Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A Quick Note on the Title

Many of you may be confused by the title of this blog, as my name is not Johnny, nor is my sexuality much of a question, honestly. Actually, the title is taken from a cult hit song from the 80s by Josie Cotton, consisting of a woman asking her boyfriend such things as, "why are you so weird, boy? Johnny, are you queer, boy? When I asked for a date, I thought that you were straight." You can find the song at the artist's myspace page. Also worth reading is the artist's explanation of why she wrote the song, where she triumphantly lays claim to having no small part in reclaiming the word "queer," and how, in reality, the song was super gay friendly. I think it's a bunch of bunk, and the song is just homophobic in ways that it's not "hip" to be these days. Still, the song is kind of amazing in a campy way, and pretty darn catchy, too.

Also, on the image. This is from an amazing 1977 photo-essay entitled "Gay Semiotics" by one Hal Fischer. Aside from an interesting look at late 70s gay culture, the concept of classifying fashion trends and self-identification methods such as the "hanky code" with phrases like "Street Fashion: Basic Gay" or "Signifiers for a Male Response" is, well, downright hilarious. Check out the entire photo collection, because it's worth looking at. Some of my favorite sections include the "Signifiers," from which the picture is drawn, the "Street Fashion" section, as well as the convenient 'body goes here' outlines drawn over bondage devices in the "Archetypal Media Images" section. Makes you wonder what little captions would be written over a picture of you, doesn't it?

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