Sailor

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[00:00:02] Sort of like sort of satanic Vienna Boys Choir boys as opposed and the way that sort of [00:00:09] the uniform is [00:00:11] stereotypically attractive. [00:00:13] It's white, which is suggest something sort of pure. [00:00:20] And I can recall and someone who, [00:00:25] who had to have to use polite words. Well, someone who's cheery I popped a request decades ago who wore Salah pants for the occasion. [00:00:38] Just over sweet. [00:00:42] This this whole big fantasy area around two and a hammock captains and Kevin boys [00:00:52] guys dressed up as what they used to call Molly's I think in the 18th century. [00:00:58] Which, [00:01:00] like one of those is sort of a retroactive paint by numbers thing, you know, we'd like it to have been this way. Now. We don't know jack shit about what went on in sailing vessels. Up until the middle of the 19th century. We know sort of all about what goes on there now. There's an assumption that put small boys or young men into environment with with older, more virtualized guys and they will bunk [00:01:39] in a commonplace basis [00:01:43] is based on a very 20th century view of how human beings operate. There has to say that human beings are substantively amoral without venues and will do whatever the plumbing tells them to do on the day. [00:01:57] It's a very 20th century way of looking at things. [00:02:02] I'm not convinced that the reality lived up to the fantasy in any way I mean, quite aside from the fact that go and see Amistad and tell me that you want to have an affair with a sailor. Find out about life on one of the ships that Columbus took across the North Atlantic or or vesco to gamma took around the south of the American Eskimos and it's a horrifying, unpleasant, revolting lifestyle. You've got scurvy, you've got all this crap going on? It's not it's neither my idea of an environment for romantic tryst, or for particularly satisfying sexual encounter with any kind. But maybe I'm a little strange. Yeah. [00:02:50] I don't think fiction ever gets in the way of good fantasy. And it's like Cowboys, now the Cowboys, but they've probably found far more important to the world as fantasy figures than they've ever been. And as workers. [00:03:08] When I was in Amsterdam, I went to some saleable old sailor bars from 1700 and something in a straight off damn square where I was staying. And there was like, erotic, me and like, like a sexual museum and American Museum, because you opened the door to all of the bars on the same street. And then inside the door, there was a red curtain to keep the draft there because it was cold. And then there was just a bad wooden, curved bat and a beer wouldn't flow and they're all exactly the same. And it was 60 because it would have been like that all that time ago, and it would have been filled with Silas. And that was nice. I'm gonna give you a little sort of bad because it was like it was real, you know, still being used for the same purpose. It was still sexual. was amusing. I'm going to do if you understand the idea of erotic amusement, it was entertaining, it was titillating. So I mean, that history is still evident. It's got a nice hungry sort of wolfish tone. And you could smell it and the word you know, it was like a nice, I probably had sort of layers of historic semen. So [00:04:16] you know, I felt at home [00:04:17] I was nice. [00:04:22] Very little has been written about the cabin boy. In nonfiction, though he's a stock figure of the enormous amount of light fiction, there does seem to have been some basis and history for the, the image that's grown out of both the cabin boy, and perhaps more importantly, the students. Now, the stewards and the New Zealand Merchant Marine were often stereotyped as being gay. And there seems to have been quite a bit of reality to that match, in the same way that there's a popular conception about cabin crew with a modern aircraft. [00:05:09] Certainly, the cabin boy would have been one of the most attractive young people aboard the ship, he would have been tending a number of people and the would have been I mentioned an element of the Father. So that would be quite a kind of almost Greek relationship. [00:05:28] One of the appeals for the gay audience in the sailor icon is that sailors historically, and probably paid to the year dogs have had this interesting sexual status where they like guys in prison, or particularly, in so far as all these guys crammed into these physically enclosed spaces. The entire world turns a blind eye, if you like, it's a naval thing isn't a bit slow Nelson to, to the homosexuality that goes on on the ships, it's assumed to happen, whether it does or it doesn't. The assumption is that if you've got all these guys thrown onto these, into these little tin boxes floating around on the oceans, that they were going to be bumping each other frantically. And I think that assumption is spread throughout the whole of society in a sort of silent way. whether it's true or not. One of the funny things that gave me in him to put up with is that all an awful lot of the learning about the world comes through sideways channels like pornography, or advertising. Things were and as a consequence, [00:06:53] quite a distorted worldview can occur, I think. [00:06:58] We pick up things that we don't, that aren't sincerely, they're all they're not necessarily true. Every time you see a photographic image of erotic photographic image of sailor or say laws, it reinforces a subtle message that this goes on in this environment. [00:07:18] And I'm not sure that it does, [00:07:20] it does a wonderful German film, which is around called by Wolfgang Petersen called the boat or desperate, which has a whole lot of mean and confined to a submarine for weeks on end, I mean, what could be six year, minute confined in a small space. They're isolated from women, when they see their clothes are designed to emphasize the advantages. So [00:07:47] they're obviously an object of, [00:07:50] of last. [00:08:04] This was one of the few securely male communities we could spend most of your time surrounded by males feeling a domestic situation. So even if there wasn't always sexual relations between two men, there were some people who certainly enjoyed being around me and Etsy and confined conditions. And even when they came ashore, they were usually at waterside bars or they're working amongst dock workers. It was a very male and not entirely detached community but one we could system to be out of the mainstream. [00:08:40] The whole idea of [00:08:43] the camaraderie and sexual tension is amusing. It suggests something duty and raft rather than sort of white sheets, which I find [00:08:54] the trait of one of the attractions of the siloed certainly prior to gay law reform as an idea was that I guess put on the bluntest tubes, if you bumped into what on the pub and you wanted to pick them up, at least understand what you were talking about. [00:09:08] Which wouldn't necessarily be true. [00:09:12] of a member of the clergy or the Army or [00:09:17] the medical profession. [00:09:21] be thinking about he doesn't [00:09:23] he associate a certain degree of communication but before [00:09:29] and and the other thing is, OK, so what this means is that guys in prison and sailors what amongst the 2am, officially legally sanctioned locations for homosexuality to take place. [00:09:45] between certain types of mean, there's an understanding that you don't have to go in, you don't have to ask them out on a date. You don't have to have done it, you can just do it, I think mean understand it with each other more than women might. And that's probably because of the socialization rather than it being a natural thing. I mean, and women, maybe it is the same with some men and women. But I mean, I know that most men understand. If we give them a safe, I'm looking at return. That's it. And look, there'll be some action in about 40 seconds. So [00:10:19] that's always been there and the silence of the most loudly, probably neither did myself need [00:10:24] to respond appropriately. No mucking around. [00:10:28] I like it. I don't think it's nice. I mean, it's contrary to respectable, which is always an advantage when it comes to see. I mean, formal civilized sixth, sounds like a cheap service to me. Sort of does the idea of sort of, like sort of up against the wall stuff is sort of like silence as like, a spontaneous sort of rule and people love it. I mean, that's why we have six onsite beanies that simulate Bates we have that semi light, darkness, simulate roughness. [00:11:05] Some people like being against walls, like pushing [00:11:12] the light doing both [00:11:19] Silas sailors were probably also the same as the dock workers. I mean, there was a around our water France, a very large and now almost completely vanished. Male physical environment. You're a huge numbers of people on the water, France, there were seven or 8000 movies alone 20 years ago and New Zealand and several thousand sailors. Then you have the habit board employs I get it all entirely masculine. And many of those people doing physical labor and had lots of young men, semi naked and summer days and these people stroll down there, they would look, they would probably buy them beers and places like chicks hotel and watch armas. [00:12:05] And the 50s debate about thing, there were 14 parts to the beat between the wolf and corny place. And certainly the people who were the sailors from ships would have known about the beats on the wharf, which were there until the 80s and are closed. So it was a circuit going around the whole way around. From down by where the railway station is around the corner in place with the Taj Mahal is that used to be a public toilet back around to the wharf. And that was a rare circuit that people did. [00:12:41] Only 24 hours. [00:12:43] And I know from recollections of older mean that [00:12:48] the police used to go around it regularly and then someone on a bike would go and tell people that they were doing it and they'll tell guys will go to the one the police have just been to so the police would go around the whole for him to be nobody there. And they'll be awful following them around the circuit. And also during World War Two mean from this of the same age would take me in [00:13:08] Victoria to [00:13:11] for walks on a summer evening. [00:13:14] And also I heard I don't know if it's true that they wore bow ties with a written green light in them so that the if they were busy, the green light would be real that would be on if they're available, the green light would be on. But that sounds extreme. But um, it's why not. So I'm in I'm in San Jose always have a friend. And I get things for nothing. And if people buy them drinks, people feed them, they have sex with them. I mean, what we have to do is put the uniform on on your end. So it's sort of like you know, an international passport. The pleasure. [00:13:42] Maybe the sale is sort of like the ultimate icon of the free spirit mail. So like the cowboy or the motorcyclist, he's one of those icons of Firstly, I mean, obviously be a married male, [00:13:59] the sexually active lovely male who's who's on the road, who's who's a transients. So he's [00:14:07] there are advantages to having a phase with transients insofar as it's got a finite duration, and they bugger off at the end of it, and you're not stuck with them. And for a lot of people, I think that's a nice type of fantasy if you're trapped. If you're feeling trapped in a relationship, and I guess everybody who's in a relationship feels trapped sometimes. Or you feel that relationships in themselves are traps. They know sorts of fantasy figures, your truck driver, there's another one. Maybe they can they work in that way in the end that there's something to aspire to [00:14:42] women, and you use the fact sailors and in them. And that was always amusing because they're making a huge romantic drama, which didn't seem to me at all necessary, because I had no qualms whatsoever with just doing it for the sake of doing it without having to pretend there was anything cosmic involved. But they seem to somehow want to make a drama. That was quite funny. [00:15:01] There's a really interesting distraction that goes on between the iconography and and the images that we get thrown at us in the media, the fantasies that are fed to us, and that we buy into [00:15:16] and how an awful lot of them are really anachronistic, like [00:15:20] the Marlboro Man is a classic example. I mean, firstly, because I mean, the heyday of the cowboy was about 10 years in the 1870s. And theme it was over. And you to this very day, we get cowboy movies and cowboys on TV and their whole Western thing. And the silence things a bit like that, like, up until about 40 years ago, there were hundreds of war fees and Steve adores and cooks and stewards and sailors and now with you know, the change to containerized shipping and so forth. And with the collapse of large Navy's the number of silence around is dropped Russia. So hello, that the image of, of the sailor the, you know, blond haired, blue eyed muscle bound bimbo in the dress whites or the little blue sailor suit [00:16:14] is really present before you can go for years without actually even seeing one. So it's become like a remote thing it's it's become. [00:16:24] It's become one of those deed images like the knight in shining armor. [00:16:33] It's probably more fantasy than fact. [00:16:37] But there is certainly a well documented kernel of truth. Some American and European guy historians in the last decade have looked at the role of homosexuality in the pirate community in the Caribbean. They've also looked at the dust Dutch East India Company in the 18th century where it was considered sufficient a problem by the company directors for them to have recorded that and great deal of detail. It's fairly logical only thinking amount of time that men would have spent together in the days of sale could often be at sea for up for two years at a time, very seldom touch and caught because they didn't need to refill their power by the wind of people are out trading, though it's been very little time in the context of women. So I think that would have been an element of people enjoying themselves out of sight of land, [00:17:32] the US Navy, during the First World War, [00:17:37] ran a whole campaign. [00:17:40] Somebody's got to begin, but that homosexuality was a problem in the US Navy. So the US Navy, or some part of the US Navy decided to do something about this and to see it happen and treatment program. So they recruited all these pretty new bald young sailors and sent them out looking for gay men or pharmaceuticals or whatever you call at the time inverts, I suppose uranium. And they so what they basically did was they set up this network of national provocateur, and raised all the things that normally go with it. So you got all these, you hear all these state trained, quasi prostitutes going out trying to roll guys in order to throw them out of the Navy, [00:18:23] which is revolting. [00:18:26] In itself, and then it becomes even more evolving when the Navy throws the book at its own stages. So all the guys who were recruited for this lots of program within Kashi, or whatever the equivalent is from the United States Navy lost the pension rights, many of them were prosecuted. So just following orders, and that that happened in 1917. [00:18:53] And I guess, [00:18:55] I guess the interesting thing about vanishes. The problem the face. [00:19:01] The amount of homosexuality that they generated, greatly exceeded any amount that they actually found. [00:19:09] Which rather begs the question. [00:19:27] Tom of Finland is very nice drawings of sailors early on his career in the 40s. During the war, time of feminine, I mean, what his real name is, during the blackouts in Europe learn to draw uniforms by touch. And there's a very nice bit in his biography. And where he was at a bus stop or train stop and we're whatever said he was he was in in Europe and it was full of men and military uniform, and he backed up to one of them. One of them moved into his hands and he took them off at the bus stop or the train stop without anyone knowing because it was black, dark, and this nothing happened all the time. The [00:20:01] beauty of the sailor from Tama Finland's point of view is again, the frog. [00:20:07] A snugly fishing garment which drapes is a sailor's blouse does [00:20:14] is a gift, just like the tight trousers with the flood, calf, celebrity bell bottoms and everything. The good things to work with as a draftsman, there's plenty going on there. You've got that thing that rollin bat talks about, about the ambivalence of where the government gapes, you've got a gamma but simultaneously the guys close and he's undressed at the same time. It's fabulous. From up from an erotic point of view, [00:20:37] those uniforms, traditionally extremely sexy. And one of the first uses of the T shirt, the tight trousers with the flavors, the the caps, I mean, standard stock image of usually very sexy young men, particularly in the Navy, and the Merchant Marine, you see people from very wide age groups, but in the Navy, they'll be two or 300 men and their late teens through to late 20s on a particularly large ship. And when those people had poured on this then they said they would have turned heads. [00:21:14] And it's that interesting thing too about uniforms as degradation that if you look at naval officers, uniforms, the grown ups clothes, silence with pajamas, they were kids clothes, they were actually diminished by what they were so you get the sort of double vision going on of a man dressed as a child particularly because we often just children are not holidays of course the ladies still see it in sailor suits. So you've got that whole a speak to the sailor image that it's a man dressed as a child. [00:21:51] We find continually in gay iconography, a limited range of uniforms, sailors had man and just think of some of the pop groups I mean, they're easy to do the uniforms and complicated if you're required to go and dress up. They usually sexy and they emphasize masculinity. It can be linked to [00:22:14] upper class and middle class mean idealising working class means bodies and appearance because they have lost that they've had that civilized out of them. That to be middle class means to be somewhat less than masculine because of your appearance and your job and your soft. So I think there's a there's a looking for some masculinity and images or ideas of sort of inverted commas Britishness from somewhere else, because I [00:22:41] lost it. The first [00:22:54] day of the power cats and included some of the guys who are in the same year the club as I am when I walked up Queen Street, which was in darkness in the fire engines. And there were groups of Mexican sailors. [00:23:09] I would just absolutely beautiful women that little end up which is my type. And I mean, I saw them and I said to the guys as well. I mean, I'm just want a six pack. No, I mean, this is perfect. It's so beautiful. And they mainly said hello to us, because we were recently there and they recognize this as being maybe from the same. Recognize that we were sort of I don't know, it was something we had in common and the guy should have given them free passes to our club but they didn't you know, it was a bit shy, but very young, very sweet. And I didn't have very nice costumes. I'm in like costumes uniforms. So I mean, you know, out of the mysterious still happens

This page features computer generated text of the source audio - it is not a transcript. The Artificial Intelligence Text is provided to help users when searching for keywords or phrases. The text has not been manually checked for accuracy against the original audio and will contain many errors.