Archive for the ‘History’ Category

On Vexed

05Mar09

In which The Gay Recluse is vexed. Lately we’ve been thinking about how much we still kinda h8 the words ‘gay’ and ‘queer.’  Though we know that many in ‘the community’ consider this a ‘settled issue’ — and perhaps this is a vestige of our own self-h8red, which is not small by any measure — […]


In which The Gay Recluse becomes increasingly obsessed with tiled rooftops.* According to Wikipedia, the rooftop of the Stephansdom in Vienna contains over 230,000 tiles. It was originally built in the Middle Ages and then — after it was destroyed by fire at the end of WWII — rebuilt in 1952 with the help of […]


In which The Chaos Detective concludes his European assignment in Paris. Watch on Facebook. THE CHAOS DETECTIVE is a teevee series for the internet. “City of Dreams” is a five-part episode set in Europe. Future episodes will be located in New York City. City of Dreams (Part 1) City of Dreams (Part 2) City of […]


In which The Gay Recluse revisits the past, both distant and not-so-distant. As many of you may or may not know, last year we wrote an essay that was published by Gawker on Valentine’s Day as part of a “Gay Modern Love” contest sponsored by Sheila (miss u!) and inspired in part by our rants […]


In which The Chaos Detective goes to Munich. Click through for “hi-quality” on YouTube or watch on Facebook. Stay tuned for the fifth and final installment of “City of Dreams.” THE CHAOS DETECTIVE City of Dreams (Part 1) City of Dreams (Part 2) City of Dreams (Part 3)


In which The Gay Recluse wonders why David Brooks is still in office. Ohai! We thought we’d play a lil game in which we pull quotes from three pieces about the exurbs, two written in 2k4 by David Brooks in The Times — “Take a Ride to Exurbia”  on the opinion page and “Our Sprawling, […]


In which The Gay Recluse looks out windows. Eventually we reached an age when we could no longer think about the larger world except with terror; it was too complicated and cruel, and every time we tried to engage it we returned defeated and misunderstood. Our own trajectory, combined with an examination of world history […]


In which The Gay Recluse dreams of snow. On certain days, we are made aware that capitalism is a vast, raging sea on which we are helplessly adrift. It’s not that this is exactly news; to the contrary, we have always known this, much the way the earth is round and the sun is many […]


In which The Gay Recluse recommends a book about music. When we finished The Rest Is Noise, Alex Ross’ survey of twentieth-century (classical-ish) music, our feelings were mixed; not about the book, which — as we are hardly the first to point out (Google it!) — works brilliantly on many levels. It’s really beyond our […]


In which The Gay Recluse orders Sachertorte. In the United States — except for the rare exception — there is a well-documented dearth of hot gay statues. Occasionally you’ll see a statue and think, “hmm, he’s a lil gay.” (Or she, obv.) Or: “Why is that guy’s head between that other guy’s legs? It’s not […]


In which The Gay Recluse finds remnants of the 1860s 1960s. It’s difficult to write about a city of the past without succumbing to nostalgia, given the grandeur of the dead monuments that have survived and the (philosophical) certainty that no time is worse to be alive than the present. Some friends of ours came […]


In which The Gay Recluse writes a book report. Just as the snow began, we finished Among Other Things, I’ve Taken Up Smoking, a 2007 debut novel by Aoibheann Sweeney. The book is about a girl — Miranda — who grows up with her father on a tiny island off the coast of Maine; her […]


In which The Gay Recluse remembers Sergio Leone. Recently we watched the director’s cut of Once Upon a Time in America, Sergio Lione’s epic Jewish/New York City gangster movie from 1984. When originally released in the United States, the producers imposed a chronological sequence onto the movie to shorten it, whereas Lione intended it to […]


In which The Gay Recluse considers a southern exposure. Admittedly, we have often cursed the apartment buildings that face the southern side of our garden. In addition to casting a shadow, they are sometimes the source of crushingly loud (and bad) music and garbage thrown from their windows. Also, it’s hard to escape the feeling […]


In which The Gay Recluse lives in the past. Our favorite part of Thanksgiving this year was not the food, but the table,* particularly after it was set and waited patiently in the late afternoon sun. Accompanied by the cats, we spent quite a few minutes quietly circling the table, observing the way the light […]


In which The Gay Recluse is interviewed on the BBC (but not credited) and then adds a backing track. [Note! Update appended below or click here.] Ha, so today we got an e-mail from “BBC World Service Request” with the following message: I work for a programme called World Have Your Say which broadcasts on […]


In which The Gay Recluse listens with admiration to the new record by The New Year. Recently we went to see The New Year in Williamsburg. It was a great show until we went back to our car and discovered that some frat boy asshole had broken off our side mirror on the car. Goodbye […]


In which The Gay Recluse returns to Dupont Circle. For the past few days we’ve been staying at a hotel not far from Dupont Circle, which is the same neighborhood where we lived after college and before law school. Mostly it makes us wonder: why did we ever move? It’s so nice around here! It’s […]


In which The Gay Recluse wonders when the fog will burn off. Lately it seems that every morning we wake up in a fog. And we feel sort of hopeless, because even though logic dictates otherwise, we wonder if this will be the day that the fog is permanent. And we’ll never see the sky […]


In which The Gay Recluse remembers his grandparents. Of our four grandparents, the only one we knew at all was our grandmother. And even she died when we were very young. Our evil uncle stole almost everything she owned, but our father managed to keep a few things, including this blue vase, which he in […]