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Oslos Underliv/Oslo Underground
By Anders Aabel/Brage Bragli Alstadheim/Anya (Grøndahl og Dreyers forlag A/S)
Warning! Rather than
a review, this became more like a comment.
Anyway, here we go!:
My first book review since the old schooldays! A friend of my sweet, sweet Angel gave this to me when I last visited Oslo. His name is Anders Aabel, and has taken all the pictures here, and is also credited on the research. His intention wasn´t a review, but I thought it was a good idea to let you all know about this book. As I see almost every day, that it doesn´t get any easier to show the world who you really are. We´re in 2005 for Christ sake, and still some people can be really nasty to you, almost beating you up because of the way you look and dress (a friend of mine in New York, told me she still hesitates to go out during daytime!)! Those kind of people should take a look around, see if there´s something outside of their narrow-minded, short-sighted lives. It´s not all in the movies, it´s going on right next door too! People can be, and are allowed to be different from each other! Stare all you want, but please let them be - they´re not hurting you in any fucking way!
That´s what I think this book is all about - to show you how some folks, perhaps your own neighbours or even parents (pretty scary, huh!), are in private. And to live out their life they have to do it in private clubs and other communities. One girl called Christiane, who has over 50 piercings, said it best - When people ask her why (she´s got her uvula pierced.), she wonders why they ask. She think´s it´s pretty and it gives her satisfaction. That sums it all up, really.
Oslos Underliv/Underground covers everything from strip-clubs like the famous Blaze Go Go Bar, to swingers and s&m, to transvestites and transsexuals, to homosexuals drinking coffe in old, rubber raincoats. I´ve always enjoyed crossdressers since I first saw the Rolling Stones in drag (the publicity shot that came with the Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadow? single). And then discovering the New York Dolls - it was just fabulous! Later on came Wayne/Jayne County and Lisa Jackson. Though it´s because of the music I like them, the way they look and perform has got a great deal to do with it too.
This book came out in 1997, so this review is a bit overdue. Maybe some of you have read it a long time ago, but to those who haven´t - see if you can find it. It´s not much text, mostly pictures - you´re done with it in a couple of hours.
30. june, 2005