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Houston Voice, No. 1018, April 28, 2000
File 021
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Houston Voice, No. 1018, April 28, 2000 - File 021. 2000-04-28. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. October 17, 2019. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/1889/show/1880.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(2000-04-28). Houston Voice, No. 1018, April 28, 2000 - File 021. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/1889/show/1880

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Voice, No. 1018, April 28, 2000 - File 021, 2000-04-28, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed October 17, 2019, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/1889/show/1880.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Voice, No. 1018, April 28, 2000
Contributor
  • Hennie, Matthew A.
Publisher Window Media
Date April 28, 2000
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 31485329
Collection
  • University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
  • LGBT Research Collection
  • Montrose Voice
Rights In Copyright
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 021
Transcript 20 OUT ON THE BAYOU APRIL 28, 2000 • HOUSTON VOICE Out In Print BOOK NEWS Memoirs of a philosophizing hustler by J.S. HALL Like many a young man before him, Rick Whitaker left his home in the Midwest for the bright lights of New York City. But unlike many of those hypothetical young men, Whitaker's journey took darker and more twisted directions, as a series of misfortunes led him to hustling. ASSUMING THE POSITION chronicles his descent into this netherworld and eventual emergence to the path of recovery. In many respects, Whitaker differed from the stereotypical hustler. A college dropout who had studied philosophy, he wrote book reviews and a novel, proofread manuscripts and dabbled in classical music. But then jobs started falling through, the novel kept getting rejected, and his boyfriend Tom broke up with him. What began as a one-time act of getting back at his ex soon escalated into a full-time job; Whitaker's drug use increased. While some might argue that he was debasing himself, the author contends that "hustling, at least at the time 1 began doing it full time, seemed more like an effective way to earn money than a spiritual or moral dilemma." Indeed, he sees nothing wrong with 'Assuming the Position: A Memoir of Hustling' By Rick Whitaker Four Walls Eight Windows, hardcover, 192 pages, $18 paying money for good sex, any more than exchanging money for a sumptuous meal or to see a favorite performer in concert. True, he could earn in a few hours what others would earn in a week, but his expensive drug addiction—which deadened his emotions so he could continue hustling—ate all the profit and left him back at the beginning of an increasingly vicious cycle. To some, the idea of hustling holds a certain sleazy glamour; "Assuming the Position" pops this bubble with cool, semidetached prose. Whitaker insists he didn't set out to de-glamorize the "profession," but you can't help being simultaneously repelled yet morbidly fascinated by some of his less-than-savory encounters. Most involved older, far-from-attractive men with unpleasant habits—like a coked-up doctor; a psychologist who ought to have seen a shrink himself; a successful lawyer with serious self-esteem issues; and a computer geek with a pen- scott kennedy bob smith SUNDAY, MAY 7 • 8PM to: 1952 WEST GRAY River Oaks Shopping Center 713-524-2333 Call or Charge by Phone chant for oversized dildos. But Whitaker makes an important point that every man somewhere, somehow has some erotic characteristic about him, and only by focusing on that element was he able to complete some of his transactions. The product of a broken home, Whitaker partially attributes his hustling as a way of reaching out to his absent father, which makes more sense in the book than it might in this review, and as a way of both feeling something intense and losing himself at the some time. He quotes liberally from Freud, Nietzsche, Thoreau, Leonard Woolf and Wittgenstein, using their words to illustrate some of his particular, peculiar situations. The chapters alternate with entries from his journals of the time, which reflect his often strung out, depressed state of mind. He freely admits that the spiral of his life "felt good—even the going downward, especially the going downward. It was relaxing and easy." But now that he's sober and no longer hustling, he still doesn't play what-if games. "It was an interesting experience," he writes, "but not, in itselt, nearly so interesting as life is for me now.... "Prostitution is inelegant, and I have always wanted to be an example of a certain kind of elegance, ... [the kind] resulting from the undistracted observation of one's own vigorous thinking. Thoughtlessness is the crimen—or the sin— that comes before all others, and hustling requires it," Whitaker concludes. Those seeking a sexy account of hustling encounters are advised to look elsewhere. But readers interested in an oddly compelling, philosophically-flavored exploration of a dark descent and ultimate escape would do well to pick up "Assuming the Position." What your neighbors are reading . . . 1 Mr. Right is Out There by Kenneth George, $13.95 2 Get Happy: The Life of Judy Garland by Gerald Clarke, $29.95 3 National Nancys by Fred Hunter, $22.95 4 Cat on Ihe Scent by Rita Mae Brown, $6.99 5 Shy Girl by Elizabeth Stark, $22 6 Fabulous Hell by Craig Curtis, $12.95 7 The Operator David Geffen Builds, Buys and Sells the New Hollywood by Tom King, $25.95 8 Rough Stuff by Simon Sheppard, $13.95 9 Fresh Flesh by Stella Duffy, $15 10 Married Women Who Love Women by Carron Strock, $12.95 Crossroads Market BOOKSTORE & CAFE llll Westheimer 713-942-0147 1 Built to Survive by Michael Mooney and Nelson Vergel 2 Original Story By by Arthur Laurents, $30 3 Get Happy: The Life of Judy Garland by Gerald Clarke, $29.95 4 Rooneys Shorts by William Rooney, $14.95 5 The Cruelty of Science by Sebastian Beaumont, $12.95 6 Gay Adult Video Star Directory by Balle Wayne, $18.95 7 All About 'All About Eve' by Sam Staggs, $24.95 8 Boys Across the Street by Rick Sanford, $24 9 Something to Tell You by Gilbert Herdt and Bruce Koff, $22.95 10 Golden Men: Gay Man's Guide to Midlife by Harold Kooden, $14 3939 Montrose Boulevard _713-522-5156
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