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The world run a Monk.



Former lovers James Crotty James Crotty is a post-Keynesian macro economist whose research in theory and policy attempts to integrate the complementary analytical strengths of the Marxian and Keynesian traditions.  and Michael Lane have made a name for themselves as trippy travel guides the Mad Monks

The self-declared "premiere fagabonds in America and pioneers of dashboard publishing" (they used to produce some of their work in the back of their van), James Crotty and Michael Lane--better known as the Mad Monks--are currently and uncharacteristically living in a house. From 1986 to 1997, the two travel writers lived on the road, traveling back and forth across America--first in a 1972 Ford Econoline van and then a 26-foot RV (dubbed "the Monkmobile"). But now they seem to have been almost immobilized by their own success.

First they landed a deal with Macmillan Travel to write a guidebook series, beginning with a tome on New York City New York City: see New York, city.
New York City

City (pop., 2000: 8,008,278), southeastern New York, at the mouth of the Hudson River. The largest city in the U.S.
 and including the just-out The Mad Monks' Guide to California. Then came a travel column for Playboy Online Playboy Online (or Playboy.com) is the internet business segment of Playboy Enterprises. There are a lot of nude and adult videos. It produces some original content that differs from print editions of the publications produced by Playboy Publishing, one of the three business . Now the two are in the process of greatly expanding their Web site. Since these are business activities unsuited unsuited
Adjective

1. not appropriate for a particular task or situation: a likeable man unsuited to a military career

2.
 to the "dysfunctional" (as Crotty calls it) life on the road, they rented a house in Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. . But they both maintain it won't be for much longer. The Monk spirit is evidently irrepressible.

Crotty's and Lane's paths first converged in San Francisco San Francisco (săn frănsĭs`kō), city (1990 pop. 723,959), coextensive with San Francisco co., W Calif., on the tip of a peninsula between the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay, which are connected by the strait known as the Golden  in 1985. "We met two minutes before April Fool's Day April Fool's Day or All Fool's Day, holiday of uncertain origin, known for practical joking and celebrated on the first of April. Prior to the adoption of the Gregorian calendar in 1564, the date was observed as New Year's Day by cultures as ," recalls Lane, now 49 (Crotty is 40). "It was in a place called Barefoot Boogie, which was a smoke-free, alcohol-free dance studio which once a week hosted an event where a lot of spillover spill·o·ver  
n.
1. The act or an instance of spilling over.

2. An amount or quantity spilled over.

3. A side effect arising from or as if from an unpredicted source:
 hippies, anarchists, and general free spirits gathered together for five or six hours to dance their heads off." The following day the two went together to the St. Stephen's Day St. Stephen's Day, or the Feast of St. Stephen, is a Christian saint's day celebrated on 26 December in the Western Church and 27 December in the Eastern Church. Many Eastern Orthodox churches adhere to the Julian calendar and mark St Stephen's Day on 27 December according  parade, trod that, says Lane, "sort of defined the unpredictable excitement of the relationship."

After a year living together in the Castro, Crotty and Lane--in a concerted effort to get away from the 9-to-5 lifestyle, the skyrocketing rents of San Francisco, and the death and disease that were engulfing the gay populace at the time--took off to live, says Crotty, "a more authentic existence." Moving on to Oregon, they decided to send a letter home to their friends. And that letter turned into a 24-page newsletter documenting tales of their journey--the places, people, and happenings along the way.

Assuming the nomadic See nomadic computing.  alias of the Monks, they raised enough money from those pals to print the first issue in newspaper format. With the second issue, they changed to a magazine format. Monk Magazine was born.

"We started giving the magazine away in health food stores, and people loved it," says Crotty, who sold advertising to support the venture. "There were these two guys on the cover, and it was always about our journey. It was so raw and ungentrified, filled with spelling and grammatical errors, that people found it charming."

Twelve years on the road and 19 issues (or "episodes," as they were called) later, the Monks had become an institution. In the meantime Adv. 1. in the meantime - during the intervening time; "meanwhile I will not think about the problem"; "meantime he was attentive to his other interests"; "in the meantime the police were notified"
meantime, meanwhile
, the Crotty-Lane relationship had undergone a change--the onetime lovers were now just creative partners. Crotty says he's probably more straight than gay ("I'm a broadly pansexual pan·sex·u·al  
adj.
Relating to, having, or open to sexual activity of many kinds.

n.
A pansexual person.



pan
 person," he says), and Lane says, "While there's still a great deal of camaraderie and intimacy, it doesn't cross into the bedroom." Quips Crotty: "We're now about as close as you could get without exchanging fluids."

With a Seattle guidebook up next, plans for a roundup on gay attractions across the country, and a possible Monk TV series (they've already finished a pilot), the Monks are gearing up for the next phase in, yes, their traveling life.

And some of their stops will put them on the gay map. Lane, who came out in 1968 and says he has witnessed "dramatic strides across the country," continues to seek out places that further his vision of gay America "Gay men across the country completely identified with our journey and could see that we were not afraid and out there. I know that we had a tremendous effect on a lot of small-town rural gays," he says. After all, notes Crotty, "we were the first people to dress in drag and drive around the country in an RV, way before Priscilla."

RELATED ARTICLE: The Monks' five queerest attractions

The Mad duo give us the scoop on their favorite gay sites in America

Funny Farm 64990 Deschutes Market Rd. Off Highway 97, north of Bend, Ore. (Turn right at yellow blinking light)

When you see the Love Pond, you know you're there. This is central Oregon's wackiest private park and playground. It features fainting goats, human-size chess pieces, and a bowling ball garden. Proprietors and lovers Gene Carsey Jr. and Mike Craven have withstood all manner of intolerance to keep their hokey hok·ey  
adj. hok·i·er, hok·i·est Slang
1. Mawkishly sentimental; corny.

2. Noticeably contrived; artificial.



hok
, happy dream alive. If you're nice, they'll let you see the cow that jumped over the moon.

Good Vibrations 1210 Valencia St. (at 23rd St.) San Francisco

This is the most positive, progressive sex shop in the land. Why? Maybe because it was founded by women, who promise you'll find "the right tool for the job." The staff can be extremely helpful, providing lots of explicit sex education without a trace of shame.

Gianni Versace mansion 1116 Ocean Dr, South Beach in Miami

One of the more sensational murders of the past decade--the slaying of the famed designer, which authorities determined was committed by Andrew Cunanan--took place on the steps of this block-wide Italianate mansion facing the beach, The mansion stands as a silent backdrop to a steady stream of gay tourists who pose on the steps, snap a photo, and then sheepishly sheep·ish  
adj.
1. Embarrassed, as by consciousness of a fault: a sheepish grin.

2. Meek or stupid.



sheep
 take their leave, invoking the ghosts of both Versace and Cunanan, the accused spree killer who would ultimately off himself nearby,

Liberace Museum 1775 E. Tropicana Ave. (at Spencer St.) Las Vegas

There's only one real museum in this town, and most everybody knows it's the Liberate. A bit too closeted clos·et·ed  
adj.
Being In a state of secrecy or cautious privacy.
 for our tastes (even in death), the piano man, known as "Mr. Showmanship," did possess a certain baroque elan that is as hilarious as it is revolting, See the spoils of his preposterously ornate pianos and his rhinestone-studded cars and wardrobe. Marvel at homophobic retirees actually enjoying this stuff, even though they would have turned on the man had they known the truth.

Miss Vera's Finishing School for Boys Who Want to Be Girls P.O. Box 1331, Old Chelsea Station New York City

Perhaps the world's only cross-dressing academy, Miss Vera's Finishing School has been around since 1992. Today, it boasts a student body of over 300 students, with several hundred more participating via telephone extension classes. Course offerings include "Maid to Order" and the two-day "Femme femme  
adj.
Slang Exhibiting stereotypical or exaggerated feminine traits. Used especially of lesbians and gay men.

n.
1. Slang One who is femme.

2. Informal A woman or girl.
 Intensive" (otherwise known as the "Cinderfella experience").

For more information on the Mad Monks, go to www.advocate.com
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Title Annotation:originators of the Mad Monks' travel Guides, are also planning a television show
Author:Goodridge, Mike
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Interview
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 15, 2000
Words:1131
Previous Article:Funny girl.
Next Article:Hot shot.
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