The Magazine's riddle: the solution

Jacqui Brocker

Message 58585 · 5 May 2010 02:27:42 · Fixed-width font · Whole thread

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Hey all.

New to the list by a matter of days, less new to SCD, but my, what an
intriguing discussion I have come upon...

>> I would hope that the RSCDS is wanting people of
>> all persuasions to be part of the dancing scene - does the cover
>> advance
>> that image or not? I shall have to wait to see, but in the mean
>> time my
>> imagination is running riot!! :-)

Well Campbell, there is also the man in Indian headdress*, and the one
dressed as a firefighter*, and the one dressed policeman* there as
well. All in all, a very exciting cover!

(*I could also be just kidding with you...you'll have to wait and see!)

> For me the editor of the magazine is, unwittingly I am sure,
> treading a very fine (and dangerous) line.

This is an interesting definition of 'dangerous,' Andrea. I'd have
thought a cover with a diagram on how to make the perfect pipe bomb,
or, to be a little more relevant, a picture of a set, naked and
drenched in pigs blood, doing a petronella around a decapitated
kitten, just *might* have been better examples of 'dangerous,' but you
know, your mileage may vary...of course, you have already made this
cover's image made analogous with connecting Westminster to Nazi
imagery, so one shouldn't be especially surprised by this, I suppose.

> For those who are cinema buffs I'll mention La grande illusion <http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0028950/
> >, the French masterpiece about WWI PoWs. In this film there is a
> very famous scene where the PoWs put on stage some sort of French
> cabaret (with some can can as well) and since they were only males
> some were in drag (can't remember who gave them the dresses now). I
> can only imaging that the creation of Reel of the 51st would have
> been something similar (without the dresses though:). Jean Renoir
> managed to shoot that scene, over 70 years ago, in a way that
> anybody in their right mind could possibly describe as camp (despite
> the word probably hadn't been invented yet); I can only say that
> perhaps the editor(s) of the magazine don't have the same knack.

Ah yes, a brilliant film indeed (on that we can certainly agree). I
recall that scene, or rather, the one before it, where one of the men
who ends up in a dress seems rather nervous about how he appears, and
the other soldiers look at him, almost entranced (there is a long,
sustained shot), and it would not be illogical to wonder if some of
soldiers are thinking 'well, it has been so long since I've seen a
*real* woman...I could be persuaded...' (or indeed if some of the
soldiers were thinking they preferred him in proper uniform.)

To be somewhat more serious, Scottish Country Dancer is a magazine I
only started to receive when I became a member of RSCDS. It is not
what I would call 'promotional material' - that it has an article of
the various pronunciations of pas de basque without even bothering to
explain just what a pas de basque *is* should be indicative of that.
Surely it is meant for people who are 'in the know,' not necessarily
to encourage others to join (yes, it *could* be used in that way, but
I doubt that it is primary goal.)

(That I can't buy it along side Radio Times or Ok! should also be
indicative of the influence such a publication has...)

But if we are talking about promoting SCD, is the take away message
from this conversation the following: 'in order to encourage more men
(but especially in-no-ways-whatsover-camp/gay/fey-men), we should
really think about not being so public about anything remotely camp
(or anything that could be interpreted as such by people with vivid
imaginations)?' Is this *really* the argument being put forward?
Because surely we can encourage more people to join *as well as*
acknowledging all facets of the community. Or do I dare to dream?

Anselm's email has some very good points:

> With all possible respect, given this and also considering the fact
> that (as
> others have commented already) being openly gay is not exactly a
> career
> booster in the military -- it will get you kicked out in the US,
> although I
> don't know about Britain --

The British military have accepted openly gay men and women for a
while now: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/21/world/europe/21britain.html

Indeed, it would seem that Britain allowing this has made army units
*more* cohesive, rather than not.

> Andrea's »casual onlooker« would have to be more
> than somewhat homophobic to be offended by the cover in question.
> I'm fairly
> sure that such people exist, but they are probably offended by so
> many things
> that they wouldn't last very long in a dance class, anyway :^)

Anselm, I think you've nailed it with this paragraph!

Jacqui
(Australian in Cambridge)

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