Gay Umpires | 30 Years Ago This Month

Gay Umpires Conceptual Art

Penthouse Magazine - July, 1990Behind the Mask

Growing up in Massachusetts, Dave Pallone dreamed of playing major league baseball. When a high school injury snuffed that dream, he discovered umpiring. After a long apprenticeship in the minors, Pallone became a major league umpire by crossing the picket line in the umpires’ strike of 1979. For that transgression, he paid a brutal price. Over the next ten years, union umps ostracized him relentlessly as a “scab.” They refused to associate with him off the field, trashed his equipment, spread malicious rumors about him, undermined his work in games. A closeted gay, Pallone wore not only his umpire’s mask, but also the mask of his secret personal life. His only island of sanity was a three-year relationship with his lover, Scott. But that, too, was ill-fated; the day after Thanksgiving in 1982, Scott was killed in an automobile accident.MORE from Penthouse

It does not take much of an intellectual stretch to understand that gay umpires in pro sports have been around a long time. But few have ever opened up about it.

Cancer Politics – Part Five | 40 Years Ago This Month

Cancer Politics Conceptual Art

Penthouse Magazine - July, 1980Suppression of New Cancer Therapies: Dr. Lawrence Burton

Early this spring the American Cancer Society decided to share some unusually somber news with the rest of the world. Most of the tests it had glowingly recommended for the early detection of cancer were not working as expected-and a few were not doing any good at all. Independent cancer specialists had found glaring inconsistencies when they evaluated the risks and costs of the tests against the alleged benefits. Hospitals and labs, it seems, were raking in enormous profits from millions of tests that were done unnecessarily on the basis of questionable ACS guidelines. Even more damaging evidence pointed to potential hazards from certain tests themselves. Thousands of women face the ugly prospect of getting breast cancer from a supposedly harmless test that they were led to believe would detect a mammary-gland malignancy before it turned into a palpable lump.MORE from Penthouse

Of all the things that should be above petty egotism, you might think pushing a cure for debilatating disease might qualify. Yet Cancer Politics thrives, sadly even 40 years after this article.

With All Disrespect | 10 Years Ago This Month

With All Disrespect Conceptual Art

Penthouse Magazine - June, 2010Shock Them and They Will Laugh

When Colbert appeared at the 2006 White House Press Correspondents’ Dinner eviscerating President Bush to his face, he was hailed as a conquering hero. It was a moment that gave everyone in comedy pause, and made them question their own timidity. But while the comedy community — and many Americans — view Colbert as important and uncompromisingly ballsy, the man himself has a more measured view of what he does and the impact it has.MORE from Penthouse

From the book iSatiristas! Comedians, Contrarians, Raconteurs & Vulgarians by Paul Provenza and Dan Dion. Copyright© 2010 by Paul Provenza. Photographs by Dan Dion. Reprinted by permission of It Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

Joe Strummer | 20 Years Ago This Month

The Clash Joe Strummer Conceptual Art

We All Clash Sometimes

Penthouse Magazine - June, 2000He’s 47 years young, but these days Clash founding member Joe Strummer (born John Graham Mellor) seems more than ever like the angry British punk rocker who slobbered out those driving lyrics to “Garbageland” in 1976. During the early eighties, Strummer was being praised as a rock-‘n’-roll god who was going to grab his growling legion of manic followers by their Mohawks and start a musical revolution the likes of which the world has never seen. But after demolishing disco and nuking new wave, Strummer walked away from the music industry at the height of his fame to try his hand at acting (he received rave reviews for his role as an Elvis fan in Mystery Train) and other un-Clash projects including parenting, marathon running, producing, composing and performing with his favorite Irish band, The Pogues.MORE from Penthouse

The name Joe Strummer may not immediately jump to mind if someone mentions it these days, but almost everyone remember The Clash in their lives.