A Lecture Upon the Canon

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Title: A Lecture Upon the Canon
Creator: M. Rauch
Date(s): October 1982
Medium: print
Fandom: Starsky & Hutch
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A Lecture Upon the Canon is a 1982 essay by M. Rauch.

It was printed in S and H, a Starsky & Hutch letterzine, issue #36.

The essay is a tongue-in-cheek, sassy comment on the slash debate, taking the argument that if you didn't specifically see it on the screen, it didn't happen.


I am enthralled by the recent discussion of the importance of adhering to the aired S&H episodes. It warms my heart to discover that in this permissive, liberal, alarming age, there are still some things which are approached correctly; that is to say, in black-and-white terms. Shades of grey are best left for Shetland wool sweaters and the like.

But even as I join with faithful fandom in this new spirit of orthodoxy, it has come to my attention that there is one essential fact missing from the Canon. I was shocked; I was grieved; I was appalled; indeed, it was many days before I could bring myself to accept this Truth. But Truth it lost definitely is, and I feel it my duty to share this revelation with you. My fellow fen, I have no choice but to lay before you the single most relevant fact of the entire S&H series. Prepare yourselves, for this will not be an easy truth to believe. But accept and believe it you must, for it can be incontrovertibly proven.

Starsky and Hutch are virgins.

I know, I know. "Outrageous!" you cry. "Absurd!" you mutter. "Unthinkable!" you protest. But alas, it is so. Starsky and Hutch are indeed virgins. Those tightly-demied bodies, so leanly-muscled, so sensuous, so supple, so strong, so graceful, so redolent of sexsexsex — they are bodies as chaste and pure as the driven snow. Certainly there have been kisses and idle caresses. But as such as it pains my heart to reveal this to you, those two men are as virginal as the day they were born.

"What evidence," you snarl, "that this thing be true?" And I must needs reply, "What evidence have you to the contrary? Have you ever seen them making love? In which episode might one revel in the sight of Starsky 'in the act'? There is the filmed evidence (the Canonical justification, if you will) that Hutch has ever known (in the Biblical sense, of course) a woman? The answer is of course that we have never seen them in bed for any other purpose than sleep.

But," you shriek, "how can you prove that they are virgins?" The evidence is overwhelming. In every episode the fact is reiterated. They never in one single frame of one single show are filled en flagrante with anyone. But the case does not rest upon this alone.

Consider the women with whom S&H have had relationships stronger than that of friends. Terry says she has gained five pounds substituting midnight snacks for Starsky's presence. Not his lovemaking, mind you, but his presence. True, one must in some senses be present when making love, but one may also be present in all senses without making love. Hutch says of a night spent with Gillian that they just sat and looked at each other. They "didn't do anything'. Hon, I ask you: Is this the comment or behavior of an experienced man of the world? Certainly not!

One of the most notoriously sexy scenes in all of S&H is the one between Hutch and Marsha the Dance Instructor. She takes his buttons apart and tells him he has a nice chest. Period. And what does Hutch say before seating himself on the couch? He asks himself what he's gotten into.

Nothing, obvious; he never has, poor darling, and doesn't this time, either.

Now it may be argued that the somewhat...sated...expression on Mlle. Marsha's face may be reasonably assumed to evidence excessive gratification. But look at the scam she and her bosses have concocted. She must act as if she and Hutch had done something of a sexual nature. Otherwise, she is of no use to her employers. She cruelly deceives them, just as Hutch's promising physique deceived her. Hutch plays the same game in Dobey's office by acting exhausted. He has to behave this way or the plan for the undercover (you should pardon the expression) operation will be (how shall I put it?) blown.

But the evidence does not stop there. Oh, heavens—no! We will bypass things like FATAL CHARM (if he'd been so terrific—and Diana says Hutch is a lousy lover — why did she try to knife him? Obviously her aim was somewhat off; she probably thought she'd be doing him a favor by giving him a sound medical reason for his lack of performance!).

But what of Starsky? As the coup it grace, I give you the gentlemen's own words in SATAN'S WITCHES: "I'm a virgin in these woods.'" He should have added, "And those woods, and any woods you care to name, including Hollywoods, Westwoods, Brentwoods and all woods."

I know this truth will be difficult to digest. I know, as well, that many of you will cry out in bewilderment, if not actual agony, at the thought of those two gorgeous hunks' refusal to share the wealth. But deeply as it distresses me to reveal then to you, these are indeed the facts. Starsky and Hutch are indeed virgins.

And thus endeth also the Great S/H Debate. Q.E.D.