Leaving the Straight Life Behind

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Title: Leaving the Straight Life Behind
Creator: Kandy Fong
Date: 1990 or earlier
Format: VHS
Music: "The Straight Life" by Bobby Goldsboro?
Fandom: Starsky & Hutch

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Leaving the Straight Life Behind is a VCR era Starsky & Hutch vid by Kandy Fong that premiered at Koon-et-Kali-Con. The vid has appeared on several of Kandy's songvid collections .


"While some videos build upon fan-generated and circulated songs, neither the sights nor the sounds found in most videos originate with the fan artists; the creator's primary contribution, in most cases, comes in the imaginative juxtaposition of someone else's words and images. One K.F. video adopts "Leaving the Straight Life Behind" as a playful commentary on the relationship between Starsky and Hutch. The television images (the two men playing chess in their bathrobes, Starsky grabbing his partner and embracing him, the cops dancing together at a disco, even a shot of the two men leaping in bed together) gain new meaning from their insertion within this new context (which evokes slash traditions) and from their connection to Jimmy Buffet's music. The song, in turn, gains new associations from its contact with the borrowed images, shifting from a pop fantasy about escaping from mundane constraints into a celebration of "coming out." Each time the phrase, "Leaving the Straight Life Behind," is repeated, the video shows another shot of Starsky and Hutch in a suggestive position, providing a precise image of what it means to abandon the "straight life." Both song and images retain traces of their previous context(s) that are shaped by the fan artist and that shape the viewer's experience. The fan spectator recognizes(and perhaps finds humor in) the fact that these images had a more "innocent" motivation within the scenes explores than that suggested by K.F.'s video; Starsky may appear to be pulling Hutch into his arms while actually he is pulling him to safety from a sniper's bullet. Fans also take pleasure in the knowledge that mundane listeners would be disconcerted by the suggestions of homoeroticism K.F. finds within the lyrics of that "golden oldie."[1]


  1. Henry Jenkins, Textual Poachers page 225-226.