Wednesday, 2 December 2009

330: Boy's Own Adventures

Children’s stories – always a temptation for cheap sexual gags. The supposed innocence (or ignorance) of childhood is played off against adult sexual experience, as humorists are tempted to subvert the simple role models of youth. In children’s stories and fairly tales, ideas of heroism, manliness and honourable behaviour are made quite explicit, and therefore ripe for the introduction of a little filth and smut “Playboy”’s cartoon pages would be a lot emptier without regular adult revisions of fairy tale classics.

by Andrew Marshall and David Renwick
from “Bestseller! The Life and Death of Eric Pode of Croydon”, 1981

The very all-male ethos of Boy’s Own stories can’t help but invite homosexual subversion. Not a genre much known to Americans outide of Harry Potter, daring tales of good, clean decent schoolboy pluck and spunk have been a mainstay of generation’s of British childhoods in magazine like “Boy’s Own Paper”, “The Gem” and “The Magnet”. Of course, books like “The Loom of Youth”, “Enemies of Promise”, and films like “If” have been more forthcoming about the affections and attractions young chaps may develop for each other. Let alone late night exploits of The Biscuit Game. And this before you take into account a nostalgic taste for school-boy themed flagellation that holds such an appeal for a particular type of older gentlemen, vide Dennis Price in school cap and blazer begging to be spanked in the 1972 film “The Adventures of Barry McKenzie”.

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