Sunday, December 31, 2006
HomoQuotable - Martina Navratilova
"For the sake of the animals who will die unnecessarily in these experiments and for the many gays and lesbians who stand to be deeply offended by the social implications of these tests, I ask that you please end these studies at once."- Martina Navratilova, in a letter to Oregon State University just published on the PETA-affiliated site Stop Animal Testing, in response to research being done on sheep that is meant to help scientists learn how to alter the sexual orientation of gay animals.
Ostensibly meant to help sheep farmers who are burdened by the 10% of rams that prefer to mount other rams, the research has vast implications for gay society. If scientists can discover the "gay switch" or how to prenatally influence the sexual orientation of animals, the switch to human implementation will be immediate, widespread and unstoppable. The "homo vaccine" may be as simple as hormone patch worn during pregnancy. A real-world Twilight Of The Golds could mean the end of homosexuality in this century.
UPDATE: Biologist blogger The Next Hurrah offers an interesting defense of the research, including an interview with the scientist running the project.
Morning View - Sunday Services
Labels: Morning View
Saturday, December 30, 2006
JMG 2006 Recap - Bar, Party, Events
Here's a recap of some of the bars, events and parties that I reviewed in 2006. If I was drunk when I met you, good.
The Web (Asian young'uns and their admirers.)
The Townhouse (Rentboys and their "mature" patrons.)
O.W. Bar (Go-go boys and their tippers.)
Eight Of Clubs (Drunks and more drunks.)
Roxy (Where I act suspiciously.)
Escuelita (Latin hotties and salsa.)
Gym Bar (For the World Cup final, no less.)
Big Lug (Grand opening.)
Black Party (An epic in four parts.)
Pier Dance (Fireworks and Farmboyz.)
GB:NYC3 (Gay bloggers annual boozefest.)
Magnitude & Real Bad (Folsom 2006)
Blowoff (Mould & Morel's February party.)
XXL (Disco bears and rugby players.)
CMJ DJ Showcase (Featuring Blowoff.)
Commercial Closet Awards (Queer ad makers.)
Brooklyn Pride (Outer-borough homo-ness.)
Folsom Street East (NYC's junior version.)
Folsom Street Fair (Scary, hairy, bear-y.)
Folsom 2006 Photo Recaps: (Music and menz.)
Love Parade (Disco bunnies on parade.)
Mr. NYC Eagle (People! Please!)
Also: Some of my 2006 short stories are recapped here.
Rob, New Yorker
My pal Rob relocated to New York City earlier this year and finally made it out for drinks with us. Longtime JMG readers might remember Rob as the subject of this post. Rob and I met under the oddest of circumstances, on the beach in Fort Lauderdale in 2000, when I was in town for Winter Party. I'd dragged half of San Francisco with me and I pretty much exhausted everybody and myself, trying to make sure that all my SF boys met all my FL boys and that everybody got to see everything. The entire 8 days is just a dim, dim blur now. A treasured momento from the trip is the flyer announcing my friend, the late DJ Neil Lewis, as the headliner at Level that weekend.
Friday, December 29, 2006
I'd Like 1.2 Million Funny Hats, Please
According to the Mayor's office, there are 1.2 million tourists in the naked city this weekend, the highest weekly total in a record year that brought 44 million tourists to the Big Apple. The hotels and bars are bursting at the seams and the big moment is still more than 48 hours away. My brothers, if you can't get laid in NYC this weekend, you might as well hang it up. Me, I hung it up ages ago. Where's my claim ticket?
I'm confused. Are we supposed to cheer the imminent execution of Saddam Hussein? Or protest the barbaric method? Are we suppose to be gladdened that a dark chapter of human history is about to close? Or should we be angered that we've meddled in yet another country's internal affairs?
Pictured: 75% Of His Gay Uncles
(Above: Uncle Jeff, Uncle Michael, and Uncle Joe help Evan, age 3, put together his Lincoln Log jailhouse.) Jeff and Michael have been together for 14 years and live just outside Frankfurt, Germany, where they are legally married and enjoy all the rights and privileges therein, save co-filing their federal income tax. Uncle Scott (not pictured), Jeff's brother, is also gay and lives in London.
My sister's kids (ages 5 and 3) don't understand the relationship between Jeff and Michael just yet, of course. Their parents still spell out G-A-Y when it comes up in conversation and Jeff and Michael are never physically demonstrative in front of the kids, but otherwise it is what it is. These kids have no aunts, by the way, just four gay uncles. Four. Gay. Uncles. Consider the gifting ramifications of that, if you will.
The Big Payback
As I'm sure is the case with many of you, my love of James Brown is deep and enduring. Along with Johnny Cash, James Brown was a point of rare agreement for my father and me. My dad even did a decent impression of Brown, the high point of which was a recreation of Brown's cape schtick.
My favorite James Brown track has changed over the years. It was once 1970's Get Up ( I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine, then Get Up Offa That Thing from 1976. But I think I have finally settled on Brown's late career hit, 1974's The Big Payback. The lyric "I don't know karate, but I know kah-razy" still makes me laugh.
Take it to the bridge. Get on the good foot. Hit it one more time, James. Listen to this track and hear the genesis of Prince. The Big Payback, Polydor Records 1974. Billboard R&B #1, Pop #26. (Download 7:14.) James Brown, Make It Funky - The Big Payback - Buy.
Trivia: James Brown holds the record for the most Top 40 records without ever hitting #1.
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Orlando International is continuing with their year-long test of Fly Clear, the program in which travelers can be pre-screened for security clearance. In my 30 minutes waiting, I saw only one person use the Clear lane. He inserted his card, had his thumbprint scanned, and was waved through. The machine was set up for iris scanning also.
On the airside of the terminal, I found a Clear booth staffed by three perky employees, one of whom claimed that Fly Clear has 30,000 Orlando members . Orlando is presently the only airport offering the $100/year service, with JFK, San Jose, Cincinnati, and Indianapolis about to join in. Since JFK and MCO are my two most frequently used airports, this program might be worth it to me. Now I have to consider whether I want the government to have my biometric data.
1018 Clinton Avenue
A couple of weeks ago, I collared Aaron, the Farmboyz , and Non-Blogger Ken to accompany me to the scary wilds of inner-Newark, to see if my mother's childhood home still stood. I'd been warned that the neighborhood was very rough these days, but figured that five bearded men might look intimidating enough to ward off any trouble.
Non-Blogger Ken picked up the four of us at Newark's PATH station and we Google-mapped our way down Clinton Avenue with trepidation. After a couple of miles of burned out brownstones and debris-strewn vacant lots, I spotted my grandparent's home, still standing, and actually in pretty good shape. In fact, it has recently been renovated quite nicely. That's me above, in the red coat, standing in front of my grandparent's house, where I spent all my Christmases and summers until I was about ten years old. That tiny little attic window under the peak was my room.
In 1967, Newark was torn apart by civil unrest. The Newark race riots were horrifying. Dozens of deaths, hundreds arrested, thousands of buildings torched. I remember my mother standing in front of the television in North Carolina, with a trembling hand over her mouth as she watched the evening news. Over the next 24 months, Newark emptied of its white residents. My mother's parents, their house miraculously spared during the riots, sold their home and moved in next door to us in North Carolina, much to the anguish of my father, who immediately began plotting our own escape.
Until the five of us rolled up up on 1018 Clinton Avenue, I hadn't seen the house in 37 years. The buildings on both sides are heavily fortified with iron bars. Across the street, the green grocery where my grandmother used to send me with 35 cents to buy my grandfather a pack of cigarettes, is now Princess Jane's Authentic African Braiding. I was hard-pressed to find any identifiable landmarks from my childhood, except for Irvington Park at the end of the street, where I used to go sledding.
1018 is now a two-family home, and the upper windows were crowded with young girls who called down to us, demanding to know our identity and why we were taking pictures. A girl walking up to the house said to her friends, "Did y'all call the po-po?" Father Tony begged them to let me in to take pictures, but they politely declined. My mother would have loved to have seen some inside pictures, but still she was over the moon to see the ones that we got.
I had to wait to get home to make sure that I hadn't just forgotten them, but now it appears that my niece and nephew's Xmas presents were stolen out of my luggage, probably at my plane change in Atlanta. Ironic, considering that while waiting at the baggage carousel in Orlando, I'd been mocking the people who'd had their suitcases shrink-wrapped.
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
The City Beautiful (And Big)
Orlando, Florida, where I moved in 1971 (on the day that Disney World opened!), has as its motto The City Beautiful, which I used to find annoyingly corny as a teenager. But now, 35 years later, I have to admit that Orlando really is rather lovely, with broad clean streets, gorgeous parks, and one of the nicest downtown residential neighborhoods I've seen.
The last entry in my sixth grade diary, written in the summer of '71, while still living in rural North Carolina, says, "Tomorrow my dad finds out whether the Marine Corps is transferring us to Orlando (?), or San Francisco. PLEASE GOD let it be San Francisco, because I LOVE WILLIE MAYS!!!" True story.
But San Francisco would have to wait another 24 years before I'd darken the doorways of its sex clubs. In '71, we joined the bumper to bumper traffic streaming to Orlando, never realizing that the little seat of Orange County would soon be razing its miles of citrus groves for untold numbers of suburban McMansion developments with names like The Arbors At Lake Ivanhoe and The Fountains Of Dover Shores. Back then Orlando boasted a mere 70,000 inhabitants, but today an almost unimaginable 2 million folks crowd the "Orlando-Kissimee Metropolitan Statistical Area".
By the time I began attending Colonial High School in the fall of '74, Orlando was already bursting at the seams and the school system was greviously overloaded. A fleet of portable classrooms were parked in the fields around the school and I think I was in 11th grade before I had an actual "inside class". Today Colonial is still massive, pushing 4000 students, 75% minorities, as opposed to my day, in which the one Puerto Rican student that I can recall was considered so "exotic" by the girls, that he was voted Mr. Colonial. (I voted for him too. He was really hot.)
And back when I started at the University Of Central Florida, it was still called Florida Tech, as it was originally built in 1963 to serve as a research school to support Cape Canaveral. FTU was built in the boonies east of Orlando, as city planners expected the city to grow east, towards the Space Center. But the year after the school opened, NASA moved Mission Control to Houston, rendering the Cape as little more than a launching pad. For years, FTU languished out in the swamps, while Orlando exploded in the other direction, towards Disney World.
It's only been in the last ten years or so that the area around UCF (renamed in my sophomore year) finally built up. Today UCF is the SIXTH largest university in the United States, and is expected to be the largest within a decade, a fact which just blows my mind. Today, UCF's football team is NCAA Division 1 and plays football powerhouses like Auburn. Back when I was a student there, our team faced opponents like Fort Lauderdale Art College.
So after all the incredible growth in Orlando that I've just mentioned, you'd think that the gay scene would be just crazy, Fort Lauderdale-style almost. But it's not. The Parliament House, now in its 4th decade, is still pretty much "the" place to go. (And actually, it's still pretty fun on most days.) There's a handful of other new places, the Lava Lounge, for example. But it always amazes me that so many of the places I used to haunt decades ago are still going. Hank's. Southern Nights. Studz / Cactus Club / Silver Hammer. I may no longer be able to find my way around the new superhighways that ring The City Beautiful, but I still know where to find the homos.
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Please Pull Forward To Salvation
If you're in Orlando for the holidays, there's a still a few more days to visit the drive-thru live nativity scene. Terrence honked for the Baby Jesus and I ordered a Frosty and a small chili.
Delta Flight 1857
Male Flight Attendant (flirtaciously): Wow, that's a really big one you've got there.
MFA: I don't think I've ever seen one that big.
(Several heads turn.)
Joe: Oh, come on. You've been around.
MFA: Yeah, but I still think that's the biggest.
(More heads turn.)
Joe (embarrassed): Yeah, um...everybody likes it.
MFA: Me too! But you really shouldn't have that huge thing out right now....
(All heads turn.)
Propping his hand on the back of my seat, he reaches down between my legs, and slowly...closes my laptop.
MFA: ...because we're about to land.
Morning View - A Tropical Xmas
A violent Xmas Day storm ripped through Orlando yesterday morning, with a tornado hitting nearby Volusia County. The storm cost my sister one of her banana trees, so I told her kids that Santa must have clipped it with his sleigh. The three year old: "Santa needs to drive better!"
Labels: Morning View
Monday, December 25, 2006
Saturday, December 23, 2006
Dance Of The Sugar Plum Lesbians
This story makes its 3rd annual appearance on JMG....
Grand Central Terminal functions as the mechanical heart of midtown New York City, pumping out several thousand workers and tourists on one beat, then sucking in several thousand more on the next.
The rhythms of the terminal are fascinating.
Beat. Four thousand, inbound from New Haven.
Beat. Three thousand, outbound to Westchester.
Worlds collide on the main floor.
The tourists gawk up at the gloriously ornate ceiling and uselessly flash their digital cameras at objects hundreds of feet away.
The commuters rush up to the track displays to determine their track number, then dart across the terminal floor, dodging the milling tourists, heads down, like running backs heading for the end zone.
It's mesmerizing. It's majestic.
And sometimes, like tonight, it's magical.
I'm walking through the massive main room just as the holiday laser show begins on the ceiling. To the tune of Take The "A" Train, the laser depicts two trains arriving from different directions. The trains stop opposite each other, and a reindeer leaps out of each one and crosses over to the opposite train.
The laser traces the outline of one of the zodiac constellations painted on the ceiling, and the Cancer crab leaps to life and becomes the Crab Conductor, waddling down the center aisle of the car, punching the reindeers' ticket stubs with his claws.
I move over to the edge of the room, near the entrance for Track 25, so I can watch the reaction to the show. As usual, I'm more entertained by watching the audience than by watching the actual show.
At the ticket windows, standing in front of signs that say "Harlem Line" or "Hudson Line", commuters tilt their heads painfully back to view the show directly overhead. The tourists cluster in delighted circles, holding each others' elbows for balance as they nearly bend over backwards.
Some people move to the edges of the great hall, as I have, to remove themselves from the traffic flow while they watch. Among those that come to join me on the perimeter of the room is a lesbian couple. They stand quite close to me, the taller woman behind the shorter one, with her arms wrapped around her, supporting her a bit, as they both lean back on the marble wall.
The shorter woman is stout, with a large firm chest. Her hair is short and brushed back into what might have once been called a ducktail. She has an ornate tattoo on her left forearm, and she has a leather wallet protruding from the rear pocket of her jeans, attached to her leather belt by a short silver chain. She has more than a passing resemblence to Tony Danza, her big boobs nothwithstanding, so naturally (in my head) I name her Toni.
Toni's girlfriend is blond, her short ponytail dangles just above her collar. She is wearing long Christmas tree earrings, which nearly brush her shoulders. Her lanky, sinewy limbs are bound in a tight running outfit, over which she is wearing a school athletic jacket. I imagine that she might be a coach at Yale or Harvard, perhaps a girls lacrosse coach, or maybe track and field.
Coach is squeezing Toni tightly, and they bounce together to the music a bit. Coach looks over at me and catches me smiling. She nudges Toni, who looks over at me too, and we all grin goofily at each other for a moment.
Overhead, a new show begins. The familiar opening notes of Tchaikovsky's Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairies ring out as the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building sprout arms, bow to each other, and begin waltzing across the ceiling.
I look around the room and it's as if time was frozen for just a second, every person stopped in mid-stride, eyes cast upward, mouths open in silent joy.
Toni pushes away from Coach, turns around and delivers her a bow as deep and as elegant as the one just depicted overheard.
"Madame, may I please have this dance?" she asks Coach.
Coach looks around a bit awkwardly, "You are TOO much!" And she giggles.
"Madame, I must insist!," says Toni, as she takes Coach's hands into hers.
Coach relents and she and Toni begin a beautful, slow waltz, moving in half-time to the music. As you might have guessed already, Toni leads.
As they dance, their eyes remain locked on each other. Toni is giving Coach an intense look, her lips tightly curled into a satisfied smile. Coach is grinning from ear to ear, and again she giggles.
All around Coach and Toni, the tourists, the businessmen, the students, the conductors, even the guy with a broom, they're all watching. Some are expressionless, but more are smiling, and some of them...some of them are frantically fussing with their cameras, eager to capture this magical New York Moment.
Serendipity prevails, the tune ends, and Toni dips Coach backwards with a dramatic upsweep of her free arm as a firestorm of camera flashes erupt around them. Toni pulls Coach up and close to her, and they hug. There's another camera flash, and the crowd begins to move along.
The laser show is being concluded with giant sprigs of mistletoe appearing over our heads. This time, it's Coach who bends down and plants a long tender kiss on Toni's non-lipsticked mouth. There's another flash of cameras from the delighted audience.
Toni takes Coach's hand, and they begin to move off towards the exit.
"Oh, don't stop yet!" says a disappointed woman, still rummaging for her camera.
Toni looks back over her shoulder and says, "I never will."
The mechanical heart of New York City, Grand Central Terminal, beats again, but this time I hear a different rhythm. This time I hear a double beat.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYBODY!
Friday, December 22, 2006
Drag Queen Denounces Gay Marriage
An elderly transvestite wearing a stunning jewel-encrusted gown vehemently spoke against gay marriage today, saying, "If I can't happily nail the sweet, sweet can of any prepubescent boy that I want, then nobody else deserves to be happy either." And with that, he broke into a tortured lip-sync performance of Kim Weston's It Should Have Been Me.
Dueling Divas Download:
Kim Weston -It Should Have Been Me (Tamla/Motown 1963)
Gladys Knight -It Should Have Been Me (Tamla/Motown 1968)
Yvonne Fair -It Should Have Been Me (Tamla/Motown 1975)
Instant Disco History #11 - Disco Xmas
No holiday has been more discofied than Xmas. Disco Jingle Bells. Disco Rudolph. Disco Shitty Gift Card From A Store I'd Never Shop In. Here's a few of my favorites.
Weather Girls - Dear Santa, Bring Me A Man This Christmas (Columbia Records, 1986) - I'd listen to Martha and (the sadly late) Izora sing the phone book, but actually this song is a pretty great take on their classic, It's Raining Men. Place him under my tree, Mr. C! (Download 6:26)
Holiday Express - Disco Santa (Casablanca Records 1983). The Village People classics YMCA and Macho Man get yuled up. N-O-E-L. How do you make an "N"? (Download 3:34)
Roller Disco Orchestra - Winter Wonderland (Hallmark Records 1986). Cheezy vocals for days, but this track has some nice orchestration, sharp horns and lovely strings too. (Download 3:29)
Charo - Mamacita, Donde Esta Santa Claus? (Salsoul Records 1978). It's not Xmas without Charo. Just isn't. When I lived in sweltering South Florida, I used to hear this ten times a day on Power 96. (Download 5:39)
Boney M - Feliz Navidad (Hansa Records 1986). I love Boney M. They are the only act to have two songs in England's all-time Top Ten singles. And one of those songs was a Xmas record. And this ain't it. Get out the crackers, here comes the cheese. (Download 2:22)
Salsoul Orchestra - Sleigh Ride (Salsoul Records 1976). A lovely loping little confection. (Download 3:04)
Salsoul Orchestra - Christmas Medley (Salsoul Records 1976). From 30 years ago, this is the original Xmas disco track and it is still considered by many to be the best. I've heard it two dozen times on the radio in the last two weeks. (Download 12:12)
Thursday, December 21, 2006
JMG 2006 Recap - Short Stories
I wrote about 25 short stories for JMG in 2006. Some were quite short, and some of them came in several installments that stretched over weeks. Here are some favorites, judging by reader response, with a TV Guide-ish description.
Ricky Loved Madonna - Birthdays, anniversaries, and AIDS.
My Gaydar Is Not 20/20 - I get outed as a big homo on ABC.
A Note Of Thanks - Madonna & The Tall Queen.
The East Bay Mind Fuck - I learn how to get good head.
Daddy's Boy - My friend takes his adult son to the Eagle.
Little Man & The Mayor - A man, a dog, and a memory.
On The Line - I get hit on, on the subway.
Bike - A new bike and a sad ride.
Diner Life - Real world economics.
Backfired - Karma strikes.
Guilty/Runner And Crier -Hard for me to write.Harder to read.
Helen:Yes! Kiki: No.
Last night, Aaron, Tom, David and I attended the debut WYSIWYG performance of our own Helen Damnation, who opened the show with a riotous recounting of her need to find a place to pee in Times Square. After the show, emcee Chris Hampton hipped me that Kiki & Herb were performing a surprise Xmas show at Happy Valley, following their sold-out show at the Bowery Ballroom. But dammit, I was feeling a bit feverish and had to go home. Another year that I've missed the Kiki & Herb Xmas Show. There truly is no Santa Claus.
Dubya? Is That YOU?
"I've always said that we ought to review law to make sure that people are treated fairly." - George W. Bush, when asked if there are any changes in the law that he would support that would give same-sex couples more legal rights, such as those involving hospital visitation and insurance benefits. Regarding Mary Cheney, he said, " I know Mary, and I like her, and I know she's going to be a fine, loving mother." - (via Advocate.com)
Murphy's 1996 Apology
In reference to yesterday's post about Dreamgirls, many thanks to Rebecca in Toronto who dug up Eddie Murphy's 1996 apology for his anti-gay and AIDS routines, which is also published in tomorrow's Bay Area Reporter (in a little pre-release damage control, I suspect).
"I deeply regret any pain all this has caused. Just like the rest of the world, I am more educated about AIDS in 1996 than I was in 1981. I think it is unfair to take the words of a misinformed 21-year-old and apply them to an informed 35-year-old man. I know how serious an issue AIDS is the world over. I know that AIDS isn't funny. It's 1996 and I'm a lot smarter about AIDS now.
I am not homophobic and I am not anti-gay. My wife and I have donated both time and money to AIDS research. I've had people close to me die from the disease as well. I don't know a person who hasn't been touched in some way by this disease. Everybody knows somebody who is sick. Black people have been hit harder by this disease than any other group of people on the planet.''
Everybody will come to their own conclusion on this issue, but I think it's fairly settled for me. What do you think?
Morning View - Park & 36th
The morning sun is just hitting the MetLife, with Grand Central below still in shadow.
Labels: Morning View
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Celebrity Encounter: Robin Byrd
Monday night, I had a nice chat with NYC cable access legend Robin Byrd, as we both waited for our take-out Chinese food on the Upper East Side. I've seen her walking her dog on 68th Street many times, but only realized then who she was.
Robin is a legend in NYC for her long-running and raunchy cable-access Robin Byrd Show, which features complete male and female nudity and simulated sex and runs unscrambled on a lower-tier cable channel. In the late 70's, Time-Warner's former incarnation, Manhattan Cable, tried to force Byrd to scramble her show, with only subscribers who wrote to the company to be allowed to view it, forcing Byrd to the U.S. Supreme Court, where she prevailed. When I first saw the Robin Bryd Show, I was floored that it was on television at all, much less free and unscrambled. Watching the show became a must-do part of all my visits to New York City. The show still plays today in reruns.
Robin was charming in person, introducing me to her Yorkie, Om. We chatted about Fire Island, where I mentioned having met her once, years ago. She graciously lied, "Oh, yes! Of course." Her show is about to hit its 30 year anniversary and she shook her head as if she couldn't believe it herself. The conversation turned to sex clubs in the 70's (as they so often do when you are talking with somebody who was in Debbie Does Dallas) and Robin made me laugh with a cute story about having cruised herself in the mirror at the infamous Plato's Retreat. "I saw this hot girl and I thought, 'Wow, I'll do her!'"
I couldn't leave with my sweet-n-sour chicken without mentioning one of my favorite parts of Robin's show, the ads for phone sex lines, and I recited my all-time fav, the ad for 976-PEEE. "That's 976-P-E-E-E! The extra E is for extra pee!" That made her laugh.
The Robin Byrd Show plays nightly on Time-Warner Cable channel 35.
Sting Of Murphy's Jokes Linger
With Eddie Murphy's Dreamgirls performance earning Oscar hype, a letter writer to San Francisco's Bay Area Reporter reminds an eager gay audience that during the early years of the AIDS epidemic, Murphy's routine contained lots of cruel jokes:
I'm sure that many of the B.A.R. 's readers are old enough to remember that in 1983, as the AIDS epidemic was ravishing San Francisco, New York, and other gay "centers," as many of us watched and ached with horror and fear as friends around us dropped like flies from the disease, Eddie Murphy was making untold millions of dollars with his stand-up "comedy" routine which prominently featured endless AIDS "jokes."
When he was confronted in an interview in Rolling Stone magazine about the controversy surrounding his routine and his refusal to change it, Mr. Murphy replied, "If the faggots don't like it, they can kiss my black ass!" (As a side note here, in my letter to Rolling Stone, published a couple of issues later, I offered, "Kiss your black ass, Eddie? Sure! As soon as you get your head out of it!")
Every gay person who considers going to see Dreamgirls should first consider that some part of their $10 admission will end up in the pocket of this ignorant, homophobic, racist head-in-ass idiot who thinks that the suffering and deaths of "faggots" is appropriate fodder for "comedy."
Yes, Dreamgirls is on its way to San Francisco.
And I am telling you, I'm not going. You shouldn't either.
I had forgotten all about that and it had infuriated me at the time. In 1987, I was working for AMC Theatres during the run of Murphy's smash concert movie Raw, and it used to sicken and enrage me to witness my customers hooting and pumping their fists in the air during those jokes. Maybe all those tranny hookers he's been giving rides to have changed his mind? I'll have to think about this.
Related: Here's a fascinating look at those days: The Plague Goes Public.
Long Live The New Flesh
After being kept up half the night by a clanking, hissing radiator, watching Videodrome at 3AM is not exactly a good way to lull yourself back to sleep. Two decades later and that movie still freaks my shit entirely out.
Gap, Gap, Old Navy, Gap
After yesterday's bitchy reference to Paramus (in the post below), it's amusing to see a front page story in today's NY Times mention that the malls in Paramus collectively gross more in retail sales than the entire gross domestic product of Cambodia. This, in a town of only 27,000, vs Cambodia's 13 million. Amazing.
Morning View - Fifth & 42nd
Labels: Morning View
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Here On The Island Of Misfit Goys
...As I predicted, NYC's legendary Limelight nightclub (left) will be turned into a mini-mall . Misty, water-colored memories of Paramus. Speculation is that the primary tenant will be H&M.
...The cart license to sell hot dogs on the steps of the Met is now $326,000 a year. Less, if you are OK with parking your cart in one of the hi-stabbing zones in Central Park.
...Grand Central Terminal has ditched their classic holiday laser ceiling show for a massive projection display (left, embiggen make pretty) that throws taxi, train track, and turnstyle images all over the walls. It's very cool, but I think I'd hate to be sitting in those fancy restaurants in the balconies. It's like eating under the SuperTrooper at Roxy.
...The hottest cops in NYC have all been assigned duty in Times Square this week. I have no proof of this, I'm just thinking that somebody at NYPD knows where the tourists are right now, and they are making things very pretty-pretty for all those cameras. If you're in Times Square, make sure to get a look at Officer Hottie McPackage, working the corner of Broadway & 45th for the last few days. I'm just sayin'!
Monday, December 18, 2006
Queer Of The Year Readers Poll Open
Below are your finalists, with links at the bottom that will take you to full descriptions of each candidate. I encourage you to read about anybody with whom are you not familiar. Then vote!
Bloggers joining in: Alexander Chee, Tumble Dry, Dan Savage, Towleroad, BlogActive, Pam's House Blend, Uffish, Manhattan Offender, By The Bayou, Q Triad Blog, Equality MySpace Blog, Pagan Science Monitor, High Maintenance Hags, Moncrief Speaks, Confessions Of A Southern Boy, Boy Culture, Mad Professah.
The Judges Decloak
The judges in our Queer Of The Year Readers Poll spent the weekend in heated battle as they reviewed your nominations and pleaded the cases of their favorites to each other. At one point a conference call was proposed, but that idea got tabled after a hundred or so rounds of "Reply To All" emails. Consensus was difficult to achieve, but finally arrived in the form of a sixth finalist, as all judges were loathe to lop off any of their favorites. Therefore, voting on the SIX finalists for Queer Of The Year will commence shortly.
Listed below, in no particular order, are the judges' self-penned bios. As you may have guessed, all are fellow bloggers. They live in three time zones and and range in age from 20's to 50's, so I think we got a nicely wide spectrum of gay experiences and perspectives. They are an inspirational group and I thank them for their hard work on this project.
- GayProf. As his unimaginative moniker implies, GayProf is a gay professor. He teaches courses on race, gender, and sexuality in United States history. He is currently on-loan to a greater-Boston-area institute, kinda like a museum piece. His blog, Center Of Gravitas, is distinctive for his Wonder Woman fixation.We try not to talk about it too much.
- Chris Hampton has been blogging at Uffish Thoughts since blogging wasn't cool. By day, she works at a Big Gay Nonprofit, and in her spare time she curates and emcees the WYSIWYG Talent Show, an all-blogger reading and performance series that has been going strong in NYC for almost three years now. She grew up in Arkansas but has since fully recovered.
- John Whiteside, who started out in New England and now calls Houston, Texas home, has been blogging at By the Bayou for longer than he cares to admit. He also writes a reader blog on the Houston Chronicle web site called Blue Bayou, where he does his part to spread the word about progressive politics and gay issues in the Lone Star State.
- Chris Brandon is TIME magazine's Person of the Year. He is the proprietor of the weblog boysbriefs and a frequent contributor to user-generated sites like Flickr,Wikipedia and Digg.com. He and his boyfriend recently moved to Phoenix, Arizona, to live with their two dogs in an historic home. Hemisses the city.
- Richard Rothstein. Public relations expert by day, blogger by night, Richard Rothstein spends most of his free time trying to be half the man his dogs believe him to be. Biggest fear: his clients will discover his blog and he'll have to spend his final days living off his cache of Jew gold.
Again, huge thanks to the judges!
Ibuprofen, You Are A Friend Of Mine
Another round of holiday parties were knocked out this weekend. Saturday night, the Farmboyz and I attended a mobbed party on the 18th floor of a Garment District office tower, where the hosts have held onto an old unfinished apartment for decades, despite the rest of the building turning into commercial space. With rough concrete floors and floor to ceiling views of the Chrysler Building and the New York Life tower, it was the sort of shabby/chic apartment that I'd often imagined that I might have if I ever lived in New York. (Like the one Jennifer Beals lived in in Flashdance, just not in Pittsburgh. Also, this one didn't have that cool freight elevator with roll-up gate thingy.)
Within a hour of our arrival, the crowd had swelled to over 100 guys and the two rolling coatcheck racks were full of peacoats and Nicole Miller. All black, natch. We ran into the always charming Eric and a posse of Time/CNN/Fox News guys. I never can remember which one works where, it seems they are always jumping ship from one to the other. I caught up with super-smartie Time critic Richard Lacayo and managed to fudge my way past forgetting his boyfriend's name. Again. Oy. After the party, we hiked the dozen blocks across town to find the Eagle bursting at the seams with seaminess. I abandoned the Farmboyz after only one beer, as we'd all overimbibed at the party. In fact, the next morning Father Tony reported finding photos on his camera that none of us could recall having posed for.
Sunday afternoon, the Farmboyz and I were hosted by the erudite RJ Keefe and his lovely wife Kathleen, who gathered together a quite lively and interesting group of folks, mostly strangers to one another. I met one of RJ's favorite bloggers, a fascinating fellow who reads JMG, but since my knowledge of French begins and ends with a certain Patti Labelle song, I can't reciprocate, which is regretablel, as we bonded over our mutual love of City Of Night and Gordon Merrick novels. As happens at all Manhattan parties, everyone ended up in a tight circle discussing real estate, "market value" being the phrase of the day.
After RJ's party broke up, Father Tony and I grabbed a cab to the Dugout, nearly choking on the $24 fare, courtesy of the latest "waiting time" increase. Ack, it used to be about $16 from my place to Christopher Street! Two hours at the Dugout, then began the cab caravan up to the Eagle, where DJ Paul Ferrer was in top form. I think I asked him about three songs and forgot all three titles immediately. (Check out Paul's Flickr account, as he's uploaded the last three years of his always-hot, often hilarious Sunday beer bust invitations. Totally NSFW!)
Morning View - Roosevelt Island Tram
Favorite quotes of the weekend:
-Upon entering the Eagle, which is lavishly decorated for the holidays, Lil Pony remarked, "This place smells like sex. And Christmas!"
-At the Dugout: "I asked Father Tony what the sickest thing was he ever heard while taking confession, but he won't tell me because he won't violate that sacrament. But apparently, he has no problem with that whole no-cock-sucking sacrament."
Sunday, 2nd Avenue, Upper East Side
I'm looking in the window of a real estate office, daydreaming about all the fabulous apartments impossibly out of my reach. The ads in the window scream the attributes of the listings: Penthouse! Unrestricted park views! No coop approval! Spacious junior one-bedroom! 400 square feet! Full time concierge!
Two women next to me are clucking over and dismissing each offering. As I turn to walk away, one of them points at one of the photos and exclaims, "This one is actually pretty good. Oh, but UGH, that kitchen is totally unworkable." The other woman leans in to took and wrinkles her nose, then says, "Well, what do you expect for 3.4?"
That would be 3.4 million. Dollars. Which apparently doesn't even get you a "workable" kitchen, according to the ladies of the Upper East Side.
Friday, December 15, 2006
Last Call For QOTY
If you haven't added your choice to our Queer Of The Year Readers Poll nominations list, you've got until the end of today (Friday). This weekend, our "cabal of evil judges" will mull, sift, sort, and review the many names submitted. Using a mysterious process known only to them (I'm guessing: arguing) they will return their list of five finalists to me for voting beginning Monday.
HomoQuotable - Japhy Grant
"Like Cinderella in reverse, Mario [Perez Hilton], once a bespectacled cardigan-wearing hipster, has transformed into Perez, who saunters through Hollywood parties in a satin pantsuit with his name embroidered on the back. In a very real way, he's a modern-day Stepin Fetchit, cheerfully describing himself as a "media whore" for hire. The mainstream entertainment press, be it "E.T." or "Good Morning America," is happy to have him until the next bleached-blond, sequined caricature comes along to talk about the sex lives of former American Idols." - Japhy Grant, in a Salon article that eviscerates Hilton while detailing his impact and influence on Hollywood image-peddlers.
(HT to Chris and Bryce for link.)
Gay Youth Homeless: 500,000+
The National Gay & Lesbian Task Force has released a report titled An Epidemic Of Homelessness which estimates that there are 8400 homeless youth in NYC who are gay, lesbian or transgendered. The report estimates that 42%, more than half a million, of all homeless youth nationwide are LGBT.
From the report:
Family conflict, including conflict over a youth’s sexual orientation or gender identity, is the primary cause for young people becoming homeless. In one study, 50 percent of gay male teens who came out to their parents experienced a negative reaction and 26 percent of them were told they must leave home.
LGBT youth report experiencing discrimination, harassment and violence at shelters and service providers. For example, one facility in Michigan forced youth who identified as or were perceived as being LGBT to wear orange jumpsuits.
LGBT homeless youth are more likely to suffer from mental health issues and substance abuse than are their heterosexual peers, and are more likely to be victimized by sexual predators.
There are a total of 65 beds in homeless shelters devoted to gay youth in NYC.
UPDATE: Please consider making a holiday donation to the Ali Forney Center, a homeless shelter for LGBT youth named for a homeless teen who was murdered on the streets of New York in 1997.
9 Million And All On My Train
(Above: New Amsterdam, 1660) New York City is expected to add another million residents in the next 25 years and among the suggestions for raising revenues presented to the mayor are charging residents by the pound for the trash they throw out, and charging people to drive into Manhattan, south of 59th Street. (London has similar "congestion pricing".) The city is already building another desperately needed subway line on Manhattan's east side. Like Jenny from the block, I'm on the 6 (train), the most traveled line in the city, famously carrying more riders than the combined entire systems of Boston, Chicago and DC, all on my train. Another million people, I can already feeling them pushing.
Morning View - Empire City Iron Works
Empire City Iron Works in Long Island City, Queens, seems to pretty much be a junkyard, but I like their sign.
Labels: Morning View
Clever Title Using "Wii" In Place Of "We"
I haven't attempted a video game since I last put a quarter into a rickety Donkey Kong machine at the Parliament House, circa 1983, but I'll admit that I'm kinda intrigued by the Wii, despite all the news reports of injuries and remotes crashing through television screens.
Update: Uberblogger Jockohomo just hipped me to the news the Nintendo is offering free stronger replacement straps to anybody that wants one.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Yesterday's news of a U.S. study conducted in Africa revealing that male circumcision may cut (ahem) HIV infections by 50% for men who have unprotected sex with women, is interesting. The researchers stopped the study before it was completed, citing ethicial problems with continuing the experiment in the face of early overwhelming evidence that circumcised men had a much lower rate of infection. Apparently, the skin cells that lie under a man's foreskin are especially susceptible to the HIV virus, making it easier for women to pass to virus to their male partners. Other studies of this sort have been done in recent years, but this is the most compelling. All of the men in the study have now been offered circumcision, with 80% agreeing.
What does this mean to gay men? Possibly, not much. Evidence thus far has pointed to the bulk of risk during gay sex being to the receptive partner. Will American doctors now recommend that U.S. gay men also get circumcised? That recommendation would presume a lack of condom usage, and I think some would say it would be a defacto encouragement of barebacking for circumcized tops. Or would it just fall under the umbrella of "harm reduction"? Will this new information presage a lessening of the fetishization of uncut men here?
PhoboQuotable - Rev. Vincent Fields
"We curse the spirit that would come to bring about same-sex marriage. We ask you to just look over this place today, cause them to be shaken in their very heart in uprightness, Lord, to do that is right before you." - Rev. Vincent Fields during his fucking invocation at the New Jersey state legislature. Kids, THIS is why the church needs to be taxed.
Give the good Rev a piece of your mind: 609-407-7117.
Morning View - Nothing!
Nothing to see here, move along. Because the THREE YEAR bomb-barrier project around Grand Central Terminal is finally completed. As nerve-wracking as the jackhammers have been for the zillion office drones up here on the umpteenth floors, imagine working in the dozens of the shops and restaurants that line the subterranean level of the terminal, under 42nd and Vanderbilt streets. Of course, now we have to deal the almost equally annoying Salvation Army bell ringers.
Labels: Morning View
Chopper Vs. Cab
Yesterday, Aaron pointed out to me that the airport helicopter service from downtown NYC is running a holiday special, only $99 to JFK. The new flat taxi fare to JFK is $45 from Manhattan. So a taxi ride (plus toll and tip) will run about $60-65, which makes the chopper ride seem like a really fun and reasonable splurge. Plus, it's only an 8-minute ride, versus 1-2 hours in a cab. Hmmm.
Open Thread Thursday
G'head. Brag a little.
Labels: Open Thread Thursday
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
HomoQuotable- Dan Savage
"Have you gotten a good look at Heather Poe, Mary Cheney's partner of 15 years? My son has two fathers, but Heather Poe's left labial lip is butcher than both of us put together." - Sex advice columnist Dan Savage, responding to critics who claim that Mary Cheney's baby will lack for masculine role models.
This morning while channel surfing over breakfast, three different news channels mentioned a new study from Consumer Reports which reveals that expensive designer anti-wrinkle creams are out-performed by the cheapest skin creams, with drugstore brand Olay Regenerist, at $19, being shown to be more effective than upscale glop that sells for hundreds of dollars an ounce.
What none of the tv stories reported was the part of the study that reported that NONE of the products actually worked to reduce wrinkles and fine lines more than 10%, "a change barely visible to the naked eye." Consumer Reports: "The tests revealed that, on average, these products made little difference in the skin's appearance."
So essentially, everybody is wasting their time and money and I feel a little bit better about my own skin care regimen, which is this: Sometimes, in the shower, I let the water hit my face.
Great Review For Anthology
Christmas In New York
Sitting in a Times Square fast-food outlet, I'm being coyly flirted with by the Latino trannies sitting across the booth-divider. Yes, I'm doing fine tonight, thanks for asking. The West African staff is serving up traditional Japanese dishes, all of which come with Brooklyn cheesecake or Cuban flan, your choice. German tourists sit hunched over their meals, excitedly showing each other the screens of their digital camera and shouting to be heard over the restaurant's sound system, which is presently pumping out the bossa nova version of We Wish You A Merry Christmas. Occasionally, I can hear the steel drum band out on 42nd Street, Jingle Bells rendered through a Bahamian filter. Behind their drums, a crowd is lined up at the world's busiest movie theatre, waiting to see a movie about Mayan cannibals. I pick up my tray and survey the scene around me one more time. A holiday painting from Norman Rockwell, this is not. Cool.
Morning View - Madison Square
Looking north from just in front of the Flatiron Building at the intersection of 23rd Street and Madison. To the right is Madison Square, the former location of Madison Square Garden, now illogically located 11 blocks uptown, above Penn Station. I took this pic a few weeks ago when there were still leaves on the trees. I've always thought this intersection to be the best in the city for viewing landmarks.
Labels: Morning View
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Queer Of The Year Nominations Continue
Nominations continue to roll in for our Queer Of The Year Readers Poll. Above, in no particular order, are some the folks you've nominated so far.
Top row: Talk show host Rosie O'Donnell, Former NJ Governor Jim McGreevey, Human Rights Campaign head Joe Solmonese.
2nd Row: Disgraced televangelical Ted Haggard, philanthropist and political fundraiser Tim Gill, the Vice President's daughter, Mary Cheney.
3rd Row: Haggard outer Mike Jones, Foley outer Lane Hudson, anti-Ex-Gay activist Wayne Besen.
4th Row: Activist/ anti-gay pol outer Mike Rogers, disgraced Rep. Mark Foley, the late Laurel Hester, posthumous winner in benefits battle.
Which queer person do you think most advanced the state of gay rights in 2006, either willingly or unwillingly? If you haven't made your nomination yet, please do so. The judges will evaluate the submissions after nominations close at midnight on Friday and voting on their five finalists will begin on Monday.
AHF Hard On Viagra
AIDS Healthcare Foundation launches an anti-Pfizer campaign tomorrow, claiming that Pfizer, the maker of Viagra, is encouraging "recreational use" with its advertising and enabling the spread of HIV. Aside from my quibble over the usage of the word "recreational" (only hookers and porn stars use it for work), I too have always contended that the crystal epidemic only really exploded when Viagra came upon the scene in early '98. By the end of that year, almost everybody I knew was doing crystal. That said, I think the AHF is wasting its breath. The Viagra ads don't seem to speak to gay men at all and I know they've never advertised in gay press. I understand why they are singling out Viagra, it's the first, biggest, and best known of the ED drugs, but ads for Cialis and Levitra seem fairly indistinguishable from those of Viagra.
Monday, December 11, 2006
Because Bald Men Will Never Be Topped By Bodybuilders In An Interracial Threeway In The Fire Island Meatrack
This ridiculous ad for Blair Hair Replacement comes courtesy of this week's HX Magazine. Note how the "dick" literally runs away from the bald guy, screaming, "Ewww! God, he looks like my Dad!" Also, notice how the hairweave transforms him from a decorated capri-wearing troll into a square-cut stud. Good thing we've got that tattoo to go by, or we'd never believe it was the same guy! So.Much.Wrong.Here. I can't summon the energy. You do it. Go crazy.
HomoQuotable - Paul Barnes
"I can't tell you the number of nights I have cried myself to sleep, begging God to take this away." - Paul Barnes, yet another Colorado megachurch pastor who resigned today after being threatened with outing. Barnes' wife claimed to have had no idea of her husband's homosexuality, but added, "The poppers I kept finding should have tipped me off."
He's Not Going, OK?
PSB Vs. Madonna
Pet Shop Boys received two Grammy nominations last week, Best Electronic/Dance Album, for Fundamental, and Best Dance Recording, for the single I'm With Stupid, which is curiously running against Madonna's Get Together, which came out in 2005. Dixie Chick's blistering anti-Bush tirade Not Ready To Make Nice is nominated for Record Of the Year, a lost cause againt Gnarls Barkley's Crazy. Hilariously, Black-Eyed Peas My Humps is nominated for Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group. Yes, you read that right.
Morning View - Met Life Entrance
Sunday, December 10, 2006
North Pole Dancers
Scores, the NYC titty-bar landmark, has raised thousands of dollars it wishes to donate to those in need this holiday season, but has been turned away by dozens of charities. Scores is well-known to Gotham homos, as it is a neighbor of Chelsea's NYC Eagle, and even hosted a Folsom Street East t-dance. Hey, how about some well-connected Gay out there putting Scores together with a deserving pediatric AIDS service? Seriously!
Yesterday, Nonblogger Ken, the Farmboyz, Aaron and I spent the day in interesting Newark, New Jersey, the ancestral homeland of my parents and grandparents. We had lunch at a fantastic Mexican place in Newark's Ironbound District, where we communicated to the staff primarily with pointing and waving arms. We were especially charmed by the restaurant's large statue of the BVM poised in the window, clutching a fistful of money, prompting Aaron to say, "One thing I like about Our Lady of Guadeloupe is that she is all about the Benjamins."
It felt oddly good to be back in the Motherland. I shall return again one day and pay proper tribute to my ancestors, donning the colorful costume and performing the native ritual dance, which, for utmost authenticity, must be performed in a drunken stagger, preferably near a dumpster in the rear of a liquor store. Luckily, there are many, many places in Newark in which this can be accomplished.
Friday, December 08, 2006
PhoboQuotable - Paul Cameron
"The child will disproportionately associate with homosexuals – who are as a class considerably more apt to have STDs and a criminal history, be interested in sex with children, involved in substance abuse, etc." - Dr. Paul Cameron, Chairman, Family Research Institute, and Bush/Cheney croney, from a press release speaking out against Mary Cheney's unborn child. (How ya like yer ole buddy now, Dick?)
(via - Proceed At Your Own Risk.)
Now go check out Dan Savage's brilliant point-by-point refutation of Cameron's statement.
By the way, if you'd like to give "Dr." Cameron a ringy-dingy, his personal cell is 303-886-1947. It's the weekend, put it in your cell now. Cuz, tomorrow night? DRUNK DIAL CITY!
Queer Of The Year Readers Poll
Nominations begin today in the Queer Of The Year Readers Poll. Please submit your answer to this question:
"Which queer person most advanced the state of the gay rights movement in 2006?"
Nominations will close on Friday, December 15th. That weekend, a small group of judges will cull the list of nominees and present five finalists for open voting, which will begin Monday, December 18 and end on Sunday, December 31st. The winner will be revealed on Wednesday, January 3rd, 2007.
2006 has been a fascinating, maddening, heartening year. Many (some would say, most) of the highest profile queer news events have arisen from scandal. You are welcome to consider whether the persons involved in these scandals may have unwittingly or unwillingly contributed to the advance of gay rights by exposing hypocrisy, cynicism, or discrimination.
The QOTY Poll judges are a handful of dedicated queers whose vocations or avocations involve a passion for gay rights activism. They are male and female, gay and bisexual. They include writers, a civil rights activist, and an academecian. I am not a judge.
Bloggers are welcome to present this poll to their readers. Nominations will be collected here, for the convenience of the judges, but when voting begins I will provide the poll coding to anybody that wants to run the poll on their own sites. Give me a heads-up if you post about QOTY and I will link back to you here.
Now let's have some fun!
Blogs joining in: Real Ethical Slut, The Brother Love, AOL Worth Repeating, Center Of Gravitas, High Maintenance Hags, Lexx's Nexus, Ham & Cheese On Wry, Pam's House Blend, Troubled Diva, Page One Q, Uffish, Confessions Of A Southern Boy, Proceed At Your Own Risk, Queer Beacon, Chris Tuttle, Oh My Charlotte.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
HomoQuotable - Michael Musto
"Leaving her out is like advertising a sandwich with "Lettuce! Mayo! Salt!" - Michael Musto, complaining that posters for Dreamgirls feature Beyonce', Jamie Foxx, and Eddie Murphy, but not the film's showstopper, Jennifer Hudson, whose performance is apparently so thrilling that it inspired a MID-screening standing ovation at Tuesday's premiere in NYC.
However, before you show-queens get too aquiver regarding Miss Hudson, know that she is a born-again Christer who feels that homosexuality is a sin, an opinion she glibly glosses over with, "No sin is greater than another", cuz hey, she IS the headliner at a New Year's Eve $ircuit party here in NYC. Kah-ching!
RELATED: An interesting debate re Hudson is going on at Towleroad, where Hudson has released a statement, outing her sister. The statement definitely makes me rethink the above paragraph. (Tip via Chris @ Boy's Briefs).
The Jesus And Mary Cheney
Man, how I wish I'd thought of the above headline myself. Wonkette, I bow to you.
Wing Nuts Daily
I love WorldNetDaily. The headlines are high-larry-us!
Is carrying firearms 'Christian'?
New book offers biblical justification for packing heat
It's right there in the Book Of Uzi, people.
Doctors: Kids see too many anti-impotence commercials
Warn 'ads for erectile dysfunction drugs ... make sex seem like a recreational activity'
Cuz fucking is work. Punch in, punch out.
Terrorists rejoicing over new Iraq 'plan'
Reaction to Study Group: 'Allah and his angels' responsible, 'era of Islam and of jihad' declared
Fact: Christers love scare quotes.
Regular reading of WND would lead one to believe that:
a) Christians are *this* close from being herding onto railcars.
b) The world is *this* close to coming to an end.
c) It will be fantastic when the world comes to an end.
Of course, you're not meant to make note of the logical disconnect between daily hysteria about the imminent end times and the fact that ALL of the advertising on the site (most of which is brazenly posted as news items) are about retirement funds, long-term annuities, and loads of anti-aging and longevity snake oils.
Seriously, folks. You need to bookmark World Net Daily right next to The Onion.
Squeal When You're Pinned, Boy!
A South Dakota high school wrestler has been accused by his teammates of rape and attempted rape for acts that took place before the start of practice and on the school bus. Members of the Parker High School wrestling team claim that Jerome Hunt, 17, penetrated them "through their clothing in the rectum area with fingers." According to Hunt's attorney, the acts were actually a nationally recognized wrestling move called "skinning". Assistant wrestling coach Ned Beatty confirmed this to a grand jury, saying, "Skinning is just like most wrestling moves, only a little more anal rape-y."
Open Thread Thursday
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
For the first time in about a year, I remembered I have a Friendster account. While cleaning out the piled up emails (mostly from 19 year old girls with webcams who live Right! Down! The Street!), I found that I've been friended by Sen. Russ Feingold. Huh? Oh, wait. It's a Fakester. Are people still doing that? From Friendster, I skipped over to my MySpace account, where unsurprisingly, I had emails from 19-year old girls with webcams. Them bitches love me, apparently.
I left the house this morning rather impressed with myself, as I realized that I still have the same leather gloves I bought before Xmas last year. Hanging on to a pair of gloves (hat, umbrella, etc) for a full year is an unprecedented accomplishment for me. A couple of years ago, I almost made it through the winter with the same pair of gloves, but I dropped one on the subway platform and just as I reached for it, a passing train blew it onto the tracks. I stood up and cursed and threw its companion after it, scaring the lady next to me.
So my mood unreasonably elevated by my triumphant glove-having, I left the apartment and fell into step behind a nanny walking an unreasonably perky 5-year old girl. The girl was holding the nanny's hand as she skipped down 68th Street, calling out to everything she passed by.
"Hello Mr. Bus!"
"Hello Mr. Garbage Truck!"
"Hello Mr. Mailbox!"
At the corner of Third Avenue, I stepped into the street next to the kid. She looked up at me and beamed.
"Hello Mr. Daddy Man!"
Clearly, this kid has been to the Eagle.
Morning View - Village Pier
Lesbaby For Cheney
Mary Cheney is pregnant. A spokesman for the Vice President said, "The Vice President and Lynne Cheney are looking forward with eager anticipation to the arrival of their sixth grandchild." There's no word on how Cheney and her partner, Heather Poe, achieved the pregnancy.
It will be interesting to read the White House reaction to the birth announcement. What do you suppose Dubya will say?
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Nanny State Rises...
The New York City Board Of Health voted today to ban all trans-fats from city restaurants.
I weep for the future. And for doughnuts.
Worried about polonium 210? Tired of dragging that clunky Geiger counter onto the subway? Wanna know about nuclear attacks and stay trendy too? Nukalert is smart, portable and it chirps loudly when it encounters lethal doses of radiation. Forget dirty bombs, get back to dirty thoughts! And for your favorite nuke-conscious hipster, ask about the new blinged-out Dolce & Gabbanalert!
Mind The Gap
Notes On A Scandal
Last night, with some other bloggers, I attended a screening of Notes On A Scandal, starring Judi Dench, Cate Blanchett, and Bill Nighy. The entire cast was brilliant, and I fully expect that Dench will justifiably receive her umpteenth Oscar nomination for her disturbing, yet riveting potrayal of a manipulative, delusional, treacherous closeted-lesbian school teacher. It's a performance that will stay with me a long time. And Cate Blanchett's child-molesting, philandering, priviledged novice art teacher will surely earn her rave notices.
That said, I hated Notes On A Scandal.
Oh, it's a brilliant "art" movie. Without revealing the plot, I'll grant that the film is gritty, it's realistic, and that the characters behave illogically and against their better interests, just like people do in real life. But as is often the case in real life, there was not one likable character in the movie, save perhaps Nighy's cuckolded husband. They were all dreadful people doing dreadful things to one another. My companion, Aaron, thought the movie trod the familiar British obsession with class distinctions, something he thinks Americans pretend not to notice. I just sat there wishing the worst on each character, and cringing from the crashing, relentless, nerve-wracking Phillip Glass score which only abated during Dench's voiceovers, which go on for about half of the film.
Incidentally, some critics have called this Dench's Whatever Happened To Baby Jane role, as she unvainly allows herself to be filmed without make-up, with ratted hair, and in stodgy schoolmarm costumes. I'm still digesting my opinion about Notes On A Scandal, and perhaps that's the hallmark of a well-made film, but for now I'll stick with what I said upon exiting the screening, "I'd pay to get OUT of a theatre playing that movie."
Notes On A Scandal opens nationwide December 27th. Watch the trailer here.
Civil Unions Gifts: Paper Or Plastic?
One year after gay civil unions became legal in the UK, over 15,000 gay couples have become legal partners there. Interestingly, in England male couples getting civil unions are outnumbering female couples, 62% to 38%, almost the reverse of what we've been seeing in Massachusetts. I wonder if this has something to do with the "marriage" vs. "civil union" condundrum? And do the normal gifting rules apply for civil unions?
Monday, December 04, 2006
Reference the gossip blogs mentioned below, should we care that Reichen Lehmkuhl and Lance Bass have split up? Why is this even newsworthy? And note that People uses the archaic and offensive expression that Bass had "admitted" he was gay. Gah. And I certainly hope those two return their oh-so-richly deserved HRC Visibility Award. Feh. Somebody call quality control at Role Model Manufacturing.
Special note to People Magazine: We shouldn't have to tell you this in 2006, but instead of "admitted", try one of these: disclosed, confirmed, revealed, declared. And stay the fuck away from "confessed."
Poz Visitors Get Temp U.S. Visas
In a policy statement laughingly titled, "The President Is Dedicated To Ending Discrimination Against People Living With HIV/AIDS", the White House today announced a lessened restriction upon HIV positive persons wishing to visit the United States. Under the old rules, an HIV positive person had to apply for a visa waiver, then be interviewed in person at the U.S. embassy. THEN, if approved, the passport was permanently stamped "HIV+". This policy is now waived (apparently) for those wishing to enter the U.S. under a student, tourist, or business visa, with a limit of a 60-day visit. HIV positive persons remain banned from consideration for permanent immigration, a lasting gift from former Senator Jesse Helms, who, when asked to comment on these changes, asked the reporter, "Are you my mommy?"
The Other Blogging Shoe Finally Drops
Gay gossip blogger Mario Lavendeira, aka Pezen Hilton, is being sued for $7.5 million in a copyright infringement case filed by a top celebrity photo agency, with several more agencies said to be in the process of filing similar suits. In the suit, reported upon by Entertainment Tonight and Access Hollywood, the photo agency X17 contends that Lavendeira is personally profiting from the work of others, via his site advertising, where ads have been going for as much as $16,000/week. This suit has prompted one top NYC gay blogger, Richard Rothstein, author of Proceed At Your Own Risk, to immediately pull all advertising from his site.
I have been expecting these lawsuits for years and quite frankly I think the only reason they are finally coming now is the enormous money that sites like Perez Hiltion and Pink Is The New Blog are now making. Commentary on news stories, using proper attribution via links or text, is fine. But the wholesale lifting of the work of others? Not so much. Here at JMG, most of my photos are original, other than those sent me by publicists. But now I must rethink even the rare occasions when I use photos such as the one I took from Ruth Brown's obituary.
Terrence emailed me to respond to the comments from last week's 23-year old spring break picture: "Tell that guy that thought Fort Lauderdale was sooo straight back then, that in 1983 you were gay until proven straight. I was never in a place where I felt so free to be me. That was my first experience in a total gay immersion and I will never forget that feeling. It was amazing. At least at our end of the beach, every man was gay."
Terrence also included the track listing from the cassette I made for that trip, saying, "This was the first of many, many mix tapes you made for me. It still remains my favorite to this day. I still have it and strangely it still plays. The only player I have now is in my Mercedes. I don’t know what I will do when it bites the dust."
1) I’m Gonna Get Your Love - Jade
2) I Eat Cannibals - Toto Coelo
3) Babe, We're Gonna Love Tonight - Lime
4) Don’t Stop - Sylvester
5) Knockout -Margie Joseph
6) Heartbeat - Taana Gardner
7) In The Name Of Love - Sharon Redd
8) Let Me Go - Heaven 17
9) Native love - Divine
1) Sex (I'm A ...) - Berlin
2) Best Part Of Breaking Up - Roni Griffith
3) Got You Where I Want You, Babe - Stereo Fun, Inc.
4) Miami Heatwave - Love Twins
5) Jump Shout -Lisa
6) Die Hard Lover - Loverde
7) One More Shot - C-Bank
8) Hungry Like The Wolf - Duran Duran
9) She Blinded Me With Science -Thomas Dolby
10) I feel love (Patrick Cowley Remix) -Donna Summer
I'd have to agree with Terrence, but I also understand that our misty water-colored memories are heavily shaded by the exhuberance of youth and of having never really experienced the sort of totally-out, thriving gay culture that Fort Lauderdale provided in the early 80's. It was glorious to us. I think that in the last few years Fort Lauderdale has recaptured the "it factor" that AIDS and South Beach robbed from the city in the late 80's and early 90's.
BBC World Poll: Teens Nix Gay Rights
The BBC World Service has just released the results of a worldwide poll that posed a wide variety of questions to young people aged 15-17 in London, New York, Rio, Delhi, Moscow, Cairo, Baghdad,, Lagos, Nairobi and Jakarta. Topics covered included terrorism, climate change and homosexuality, the last one revealing that almost half of teens worldwide do not believe gays deserve equal rights.
Rio has the highest support for gay rights, with 74% of teens there saying they backed equal rights for homosexuals. Next up was New York with 67% and Delhi with 51%. In Africa, things are much, much worse, with Lagos (86%) and Nairobi (81%) teens overwhelmingly stating opposition to gay rights.
I continue to be impressed with Brazil, where the government's progressive gay-positive media campaign can be at least partially credited here. As for Africa, I'd be interested in seeing a comparison between these opinions and relative levels of education in the other cities.