Home-grown explosive salsa
Gerald y la Ritmica - ‘El Piloto de Salsa’
A swinging CD from Gerald Clarinda. Band leader, composer and pianist of Gerald y la Ritmica he has just released his seventh album on Walboomers; a multi-faceted CD with a mix of salsa, dance, hip-hop, reggae and ballads. Gerald is one of the pioneers of modern piano playing in the Antillian tumba style. It began overall in the summer of 1999, when Gerald released his first solo recordings “Cachumba” and “El Inicio”, the latter a great hit, achieving chart success in France, Spain and New York.
As a regular reader of Gay News I had promised the editors a travel story about my trip to Krakow, Poland. A 39-year-old man, independant contractor with a broad knowledge of the sex industry - as much with men as with women - my interest in Poland came about through a Polish work-colleague, Piotre.
The image of Poland that I had before my journey was from TV but Piotre’s stories made me reconsider. Via the Internet I booked a flight and hotel. As I don’t enjoy flying I only travel with the larger, more reliable airlines, in this case Lufthansa.
Behind the screen ‘If You Know What I Mean’ on DVD
Recently deceased cartoonist Marten Toonder’s animation film “Als Je Begrijpt Wat Ik Bedoel” (If You Know What I Mean) will be released on DVD by film distributor Indies.
Marten Toonder died in his sleep at the age of 93. He was the creator of Ollie B. Bommel and Tom Poes and in 1983, together with Rob Houwer, he made “Als je begrijpt wat ik bedoel”; one of the biggest Dutch animation films.
The recent executions of gay teens in Iran brought about startled reactions worldwide. It also focused international attention to the situation of gays in Iran and, more in general, conservative Islamic countries. Nikolai Alekseev of the Russian gay emancipation organization GayRussia.ru conducted an interview with Iranian gay activists, publishers and distributors of “Maha,” Iran’s homosexual E-Magazine in Persian (it means “We” or “Us” in Persian language). For their own safety, we can’t publish their photo or contact details. They are located in Iran and gladly answered questions about the general situation of homosexuals in Iran as well as about the perception of the recent event that sparked international outrage with Iranian policy. And they even voiced some optimism about the future.
Whoever wants to write a serious history of homo-pornography films shouldn’t ignore the geographic or ethnic aspects.
Porn doesn’t come up in conversations much, but if you speak about it to any serious degree with anyone, the films of Jean Daniel Cadinot - and his use of locations in the former French Colonies of North Africa - is a popular reason for most people’s enjoyment. Certainly this is because of the erotic power of placing exotic men in beautiful natural landscapes. Many fevered fantasies arise when black meets white: that North African men are always keen to fuck with Europeans; that they don’t mind taking advantage of a sexual situation without it meaning they’re falling in love; and, when they’ve used a white ass to full satisfaction, a room mate is always happy to give it his full attention. Even in the Sahara desert a willing boy doesn’t need to fear having too many quiet moments.
New York. It’s a city of extremes, with liberal and ultra-orthodox Jews, yuppies and sweet old ladies, cyclists and chauffeurs, boring gays, cool gays and a local government that doesn’t want to have anything to do with sex or gay sex. The city is fairly liberal in an ocean of conservatism. In many aspects it really resembles Amsterdam although there are some significant differences as well. New York’s size is just so much bigger, when it comes to people, gays, art, shops or restaurants. Sodom at the Amstel could never compete with its offspring, the Big Apple at the Hudson. But Amsterdam has certain things that New York definitely has not. Like a decent Red Light District, or the comfort of being able to have sex in a bar or in a park, or a local and national government that are much more tolerant towards sex. All those officials often get cold feet when they think of the liberal image of Amsterdam that a lot of Americans and New Yorkers long for.
Last January the five day fashion scene of Milan granted us a glimpse through the window of the future. With a view on what we’re going to wear this fall. However, this time the view seems to be locked onto the past. A lot of designers paid attention to good old classics. Groomed and impeccably dressed models dominated the catwalks. This longing for decency must especially appeal to the younger generations because it’s the youth that’s most susceptible to trends. As Armani concludes: “That’s a little difficult concept to elderly men.” Safe and solid outfits as a counterweight to unstable times with faltering customer spending.
With hundreds of guide books to destinations all across the world there’s not much ground that renowned travel series Lonely Planet hasn’t covered. Yet, in their latest guide to Amsterdam they didn’t bother outlining the diversity of our local gay scene, they simply advised their gay and lesbian readers of a short cut: “Pick up the excellent Bent Guide”.
But using the combined knowledge of the volunteers at Pink Point - the Gay & Lesbian information kiosk at the Homomonument - and written by Darren Reynoldson, The Bent Guide to Gay & Lesbian Amsterdam isn’t like other gay guides. Rather than rattling off a bunch of indecipherable acronyms beside a droll list of venues, it has detailed descriptive stories on “everything that’s not straight in Amsterdam.”
Two issues ago, we argued in Gay News that for a gay erotic artist Tom of Finland has reached a rather extraordinary position in the art world. As to emphasize this observation, a Dutch daily newspaper carried some weeks later a page long review of the recently published “Comic Collection”, which was even abundantly illustrated. And now the Art Institute of Chicago has accepted a donation of two drawings - one a completed work, the other a rough sketch - for their Permanent Collection. The works were donated by Hudson, curator and owner of Feature, Inc., a gallery influential in the early recognition of Tom of Finland.
It’s common knowledge that Islam and homosexuality don’t go well together in the 21st century. Nonetheless, the reports about the execution in Iran of two teens charged with homosexual conduct caused a lot of international horror. Mohammad Askari and Ayad Marhuni were hanged on July 19 in Edalat Square in the city of Mashhad in north-eastern Iran. Notwithstanding all the news coverage in other media, we can’t ignore this terrible event.
To use Alice’s immortal words: the world is getting curiouser and curiouser. In England DJ Andrew Gleeson was recently molested for playing too much “gay music.” Gleeson says he was just playing the music people wanted to hear at a dance hall in Dorset. However, for construction worker Roy Nash there was just too much “gay music” being spun. When Gleeson started playing the Wham! hit “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go,” 48-year-old Nash charged the DJ booth, crashing over the turntables and head butting Gleeson. The shocked DJ received a broken nose.
The organization AfroGays is the brainchild of three black gay men. Inspired by the black gay communities in the United States and Great-Britain, they got the idea to built up such a community in Europe, starting in Germany.
They built an internet site, AfroGays.de, where its members can meet each other in online chat rooms as well as exchange their ideas about different themes in forums. After the website was completed, it became clear that many men had the desire to meet not only on the internet, but also in real life.