Homo What Is Club Z Advertising These Days?
posted by April 20 at 12:31 PMon
Long ago and far away I wrote a history of the terrifying and deathy bathhouse Club Z, and one of the points I made in that essay was that, as AIDS really started becoming a problem in the mid-’80s, the ads Club Z was publishing in Seattle Gay News got bigger and sexier.
[In 1985], when the New York Times was reporting that 6,481 people in the U.S. had died from AIDS and 13,332 people were living with death sentences, Club Z’s ads had ballooned to full pages, with photographs of men on beaches, in wrestling rings, lathered in soap, beside swimming pools, glowing in the sexy bliss of life itself.
But there were also a slew of ads with weirdly morbid overtones.
Another ad in 1985 depicted a naked jock, his back toward you, with the words, “You’d better sit down for this.” That’s a butt-sex joke. It’s also what your doctor says to you when he has really bad news—and 1985 was a big year for bad news. Another ad that year asked: “Where Have All the Real Men Gone?” Hmm. The hereafter?
Well, the other day Savage came by my desk to show me the latest Club Z ad in the Seattle Gay News and, well, look at it.
Um. What’s being advertised here? Other than a decaying body? Well, let that red circle—not mine—guide your eye. Worms. Worms are being advertised. Come get a dead body and some worms. Mmm! Really puts you in the mood, huh?
(PS—Does anyone know why the Club Z redevelopment project never happened? No one returns my calls.)