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Wednesday 14 April 2010


Proclamations of the Red Queen

Entries from 2010 February

28th February 2010

Review:Alix Strauss: Death Becomes Them (2009)

Posted by: Craig Young

Alix Strauss: Death Becomes Them: New York: HarperCollins: 2009.
This book deals with the suicides of brilliant, famous or notorious celebrities…some of whom were lesbian, gay or bisexual.
Gay male youth suicide was a major concern in the New Zealand context, prompting the development of LGBT youth groups and active pursuit of inclusive school antibullying policies, resulting […]

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Tags: General

26th February 2010

LGBT Rights and Animal Politics

Posted by: Craig Young

Recently, Sydney Mardi Gras blocked an Animal Liberation New South Wales float from parade participation. What is the connection between the LGBT and animal rights movements?
For the first generation of nineteenth century lesbian and gay activists, their utopian socialist morality combined sexual freedom, communitarian socialism, green politics, anti-imperialism, pacifism and womens suffrage…alongside ethical vegetarianism and animal rights politics. […]

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Tags: Politics

26th February 2010

Review: Dennis Covington: Salvation on Sand Mountain (1995)

Posted by: Craig Young

Dennis Covington: Salvation on Sand Mountain: Addison-Wesley: 1995.
Snakehandler Pentecostals are the most embarrassing dirty secret within the cloisters of fundamentalist Protestant Christianity. To his credit, Covington does try to portray the ‘true believers’ here with some dignity. At its root, the snakehandlers are descendants from desperately poor Northern English, Scots and Ulster Protestant settlers who […]

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Tags: Religion

26th February 2010

Japan: Gay Art and LGBT Citizenship

Posted by: Craig Young

In DNA 121, Joseph Brennan notes Japan’s thriving gay male art scene and asks whether conclusions that Japan is trailing the field in terms of international LGBT politics aren’t a tad overdone.
It is not surprising that some ‘neoclassical’ Japanese gay male artists feel nostalgic about the Japanese samurai (warrior class) ethos of nanshoku, which consisted […]

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Tags: Politics

25th February 2010

Rorts, Reorientation and Iris Robinson

Posted by: Craig Young

In the United Kingdom, ‘exgay’ fundamentalist ‘reparative therapists’ have been trying to manipulate clients into fundamentalist conversion ‘away’ from their ‘former’ sexual orientation…using mainstream GP referals and National Health Service funds. And what is its connection to disgraced ex-Northern Ireland MP Iris Robinson?
UK gay journalist Patrick Strudwick went undercover and wrote about his experiences for […]

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Tags: Politics · Religion

24th February 2010

No Golden Age

Posted by: Craig Young

When faced with onerous modernity, earlier generations of lesbians and gay men tended to retreat into (romanticised) utopian pasts. But were those bygone eras so ‘golden?’
For some gay men, Classical Greece served as an enduring paragon of elite homosexuality at a time when male homosexuality was either punishable by death or by long-term imprisonment. However, […]

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Tags: Politics

24th February 2010

Church, State and LGBTS: Brief Notes

Posted by: Craig Young

 Fundie beauty queens, same-sex church weddings and Gareth Thomas, oh my!
BEVERLY HILLS: It appears that there’s more where fundamentalist California ex-beauty queen Carrie Prejean came from. Witness this outburst from Lauren Ashley, Miss Beverly Hills 2010:
“The Bible says that marriage is between a man and a woman,” Ashley told FOX News. “In Leviticus it says, […]

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Tags: Politics · Religion

20th February 2010

Review: Jacky Bowring: A Field Guide to Melancholy (2008)

Posted by: Craig Young

Jacky Bowring: A Field Guide to Melancholy: Harpenden: Oldcastle: 2008.
What is the difference between quotidian depression and the experience of melancholy? Judging from Lincoln University academic Jacky Bowring’s elegant volume on the subject, the answer is ‘aesthetics’.
This situation is a conundrum. I used to experience depression until I went onto antidepressants, then the problem disappeared. Even […]

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Tags: Politics · Religion

18th February 2010

Review: Barbara Ehrenreich: Bright-Sided (2010)

Posted by: Craig Young

 Barbara Ehrenreich: Bright-Sided: Why the Relentless Pursuit of Positive Thinking has Undermined America: New York: Basic Books: 2010
On the other hand, I also recommend Barbara Ehrenreich: Bright-Sided (2010). The peerless US left social commentator got annoyed at the positive thinking subculture over there and picked it apart.
She developed breast cancer and got annoyed at the […]

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Tags: Politics · Religion

17th February 2010

The Pardoner: Anomalous Gender and the Canterbury Tales

Posted by: Craig Young

For decades, the figure of the Pardoner in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales has tantalised LGBT and allied English scholars. Was he or wasn’t he? Or was ‘he’ a hir?
In the sequence of pilgrim narratives and parables that make up the body of the epic poem, the Summoner and Pardoner appear at the end. They are […]

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Tags: Politics · Religion