June 3, 2011

Lucas: Out against truth and history on more than one front.

Queers for an Open LGBT Center has not focused on Michael Lucas. He's vile, but it's the NYC LGBT Center that's the point. That said, Lucas' deliberateness in snatching away progressive queer political space -- and the huge latitude he's been given by queer institutions to do it -- is worthy of notice, if only because it's  a surprise to many of us who believed that even queers who deeply disagreed probably shared some common ground. Now that it's not necessarily radical to be queer anymore, do we still share that ground?

From PinkwatchingIsrael.com, here's a piece on how deeply political was Lucas' film "Men of Israel," using the icon of unashamed public queer sexuality to virtually kill off the Palestinian history of a village, and claim it for Israel. The tactic will be familiar to New Yorkers fighting off Lucas' attacks: he tells a silly fictitious story ("The Center is supporting terrorist groups!), tags it with buzz words about queer community and freedom ("they're providing a fig leaf for Arab homophobia!"), and then spreads it so far and wide that it no longer matters whether it's true -- it's just part of the narrative that everyone "knows."

...It was during this backlash [about Siegebusters meeting at the LGBT Center] that Max Blumenthal called attention to the fact that Michael Lucas has previously shot pornography in Israel in a depopulated Palestinian village. Indeed, watching this video excerpt of a conversation between Lucas and one of his actors I couldn’t help but feel sick on my stomach when I recognized the village to be Lifta — the village that Yacoub was driven out of is somehow the perfect scene for an on-camera sex romp for Lucas and his buddies. The damage is only furthered by Lucas’s promotional statements for the film:
…we went to an abandoned village just north of Jerusalem. It was a beautiful ancient township that had been deserted centuries ago [sic.]…however, that did not stop our guys from mounting each other and trying to repopulate it. Biology may not be the lesson of the day but these men shot their seeds all over the village. [emphasis added]
It is a strange thing to attempt to “repopulate” a village whose original inhabitants are simply prevented from returning under the threat of state force. Hence here we have perhaps the first example of what some have termed “desecration porn.” 
At this point it’s difficult not to ask the obvious question—as others have — what if somebody made a sex tape on the location where an anti-Semitic pogrom had been carried out? ... A man who has filmed LGBT-themed porn on the site of an act of ethnic cleansing is not only given a voice in discussions of what social justice in LGBT spaces should look like, he is given absolute authority in this case to decide who is and who is not allowed to even participate in that conversation.

Here's the original blog post exposing "Men of Israel" as "desecration porn."
Money Talks, Desecration Walks: Nakba Porn Kingpin Michael Lucas Bullies LGBT Center Against Anti-Apartheid Party (MaxBlumenthal.com)

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