Friday, May 29, 2009
Friday, May 1, 2009
Today's celebrity VDIFer requires no introduction--starting his career in the late 80s as everybody's favorite teenage doctor, and continuing his career to a current role on TV's How I met Your Mother, and appearances in both Harold and Kumar films and Dr. Horrible's Sing-along blog, Neil Patrick Harris is nearly as awesome as our hero in every way.
To start with, they both have a completely legitimate Christ complex:
Second, they both have a passion for shoes.
Like our hero, Mr. Harris also has had drug issues:
The clip also raises one last question--like our hero, is Mr. Harris gay? I mean, sure, he came out years ago, and has taken some interesting roles...
But this clip is very convincing evidence otherwise. Perhaps he is just that fine an actor, just like someone else we all admire???
The resolution to that question, however, is for someone else's blog.
Happy Friday everyone.
Friday, April 24, 2009
We left off at the end of Part I with a clip where our hero appears to be very interested in men. While that clip seemed pretty conclusive, it wasn't. Yes, our hero seemed extremely comfortable in that role. But that can be easily explained by one of the fundamental principles of VDIF--that Jean-Claude Van Damme is one of the finest actors of all time, and certainly has no fear of taking on "stretch" roles.
Perhaps these images will clue us in?
Not really. These, and the many other images available, only tend to show:
a) Our hero has big muscles that he likes to show to people;
b) Our hero attracts gay fan boys; and
c) Our hero, at times, exhibits questionable taste in fashion.
Ultimately, what we need is to capture a moment in time, unscripted and unacted, that is probative of our hero's sexual orientation. But how do we do that? Well, we go where everyone goes to find such unscripted and spontaneous interactions: Pointless European variety show dance numbers.
So what does this video tell us?
Really, it only establishes one thing--that our hero is sexually attracted to women. It has no bearing on his attraction toward men.
When taken in light of his numerous marriages to women, our hero Jean-Claude Van Damme is either:
a) A straight heterosexual male; or
b) A closeted bisexual male.
Either way, Jean-Claude, we here at VDIF support you and love you as you are.
If anyone out there has any further evidence that would help us advance our inquiry, please email the vdifmaster at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a great Friday, because it's:
Friday, April 3, 2009
I hypothesized that maybe his movies would provide some insight. I was absolutely right, as explained in detail in Julio Jeha's seminal work, Male Identity and Homosexual Invisibility in Van Damme's Movies (a very interesting read). Mr. Jeha's piece argues that our hero's movies are representative of the action genre, in which heros betray latently homosexual remarks and attitudes in a manner socially accepted (and hence invisible) to the same homophobic men toward which they are targeted. An interesting thesis, to say the least, but not really the subject of our less academic inquiry. Nevertheless, Mr. Jeha raises some specific instances of our hero's behavior that may be instructive.
"In his early movies, Van Damme appears in a series of nude scenes that would make his the most famous buttocks outside porn movies. In Bloodsport (1987), for instance, without any plausible reason, he coyly drops his underpants so that the woman lying with him--and the audience--can see his cheeks."
(The best image from the scene I could find.)
I'd argue this is inconclusive. On the one hand, the scene is with a woman, but on the other, he is baring his rear quarters to his largely male audience.
"In AWOL (AKA...Lionheart)...same sex desire gets vocal as the bullying black sailor tells Van Damme: 'Get your ass below,' and 'I want you down stocking my boilers, boy."
(Our hero working in the boilers.)
Again, inconclusive. While he does take off his shirt and get sweaty, our hero is working in a boiler, where it is very hot, and one gets very sweaty. Also, the comment would seem to say more about the "bullying black sailor's" sexual orientation than our hero's.
In Death Warrant, "a variety of sweaty sadistic prison guards pursues him, strips him naked, and beats him up. As expected in a prison, inmates want sexual favors from the 'fish,' the newly arrived prisoner."
For the third time, inconclusive. It appears that all the other men are sexually interested in our hero, but there is no evidence of reciprocation. We will have to delve deeper.
Street Fighter, "a fun movie that that was based on a video game...incorporates so many gay references that you wonder how it got its [PG-13] rating. Homosexual references appear as soon as the action begins. A woman journalist asks about Van Damme: 'He just doesn't like women, does he?'"
First, enlightened VDIFers such as myself would hasten to note our objection to the insinuation that somehow homosexual references would necessitate changing a movie from PG-13 to R. If you want to object to sex in general, that application to the rating system should apply regardless of what kind of sex you're talking about.
With that out of the way, I'd say this leans very slightly against heterosexuality. If a female reporter feels that our hero was dismissive of her, it may be a sign of something else.
Mr. Jeha continues his analysis with a discussion of our hero's later years. We will address that next week, but what Mr. Jeha's analysis fails to reference is our hero's first speaking role on film, which seems to be pretty conclusive:
(Thanks to loyal VDIF reader, Erin S. in Chicago for the link!)
Next week we analyze the second part of our hero's career, and try to reach a definitive answer in VDIF: The Sexual Orientation Edition -- Part II!
VAN DAMME IT'S FRIDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Friday, March 27, 2009
So in the spirit of bringing you some of the best VDIF has to offer, this is VDIF: The Defamation Edition, originally emailed on Friday, October 19, 2007. Note that this was written before the best movie of all time, JCVD, was released. If you haven't seen (and really, why would you be reading this site if you hadn't), go see it now! (Also note that I haven't read Slate since this article came out, because they are lame to publish such filth.)
I was so excited. Really, I was. Slate, one of my favorite websites, posted an article ostensibly celebrating our hero's 47th birthday. (It was yesterday, for the one or two of you who didn't already know.) With great anticipation I clicked on the link and started reading, only to find a tongue-in-cheek defamatory mockery of our hero. So while I hate to waste valuable VDIF space with such negative energy, I feel that I must devote this edition to defending Mr. Van Damme's good, made up, name.
"Jean-Claude's other limitation, however, has turned out to be impossible to overcome: He can't act. If that sounds judgmental, then I suggest you watch Universal Soldier"
Yes. I do think it sounds judgmental, because it is. Who are you to judge anyone, article writer Grady Hendrix??? Your acting credits include, oh let's see...nothing???
"But he's managed to do a lot with a little. Jean-Claude has three expressions: worried, charming, and doing a split. Of the three, doing a split is the most convincing. Getting crucified in Cyborg? Worried. Disposing of a bomb that could blow up a sacred Muslim shrine and start a jihad in The Order? Really worried. Meeting a spunky lady reporter in any number of movies? Charming. Confronting the hitmen who killed his wife? Do a split. "
Just plain wrong. I mean, sure he can do all three expressions listed, but he can do many more as well.
And, of course...
"He snorted a mountain of coke, he got married five times, he was caught on tape drunk and stripping on a public street. He's disarmingly frank about all this, going on talk shows and saying that he can't remember being in Hong Kong to shoot Knock Off with Rob Schneider because he was coked to the gills. He makes it seem normal."
Ok, seriously now. I defy you to find me ANYONE who has been in a movie with Rob Schneider and a) can remember it and b) wasn't coked to the gills.
"The only thing Van Damme does in his movies that isn't normal is take his clothes off. A lot. Most people don't like to see themselves naked, but Jean-Claude has made gratuitous nudity an important part of his career. Whether he's playing a serial killer, a time-traveling cop, an off-duty firefighter, a day laborer, or a member of the French Foreign Legion, he always manages to wind up in situations that require him to bare his muscular bottom. It's an impressive posterior, as firm, white, and round as two uncooked turkeys. But, like the Tree of Wisdom in the Garden of Eden, or a pole dancer at Scores, you can look but you can't touch."
You wish you had this tush, Grady.
"It's been almost 10 years since one of Jean-Claude's movies opened theatrically in America; the 13 he's released since 1998 have gone straight to video."
How many movies have you been in that opened theatrically, Grady? Oh right, NONE. Straight to video is no longer a sign of movie mediocrity it once was, especially in light of flagging cinema receipts nationwide. Jean-Claude just knows where the money is.
"But just when it looks like he's all washed up, he's embracing the greatest role of his career: himself. The movie is called J.C.V.D. in J.C.V.D., and six minutes of footage has been released on the Internet. In it, a casting session for a Jean-Claude Van Damme biopic is in progress when it's interrupted by the man himself."
You're kidding? Nobody told me about this.
"The strangest thing about this footage is that it's funny. Not funny in the way that Van Damme having a monologue with a moth in a Russian prison who turns into the ghost of his dead wife during In Hell is funny, but funny on purpose."
AWESOME!!! Funny thing is, I googled "J.C.V.D. in J.C.V.D." and despite getting 91,000 hits, I can't find any information...Except of course, these AWESOME PHOTOS!!!
We still hate you, Grady.
Remember, as our hero says: "A cookie has no spirit because it is just a cookie. But before that it was milk and eggs. And in the eggs there is a potential life."
Friday, March 20, 2009
Q. Why did you start a blog about venereal disease?
A. I didn't.
Q. Well then what does VD stand for?
A. Van Damme.
Q. What is Van Damme?
Q. Yes. The site is Van Damme Its Friday. What is Van Damme?
A. You have to leave now. Someone else ask the question.
A. No, you have to go. Make the other guy ask the question. OK that's better.
Q. Van Damme is Jean-Claude Van Damme? The action movie star and martial arts genius with abs of gold and an ass of steel?
A. That's the one!
Q. Sweet. What does Jean-Claude Van Damme have to do with Friday?
A. Nothing really.
Q. So why VDIF?
A. Well you know TGIF?
A. Well Van Damme has just as much to do with Friday as God.
Q. Umm...Didn't God create Friday?
A. Well, in the sense that God created time and day and night sure. But actually, assuming that Friday is the fifth day (assuming Sunday as the Sabbath), God created the animals on Friday...he didn't create Friday. (Under the Jewish calendar, Friday is the 6th day, when God created livestock.)
Q. Anyway, can you just explain why VDIF?
A. It's very simple. Friday = Awesome. Van Damme = Awesome. Moving pictures of Van Damme dancing = Super awesome. Hence, VDIF. Also he can kill snakes with his teeth.
Q. Thanks, that's much clearer now. How did VDIF come about?
A. Back in 2005 I was working as a lawyer in Newark, New Jersey. To escape the rigors of the "paradise" that is Newark, one of my colleagues, Leni, started sending out a weekly Van Damme Its Friday email which consisted of the text "VAN DAMME IT'S FRIDAY" and a couple of Van Damme dancing images. That eventually culminated into an office wide "Van Dance-off" shortly after I left the firm to move west to Portland. When I started at my new firm in Portland, I continued the tradition, and began to enhance it by creating "themed" VDIFs.
Q. Wow, that's awesome! Can you show us your VDIF archive?
A. Well, I will recycle some of the classics on the blog for all to see.
Q. I've seen other "Van Damme Friday" work emails and blogs. What about those?
A. They are fakes and imposters and eat babies and kittens. Ignore them.
Q. Will you be updating every Friday?
A. I can't promise substantive new content every Friday, but I can promise that each Friday I will at least repost your favorite Van Dance videos and remind you that it's VDIF!!!
VAN DAMME IT'S FRIDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!