Articles / Movies

The Drag and The Padlock: Queer Representation and Fascist Repression in 1927

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1927 was a banner year for queer representation in cinema and theater – and also the year that the progressive momentum was met with increased institutional repression, arguably commensurate with the success of LGBTQ+ rights in the era. In particular, 1927 saw the production and theatrical debut – and repression – of a play called The Drag, written by playwright and film star Mae West, a proponent of gay rights and women’s liberation.


The Detroit Lions, the beginning of the NFL, American Fascists, and the New York Public Library

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Recently, at the New York Public Library, looking for obscure literary needles in huge periodical haystacks – their immense Crowell-Collier collection, innumerable boxes stacked with rejection letters and internal reference docs and cc’s – I came across this 1934 letter from Lions Vice-President and General-Manager Cy Huston, to writer Kyle Crichton, featuring the brilliant early Lions logo.



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about the rise and fall
of Fascism in Italy –
the opportunistic bullies –
the women and children abused –
everyone on the bottom rung
but collaborators.


Drinking the Kool Aid Flavor Aid

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And since the victims of Jonestown who ‘drank the Kool Aid’ were largely held at gunpoint and other coercisions, it is false and even insulting to claim that they voluntarily drank the poison and fed it to their children.

But ‘drink the Kool Aid’ does mean something.