Friday, November 04, 2011

#283: It's Raining Men

"Close your eyes and I'll fist you..." "Maybe later darling..."
I am learning something new everyday now, and by the Maker, do I love it.  The lesson today was how to vilify a person without any real proof.

Everyone over the age of 40 knows the story of Rock Hudson.  Rugged leading man, Mr Macho, made a few decent movies and an excellent television series in MacMillan and Wife.  Acted alongside everyone from John Wayne to James Dean to Elizabeth Taylor to Doris Day and was in fact Day’s preferred leading man for many years, in a number of lightweight comedies, the kind of films your mum and grandma liked – no real plot and Rock was eye candy.  Yes, Rock was a handsome bugger, with an emphasis on both words, for he was a puddle jumper, good with colours, kept his change in his pockets, was always first on the dance floor, knew what was in his flowerbeds, was a spud fumbler, liked Rustler’s relish and was a magician, in that when he’d go out, he’d often leave with a poof.  Of course we all know the rumours, that Rock married Jim ‘Gomer Pyle’ Nabors and changed his name to Rock Pyle, was the subject of blackmail in the mid 1950s which his manager extracted him from by supplying details about Tab Hunter being arrested at a gay party and Rory Calhoun being banged up in the pokey, how had to marry a *brrrrr* girl as the result, and how, in 1962, he was paid man-whore for a college wrestling team who used him for donut practice.  Ooooeeerrr.  We also know that Rock was one of the first of the famous who died of AIDS, poor bastard, I’d not wish that on anyone.  So what did I learn today?

In 1965 the FBI went to interview Rock Hudson about an unknown matter.  As was the way of the time before anyone went to see him they ran a report to see if he was subversive or had made any derogatory comments about the Bureau, presumably so they could then have an excuse to shoot him on sight.  In the course of their searches they uncovered something very interesting which would have made the Director, J Edgar Hoover, run to the khazi for a quick J Arthur.  According to the report, it was common knowledge in the motion picture industry that Hudson was suspected of having *gasp* homosexual tendencies.  The report then goes on to state that, “In view of the information that Hudson has homosexual tendencies, interview will be conducted by two mature experienced Special Agents.”   No use sending out some young, nuble, bronzed Agent that Hudson might be tempted to rape, instead they felt that two old bastards would pose less of a threat, and there’s always safety in numbers.  Still, as they say, two’s company, three’s a bloody good time.  While being interviewed Hudson had to prove that he was once married to a female, which he did, by phoning his ex-wife so she could confirm that he was still sending her alimony cheques.   Interview was over, the FBI got their information and duly left, but they didn’t leave Rock alone.  In 1966, none other than the WHITE HOUSE asked if Rock was on the level as part of a name check for potential guests to the White House itself.  The FBI replied that one of their informants had reported having an affair with ole Rock (gay, of course) and that it was common knowledge that Rock was homosexual and indulged in gay orgies.  By 1969 Rock Hudson was officially labelled a ‘sex-offender’ by the FBI, because as we all know, if you're homosexual then you're a deviant sex offender.  All of this happened merely because Rock loved the cock!  Not that there's anything wrong with that.  The FBI near had a heart attack in both 1967 and 1969 when Rock was cast as a FBI agent in two movies.  Luckily for all concerned it was never made clear that Rock was working for J Edna, after all homosexuals were instant sex offenders and there were no homosexuals in the predominantly male environments of the Hoover FBI.

Feel free to argue that point.  Hell, I’ll argue it myself.  Of course there homosexuals in the FBI when Hoover was in charge, but, to protect both their livelihoods and their own sanity, they stayed firmly in the closet.  For Hoover always adopted a strict, “Do as I say, not as I do,” policy while in charge and anyone who wanted to keep working and didn’t want certain details about their private lives leaked to anyone with half a working ear kept very quiet indeed.

This all might sound funny, and relatively innocent, but the unthinkable happened in 1972 – the information that the FBI had on file was ‘leaked’ to Jack Anderson, a journalist who had a regular gossipy type column in The Washington Post.  The FBI were fairly annoyed at this leak, not because it showed Rock to be a deviant, but because their files had been released.  It could have been worse, someone might have provided the newspapers with photos of J Edgar himself in drag, but that didn’t really happen.  In order to find out who said what to whom, the FBI ‘leaked’ a number of rumours amongst the Secret Service and the White House, with the view that once a story appeared in the papers, the FBI would get their man.  Not sure what happened there, but it was probably a good idea at the time.


A still from the little known movie, "Waiting For Gomer"

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