“On the Road” Gay Sex
When posting anything about the book or film, On the Road, by Jack Kerouac, it’s simple to veer off topic because everything about the Beat Generation and their literary works is so fascinating. Whether knowing it at the time, or not knowing it, they challenged everything in heteronormative society during a time when the most popular songs in the mainstream had titles like Buttons and Bows and everyone believed films stars like Rock Hudson were straight and loved women. Anything that is even remotely related to homosexuality in books was considered underground, on the fringes, and pornographic in what we would now consider g-rated standards.
In full disclosure, I’ve started reading On the Road many times. As you can see from the photo above I keep it on my nightstand at all times, and I have for years now, because I’m always promising to get around to it one of these days. For some reason I find hard to explain, I simply can’t get past a certain point. So when I watched the film adaptation the other night I was hoping it would inspire me to finish the book once and for all.
And it did inspire me to a certain extent, and yet I still have the same reservations. Even though it’s usually the other way around and people usually read the book before seeing the film, in this case I don’t think that aspect will bother me. Because after seeing some of the gay sex scenes now I’m more curious than ever to see how they were handled in the book. In the film they were cautious but realistic, and I think appropriate to the time period…as well as scenes that could be related to gay sex right now in real life. During that time period it wasn’t acceptable to even discuss homosexuality aloud. This was handled well in the film. The only thing I wish they’d done differently was show more reality, and not in a highly sexual way. The homoeroticism was there from the beginning of the film to the end, however, it was treated so lightly in most parts of the film most people who aren’t gay might not pick up on it and get the full impact of how these characters lived and interacted.
The one homosexual scene I found most interesting was more toward the end of the film when main character, Dean Moriarty, played by Garrett Hedlund, has sex with minor a minor character, a traveling salesman, played by Steve Buscemi. It’s not exactly a detailed scene, but we see enough of what gorgeous stud Moriarty does to this minor character through an open doorway and it’s one of the most realistic scenes I’ve seen in a film for a long time. There is nothing heteronormative about the scene, even though the minor character is clearly in the closet and is accustomed to paying young men like Moriarty to aggressively throw him face down on a bed, climb on top of him, and offer stud services. In the end, the minor character pretends nothing ever happened and both characters go their separate ways.
This isn’t a full review of the movie, because I’m not going to get into other aspects of it that also challenged heteronormative culture in the mid-twentieth century. But I do think it’s a film that is interesting for anyone interested in the way homosexuality was viewed back then. And although it’s treated with care and could have been more realistic, it’s not done poorly either. Without having read the book yet in full it’s impossible for me to go by any standards other than the film.
You can read more about it here. And here. And here. But you won’t find any mention of gay anything in detail with the links I’ve provided because gay still is avoided in most places mainstream. Most reviews of this film you’ll find talk more about the main character’s relationship to women and how poorly he treats them and isn’t a very good dad. And you can’t help wonder if that’s because he’s really gay and couldn’t come out of the closet in that time period. I could be stretching that. But Jack Kerouac did have an ongoing relationship with Allen Ginsberg that lasted for life. This is mentioned in the film, too, but not in any detail. We know the men play around with each other. They let us know they play around. But we don’t go there too often because that would be wrong somehow.
3 Techies Do Healthcare Web Site (That Actually Works)
I think of this as more tech oriented than political, so I’m not forming any political opinions now. Although God knows I’ve seen my share of Obama supporters defend the healthcare web site debacle and I’ve seen my share of non-Obama supporters slam everything about the new healthcare system we’re all going to be dealing with eventually. The fact remains that the government fucked up this time and couldn’t even provide…or plan ahead…a viable healthcare web site that people could navigate with even a modest amount of simplicity. And though I’m no tech genius, I know enough from working on the web for years now that there are certain aspects to consider when creating a web site that take top priority over all else. Evidently, the government is either unfamiliar with how things online work (unless it involves the solicitation of campaign donations), or they hired the wrong people to create the web site. Because a small group of 3 young tech folks in San Francisco recently created a working healthcare web site that’s simple to navigate and doesn’t compromise anyone’s personal info. They did this in something like three days. And I don’t think anyone paid them a dime to do it.