Sex Terror is the last of all Mark Simpson's oeuvre I have read.
So I can't help but feel sad as I tear through his 2002 collection of journalism and eSex Terror is the last of all Mark Simpson's oeuvre I have read.
So I can't help but feel sad as I tear through his 2002 collection of journalism and essays, maybe missing some of the spiky dark humour that I know fills the pages.
My second hand copy, with the obligatory picture of the topless, buff Simpson of yesteryear with his chainsaw on the cover, smells of stale cigarette smoke. I imagine one of the characters in the book having been a previous owner - maybe one of the tarty plumbers, leading the metrosexual revolution, or a gay porn actor, down on his luck and trying to write poetry for a living, or a transexual pop singer, waiting to go on stage.
The loss I feel at coming to the end of the road seems to be echoed in the book itself - as the barbed bard of contemporary masculinity puts a brave face on life as a lonely homo in the Big Gay 20th/21st century world.
It's all good, but the interviews stood out for me here. Mr Simpson is an expert at getting people to reveal more than they intended, whilst giving very little, or just as much as he wants, away himself. He even seems to 'conquer' his subjects at times, as an experienced top might overpower his prey. It is a disgrace that the mainstream (or even the 'alternative') media have not snapped up this talent as chief celebrity interviewer in residence.
And like all good writing (not to mention 'good' sex) does, Sex Terror leaves me wanting more. ...more
Male Impersonators should be a contemporary classic. It IS a contemporary classic it is just a 'crying shame' that it is not better known.
Simpson undrMale Impersonators should be a contemporary classic. It IS a contemporary classic it is just a 'crying shame' that it is not better known.
Simpson undresses the idea of the 'natural man' and shows us how men perform masculinity, in popular culture in particular. Gay strippers and drag artists, 'macho' body builders, pornography, sport, The War Movie, reality television, rock and roll. They all reveal, as examined by Simpson, the complexities and often the homoerotic and homosexual subtexts of modern masculinities.
My favourite chapter is The Anus And Its Goalposts. The book was published in 1994 but if this chapter was distributed to football fans and players now, in 2011, it might cause football to suffer an identity crisis it could not recover from. Simpson uses Freud, Foucault, Iragaray, and his own unique perspective, to reveal the underlying homo-sexual dynamics that form the 'Beautiful Game'. It made me think on reading it, that if homophobia in football was to be eradicated, there would be nothing left of the sport at all, as it is built on homosexual tension and also denial and fear.
Beautifully written, well referenced, funny and sometimes heartbreaking, Male Impersonators tells us the story of how men have come to be how they are. But as the lack of fame of this book and its author attests to, it is a story the world does not want to hear.
The Male Body begins with a moving account of Bordo's memories of her father's body.
After that she charts the changes in culture, especially in the 19The Male Body begins with a moving account of Bordo's memories of her father's body.
After that she charts the changes in culture, especially in the 1990s which have put the male body very much on display. It was written in 2000 and already seems dated. Calvin Klein ads have now been taken over by Armani for example, and the Spawn of Sporno is what we see everywhere we look.
I liked her refs to film in particular with some interesting observations about The Crying Game and Boogie Nights -Dirk Diggler's Dick deconstructed.
But I didn't like her attachment to feminist and 'gay' analysis of men's bodies in culture.
She mentioned my friend and compadre Mark Simpson once briefly, in relation to gay porn. But really the story of the display of the male body in contemporary culture is completely reliant on his theories of metrosexuality to make any sense at all. So without that, Bordo's arguments were incoherent.
This is an update. Having read Male IMpersonators by Mark Simpson, I think Bordo's The Male Body is a complete rip off of that book. It uses all the same subjects - The Crying Game, Tom of Finland, Gay porn, Calvin Klein, Marky Mark, Bill Clinton, and never references Simpson's work....more