"'Wotcha, mates!' he growled in a very unladylike voice as he took to the stage." Danny La Rue, 1927-2009.
I love it when gays go crazy. And now they have, over not enough attention to the passing of Bea Arthur.
The Awl extends its condolences to the family and friends of actress Bea Arthur, who passed away this weekend at the age of 86. We also offer our sympathies to comedian Jeffrey Ross, who will now have to find another husky-voiced woman with whose dick he would not fuck people.
James Kirkup is dead. Who? Well! "In June 1976 he had a 66-line poem, The Love that Dares to Speak Its Name, published in Gay News. It described the homosexual fantasies of a Roman centurion as he contemplates the body of Christ on the Cross, and implicitly attributed homosexual acts to Jesus. This led to a private prosecution of the newspaper by the decency defender Mary Whitehouse for blasphemous libel." What can we say, but: good job, fuck yeah, girlfriend! Also?
Nice obituary of John Weller, who managed his son Paul's career throughout his time with The Jam, The Style Council, and as a solo artist: "On one famous occasion, after the head of Polydor, David Munns, had made a disparaging remark about the Style Council's latest record, Weller Sr was said to have lifted the hapless executive out of his chair and told him: 'You don't speak about my son like that.'"
J.G. Ballard, whose dark novels and two excellent memoirs made for one of the most unusual bodies of work to reach a mainstream audience in contemporary literature, died on Sunday at the age of 78. Ballard is most famous for Empire of the Sun, which recounts his internment by the Japanese during World War II. The book was turned into a very good movie starring Christian Bale, but if you've only seen it and not read it you're missing out.
TMZ is exclusively reporting that actor Dom DeLuise has passed away. The site lists his popular credits as Spaceballs and The Cannonball Run, which is just a terrible way for anyone to be remembered. I prefer to recall his hysterical work in Mel Brooks' The Twelve Chairs, his memorable stint as a Ziploc bag pitchman, and his brief role in Blazing Saddles, above.
Further thoughts on the demise of Portfolio: It was almost exactly two years ago that the first issue hit newsstands; I wrote about 3,000 words mostly reviewing the ads. At the time I suggested that, given the resources behind it, the magazine would probably last at least two years. I claim no prescience in this regard; pretty much everyone knew that Conde Nast was going to pump enough money into it to make sure it wasn't a colossal failure. And also, there were the pillows!