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  WINDY CITY TIMES

EYE ON THE MEDIA
by Jim Edminster
2001-05-16

This article shared 1508 times since Wed May 16, 2001
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It's a bit incestuous to comment on items from my colleague, Sukie de la Croix, but since I have personal connections to two of his people in the news, here goes: Sukie mentions, in his Street Walkin' column, a bear video from the Bijou starring one ( among others ) Randy Elliot. Mr. Elliot ( under his real name, of course ) is a former Chicagoan, a member of both the leather community and the gay square dance club, the Chi-Town Squares. "Randy" is a pretty fair pseudonym for the person I remember waltzing with at the Old Carol's speakeasy in Old Town. We cleared the floor as we were both large-framed ( "cattle stampede" or "bull elephants amok" were descriptions I later heard of our not-so-gentile dancing ) .

In his Chicago Whispers column also of last week ( May 9, 2001 ) , Sukie did an e-mail interview with Jim Peron, now of South Africa. Jim ( whose name is not pronounced the same as Evita's husband, but rather, "pear-un" ) was a converted-from-the-right gay activist here in the late '70s and early '80s. Converted is correct. I remember a number of afternoons when Ray Birks and I attempted, with some success, to convince Jim that being a member of the John Birch Society was not going to be healthy after he came out. We were all members of a short-lived group called Libertarians for Gay Rights. Jim, as Sukie's column reveals, went on to run for State Representative. There was still a fossilized campaign sticker of his in orange and blue on a lamppost on my corner until last year, when they finally scraped it off. Jim, by the way, was one of those disgusting people who look 14 when they're 30. I figure he probably looks 20 now.

The Style and Entertainment section of The New York Times Magazine ( Spring 2001 ) has a long article portraying decorator Elsie de Wolfe. de Wolfe, who did the houses of the very rich creme de la creme in the 1920s, married Sir Charles Ferdinand Mendl when she was 57. Frankly, she noted it was to get his title, as her real romantic interests lay elsewhere, including a 30-year liaison with the theatrical agent Elisabeth Marbury. The article cattily remarks that de Wolfe early on stole most of her decorating ideas from author Edith Wharton and left most of her fortune to her secretary, not hubby.

The same issue of Style mentions the eating habits of the infamously bisexual Marlene Dietrich ( who referred to herself as "the Dietrich ) . She wanted Berlin-style home cooking from room service.

The New York Times ( May 1 ) reports on New Orleans as Tennessee Williams Country...how much is left that was referred to in his works, and how much is gone. Williams first went there in 1938 from St. Louis, where he was raised.

The New York Times does a major review of the photography exhibition Dear Friends: American Photographs of Men Together, 1840-1918 ( May 6 ) . The review and the catalog of the exhibit show all of the ambiguities of the subject matter: men posed together in Victorian photographs in varying degrees of togetherness, from holding hands to sitting in each other's laps. Clearly, they are close male relationships, but are they "... fathers and sons, teachers and students, pairs of brothers, cousins, army buddies, school friends, business friends, 'just plain' friends, 'special' friends, or lovers"?


This article shared 1508 times since Wed May 16, 2001
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