|Question - Is Jim Haynes really shy ?|
|by Merritt Clifton
published in G.L.N., spring 1984
PARIS-Jim Haynes is covering the Cannes Film Festival for the next issue of GLN. Jim's latest book, Thanks for Coming!, is published by Faber and Faber (39 Thompson St., Winchester, MA 01890. $8.95 plus $1.50 handling). The book is Jim's planetary networking chronicle with folks such as John and Yoko, Germaine Greer, Vangelis, Jean Shrimpton, Mick Jagger, Salvador Dali, Indira Gandhi, David Frost, and the twenty pages of individuals to whom he dedicated the book. "Jet set to the max," sensational, trivial, serious, titillating, and alive with humanness and fun! Jim teaches Media and Sexual Politics at the University of Paris.
Jim Haynes is a legend. As with all legends, most who know him recall
a wonderful first meeting, a moment when he brought them through the looking
glass. I've heard many stories of hellos on buses leading to all-night
conversations or making love, and, of course, to creative action-plays,
books, filmsanything that generates and furthers bright ideas.
I met Haynes finally two years ago, at his Paris apartment, Grand Central
Station for half the creative universe. He didn't look much like a great
man, exhausted from recent travel and depressed over the imminent departure
of his long-time lover, Paula Klein. Nor did he speak as the bubbling,
vivacious Jim Haynes I'd always heard about. He seemed more like any other
middle-aged good ol' boy from Louisiana who's lived hard and sometimes
wonders if it's all been worth it. Conversation with all those coming
and going tended to hover near the surface, a constant exchange of compliments
and abstract descriptions of activity obscuring the lack of in dept exchange.
You and I may laugh at this. But Haynes is speaking
in earnest. He still does, teaching Media and Sexual Politics, if you
please, in Paris, where he has lived and loved since 1969. His book is
a document of how the permissive society reached out and conquered the
fashion-conscious establishment: as a critical history it is more or less
Haynes's sexual reputation developed because in the early days of the
sexual revolution, he was among the few leaders willing to matter-of-factly
discuss his relationships. "I became a writer," he smiled, "because
all around me people were wanting to experiment with all kinds of different
sexual relationships. They were looking for information and encouragement.
I was the only one who had done things like living in a group marriage and
having homosexual experience, who was willing to put it down on paper with
my own name on it. I wasn't ashamed of anything I'd done, or particularly
afraid of the consequences. I figured enough people knew me that my reputation
could survive anything anyone said about something I might have done in
bed with somebody else, and besides," he laughed, "in my circles,
in the theatre world, that would have been throwing stones in glass houses,
because whatever I was doing, a lot of other people were doing a lot more
of without being open about it."
Merritt Clifton © 1984 G.L.N.
1984 G.L.N. : Is Jim Haynes really shy ?