Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Just Like Yours, Only Gayer

EqualMarriage.org has comissioned three great spots, created by Young & Rubicam. Check out the sweet, simple videos and have a laugh. I'm not sure what's up with the English-accented voice-over, but these non-strident, real-life messages are winners. (via Jockohomo.)

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Don't Say It's Gay

An 18 year old girl is suing her former school district in California for violating her right to free speech when they disciplined her in 2002 for saying "That's so gay!", when classmates teased her for being Mormon by asking if she had ten moms. The Santa Rosa School District had adopted a strict hate speech policy after two students had been paid to beat up a gay classmate.

Is that a slope just up ahead? Does the reclaiming of former hate words like "queer" cloud the issue? The lawyer for the school district says, "The district has a statutory duty to protect gay students from harassment. In furtherance of this goal, prohibition of the phrase `That's so gay' ... was a reasonable regulation." A teacher quoted in the article says that some students argue "That's so gay" has been "decontextualized". Will the relentless march of the PC police ever stop? Do you want them to?

Next on the chopping block: "That sucks!" It's pure hate speech against cocksuckers!

UPDATE: SF's Bay Area Reporter has a more extensive report.
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DADT Repeal Near

Legislation to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was introduced in Congress today by Rep. Marty Meehan (D-Mass.), with more than 120 members as co-signers. Meehan is confident that the bill will pass this time, now that Democrats are in power. So which is it? Is this a shining result of the hard work of gay activists united in a just cause? Or has the Iraq war just gotten so bad that anybody (or more accurately, any body) will do?
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Steak:10, Looks:3

NY Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni appears to have come out in an amusing review of a steakhouse located in a West Side titty bar. The review begins, "It may be laughable when someone says he gets Penthouse magazine for the articles. It’s no joke when I say I went to the Penthouse Executive Club for the steaks." The review gets cute when Bruni asks a club employee, named Mahogany, if she knows where she is going to. That joke is only funny to gay men over 40. (Just like the title of this post.) Does anybody know if Bruni was out before this review? (via- Aaron.)

UPDATE: Bruni's review is blowing up on the blogs. What I thought was cutesy, is apparently raging male chauvinist piggishness.

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Michael Savage On Gay Parenting:

"I don't like a woman married to a woman. It makes me want to puke. ... I want to vomit when I hear it. I think it's child abuse." - Radio talk show host Michael Savage, after playing a clip from the Oscars featuring Melissa Etheridge thanking her wife and children.

Savage's advice if a child wonders about gay people? He advises telling them: "Normal people are not like that. Normal people are like Mommy and Daddy. Mommy and Daddy are normal, there are people who are not normal, who have a confusion in their head and they think they are a man even though they are a woman." (Full story and audio clip

In 2003, Savage was fired from MSNBS after he said this to a caller: "Oh, so you're one of those sodomites. You should only get AIDS and die, you pig, how's that? Why don't you see if you can sue me, you pig. You got nothing better to do than to put me down, you piece of garbage, you got nothing better to do today, go eat a sausage and choke on it. Get trichnosis. Now do we have another nice caller here who's busy because he didn't have a nice night in the bathhouse who's angry at me today? Put another, put another sodomite on....no more calls? I don't care about these bums, they mean nothing to me. They're all sausages."

A web poll has received over 1 million votes supporting Savage's candidacy for president in 2008. Savage admits he has little chance of winning the Republican nomination, but if he enters the race, it wil be in order to debate the candidates on his favorite issues. Savage's show reaches 8 million listeners daily on 400 stations.

UPDATE: Savage has been fired from his agency, who only picked up him a few days.

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Voice Of Keebler Elf Dies

I guess the word was a little slow getting out, but Walker Edmiston, one of the most familiar cartoon voices of my childhood, died two weeks ago at age 81. Most of you will know Edmiston as the voice of the Keebler Elf, but I also remember him as a Sleestak on Land Of The Lost, Big Daddy Ooze on Sigmund And The Sea Monsters, Dr. Blinkey on H.R. Pufnstuf and most of all, as the voice of tiny voodoo doll that terrorized Karen Black in Trilogy Of Terror. Edmiston also did tons of regular acting work, but his voice as unforgettable. As an 8-year old before Al Gore invented the internet, I was still very sure that I was hearing the same guy on all my shows, but I could never prove it.

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Racist Newspaper Rocks Bay Area

San Francisco's AsianWeek newspaper currently features an essay, "Why I Hate Blacks", by featured columnist Kenneth Eng. After an outcry from black leaders, the story has been removed from the online edition of AsianWeek, although the issue with the offending story is still on newsstands. Kenneth Eng considers himself an "Asian supremacist" and has authored other columns such as "Proof That Whites Inherently Hate Us" and "Why I Hate Asians".

AsianWeek is owned the the Fang family, Chinese-Americans who own a small media empire in the Bay Area. The Fangs once owned the daily San Francisco Examiner. The Eng piece has been loudly decried by prominent Asians in the Bay Area, and AsianWeek has issued an apology and plans a press conference with the NAACP today. But the publication, which calls itself "The Voice Of Asian America", has apparently taken no action against Eng or his editors.

Kenneth End is in his early 20's and lives in what most people (including myself) might presume to be one of the most enlightened places in the world. Yet here are his observations:
--"Blacks hate us. Every Asian who has ever come across them knows that they take almost every opportunity to hurl racist remarks at us."
-- "Contrary to media depictions, I would argue that blacks are weak-willed. They are the only race that has been enslaved for 300 years."
-- "Blacks are easy to coerce. This is proven by the fact that so many of them, including the Rev. Al Sharpton, tend to be Christians."
Sigh. How does a guy like this get a megaphone like AsianWeek? Like any ethnically diverse part of America, tensions in SF sometimes boil over into ugliness. But published ugliness in a well-known newspaper? I'm hoping that there will be a major withdrawal of advertisers from AsianWeek. The fucking C.I.A. advertises in AsianWeek. If our own government doesn't disown this bullshit, things are even worse than I've feared. When I lived in SF, the Fangs had a reputation for irresponsible, tabloid journalism. I suppose the Bay Area is just lucky that they no longer own a major daily newspaper.

UPDATE: AsianWeek fires Kenneth Eng.

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

JMG Sells Out!

Gentle readers, as my traffic has grown and the advertising requests have increased, I must report that I can no longer look away from blog advertising. I've been accepted into a couple of the major blog ad networks and will be adding some ads in the next week or so.

I will do my best to make the transition not-so-jarring. I'm also looking into reworking the template, which has been the same since JMG launched in the spring of 2004. Hopefully by the 3rd anniversary of JMG, we'll have a nice new look. Any suggestions are very, very welcome. I'm also considering adding discussion forums, as some readers have complained that my comment volume is off-putting. I'm not sure on that one. I happen to love that y'all are so chatty, we're pushing 40,000 comments since I added Haloscan in the second year!

I know that readers will have different views, some positive and some negative, about ads on JMG. I am eager to hear what you think about my use of ads and about any changes that I make to this here website thingy. To those advertisers who reached out to me previously, please feel free to contact me again. All except the liopsuction doctor. Not that's there's anything wrong with that.

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Crist In Crisis

George Hamilton Tanning Classic winner and closet case, Florida Governor Charlie Crist (R), has been hit by a lawsuit claiming that while Florida's attorney general, he ignored a ponzi scheme masterminded by boy-band guru Lou Pearlman (N'Sync, Backstreet Boys), which may have defauded investors of as much as $500 million.

Crist is alleged to have accepted campaign contributions and jet rides from Pearlman while he was supposed to be investigating the case. There's no mention of whether any of those jets happened to contain actual boy-bands. Pearlman is believed to have fled the country for Germany. Suddenly, I'm not so anxious for Crist to come out.

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Draft Gore Movement Grows Louder

Al Gore had scarcely stepped away from the microphone at Sunday night's Oscar ceremony, where An Inconvenient Truth won 2 statuettes, before the cries of "Run, Al, run!" began to echo even louder through the blogosphere. Check out DraftGore.com for more information. Richard Cohen has a great column on Gore's potential candidacy in today's Washington Post. How do you feel about another Clinton/Gore administration? How about Gore/Clinton?

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NYC Subway Ranks 7th Worldwide

Over at the Gothamist, there's an interesting discussion about a vacation travel site that ranks the top subway systems of the world. Mentioning attributes such as convenience, technology, efficiency, cleanliness, and architectural merit, London's Underground wins the top spot out of 11 systems reviewed, with NYC coming in a lowly 7th.

The mere fact that NYC's subway is the only one that runs 24 hours seems to be a slam-dunk reason to rank it #1. NYC's subway is also very cheap compared to London's. However the travel site is based in the UK, so there may be some bias at hand. Check out the ranking on Virgin-Vacations.com, there are some great photos of the various systems. What's your favorite subway in the world?

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Monday, February 26, 2007

Elton Bash Breaks Record

Elton John's post-Oscar party raised a record-breaking $4.2 million yesterday for the Elton John AIDS Foundation, bringing the total raised since 1992 to $125 million. Among the items auctioned off were two travel packages to attend Sir Elton's 60th birthday party and concert weekend in NYC, which went for $250,000 each. Elton's legacy, like Bill Gates', will be as much for his philanthropy as for his career.

Related: Not to diminish Elton's accomplishment, but for perspective, I feel obliged to mention that the daily cost of the Iraq war is $195 million.

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Heartbreak

My hormones must be off or something, because a dog food commercial just brought me to tears. Damn.

The voice-over is by David Duchovny. Congratulations to Pedigree's ad agency, TBWA\Chiat\Day out of Los Angeles. Simple, perfect. They deserve an ADDY or Clio for this one.

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"Not Found"

Thanks to an avalanche of complaints from good folks like you, gentle reader, Google has deleted Kill Batty Man, the Jamaica-based anti-gay blog that spurned so much discussion here last Friday. Some of you forwarded me copies of your passionate emails to Google and I salute your work. Well done, Google, for making the call.

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Morning View - Cooper Union

The East Village's Cooper Union was founded in 1859 as one of the nation's few all-scholarship colleges, and is one of the most selective, rejecting 88% of applicants. Students are not required to declare a major and are largely free to select courses from any discipline. Most of the school's operating budget comes from alumni donations.

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NoiZe Magazine

Circuit Noize, the quarterly magazine devoted to the circuit party scene, has relaunched as NoiZe, after its founder, Steve Kammon, died last year "due to complications from a long illness". The rejiggered magazine will continue to be the go-to source for information about parties, events and music, with a new emphasis on feature articles.

In the first issue of NoiZe, you will find a new short story from me, We Met On The Dance Floor. I'll admit I was rather surprised to be asked to write for a circuit party magazine, at my advanced years, but it seems the editors wanted a perspective from a "circuit elder", a term bestowed on me by friends in San Francisco over 10 years ago. What would that make me now? NoiZe Magazine is available nationwide in the usual places that stock gay rags. You can also subscribe electronically or by mail.

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Sharpton-Thurmond Connection

Reseachers at Ancestry.com have uncovered proof that political gadfly and relentless muckraiser Al Shapton is a descendant of a slave owned by the family of late Sen. Strom Thurmond, one of the most rabid foes of desegregation and civil rights. After his death, it was revealed that Thurmond had fathered a biracial child with his family's housekeeper. Sharpton calls this latest revelation the most "shocking" news of his life. Thurmond was the second-longest serving senator in U.S. history, at almost 48 years. Sharpton has been irritating New Yorkers since dinosaurs ruled the earth.

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HomoQuotable - Suze Orman

"I have never been with a man in my whole life. I’m still a 55-year-old virgin." - Personal finance guru and author Suze Orman, coming out in yesterday's NY Times Magazine. Orman: "K.T. is my life partner. K.T. stands for Kathy Travis. We’re going on seven years." Orman also says that she would love to marry K.T., adding, "Both of us have millions of dollars in our name. It’s killing me that upon my death, K.T. is going to lose 50 percent of everything I have to estate taxes. Or vice versa."

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Sunday, February 25, 2007

Blarg 2007 Photo Recap

Another crazy, mobbed night with a bunch of hard-drinking bloggers and pals! Even more folks than last year, although we had a harder time herding the cats from bar to bar. As usual, I got way fewer usable pics than would like, with tons of blurry pictures of the floor. And next time we'll have to set aside a specific time for a giant group photo. Send me your links if you post about Blarg 2007 and I'll post them here. Thanks so much to all who came out, I had a blast.
Recaps: GGWoo, Future Junkie, Chris Tuttle, We Like Sheep, Glennalicious, Velleity NYC, Queer Sighted, Ninth Circle Of Helen, Cynically Optimistic, High Maintenance Hags, Curly McDimple, New Gays Of Our Lives, Blabbeando, GenEx, See My Briefs

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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Brunch Stroll

After a nice brunch with Little David at the usual spot, Eddie, the Farmboyz and I ran across the 2007 Pillow-Fight NYC in Union Square, and paused to watch a few hundred mostly-NYU students beat each other over the head. Then we trekked a couple miles into the wilds of West Chelsea to Awakened, David LaChappelle's new exhibit at Tony Shafrazi Gallery, Father Tony was disappointed to find only one naked photo of Amanda Lepore. However, we did adore most of the exhibit, especially LaChapelle's take on Warhol's classic Liz Taylor portrait.
UPDATE: The Farmboyz have video of the pillow fight.

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Friday, February 23, 2007

Worst.Sex.Ever.

Long overdue, here's the text from my performance at last week's Worst.Sex.Ever show. My apologies for the delay. I misplaced my notes during the post-show drunkathon and had just resigned myself to rewriting it from scratch when I found the notes in the same coat I'd searched three times. Stupid beer. (Photo via emcee Chris Hampton.)

Worst. Sex. Ever.

Like most gay men in their 40's, I've developed a pretty good sense when somebody just isn't gonna work out sexually. Unlike in my youth, when I ignored glaring, flashing warning signs, like the guy who said, "Listen, if we're gonna do this, we should probably get going. I've got this ankle bracelet on and I'm not supposed to be this far from my house."

Or the guy who said, "I suppose I should tell you that I'm just getting over the clap. I mean, it's cool, I had the shot and all, so in case there's still some discharge, you don't have to worry."

OR the guy who said, "I don't live far, but if you come over, don't park in the driveway. My ex is kinda crazy and the last time he saw a trick's car in my driveway, he sorta set it on fire."

Yeah, still did them. All three. Luckily, nothing ended up burning, including my dick.

And since WYSIWYG is an all-blogger event, I feel I must share with you some of the worst things guys have said to me online, where it's always hard to make the right call, even when you think you've been around. Here's a top ten list, some of which I've shared with my blog readers, as a public service. These are all verbatim emails.

1. Hey dud! Put that in the sexy place.

2. I am sloppy wide open bottom. You will never get to the bottom of my cunt.

3. Tonight, I'm feeling VERY ranchy. How 'bout u?

4. I hope you're into barebaking, cuz I'd love for you to bread me.

5. Can you get into rapping me? I love rap scenes. I will leave the door open. Bring something sharp.

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

7. I am *completely* uninhabited.

8. Are you interested in a gang-bag? I would love for you and your hot friends to gang-bag me because I am a sloppy wide open bottom.

(Number 8 might have been the same guy from #2.)

9. Do you love man-smells like I do? I hope so because I haven't had a shower in 5 days.

And the worst thing ever said to me online, from just yesterday:

10. You are the hottest guy I've seen on this site EVER. I would do anything you want me to. P.S. I LOVE OLD MEN!

I didn't do any of those guys. Mostly. But now let's get to some non-virtual sex. I should preface this by repeating that I have been around. Oh, yes. I've been to bathhouses and sex clubs. I've attended International Mister Leather and Folsom Street Fair, many, many times. I was in a bar when their Mr. Watersports 1998 won his golden crown (which, incidentally, was not unlike attending a Gallagher concert, in that everybody near the stage was given a plastic sheet if they wanted it. Um, most, didn't want it.)

I was in the house when a cock-n-ball torture demonstration when horribly, horribly wrong ("Paramedics to the SF Eagle, stat!"), and I was in the house when the winner of the Mr. Powerhouse contest was revealed by having a famous fisting porn star squat over the judge's open hand and push out the winner's billiard ball.

"And YOUR Mr. Powerhouse 1997 is ...."

(Plop.)

"Number 14!"

I've played along, even when the scene held little interest. I've tied men up. I've flogged them, fisted them, spanked them, gut-punched them, shaved their heads and their asses. Once, a guy asked me if he could bring his "sounds" and thinking he meant music, I enthusiastically said, "Sure, bring 'em all!", only to find out that the "sounds" he was referring to were long, steel surgical rods that he intended to plunge into my urethra. (Sooo not gonna happen.)

So you can see that I am good sport, usually. There's only a handful of physical kinks that I haven't gamely played along with. Physical kinks are easy. Spread apart this, shackle that, electrify those. Easy. But it's the mental kinks that drive me crazy. (Not the name calling, so much. I've happily called guys whores and pigs and worthless pieces of shit when they wanted me to. Mostly, because, you know, they were.)

It's the role-playing that works my nerves. In the last 20 years, I've been the angry prison warden with an escaped prisoner. I've been a soccer coach, a police officer, and a school principal. I've been a drill sergeant so many times that my boots have a permanent spit shine.

A few years ago, I showed up at the Hell's Kitchen apartment of a very hot Latino bodybuilder, who, in the thickest Elmer Fudd accent I've ever heard, presented me with an elaborate fantasy in which I was to describe all the most horrible violent things I might want to do him. Standing in his kitchen, I just sort of nodded, trying to decide what I was going to do.

He took off his shirt, revealing a massive muscular chest, and naturally, instinctively, I reached out for it. And he recoiled from my touch. He jerked back as if I was reaching for him with poo on a stick. I said, "What's the matter?" and he said, fuddily, "I'm weewee not into a wot of...touching."

I said, "Oh, my god, we could have done this on the phone!" And when I stormed out, I said, "By the way, call me in a hour, because now I really do want to do horrible things to you."

But my worst role playing situation happened back in San Francisco. I was home officed, and one slow afternoon I picked up a guy online with the intriguing, if redundant screen name "WhiteTrashRedneck". He was hot, covered with tats, not normally my thing, but certainly in character with his screen name.

Within 5 minutes of arrival, he laid it on me. "So, you get into any, um role playing?"

Mentally, I cringed. Well maybe I cringed a little physically, too.

"Like what?"

"Well, something that I really dig is daddy/ boy roleplay."

"What, like a power exchange, master/slave kinda thing?"

"No, like you play like you're my father and I'm your son."

(Visions of NAMBLA flash through my head.)

"Ooookay. And what's the situation?"

(Of course I knew what the situation would be, it's the oldest one in the book for us roleplaying experts.)

"Well, maybe I could be beating off and..."

"And "Daddy" could catch you?"

"Yeah, and maybe..."

"And maybe Daddy could tell you that it's OK and that all men do it and that Daddy should probably make sure that you're doing it correctly by demonstrating proper beating off technique to his son?

WhiteTrashRedneck's eyes glazed over. "Yeaaaaah, that's hottttttttt!"

I sighed. But I stepped up to the plate. I exited, stage left, and returned to catch my son jacking off. I confronted him, angrily. His frantic denial turned to tearful confession. I consoled. He calmed. I demonstrated. He watched. And through it all, folks, I stayed in character. I was the Daddy of WhiteTrashRedneck. I may have been ad-libbing, this may be been mere Daddy/Boy improv, but I hit my marks and I owned that character. We're talking Daytime Emmy here, people.

And thirty minutes later, after that bravura performance, as I had WhiteTrashRedneck face down on my bed and was fucking the WhiteTrash out of him, he began to whimper. Softly, at first, then more loudly.

"Why, Daddy, why??"

I thought, "Oh, great. I didn't know there was a second act."

"Because I caught you."

"You didn't catch me, you MADE me!"

Um, what?

"Why Daddy, why? I'm just a little boy! I'm just a little boy!"

I got off him and WhiteTrashRedneck rolled over and began screaming at me, "You raped me! You raped me, Daddy! I hate you! I hate you!"

He was really screaming! Somebody was going to CALL THE POLICE. There were a dozen units in my building and the walls were paper thin.

I got off the bed. "Yeah, listen...this isn't..."

"Dude, it's cool."

"Whatever, but..."

"No seriously, my shrink said it's good for me do this."

"Listen, I don't think my neighbors need to be hearing somebody screaming "You raped me, Daddy' coming out of my apartment."

And I made him leave. And I fled the apartment soon after him, afraid to be at home in case someone HAD called the police. I didn't come back for hours. About a month later, I had forgotten about him completely when my black mail lady handed me my mail as I passed in the hallway.

With a faint smirk on her face, she held out a stack of envelopes and said, "Here's your mail...Daddy."
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55% Would Vote Gay. Maybe.

A slim majority of Americans would vote for a gay or lesbian presidential candidate if he or she were "generally qualified", according to a Gallup poll released today. Other results: 98% would vote for a Catholic (Giuliani), 95% for an African-American (Obama), 88% for a woman (Clinton), 72% for a Mormon (Romney). I'd like to see what the numbers are for self-identified Democrats, I'm guessing the gap between African-American and woman might evaporate.

I'm sure we'll never see an out gay president in our lifetimes. And the only category to score below 50%, unsurprisingly, are atheists. I'm guessing that a gay atheist like me would score somewhere below a serial killer. Good evening, Clarice.

Related: Florida Gov. Charlie Crist still over-tan, under-out.
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Welcome To NYC: Please Refrain From
Getting Down With Your Bad Self

Hot on the heels of yesterday's news about the demise of NYC's Roxy nightclub, comes word that the NY State Appellate Court has upheld the 80-year old "cabaret law" that bans dancing in bars and restaurants. The court's ruling says, "Recreational dancing is not a form of expression protected by the federal or state constitutions." In the 1960's, NYC had over 1000 establishments with the necessary license that allows dancing. Today there are less than 300. The "nightlife capital of the world" continues its dreary, non-dance step towards complete gentrification. Ooh, look! There's a Barnes & Noble!
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Kill Batty Man

Google is hosting a Jamaica-based blog, Kill Batty Man, that advocates the murder of all gay people, naming the names of those to be killed. The top post on Kill Batty Man today is a gleeful photo essay of last week's attack by a violent Kingston mob on three men presumed to be gay. Other posts rail against the incursion of American "batty-culture" into Jamaican media and advertising, noting that while anti-gay violence will "hurt Jamaica" economically, it's still a "good thing".

Kill Batty Man has been running for almost a year, with only a few posts each month, and has only now caused an outcry in the UK. In response, Google has said: "The blogger team will investigate and if it is found to violate our terms and conditions or is illegal we will take appropriate action." Yet, the blog remains.

Can this possibly fall under freedom of speech? Google appears to think so. However, inciting to murder is a crime just about everywhere. There are thousands of hate sites on the net and finding one on Google is disappointing. If you'd like Google to remove Kill Batty Man, you can flag the blog as inappropriate (in the top right corner), or you can email Google to complain at: press@google.com.

UPDATE: Thanks to complaints, Google has now placed a splash page over Kill Batty Man, with a caution to those wishing to proceed to the blog. According to Google TOS: Special Case for Hate Speech: When the community has voted and hate speech is identified on Blog*Spot, Google may exercise its right to place a Content Warning page in front of the blog and set it to "unlisted." At first, I thought this seemed like a fair compromise. Kill Batty Man is now an "unlisted" number. But as Helen points out in the comments below, Google TOS also stipulates that advocating illegal activity (such as killing queers) is grounds for deletion.

UPDATE II: There's an interesting discussion on the topic on Monkey Clubhouse.
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Karma Chameleon

You may recall Rev. Lonnie W. Latham, the Oklahoma Baptist minister who loudly advocated against gay marriage and for gay people to reject our "sinful, destructive lifestyle". That is, right up until his arrest last year for for offering an undercover cop a blowjob. Today, Latham's lawyer asked for the case to be thrown out, citing Lawrence v. Texas, the landmark SCOTUS decision that legalized consensual homosex nationwide.

Oh. The. Irony.

The lawyer, of course, is completely correct. And the ACLU is backing him up. The state of Oklahomo is maintaining that they have a "legitimate governmental interest" in regulating "offers of acts of lewdness." Oh, really? In that case, they better get busy arresting the millions of construction workers out there pumping their hips at female pedestrians. Nobody wants their mother to face those jerks, but that's why the FSM gave Mom a middle finger. Still, ya gotta love the sweet poetic justice of the Ol' Rev invoking the very ruling that gave Americans the right to sweaty gay homosexual mansex. Free Lonnie Latham! Blowjobs for all!
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Thursday, February 22, 2007

2007 Oscar Predictions

Last year I did pretty well, picking 5 out the 6 top awards. Here's my prediction for the 2007 Oscars:

Best Picture: Babel
Best Director: Martin Scorcese, The Departed
Best Actor: Peter O'Toole, Venus
Best Actress: Helen Mirren, The Queen
Best Supporting Actor: Eddie Murphy, Dreamgirls
Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls

What say you, cinephiles?

UPDATE: David has a funny breakdown of his predictions.
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Taxing Burden

New Yorkers won't be surprised to hear that the combined city/state tax bite for residents is 47% higher than than the average tax bite for the 8 other cities in the country with a population of greater than 1 million. The combined taxes per $100 of gross taxable resources:

1. NYC - $9.02
2. Philadelphia - $7.16
3. Los Angeles - $6.88
4. San Antonio - $6.70
5. San Diego - $6.01
6. Phoenix - $6.25
7. Chicago - $5.89
8. Houston - $5.23
9. Dallas - $5.20

Some of my closest friends live in Jersey, not just for the view of Manhattan from their cheaper apartments, but because of NYC's hefty city tax. The difference affords some of them the monthly payment on luxury automobiles for driving in to enjoy what Hackensack cannot provide. It's a tough call, that tradeoff, and is probably the #2 topic of conversation among Manhattanites, after real estate.
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Roxy To Close March 10th

New York City's legendary Roxy closes forever on March 10th, shortly before the building is set to be demolished. Originally a truck warehouse, then a roller-skating rink, Roxy has a been a staple of Manhattan nightlife for over 25 years and has hosted virtually ever pop star important to the gay community: Madonna, Cher, Bette Midler, etc. Roxy began its nighclub life as a host for break-dancing competitions and was the location for the 1984 movie Beat Street.

I haven't been to the Roxy since a DJ showcase (Jerry Bonham / Paul van Dyk) late in 2005, and I haven't been to their gay night in three or four years, but I did like the Roxy. It will be missed. Will another gay megaclub step into the void created by the departures of Roxy, Limelight, etc? The trend seems to be towards smaller rooms, more intimate spaces. There probably isn't a big space left in Manhattan anyway. Here's a great history of the Roxy, from NY Blade writer Matt Kalkhoff.
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Blarg Hop Reminder

Our 2007 East Village Blarg Hop is a little more than 48 hours away. If you are planning to join us, we will be kicking things off at Nowhere Bar at 9PM. We will depart each bar just before the hour to allow a couple minutes of walking time before the next bar. The route is fairly north to south, zig-zagging as we go.

Naturally, non-bloggers are implored to join us. In fact, a couple non-bloggers proved to be the life of last year's evening. (James, our "snow angel", comes to mind.) If you cannot make the kick-off, feel free to join us later on the schedule. It looks like we'll have as big a crowd as last year, which despite taking place in a blizzard, was over 40 drunks strong. Y'all should note that we will be finishing at The Cock, which will have a small door charge (usually $5). Hey, maybe somebody with Cock connections can get them to waive the door charge for our group. Heh, heh, "cock connections".

9PM - Nowhere Bar (322 E.14th @ 1st Ave)
10PM - Phoenix (447 E.13th @ 1st Ave)
11PM - Dick's Bar (192 2nd Ave @ E. 12th St)
12AM - Big Lug (85 Ave A @ E. 6th Street)
1AM - Boiler Room (86 E.4th St @ 1st Ave)
2 AM - The Cock (28 2nd Ave @ E. 3rd St)

Bloggers Attending: (Email me to be added to this list.) Perge Modo (Farmboyz), Velleity, Manhattan Offender, CircleInASquare, Someone In A Tree, Curly McDimple, The Mark Of Kane, Cynically Optimistic, Habitat 67, Ninth Circle Of Helen, Spamwise, Proceed At Your Own Risk, GGWoo, Fox In The City, Manhattan Chowder, Future Junkie, Rail Guy, Plastic Music, Gayest Neil, Crash And Byrne. Dance For Me, Puppets, High Maintenance Hags, So I Like Superman, See My Briefs, Glennalicious.
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HomoQuotable - David Geffen

“It’s not a very big thing to say, ‘I made a mistake’ on the war, and typical of Hillary Clinton that she can’t." -David Geffen, one of the most wealthy homosexuals in the world and a former major Clinton fundraiser, speaking about his passionate support for Sen. Barack Obama. Geffen spoke to the New York Times' Maureen Dowd, an interview only available to Times Select subscribers, but heavily quoted on Editor & Publisher.

Geffen broke with the Clintons in 2000 after he pleaded in vain for Bill Clinton to pardon possibly wrongly convicted murderer Leonard Peltier, only to see Clinton grant a pardon to Marc Rich, a millionaire fugitive tax evader who illegally traded oil to Iran during the hostage crisis. Geffen yesterday: “Marc Rich getting pardoned? An oil-profiteer expatriate who left the country rather than pay taxes or face justice? Yet another time when the Clintons were unwilling to stand for the things that they genuinely believe in. Everybody in politics lies, but they do it with such ease, it’s troubling.”

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Open Thread Thursday

Do you keep anything in your home or vehicle for self-defense? Have you ever had to use it?
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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Handmaiden Of The Quilt

Gentle readers, with the author's permission, I am posting a late comment to last month's post regarding the NY Times article about the AIDS Memorial Quilt. Gert McMullin is the "Handmaiden Of The Quilt", the person directly responsible for its maintenance, repair, and upkeep. Here's her beautiful and touching message:

Joe, the following is in response to some of your readers:

Yes, the entire QUILT has been archived and cataloged. This happens as soon as each 12x12 is sewn together. And to clear things up for some of your readers....all fabric will show its age with time. Any museum can tell you this. We do the best we can while taking into consideration that this QUILT was made to fight AIDS, not to be put behind glass in a museum. Yes it is on shelves in Atlanta....just as it was on shelves in San Francisco.

It does not sit and rot on those shelves. That would happen "over my dead body". We do many displays each year. Would we like to do more? Without a question, YES. But, unfortunately the solution to that is what we are sometimes lacking in, and that's funding.

The QUILT is loved and cared for as it has always been. Hundreds of my dear beloved friends lay on those shelves. I care for them every day. They are all my boys. They are safe. They are not rotting. They are not sitting in storage. They are loved.

Remember not everything you read in the paper is always accurate. Sometimes a simple phone call (or if you are nearby) a visit to our warehouse would ease these rumors. We are open 7 days a week for people to visit and/or view panels they have made for the QUILT. We welcome everyone.

Gert McMullin
Handmaiden of the QUILT
The NAMES Project
AIDS Memorial QUILT
JMG: "They are all my boys." Tissues all around, gentle readers? Please consider sending Gert McMullin a message of support and thanks for her dedication and hard work in keep our history alive: gert_mcmullin@aidsquilt.org. Better yet, help our Handmaiden do her job by making a contribution to the NAMES Project. Pictured below: Gert cares for her boys.

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Britain Begins To Pull Out Of Iraq

Tony Blair has announced a reduction in British troops stationed in Iraq, saying that the British-held portion of the country is under better control by the Iraqi government than the U.S.-held portion. Denmark and Lithuania also announced plans to withdraw their tiny contingents. Bush is spinning the British reduction as a "positive sign" that the "corner is turning" in the war. Wait, did I just hear a crowded supermarket explode? The 2007 toll for American soldiers in Iraq: 148 killed, 681 wounded. Grim casuality stats here.

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Ass Wednesday

Tim Hardaway scrambled damn fast to get his name off the sign at his Miami car wash. But can even his shitty name be as bad as "Grand Luxe Auto Bathe"?
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Bump-Bump

Last night, Law & Order did another one of their "ripped from the headlines" shows, featuring an married evangelical minister (played by Tom Arnold) who was secretly hiring rent boys and doing crystal meth. The especially satisfying twist was that the minister enjoyed booty bumps. The rent boy (nowhere as cute as Mike Jones) was this close to explaining how to administer a booty bump, when the detective threw up her hand, saying, "I know what a booty bump is, thank you." Otherwise, the episode was limp (ahem) and unsatisfying, and not just because the bad guy/murderer turned out to be the secular humanist who had been debating the minister. Boo! I wanted Haggard Arnold to fry!

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Morning View - Meet Oscar

Visitors to Times Square can oogle 50 Oscar statuettes on the ready for this year's awards and even pose at the podium with an actual real Oscar in their hands. (I did this! But the pic was not so great.) The exhibit is free and runs until Saturday.
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Supes Won't Hear Of It

KeyWord Ministries lost its last bid to repost its anti-gay billboard in Staten Island yesterday, when the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case. The signs, which went up briefly in 2000, quoted everybody's favorite Leviticus passage in four different ways, and were removed by the sign company after the borough ruled that the sign was "essentially hate speech", and served no purpose. Nigerian-born Pastor Kristopher Okwedy then launched a long-running freedom of speech lawsuit against the city, supported by the American Family Assocation.
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Queer Sighted

Kenneth Hill, AOL's "gayest editor ever", has merged his AOL.com/gay blog into a new AOL community blog called Queer Sighted. New writers joining Queer Sighted include the fab Richard Rothstein, formerly of Proceed At Your Own Risk, whom you can congratulate this Saturday when Richard joins our blarg hop. Go Queer Sighted! Now y'all go update your blogrolls.
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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

George Takei On Tim Hardaway



Sulu, my face is set on stun. I believe the kids would say: "Pwned"! George Takei is made of win!

(via - Living In The Bonus Round)

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Tuneage

Here's a couple of fun tunes to while away the last of your work day:

-My beer buddy and fellow blogger Bryce was a member of the (sadly defunct) Isotoners, whom I never got to see perform. Here's their song Manboobs: Stream. Download. And here's their fun video, Roofie Me.

-M. Spaff Sumision, the creator of the hilarious Ted Haggard-inspired Supertelevangelistic track, has riffed on the Tim Hardaway situation with Sexist Racist Classist Ageist Homophobic Ignoramous: Stream. Download.
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Bouncy

At first I thought that the name badge on the young lady at Walgreens said "Beyonce", and I thought to myself, "Yeah, you wish." Closer inspection revealed her name to actually be "Bouncy", and I was reminded of various names of co-workers I've had over the years: Precious, Sunshine, Happy, and Merry. These were all their real names, given by their parents. Poor Bouncy. If that's not her real name, I wonder what could have been worse.

UPDATE: I should have mentioned my maternal grandmother, Mildred. When I was little and couldn't say "Grandma", I took to calling her "G.G.", after her repeated attempts to have me learn "Grandma" by spelling it out to me. G.G. stuck, and that's the name the entire family referred to her by for the rest of her life. She remarried late in life to one Edward Love, and was tickled by her new stripper name: G.G. Love. True story.

HoQuotable

"If you want half my money, you come in here and give half this blowjob." - Emily, on the HBO documentary Atlantic City Hookers, explaining why she doesn't use a pimp. Three days later and I'm still laughing.
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Morning View - Hearst Tower

Almost 80 years after the 1928 completion of its six-story base, the 46-story tower of the Hearst was added. The world headquarters for the Hearst publishing empire (SF Chronicle, Good Housekeeping, etc), the Hearst Tower was the first skyscraper to break ground in NYC after 9/11, and its innovative diamond-shape pattern has won architectural awards. My beloved Farmboyz adore the Hearst from afar, but not from within, and Eric of We, Like Sheep doesn't like it at all. What do you think? Some days I hate it, but some days I have to agree with the Farmboyz assessment: "At least it's not boring." Lots of pics here.

UPDATE: Here's a full shot of Hearst Tower.

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