May 12, 2010

Greece Lightning

Hark! hark! the dogs do bark!
The beggars are coming to town
Some in rags and some in jags
And one in a velvet gown.
Over the past year, the German shepherd has become a powerful “totem animal” at Gosporn. Mostly associated with violence, the fierce herding dog has become an incarnation of Shiva, a messenger of the Gods, but a messenger with real teeth - one I dare not ignore. So my ears pricked up with the discovery that Rebel Dog, the new icon of the Greek Riots, was described as a German shepherd:
Amid the turmoil of the Greece financial crisis, photos and videos of street protests have turned up a kind of canine "Where's Waldo" figure: a mutt that may have some German shepherd genes, and clearly has a strong interest in civic disorder.

See this remarkable site about Rebel Dog and an excellent article at Secret Sun that draws the semiotic connections.
The even greater risk to the European banking system from a Greek failure is that it would bring very much into play Portugal, Spain, and Ireland. These countries, which between them have around US$1.5 trillion in sovereign debt, suffer from similar, albeit less acute, public finance and international competitiveness problems. And they too are stuck in a Euro-zone straightjacket that severely constrains their ability to deal with these problems in a credible manner.

This fascinating pictograph of European financial entanglements strangely echo the state of European affairs a hundred years ago, just prior to the First World War. Before 1914, the five Great Powers of Great Britain, France, Germany, Austria-Hungary and Russia controlled Europe, and it was through a system of paranoid alliances that these powers kept an uneasy peace. Substitute a modern central banking house for a house of royalty, and well... you do the math. Especially when you consider that the entire world, thanks to “the global economy” is in a similar condition to Europe a hundred years ago. We’re all “Europe”, and it always starts in the Balkans.

Omens aside, I’m even more intrigued by the “Rebel” aspect of Rebel Dog. Because I keep finding the “rebel” synch in the strangest of places, and this has been going on for months. The most hilarious is this pic of a new race boat posted at the popular sailing site “Sailing ANARCHY”.

But the rebel archetype goes way back for me, considering that my high school called itself "The Home of the Rebels". What IS it about the rebel?

Glad you asked, because the latest rebel synch comes from the Mythulinity blog, who reminded me of Tom of Finland’s character named - Rebel! Rebel was inspired by the American “greaser” icon from the 50’s as expressed via James Dean and Marlon Brando. This archetype winds its way through American pop culture like a brooding but irrepressible, and perhaps irresistible, rogue. Later incarnations include John Travolta as Danny Zuko in Grease, and Fonzi from Happy Days, where he was pretty much domesticated.

Rebel is a homo erotic icon because he is expressing overt and unapologetic masculine sexuality - Eros. He could care less about ideas of monogamy, shelter or saving for college. His “house” is his bike, and he goes where the wind blows. He fucks who he wants to fuck, and to hell with the consequences. At least a gay biker doesn’t leave a bunch of unwed mothers in his wake.

As an interested observer, I can’t help but notice that James Dean, Brando, and even Travolta (rumor has it) share a certain something... and that “something” is smokin’ hot homo erotic love. Paradoxically, the more gays are accepted into the mainstream, the more Eros dies. Domestically partnered, suburban, baby carriage pushing gay men might as well just be straight as far as Eros is concerned. Neutered!

Sometimes it seems like I've forgotten my birthright - the inheritance of Eros. Sometimes I need a wake up call, and Rebel Dog is calling.

Grease Lighting


Notes on James Dean:

The lives of James Dean and Heath Ledger have interesting parallels. Both died tragically at the peak of their careers, both receiving posthumous Academy Awards. Both were sexually attractive to men and to women, expressing a certain air of androgyny on screen. Both their roles and their lives had a strong impact on popular culture, and they both played roles with an undercurrent of homosexual religious martyrdom - Dean was cast as John the Beloved Disciple in Hill Number One, an Easter television special.

The number 55: James Dean won his Academy Award in 1955, died in 1955, driving a Porsche 550 Spyder, he was pulled over for driving 65 in a 55 speed zone on the day he died. See Sign Language for 55 synchs at Gosporn.

"Little Bastard", Dean's 550 Spyder, was customized by George Barris, who went on to design the Batmobile.

Coincidentally, the #1 pop song in the US at the time of Dean's death, "The Yellow Rose of Texas" by Mitch Miller, was also featured in Giant in a scene following the actor's last appearance in the film. See The Yellow Rose Again for some interesting semiotic connections with this old standard.


Riverwolf, said...

I think I know what you mean, feeling like you've forgotten or neglected that Eros part of yourself. Or maybe we're just getting old! There are brief moments when I think of being that rebel--and then, frankly, it all seems like way too much trouble. That extreme Eros is fine for brief moments, but you can't live a long life that way. Or maybe you're ok with that. Typically, people who are too Eros-like end up sad caricatures. A few years ago, I saw porn star Jeff Stryker in Providence, trying his hand at "comedy." It was just embarrassing--and naturally, it ended with him whipping his dick out. I don't know what I expected, but I was embarrassed for myself and for Stryker. Face it--he's old, and I'd be happier seeing him "domesticated" and happy with some guy in the suburbs.

Michael said...

Yea, aging is very much a part of it. Sometimes I feel like I ignored Eros too much in my youth, mostly because of uptight ideas (religious and culture generated) about what "proper" sex was. Most of my very best and very worst memories are what happened when I followed Eros, a tricky guide that one!

Devin said...

Hi Michael- really enjoyed this article too!! I had seen that "euro-debt" chart on some site some time ago and thought it very intriguing too- interesting also that whoever made the chart - has the pentagram thing going on also !!
Eros is indeed a tricky and wicked guide -haha- I feel that in my middle age - someone up there (or down there- hope not:-) is laughing about the different bizarre so-called "relationships" I seem to attract
all the best to you as always my friend!!

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