(The Return of) Ignatz, by Sam Heldman

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

man dates
That article in the NYT the other day, about how some men feel odd about going places with other men, was either (a) the stupidest article ever about a made-up thing, or (b) an article about a pathetic aspect of many men's psyches. Not sure which, but Ezra Klein does a good job of responding, and says what I would say if I weren't being curmudgeonly about it.

I can add this: my friend Hank Bates and I went to see Gatemouth Brown and Vassar Clements play, in a bar in Cambridge about 20 years ago. An old blues guitarist-fiddler and an old bluegrass fiddler, respectively. I think it was the aging-jazzy-fiddlers-on-cocaine tour of 1985. Anyway, Gatemouth was so wired on whatever that powder around his nose was, that instead of playing he decided to make jokes based on his perception that Hank and I must be gay because there we were sitting at a table together.

So, the "man date" problem is Gatemouth's problem, not mine.

posted by sam 8:31 PM 5 comments


I saw Gatemouth circa '85 also; he played jus' fine. Afterwards, he signed autographs and chatted in a disjointed, rambling sort of way....he spelled my name wrong, even with two tries. (It seems to me he called the second try a 'goback, hee-hee-hee-choke'.)

Quentin Crisp had the same difficulty, but there. At least he didn't cackle.

I'd be interested to read how you and your bud got through the dissonance of being labeled as gay boyz and heckled, all those years ago. Did you laugh it off, or get mad and huff out (this is BULLSHIT, man!!!) or what?

'satiably curious,


By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:47 AM  

We were damn "coastal elites"! A little uncomfortable with everybody in the bar focusing their attention on us, but no more so than if he had said, "man, look at this guy here -- I don't like his shirt." Much more pissed off about how bad the show was. (I wonder if maybe Vassar was a bad influence on him -- was Vassar on the bill when you saw Gatemouth?).

Very little anti-gay animus in the circles I ran with back then -- although many gay students were still closeted to some degree or another, even within the college community, which is some indication that the level of acceptance was not perfect.

By Blogger sam, at 7:49 AM  

I was there (J. Swifts) that night, and the trouble started when Gatemouth noticed your shirt. And as I recall, it was a pretty gay shirt. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:25 PM  

You're right -- he was envious of my shirt but couldn't admit it.

Anyway, RG, I've been to art museums with you -- proving that you and I are both suspect, according to the NYT.

By Blogger sam, at 1:29 PM  

You should read this sad Op-Ed by Bob Herbert in today's New York Times.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:22 PM  

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