Archive for the ‘james robert baker’ Category

gay sex, drugs & filthy rock

May 7, 2008

imagine la muerte were gay and writing novels. novels full of testosterone, running high on adrenaline. well, they did not write any gay novels (to my knowledge), but james robert baker did. they are more rock then metallica ever will be and butcher then the lot of gangstas in hip hop. hard, fast, very sexy, very funny and also very angry his work is for me a milestone. beside being a breathless read, finally i read about some faggots that were no more mister nice guys. yeah, time to show the middlefinger.

in connection with the work of james robert baker i always have to think of a story A once told me from a gender seminar at university: the invited researcher seemingly did quite extensive research about school-children and reading. turns out that the cliché of girls reading a lot more then boys is true. but digging a little bit deeper, she found out that it has less to do with the reading in itself (being uncool or so), but that there are no books that interest boys: less horses, more action would be needed, basically.

allright, i’m getting a little bit unfair here now, but if you are tired of the big bulk of gay lit describing coming outs and/or try to explore the gay emotional workings (with a dash of sassy-ness, of course), then get your hands on some james robert baker. it is just so refreshingly unapologetic. or said differently: this is my boy’s literature. of course his work has met with a lot of criticism – calling it trash or pulp, supposedly advocating drug use and violence, blablabla. basically the same arguments we heard all over again the first time queer as folk came out (which is now hailed by the same people as groundbreaking…huh?) or when dennis cooper or bret easton ellis got big.

and well, if you’re not gay but can appreciate literature that is like really good, filthy rock, then you can go for boy wonder or fuel-injected dreams, which have been proven more successful with a wider audience. i guess because there is less gay sex in it – on the other hand we gays have to get through quite a bit of straight sex in many cultural products (betty blue, anybody?) – so it might be just fair you get your share of graphic man to man action… but then his books are more then just sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll – they finally voiced a feeling of having had enough, enough deaths, enough hatred, enough of the bigots. and although they are driven by anger, they are for me also in their own way very romantic – like a film noir is romantic, maybe. but then i might have a rather twisted sense of romance…

so i hope i have sparked your interest – then it is time to head over to james robert baker’s website – there you will get some more information of what it is all about as well as an overview of his life and his work. as a special you can even download one of his works, right wing (a political parody) – the least typical of his writings, but then it has a special history, too.