Monthly Archives: September 2007

Pop Quiz: Who’s Nuttier?

We don’t have homosexuals like in your country. We don’t have that in our country. In Iran we do not have this phenomenon. I don’t know who has told you that we have it.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President, Islamic Republic of Iran
Speaking at Columbia University
September 24, 2007

[W]e would like to strongly caution media and campus organizations against the use of such words as “gay”, “lesbian”, or “homosexual” to describe people in Iran who engage in same-sex practices and feel same-sex desire. The construction of sexual orientation as a social and political identity and all of the vocabulary therein is a Western cultural idiom. As such, scholars of sexuality in the Middle East generally use the terms “same-sex practices” and “same-sex desire” in recognition of the inadequacy of Western terminology. President Ahmadinejad’s presence on campus has provided an impetus for us all to examine a number of issues, but most relevant to our concerns are the complexities of how sexual identity is constructed and understood in different parts of the world.

Columbia Queer Alliance
Email to News Outlets
September 24, 2007

To their credit, the CQA were out there in the street, demonstrating against President Ahmadinejad. But still, I think the President meant there are no gays or lesbians or homosexuals or same-sex practictioners in Iran, because they’ve fucking hanged them all. I say the more important point is not how sexual identify is constructed and understood in Iran, but rather how it’s brutally punished.

(h/t Andrew Sullivan)

Mystery Solved

Oh my goodness, after all these years.

Do you ever have like some snatch of memory of something, something you saw in a movie or on TV when you were a kid, and can’t remember what it was or who was in it? I’ve had this one bugging me for years, and now I’ve got it nailed.

There was an earlier one, bugged me for a long time. All I remembered was that something was happening in a jungle, where some kind of tribe or clan worshiped this white rhinoceros. I seemed to remember Doug McClure and maybe Jane Seymour in it.

Through the magic of IMDB, I was able to do a plot summary search on white rhino, and came up with some British b-movie from the mid-sixties called alternatively Prehistoric Women or Slave Girls, the latter apparently being the UK theatrical title and the former being the US television title. I would have seen the US TV version, natch. No Doug McClure or Jane Seymour in sight, however, but I’m sure this one’s it.

Another one that’s nagged me, a lot longer, and much harder to pin down, was some scene in some sort of futuristic college classroom, where at the end one of the students gets shot in the head and we come to find out that he’s a robot. Oh, man, no amount of Googling has ever got me close to finding this one.

But then today, for no reason that I can now determine, I decide that maybe it’s from an episode of Night Gallery. So I go toodling through episode guides, first on IMDB, then on Hmmm, there’s an episode in the second season called Class of 99. That sounds promising. Had Vincent Price and a young Randolph Mantooth. I sure don’t remember them being in it, but still, not a deal-breaker.

I follow a link from to a review at by one Blugis, who says, “Full of surprises, Class of 99 opens on the day of finals at an unknown, unnamed university sometime in the future (most likely 1999). We see these students answer complex questions, that gradually become more about bahavioral [sic] responses. You start to realize that this is no ordinary group of students, and soon you’re drawn into the story, wanting to know just what is happening between them as their behavior starts to change.” He also calls it “[t]he best episode in the series.”

Still, nothing conclusive, but nowadays we’ve got Google video search and YouTube. And sure enough, somebody’s ripped the thing and posted it on YouTube, in two parts. And, oh yeah baby, this is it! Mystery solved!

It’s really not that good, ultimately, watching it now, but it sure spooked me as a kid, haunting me these last thirty-five years or so.

Re-Reading Master & Commander

You are mistaken, sure, when you say they do not know him: unlearned men have a wonderful penetration in these matters — have you ever known a village reputation to be wrong? It is a penetration that seems to dissipate, with a little education, somewhat as the ability to remember poetry will go. I have known peasants who could recite two or three thousand verses.

Stephen Maturin,
Master & Commander,
p. 230