Saturday, January 06, 2007

Formerly Fourth

(Above: Park Avenue at 60th Street, looking north.) Known since the 1830's as Fourth Avenue, it was more than 50 years later that this section of the street was renamed Park Avenue, after the railroad tracks were sunk beneath the street. Only a six-block section, from 8th to 14th Streets, is still called Fourth Avenue today.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Gay Sheep Debacle Unravels

Thanks to the work of the blogosphere, there has been a thorough debunking of the "gay cure" hysteria that PETA is attempting to stir up (by way of a website, celebrity denouncements, and a sloppy, fact-challenged Sunday Times article that reads as if PETA wrote it themselves.)

Back in September 2006, a biologist using the handle Empty Pockets, on the lefty blog The Next Hurrah, first shredded the PETA position, thoroughly fact-checking the issue and conducting an interview with "gay sheep" researcher Dr. Charles Roselli at Oregon Health & Science University. After last week's outrageously inaccurate Sunday Times article, Empty Pockets fisked their story into pieces on The Next Hurrah and via his Daily Kos diary. (Crooks & Liars momentarily bought the PETA piece, but quickly updated with the debunking.)

While I worry about what the future holds for unborn homosexuals, especially regarding anti-gay gene therapy and prenatal hormone "treatments", I regret bringing this nonsense onto JMG. PETA has only dramatically refreshed their reputation as a group of nutjob fanatics who won't let small issues like the truth stand in the way of their goals. What Roselli and OHSU are doing is not anti-gay research and Martina Navratilova is wrong to campaign against it. Once again, the blogosphere has trumped the MSM.

File This Away For December '07

Oh, how much better my Xmas would have been if I'd only seen this, which a reader sent yesterday. Seriously, wonderfully disturbing. (NSFW, needs sound.) Again, I love my people.

Lunch Hour

Grand Central Terminal food court, Thursday 1pm

Woman 1: And the way she plays like she's this supreme cooler-than-everybody New Yorker! Always wearing those severe black outfits. Please. I just want to kill her.

Woman 2: Not to mention those dorky giant glasses. And always going on and on about hanging out with some "cool" band nobody's ever heard of.

Woman 1: You know she's from Texas, right? Not cool.

Woman 2: Right! You know she goes home at night and puts on her Garanimals jammies and dances around to Air Supply.

The rest of their meal is spent ripping apart the editor of WWD.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

JMG 2006 Recap - Homoquotables

Here's a recap of some of the 2006 HomoQuotables:

Mary Cheney - "Go fuck yourself."

Elton John - "I think religion has always tried to turn hatred towards gay people."

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.

Armin Mewes - "If you are between 18 and 25 years old, you are my boy. Come to me and I eat your horny flesh."

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."

Sean Patrick Maloney - "I'm tired of relying on straight politicians. No one would say to an African-American, 'Don't run; a white guy knows this stuff better than you.' This is a hostage mentality. We've got the numbers and the resources to push the arc of history towards justice."

Kevin Aviance - "You can't keep a good queen down! "

Simon Doonan - "It might take years to get the marriage thingy approved. In the meantime remember that you, as a fabulous person of queerness, are still ahead of the game. You are one of the chosen people.

Frank Oldham - "The epidemic is still lavender."

George Michael - "Are you gay? No? Then fuck off! This is my culture!"

Neil Tennant - "Blog is such an ugly word."

Christine Quinn - "I don’t believe there is any expectation of privacy as it relates to going to a club.”

Charlie Crist - "Marriage is a sacred relationship. Like I had, before I got divorced."

Ted Haggard - "Hi Mike, this is Art. Hey, I was just calling to see if we could get any more.

Mike Jones - "It probably didn't hurt that I am pretty well endowed."

Betty Bowers - "If Haggard's unblinking congregation could sit and listen to such a liturgical Liberace week after week and not realize they were in the presence of someone who makes Barry Manilow in a full-length mink look butch, they really need to recalibrate their ability to detect prescription-strength doses of flamboyance."

Peter Tatchell - "The weakening, blurring and eventual dissolution of the labels queer and straight will be final proof of the demise of homophobia."

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."

Paul Barnes - "I can't tell you the number of nights I have cried myself to sleep, begging God to take this away."

Andrew Sullivan - "Those of us who supported this war cannot wash our hands of the blood of tens of thousands of innocents it has now claimed."

JMG 2006 Recap - Gay Culture
JMG 2006 Recap - Bars, Parties, Events
JMG 2006 Recap - Short Stories


Steam Heat

The old issue of sex in gyms has reared up in San Francisco after the Department of Public Health there observed men having sex in the steam room of Gold's Gym in the Castro, forcing them to order management to address the situation. In addition, men being screened for syphillis at the SF-DPH have reported sexual encounters in the Gold's steam room and members of the club have complained to management about sitting in semen. This story echoes an incident in 2005 when a member of Manhattan's David Barton Gym sued the club for $25,000, claiming it was allowing open sexual activity.

In 2005, when the Castro Gold's was last cited for sexual activity, the late Eric Rofes, a noted sociologist and member of the Castro Gold's, said it might be difficult for the gay men's community to reach consensus about sex in places not intended for sex, adding, ""You can't assume a population of gay men share a political vision of anything so broad. We are in a different moment in our understanding of the politics of gay men's sexuality."

In response to this latest situation, John Sellwood, Castro Gold's manager (and a gay man) took this action:

In addition to safe sex posters, Sellwood posted a sign in the men's locker room last month that began by asking the "gentlemen" for "help with your actions in the steam room. It's no surprise to anyone about what happens here and the Health Department visited me today to confirm this fact." Sellwood explained DPH's visit, the threat of possible closure of the steam room, and concludes by acknowledging, "Attraction is normal. It happens every day. I'm asking that you don't act on it on the premises. Please."

The reasons that men have sex in public places are many and varied, of course. The closet, the convenience, the availability of partners, the cheating on their own. Not to mention the enormous aspect of the erotic thrill so many gay men enjoy when they convince themselves that the guy blowing them is "straight", and therefore "hotter" than other, most easily accessible partners, a sort of homophobia-laden cognitive dissonance that has always, always baffled me.

Some of my closest friends chase steam room sex on a daily basis with a ferocity that both appalls and impresses me. I try (but mostly fail) not to be a judgmental queen on this issue, as I do think that I'm very sex-positive and that gay men have the right to act on their attractions wherever it's appropriate. In my mind, "appropriate" means "wherever it won't upset others." Of course, some would argue that if you get upset seeing a blow-job in a Castro gym, then you are in the wrong gym. Perhaps, but does that license include all health clubs? From Chelsea to Chippewa Falls? We don't seem to know where the line is drawn, perhaps because somebody just shot their load on it.

RELATED: Janitors at NYC's Equinox health club chain just filed suit against the company, claiming they were "exposed to inappropriate, lewd, embarrassing and humiliating sexual behavior and activities occurring in the showers, saunas, steam and [men's] locker rooms" that they then had to clean up," resulting in a hostile working environment.

Morning View - Fishing Rules

Shortly after taking this photo, I stepped to the water's edge to look at the ducks and swans. A 4-year old little white girl waved as a swan swam over. "Hello Mr. Swan! What up dawg?"


Open Thread Thursday

It fascinates me to see where people are reading JMG. Lady Sitemeter tells me that just yesterday I was visited from folks in government (,, the military (,, ad agencies (Publicis, Ogilvy, Mediavest), universities (UCSF, Columbia, NYU), and for some reason, tons of retail and media companies (Macy's, Viacom, Fox, NBC, Clear Channel).

Where do you work? Be as specific as you can and feel free to post anonymously.


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Broadway Biz Boffo

Broadway theatres grossed an all-time record $25 million during the week between Xmas and New Year's, with 15 shows grossing over $1M each, the highest of which was Wicked, with $1.8M, the all-time one week Broadway record for a single house. (Although, thanks to premium ticket prices that push $400-$500, even dreck like Disney's Tarzan can throw a million-dollar gross.)

Just slightly off-Broadway, at the Actor's Temple on W.47th Street, my buddy Steve Schalchlin's musical, The Big Voice: God Or Merman? continues to earn rave after rave review, with the New York Times, New Yorker, New York Post, Variety, Next Magazine and many others piling on the accolades. Bloggers have loved The Big Voice too. Here are reviews from me, the Farmboyz, and Someone In A Tree. I've added a graphic from The Big Voice to my sidebar. If you are in NYC, go see a musical about the people who actually write the musicals, middle-aged gay men.

JMG 2006 Recap - Gay Culture

In no particular order, here's a recap of some of the hottest gay culture topics discussed on JMG in 2006. What was the biggest issue for you?

1. When Is Outing OK? - Four case studies.

2. HIV IS A Gay Disease - Says the LA Gay & Lesbian Center.

3. Mass. Marriage State - Lesbians out-marry gay men 2-1.

4. Speaking In Tina Tongues - Ted Haggard outed.

5. The Mike Jones Fund - JMG readers create a tip jar.

6. HRC Wonk Exposed- Foley's outer outed.

7. Iranian Mission Vigil - Protest of gays executed in Iran.

8. "We're Gonna Kill You, Faggot!" - The Kevin Aviance bashing.

9. Christians Outraged! - A sissy hosts Miss Universe.

10. Beyond Same Sex Marriage - Activists protest gay marriage as Goal #1.

11. No Justice, No Hairpiece! - Cuz bald men never get gangbanged.

12. JMG Reader Letter - Poz guys aren't all climbing mountains, despite the ads.

13. Gay, Straight, Or Stupid? - A reality show for gays. But only if you're butch.

14. Dollars Vs. Gay Youth - Teenage gay hoodlums in the West Village.

15. Self-Loathing - Gay culture's defining negative characteristic?

16. Boyfriends, With An S - Thruples and polyamory in gay life.

JMG 2006 Recap - Bars, Parties, Events
JMG 2006 Recap - Short Stories

I Must Concur...

...with the man who says, "My beard is my new dick."

I Love My People

So while I was up at a conference in Maine, I met a female recent national leather title-holder. International Ms. Cruelty, or something like that. Anyway, she was with her slave, who was a girl, who called her "Daddy", because the slave was her boy. I. Love. My. People.

Morning View - Subway Inn


Queer Of The Year 2006: Mike Jones

The Queer Of The Year 2006 is Mike Jones, with almost twice as many votes as the second place nominee. Jones, a Denver-based former prostitute, exposed the hypocrisy of the nation's leading evangelical figure and in doing so, influenced the nation's midterm elections, helping the Democrats win a slim majority, according to top Republican officials.

Thanks go out to all who participated in this poll, especially the judges who lent their considerable brain power to selecting the nominees, and to the bloggers who ran the poll on their own sites. It was a fun and fascinating exercise and helped us learn a lot about so much of the good work that is being done out there on our behalf. Congratulations and thanks go out to Mike Jones.

UPDATE: Mike Jones responds: To all who voted in the Queer of the Year, I would like to thank you even if you did not vote for me. Every one on the list deserved to win. To the ones that voted for me I say thank you. I am grateful and very much appreciative. I take nothing for granted in life so it means a lot to me. Happy New Year to all. - Mike Jones

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Take That? Um, No!

BBC Radio 2 just conducted a poll of its listeners, asking "Based on songwriting, lyrics, gigs, and showmanship, who is the greatest British band of all time?"

The appalling results:

5. Take That
4. Oasis
3. Rolling Stones
2. Beatles
1. Queen

The top three bands and their respective positions are infinitely arguable. But I can't stop staring at the list and thinking, "Where the FUCK is The Clash?" Oasis has always left me stone cold, but Take That? In the top five of all time? But not The Clash? Not The Who? Not Depeche Mode? Let me say this about that: "BWAH HA HA HA HA HA!!!"

Day One: Accomplished

Part of my plan for 2007 is to set for myself realistic, achievable, short-term goals. Yesterday, my goal was to spend the entire day motionless in front of the Law & Order marathon, with a one-hour Simpsons/Seinfeld break at 7pm. Only one day into the new year and I'm already a winner!

More On The Gay Sheep Study

I've added an update to the original post, but in case you don't scroll back to it, I recommend visiting The Next Hurrah, a community blog, and check out this post written by a biologist, for an interesting and revealing take on the issue of animal sexuality research, PETA's campaign against Dr. Charles Roselli at OHSU, and the implications for unborn homosexuals. And make sure you check out the comments.

Former Joint Chiefs Chair Flips On DADT

Calling "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" a "useful speed bump that allowed temperatures to cool for a period of time while the culture continued to evolve," General John Shalikashvili, formerly Bill Clinton's chairman of the Joint Chiefs Of Staff, the top military rank in the nation, has called for the repeal of DADT in an op-ed column (registration required) in today's New York Times.

A former foe of gays in the military, Shalikashvili says, "I now believe that if gay men and lesbians served openly in the United States military, they would not undermine the efficacy of the armed forces. Our military has been stretched thin by our deployments in the Middle East, and we must welcome the service of any American who is willing and able to do the job."

The key words, of course, are "stretched thin". Desperate times, desperate measures. Still, this is good news for the movement.

Rail Thin

"Downtown service on the 6 train is temporarily suspended due to a sick passenger." That's probably the most commonly heard announcement when your train does not appear. This morning's AM New York reveals that in many of the cases, the "sick" passengers are young women who have fainted due to excess dieting. There are about 400 "sick passenger" delays every month in NYC, peaking shortly before the summer swimsuit season, no doubt.

Morning View - Pulitzer Mansion

Joseph Pulitzer, he of the Prize, built his mansion on 73rd Street at Central Park in 1903. After his death, the house was sold to the Astor family, who converted it into a 17-apartment coop in the 1930's. It was hard to get a decent picture, I had to retreat into the servants entrance of the house across the street, just to get far enough away.


Best Bet: Remember The Party 5

Rolling Stone critic Barry Walters has picked my buddy DJ Jerry Bonham's 5-disc Remember The Party 5 soundtrack as his TOP pick in the Safe Six Of 'O6, his list of best bets for disco reissues of the last year.
Smooth as butter and always harmonically aligned, Bonham's segues are so seamless that even dancers who know this music forwards and backwards will find themselves surprised as each track slips gently into the next. Bonham re-edits many cuts in ways that both respect the originals and provide surprises for jaded listeners. Finally, this set truly does reflect the emotional and music arc of a perfect disco night out.
I have the fantastic Remember The Party 4 sitting right here on my desk. Walters' other reissue picks for 2006: Cerrone's Supernature, Peter Jacques Band, Motown Disco: Soulful Grooves, and the superb A Tom Moulton Mix. You can order Remember The Party 5 from Medium Rare Records.

Monday, January 01, 2007

2007 Bloggies Open Nominations

Nominations have opened for the 2007 Bloggie Awards. Last year I was floored to be named a finalist in the Best LGBT Blog category, along with Queerty, Good As You, Towleroad, and Little.Yellow.Different, all terrific sites that I read every day. The winner was Queerty, and while I'll admit that it frustrated me that JMG and LYD were in the same category with commercial, advertising-laden sites, whatchu gonna do?

Submit your 2007 nominations until January 10th. I'm not gonna beg y'all to nominate (JMG) anybody (JMG) in specific (JMG), other than to mention that in 2007 you can expect me to continue to bloviate on issues of gay culture, gay activism, gay sex, nightlife, New York City, theatre, and of course delicious disco oldies. You can also expect a short story every week or two. Happy (JMG) New Year.

Green December

For the first time since 1877, no snow fell in Central Park during December, and yesterday I found Sheep Meadow as green as mid-summer. Today the temperature is pushing 60 degrees. But I'm sure this is just another statistical anomaly.