Started writing up a post on culture, gays, society and etc and realised much of what I was writing had been said already by Camille Paglia back in the nineties in an interview she gave to now banned magazine ‘Gayme’. So dumped the draft text and went looking for the interview which by some miracle I managed to find in an obscure database.
Paglia mentions Walt Whitman pointing out he would today be jailed as a sex offender. Some may remember the movie ‘Dead Poets Society’ and how the teacher played by Robin Williams has the students address him as “Oh Captain My Captain”, that’s a Whitman poem.
O CAPTAIN ! M Y CAPTAIN !
O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.
O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head!
It is some dream that on the deck,
You’ve fallen cold and dead.
My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
But I with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.
Others of Whitman and that would better illustrate the sexual preferences Paglia was referring to,
O TAN-FACED PRAIRIE-BOY
O tan-faced prairie-boy,
Before you came to camp came many a welcome gift,
Praises and presents came and nourishing food, till at last among the
You came, taciturn, with nothing to give—we but look’d on each other,
When lo! more than all the gifts of the world you gave me.
W E TWO BOYS TOGETHER CLINGING
We two boys together clinging,
One the other never leaving,
Up and down the roads going, North and South excursions making,
Power enjoying, elbows stretching, fingers clutching,
Arm’d and fearless, eating, drinking, sleeping, loving.
No law less than ourselves owning, sailing, soldiering, thieving, threatening,
Misers, menials, priests alarming, air breathing, water drinking, on the
turf or the sea-beach dancing,
Cities wrenching, ease scorning, statutes mocking, feebleness chasing,
Fulfilling our foray.