Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Anthology Due July 28th

My book debut comes this July 28th, in the forthcoming Carroll & Graf anthology, From Boys To Men: Personal Essays Of Gay Coming Of Age. Rather than a traditional collection of coming out stories, "In these memoirs, coming out is less important than coming of age and coming to the realization that young gay people experience the world in ways quite unlike straight boys."The anthology is edited by Robert Williams and Ted Gideonse. Check out the Amazon link for the complete list of writers, which includes Alex Chee, Aaron Hamburger, and my own pal, Michael McAllister aka Dogpoet. I'm thrilled to be part of this esteemed group.

Is That Nana On The Overpass?

On a sunny day, New Yorkers are not above plopping themselves down just about anywhere to catch some rays, like this rather leathered old biddy who chose the pedestrian overpass of FDR Drive at 71st Steet. I guess the noise and exhaust of the 6-lane highway beneath her isn't a bother.

A Blaggle Of Bloggers

This weekend is the annual messy, sloppy, sodden gathering of gay bloggers in NYC. I stole this naughty graphic from Chris over at
See My Briefs, who has an amusing listing of the schedule of activities. I'm looking forward to seeing a lot of familiar faces from around the country and hoping to meet some new ones. Btw, blaggle? What should it be?

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

It's Getting Hot In Herre

So here's my dilemma: Do I go see the Al Gore's global warming documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, and come out with sharply detailed information over which to obsess and worry? Or do I not go see the movie and merely continue with this vague, unfocused sense of dread?

Remembering Memorial

Big weekend. Big in every way.

Saturday: Up early and out for the Superbowl of gay rugby, the Bingham Cup. Emerging from the 6 train up in Harlem, Eddie and I ran into podcaster/tough guy Mike P and blogger hottie Bryce of Plastic Music, and we joined the curious mix of locals, ruggers and gay rugby groupies waiting in line for the Crazy Bus.

Ah, the Crazy Bus, aka the X65. You see kids, the Bingham Cup was held on the sprawling athletic fields of Randall's Island, home to the largest mental institution in the world, the Manhattan Psychiatric Center. (Technically, the hospital is on Ward's Island, but the two have been joined by landfill over the years.) Having ridden that bus out to Randall's Island in years past to play homosexual softball, let me tell you...there are some very interesting characters on that bus. Take a dozen heroin addicts, some schizophrenics, a serial killer or three, then add 50 large hairy gay men. Interesting. You would have loved watching.

The rugby matches themselves were predictably hot, sweaty, violent, funny, and bloody. I'm still trying to wash my brain of the image of the guy getting his eyeball stitched up as I walked past the med tent. Eddie, Vasco and I hung out with Washington Renegade/superblogger Jimbo and he tried to explain the various rugby positions. I think Jimbo plays Wingback or Chickenwing or something like that. We also chatted with Renegade/blogger Seamus McStebbins and what is it with all ruggers being bloggers? At one point Vasco and I decided that all players wearing #13 were inexplicably super-hot. All of them. Especially you, Sydney Convicts #13. Especially you. And we missed seeing it, but blogger/glamour consultant Neil (husband of the above mentioned Bryce) scored his first goal ever for the Gotham Knights, then performed his ritual Zulu. Go Neil! Really sorry I didn't get to watch.

Saturday night we met up with Glenn and Vasco and attended a couple of the team's bar parties, both predictably rowdy and beer sodden, despite their relatively posh Chelsea locations. There was a lot of shouting and some rampant rugger-on-rugger hot man lovin. At least I got to watch.

Sunday night was the NYC debut of popular UK bear dance party XXL at Webster Hall, where we arrived to find the place already packed at 11:30pm. Webster Hall sucks as a nightclub venue. The main room is on the third floor, the bathrooms are in the basement, and I'm sure a lot of those very sore ruggers didn't appreciate that. The very strange Webster Hall bartending set up, in which your order is taken, then ferried to some kind of master bartender, who actually rings you up, made it just impossible to get a drink in under 15 minutes. Just as well, at $7 a pop for a plastic cup of Budweiser.

But otherwise the party was great. Crowded, but not crowded. Bloggerati Robocub (and Robopapi) and Michael Hartney were tearing up the dancefloor. The music was well received, if a rather curious blend of recent hits (Hung Up-Madonna, Mary J. Blige - Be Without You) and early '90s diva house anthems (Gonna Make You Sweat- C&C Music Factory, Ride On Time - Black Box). My personal highlight was Donna Summer's I Feel Love, of course! Ultra Nate' performed early, singing her gay pride anthem Free. Around 2:30am, Barbara Tucker took the stage with four backup singers and delivered one of the best club performances I think I've ever seen, performing her immortal Beautiful People and her 2004 hit Most Precious Love, among others. Perhaps sensing that her audience was a bit longer in the tooth than during her other nightclub appearances, Tucker revealed that she had just turned 44 years old, generating huge applause.

The biggest downside of the evening was coming across an unconscious young man in the seating area above the dancefloor. I tried to slap him awake to no avail and finally left in search of assistance, once I got the guys seated nearby to agree to keep him upright until I returned. I have a feeling the kid was simply passed out drunk, not OD'd on GHB, but you can't be too careful these days. I encourage anybody who comes across someone in distress in a nightclub to be that person who goes for help. The first Webster Hall employee I found simply said, "Take me to him," and that was the end of my involvement.

Otherwise, it was a great night and we'll definitely attend another XXL, should the party return to NYC. We even got a free mix CD upon departure, which was a nice touch. And congratulations to the Bingham Cup winners, the Sydney Convicts who also won for overall hotness, not that I'm shallow or anything.
Top Left: Sydney accepts the Bingham Cup from Mark Bingham's mother, Alice Hoglan.
Top Right: Sydney Convicts.
Bottom Left: L-R: Eddie, Me, Michael, Tim, Glenn, Vasco
Bottom Right: Sydney celebrates.

Brokeback Mounties

Canada's upcoming high-profile gay wedding between two members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police is beginning to cause some stir in Canadian government, as Prime Minister Stephen Harper's office has issued a gag order warning Conservative members of Parliament to make no comments on the wedding to press. Harper is probably just really sick of hearing "Brokeback Mounties". (- via 365gay.com)

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Pat Robertson Found With Pants On Fire

Sports journalists are calling bullshit on televangelist Pat Robertson's claim to be able to leg-press 2000 pounds. CBS Sportsline columnist Clay Travis says: "There is no way on earth Robertson leg presses 2,000 pounds. That would mean a 76-year-old man broke the all-time Florida State University leg press record by 665 pounds over Dan Kendra. 665 pounds. Further, when he set the record, they had to modify the leg press machine to fit 1,335 pounds of weight. Plus, Kendra's capillaries in his eyes burst. Burst. Where in the world did Robertson even find a machine that could hold 2,000 pounds at one time? And how does he still have vision?"

Pat Robertson, blinded. Now THAT would be some biblical retribution.

Ed Lifts

A lot of the guys I saw at the Bingham Cup are of surprisingly normal size. I even saw a few guys that were rather tiny. But some of them, hol-ee cow, thems was some mooses! This guy picked up little Eddie like a sack of Puppy Chow.

UPDATE: Eddie suggested that I add this picture to get a better idea of the scale between he and the big guy. I think there's a least a foot of height and a hundred pounds between the two of them.(Thanks to Glenn and Vasco for the pics!)

Slaute!


Friday, May 26, 2006

Talkin' About The Bear Wash, Yeah

"An exciting range of shampoo and conditioner formulated especially for beards, but it's great for the hair on your head too!" - Bear Wash, a new product listed as "coming soon" on the XXL site. Does it also leave back hair soft and luxurious? Bear Wash, coming soon in exciting fragrances such as Musky Moonlight, Potato Salad Surprise, and Yesterday's Workout.

A Funky, Funky Weekend


Fire, Fire Island
It's a funky weekend
A funky funky weekend
Don't go in the bushes (Don't go!)
Don't go in the bushes
Someone might grab ya!
Someone might grab ya!

-Fire Island, Village People, 1977

Summer season commences today and already the morning 6 train was noticeably empty. The destination of choice for the A-Gays continues to be Fire Island, a place I've only been to once, for a birthday party a few years ago. At that party, when I mentioned that it was my first visit, some of the guys there were intrigued that anybody of "my age" could have never been out to The Island, a term that I find massively more annoying than refering to Manhattan as The City, but whatever.

Then they all crowded around me, demanding to know my first impressions, whether I got "the magic" of it all. I responded that visiting Fire Island for the first time, after hearing about it all your life, was somewhat like finally sitting down and watching a very famous movie, one that you'd never actually watched. Sure, you know who's in it and you know what it looks like, so when you finally do watch it, it all feels vaguely familiar. Eh. The only real surprise of my visit was learning that Fire Island actually has a dozen or so towns on it, as I'd only ever heard of The Pines and Cherry Grove. Well known trivia: Fire Island was originally named Five Islands, but the maps were mistranslated from the original Dutch.

This weekend, instead of being on The Island with the A-Gays, I'll be in The City with the fey-gays, probably dropping in at the Bingham Cup at some point, to support the blogging ruggers I know. Sunday night, I'll be at the XXL party at Webster Hall. Please say hello if you see me, I'll be the chubby hairy guy. Oh...wait.

(Fire Island, Village People, Casablanca Records 1977. Download Fire Island here. Purchase Best Of Village People here.)
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Folsom V. Folsom

It looks like a battle is brewing between two of the nation's largest leather events, as SF's Folsom Street Fair, now in its 23rd year, has filed a petition to cancel the trademark of New York's Folsom Street East, about to celebrate its 10th year. I suppose there's no jurisdiction to revoke the trademark of Toronto's Folsom Fair North. (-via B.A.R.)

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Commercial Closet Awards

Tuesday night, I attended the 2nd Annual Images In Advertising Awards hosted by AOL at Time-Warner's swank headquarters above Central Park at Columbus Circle. Produced by the Commercial Closet Association, whose mission is to "educuate and influence the world of advertising to understand, respect and include LGBT references in advertising", it was a typically fun night of open bars, schmoozing and gift bags, but it was also an important marking of the continuing improvements being made in the way advertisers portray and reach out to the LGBT community, advances made in no small part due to the hard work of the Commerical Closet's founder and Executive Director Michael Wilke, whose Best Practices guidelines steer advertisers and agencies in the right direction.

Ad agency DDB Needham walked away the big winner of the evening, taking awards for Ad Agency of the Year and Outstanding Commercial, for their Guy Watcher Diet Pepsi ad. Other winners were Avis, taking the Outstanding Print Award for their You're A-List To Us campaign, created by Impax, and ESPN for their Sports Is My Orientation Outstanding Trade Ad, which was created in-house. The Clean Up Your Act Notice, the Commercial Closet's version of a Razzie, was given this year to Nabisco, for their Snack Fairy campaign, created by Foote Cone & Belding. (Complete list of winners.)

Top Left: a gaggle of Gaygles, aka the Google team.
Top Right: Emcee/comedienne Judy Gold.
Bottom Left: AOL Gay & Lesbian editor Kenneth Hill.
Bottom Right: Michael Wilke.

Diva On Slate

Troubled Diva, aka music journalist Mike Atkinson has a great piece in Slate called America, Meet The Eurovision Song Contest , in which he explains to us Yanks exactly how this year's event, hosted by Greece, went down. My English coworkers are always amazed at how utterly unknown Eurovision is in the U.S., other than as a footnote to die hard fans of ABBA (Sweden's winner in 1974) and Celine Dion (who somehow won representing Switzerland in 1988). Hey, anybody remember Bucks Fizz? Anyway, I hear talk that this year's winner might be Finland's Lordi, the charming gents pictured below. For a very detailed country by country breakdown of each act, visit Diva's homepage here. Now excuse me, I think that's Dana International on the other line.

Way Gay Wizzy

If you are in NYC for Pride Week, I invite you to attend this year's Pride edition of WYSIWYG, the monthly queer bloggers showcase, where I will perform with a fun cast including haikuist/go-go boy/composer Joel Derfner, who totally upstaged me in last year's show with a song about sperm donation.

Joining Joel and me will be my hilarious pal Curly McDimple, author of Ham & Cheese On Rye, Rod Townsend, the devastatingly sexy and recently single*
Manhattan Offender, performance artist Greg Walloch, Spinster, author of The Femme Files, and DJ Ayden, author of The Butch Caucus.

This year's Pride show is titled Way Gay: Even Gayer Gay Gayness, ramping up the gayness from last year's I Love A Parade: Even Gayer Tales Of Extremely Gay Gayness, where I did this. This year I'll be reading a new story called My Gaydar Is Not 20:20.

*Paid personal announcement.
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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Sign Of The < /Times>

Tonight there was a young punkish girl with purple hair sitting in a wheelchair outside the main entrance of Grand Central. She was holding a sign that said: "Will Code HTML For Food".

This town.

ICU

Not to get all Gawker Stalker on you, but in the last couple of weeks I've seen the following celebrities hoofing it down Gotham's sidewalks: Frank Gifford, Jon Stewart, Jeff Goldblum, Jackie Mason, Jane Fonda, Moby, Harvey Keitel, Lorraine Bracco, Chris Carrabba (only recognized him because of his tats), Star Jones (who has a really weird neck) and (most importantly) Chris Meloni.

I also saw the fat guy from Lost and the short hot hairy guy that played Murphy Brown's boyfriend. Oh, and the guy who was the fisting bottom in Bareback II: Electric Boogaloo.* I suppose if I were the sort who was more easily starstruck, I'd be downstairs and across the street, in front of Cipriani, during one of their thrice-weekly fragrance/book/CD/fashion launch parties. Meh. I have become really good at the New York City "I'm NOT looking at YOU" stare.

*Totally made this up.

Motormouth Maybelle Midweek Morale

If listening to Ruth Brown's Lucky Lips doesn't immediately cheer you up to the point where your cubicle mates wonder where you found the crack....well, there's no hope for you. Download it here, then come back in 2:10 and tell me you aren't grinning from ear to ear.

(Lucky Lips, Atlantic Records, 1957. #24 Billboard Top Singles. Purchase The Best Of Ruth Brown, here. Tony Award winner Ruth Brown was inducted to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1993. Lucky Lips was written by the legendary songwriting team of Leiber & Stoller.)

Bulking Up With Pat

"Did you know that Pat Robertson can leg-press 2000 pounds! How does he do it? Where does Pat find the time and energy to host a daily, national TV show, head a world-wide ministry, develop visionary scholars, while traveling the globe as a statesman? One of Pat's secrets to keeping his energy high and his vitality soaring is his age-defying protein shake. Pat developed a delicious, refreshing shake, filled with energy-producing nutrients." (- via CBN)

Pat Robertson's Protein Shake Recipe:

1. Puree the souls of 10 gay teens driven to suicide by Exodus.

2. Add 12oz. finely chopped placards of bloody fetuses (see Operation Rescue for supply).

3. Obtain copy of U.S. Constitution, remove 1st Amendment, shred and sprinkle in.

4. Mix in stem cells. (Original lines only!)

5. Insert feeding tube and enjoy!

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HomoQuotable - John Rechy

"Later I would think of America as one vast City of Night stretching gaudily from Times Square to Hollywood Boulevard--jukebox-winking, rock-n-roll-moaning: America at night fusing its darkcities into the unmistakable shape of loneliness." - John Rechy, City Of Night.

Yesterday I bought my favorite novel of all time, John Rechy's City Of Night, for probably the 30th time. I'm not real big on keeping books, usually once I've read something, I give it away if somebody expresses interest. I've given City Of Night away dozens of times since I first bought it back in 1979, the same summer that I first read Larry Kramer's Faggots, another book I've given away a few times.

First published in 1963, City Of Night follows a young hustler through from Times Square to New Orleans' French Quarter to L.A.'s Pershing Square. I was barely 19 when I first read it and I was riveted from beginning to end, probably rereading it a dozen times in the first year alone. John Rechy presently teaches writing at the University Of Southern California.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Ah, Sunshine

After some dismal weather over the last week, and even though it was 45 degrees outside when I got up this morning, half of my office decided to take our lunch to Bryant Park, which we decided is one of the definite luxuries of working in Midtown. Oh, but what did we do while we ate? READ BLOGS, of course!

Joe And Marty At The Dugout

Marty (watching a guy walk past): Why is it that guys with eyepatches are so hot?

Joe: I don't know, but they just arrrrrrrrr.

You're welcome.

Double The Loads

Hustler Video releases The Da Vinci Load today. On Friday, PZP Video went gay-and-date with Tom Hanks, with their own The Da Vinci Load.

Ho hum, about as amusing and certainly as predictable as Bareback Mountain. I'll admit, I do love some punny porn titles. I have my favorites. You can keep Shaving Ryan's Privates, Forrest Hump, and Titty Slickers. Bah! Give me E3: The Extra Testicle, Sheepless In Seattle, or A Rimmer Runs Through It.

WYSIWYG Tonight At BPC

Stop by tonight's WYSIWYG as bloggers riff on the theme: Prom Trauma. A few months ago, Wizzy departed the venerated East Village performance space, P.S. 122, for the Bowery Poetry Club, located at Bowery & Bleecker. Doors open at 7:30, the show is at 8PM, and they've got a bar.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Krebs Cycle Gets It Right

This kid pretty much nails my opinion on the end of Will & Grace. However, his commenters are having a field day ripping him apart.

INRI

Madonna opened her world tour, Confessions, in Los Angeles this weekend. You have to hand it to the old broad, she hasn't lost her touch (craving) for controversy. Now somebody hand me my nail gun.

(via Madonnalicious.com.)

HomoQuotable - James McGreevey

"I knew I would have to lie for the rest of my life - and I knew I was capable of it. The knowledge gave me a feeling of terrible power." - former New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey, writing in his new book The Confession, which comes out on ReganBooks this fall. Hilariously, Amazon is currently offering a special deal if you order both McGreevey's book and the DVD of Brokeback Mountain. Someone at Amazon has a great sense of humor.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Instant Disco History #5: Disco Orchestra

The disco orchestra was a phenomenon of the very earliest years of disco. In the pre-synth and early-synth days, often producers of disco records would engage the talents of entire symphony orchestras, picking and choosing which particular elements best lent themselves to a particular track. Sweeping romantic strings, sassy horns, percolating timpani, whatever, the orchestra members were usually quite glad to have the session work, something that the rock era had largely disposed of.

The members of the Los Angeles Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic Orchestra, and Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra were used on many of these recordings. As synthesizers came into wider use, the glorious, luxurious sound of the full disco orchestra sadly faded away. Below are 7 songs, a mere sampling my all-time favorite disco orchestra tracks. The singles are here for your download, but of course I encourage you to purchase the full-lengths, where available.

1. Love's Theme - The Love Unlimited Orchestra, 1974

Helmed by Barry White, this 40-piece orchestra was originally created in 1972 to provide backing for White's girl group trio, Love Unlimited, which whom the orchestra had a smash hit in Walking In The Rain With The One I Love . In 1974, with White conducting and producing, the orchestra released its first single, the instrumental Love's Theme, which was a #1 hit on the Billboard Pop Singles chart. Love Unlimited Orchestra had several other hit singles, including Satin Soul and My Sweet Summer Suite. Despite the prominent wacka-wacka guitar sound, then used in every blaxploitation soundtrack, which I generally loathed, Love's Theme remains my all-time favorite disco orchestra track. Trivia note: Jazz saxophonist Kenny G was a member of the Love Unlimited Orchestra.

(Love Unlimited Orchestra, Love's Theme, 20th Century Records, 1974. #1 Pop, #1 R&B. Download Love's Theme. Purchase The Best Of Love Unlimited Orchestra, here.)

2. Magic Bird Of Fire - Salsoul Orchestra, 1977

Also created in 1972, the Salsoul Orchestra, which won Billboard's Top Disco Orchestra award in '75, '76, and '77, provided the backing for a virtual who's who of early disco artists, including Loleatta Holloway, Claudja Barry, First Choice and Charo (!). New York's Salsoul Orchestra had a monster hit with Magic Bird Of Fire, their stunning reworking of Stravinsky's Firebird Suite. Included among their many other hits are Tangerine and (Ooh I Love It) Love Break, which is credited by many as being the track to which vogueing first began. For me though, Magic Bird will always be my favorite. Those ominous strings! The terrifying horns! Definitely one of the spookiest disco tracks of all time.

(Salsoul Orchestra, Magic Bird Of Fire, Salsoul Records, 1977. Download Magic Bird Of Fire. Purchase Salsoul Records: Anthology, here.

3. Spring Rain - Silvetti, 1976

Spring Rain was the sole disco hit for Argentine composer, producer and pianist Bebu Silvetti. I suppose this track might be considered a little cheesy today, especially with the female chorus going "ah ah ah ah", but I adore this song and I'd bet any gay man in his 40's probably feels the same way. Silvetti went on to produce just about every major star in the Latin music world, including Placido Domingo and Luis Miguel.

(Silvetti, Spring Rain, Salsoul Records, 1976. Download Spring Rain. Purchase Silvetti: Spring Rain, here.)

4. Sing, Sing, Sing - Charlie Calello Orchestra, 1979

You probably never would have predicted that a reworking of Louis Prima's instrumental big band hit from the 40's, Sing, Sing, Sing, could be turned into a hit dance record, especially one that would get a room full of hundreds of gay men jumping up and down. But kids, when DJ Bob Miro would throw this sucker on at Fort Lauderdale's Backstreet t-dance, you'da thunk the roof was gonna blow off the joint. You haven't lived until you've watch drunken drag queens and bodybuilders trying to disco-Charleston to Sing, Sing, Sing. Trivia: Luther Vandross and Cissy Houston (Whitney's mom) were session vocalists on the other tracks on this album. More trivia: Charlie Calello arranged and produced Odyssey's Native New Yorker.

(Charlie Calello Orchestra, Sing Sing Sing, Midland International Records, 1979. Download Sing, Sing, Sing. Purchase Calello Serenade, here.)

5. Theme From S.W.A.T. - Rhythm Heritage, 1975

In the mid-70's, every other TV theme song was being turned into a hit record. Welcome Back Kotter, Happy Days, Rockford Files, and many more shows' theme songs hit the Billboard Top Forty. But my personal favorite, of course, was disco orchestra Rhythm Heritage's blistering Theme From S.W.A.T. I would only watch the first few minutes of S.W.A.T., just to catch the opening theme, then I would slam the channel over to Mary Tyler Moore, who had a catchy, but non-disco theme song. Such a queer, I know. Trivia: Ray Parker Jr. (Ghostbusters!) played with Rhythm Heritage.

(Rhythm Heritage, Theme From S.W.A.T., ABC Records, 1975. #1 Pop, #11 R&B. Download Theme From S.W.A.T. )

6. The Bull - Mike Theodore Orchestra, 1977

Mike Theodore Orchestra's The Bull is one of the most prized 12" singles on the collectors market. The album it came from, Cosmic Wind, yielded a number of hits, most notably the title track and Moon Trek. In 1979 he had another fairly big hit, High On Mad Mountain. I loved The Bull because of the way it made the Spanish guys go crazy on the dancefloor. "Watch out! Here comes the bull! Ole!" Trivia: Mike Theodore was also behind the 1976 disco smash Devil's Gun, by C.J. & Company.

(Mike Theodore Orchestra, The Bull, Westbound Records 1977. #1 Dance Play. Download The Bull. Purchase Mike Theodore Orchestra: Cosmic Wind, here.)

7. Two Hot For Love - THP Orchestra, 1977

Oh man, if you hated disco, you really hated Two Hot For Love. Really long, over 15 minutes, jazzy and loaded with orgiastic groaning, Two Hot For Love was some serious late night, almost-closing time, choose your bed-partner stuff. "The night is growing longer, my love is growing stronger, we're two hot for love." Side One of Two Hot For Love was usually played all the way through, all 15 minutes, which included the tracks Foreplay, Excitement, Climax and Resolution, which were beat mixed on the LP, as was common on many disco records that year. I loved Two Hot For Love for its sexy hotness and that unforgettable jazzy flute line. THP stood for Three Hats Productions. THP later dropped the "orchestra" from their name and had a successful follow-up called Tender Is The Night.

(THP Orchestra, Two Hot For Love, Butterfly Records, 1977. Download Two Hot For Love. Purchase Best Of Butterfly Records, here.)

I linked it above, but I strongly recommend this excellent and quite comprehensive Wikipedia article, for a fuller understanding of how various orchestras contributed to the early disco sound.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

When Gods Collide

Jeff, the God Of Biscuits, is visiting NYC this weekend and last night at Ty's Bar in the West Village we had a mini-preview of next month's blogger invasion. Those paying homage to the West Coast God included David of Someone In A Tree, Eric of We Like Sheep, Byrne of Crash & Bryne, Michael of Dogpoet, Glenn of Glennalicious, Michael of So I Like Superman, and a supporting cast of their hottie friends. Much beer drinking ensued. There was even a sighting of our local Bob Fosse impersonator, sliding through the bar all fedora and jazz hands. I found the GOB to be charming and exactly the person he seems to be on his blog. - (photo credit: Total Hotness Pete.)

Friday, May 19, 2006

How To Use A Toll Booth In New York

1. Select a racing partner several miles in advance.
2. Exchange angry gestures and dirty looks until toll booth is within sight.
3. Refuse to yield upon approach.
4. Too late, realize exact dimensions of a toll lane.
5. Enjoy new internet popularity.

What Are Your Essential Gay Movies?

Remember six months ago, we had some fun here telling each other our all time favorite movie quotes for gay men? Frameline, the presenter of the 30th Annual San Francisco International LBGT Film Festival, is asking "What is the essential list of gay movies?" , on its blog Persistent Vision. The blog is named for an uncoming conference, Persistent Vision: Evisioning The Future Of Media Arts, which takes place in San Francisco June 19-22. (Register here.)

Ignoring the campy but not actually gay films (i.e. Mommie Dearest), my short list of essential gay films is: Torch Song Trilogy, Jeffrey, Longtime Companion, Hedwig & The Angry Inch.

Please visit the Frameline blog and tell them your essential gay films.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

I, Spaced

Every week or so, somebody emails me to ask if I know that some kid is blogging on MySpace as JoeMyGod. Yeah, I know about him. Like I would use Lil Kim as my blog template. Although it did tickle me immensely that the ersatz JMG listed Valley Of The Dolls and The Bible as his two favorite books. "Now you get outta my way, I've got Jesus waiting for me! "

Anyway. Yesterday another reader pointed out that MySpace.com/JoeMyGod was still available, so here I am. Now can somebody give me a ride to the mall? I have a sudden craving to get my nose pierced and buy some rad eye shadow.

HomoQuotable - RuPaul

"We all came into this world naked, the rest of it is all drag." - RuPaul. My summer bear drag: ringer-tees, cargo shorts, tattered ballcaps. Reminds me that I need to get to Old Navy. What's your circuit boy, leatherman, dyke mommy, emo-girl, art fag drag?

Gattaca Alert

Yesterday, I was clicking around a few of the DNA/geneology testing websites, thinking that finding out the precise ethnic origins of our family might be an interesting gift to my sister, particularly for her kids, as she is very interested in researching our family tree. But by coincidence, Aaron has just posted on this topic and he changed my mind very fucking fast.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Hungry, Hungry Unicorn

As I love to pass along new expressions, such as angertwink and urban cougar, allow me to present hungry unicorn, which I felt compelled to look up after somebody landed on JMG while Googling it.

I have never performed a hungry unicorn.

Not that there's anything wrong with it.

UPDATE: Just in case you were wondering, and I know you were, the top Google searches that bring people here remain this and this. I'm number one! I'm number one! Sigh. This one still makes me laugh, however.

HomoQuotable - Ian McKellen

"We've got to peddle the lie that we're all the same so we all buy the same products. That's why they don't like openly gay people on TV. We upset the view that we're all the same. What is Magneto going to say about that? Well, what everybody should say: 'Not on your life!' There are people who think you can cure homosexuality. Scientologists will tell you they can cure you. They can CURE you! Well, Magneto suddenly became an easy part to play." - Ian McKellan, talking about the plot for X-Men 3, in which a cure for mutantcy is found. (via 365gay.com)

When I posted my little dig at gay men and their love for comic books, so many of you rushed in to tell me how the X-Men mutants were a huge metaphor for homosexuals and their place in society. Having seen the trailer for X-Men 3, I finally understand. Now I have to wonder, how many of us would take "the cure", were one to be available. I know I wouldn't, but I think we'd all be surprised at how many who would, joyously.

Monday, May 15, 2006

From The Department Of Empty Threats

According to today's NY Times, conservative Xtians are getting serious about their threat to withhold their support in this year's elections, if the Republican Party doesn't ramp up their attacks on gay marriage, immigration reform, and abortion. Their thinking is that maybe if the Republicans suffer a sound thrumping, they'll come crawling back on their hands and knees, ready to obediently stick their noses right back up James Dobson's homo-obsessed ass.

So get ready for yet another onslaught of diversionary, non-critical legislation and related bufferoonery and jackassery. It's all so predictable, isn't it? Not that we aren't at war and occupying two hostile nations and steering towards a third. Not that the entire social safety net isn't about to unravel. Not that the federal budget deficit hasn't veered into a heretofore unseen abyss, one from which it may take decades to recover.

The funny thing is, and I mean this in the sickest sense, I kind of hope the Republicans do toe the Xtian line. That way the curtain is drawn back even further for wavering GOP loyalists to see who is really pulling the strings on our government.

Museum Piece

Monday, 8AM, the 6 train...

The man sitting in front of me is listening to a cassette Walkman, something I only realize after I hear the unfamiliar / familiar sound of a cassette tape being snapped into his machine. I watch his fingers linger lovingly over the worn, but still bright yellow plastic buttons and I think that he must have had that thing for about 20 years. Sitting to the man's left are two pre-teen girls wearing school uniforms. They are watching him fuss with the controls of his Walkman. One of them leans over.

"Hey, what's that?"

He looks at her with disregard. "What's what?"

"That thing you're listening to."

"It's Prince."

"No, I mean the player. That's a player for old school tapes, right?"

"Yeah."

The girls nod. The second one says, "Ooh, right! My auntie has one of those in a picture I have. But I never seen one in person."

The man frowns and says, "Well, it's hardly a museum piece. They still sell them...somewhere."

The girls go back to scrolling through their shared iPod, wearing one earbud each. The man puts his headphones back on and looks away and I wonder if he is feeling a million years old. I know I am.
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Saturday, May 13, 2006

Karl Rove Indictment News Imminent

Judging by Technorati, the blogosphere is blowing up today with the news that White House Chief Of Staff Karl Rove has been indicted for perjury and lying to investigators and has tendered his resignation to President Bush. The buzz appears to primarily spring from Jason Leopold's reporting on Truth Out. - (via God Of Biscuits)

HomoQuotable - Rex Wockner

"We can lament that Mary (Cheney) is not everything we wish she could have been or could be -- or we can reflect on just how mindblowing it is that the daughter of the U.S. vice president, in the most overtly antigay administration in U.S. history, is an open lesbian and is on national TV talking about it." - Rex Wockner, columnist. (via 365gay.com)

Friday, May 12, 2006

Mailbag Addendum

Hey Joe, I think I saw you on the 6 train this morning, downtown bound around 830. I gotta ask, what's up with the sunglasses on the subway, dude? You going rock star on us? What's up with that?

Barry the BXCub

This is what's up with that. I'm wearing the sunglasses to spare my fellow riders the horror of looking into my swollen slit-lidded bloody eyes. OK, it's not that bad at the moment, since I've been using this for the last few days. It's all been a little embarrasing, this 3rd-grader situation. At least I'm back at my desk, presumably no longer contagious. Although my admin did just toss me my mail from ten feet away. Nice.

Friday Mailbag, May 12th, 2006

Joe, I don't know if you watch Bravo TV's "Top Chef" but I was watching the reunion show and one of the lines made me think of you because it was one of those inadvertent things that was funny as hell and the guy didn't even realize what he was saying and sometimes you have things like that on your blog. Stephen was explaining how fortunate he has been in his life to have had so many people educate him about business and food and this is basically what he said:

"I've been very lucky to have had so many teachers, professors and mentors dump loads in me".

My boyfriend and I could not stop laughing!


-Chuck, the cute, horse hung guy from Michigan

JMG-When I asked him how he'd like to be identified, and Chuck gave me that tagline, I said, "You know that the readers are going to be all over that." Chuck's response: "If anybody wants a pic, they have to write directly and ask nicely." Therefore: Chazzie@aol.com.

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Hi Joe, I’ve been reading your blog for about 9 months now and I enjoy your writing. I’m a straight guy here in Baltimore and your posts give me some perspective that I wouldn’t otherwise have. Thanks for that.

I read recently in one of the Parliament House posts that “Smalltown Boy” had a profound effect on you. I was wondering if you would consider this a topic for a future post. I’ve always loved that song too and I was only a kid when it was on the radio. Something about that heavily sequenced synth intro gets me every time. Thanks.

-Drew
In Baltimore

JMG- Starting next week, I'll be reviving the old Instant Disco History series of posts, which haven't been seen on JMG in a long time. Smalltown Boy will be included in one of those posts.

HomoQuotable - Matt Foreman

"Governor Dean's record on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues since becoming DNC chair has been sorely and sadly lacking. " - Matt Foreman, Executive Director, National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, after Howard Dean misrepresented the Democratic Party's gay platform on Pat Robertson's nationally televised show, The 700 Club. The NGLTF then returned Dean's $5000 donation in protest, as scientists rushed to examine the NGLTF's freshly grown pair.

How Low Can We Go?

The latest Harris / Wall Street Journal opinion poll shows GWB's approval rating has dropped to 29%, putting Dubya within one or two warrantless wiretaps of breaking Richard Nixon's Watergate-era approval rating of 25%, the worst ever recorded for a U.S. president, according to some pollsters. (Harry Truman once hit 23% in a Gallup poll.)

So many of us have been saying for so long that George W. Bush is the worst president in American history, it will feel anti-climatic when a national opinion poll bears finally us out, as will surely happen once the shitstorm from yesterday's USA Today reportage over the illegal gathering of Americans' phone records has settled.

But when GWB does bottom out with the worst opinion poll results in American history, I'm going to try to resist any impulse to celebrate. Things are worse than they've ever been and they are getting worserer.

UPDATE: It's worth mentioning that among Democrats, Bush II's approval rating is 8%. My question: Who ARE these people?

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Diverting The H8RS

Yesterday, from reading Kenneth Hill's giggler on Worth Repeating, I learned that one must be careful when disparaging specific contestants on American Idol, lest your blog's comments be overtaken by quasi-literate irate teenage girls who write all caps, screaming things like "OMG!!! IF YOU LIKE TAYLOR YOU MUST BE TRUE FAGG! OMG!!! CONSTANTINE 4EVR!!!"

And today my pal Scott, author of Palochi.com, emailed me this sentence, complaining about last night's American Idol results: "First GWB, now this. The experiment of democracy is officially a complete failure." Go read, as Scott riffs on that failure theme, hilariously, in this post.
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HomoQuotable - Mary Cheney

"Go fuck yourself." - Mary Cheney to 2004 vice-presidential candidate John Edwards, mouthing the comment from the studio audience after he mentioned her sexual orientation during a debate. In an interview, Cheney also calls Edwards "a total slime" and John Kerry "a son of a bitch". Poor deluded Mary also thinks that GWB is a "very good man" who just hasn't "caught up on" the gay issues. Of course, the previously elusive and silent lesbian daughter of the Vice President is only now spilling her guts because.... (say it with me!)..... she has a book to sell! - (via AMERICAblog.)

UPDATE: The book reviewers are having a field day on Amazon. "In a day and age when William Hung is offered a recording contract, it shouldn't surprise anyone that one of the most despised lesbians in the country gets a book deal. The only question is who is going to buy it? Her father's friends would rather embrace white supremacists and the Ku Klux Klan than associate themselves with homosexuals while the gay community knows that Miss Cheney sold her soul to the devil to keep her father in power. I will wage a bet that this book challenges the Guiness record for the most rapid descent into the book store bargain bins."

UPDATE II: Just the first few of the numerous keyword tags that Amazon's reviewers have added to Now It's My Turn: hypocrite (8), sellout (6), self-loathing (4), amoral (3), disgraceful (3), greed (3), aunt thomasina (2), children of monsters (2), conservative puppet (2), denial (2), invertebrate (2), narcissistic (2), stockholm syndrome (2), a million little pieces (1), a pound of flesh (1)
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The Bigger Apple

The Mac-heads in my office are positively wetting themselves over the new midtown Apple megastore, which opens on May 19th. The new store is located in the underground concourse beneath the former Trump, now General Motors Building, at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 59th Street, and will be Apple's first ever store to operate 24/7, answering the city's dire need to address its 4AM Nano emergencies. The store's entry is a 32-foot street level glass cube, which I suppose Apple is hoping will become another Big Apple icon. Despite the near-manic glee of my coworkers, I'm having my usual Apple-related reaction, a big yawn that stretches into a much, much bigger yawn that stretches to infinity, checks its mirrors, turns left, and heads on out to eternity.

GB:NYC3

The 3rd Annual Gay Blogger Invasion of New York City is coming up. Spawned from the sick mind of Dallas blogger Mark, author of Zeitzeuge, this entire event is nothing more than bunch of trampy alcoholic gay bloggers staggering from one sleazy bar to another, occasionally falling on each other in hotel rooms. And thank Zod for that. No meetings, no speakers, no host hotel. (Oh, but there IS an official t-shirt.) So if you are in the NYC area or can manage a weekend visit, please check in with Mark for details. As I noted after last year's fete at Barrage, if you fill a bar with homobloggers, things can get quite festive.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

HomoQuotable - Armin Meiwes

"If you are between 18 and 25 years old, you are my boy. Come to me and I eat your horny flesh." - from the personal ad of Armin Meiwes, "the gay cannibal", yesterday sentenced to life in prison in Germany. (via 365gay.com)
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NY Press, Now With Added JMG

If you are in the New York City area, I have a short story published in this week's issue of the NY Press, which comes out today. The story, The Guy With The Bike, appeared on JMG last fall, and appears today in a new feature in the NY Press called New York Stories. I'll update this post later today with the story's link. I know a lot of you have already read the story here, but indulge me in this brag, 'K?

UPDATE: The NY Press has updated their site. Enter here, I'm listed under News & Columns, or go directly to the story, here. And now y'all know my full name, if you didn't already.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Hell Hath No Fury Like A Woman With DSL

Don't Date Him Girl is "the internet's largest database of lying and cheating men". As I clicked around the site, reading some of the thousands of testimonials posted by cheated upon women, I wondered how a similar website for gay men might work. Then, on a hunch, I typed "gay" into the Don't Date Him Girl keyword search. Sure enough, dozens of women have posted pics and profiles of their exes, claiming them to be gay or bisexual cheaters, including one woman who thoughtfully provided the link revealing her boyfriend to be a gay porn actor (NSFW!).

So what would we call the gay version of this concept? How about Don't Date Him, Queen!

In truth, I don't know how I feel about this sort of net revenge. These women are posting the photos, full names, nicknames, dates of birth, screen names, hometowns, and in some cases, the STDs of their cheating partners. What do you think?
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Monday, May 08, 2006

HomoQuotable - Andrew Holleran

"The demonic paradox of writing: when you put something down that happened, people often don't believe it; whereas, you can make up anything, and people assume it must have happened to you." - Andrew Holleran. Holleran's latest book, Grief: A Novel, will be released on June 6th. Pre-order it here. And if you don't already own his seminal Dancer From The Dance, well, shame on you.

Friday, May 05, 2006

HomoQuotable - Homer Simpson

"I like my beer cold, my TV loud, and my homosexuals flaming!" - Homer Simpson, The Simpsons, Episode 4F11: Homer's Phobia, original airdate 2/16/97.

Friday Mailbag, May 5th, 2006

Today's mailbag theme: Conversions

Good Morning Joe!

Breaking news flash! As you know, I’m a Republican from a long line of Republicans. It has gotten so bad here in Ohio, that I’m changing my party affiliation to the Democrat Party; I think the Republican Party is too far gone. It gets better: many others in my family are or have already (my Dad was the first) changed parties. God, I thought I’d never be saying this: We are hoping for a big Democrat win this November and in November 2008.

Jeff Jackson, Toledo, Ohio


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Hey Joe,

My super-straight contractor just called to tell me he thinks he might be gay. (*fingers crossed*) I know you'll climb your usual soap box, but I will remind you that I don't consider "straight" hot. (As per your twins test). Whatever XXXXX turns out to be, he is an example of really-straight-regular-guy carriage and mannerisms, very working class. He is "physical labor" muscular rather than "gym" muscular. . His warmth and total lack of contrivance make him hot. And if he does cross over to the dark side, I am of course only concerned that he be broken in gently. ;-)

Name Withheld

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Urban Cougars? Mrrow!

For those of you who might be a little embarrassed of the gay community's employment of zoological nomenclature to describe ourselves (bears, pigs, cubs, etc), you should be aware of the straight usage of the word "cougar" to describe an older woman trying way too hard to look young. Ouch. But just like fat gay guys created the bear scene as a form of empowerment, some of these older women have re-invented themseleves as something called the "urban cougar".

On this morning's Today Show, Katie Couric described the urban cougar movement, the explosion of older women pursuing younger men, as representing a "seismic shift" in dating culture. Urban cougar is a new term to me, I've always called it "pulling a Terry McMillan." On the Today Show , Ivana Trump was quoted as having said, "I'd rather be a babysitter than a nurse."

There is a website for older women interesting in dating younger men, UrbanCougar.com. From the website: Urbancougar: It's not a stigma, it's a sophisticated species of female who seeks the pleasure of younger males. She avoids the entanglements of a "relationship," in favor of the freedom of the hunt. She has overcome the taboos related to her sexual identity, embraced her true self, and now lives her life to its fullest. Always one for adventure, she knows what she wants and isn't afraid to get it! This website is a celebration of the urbancougar lifestyle, the women who embody it, and the prey who love them for it!

"The prey"? You go, you urban cougar, you.

UPDATE: Check out the UrbanCougar.com categories of prey.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

The Historic Dugout. No, Really.

In the first expansion of the Greenwich Village Historic District in 36 years, yesterday the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission voted unanimously to expand the boundaries of the Historic District another three blocks west and to create the stand-alone Weehawken Street Historic District. This action immediately places another five full blocks (sixty buildings) under landmarked/historic protections, shielding them from demolition or inappropriate alterations.


As bears around the world already know, Weehawken Street, the shortest street in Manhattan, is also the home of the Dugout, located on the corner of Weehawken and Christopher. Many was the afternoon spent drinking beer under the shading trees of Weehawken Street, back when patrons were allowed to do such a thing. Scroll down this page (pictures take a minute to load) to see some of the now landmarked buildings. They are mostly unremarkable structures, hell, one of them is a ramshackle dirty bookstore, but this new designation effectively ends the peril of yet another row of glassy postmodern loft towers. Suck THAT, Richard Meier! (See below) And congratulations to the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation and Executive Director Andrew Berman!


HomoQuotable - Harvey Milk

"More people have been slaughtered in the name of religion than for any other single reason. That, my friends, that is true perversion." - Harvey Milk, 1978
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Manhunt Spellchecker 2

In the early days of JMG, I posted a verbatim compilation of messages I'd received on Manhunt.net, the gay sex hook-up site. Here is an updating of that list, including some of the originals.

-Hey dud!

-U R Hott! Put that in the sexy place!

-I am *completely* uninhabited.

-Tonight I'm feeling VERY ranchy, how about u?

-Are you interested in a gang-bag? I would love for you and your friends to gang-bag me.

-You give me extra pleasure, especially in the lower half.

-Are you into SM? I have no pain deceptors.

-I hope you are into barebaking, cuz I'd love for you to bread me.

-Are you into hot men with mussels and strongly looking?

-You will never get to the bottom of my cunt.

-I'm into sweety passionnut sex with couples and small gropes.

-Can you get into rapping me? I love rap scenes and roll plays.

-I need to exercise my mouth. Will you be my gym?

-I want a hot verbal top who tells me what I am and where it goes, mostly.

-Can you host? I can't cuz I'm small, and somewhat spaced.

-No waters. No leathers. And boots are too nosy.

-Let me no.

-Piece.
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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Yet Another Bush Post

For all your manscaping needs, Norelco has just come out with its first down-under hair trimmer, the cordless Bodygroom, "the safe and easy way to trim everything from the neck down". Bears should note that it does not appear to come with an attachment for reaching your back. Visit ShaveEverywhere for some really funny flash. (via Mike, I Am)

UPDATE: Kudos to alert JMG reader Kusala, for noticing this related product on the Amazon site. Turns out somebody already makes a shaver with an attachment for reaching your back. Bears: I'm not saying use it, I'm not saying don't. I'm just sayin!

UPDATE II: OK, you really have to watch the entire Bodygroom ad and scroll thru the options. Hilarious! Sound required. Listen to the spokeshunk's 8 voicemails as they get gayer and gayer. Really, kudos to Norelco and their creative agency. Oh, and watch the music video.

Ex-Gay'd Out

Our final parody of the Exodus "Ex-Gay" billboard campaign comes to us from Johnny of Johnny Is A Man. In other fucking hilarious Xtian news, in DC last week there was a rally to PRAY for lower gas prices. So...many...jokes.....must lie down. (via By The Bayou)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

TV Talk With Joe And Johnny

Joe: So I think I hurt my brain.

Johnny: Huh?

Joe: I walked through the living room last night and Amazing Surreal Next Runway Idol was on. Or something.

Johnny: Hey! I watch those.

Joe: My exposure was 15 seconds, tops. Today I can't name a single state capital. Coincidence?

Johnny: what am state?

Joe: See.

Johnny: me am likey mazin race

Joe: Shit. I think I lost my multiplication tables too.

Johnny: tay...bul?
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Monday, May 01, 2006

Rhythm Is A Prancer

Last week CNN.com published the results of its readers poll which asked the question, "What is the worst pop song of all time?" This poll occurs from time to time in various publications and I found CNN's results unsurprising, other than the appearance of the gay camp classic, Charlene's I've Never Been To Me, which came in at #4.

But Charlene's position in the Worst Top Five inspired me to put a gayish spin on CNN's question. What is the worst dance song of all time? We are the Gentlemen Who Dance, so I know there's an encyclopedic knowledge base out there. I figure it will be harder to single out bad dance songs, because the usual main factor that identifies a bad pop song, really insipid lyrics, doesn't necessarily apply to dance songs, because in discoland, words are often used for their sound more than for their meaning.

For the purposes of our poll, let's consider all categories of club music to fall under the broader "dance" umbrella. Disco, funk, techno, tribal, whatever. Consider instrumentals too, by the way. I'll start by giving you my top three, one of which is bound to be identified by a lot of you anyway.

3. Rhythm Is A Dancer - Snap

I googled the lyrics of this song just now, to provide triumphant proof of its inanity, but now I'm all derailed by what I think are the wrongly transcribed lyrics: "I plunge right on through the office door and into the arms of the bottomless negro of love." That's not right, is it?

2. Cotton-Eyed Joe - Rednex

This song signaled the end of my fascination with techno. Full stop.

1. Barbie Girl - Aqua

Even worse than the fact that once I hear this song, I cannot get it out of my head for several hours, is the knowledge that I will one day hear Barbie Girl in a gay bar on their festive Retro '90s Flashback Night, and the dancefloor will crowd with 25-year olds pumping their fists in not-really-ironic joy.

Now you.

Jose', Can You Si?

In 2000, I happen to be in Sacramento, the state capital, on the day of California's sesquicentennial celebration. Amidst all the pomp and circumstance of paying tribute to the state's 150th birthday, there was a sizable counter-demonstration, staged by immigration reform activists. Passing by that rally, I saw a demonstrator's sign whose message has lingered on my mind to this day.

"We didn't cross the border, the border crossed us!"

However you feel about immigration, illegal immigrants, border security, or whether the national anthem should ever be sung in Spanish, I think it's worth remembering that for a large part of this country, our Spanish heritage is much older than our English heritage. Texas, for example, has been a part of the United States for 161 years. However, the previous 320 years (or so) were spent as part of New Spain, Mexico or as the independent Republic of Texas. Ironically, while under Mexican rule, one of the most divisive issues facing Texans was that of illegal immigration from the United States.

Therefore, we should keep in mind that California, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Arizona and Texas were all part of New Spain for hundreds of years, before their relatively brief period as part of the newly independent Mexico, and then it was decades longer still before the Stars and Stripes flew over any of their capitals.

People who speak out against illegal immigration have valid concerns. But wrapping their campaign in a furious cloud of anti-Spanish sentiment is not only racist on its face, it demonstrates a really, really poor knowledge of American history.
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