Texas Twins: The Story of Morgan and Nash

EVERYTHING BETTER (if not, necessarily BIGGER) IN TEXAS (?)

Texas Twins: The Story of Morgan and NashTexas Twins: The Story Of Morgan & Nash
Howard Roffman
Bruno Gmünder
ISBN 9 763861 878582

The ‘story’ element in this publication is not very prominent, the “text” takes up less than one of the – square – pages. Morgan and Nash, who seem not to have a surname, were born in Louisiana, brought up in Texas and Hawaii, and moved to San Francisco. In SF a former clergyman gave them shelter and put them in touch with, among others, Howard Roffman, the photographer.
This charming book is a result of their convergence. Morgan, the Gay one is “grounded and eager to please” (and any red-blooded bull-root would be exquisitely happy to have him ‘please’ them… or them attempt to please him). Nash is “straight” (drat! drat!! & triple drat…!!!), he is also “impetuous and a rebel”.

They are very identical identical twins, though Nash (I think) has dimples, and wears a baby chin-beard in some shots. The twins, I’m glad to report, don’t wear much else in most pics., of two very handsome, well built (‘swimmer’s bodies’, rather than muscle-bound) blokes, the nude shots are sweet and rather innocent. You won’t tug your langer off viewing them (let’s not be too precious this is genuinely artistic, but it is classy porn – which can be artistic) but you would have a very slow pulse not to feel the odd stirring…
Having said, or rather, written, that, the boys (they are late teens / early twenties) have large – but not gross membra virile – and genuinely beautiful butts. They, said glutei, are not fantastically muscular but smooth and probably pleasant to run one’s fingers over. (I must have a cup of tea, or possibly something stronger, at this point…). You will enjoy this book, it shows two very attractive people at play at the beach, in deep snow, and – apparently – at work, or at least working on sledges.
On a purely personal note, I wouldn’t mind a book of Black, Brown and Beige (it’s the name of a orchestral suite by Duke Ellington, if you are racially sensitive), twins. Or ‘Oriental’ persons or persons from the South Asian Subcontinent (including Iran). Yes, this has gone too far. My Id is attempting to escape my skull.

Seán McGouran

Links:

GOODBYE LENIN!

Good Bye LeninGOODBYE LENIN! – 2003
Bavaria Film International
Director: Wolfgang Becker

good bye Lenin good-bye-lenin-!
This genuinely charming movie stars the handsome, and talented, Daniel Brühl, as Alex. Daniel BrühlHe’s the son of Christiane (Katrin Sass – who doesn’t really look old enough to be his Mam), though it is implied that she was taken advantage of by the absent father who fled ‘West’.  Alex daydreams occasionally about the Da, usually imagining him very rich and driving a huge Merc. Said Father turns up in the course of the action, and while well-off[ish], isn’t super-rich. I don’t know which side of the Wall the makers come from, but this is a quite sharp point, the Eastern media tell the populace that the West is US-occupied, poor and backward: meanwhile everybody really thinks that ‘Wessies’ have money goodbye-lenin-1squirting out their ears.
The comedy consists in the fact that some days before The [Berlin] Wall comes down Christiane has a heart attack, and is hospitalised. She sees her son taking part in a protest march, mainly about the fact that the Wall is still standing,  he is struck by an ‘Ossie’ cop. Her response has partly to do with the fact that, as a True Believer, she thought that such brutality only happened in the oppressed West.
While she is in hospital, seen as ‘state-of-the-art’ modern, there’s no ‘Ostalgia’ but no denegation of the ‘system’ either – the Wall is broken down.  Alex and his techie-nerd friend Denis (Florian Lukas) conspire, when his mother

Florian Lukas

GOOD BYE LENIN!, Florian Lukas, Daniel Bruhl, 2003, (c) Sony Pictures Classics

is released from hospital, with the warn-ing that a shock, or even mild surprise, could kill her, to pretend that the ‘East’ (GDR – German Democratic Republic) still exists. It gets harder and harder by the hour, even foodstuffs are dumped, and Alex has to hoke about in garbage to find the bottles and labels from the old days. Fortunately for him the ‘old days’ were not so long ago though his mother was in hospital for months after the Wall came down.
Fortunately the taste of the food is unchanged (possibly another indication that not everything ‘Ossie’ was questionable.)  This is acceptable now, but fifteen years ago when this movie was made it was seriously ‘pushing the envelope’ to even hint at such a matter. Alex gets away with a lot, his friend Denis making videos of fake television news items and delivering them in a dreadful plasticky suit presumably of the sort worn by ‘Eastern’ media persons, which they play to his mother. She, inevitably, learns how to use the channel changer and, becomes very confused by what she sees.
They ‘lose’ the implement.
As she gets less fragile, she decides to have a wander outside, and is very confused by what she sees. There are ‘Western’ cars, clothes, and people: one piece of furniture, about to be moved into their block of flats, has an image of the Sacred Heart sitting on a shelf. She asks a young man moving this furniture where he comes from, and he answers “Wurtemburg”, which borders the Rhine. She is totally confused at this, but is returned to the hospital. Alex decides that the news film she views must be doctored. He and Denis show her the breaking down of the Wall – but imply it was Wessies escaping into East Germany that was happening. This stretched one viewers credibility somewhat; it is doubtful if there was much in the way of graffiti on the eastern side of the Wall. But the Western side was heavily graffiti’d. She swallows the notion that the crowds running away from the Wall westwards were actually fleeing eastwards. And the people from, for instance, Wurtemburg are refugees from the benighted West.
She dies shortly after this, Daniel Brühl manages to look simultaneously businesslike and ‘little-boy-lost’-like (like most adults, in a similar situation I assume; you wouldn’t mind a “wee greet”. But matters have to be taken in hand…).
This is a lovely, funny, humane film, see it, you’ll have a lot of laughs, a wee sniffle (or two). For Gay men there is also the prospect of seeing Daniel Brühl in his longish black gunks, (underpants, for the uncultured) he has smooth pale skin and slender, but athletic body. Don’t cheat and flick through the DVD just to see it. Anyway, it’s worth the wait.
Joe Dalton

 

Links:

Boys On Film 2: In Too Deep

BOYS ON FILM 2
In Too Deep
Peccadillo Pictures
2007
5 060018 651637
peccapics.com

Boys on Film 2: In Too DeepThe title of this collection In Too Deep (sounds, well, it is, a bit ‘nudge-winkery’, but the reference is to one contribution (Kali Ma), set near a swimming pool, and implicitly to some sexual / emotional encounters in the nine movies on offer here. Two are from the USA, both set in New York City, two from Australia both set in Sydney, and one each from Sweden, Canada, France, Mexico (Bramadero, a word meaning number of – ambiguous – things. It is practically a dance piece, two beautiful men meet, it is hardly social-realism, maybe it is ‘magic realism’ in a building which was either abandoned in mid-build, or possibly it is on a major public holiday but the occupied buildings we see are not en fête; no bunting, no banners, no people, and is deserted. The men have sex, and… stirring… it is). The actors and director, as in the rest if these reviews, will be unnamed, as they are available on Peccadillo’s website.

Canada’s and one of Australia’s contributions are very short, The Island shows the Director-performer, (Trevor Anderson) trudging through northern Alberta, the snow is deep, but so packed he can walk on it – for a person from damp, ‘temperate’ Ireland, it’s just a bit seeing him walk on water. ‘The island’ is imaginary, a macho man phoning-into a US talk show suggested that all “homos” should be dumped on an island to “give each over AIDS”, and die out. Do such people think we breed? Where do Gay women fit in? And are there no bigots in Canada? If there are, no Canuck seems prepared to own up to it. While going walkabout in snowy Alberta Trevor daydreams about this “homo Utopia”, at which point the film bursts into full glorious [Techni(?)]color and animation. The full northerners’ nonsense notions about warm countries comes in full spate. Sun, check; sex, check; sangria, or vino anyway, check. There are no typhoons, hurricanes, or tsunamis. This too-short short is a real charmer.

Love Bite involves two teenage blokes (mid / late teens), in one of their bedrooms, smoking a spliff. One attempts to tell the other, very handsome, bloke, that he has a secret. For some reason said bloke thinks he is queer and is disgusted, a wee piece unlikely in a major Oz city these days, but let that particular hare sit — the boy is a werewolf. The end of the vid is very gory. The performers are Will Field and Aidan Calabria. The other item is Working It Out about the problem of a couple in a commercial gym, one is consumed with jealousy. His partner tries to calm him down. The chap isn’t having it, he is the sort of person who ‘dresses’ for the Gym, his ensemble is red, including a baseball cap he wears reversed. (Is this a ‘dig’? The fashion among US teens died the death about 1990.) Needless to say Mr. Jealous is the one who gets off with the guy who joined them on their exercise machines. The tale is a bit glib, the performers were not terribly engaging and gyms are not very photogenic. This is not an ex cathedra statement, probably everybody else who has watched this little comedy of modern manners thought it was hilarious. I was slightly bored, and would have gone on to the next item, if i were not in ‘reviewer’ mode. The actual next (and last) ‘item’ was Futures & Derivatives.

It was interesting because one could barely grasp the gist of the thing. It is, on the face of it, about a portly ‘businessman’ trying to impress a (very Big Business)-man on how up to speed is the accountancy (?) firm he works for. It isn’t, really. An outside expert is brought in to put a ‘presentation’ onto DVD, said ‘expert’ works through the night. There’s an arnacho-hippie under that suit’n’tie. He creates a serviceable DVD, though it also contains images of calm seas and cloud formations. He decorates the office walls with large paper flowers and other decs. Which turn-on the office drones when they arrive the next morning. Mr. Big, Mister Beauchamp (pronounced ‘bo champ’) seems to be able to take all the extraneous effects in his stride, and the contract (content unspecified) is given to the company.

Lucky Blue refers to a budgerigar, the pet of a travelling family, ‘carnival’ workers, in Sweden. An image of Lasse, the cute son of the family, is on the cover of this vid, behind his shoulder is the back of Kevin (Kevin? – in Sweden?) the tall, slender, blond boy he lusts after. The end of the yarn has Lasse singing a silly love song to Kevin. It is, officially, a contribution to a ‘talent show’ – the boys kind-of get away with it. And, implicitly, live happily ever after. Yes, it is sweet, but not tooth-, or mind-rottingly so.

The puzzlingly named Cowboy, from Germany, features an estate agent or surveyor, played by Oliver Scherz, sizing up a farm that has fallen on hard times; rusty machinery, a house dissolving into the overgrown vegetation. He encounters the only resident, a beautiful wild boy; tall, slender, blue-eyed, blond (any devout Nazi’s wet dream, Pit Bokowskipossibly more than metaphorically), played by Pit Bokowski, (info for impatient persons who may want to Google his ‘particulars’ asap). They meet at the ruined farmhouse and out-buildings and engage in interestingly explicit sex, the wild boy remains on the farm while the estate agent drives away to his city home, and girlfriend.

Weekend in the Countryside features the lovely Théo Frilet and Pierre Moure, and a ‘mature’ man who seems to be the owner of the farm, or small estate, the two young men are staying on. The narrative is slightly off-centre. Théo’s character is afraid of the dogs the man keeps. The latter is relaxed about the matter, (it is not stated – but the great Napoléon was, after all, – terrified of cats), but Pierre Moure’s character, apparently is not. Théo / Charles, goes to swim in the nearby river and encounters the three barking dogs. He takes to his heels, trips, and takes up a self-defensive, fœtal, posture, lying on the ground. The dogs’ master calls them off and apologises. Théo leaves the town by train, the other young man goes to the station, and sneers through the train window, “pedé”, Englished as “faggot”, but he had approached Charles in the shower. He placed his hand on Charles’s (rather lovely) bosom – and was, gently, rejected. So who was the queer? This is an interestingly ambiguous ending – it probably would not be as effective in the Anglosphere. It’s not that we are ‘superior’, or more ‘advanced’, we are actually more crude. Think of the situation bisexuals find themselves in, in the US and the UK, despite the – English, in particular, taking a high and mighty attitude to ‘America’. Incidentally, this isn’t ‘Anglophobia’, a Mortal Sin according to Ireland’s ‘revisionists’, – it is a observable fact of sexual culture.

Kali Ma is set in New York City, and features what is (or was) called in the US an ‘East Indian’ mother and son i. e. not a Native ‘Red Indian’ (a designation deeply resented by Native Americans). ‘Ma’ is played by Kamini Khanna, who is, well… oblong  She is seen, in the opening scenes dancing, singing – and cooking.  Almost simultaneously, it seems, we see her son in, presumably his High School, ogling a honkie athlete (?) showering. He then goes to the

Manish Dayal

NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 04: Actor Manish Dayal attends the “The Hundred-Foot Journey” New York premiere at Ziegfeld Theater on August 4, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

locker room and changes his clothes, we see his (Manish Dayal)’s fine, quite athletic, body. There is a close-up of his neat bum, wrapped in his gunks (underpants for the uncultured). He gets beaten up by a honkie (Brendan Bradley) and is seen lying in the locker room with messages written all over his naked body. One is the ambiguous “Property of Kit” (it may not be ‘Kit’ as Manish’s lovely neck is not flat), “Fag” is prominent. ‘Kit’, if my well-out-of-prescriptionBrendan Bradley specs are not failing me, is not the boy in the shower.

This is where cuddly ‘Ma’ (I hope this isn’t a Hindi or Urdu word) becomes ‘Kali’ (goddess of destruction and even death). This has happened before, and her son had told her the bullying was a thing of the past. She is seen martially tramping to the house of the honkiie boy, (on a rather grand Estate / Scheme, the kitchens are 21st century ‘state of the art’ (yes; I live in a hovel)). When she raps on his door, he (Brendan Bradley) is sneerily amused. He makes crude remarks about the boy he enjoys bullying. She chases him around his own house, and and out into a swimming pool area. There they have a (very funny) fight, choreographed by Ron Keller of KFX Entertainment. Miraculously, she ties him to a metal chair with her pashmina, and tosses him into the pool.

Her son (his name is spoken in the course of the action, but I can’t interpret it, yes, not merely poverty stricken, but ancient too) appears at this point. He dives into the water, unties ‘Kit’ and revives him.

In the next scene, the boys (in the same now very dry-looking, clothes they were seen wearing in the course of the action are sat at a table. ‘Ma’ places the feast she has prepared before them. Then orders them to “EAT!” They look slightly rebellious at first, but when she barks the order at them, they grab – at the same piece of bread. Neither of them really objects to this improper piece of table manners.

What happens next is left to the viewers’ imagination[s] – fevered in my case…

This wee gem, sorry for the cliché, – but it is, – was “Written and Directed by Soman Chainani, and was “Made in partial fulfillment of the Degree Requirements of the MFA [Master of Fine Arts – we hope] Film Program at Colombia (New York City – we hope, arís – upstart]. Not being familiar with Indian sub-continent languages, and too idle to ‘Google’, we don’t know this person’s gender, (possibly a Gay man?)
If this spritely, professional-looking movie is only ‘partially’ part of a Colombia University degree, they are clearly worth having.
There is one slip in continuity, as noted above. Other ambiguities are meant to be there.

Seán McGouran

 

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Bianchi: Outpost by Tom Bianchi

ISBN is:  9780312142834 / 0312142838
Bianchi: Outpost
by Tom Bianchi
Publisher:St. Martin’s Press, 1996
Edition:Hardcover
Language:English
Bianchi OutpostThis (very short) small-format book by Tom Bianchi,  seems to be a spin-off from a larger project, based on using a Hollywood swimming pool as a back-drop. This was for images of two (or pairs of) handsome, largely naked, men. They are smooth, ‘built’, but not overly muscled men, mostly Aryans. Nothing wrong with that: but the setting is southern California, specifically Los Angeles / Hollywood; probably the greatest concentration of glowingly beautiful males of every ‘race’ on the planet

Said males in the pics don’t do anything particularly ‘interesting’ – just the sort of thing anyone does near a large swimming pool, not excluding swimming. There is one lovely image of two quite mature, naked, men kissing, in a kindly, not passionate, and not slaveringly sexy sort of way. Not that ‘passion’ and / or ‘slaveringly sexy’ would have been in any way unpleasing.

Other images are of, mostly couples, in intimate poses; lips hover very close to crotches, and it isn’t hard to guess what will happen shortly after the various images have been shot. It’s interesting to speculate what the photographer, Tom Bianchi,  would be doing, would he remain a disinterested spectator?
Or…?

For me, the most sexually… stimulating… image is the last one; a fine set of legs, a sculpted butt, and – interestingly – the upper body swathed in a loose shirt. The chap’s head is missing, well… it is cropped out of the image, but with an elegant arse like the one on show, it isn’t really a loss. Though it is, no, doubt, very attractive.

Richard Lyttle 
Currently this book does seem to be available on Amazon.co.uk, however with a little research and by using Bookfinder.com, I have found 27 stockists at various prices.

HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT? – LGSO

LGSO
Queer people in NornIrl are used to (locally) powerful elements, namely the now-largest political party, the DUP DUP(Democratic Unionist Party) and the Free Presbyterian Church, both constructed by the late Dr. Ian Paisley, being resolutely opposed to, in essence, any rights for LGBTs.  The situation in other places, particularly other parts of the ‘Anglosphere’ can can appear wreathed in a pinko-lavender glow.  We are cosily slotting into British, especially London society, it seems.
How odd, then, was it to read and hear of the puzzlement on the foot of the BBC Proms recent ‘outreach’ to amateur LGSOorchestras.  (Most such bands are not ‘amateur’ in the strict sense of the word, being made up partly of professional musicians who teach or are ‘session’ musicians in recording studios,or are simply retired or bringing up families).
The puzzlement was caused by the LGSO (London Gay Symphony Orchestra), even liberal[ish] blatts were, on the face if things, taken aback.  The blatts seemed not to have been aware of the LGSO’s existence, including the journos who should HAVE KNOWN – LIKE THE ONES WHO DIDN’T TURN OUT WHEN IT was working with the USA choirs.  Even the local blatts, and the (two) in Islington are professional and consceintiously ‘local’ – and have Lefty histories, they were started by Communist Party people who left after Prague in 1968.  A substantial number of them didn’t want to simply dissolve into their surroundings.  That was by an organisation founded on May 1996, that has 150+  members, and gives a minimum of four concerts per annum, usually given in the C of E church Saint Sepulcre, Holborn Viaduct- the up-coming autumn one is billed for  St. S’s.usually in a church on the border of Islington and the City of London.  It first rehearsed and gave concerts in the Drill Hall a Gay-oriented arts centre, since closed down due to ‘austerity’.Drill Hall
With a bit o’luck the LGSO (there’s a similar band in Birmingham) will get ‘picked on’ by the Beeb and show their stuff.  They really ought to make records, some major bands in London, and similar large cities sell recordings of the concerts audiences have just sat through.  The LGSO filled the Royal Festival Hallsome years ago accompanying LGBT choirs from Europe and the USA.  Thus it isn’t unused to critical audiences – though the critics in the ‘straight’ press ignored the event, even though it was given on behalf of two charities.
Further reading:

Pushing the Boundaries; Decriminalising Homosexuality 1974-1982: The Role of the Northern Ireland Gay Rights Association by Jeffrey Dudgeon & Richard Kennedy

FLETCHER CHRISTIAN CONFESSES – The Grave Tattoo by Val McDermid

FLETCHER CHRISTIAN CONFESSES

Fletcher Christian - The Grave TattooThe Grave Tattoo

ISBN 978-0-00-782552-3

Val McDermid

The conceit in this thriller is that William Wordsworth encountered a fugitive Fletcher Christian (hero / villain of the the mutiny against Captain William Bligh of HMS Bounty. Bligh, while captain of the ship was, confusingly, a Lieutenant by actual rank). Fletcher, a Cumbrian, wants to get his side of the events recorded. The account given here of his adventures on Pitcairn Island, and in places as far-flung as Valparaiso, the Carolinas, and the Isle of Man from where he trades as a smuggler to the gentry of Cumbria; (something of an anachronism), ‘Cumbria’ was invented in 1972. Prior to that it had been the ancient counties of Cumberland and (landlocked) Westmoreland, a large bit of Lancashire (the Furness peninsula) and a small bit of Yorkshire).

This epic poem and letters about it are alleged to have been given on the death (of the now entirely non-revolutionary Wordsworth) to the care of his maidservant Dorcas Mason (also known as ‘Mayson’ – claimed here, to be because of ignorance on the part of clerks, even clergy, but English spelling didn’t settle-down until work on the Oxford English Dictionary began. And the notional introduction of universal education in Great Britain in the early 1870s. It only became genuinely universal at the turn of the 19th / 20th century. Jane Gresham, a native of the English Lakelands and a Wordsworth scholar, lives in a south London sink estate, has to serve in a [booze-]bar in the evenings to make ends meet. She is a part-time Lecturer, simultaneously attempting to do heavy-duty research on Our William, while keeping an eye on the single-parented wild-child Tenille. She doesn’t like school, but does like reading in general and poetry in particular.

Jane Gresham travels to her home territory in search of the, possibly non-existent, Wordsworth documents. As this is a (quite thrilling) thriller a villain is also on the case. And on her trail. In fact the tranquil Lake District is crowded with villains. Some of them are false friends. One of the falsest being a Gay man with whom Jane went to the local primary school. Her jealous, sulky, elder brother is headmaster of said school. He turns out not be be a jealous as Jane thinks (it’s that sort of book). That is not a sneer, this is an absorbing tale, but possibly too complex (or, more than conceivably, one is too thick to keep up… (you are allowed to disagree with this judgement)).

My one (slightly treasonable) problem with the narrative was that it must have struck somebody in the course of two centuries that making a transcript of the Great Man’s work would have been a good idea. The reasoning will have to be withheld as the sting in the tail of the tale will be wasted. After all, a ‘Pencil Museum’ is mentioned in the course of this narrative, quills were definitely available, the metal nib and the typewriter were invented relatively shortly after Wordsworth turned his toes up.

This is an interesting and pleasurable read (lots of elderly corpses, though) and should while away some hours of the (currently grisly) weather, or that beach-wait, before the cute Latinos / Latinas happen along.

Seán McGouran

FREE IRISH CITIZEN DR. HOMA HOODFAR

 

Free Dr. Homa Hoodfar

Free Dr. Homa Hoodfar

Free Dr. Homa Hoodfar, a 65-year-old professor of anthropology, who holds Irish citizenship was arrested in Iran on 6 June following months of questioning by the Revolutionary Guards. She is being held in the notorious Evin Prison with no access to her family or lawyer, and is likely in solitary confinement. She is a prisoner of conscience. Dr. Homa Hoodfar is a prominent and respected scholar and anthropologist at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, whose decades-long teaching and research activities relate to development, culture, gender, and electoral politics. She holds Canadian, Irish and Iranian citizenship.

Dr. Homa Hoodfar was arrested on 6 June in Tehran after being verbally summoned to the Office of the Prosecutor in Tehran’s Evin Prison. She went to the prison with her lawyer who was not allowed to be present when she was taken away for questioning by officials from the Revolutionary Guards. When her lawyer requested to see Dr. Homa Hoodfar, after several hours had passed, prison officials told him to go home. They told him he was no longer allowed to see her because she was a “security prisoner”. All subsequent attempts by her family and lawyer to see her, including giving her personal items such as clothes and medication, have been denied by officials. Though she has not been heard from since her arrest, Amnesty International believes that she may be held in Section 2-A of Evin Prison, which is under the control of the Revolutionary Guards, as is common practice for such detainees.

Irish citizen, Dr. Homa Hoodfar travelled to Iran on 11 February primarily to visit her family but also to conduct historical research on women’s participation in elections since 1906. On the evening of 9 March, the day before she was due to leave Iran, officers from the Counter Intelligence Unit of the Revolutionary Guards raided her home and confiscated her personal belongings, including three passports, mobile phone and computer. For the next three days,  she was repeatedly summoned for questioning. During these interrogations, in which she was not allowed to have a lawyer present, she was asked about her work and about the emails that the authorities had found in her computer. Her interrogators also asked her questions such as “Are you a feminist?” and “What is feminism?”

Dr. Homa Hoodfar has a neurological condition called myasthenia gravis, which is a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disease that affects the nerves and muscles, causing certain muscles to become weak. Her family has not been allowed to take her the medication she needs to help control the symptoms. There are serious concerns that while in detention she may not receive the specialized medical care she needs for a neurological condition.
Research is not a crime. No one should be targeted for the peaceful exercise of their rights to freedom of expression and association. Amnesty International considers Dr. Hoodfar to be a prisoner of conscience.

Join our call for the immediate and unconditional release of Dr. Homa Hoodfar.

 

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Novel Ideas – Roger Casement

Jeffrey Dudgeon with his lovely tieJeffrey Edward Anthony “Jeff” Dudgeon MBE is a Northern Irish politician, historian (his books on Roger Casement are extremely well researched and very readable)  and gay political activist. He currently sits as a Ulster Unionist Party councillor for the Balmoral area of Belfast City Council.  He is best known for bringing a case to the European Court of Human Rights which successfully challenged Northern Ireland’s laws criminalising consensual sexual acts between men in private. He is currently one of three openly gay politicians elected to the City Council along with Mary Ellen Campbell of Sinn Féin and Julie-Anne Corr of the Progressive Unionist Party

 

The following extract from an interview in The Irish Times, gives an insight into Jeffrey, who he is and what he has become…

“I’ve always been a reformer. A rebel and a radical, yes, but I wasn’t a revolutionary,” Dudgeon says, looking back on his 1981 victory in the European Court of Human Rights, which decriminalised homosexuality in Northern Ireland.

What was life like, as a young gay man, before the Strasbourg win? Dudgeon sums it up in one word: isolation.

“I knew all about homosexuality, and by my midteens I had ascertained that fact about myself. But I just didn’t know how to meet other people, and I was petrified at the thought of it. You just couldn’t say the words to anyone.”…

the-diaries Dev-at-the-re-Burial-of-Roger-Casement-in-Glasnevin.-I-believe-it-was-a-bitter-cold-day-and-Dev-who-was-very-sick-at-the-time-went-against-his-doctors-advice.-300x240 3_1_Sir_Roger_Casement

Unknown Roger Casement letter 6208307701_1f5a8d9937_b Roger Casement Diaries

In the video below Ciarán Ó Brolcháin discusses with author Jeffrey Dudgeon and Dr. Margaret O’Callaghan the book – “Roger Casement: The Black Diaries” which explores the life of Roger Casement – a study of his social background, political life and his contribution to Irish political life.

 

 

ROGER CASEMENT’S GERMAN DIARY

ROGER CASEMENT’S GERMAN DIARY

1914-1916

Including ‘A Last Page’ and associated correspondence

Edited by Jeffrey Dudgeon

Belfast Press

Published July 2016

 

 

Roger Casement Diaries

Link to Amazon Paperback Edition £13.88

Link to Kindle Edition £7.31

This is the definitive version of Roger Casement’s German Diary covering the years 1914 to 1916 when, after the war started, he went to Berlin seeking support for Irish independence. The book has 370 pages in over 150,000 words with 45 illustrations.

 

This is a companion volume to the 2nd edition of Roger Casement: The Black Diaries – with a Study of his Background, Sexuality, and Irish Political Life which was published in February 2016:

[Paperback, http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/095392873X; Kindle http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01AXB9754]

The German Diary consists of another, and the last surviving, Casement diary, and deals with that most interesting, dramatic and penultimate period of his life in Germany and Berlin prior to his departure to Ireland for the Easter Rising.

It was not a private diary in any sense as Casement left instructions for its future publication. Much of what he wrote was designed to provide a record justifying his time in Germany. He was of an age to have his eye on history while knowing the accusations of treason he had, and would, face, Casement was desperate to have his actions understood. A secondary prompt in the last months was to indicate just how disgraceful and intransigent he felt the behaviour of the Germans had become and how the decision to start the rebellion in Ireland was something he did not agree with for tactical reasons, being an event he hoped to prevent or at least postpone. The final section describes his frantic attempts both to get sufficient arms shipped to the separatist Irish Volunteers and to travel by submarine to Kerry with a view to getting the Easter Rising called off.

The diary and many linked letters give a vivid impression of a man under stress in an alien environment who still manages to observe, describe and appreciate what he sees around him. He writes as an outsider of a nation at war with England and France. His growing frustrations however come to the point where his own mental health is destabilised.

There is a cast of the usual characters that Casement mixed with, political, often aristocratic, although also frequently military men. There were to be none of the street people or lovers that his earlier, more sexual, diaries detailed. In Germany, probably for security reasons and lacking the language, he chose not to go out at night or to cruise for sex. He was also getting on. His Norwegian companion and betrayer, Adler Christensen, looms large, tricking and twisting his way round Germany and America, while draining much of Casement’s time and common sense.

The text is laid out in as close a way as possible as the actual manuscripts to provide an impression of the original. The appendices include correspondence and newspaper articles from the time, while bringing the reader up to date with recent articles in relation to Casement in Germany, the Easter Rising and the role of British and German Intelligence, as well as the ongoing Black Diaries authenticity debate which is, if anything, accelerating. That controversy tells of a still contested issue in modern-day Ireland, despite the immense strides made towards gay equality and emancipation, most recently in the Republic.

The diary was in two notebooks in the National Library of Ireland and essentially covers the eight months from July 1914 to February 1915. Itbegins being written on 7 November 1914 and takes Casement retrospectively from England, to the US and to Germany and then includes a tour of war-torn Belgium. It effectively concludes on 11 February 1915 with him in a sanatorium. At the end, however, there is a brief account dated 28 March 1916 of events later in 1915. Separately, ‘A Last Page’ picks up the narrative on 17 March 1916 running it to Casement’s final days in Berlin.

Casement, a man who wrote too much, drafted many hundreds of other letters and memos when in Germany of which a number of the more significant, particularly those related to the arrangements for his departure to Ireland, are reprinted along with the full, unabridged diary where another writer Angus Mitchell has edited out nearly a quarter of the original text in his book sub-titled The Berlin Diary. Those cuts are at times from the most sensitive of areas, including the behaviour of the German Army in Belgium and Casement’s increasing disillusionment with the Kaiser’s Imperial Government and Prussian militarism. Being complete in its narrative, makes it vastly more readable and comprehensible.

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Secrets Of The Black Diaries...Picture Shows:  Image order No HK6737 Irish Patriot and British Consular Official Sir Roger Casement (1864 - 1916) is escorted to the gallows of Pentonville Prison, London.  TX: BBC FOUR Friday, March 15 2002   Getty Images/Hulton Archives Roger Casement, former British Consul to the Congo, was hanged for treason for his role in Ireland's 1916 Easter Rising. His conviction rested on a set of diaries that suggested he had pursued a highly promiscuous homosexual life. Under the social mores of the day, such a revelation deprived him of all hope of clemency. But were the diaries faked? BBC Four investigates the 85-year-old mystery. WARNING: This Getty Image copyright image may be used only to publicise 'Secrets Of The Black Diaries'. Any other use whatsoever without specific prior approval from 'Getty Images'  may result in legal action.

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