Gay News Makes News

HATFIELD: The Hatfield and Welwyn Advertiser burbled happily when it discovered that local talent, Barbara Cartland, the ageless authoress, had been chosen as a calendar girl by no less than Gay News.

The Adver chirruped: “She is one of 12 celebrities to illustrate the months – others include Mae West, Dusty Springfield, Cliff Richard and silent film star George Arliss.” George Arliss? The Herts Adver bubbled on: “Asked why they had singled out Miss Cartland, a joint editor of Gay News, Mr Denis Lemon, said: ‘We think she’s a rather fun lady.’”

JOHANNESBURG: Viv Prince, who writes a column for the Rand Daily Mail, reads the journalists’ trade paper UK Press Gazette.

For his Play Back column he virtually reprinted verbatim UKPG’s report of Gay News getting a bit professional. Over to you, Viv, you’re better at it than us.

“I suppose it had to come. Last week I was saying how devious our young maidens are here in Johannesburg with their liberated dating techniques. Now comes the freedom fight of the twilight male.

“It’s just been announced that Gay News – the new fortnightly for homosexuals – is getting its first full-time trained reporter.

“The lad in question, a Mr Peter Holmes, is leaving the English evening paper for which he works – ‘for a paper I can believe in’.

From here on out it just quotes the story Peter wrote for UK Press Gazette.

Such as “Said Mr Holmes: ‘It may be hard work for low pay, but it’s worth it for a paper that’s only just getting off the ground. I’ve decided to put my pay packet where my mouth was.’”

Our Viv ends up with a bit of his own: “I suppose that’s what you call being liberated.”

ED: George Arliss??

Sssch-Press Silence

LONDON: A sex-education movie that may be bought by the Inner London Education Authority may not be advertised in the Evening Standard, because Cobra Films who made the movie want to quote the criticism of Cobra-1 that appeared in Gay News.

Cobra-1, also called etcetcetc, approaches the subject of sex from a standpoint that values relationships higher than “the perfect position” for a couple.

When Cobra Films booked the space in the Standard the advertisement department could see no objection to running the ad.

But when Geoff Richards, formerly of the Electric Cinema Club in Portobello Road, which gave Cobra-1 its premiere, took the copy for the ad along to the Standard, he was told by the assistant advertisement manager that the Gay News criticism was “near-pornography”. The man at the Standard suggested that Cobra should find a “respectable film critic to quote — like Alexander Walker” if it wanted to run the advertisement.

But Cobra Films, who maintain that the Gay News criticism (in GN10) was the only crit that approached the movie on its own terms refused to change the wording and would not cut off the by-line tag: “Peter Holmes, Gay News.”

The result is that no advertisement for Cobra Films’ first movie appeared in the Standard. The shareholders of Beaverbrook Newspapers are the losers.

Mind Games

A PERSONAL ANTHOLOGY. Written and edited by Jorge Luis Borges. Published by Picador at 45p.

There is no writer who amazes, baffles and intrigues me more than Borges – Argentina’s leading man of letters.

This is the selection of work on which he’d like his reputation to rest. I don’t think it’s his best work. But at least most of it hasn’t been printed in this country before – Penguin’s ‘Labyrinths’ selection draws heavily from the ‘Ficciones’ anthology.

Borges is a writer whose pure logic takes him and your thoughts along straight lines over the edge of the world and back to where you started. If you have grown out of Cosmo’s novelettes and like to think now and again, Borges is your man. This is a good selection of his lunatic-mathematical stories. It’s a pity I can’t like his poetry.

Peter Holmes

Law Triumphs, Justice Doesn’t

The Magician by Sol Stein. Published by New English Library. Paperback, 40p.

One of the most upsetting and at the same time most outstanding novels I have read recently is ‘The Magician’ by Sol Stein. The point of the book is to show that the law doesn’t necessarily equal justice, in fact the two can quite often be used for different ends.

Briefly, the plot is about a vicious assault on a sixteen year old schoolboy and the legal consequences. Much of the story is concerned with the ensuing court case or else in studying the characters of those principally involved — the culprit responsible for the seemingly pointless attack, the parents of the victim and the aggressor, and Ed Japhet, the schoolboy. The novel also comments on the state of American society – not the seamy, junk-neon, spectacular country that is usually over-glamourised, but middle America with its institutions and on-the-surface respectability and tranquility, hiding its inner turmoil.

Sol Stein’s style is both convincing and literate, without ever becoming boring. And the final twist is startling, although not altogether unexpected. A feature film is soon to be made of ‘The Magician’ and if the script is sensibly handled, and without the essence of the story being lost, it should prove to be a major event in cinema.

‘The Magician’ is an important book that has something significant to say. At the same time it is a very captivating book.

Denis Lemon

A Bold Study of Abnormal Sex: World Famous Best Seller

They Live In The Shadows

‘Syphilis’ is no longer a shocking, or even an impolite word. Everywhere, people talk about venereal disease as unfortunate, but natural… and curable.

We’re more broad minded today but not about every thing. Two things – HOMOSEXUALITY AND PROSTITUTION – are still considered by the majority of the population as the lowermost depths of depravity, or subjects for bawdy humour.

As it happens, homosexuals and prostitutes are real people – with very real problems.

Here, for the first time, is a book about what they are like, and what their problems are.

From the blurb, you’d expect the book to be at least controversial. Find out for yourselves. It’s presently being remaindered at only lOp, at several book shops in London, anyway. And you’d hardly guess it was the dear old Wolfenden Report. Dressed in sheep’s clothing?

Bona Bargain Basement

Open Minds

19721001-04Gay News is researching the subject of psychiatry and psychosurgery used on gays.

So, if you’ve been subjected to treatment by hormones, operations or aversion therapy, especially using erection measurement machines, please contact Peter Holmes at Gay News, 19 London Street, London W2 or phone (01) 402-7805.

Whatever you say will be treated in the utmost confidence. Your secrets will be safe. So please contact us and help stamp out anti-gay psychiatry.