July and August are as you probably know not the most exciting months when it comes to cinemas. So we give you lots of newsflashes this month about movies that are coming to town soon, and a few tips for rainy afternoons in July.
Lindsay Lohan’s Breasts Are Obscene
Disney has digitally modified Lindsay Lohan’s breasts in “Herbie: Fully Loaded” to make them smaller. The producers were afraid the audiences might classify the family movie obscene. At the previews some parents from the test audience said they thought Lohan’s character Maggie Peyton was too obscene.
Kevin Hiraki, an active young fellow, opened up an original fashion store at the Zeedijk a couple of months ago. Several celebrities have already found the way to this up-and-coming hotspot since. Even the Italians were impressed with the original designs of the clothes and accessories. They are planning to open a new shop in Milan next year.
Kenkichi is a fashion store without any well-known label for sale. Entering the shop I was struck by a colorful collection of clothes and accessories. Every piece looks so different that it’s hard to take it all in. But it looks very inviting. The clothes offer a rich combination of color and texture. I encounter combinations of pieces and colors I hadn’t seen anywhere else.
The enema, also called clyster, belongs to the grossly underrated anal pleasures. Unjustified. Through the ages all over the world men have taken enemas, alone or together.
Good old Mark Twain said it in the nineteenth century already: “If you really want to be moved, don’t read a book, take an enema.” Twain would have agreed with me that if you can’t enjoy taking an enema, reading about it is second best. Unfortunately, in his time (1835-1910) he didn’t have access to a book that will give the modern reader many hours of pleasure and that has his quote as a motto: David Barton-Jay’s “The Enema As An Erotic Art And Its History,” a beautifully produced and richly illustrated work.
In the introduction to his recently published book “Rear View 2" the American photographer Steven Vaschon writes not only that, since the first time he opened a “nudy book” he’s glad that an embarrassed red face is much harder to see on black people, but also that most pictures of male nudes seem to focus on the front side, on the “all mighty penis.” His book however is intended for all those men who, upon seeing all those male parts, yell: “Turn around!”
Many visits to our global village start or finish at Central Station. P.J.H. Cuijpers, together with A.L. van Gendt, designed this neo-gothic and neo-renaissance building and its foundation consists of 8687 wooden poles. Though the city council at the time had preferred a central station at the Leidseplein, the terminal at the IJ opened its doors with enormous public attention on the 15th of October 1889.
The Grand Café Restaurant 1e Klas (First Class) is located next to the Royal waiting lounge on platform 2B. Who hasn’t had a meeting here? Going out for dinner - I’ve said it in my columns before - also means to remember: with whom, where, when and what. In these surroundings I’m thinking mainly of who and when.
Zandvoort has always been Amsterdam’s large swimming pool. Pale city boys go there every now and then to get some healthy breaths of sea-air. In the old days there was a special tram, nowadays we just take the train or if there’s no other way, the car. But the reputation of Zandvoort is waning lately. You really can’t take the car anymore because that’s apparently what everyone else is already doing. And then the direct train connection disappeared. Now you had to change trains in Haarlem, so everyone had to lug their beach gear from one platform to another. Fortunately N.S. (Dutch Railways) is going to reinstall the direct connection this summer.
The last few years Tom of Finland has found a place in many coffee table books about male or queer art. It would be interesting to discuss why this honor was bestowed on Tom of Finland and not on other gay erotic artists. Undoubtedly the quality of his work is an important aspect, but I think that also the fact that he doesn’t indulge in excessive sexual activities in many of his drawings, has something to do with it. Although Tom looked upon his work as pornographic, it’s rather easy to compile a collection of his drawings which wouldn’t shock the general public.
Even the smallest pieces of clothing, like swimming costumes, are subject to trends. So this will be the summer of the dangerously low-cut micro mini swimming brief. For years only worn by overweight men with big bellies. Now they’re hot with many designers. Gucci presents tiny briefs with the familiar double G-logo or in a butterfly print with a little belt. In mustard colors and browns. To cover up just a little, there are matching oversized caftans with leather hems. And those can be stuffed into the extra big shoulder bags with the same print as the briefs.
Chris Crain was not the first and will not be the last gay man to be spat at, yelled at and beaten up in what once was the “Gay Capital” of Europe. About the rise of the Islam and the impotence or refusal of the authorities to protect the citizens of Amsterdam.
Chris Crain was walking hand in hand with his lover on the Leidsestraat last Queen’s Day when he was attacked and beaten up by a group of seven “Moroccan looking” boys who yelled: “fucking fags”. He reported the incident to the police who decided not to publicize it, as “it was not grave enough.” Or was the case too sensitive for them? They miscalculated however, as the victim is editor-in-chief of The Washington Blade, an influential gay magazine in the States. He publicized his Amsterdam experience himself. Gay publications all over the world, as well as the mainstream media picked it up quickly. Which is not surprising.
On the 26th of May the Ministry of Social Affairs presented the Minister of Education Ms Maria van der Hoeven with a conference book and a “Recipe book for Homosexuality in Schools.” These two publications appeared within the project Enabling Safety for LesBiGay Teachers of COC Holland, the General Education Union (AOb) and the General Pedagogical Study Center (APS). The project aims to focus on homosexuality in schools and the safety of homosexual students and personnel.
For some reason many people think it’s an interesting topic of discussion whether gay sexuality is innate or acquired. As evidence for the first option they point to same-sex behavior in the animal kingdom. And indeed, a growing body of scientific evidence seems to suggest sexuality is determined before birth and therefore a genetic question.
In a paper, recently published in the magazine “Cell”, Barry J. Dickson and Ebru Demir of the Austrian Institute of Molecular Biotechnology show that a fly’s sexual courtship is produced by a single gene, although it is a complicated business of tapping, singing, wing vibration, and licking.
In November 2004 the British House of Commons passed legislation giving same-sex couples many of the same rights as married couples have. The bill creates a civil partner registry, but can’t be called gay marriage legislation, although a parliamentarian said: “This, in fact, is homosexual marriage by any other name but the government is determined, for political reasons, not to call it a homosexual marriage bill because they don’t want to alienate public opinion.”
The same-sex domestic partnerships become legal December 5 and people entering into legal domestic partnerships must publicly announce their plans at least fifteen days in advance.
The General Meeting of the Hiv Vereniging Nederland (Dutch HIV Society) has elected Jelle Houtsma as its new chairman. The society’s board had nominated Houtsma. During the meeting Houtsma emphasized that the Hiv Society can only be successful because of the plentitude of work that’s done by the volunteers. He thanked them for their many years of devotion by saying: “Your united efforts are responsible for the fact that the society is very solid. As chairman I’ll continue to choose for this close cooperation.”
While many advertisers in Amsterdam are still muddling on, the Italian branch of KLM is much more energetic and has taken a surprising initiative to promote Amsterdam’s gay scene. The company decided to order an Italian version of the well-known Gay Map Amsterdam, which was recently published for the eighth time by Gay News and gayamsterdam.com. KLM Italy hands out this Italian translation of the map to their customers. Of course, this is an excellent promotion of Amsterdam as a gay holiday destination.
After a renovation that took some three months it’s time: Drake’s at the Amsterdam Damrak is reopening its doors with an extra special party. Cause it wasn’t just a paint job, the shop underwent a total make over. It’s a completely new shop now. Drake’s has been a place of comfort in the center of town for fifteen years already. The shop is very accessible as from the outside it looks like a souvenir shop. The collection contains everything that makes being gay exciting and erotic, from films and toys to gay souvenirs. Make no mistake about it: the reopening is going to be spectacular. Come and check it out, the entrance is free.