiently answered (and not always how either wants or expects, or nearly as fast) a new kind of relationship has come into being. Since it has involved the reduction of egos, and as mature choice as well as blind instinct has played a part, it is quite different from what went before. It is likely to be extraordinarily strong, and bring parent and child infinitely closer (or sometimes propel them further apart).

While straight offspring are bonding closely to another individual of choice, and separating (sometimes painfully) from parents, gay offspring are renewing and deepening bonds with their parents. Will they ever be able, after that, to give themselves wholly and unconditionally to another human being as a partner?

September 16, 2002
Mike says some interesting things that are really worth reading about freedom of self-expression and reasons for circumspection in blog contents.

There are some things I never write about because I don't want them on the web. My blog still makes sense (I think), because I write completely freely about the things I do include. I can't imagine what it would be like trying to decide each instance of self-revelation (or otherwise) on its "merits". Mike's blog is forthright and involving, but he's running up against deciding what to write, and why. Playing games -- "Which Bush Cabinet Member are You?" or "50 favourite things I do with my nail clippings" passes the time and link-whores successfully enough (and I'm as guilty as the rest). But then what?

Why are British people so moronically unassertive? I went to the Bourne Identity last night (a film about which there is almost nothing to say because almost nothing happened: a series of entertaining action sequences are stitched together by a principal character -- Matt Damon -- who vacillates between musculo-ballistic heroics and puzzled estrangement, and can aspire to no self-knowledge because he has amensia and is obliged to kill everyone who might enlighten him). Since I quite like Matt Damon and enjoy watching extended car chases, I enjoyed it. Or I would have done if two idiot girls sitting at the back of the cinema had not talked and giggled loudly and almost continuously from the very start of the film.

Since most of the cinema audience were sitting closer to the source of disturbance than I was, I anticipated that someone among them would deal with it. Did they, fuck! Finally, two thirds of the way through the film I had had enough. I made my way to where the girls were sitting and politely but firmly told them to be quiet or leave the cinema, and that if they stayed and were noisy, I would fetch the management. The result? Perfect peace. Not another word or even a suppressed giggle. My involvement with the film (to the extent that its superficial subject matter permitted) was greatly deepened. But why had nobody else, better placed (and presumably more inconvenienced) done something already? Quite clearly nobody would have done anything if I had not. Why had they put up with it?

I would not comment on these mundane goings-on were they not typical of the craven immobility of the British social mind. Only a couple of weeks ago I watched a film being shown out of focus for 20 minutes, wondering if anyone in the cinema would do anything. Did they, fuck! I quickly located the front of house manager and the problem with projection was corrected immediately. Had I not done so, would the lazy, cowardly lumps sitting all around me have watched the whole film as a dreary blur? Or were they incapable of discerning the difference?

A few days ago I was waiting for a coach to depart. Its driver was reading his paper, and when we were 15 minutes behind schedule my fellow passengers began to grumble. When we were 20 minutes late I was sure someone would do something. Did they, fuck! Eventually I went and spoke a few firm words to the driver. He switched on his engine and the coach left immediately.

I would have hundreds of other examples if I could be bothered to recall and relate them all. Never once have I been surprised by the enterprise of those around me. If I had depended on their initiative, I would have watched the Bourne Identity to its conclusion to the accompanyment of an energetic slumber party, would have seen all of the director's cut of Amadeus from the perspective of a myopic drunk, and would probably still be sitting waiting now a coach-driver to extract the last drop of wisdom from his copy of the Sun.

This is bad enough, and speaks volumes about the national dependency culture. And these same people -- who cannot act to politely and rationally eliminate the disturbances to their own environments occasioned by the selfish or incompetent actions of others -- are vocal in seeking to restrain those who are prepared, when there is a threat to our national security, to act on everyone's behalf. Never was the pernicious inertia of risk-minimising free-riders writ larger or more depressingly.

For anyone who shared my frustrations over collective timidity, some kind of reassurance can be derived from this wonderful page of rhetoric about modern architecture. Recording that the Judge Institute of Management Studies in Cambridge (1990) was a rare modern example of a large university structure built with large private benefactions, the architects noted:
    The advent of directly-donated money destroyed the long-established relation of Oxbridge to Whitehall that ensured that State funds...travelled quietly and unobtrusively up from the Department of Education and Science to diverse Faculties. These made sure to house themselves in patently illiterate sheds which could never be recognised as what they were, the lifespace of an uniquely gifted, hard-working class of intellectuals whose ideas were well out of the normal reach of the middle class, let alone the masses. In this way the intelligentsia, such as they were, disguised themselves from the envious eyes of the less gifted and less ambitous.
Even more iconoclastic, the architect flew in the face of all current bureaucratic-political correctness, and praised the progressive outcome of "subjection to cultured and wealthy Tycoons".
    The two financial Donors of the new building, Paul (now Sir) Judge and the Honourable Simon Sainsbury...were determined to abolish the prevaling 'Cambridge-style' lifespace disguise of a politically defunct 'welfare culture' [that was] as entirely free of Architectural culture as the grey skies of the Fens. It was an object lesson in the extreme lengths to which it has been necessary to [go to] wean even the highest levels of the British from their dismally institutionalised Welfare Culture, with its cult of dumbed down proletarianism, iconic illiteracy and early-retirement pensionnareism.

September 15, 2002
Thanks to Electrolite for noticing this: "EU Debates Measures to Restore Order and Democracy in Florida" [Le Monde et La Merde, September 12, 2002] - which manages mercilessly to lampoon President Bush, the European Union and the latest elections fiasco in Florida all at the same time. Never was satire so biting or even-handed.

I generally don't make recommendation links to message boards, but there are a couple at the Independent worth a quick nibble. Stoning - Can it be Justified? discusses the Nigerian case of punishment for adultery (one Muslim comment: "I do agree, to some extent, that these punishments are somewhat cruel and inhumane.") But it's worth comparing this with the UK thread Rape Sentencing & the Consequences. For light relief, and in preparation for a vote in Chig's Top Fifty, it's worth looking at AbbA - Were they the greatest?

September 14, 2002
My Porno Star Neighbours: No.1 - The Finn

Drawing by Tom of FinkandMy neighbourhood has suddenly filled up with porno stars. Not that any of them have actually made any films yet, but if they did, they would be absolutely perfect. Hot beyond sizzling, with expressions of glazed indifference or sardonic truculence, they have the looks and the attitude of the most jaded yet eternal erotocentrism. The first has stepped straight out of the exaggeratedly masculine world of Tom of Finland -- and is, indeed, a Finn.

A rather beautiful silver car with Finnish licence plates has been parking in my neighbourhood for a couple of weeks. There are several small family hotels in the vicinity, and guests frequently park their cars near my home -- so it's not at all unusual to see cars with plates from France, Germany, Holland, and most frequently, for some reason, Belgium. Sweden is not unknown, but Finland is pretty rare.

Then a couple of nights ago, I saw the Finnish luxury saloon glide to a halt as I opened the back gate. I stopped and waited, and a pleasant, slightly chubby woman in her mid-twenties, with dark hair drawn back from her forehead got out from behind the wheel. I stepped forward and greeted her and expressed my delight that we had Finnish visitors -- such a wonderful country, such magnificant composers, so... I was interrupted: "But we are not visiting, we are living here." And as this unanticipated news sank in, there emerged from the passenger side of the car and man in his early 20s, about 6'2" tall, with short slightly spiky gold-blond hair, and a wicked gold-blond moustache; his polo-shirt was stretched tightly across his chest outlining the powerful plates of his pectoral muscles, while his biceps stretched wide the banding around ends of the sleeves. From beneath "that" moustache emerged a smile of such brilliant white sadistic breadth that my imagination had almost no work to perform to transform it into a sneer. "Hello," he said, with an accent far less accomplished or confident than hers linguistically, but infinitely more meaningful and freighted with intent.

I almost reeled. It was the guy I'd seen recently around in the neighbourhood, visiting the nearby tennis courts, walking a slavering guard-dog of unparalleled viciousness, taking a morning run, berating the paper-boy. The same guy whose very presence summoned up an image of seedy directors eliciting grunted commands in broken English, in a scene of improbable sexual excess, surrounded by brilliant lights and cameras. "Hi," I'd said each time I saw him, ready to welcome him to the neighbourhood, but had been granted only a passing wrinkle of the corners of his mouth. They turned to one another and walked into a house three doors away. One half of my mind hauled myself into the director's chair and began to set the imaginary scene, while the other (and far less gifted) half began to think of pretexts to visit. Any ideas?

September 10, 2002

September 11, 2001. One year after the barbaric and unprovoked acts of war against the United States, I remember with sorrow the deaths of so many, I recall with horror the way they died, and I think of the pain of loss of those who loved them. Let their sacrifice and suffering not be in vain.

Regular posts will resume on Sat. 14th

September 04, 2002
My blog postings have become rather infrequent in the past couple of weeks due to pressure of work. Sorry about that. The (unanticipated) demands on my time will probably continue for another week or so, but normal service at "Here Inside" will be resumed as soon as possible. If anyone feels short of a blog to read, do drop by at one of these: Naked Blog (like a welcoming kitchen, a pot of tea always on the table, a friendly conversation always in progress), Terreus (always thought- and laughter-prokoving) or Su(zi)e (endlessly fascinating) -- or any of my daily reads (which will not be interrupted) on the right-hand side-bar.

September 01, 2002
Picture of Esa-Pekka SalonenThe Scotsman review of Esa-Pekka Salonen conducting the L.A. Phil at the Edinburgh Festival records a moment I would certainly have liked to have been there to see. God alone knows what Peter and his friends would have done had they been in the audience! "...Ravel’s 'La Valse' was sumptuous, the rhythms wound tighter and tighter until they spiralled out of control. Salonen was also carried away by the music, his baton flying off into the air with the last chord."

(Gay) Identity and Future...
depends on...

Bboyblues (eng)
Crooked Timber (internat'l)
Dean's World (us)
Jonno (us)
Junius (eng)
Light of Reason (us)
Logopolis (eng)
Naked Blog (scot)
Oddverse Journal (ire)
Popdizzy (eng)
Su(zi)e (eng)
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