Thursday, May 31, 2007

Adam Kokesh Fights On

Remember Cpl. Adam Kokesh, USMC? Last month I blogged about the sexy Iraq war veteran, photographed here at the Alberto Gonzales hearings. Because of his anti-war protests, Kokesh is now facing a revocation of his honorable discharge from the Marine Corps and a discharge from the Individual Ready Reserves.

On June 4th, Kokesh will face a military tribunal in Kansas City who will hear charges that he disgraced his uniform by wearing a "stripped-down" version in his numerous protest appearances and that he later "disrespected" an officer investigating the uniform charge. Kokesh says the he loves the Marine Corps but, “As we waste our time on such petty issues, our fellow Marines continue to die in futility.”

UPDATE: Visit Adam Kokesh's blog here. Princess Sparkle Pony has a great shot of our hero here.

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Piercing The Veil

David Hyde Pierce's publicist confirmed yesterday that the multi-Emmy winning actor is a homosexual. Was there ever any doubt? Previously Pierce had declined to discuss his personal life, taking the Sean Hayes "my private life is personal" route, although his gayness was well-known to friends and industry associates. I think Pierce is a fantastic talent, yet I can only offer slight applause for this cautious, declaration-by-lackey, sort of self-outing.

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HomoQuotable - Beth Ditto

"If there's anyone to blame for size zero, it's not women. Blame gay men who work in the fashion industry and want these women as dolls." - Lesbian rocker Beth Ditto, lead singer of The Gossip, saying that gay men are responsible putting anorexic models on runways.

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New Hampshire Get Civil Unions

New Hampshire Governor John Lynch signed that state's civil unions bill into law today. When the law goes into effect in January, NH will join Vermont, Connecticut, and New Jersey as the 4th state with civil unions available to same-sex couples. A total of 10 states now offer gay couples some sort of state-level recognition.

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Xanadu: The Musical

Last night Little David and I attended a preview of Xanadu, joining an audience that seemed to be 50% gay men. When the house lights went down, a roar of anticipation went up. David said, "Rowdy crowd!" And they were not disappointed.

Thanks to brilliant book by Douglas Carter Beane (The Little Dog Laughed), a show that could have been a dreary Electric Light Orchestra jukebox musical is instead hilariously clever. Lead by Kerry Butler, who channels Olivia Newton-John with a loving wink, and James Carpinello, who David describes as "totally sponge-worthy", Xanadu has one of the strongest ensemble casts I've ever seen. It is also, easily, the gayest not-about-the-gays show I've seen.

The show runs without an intermission, with fourteen songs including two ELO hits that weren't in the movie version and ONJ's own Have You Never Been Mellow. (No, really, and it totally works.) Mary Testa and Jackie Hoffman (love, love her) continuously steal the show as evil muses. And forget about the fourth wall, this show knows who's buying tickets. When an evil muse describes the action as "children's theatre for 40-year old gay men", the audience went wild.

As you can see from the photo below, the stage is rather simple, necessary perhaps, because the Helen Hayes is one of Broadway's smallest houses. A few lucky audience members even get to sit ON the stage. I won't give away any more of the show and you should read David's review to get a proper theatre queen's take. I am still in training for that title, but Xanadu has pushed me much closer to graduation. Highly recommended.

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Open Thread Thursday

What languages do you speak?
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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Bush To Double AIDS Budget

George Bush asked Congress today to double the amount spent fighting AIDS to $30 billion a year, beginning in 2008. In 2003, Bush requested a $15 billion annual allocation, a five-year funding that expires when the new amount would kick in. The 2003 budget remains the largest annual AIDS funding in the world. Critics complain that even the new amount is far too little to meet worldwide needs and that any AIDS funding tied to abstinence programs undercuts its effectiveness.

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You Da Man, Gerle

Over the weekend, Mikel Gerle of Los Angeles was crowned Mr. International Leather 2007 at Chicago's annual gathering of SM/BD enthusiasts and fans of the couture. Gerle will use his title year promoting world peace, fighting third world hunger, and smacking around anybody that seems to like it. Perennial favorite Mr. Trinidad-Tobago did not make the final round. After the contest, contestants and audience members gathered in the Palmer House lobby for drinks, cigars, and a heated discussion of Maria Callas.

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Hotel, Motel, Holiday Win

With an appletini in one hand and a Marlboro 100 in the other, Lady Random spun her glittery wheel and landed on Fog City Mike, this week's Swag Tuesday winner. Mike, a music writer who has just written the liner notes for the upcoming Sugarhill Gang reissues, will be getting a copy of Mike Jones' I Had To Say Something, courtesy of Seven Cities Press. Mike sez: "Wow! As an abject but admiring fan of JoeMyGod and someone who never wins anything, I am most appreciative." Publicists, if you'd like to participate in Swag Tuesday on JMG, please email me.

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Blind Item

Tonight I am going to a place where nobody dared to go.

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Morning View - BridgeMarket

My favorite supermarket is the BridgeMarket Food Emporium, cleverly wedged under the supports of the Queensboro Bridge with a fabulous tile vaulted ceiling. Just outside is Terrence Conran's Shoppe of Expensive Whimsy, where you can pick up such necessities as a $2000 molded plastic sofa.

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Gays Gone Wild!

Two weeks from today I'll be performing at Gays Gone Wild, the annual gay pride edition of WYSIWYG, alongside JMG blogroll pals Joel Derfner and Rod Townsend . This will be the final Wizzy, after four years the promoters are burned out and decided to pull the plug on a high note, as the pride show is always a smash. As usual, I don't know what I'm doing for the show yet, it usually comes to me a couple of days before. If you're in NYC on June 13th, come on by.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Swag Tuesday

Courtesy of Seven Stories Press, today's Swag Tuesday prize is a hardback copy of Mike Jones' brand new autobiography, The Art Of Ted Haggard's Fall: I Had To Say Something (cowriter: Sam Gallegos). The book ships this week.

I can't imagine that any regular reader of this or most any other gay blog would not know who Mike Jones is, but on that odd chance, go here or here (or click on his topic label) to read about Jones' stunning revelation, which earned him being voted by the readers of this and many other gay blogs as 2006 Queer Of The Year. The political fallout of Haggard's disgrace continues today.

Mike sent me an advance of the book last week and I raced through it one evening after dinner. And what do you know, gentle readers? Y'all are in the book! Mike gave the readers of JMG a very heartfelt message of thanks in the final chapter, the classy guy. The book's a breezy read, Mike and his co- writer have delivered a simple, personal recounting of the story, complete with juicy sex tidbits about the Reverend sprinkled here and there. Ugh. But I still loved reading it.

Enter to win I Had To Say Something by commenting on this post. Only your first comment counts and please include your email address. Publicists, if you'd like to take part in Swag Tuesday on JMG, please email me.

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HomoQuotable - Peter Tatchell

"I'm not deterred one iota from coming back to protest in Moscow." - British gay rights activist Peter Tatchell, who was beaten by suspected neo-nazi protesters at this weekend's Moscow gay pride event. Unbelievably, after he was beaten, Tatchell and other marchers, including Moscow Pride organizer Nikolai Aleksee were arrested by Moscow police. Tatchell delivered the keynote address to Moscow Pride before the attacks began. Read his inspiring comments here.

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Charles Nelson Reilly, 76

Charles Nelson Reilly, the campiest creature ever to challenge Paul Lynde's chiffon sash as TV's first mean queen, died yesterday in Los Angeles at 76. Most probably know Reilly from his trademark evil snigger, which he delivered for many years on game shows such as Hollywood Squares and Match Game.

However, Reilly's fame first came many years earlier, in 1961, when he won a Tony Award for the role he originated in the first production of How To Success In Business Without Really Trying. In '64, he earned a second Tony nomination for Hello, Dolly! His third Tony nom came much recently, for his direction of the '97 revival of The Gin Game. Reilly is survived by his husband of 25 years, Patrick Hughes.

I have a couple of personal memories of Charles Nelson Reilly to add. First, he was a huge cause of disagreement between me and my father, who died a little inside everytime he found me cracking up at Reilly's antics. It may have been then that I unleashed my first of many accusations of hypocrisy towards my father. Why was it that I was not to watch a dirty homo like Reilly (and worse, worship him), when my father had rearranged his bowling night, just so that he would be home to watch the Flip Wilson Show? My dad's favorite bit was when Wilson performed in drag as Geraldine, his widely loved mankiller character. Men in drag playing hookers: OK. Smart, sharp, icy gay wit: banned. Granted, 10-year old JMG couldn't quite parse the obvious ungayness of of a straight comedian doing drag.. Dressing like a woman = gay. (For the record, I did a mean impression of Geraldine myself, something my father would drunkenly wake me up late at night to perform for his friends.)

My other Reilly anecdote merely involves the time he was standing at the end of the bar at Copa in Fort Lauderdale, and I may or may not have accidentally kicked his foot, which was in a gigantic cast. Apparently I was so horrified that I may have kicked him as I sailed by, Reilly felt sorry for me and had the bartender send me a couple of drinks. Classy guy.

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Monday, May 28, 2007

Mr. Fleet Week

Mr. Fleet Week is climaxing. Waist-deep in the Hudson River he stands, back arched, toes curling, straining...UGH...to blow his patriotic load of bipedal cannon fodder one last time over America's well-fingered g-spot, Midtown Manhattan. The spot, after six nights of polite (compared to the locals) but woefully unskilled (ditto) attention, is currently wavering perilously between grateful, exhausted satiety and "not tonight fuckwads, I have a headache." As I watch the streets of Gotham swell a final time with jarheads and swabbies - all of them young perfect happy bounding eager horny puppies, their arrival again strikes me with feelings of envy and apprehension. They also make me think of boobies, but we'll get to that in a bit.

The enlisted men, who comprise a mammoth proportion of the visiting servicefolk, trod confidently, five abreast, down the almost deserted streets of midtown, streets that only hours earlier were abandoned by legions of locals fleeing to their summer refuges in the Hamptons, Fire Island, Newport, Cape Cod. The swabbies walk past posh drinkeries, where the smiling men in suits stand at the open doors, welcoming all. (They have spirited away the "not you, maybe you, never you" ropes. ) Hey Navy! No cover! Fleet Week specials! The jarheads that come inside are probably well-aware that if they were employees here, they'd likely always be "back of the house" material to most of these beaming restaurateurs, who this week are eagerly waving Puerto Rican gunners and Mexico-born supply clerks into their depopulated VIP sections. But it's OK. Everybody who's anybody is out of town.

The swabbies don't know that the folks who live behind the darkened-till-September windows of that fly penthouse duplex (with roof garden access!) consider Fleet Week the start of the "stink season", an expression that means exactly what you think it doesn't. These are the Ugly New Yorkers, the folks who spend a rilly, rilly unappealing amount of their time making it loudly known that Manhattan is the only place in the world to live if you are a Worthwhile and/or Important Person. (Except, you know, in the summer, when it isn't.) We hate them. And if we had a bajillion dollars we would go right out and buy a ginormous house in Upper Hamptaukategue Bay-On-Ocean and spend all summer long glaring at them from the cabana on our private beach. We'd give those plus-one Conde Nasties and guest list Viacommies a frowning they wouldn't soon forget, we tell you what. 'Course, all that frowning would be one way, cuz...well, you know.

Sorry. Back to reality. On the corner of 10th Avenue and 50th Street, street vendors have cagily created a push-cart gauntlet, an obstacle course of crapola. Later tonight, this Spanglish Armada of bootleg reggaeton CDs, counterfeit Yankee hats and Twin Towers snow globes will prove irresistible to beer-goggled ensigns as they stagger towards the forbidding superstructure of the U.S.S. Wasp, which intimidates even the nearby Notable NYC Landmarks, and they are Official Kodak Photo Spots (™), so that there's some high-end intimidatin', missy. Must be the nuke-tipped missiles. The vendors lie in wait, confident, relaxing. It's way early. It's gonna be a while before that first Tupac Lives t-shirt gets airbrushed, before somebody gets their baby mama's name burned onto a plaque bearing the likenesses of the Holy Trinity: Mother Teresa, the BVM, and Jennifer Lopez. Don't be mad at the rocks that they got.

But, you know, fuck all that noise, dude. Because right now, on this last night, especially fucking tonight, dude, Fleet Week has better things to do with its money.

Bro, we gotta roll. Leave dat shit on the table, son. We get it the way back, aiight? Long as you ain't throwed you money at every bitch you seen. (HIGH FIVE!)

See, right now, most of the men in Manhattan who are wearing white bell bottoms are likely carrying a fat roll of singles. A rubber-banded roll of dollar bills smirkingly acquired from the too-bored-to-be-disgusted tellers at every midtown branch of Chase or Commerce or Citibank. The tellers know where those singles are headed. Walking away from the bank, the roll of ones is fingered anxiously in each man's pocket. This is everything left over from his entire leave, savings harvested via hot dog carts, bottom shelf whisky, and walking back to the Wasp instead of taking a cab, even though there's five of you and it woulda only cost about 4 bucks each. Five, tops.

But, ah, five extra dollars to add to the roll of singles means five extra individual opportunities to place those dollars where they been destined to go. And that's to UNICEF's Feed The Children Fund. Snort. No. Actually, like Boy George, those singles are headed for a very short but closely scrutinized life on the NYC stage. There they will be shoved into the gaping orifices and glittery sweat-soaked thongs of the most popular and well-paid dancers of the New York City stage. Just like Boy George. Hah! Hey, the drummer just give me a rim shot! Just like Boy George! You're. Welcome.

The "gentlemen's establishments" 'round here seem tireless in their efforts to direct testicle-owning Gothamites to their nipplistiscated nightclubs, but even with their Howard Stern promotions, their taxi ads, their billboards, and their vampiric army of creepy Night Of The Steve Buscemi Living Dead guys handing out flyers all over Times Square, nobody seems to know where the strip clubs are. I can tell you without exaggeration that over the last week I have been asked, "Where the pussy at?" about a hundred million jillion times. Wait, it was three times. Whatever. The third time you mention pussy to the average gay man, his spam filter has kicked in. You can keep talkin' all you want, but like that guy who wants to share his Nigerian lotto winnings with you, you're just lying there unnoticed. Just like Boy George! (Yeah, still funny.)

I'm just about to cross Broadway when the intersection becomes flooded in a sea of white. An ill-organized flotilla of swabbies, perhaps one hundred in number, is milling around, anxious, excited, wanting to get somewhere really fast but having no idea where they are going or how to get there. It reminds me of a certain comic-book themed gay activist group. Some of the sailors shout conflicting directions to the others but they do not appear to be in charge. Again, I am reminded. One of them says, "Dude, this sucks. We're almost outta time. Let's just all go do our own thing." Reminded.

Then the light changes, the sailors surge, and somebody shouts, "Don't nobody know the fuck where the pussy at?" And I die a little inside. At least they didn't ask me. Somebody says, "Ask the hot nuts guy!" And still they don't ask me. How rude. Some dude cups his hands and shouts, "Fellas, y'all just gotta stay going on 7th Avenue down to 23rd. It's 'bout a thirty minute walk, fifteen if you double-time it." And in a Broadway choreography miracle that is the stuff of which Tonys are made, one hundred young men instantly coalesce into a united multi-legged creature, a single-minded, purpose-driven, white bell-bottomed Naval sperm in search of an egg, probably one named Autumn, or maybe Summer, who is currently working her way through law school by stripping.

I stand there smiling, thinking there can't possibly be enough ho's in da house for when all those boys arrive. I watch them disappear past Red Lobster and I turn back to 42nd Street, thinking how I hope those boys at least get a good thrill from the dancers. And how I hope that a lot of them get to shove their damn singles wherever they want. Then I realize that all the titty bars I happen to be familiar with seem to be on 11th Avenue, not 7th Avenue, and I wince at the thought that those boys may have blown the last hours of their last night in New York City swimming up the wrong Fallopian tube. I can't imagine what grim nightmare the U.S.S. Wasp may have in store for her crew. But I hope every. single. one. of them got this pussy thing that intrigues them so. The ones that wanted it, anyway. Including the girls. Especially the girls.
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Sunday, May 27, 2007

On Bear Hill

Father Tony took this shot at yesterday's picnic on Bear Hill in Central Park. I'll post some pics of my own after the weekend is over. In the meantime, Father Tony has lots more over at his place. This photo is now embiggen-friendly.

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Saturday, May 26, 2007

"Chelsea, You Rule"

You gotta love the copywriter that came up with this Virgin Mobile ad that Superdaddy and I found on a phone booth on 8th Avenue, which playfully compares sexual versatility to Virgin's phone plan. Super and I walked all the way from the West Village to the GB:NYC4 drink-up at Therapy, where a massive crowd of sodden bloggers awaited. Along the way we passed lots of squids and jarheads mobbing the pubs of midtown. We found another Virgin ad at 47th Street, "Theatre District, You Rule", but it wasn't nearly as funny as this one.

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Pier Queers

LEFT: Eric Leven, an organizer, shows off the flyer for Queer Justice League's first action at the Christopher Street piers. Meant to "celebrate the queer presence on the piers", most of the kids took a flyer and paid interest to the speakers for a bit before returning to their vogueing and cell phones. It was a good beginning, I think.



Friday, May 25, 2007

Rosie Ankles View Early

Today was Rosie O'Donnell's last day on The View, she will not be returning for her final three weeks after Wednesday's huge blow-up with co-host Elizabeth Hasselbeck. The official reason for the early departure is that Rosie has requested "early leave". Damn. I was really looking forward to watching Rosie finish out her contract, unrestrained and unapologetic.

Rosie has long been angling to replace Bob Barker in The Price Is Right and yesterday she took out a full-page ad in Variety that commended Barker's 50 years in show business and reminded him of her love for the show. Barker is reportedly adamantly opposed to Rosie replacing him.

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It Would Be, It Would Be So Nice

Shelley Winters plans on spending her holiday weekend pursuing her two favorite hobbies: spazzing out attacking random objects and creating pillow forts. Myself, I'll be haunting the various gay blogger meet-ups that are scheduled for GB:NYC4, where I hope to run into lots of y'all that aren't escaping to the beach.

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Queers Of The Piers

The Queer Justice League is staging their first action tonight:
Celebrate the "Queer of the Piers" Meeting and Rally at the Christopher St. Piers. TODAY Friday May 25th at 8PM. Our action is to introduce who we are, our mission, gain support and bring visibility to a number of queer related issues occuring at the pier. Please come dance, kiss, chant and celebrate our visibility in the summer sky! ALL ARE WELCOME!
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Gay Or Experienced?

Well, rats. I can't lobby my state assemblyman to support the gay marriage bill because I don't have one. Gov. Spitzer recently named Pete Grannis the state environmental commissioner, something I somehow missed. Today I got a notice that a special election to replace Grannis will take place on June 5th.

But woohoo, the Democratic candidate to replace Grannis is Micah Kellner, 28, who is endorsed by the Victory Fund and would become the 4th openly LGBT member of the state assembly. Kellner is a former aide to Carolyn Maloney, my Congresswoman. On the other hand, Kellner's Republican opponent is Gregory Camp, 45, the former Deputy Director of Criminal Justice, a straight supporter of gay marriage and the BF of Sonia Ossorio, who head's the NYC chapter of NOW.

So do I want an inexperienced openly gay "pup" (as one blog characterizes Kellner), or a experienced Yale lawyer and friend of teh gays? I've crossed party lines before (Bloomberg), but I'm a bit embarrassed to believe that my kneejerk reaction is to always go to the gay guy, regardless of qualifications. I'm gonna give Kellner a call and suss him out.

UPDATE: JMG reader (and my neighbor) Marcia points out a story in today's Gay City News that mentions that Kellner is actually bisexual and is in a long-term relationship with a woman at present. According to the article, Kellner, who has cerebral palsy, is a long-time advocate for the disabled and has worked for many Democratic causes, including being a member of the Reform Caucus, which pushed the state party into supporting same-sex marriage. Kullner has a partnered lesbian sister. This guy is rather interesting.

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More Success For Clinton Foundation

Bill Clinton received a check for $1 million yesterday from the proceeds of Vienna's Life Ball, money that will be used to continue his work to provide low-cost AIDS medications to third world nations. Recently Clinton struck a deal with Indian drugmakers that will allow Thailand to buy meds for a fraction of their normal cost. Earlier this month, the William J. Clinton Foundation, in partnership with UNITAID, announced that they were now providing middle and low income nations with a first-line once-a-day pill for under a dollar. Now if we could only get to that dollar-a-day point here in the U.S.

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Morning View - Keyspan

The ugliest blight on the NYC skyline is the Keyspan power plant on the East River in Queens. It's loud too, crackling and humming.

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Acting!


Yeah, I'm not buying it either.

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Talking Truth

Truth Wins Out, an organization devoted to exposing the lies of the "ex-gay" industry, has a new internet video campaign called "Talking Truth" which features several video testimonies from former members of Exodus, including this one from a fellow named Shawn, who describes how his Exodus group would cruise the mall for hot men. Visit the Truth Wins Out site for more videos.

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Transmen Controversies

Transmen, female-to-male transexuals, continue to be barred from membership in Chicago's Hellfire BD/SM club, the largest of some 400 such clubs in the nation. Despite some internal dissent, including the resignation of the club's newletter editor, the membership recently voted to maintain their 10-year policy that "there must be a penal [sic] attachment." Hellfire is one of the few BD/SM clubs in country to have an active policy against FTMs.

Trans activists are questioning the legality of such a policy, citing Hellfire's open invitation to membership on their website and that the club is licensed by the city of Chicago, which has a gender identity ordinance. Transmen often do not have complete gender reassignment surgery, for a variety of reasons. Many leather transmen will be in Chicago this weekend for the International Mister Leather pageant, when Hellfire will be hosting several events of their own.

In a related story, Frameline, San Francisco's gay film festival, has yanked a screening of lesbian filmmaker Catherine Crouch's The Gendercator, after local trans activists complained that the film was transphobic. Crouch say her film is a "short satirical take on female body modification and gender," adding, "If this film is a flashpoint between lesbians and trans people, shouldn't it happen at Frameline? Shouldn't it happen in San Francisco?" Crouch, who describes her film as science fiction, says she is alarmed by the number of lesbians she sees transitioning into men and "how fast it is happening." Frameline has never removed a film from its schedule due to content in its 31-year history.

My take is that both Hellfire and Frameline are wrong. Transmen deserve the chance to be ignored at sex parties just like the rest of us. And while I haven't seen The Gendercator, censoring a film that seems to speak to a real sense of alarm among some lesbians only stifles the needed conversation as transmen continue to gain visibility.

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Haliburton Junior, Jr.

Yesterday Mary Cheney and Heather Poe gave birth to a baby boy, Samuel David Cheney, seen here with his grandparents, Lynne and Shotgun.

I have to agree with Rex Wockner, who says, "I have to hand it to the Cheneys. For more than six years now they have been PFLAG parents to Mary and Heather and also somehow kept the religious-right, gay-bashing Republican base from throwing a deal breaker hissy about it. I watched the whole dance be performed step-by-step, I wrote about it on occasion, but, in the end, I haven't the foggiest idea how they pulled it off. How did they get away with it?"

Still no word on who the father may be. Family Pride is holding a digital baby shower for the future Haliburton heir, money he'll need since his mommy's book is now selling for FIVE CENTS on Amazon.

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The View Blows Up

In her waning days on The View, Rosie O'Donnell has become more aggresive in confronting Bush-loving co-host Elizabeth Hasselbeck. After Joy Behar reads a rather comprehensive list of Bush trangressions, asking "Why can't we get RID of this guy?", Rosie and Elizabeth really get into it. The local news interviewed audience members after the show, most of whom expressed discomfort with how personal the argument became.

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HomoQuotable - Stephen Benjamin

"I was always discreet, I never considered it would be an issue. I thought if I don't say anything, they're not going to ask me. But it was more aggressive than I thought." - Arabic languages specialist Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Stephen Benjamin, who was dismissed from the Navy in another round of DADT-related firings. Benjamin admitted sending his former roommate in Iraq messages on a secure secret military computer system, where he discussed his dating life.

Benjamin: "I'd always had been out since the day I started working there. We had conversations about being gay in the military and what it was like. There were no issues with unit cohesion. I never caused divisiveness or ever experienced slurs." Straight members of his unit who used the computer for personal messages were disciplined but not dismissed. Some members of Congress, including Rep. Marty Meehan who is seeking the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", have asked for a hearing on the issue of Arab linguists, 58 of whom have been fired for being gay.

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Morning View - Little Singer Building

Built in 1902, the art nouveau Little Singer Building on Broadway in Soho, where Singer sewing machines were built, was converted to retail, artist and loft spaces in 1979. The 41-story Singer Tower, built nearby in 1908, was for a short time the tallest building in the world, but was demolished in 1968, making it the tallest building in the world ever "legitimately" destroyed. Both were designed by Ernest Flagg, who also designed the Naval Academy (it's all-Navy week on JMG!) The L-shaped Little Singer has nearly identical facings on both Broadway and Prince Street.

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They Want You As A New Recruit

This being Fleet Week in NYC, I'm reminded of a story from when I lived in Orlando, back when the Naval Training Center was open, circa 1982.

Phone rings......

Joe: Hello?

Woman: Is this Joe?

Joe: Yes, it is.

Woman: Joe, you don't know me, but I'm David's mother. He's sitting right here with me and he doesn't want to talk to you, but I'm calling on his behalf to let you know that he has Come.Back.To.The.Lord! (Praise Jesus!) David has been born again and is once again walking the path of the righteous! (Praise Jesus!) When his leave is over he will be restricted to the base under the guidance of his pastor and won't be seeing you anymore. (Praise Jesus!) I'm calling for him to let you know that we're both praying for you and that we hope that you too can return to the love of Jesus, who died on the cross for you.

Joe: Um, who's David?

It was a busy, busy time for me.
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Open Thread Thursday

What are you doing this summer?
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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Evening View - 1st Avenue

First Avenue, looking northward from under the Queensboro Bridge at 59th Street. I live about 10 lights up, on the left.

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California Chaos

Lady Random's wheel landed on #108, making this week's Swag Tuesday winner Thomas, who blogs from California at Oh, Manchester. Thomas sez: "Holy s---, I never win anything! Wow. I'm very excited to have won this week's Swag Tuesday - Edmund White is one of the best writers around and has been for decades, and should be considered a national treasure." Thanks very much to Avalon Publishing. Chaos by Edmund White is in stores now. Publicists: If you'd like to take part in Swag Tuesday on JMG, please email me.

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$6.8M For NYC AIDS Walk

I'm a couple days behind on this, but AIDS Walk New York raised a record $6.8 million on Sunday, with the proceeds headed for GMHC and over 50 other HIV/AIDS organizations. Celebrities taking part included Cyndi Lauper, Whoopi Goldberg, Alan Cumming, T.R. Knight, and Lance Bass. A massive crowd of 45,000 walked this year, also a new record.

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The Fleet Is In

Fleet Week 2007 begins today and the ships are beginning to pull in at Pier 90. Insert your tired "seaman" jokes below.

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Bombs For Phelps

A Liberty University student was arrested at Jerry Falwell's funeral yesterday after police were tipped off by his family that he had brought bombs that he intended to throw at the Westboro contingent that was protesting at the event. The bombs were described as a soda-can sized "sort of napalm". Man, the gentle loving people of the Lord are ready to kill each other over who can hate more. (Photo via - Towleroad.)

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PlanetOut Tumbles

Ouch. PlanetOut's stock price has nosedived since last week's earnings announcement, closing yesterday at $1.11, recovering slightly from an all-time low of $0.86 at midday. The 52-week high for the stock, which trades as LGBT, was $7.95.

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O'Donnell Intro's NY Marriage Bill

Openly gay New York State Assemblyman Danny O'Donnell (Rosie's brother) introduced Gov. Elliot Spitzer's gay marriage bill to the state Assembly yesterday. The bill, which is expected to come to a vote in the next few weeks, needs 76 votes to pass. The Empire State Pride Agenda says 69 members have indicated support, 48 are undecided, and 33 have voiced oppostion. The bill will face much stronger opposition in the state Senate. O'Donnell's district covers the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

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Morning View - East River

It's hard to believe that people fish out of the East River, but they do. As it is a tidal strait, visitors to New York are sometimes baffled to see the East River rushing rapidly uptown, away from the sea. I always think that looks neat.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

GB:NYC 4

The fourth annual gay bloggers meet-up takes place in NYC this weekend. Largely organized by Dallas-based bon vivant Zeitzeuge Mark, this year's drunkathon stretches over the holiday weekend.

Friday 9PM: Cocktails at Therapy in Hell's Kitchen, 348 W.52nd Street.

Saturday 2PM-6PM: Central Park picnic on Bear Hill above the roller-disco near the flagpole. Live DJs, wacky NYC characters, no alcohol allowed. (But plenty consumed. Suggestions: white wine in Sprite bottles, thermos margaritas, etc.) Bear Hill is just west of the bandshell. Enter at 72nd Street.

Saturday Late Night: The NYC Eagle's (NSFW) rooftop bar in Chelsea at 554 W.28th Street.

Sunday Beer Bust Blarg Hop: Beginning at the Dugout at 5pm, we will haul our sodden butts up 8th Avenue with hour-long ssshtops at Gym Bar, Rawhide, View Bar, finishing at the Eagle at 9PM. You may wish to take a cab from Dugout to Gym Bar.

If this GB:NYC goes like the previous three, there will be outrageous displays of drinking abilities and disabilities, with accompanying groping, macking, and hooking up. Please join us, all are welcome. Bloggers, let me know if you plan on attending and I'll add you to this post so that your stalkers know where to find you.

ATTENDING: Zeitzeuge, Queerty,VelleityNYC, Someone In A Tree, Palochi, Farmboyz, Mark Of Kane, Crash And Bryne, Traveling Spotlight, Habitat 67, Fox In The City, Cynically Optimistic, Life Is Such A Sweet Insanity. Cornelius-A-Go-Go. Glennalicious, See My Briefs. Ham & Cheese On Wry, The Ninth Circle Of Helen, Spamwise, Atari Age, More to come.

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The Bearded Governor

Florida Governor Charlie "Closet" Crist has grown a beard and her name is Kelly. Yesterday they made their relationship known to the St. Petersburg Times, who gushed, "She's blond. She's tan. She's a mother of two, a former beauty queen who auditioned for NBC's Fear Factor by eating a live earthworm and hiding four lizards in her mouth."

During his election campaign Crist was dogged by persistent news stories about his gayness, including one that he'd had an affair with the 21-year old assistant of evil shrew Katherine Harris. Crist, who campaigned on a platform that included opposition to gay marriage, was quoted as saying, "Marriage is a sacred relationship. Like I had, before I got divorced." After he was elected, Crist softened his stance on gay marriage, saying that the state Republican party had better things to spend their money on.

Yesterday, Crist signed a bill moving Florida's election primary to January 29th, leaping ahead of the other traditional early primary states. Both parties have threatened to penalize Florida by removing half of their conventional delegates as Crist's move could force them to dramatically redraw their strategies. Florida's diverse and large population makes it a bellwether primary state and any candidate that did poorly in their new early primary would likely not survive to the next round. The bill also stipulates that all Florida voting machines must now provide a paper record of the votes.

As for Miss Kelly, I'll quote Andy Towle, "We wish her the best with his realness."
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Spinning Right Round

Dead Or Alive frontman Pete Burns, 47, is looking for a personal assistant to work on the set of his upcoming British reality show which begins filming in June. "Would you love to work for a celebrity? This role is not for the faint hearted! Are you highly efficient, motivated, organised, flexible, and thick skinned?!"

Burns continues his plastic surgery obsession, even after a botched 2006 lip surgery forced him to spend his life savings on reconstruction. Last year Burns divorced his wife of 20 years and is now living with a man. Did you know that Dead Or Alive is one of the most popular acts in Japan, where they've had 18 number ones? Brand New Lover still gets play in my iTunes.

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Yellow To Green

NYC Mayor Bloomberg will announce today that all city taxis must be converted to gas/electric hybrids by 2012. Approximately 20% of the fleet will be converted every year until the target date. While I'm certain that taxi owners will transfer the cost of this conversion to city riders, with the exception of a couple of major missteps, Bloomberg continues to impress me.

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Double Standards

FexEx/Kinko's, Vanderbilt Street, 8:30am

Male Hipster: I still can't believe you slept with him. I mean, he's cool and all, but...

Female Hipster: Well, clearly he's not completely gay.

MH: Nuh-uh. Once you've done it, you are all the way gay.

FH: Well, I guess that makes me a lesbian.

MH: That's HOT.

FH: Whatever, dude.
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Morning View - Toys R Us

The centerpiece of the gigantic Times Square Toys R Us is a three-story ferris wheel with passenger cars in shapes of popular toy brands: Hello Kitty, Cabbage Patch Kids, Barbie, etc. There's usually a long line to board and tickets are about $4. And no, I've never ridden it. There's also a giant animatronic T-Rex and a two-story Barbie Dream House.

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Swag Tuesday

Courtesy of Avalon Publishing, this week's swag prize is Chaos: A Novella and Stories, the new book from Edmund White, revered author of the must-have trilogy for fans of gay literature: A Boy's Own Story, The Beautiful Room Is Empty, and The Farewell Symphony. And many of you may fondly recall 1977's The Joy Of Gay Sex, which White coauthored with Charles Silverstein. (That book taught 18-year old Joe a lot.)

The press blurb for Chaos:
When a respected older man clings to the values and mores of the liberated 1970s, when he pursues sex relentlessly and his reputation suffers, Chaos ensues. White explores different aspects of aging, romance, and sex, inviting his readers to come with him to Florida, the Greek Isles, and Turkey — and into the chaotic gay demimonde of contemporary New York.
Enter to win Chaos by Edmund White by commenting on this post before midnight tonight. Only your first comment counts and please remember to leave your email. Publicists: if you'd like to take part in Swag Tuesday on JMG, please email me.
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Monday, May 21, 2007

Evening View - Jersey City

Downtown Jersey City as seen from Christopher Street. Jersey City's skyline has been growing steadily since 9/11, thanks to all the Manhattan companies that bailed. JC is the second-biggest city in the state, behind Newark, with about 240,000 residents. Interestingly, JC has no ethnic majority, all races are represently almost equally.

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Bill Maher On Falwell

Bill Maher delivers the definitive (and hilarious) eulogy.

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Global Relations

Saturday night I found myself chatting with a guy from Nottingham and a guy from Sydney, when naturally the conversation turned to American imperialism. I jokingly asked a friend nearby, "Quick, name five famous Australians." He hesitated and I added, "Besides Kylie." He said, "Oh, shoot. Um...there's her sister, Danni. Oh, and Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe." I said, "Don't forget Crocodile Dundee." Who actually isn't a person. And that's where we got stuck. I couldn't even come up with John Howard, the Prime Minister. The English guy said, "And who's from Nottingham?" My eyes lit up, but he jumped in, "Besides Robin Hood." Damn.

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More Haloscan Issues

Again, the commenting system on this here website thingy is acting up. I've noticed that Haloscan has added a widget that notes how many people are viewing an individual comment box. If that's the cause of the current issue, there doesn't seem to be a way to disable that function. Boo.

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Jimmy Carter Gets Pissed

Calling Bush the "worst president in history" in international relations, Jimmy Carter said yesterday: "We now have endorsed the concept of preemptive war where we go to war with another nation militarily, even though our own security is not directly threatened, if we want to change the regime there or if we fear that sometime in the future our security might be endangered." This is considered to be the strongest denunciation of a sitting president by a former. Carter went on to tell the BBC that Tony Blair's support for Bush was "Abominable. Loyal. Blind. Apparently subservient."

I love Jimmy Carter, always have.

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Desperation Moves

In an "open letter to the black community" televangelist Rev. Harry Jackson Jr. is calling on African-Americans to oppose the Matthew Shepard Act, the Senate version of the LGBT-inclusive hate crimes bill that recently passed in the House. Jackson: "As a pastor, I am concerned about the potential of being charged with a crime as the result of the actions of someone who may have attended my church, heard my sermons, or read my articles. I, like other pastors, do not preach hate. The black church has historically preached love and repentance. I cannot, however, guarantee that a subjective interpretation of this hate crime legislation will not define my biblical messages as hate speech."

Jackson notes that the bill already has broad support from many with the black community, accusing those organizations of having been "influenced by the huge dollars that gay lobbyists bring to the political table." (I guess he's forgotten the huge grant his church got from Bush for his "healthy marriage" initiative.) Jackson has been a vocal supporter of the Bush regime and is considered their "go-to" guy for rallying support from evangelical blacks. There is still no apparent date set for the Senate vote on the hate crimes bill, which a recent poll shows enjoys broad popular support from the public.

RELATED: According to today's HRC alert, Christian activists are currently swamping Senate offices with calls to vote against the Matthew Shepard Act. Use the HRC template to contact your Senator and urge their support. My senators, Clinton and Schumer of New York, are on board. Are yours?
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New Record For Gas Prices

Gas prices are at an all-time high nationwide and when I took this picture a few days ago, I thought NYC probably had much higher prices. Not so much, the national average today stands at $3.20/gallon and in California the average price is $3.40. Still, adjusted for inflation, the 1981 average price of $1.31 would be $3.15 today.

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Morning View - Narrowest House

The narrowest house in New York City, at 75 1/2 Bedford Street in Greenwich Village, is just 9.5 feet wide. Former residents of the house include poet Edna St. Vincent Millay, Margaret Mead, John Barrymore, and Cary Grant. The house is 36 feet deep and all three floors are open, without any actual rooms save a second floor bathroom. The house is assumed to have been built sometime prior to 1873, when it was first noted in city records. Before it was a home, the building was used a cobbler's shop and a candy factory. In 1999, it sold for $1.6 million. the Cherry Lane Theatre is two building away.

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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Soho Sunday













The Farmboyz and I spent the day down in Soho and the Village, where we scoped out rents, bakeries, and men, in that order. Shifting priorities, eh?

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Friday, May 18, 2007

Hillary Needs A Song

In a move to shed her stodgy image, Sen. Hillary Clinton is asking visitors to her presidential campaign site help her pick her official campaign song. The songs to choose from include Right Here, Right Now - Jesus Jones, Beautiful Day - U2, I'm A Believer - Smash Mouth, and curiously, the old R&B classic, I'll Take You There by the Staples Singers. Hmm, not much on her list really seems to say "Hillary" to me. Maybe we can do better?

Seeing as how Sen. Clinton loves to straddle the issues, my own nominees:

Wiggle It - 2 In A Room
Torn Between Two Lovers -Mary MacGregor
Both Sides Now - Joni Mitchell
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HomoQuotable - Bob Kohler

"Do we crucify people because they're a nuisance? Do we go up to them and say, 'You don't belong here for being young and loud, and being people of color? It's life. It changes, and we have to change with it." - Bob Kohler, 80, a 30-year resident of the West Village, in today's LA Times article about the continuing clash between residents and the hundreds of LGBT youth of color than visit the West Village.

I've written about this issue in the past and despite some improvements in city policy, violence and rowdiness continues to trouble residents, who loudly disagree on how to handle their changing neighborhood. As the article points out, white gay men were once the neighborhood's outcasts themselves, back when the West Village was largely populated by Italian families, back when restaurants would have signs saying, "If you're gay, stay away." When AIDS decimated the Village, the younger gay crowd headed uptown, for Chelsea, for Hell's Kitchen. And furious gentrification ensued.

According to Kohler, the root of the issue is that his neighbors simply "don't want black faces on Christopher Street." I'd have to say that he's partially right. Teenagers do yell, they do play loud music, they do fight. Those are the defining characteristics of teenagers everywhere. But the bigger issue here, as always, is class. These kids are poor. They come to the West Village from Harlem, from Newark, from the outer boroughs. Their entire social life is the pier and Christopher Street.

As noted in my own above-linked story, I have myself been menaced by a group of these kids. There is a real problem with safety on the streets of the West Village. But how does forcing the city to chase these teenagers away improve their lives? Some residents want to force PATH to close the Christopher Street station on weekends. That's not the answer, I don't know what the answer is, but that response embarrasses me.

RELATED: Some of the these queer youth organized last year into an advocacy group called FIERCE! and they will be holding a meeting next week to discuss this issue.

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South African Churches Line Up For Gays

The South African government has released a list of 17 churches that have had their applications to perform gay marriages approved. The churches are all outside of the major denominations. The Anglican, Baptist, Presbyterian and Catholic churches have barred their clergy from performing the ceremonies, which were legalized last November, but some churches are considering leaving their denominations for ones more gay-friendly. When South Africa approved gay marriage, I recall Jon Stewart reporting the story, saying, "Just to reiterate, America is now less progressive than South Africa."

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