49 posts categorized "Assorted Faggotry"

Pour Homme, e pour Straight.

medicine.jpgChapitre Un. 

Screenwriter Neil Kramer is Citizen of the Month.

Neil chose the word "citizen" deliberately. He sees the blogosphere as a democratising force, where a regular Joe can fight the tyranny of mediated opinion. Blogs turn personal narrative into instant social history.  Original voices need not be silenced by the caprice of an editor, nor deadened by an academic. To Neil, a blog champions the common man, and his everyday life.

Perhaps that's why he bit on the Medicine Cabinet Meme.  It’s perfect material for the social historian; something so commonplace that it’s practically transparent, but which speaks tellingly about the owner’s life and time. 

As memes go, it seems no more invasive than usual. It doesn't demand that you reveal five secrets, six phobias, or three strangers on the bus you wish you'd asked for a blow job.

One simply lets the world peek behind one's bathroom mirror, and Preparation H does the talking.

Neil’s medicine chest is commonplace, indeed.  The only remarkable thing about it, is that it contains quite a bit of actual medicine.

Now, you need to know that Neil lives in the United States.  A primitive, Third-World country without universal health insurance. 

The presence of medicine doesn't mean that he's sick, just that he's well-to-do. An empty amoxycillin jar is as good as flashing a black Amex at Le Cirque.


Since he earns enough to be medicated, I gave him shit for being a cheapskate. What, no aftershave? Soon, an email appeared in my inbox.

I have never worn aftershave, ever. Should I start? Neil.

It took a few seconds to sink in. This was a milestone in my gay life. A straight man asked me for a tip on personal grooming.

Honourable Husband, you've been QueerEyed!  It’s your fifteen minutes of fabulousness!

Some gay guys get this all the time. Their apartments are tasteful, their clothes stylish, and their comportment perfect. People flock to them for advice on paint colour, wine lists, or romantic poetry. Me? I drink beer and pick my nose.  I'm a slob.

But when it comes to after-shave, yours truly is an idiot savant. I love the stuff. For proof, you only need to look in my medicine cabinet; it groans with smells.

By chance, the Honourable-Right medicine cabinet also houses laundry supplies, since one corner of the bathroom hosts the Waschtrockner*. As you can see, we are so fragrant, even our laundry wears after-shave.

Front and centre, we see selections from the Lenor Mystery Series Fabric Softener Range. The purple bottle holds Sumatra, where scents of cinnamon and hibiscus take us on a magic journey of Silk Road romance. To the left we find Sahara, which gives us the cool embrace of twilight as the sun settles behind the dunes, and the perfumes of Araby waft from the sultan's tent. Or something.

For daywear, we use Frottee.  It sounds like some sort of sexual practice. If you had to say what Frottee smells like, you'd have to say it smells like good value-for-money. That's a big step up from smelling like nothing at all, which is how our clothes used to smell before we moved to Europe and started to wear fancy-schmantzy couture, washed gingerly in appliances that cost a fortune and take three hours to complete a cycle.

(Off-topic: American readers will notice the plastic container on the left. In Germany, Mr. Clean is Meister Proper. The label tells us that the bottle contains Bad-Spray. Good-Spray costs more, I guess.) 

Fragrance Japonaise

Master Right may love snuggling up in Frotteed sheets, but he eschews fragrance on the body.  It's a Japanese thing.  To the Japanese, prominent scent suggests that you're concealing another odour, and thus not clean.

Successful Japanese fashion designers can't quite crack fragrance. Experts describe Yohji Yamamoto's 2004 pour Femme as "Decent. Neutral. Too polite."  Others stick to easy-to-understand smells like wood or coffee. 

Issey Miyake's first fragrance, L’eau d’lssy, aims to smell "as clear as crystal water".   It's the minimalist Steve Jobs black turtleneck of scent (which, by the way, Miyake also designed). Soon after its launch in 1992, Miyake increasingly reached out to guest designers for his scents.

Odeur 53Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons, perhaps in frustration, reacted with an anti-perfume. According to reviews, her Odeur 53 shows hints of burnt rubber, ozone, photocopiers, static electricity, and cathode-ray TV sets.

L'humeur de l'amour

So Master Right turns up his nose at my after-shave habit, if you'll pardon the expression. But pour this homme, after-shave is grand.

Nothing affects your mood so powerfully, for good or ill, as a smell. It's aromatherapy you carry around all day.

Smells go straight to our lizard-brains; they cue masculine or feminine, clean or unclean, fancy or plain, rich or poor.

Believe me, Neil, you want to be on the right end of a smell.

But for that you'll have to wait for Chapitre Deux.  That's when The Honourable Husband gives you a tour of his personal after-shave shelf.

'Til then, adieu.  Or is it au revoir? I can never tell those apart.


* a Waschtrockener is a high tech device which both washes and dries your clothes. We bought it because the name of the manufacturer, Siemens, reminds us of man-sex.  So does one of its cycles: Schnell. 

Photo credit: links to source.

One man's belief.

Oberammergau, August 2007

Father Geoff Farrow is a Catholic priest in Fresno, California.   On Sunday, he came out in the pulpit.  He wishes to remain a priest, should his bishop allow it. 

Think about that.  This man, single handedly, is the first to officially acknowledge an incredibly obvious fact.  

The Catholic church is one of the world's largest employers of gay men.  The vast majority of these gay men do an excellent job.  Father Farrow, himself, was sent to Fresno in order to put parish administration and finances in order, which he has done with distinction.   To the best of my knowledge, he has upheld his vows, and remains celibate.  

Should the Catholic Church have a right to fire an excellent employee?

Father Farrow's action goes beyond questions of atheism, secularism and belief.   He has asserted the cause of human dignity.  

Father Farrow has a blog.  An articulate, compassionate, thoughtful blog.  Visit it.  Leave a supportive comment.  Click the "Follow this Blog" button.   

It is a courageous, lonely stand.  He deserves support. 

I do? That's easy for you to say.

As if to rub our noses in it, our local park, Europa Platz beim Friedensengel, does a brisk trade in wedding photos. What's to bet that the bride chucks a wobbly and demands they retouch the rubbish bin out of the picture?

* * * * *
Naturally, Master Right and I are in favour of gay marriage. But we violently oppose gay weddings.
So many trappings of a conventional wedding demean and insult the couple whose joint life it is meant to celebrate. The bride officially becomes property of the groom, while the groom is more-or-less a bytander at the whole affair. Mainlining alcohol, guests unpack their emotional baggage on each other and behave like monkeys. Yes, weddings suck.

Thankfully, in Germany, one doesn't need to do all that. One simply visits a notary's office, signs an agreement, and you're hitched. Gay or straight.

Well, it's simple if you're German. If you're a foreigner, you need to wave a brace of documents under an official nose, to guard against bigamy, marriages-of-convenience, or other hanky-panky.

First, you need to prove when and where you were born, and that you are not married to anyone else.

No problem for Master Right. His birthplace, Japan, is sensible. The whole thing can be taken care of in a single visit to the consulate.

As a citizen of both the USA and Australia, I am in a messy position. Both countries are federations of states, and each state keeps track of hatches, matches and despatches.

The US authorities are uncooperative or obtuse, and the Australians are mostly drunk or something. The US is not a signatory to the Hague Convention for the internationalization of documents, so my birth certificate needed to cross the Atlantic several times to be stamped, sealed, confirmed, apostilled and vouchsafed by an army of civil servants. And in spite of letters and sworn statements which showed the contrary, the Australian Botschaft (embassy) still issued documents which referred to Miss Master Right. The Australian Botschaft? More like the Australian botch-up.

If you and your spouse wish to live here, the demands mount. One needs to prove coverage by health insurance and a sufficient income. You must submit a floorplan of your home; German law demands a home provide 12.5 square metres per person.

Further, the notary must satisfy herself that both parties understand the agreement. This means that one needs a sworn translator into one's native tongue.

Thus, a rather peculiar wedding party assembled last week, amid the girly, weddingy decor at the offices of Frau Ehe, Notary Public. There was Master Right, his Japanese translator, my English translator, and me.

Oh, and my translator's dog. He goes everywhere with her. Since this is an anonymous blog, I shall not post pictures of the wedding party, but I feel it safe to show a snapshot of the dog. His name is Kuscheln. Or, in English, Cuddles.

Cuddles always pees at weddings. It's the excitement.
As we waited for Frau Ehe to arrive, our translators chatted. Both had recently served time behind bars; that is, they translated in prison. I joked that they need adjust their vocabulary only slightly from arraignment to marriage. The Japanese translator remarked that foreigners can get themselves into trouble under both circumstances.

I really lucked into a great English translator; a leader in her field, and office-holder in the professional association of translators. She was curious to observe her Japanese counterpart, another highly-qualified professional, who faced quite different obstacles with her assignment.

The Japanese language uses sparse grammar and limited sounds. Much day-to-day Japanese is structured to keep a polite distance between two speakers; it can be constructed to reveal little.

When one needs to speak of more complex matters--like law, love or laughter--Japanese reverts to elaborate metaphor. And emotional arguments sometimes carry the same weight as rational ones.

A linguistic challenge, given the thorough, and thoroughly dry, German documents that Frau Ehe led us through. She took great pains to stress that the Lebenspartnerschaft wouldn't apply in the US, Australia, or Japan. She wanted to make clear that this union was not a back-door way to obtain a legally-binding marriage in our home countries.

Therefore, it was only useful if our life would be based in Germany. Herr Honourable has chosen to make his life in Germany, she observed, and asked if Herr Right had yet done the same.

Before Master Right could answer--indeed, before this were even translated into Japanese for him--the translator leapt into a passionate speech. This man, she pleaded, was a man of courage, following his dream and creating a new life in spite of the odds. This went on for several sentences. Master Right was touched.
"Would you like me to tell you our story?" I offered, in English.
"No," replied Frau Ehe, "I get it."
Naturally. our Japanese translator embarked on a subsequent translation of this whole exchange. And it served as a neat segue into Frau Ehe's next subject. A little homily.
We asked for no wedding vows or such silliness, but Frau Ehe decided she'd toss in a speech, for free. It picked up on the theme of courage.
She reminded us that the uncertainty which affects modern life acts against the idea of marriage. That making a commitment to a shared life, forever, takes bravery and faith in the future. She congratulated us for making that choice, in a binding agreement before the state. And, she added uncomfortably, God. Or, um, whatever we would like to call that thing up there. Ah, good ol' Catholic Bavaria.
Both our translators signed the document, along with Master Right and me. Et voila, we were husbands. We declined the you-may-now-kiss business--we're not into PDAs--and gave each other a hearty, relieved hug.
The perfect wedding, I think.
* * * * *
P.S. Hat-tip to Brock and Manuel for referring us to Frau Ehe.


We presented our Lebenspartnerschaft to the Kreisverwaltungsreferrat. (Don't you love German words?) Good news. Master Right now has a visa to stay in Germany, but he has five years to learn German. That will be amusing.

Stereotype Amplifiers

Just look at all those kitchen gadgets (#54)!

 Sehr geehrte Ian in Hamburg!

 Some months ago, by way of a blog comment, you asked me what I thought of Stuff White People Like.

SWPL had appeared as #3 on the Wordpress Blogs of Note, just under the one with the pictures of cats, and the other one with the pictures of puppies. This offended you (#101).

It will incense you even more to learn that it is now a book. According to Amazon, people who bought Stuff White People Like also bought Hot Chicks with Douchebags. Is that not some comfort?

(Keholet 7:5: "It is better to listen to a wise man's reproof than to listen to the praise of fools.")

Part of the reason for your fury is that you, and your family, are white. In fact, you're all so white it hurts.

I imagine, to you, SWPL feels like a joke about Black People and sickle-cell anaemia. Tough to shrug it off as irony (#50)

Look at it this way.

Let's say that you, as a white journalist in a press conference, ask a black politician about affordable child care. Is he likely to diss the question because you people all hate your parents (#17)? Will IBM toss your application in the bin because you white guys hate corporations (#82)? Do your favourite black hip-hoppers not sell tracks on iTunes (#40)? If you try to order some Chinese take away, will the server tell you to get back to your damn dinner party (#90) where you belong? Probably not.

Yes, SWPL is racist, but rather like beer is alcohol. It's not the hard stuff. I mean, none of these stereotypes will keep a white guy from a high paying job, get him kicked out of a country club, or fire up a lynch mob. Right?

I'm white, too. But I'm not so white it hurts. I am, however, so white that it itches. People who point out how white I am make me squirm and feel uncomfortable.

I always apologise (#55), I have an arts degree (#47), and have lived in New York (#46). I am so addicted to public radio (#44) that I have purchased not one, but two of those internet radio devices for home. I tune them both to KQED, which covers San Francisco (#91) and Marin County.

(By the way, how come Marin County isn't a Stuff White People Like?)

Here is our drawer full of tea (#13). Furthermore, it's herbal tea, which, because I am not really all that white, I pronounce with an "h". My mother was so white, that she didn't even use an "h" in human, humour or huge.

 I am so white that I have paid a three figure sum to drag my (mostly Australian) wine (#24) from continent to continent. This grog has more frequent flyer points than I do.

 I am so white, I actually lived in Japan (#58) for five years. To prove it, here are the New Year sake cups from the Shinto shrine next door. The writing commemorates the name of the church (Atagojinja), the Chinese horoscope symbol for that year, the symbol of the Japanese horoscope element, and the year of the emperor's reign. I loved Japan so much, that I picked up a souvenir in the form of a spouse. Yes, I know. A snow globe would have been cheaper.

We are such sushi (#42) snobs that we don't actually eat it anymore. Master Right declares that one should never eat sushi more than 100km from the coast, so we don't. Munich's lacklustre choice of Japanese restaurants helps a lot. We own a whole lot of sushi kit, which gets no outing at all since we moved to Germany.

So, Ian, let me up the ante. The following stuff will keep a white guy from a high paying job, get him kicked out of a country club, or lynched. It's Stuff White Gay People Like. I look around the house and ask: Am I whiter than I am gay, or am I gayer than I am white? Stuff Gay White People Like

#1 Boyfriend on Couch

The mere sight of a man on a couch makes a woman's blood boil. Men should get off their asses and...oh, I dunno, slay a wildebeeste or take out the trash. But to me, a man on a couch looks regular-guy sexy.

#2. Being the one in the family who inherits your mother's dinner set.

Boy, does this piss off gay guy's sister!

#3. Fake Roy Lichtenstein.

Somewhere in the late eighties, the gay community got the idea that comic-book art was ironic. Most gays of a certain age have the odd poster which commemorates their activist years.

#4. Dorothy Parker

Alice Roosevelt Longworth once remarked, "If you can't say something nice about someone, then come and sit next to me." Rumour has it that the seat was occupied, in short order, by Dorothy Parker. Parker cornered the market on high-class bitchiness during that long, dry spell between Oscar Wilde and David Sedaris (#25).

If you know a witty remark but can't quite recall the source, then odds on it's Dorothy Parker. The one about girls who wear glasses. And the one about Tallulah Bankhead. And the one about the girls from the Yale prom being laid end to end. Every gay, English-speaking household has a Portable Dorothy Parker. Straight homes make do with The Reader's Digest Treasury of Humourous Quotations.

#5 Leaving little clues around the house that you are gay.

You can buy this stuff at gay shops (#6) in gay neighbourhoods (#7).

#8 Misogynist kitsch

Since we're gay males, you could never call these trinkets arousing, sexist, or exploitative. They're just--let me saviour that glorious word again!--ironic. So suck it up, bitches! (That's irony, too.)

#9 Neatly trimmed facial hair.

For many years, I have sported a goatee; Master Right has just opted for the close-cropped stubble look. Hoo, boy! More gadgets needed!

Facial hair is a cornerstone of gay grooming, since it shows you are too butch to do drag. At least, too butch to do it convincingly.

#10 Plain white sheets.

Now, I know that bringing up the subject of white sheets in a post that has also dealt with racism, is risky. There may be some unintended irony, which is like regular irony, only cooler. Thank heavens that our putzfrau does the irony once a week, and we needn't bother ourselves with the mens rea.

In any case, white sheets are a gay giveaway. The mandatory colour of bed-clothing in a straight, single, white, male bedroom is dark blue. Correct? But gay guys are actually neat enough that white becomes a valid lifestyle choice. And since we're not girls, there are no frilly bits.

There. Have I answered your question? I hope we haven't given SWPL any more attention than it deserves. This discussion is no doubt the sort of stuff Stuff White People Like likes to see.

Yours, waving a limp, pallid wrist northward,

The Honourable Husband

Who's yo' daddy?

It's a boy's bathroom, no?

Here's a secret for all you people who have never met a homosexual. (Or, rather, who think you've never met a homosexual.)

Gay relationships are not like straight ones. You can't pick who's the Mommy and who's the Daddy. It doesn't work that way.

(Of course, it shouldn't work that way in a non-sexist straight relationship, either. But that's another issue)

If it makes more sense for Master Right to take charge of something, then he takes charge. He can really put his back into a shovel, so he does the yard. I taught myself a bit of carpentry, so I do most of the handyman jobs around the place.

This works 99% of the time.

There are exceptions. Putting together Ikea bookshelves presses both of our alpha-dog primal buttons. ("No, YOU just hold it there, and I'll screw this bit...no, that doen't go there...let ME hold that while you...gimme the screwdriver...can you go faster with that allen key...no, THIS way...I told you that was upside down...") We end up in fisticuffs.

And every so often we have The Housewife Argument. When we first started getting serious,
I asked him his plans for the future.

"I want to be a housewife," he said, scratching his balls.

"That ain't gonna happen," I replied, "If anyone is going to be a goddamn housewife around here, it's gonna be me."

The argument escalated until I had him in a head lock, shouting "Say it, MOTHERFUCKER, what are you?" He gave in, agreeing to be the master of the house while I damn well packed his lunch and had a tray of fucking cookies made for when he got home.

I sure as hell showed him who wore the apron in this house. Yes sir-ee.

What brought on these reflections? Well, Master Right just arrived in Munich for good. So our domestic life has picked up from where it left off.

For a while, he might get his wish. Ah, love.

Apple Leopard is a boon for bilingual households.
All we need to do is switch the keyboard, and restart.
Here, you see my English keyboard with Master Right's Japanese one.
I use a German keyboard and German Windows at work. It's a pain in the ass.
Windows effectively cannot switch languages.

Chance Encounter with an Old Friend

There I was. Walking down the street, minding my own business. And what should slap me in the face but a giant cooch!

Of course, there was a woman attached. Like most men, I’m programmed to view her as nice, but merely a gift-with-purchase.

Coming from a gay guy, you might find that last sentence odd. Isn’t our programming different? In some ways, perhaps. And in some ways, we’re a little less different than we seem.

As a confused youth, The Honourable Husband consorted with the fairer sex quite a bit—he certainly gave it the good ol’ college try.

And why not? What’s not to like?

Take tits. I get tits. Could play with tits for days. Bouncy, silly, innocent, tasty, curious, ticklish, fun. Generously-nippled and endlessly unpredictable.

Tits have real personality. Think about how they get all dolled up into a nicely cleavaged bust, looking a million dollars, ready to go out and meet the world eye to eye. Think about them when your lover is lying on her back, her breasts at ease—nipples akimbo, pointing to four and eight o’clock, opening her heart to you.

The vagina, though, remained a stumbling block.

My father had no stash of Playboys for me to discover, nor god forbid, share on the sly. The Honurable Husband’s first glimpse of snatch was when he and the young lady were already en flagrante.

I'll admit it.  I found it confronting. 

A woman can be groomed, coiffed and manicured. She can keep herself perfect as a work of art. But a vagina betrays all that. It reminds you that woman is animal.  Being reminded that man is animal somehow seems like less of a surprise.

That poster on the corner, not five doors from my house, was the first time I’d confronted female anatomy in quite a while. My first reaction was one of sheer delight to live in Europe, since you could never plaster your privates over a billboard in, say, Alabama. My second reaction was, yep, I’m still gay.

The poster sits outside a museum called the Villa Stuck, which is no stranger to the odd flash of gash. Expressionist painter Franz Stuck built it as his studio and atelier, after he married a rich American widow, of course. Some say that the Villa Schtup is the single building that most typifies the Munich Jugendstil style of art noveau, for which the city (and my neighbourhood in particular) is justly famous.

When the building and furniture won a Grand Prix at the Paris Exhibition of 1900, the Kaiser waved his magic wand and turned plain-old Herr Stuck into the glamourous Count von Stuck. This gave him license to be decadent, horny and perverse—the privilege of aristocrats everywhere.

Count von Stuck mainly painted figures from Greek and Roman mythology, which provided an excuse for them all being rather compromised in the clothing department. His most famous piece, The Sin (1893), caused a sensation. Hell, it caused all kinds of sensations.

One of the things that attracted me to the neighbourhood was the Villa’s roof full of tasteful dickage, ready to make a long wait for the nearby tram pass that little bit faster.

It’s grand to see that the current masters of the museum are staying true to Stuck’s spirit in their choice of temporary exhibitions. The current show lasts ‘til July. Plenty of time for the minge and me to reminisce.

Munich. You can't get gayer than the mayor.

It might happen in San Francisco. It might happen in Sydney. It might happen in Manchester. But most other places in the Englsh-speaking world, getting all the mayoral candidates of a major city in one room, addressing the gay community, would seem pretty far-fetched. In Munich, we fetched it up two Fridays ago.

The organisers held the discussion in a pub in Munich's queer quarter, the Pfistfochviertel.

Though an utter fag, I don't live in this gay ghetto. You'll find me on the other side of the river, sipping chardonnay with my fellow middle-aged bourgeois in genteel Bogenhausen. Luckily, tram #18 passes by my place, and it makes a beeline for boystown. Master Right and I nicknamed this tram the Vaseline Volvo, and I rode it straight to the pink podium.

In Bavaria, the word is par-tay.

The candidates arranged themselves stage-right to stage-left, which was pretty much their spread of politics, from what I could gather. The photo shows
  • Professor Michael Piazolo, who represents the hard-line libertarians of the Free Choice Party. His most memorable statement was that he loved the gay quarter, because there are such nice restaurants.
  • Dr. Michael Mattar, of the liberal Free Democratic Party.
  • Josef "Seppi" Schmid, of the conservative Christian Democrats, looking uncomfortable.
  • Christian Ude, of the Social Democrats. The wildly popular incumbent.
  • Hep Monatzeder, of the Greens, a current deputy mayor. His passion is cycling, click through on the Radler heading.
  • Mark Hollemann of the Ultra-Greens. He didn't say much, because the Grens had already said it.

The only parties not represented were the far-left Linke, a remnant of the former East German communists, and the far-right Bayernpartei, or Bavaria Party. The Bavaria Party has only two policies; to praise God and to allow smoking again in pubs.

Putsch and femme.

Now, if you need to listen to political speeches, everything sounds better with a beer. It's a Bavarian tradition to hold political meetings in pubs; Hitler attempted a coup at such a meeting--his famous Beer Hall Putsch in Munich in 1923.

Not much putsching that night in the Pfistfochviertel, though. Oberburgermeister Ude, a former journalist, former lawyer, and former cabaret comedian*, won't be adding former mayor to the list anytime soon.

He governs the city in coalition with the gay political party Rosa Liste, and being a thesp, knows how to banter in queer company. So much so, he has issued an public statement apologising for not being queer, acknowledging his wife of some 25 years.

If he batted for our team, as it were, Germany would be among the most municipally gay countries on earth, with its three largest cities run by gay men. Ude's coming-out-as-straight speech even playfully mimicked the coming-out speech of Klaus Wowereit, the mayor of Berlin: "I am hetero, and it is a good thing."

When asked how he would support the gay community, Ude pointed to his record. The current administration trained police in gay issues, supported the employment of gay teachers, and opened Olympic Park to the 2006 Gay Games. "This is not my world, but I come here gerne." said Ude in his closing remarks. Gerne is a useful German word, that mixes shades of happily, graciously, eagerly, gratefully, and you're welcome.

Yoo-hoo! Homo over here!

In fact, it was rather hard for the actual gay candidate to be gayer than his straight opponent. Dr. Michael Mattar, the guy in jeans who looks a little like the Great Kazoo from The Flintstones, is a gay businessman who is running for the liberal Free Democrats. Not only is he as queer as a three-Euro groschen, but his boss, the leader of the federal opposition in the Bundestag, is gay, too.

Both of them downplay their queer cred, citing that such affairs remain private matters. Mattar has criticised the gay community, which is a little rich, since the lesbian sitting next to me told me that one of his businesses is a gay dating website. Onstage, he backpedalled, saying that the gay community played a constructive role as a surrogate family for many who had been rejected by their own.

So, listen up, irony fans. The gay liberal has to deny that he's homophobic. The married socialist is just a little too fabulous to pass as straight. Have we managed to smash every stereotype tonight?

A flap from the right wing.

Er, no. Our dear friend Seppi Schmid, in typical conservative style, reached for the wedge. How to protect gays from homophobic violence? Deport young foreign males, he said. Munich has seen its first ever (alleged) murder on the subway, and the Christian Dems are running a tough law and order line.

Given the fate of Pym Fortuyn, Schmid actually found some support in the audience for this quatsch. But he really put his foot in his mouth when asked how his Catholic faith affected his attitude. His faith told him, clearly, that children thrive only with two parents of different genders.

His foot and his mouth are very good friends, it seems.

In November, sounding like a German Ann Coulter, he described the Socialists as maggots in the mane of the Bavarian Lion, whom he would eradicate. Alas, instead of the word "eradcicate", he used the word "de-louse". This shocked the Jewish community, since "de-lousing" was the pretext on which naked victims were ushered into gas chambers. When confronted, he had to plead ignorance of his nations's history.

Seppi may, indeed, be the George W. Bush of Munich politics. I would say his chances of sitting in the Rathaus, were Schmidhouse.

And by the way, my German is pretty schmidhouse, too. So some misquotes are distinctly possible.

German voice-actors Christian Ude, Verona Feldbusch, and Boris Becker
at the premiere of the German-language version of Disney's
Chicken Little
In German, it's called
Heaven and Hen. Photo from ganz-muenchen.de

*By the way, unlike Reagan or Schwartzenegger, Ude hasn't retired from showbiz just because he holds a full-time job in politics. He moonlights as a guest star on TV drama; he even voiced the mayor in the German-language version of Disney's Chicken Little. I don't think his people looked ito it too closely before signing the contract. The mayor is a turkey. So is the film, I understand.

Munich. It's a gay parallel universe. In pink.

Pink stays pink stays pink, the headline reads. I assume it's a German interpretation of Gertrude Stein's A rose, is a rose, is a rose. The poster touts two candidates for Munich city council, and reminds us that they act as strong, incumbent voices in the assembly. The pair belong to a political party known as the Rosa Liste, or Pink Ticket. Their message ends with the tag line, Munich. A city for all.

It's a gay party. Could you tell?

The Rosa Liste boasts of its success in local politics. They get two percent of the vote city-wide, and eleven percent of the vote in the Ludwigvorstadt/Isarvorstadt ward, which contains Munich's major gay neighbourhood, the Bell Brook Quarter. (Or, as we say in German, the Pfistfochviertel. ) The Greens, the Social Democrats, and Rosa Liste form the political coalition which governs Munich.

That sounds impressive, especially when you compare it to the paltry gay presence in, say. American government. Uncloseted gay presence, that is.

Alas, it's easier to vote Green than Pink.

But by any other standard, the Rosa Liste performance looks pretty grim to me.

C'mon. Only eleven percent of the vote in the gayest neighbourhood of a major European city? Only two percent of the vote overall? With estimates of between five and ten percent of the population who openly prefer their own sex, it seems that most queers ain't voting the queer ticket.

Besides, the most successful gay politicians in Germany work within mainstream party structures.

Klaus Wowereit, the mayor of Berlin and a prominent Social Democrat, came out spectacularly in a speech to his party congress; he used the now-famous words, "I am gay, and it's a good thing." (In German, it sounds much more poetic). He was re-elected.

The conservative Christian Democrat mayor of Hamburg, Ole von Beust, refers all questions of sexuality to his blabbermouthed dad, who once indiscreetly outed him to the press. (May I just repeat that for American readers? He is a gay politician, who is a member of a conservative Christian party. And pop still loves him. Suck on that.)

Queer Apartheid?

Master Right and I haven't sized up the gay community here in Munich yet. It looks vibrant, lively, and active. But a little insular.

There seems to be a separate, gayer version of everything. Always painted pink, just so you can tell.
Like, I'm totally bummed that we missed the official Gay Day at Oktoberfest.

For half a day, the Hacker-Pschorr Bräurosl tent turns dangerously bent. If you plug this little report from 2006, and this reaction to events into Babelfish (to your right) you 'll see our boys can get a tad too frisky. Particularly the gay biker leather crowd, bless them.

Rosa Wies'n (Pink Meadow) is an official guide for the novice Oktoberhomo. Much of the advice concerns what to wear.
Should you wish to become a trachtenfag or dirndldyke, the site links to several sources of lederhosen and those dicky checked shirts with Paul Lynde-style kerchiefs that are apparently not gay at all, but just Bavarian.
You can't beat lederhosen for queer beer-drinking kit. First of all they're leather. Second, the fly consists of an upside-down apron contraption that requires only two buttons to release. Ideal for a quick pee, which a dedicated beer drinker must execute regularly if he is to enter the true spirit of the holiday.
Kilts have become popular wies'n wear. Perhaps it's because nothing offers a faster slash, especially if you go regimental. And of course, it maximises any opportunity for a quickie. What does the dashing young lad about town wear under his kilt? An Oktoberfest condom, of course. (you need to remove it to piss, though)

A Very Mary Christmas

The doctrine of separate-but-equal extends to the traditional Bavarian Christmas market. Pink Christmas stands several leagues above the folk version of the custom, with bookshops, gourmet foods and a handsome bar. There's a public stage for performances and speeches.
Master Right and I looked for some big fat loud gay Christmas ornaments as a joke for my nephew, but found only tasteful home decor. Which is perhaps gayer than flaming out, nowadays.
The candy stand sold pink gummy bears and Barbie lucky dips. Can you say stereotype? Under the circumstances, English speakers may easily misread the gingerbread hearts that say I Love You as I Love Dick. In his gay politics, Yours Truly adopts the assimilationist position. You won't find me storming the barricades with the prideistas. Munich gay life runs counter to my natural inclinations.

On the other hand, Munich is a lefty island, adrift in a sea of conservative rural Bavarians. Perhaps the community felt it necessary to gather its wagons in a circle. Can't blame them for that. But do they really have to be pink wagons?

Rosa Liste will hold a public meeting tomorrow night, where all six mayoral candidates can address gay issues, at a pub in the Pfistfochviertel. You'd never see that happening in America, or even Australia. Though my German is truly sheisser, I might just tag along.

But I draw the line at last Friday's gay community event. The Eiszauber Rink in Karlsplatz hosted the annual HoliGay on Ice. I believe the surface was dyed pink. Isn't ice skating gay enough already?

Pictures of the Oktoberfest condom, the Rosa Wie'n logo, and the lederhunk are borrowed with gratitude form the Rosa Wies'n website. As always, should the copyright owners of the photographs wish me to remove them, I will do so gerne, with an apology.

Dickmilch proves irresistable

Look, I get fuck-all traffic to this site. A few faithful readers, friends and a lot of people googling the word foreskin. So you can imagine my surprise when I discovered that I'd been violated! Er, copyright-wise. Look, AcidJasmine...there's one of those fucking Creative Commons links to your right. It says that you can quote with attribution, like Nick has. So be a gentleman, and tell the world where you palmed your dickmilch. And until then, keep your paws off my pixels, poof!