Luck be a "Lad" Tonight


Mega Millions lottery ticket

It seems like every month there's a megamillions or powerball lottery ticket craze, and even though the chances of winning are apocalyptic odds (I think it was one in three million), people buy tickets. I bought one, which was miniscule compared to the many who play every day and calculate odds and pick numbers using esoteric formulas. 

Ultimately, it's a matter of luck, who archetypally has been characterized as a woman, the Roman Goddess Fortuna. She is related in function to the Greek Three Fates, who determine the course of events by the slightest thread, literally, as they are depicted as spinners. Clotho spun the “thread” of human fate, Lachesis dispensed it, and Atropos cut the thread (thus determining the individual's moment of death). These figures eventually became the Lady Luck many invoke as they gamble at casinos! 

Statue of Fortuna

These goddesses were so powerful that even Zeus, king of the gods who became the source of law and order and justice, submitted to Fortune and the Fates. 

The three fates

The Hebrew YHWH, like Zeus, supposedly the source of justice, tells Job, who thinks he is the victim of a horrible fate he does not deserve, that basically the way the universe works is a mostly violent mystery, and gives images of a nature “red in tooth and claw” such as sea monsters and lions. 

Maybe those who think they can somehow beat the odds are influenced by science and mathematics rather than superstition, because I've heard that the “numbers don't lie.” Well, maybe in a math problem in itself, but even though scientists have discovered certain inexorable natural processes, like gravity (thank you, Isaac Newton), someone like Einstein came along to blow the “God is in his heaven, all's right with the world” Deism apart with this theory of relativity. 

On the social level, our obsession with celebrity feeds into our desire to beat those supposedly insurmountable odds. So many think they are talented and want to be discovered, and shows like American Idol with its elaborate (and public) audition process are part of that explosion of “everyone can be famous,” and everyone can be famous if his or her youtube video goes viral. These seekers of fame and fortune may think they are beating the odds, but I think it just emphasizes that a person is one in a multitude in the cyberuniverse, which changes by nanosecond. 

Lana Turner at a soda fountain

Gone are the days when someone like Lana Turner (a Hollywood sex goddess of the 1940s and 1950s) was discovered at a soda fountain, when a discovery was really a one-of-a-kind event, which I think made the Susan Boyle phenomenon, who blasted into fame on Britain's Got Talent, so different and thus more exciting in our age of one-second, often meritless fame. 


Susan Boyle singing on Britain's Got Talent

And speaking of breaks, just think about how some of the most famous gay porn stars of the past made their way in a genre that didn't enjoy during that time a wide public audience. The pioneering directors and producers like Arch BrownSteve Scott, and Toby Ross were discoverers themselves, not just of talent, but of expressing a sexuality that has been so long hidden. 




But the gay porn stars of the past, like many of the Hollywood legends, often came from humble, obscure origins but got that break (of course, they were, and again, a matter of luck, a generous endowment granted by the Fates). Al Parker worked as a butler and an aide to Hugh Hefner before making his debut in Brentwood's Challenger and going on to become a porn superstar and, later, director and producer. 

Images from One in a Billion


The Al Parker-directed film One in a Billion, in which Dave Connors gets a lucky day of sexcapades after he flips a coin that lands on its side in a billion-to-one chance!

In many cases, the desire may not have been, hey, I want to be a porn star, but if one has a great body and a certain size dick, and is stripping in a club (likeJamie Wingo and Scorpio), maybe that venue would be the “big break.” In fact, Scorpio tried to get into modeling, but his stripping gig, according to him, killed his chances. 

Scorpio in bathtub

Yet Fortune, capricious, is still inexorable, and AIDS decimated so many of these men. Science and medicine discovered the cause, while a culture of homophobia claimed the virus was God's justice and blamed the victims. Both interventions were too late for so many. Since then, as in so many other crises, we've changed the future (we are so close to a cure), but at the tragic cost of the past. 

Never again, we say, about so many natural and human evils, but ultimately, but even what turns out to be good is often a chance discovery. 

All I can say, is, may luck be a “lad” for you, as was the case with me, when I met my late partner totally by chance in a bar, and that night I wasn't even there to meet anyone. He actually went home with someone else, but the next day he called me, and the rest for both of us became our history.






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