Browsing: Ransacking History

January – February, 2011

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Takes on news of the day.

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ANYONE whose life was impacted in even a small way by the punk-feminist subculture known as Riot Grrrl will find it hard to read Sara Marcus’s thoroughly researched history of the movement and remain seated throughout. From its inception, traced here to 1989 and the creation of the band Bikini Kill, through the dissolution of most of its organizational hubs by 1996, Riot Grrrl existed in an emotionally amplified space. The fierce unity of the first small tribes that sprung up in Olympia, Washington, and Washington D.C. contrasts with the fire and fury at male privilege that inspired some of the movement’s finest work

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THE FALL OF 2010 saw a number of widely publicized teen suicides linked to anti-gay bullying across the country. The national GLBT community responded with candlelight vigils, “die-in’s,” and heartfelt homemade videos promising at-risk young people that “It Gets Better.” Kudos to Dan Savage for launching this project; still, it is difficult to lay healing hands on an isolated population through YouTube.

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STANLEY BARBER STARTS OFF by declaring that this work is “written as a libretto for a sung-through musical,” repeating this in the Epilogue.

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ANXIETY, celebration and lust collide in Daniel Allen Cox’s second novel, Krakow Melt, an ode to youthful curiosity and sex drive.

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In the 1960’s, Jill [Johnston] had achieved visibility and credibility among those in the know as a chronicler of the New York City avant-garde scene, particularly dance, through her regular column in The Village Voice. In the late 60’s Jill came out in her column, …

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NEARLY 200 YEARS AGO, the French novelist Honoré de Balzac created a remarkable character, Vautrin, a charming, hyper-masculine master criminal, and a man who loves men. In three of Balzac’s most popular novels, an important part of the plot turns on Vautrin’s love for an exceptionally handsome, much younger man …

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YOUNG CARL BEAN never really knew his father, and he barely knew his birth mother. Born and raised in a poor area of Baltimore, Bean was basically raised by a village of “warm and wonderful women.” He says that he was a girly little boy, soft and feminine, and he was attracted to other boys at an early age. He believes that those who raised him must have known about those feelings, but nothing was ever said. Bean was loved, and that’s what he knew.

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