Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Ou sont les Butt-Naked Hotties d'antan?

In yesterday's blog, boy culture announced that Mavety Media Group is discontinuing the publication of gay porn magazines, some of which were my essential reading way back in the 1970s and 1980s, titles like Torso, Mandate, and Honcho, as well as Playguy and Inches. The publisher's straight titles, like Juggs, are still scheduled for future publication.

No doubt the twin influences of a bad economy and the rapid growth of online porn are hurting the gay porn industry, in all its offline varieties, along with distinguished periodicals like the New York Times and Vanity Fair, both of which are hurting and now struggling to survive.

Not to strike too hysterical a note, but I'm inclined to think that, if the nation's newspapers disappear, especially the New York Times, the whole culture will collapse. Our democracy was built and still depends on information acquired through investigative reportage, not just opinion-venting via blogging or simply propagandistic consensus-building via news releases direct from corporate and government sources.

As for the disappearance of print porn, I have milder emotions, except to say that these periodicals (from the early days of clandestine physique magazines, delivered in brown envelopes, to the relatively open display of titles like Mandate at news stands) represent an important and fondly remembered part of gay history and the American liberation movements, which, along with the photos of apple-cheeked buddies wrestling and 11-inch uncut dongs, also covered news items benchmarking the slow progress of rights, toleration, and community for homosexual men.

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