Thursday, June 07, 2007

Top Ten Gay Plumbing Terms

Since Surgeon General nominee Dr. James "Asshat" Holsinger likes to use plumbing analogies to illustrate his opposition to gay sex as dangerous and dirty, I'd like to provide him with my top ten favorite gay plumbing terms.

10. Back vent
9. Suction head
8. Blow bag
7. Hole saw
6. Discharge tube
5. Nipple clamp
4. Manhole
3. Rim hole
2. Reamer

And our #1 gay plumbing term: BALLCOCK.

You're welcome.

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Pride'07 Launches

Pride Magazine 2007, the 10th annual issue of the official publication of gay pride nationwide, has shipped to gayborhoods, LGBT organizations, and local pride committees all over the country. Published in partnership with InterPride, the mentoring, networking, and education coalition of gay pride committees worldwide, by this weekend you will find Pride'07 stacked ass-high from Chelsea to Castro. Contact your local pride committee if you cannot find a copy of Pride'07 in your usual finer homotastic and lesberiffic reading materials locations.

Pride'07 covers state-of-the-movement LGBT issues, from "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" to the plight of Eastern European gays to transgender workplace rights. You'll also find Pride's annual couples photo shoot, fashion coverage, and smart commentary from community leaders. Check out Towleroad's exclusive insight to this year's cover feature about Antonio Agnone and Brandon Juarez, a couple who met while in the Marine Corps and Air Force, respectively, and who now campaign together for the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

RELATED: I forgot to mention that on Memorial Day I appeared on HRC head Joe Solmonese's XM radio show, The Agenda, to talk about the upcoming pride season. You can listen to a stream of my segment on their site. Hopefully you won't think I sound like a complete tool. I'd say it's a 50/50 shot.

ALSO RELATED: This weekend Pride Month kicks into high gear, with major events in Washington, Los Angeles, Boston, Cinncinnati, Philadelphia and other cities. Tomorrow I will rerun for the third time my annual rant about gay pride, apathy, and internalized homophobia.

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Bisexual Wins Seat In NY State Assembly

On Tuesday, openly bisexual Micah Kellner won his special election to the New York State Assembly, defeating Republican, yet gay-friendly and progressive, Gregory Camp. Kellner is the first openly bisexual person ever elected to the state Assembly and joins as the fifth openly LGBT person presently serving in the state legislature.

The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund released a statement: "Micah will be a strong voice and a committed lawmaker for the people of New York in the State Assembly. His victory means that five openly gay, lesbian or bisexual lawmakers will now serve in the Assembly and the Senate, and that is excellent news for everyone who works toward full equality for all New Yorkers. We are proud to have endorsed and supported Micah's campaign."

As you may recall from an earlier post, Micah Kellner is now my state Assemblyman. While I had expressed some doubt about his inexperience versus his highly praised (albeit Republican) opponent, I did vote for Kellner in the end. Turnout, as you might imagine for a single-district special election, was abysmal, with only about 6200 votes cast in a district that surely contains ten times that many voters. I think I woke up about a dozen poll workers when I spoke out loud to request directions to the correct table. Kellner won with 64% of the vote, saying, "We ran a great campaign on the issues and I'm really proud of the campaign we ran. And I'm just really looking forward to going to Albany and representing the voters of the Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island."

While Kellner still has to prove himself in real-world Albany, I feel obliged to mention that for the first time in memory, I am rather satisfied with all of my major representation at the local, state, and national level: Kellner, Krueger, Bloomberg, Spitzer, Maloney, Schumer, and even Hillary Clinton (most of the time). There's just that one schmuck working for me that fucks up the list.

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Anti-Holsinger Campaign Builds

More information is coming to light about the past of Surgeon General nominee James Holsinger as steam builds in the campaign to oppose his nomination. Kids, Dubya has really out-twatted himself with this homophobic, unscientific, Christer nutjob. "In 1991, Dr. James W. Holsinger -- a University of Kentucky professor who is President Bush's nominee for U.S. surgeon general -- wrote a paper arguing that gay sex is biologically unnatural and unhealthy.

Like male and female pipe fittings, certain male and female body parts are designed for each other, Holsinger wrote in a paper prepared for a United Methodist Church committee studying homosexuality. "When the complementarity of the sexes is breached, injuries and diseases may occur," Holsinger wrote in the paper, titled Pathophysiology of Male Homosexuality."

Gabrielle Rotello on Huffington Post: "I guess it's no big surprise that our lame duck, brain dead president would nominate an outspoken 'phobe to be the top doctor of a nation where gays and lesbians pay taxes like anybody else. And a nation still in the midst of an AIDS epidemic and a host of other health issues affecting lesbians and gay men."

Ronald Jackson, deputy director of AIDS Action: "Dr. Holsinger has a track record of anti-gay sentiments. We feel that his views on homosexuality will infuse and guide his policies and direction as surgeon general."

Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force: "With the nomination of Dr. Holsinger, the Bush administration is once again elevating ideology over public policy and once again throwing red meat to its ravenous anti-gay supporters. Dr. Holsinger's record shows that his own biases will not allow him to look objectively at scientific information. Consequently, he is not qualified to be Surgeon General and we call upon the Senate to promptly reject his nomination."

Bible Belt Blogger: Gay sex, he (Holsinger) warned, can lead to "lacerations, perforations and deaths...The anatomic and physiologic facts of alimentation and reproduction simply do not change based on any cultural setting. In fact, the logical complementarity of the human sexes has been so recognized in our culture that it has entered our vocabulary in the form of naming various pipe fittings either the male fitting or the female fitting depending upon which one interlocks within the other. When the complementarity of the sexes is breached, injuries and diseases may occur as noted above."

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Boulder Bounty

Lady Miss Oracle spun her wheel yesterday, landing on commenter #49, Carl, of Boulder, Colorado who says, "This is so exciting! It will be a lovely break from reading medical journal articles. Maybe someday I can go there for the annual "Greyhounds on the Beach". Carl wins Fay Jacobs' bestselling As I Lay Frying: A Rehoboth Beach Memoir and Jacobs' brand new Fried & True: Tales From Rehoboth Beach. Congrats to Carl and thanks to A&M Books. Publicists: if you'd like to take part in Swag Tuesday on JMG, please email me.


Murder, He Blogged

Birthday Party, Upper West Side, Monday, 8PM

Momentarily abandoned by the two people at the party that I know well, I am engaged in conversation by a yellow Crocs-wearing, pop-collared, fauxhawked angertwink:

Angertwink: So, Rob said you are a writer?

JMG: Depends on your definition. I have a blog.

AT: A what? A blog? Wait, is that on the internet?

JMG: What, you seriously don't know about blogs?

AT: Um, I don't know, I guess I do. Like, name one.

JMG: Well, I guess one of the most famous ones is Andrew Sullivan's...

AT: Andrew.... who? Oh, right! That guy who killed Gianni Versace!

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Morning View - Cooper-Hewitt

The Cooper-Hewitt, on the Upper East Side at 5th Avenue & 91st, is the national museum of design history and contemporary design. This main building was the former mansion of philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. In 1972, the Carnegie Foundation donated the mansion and surrounding property to the Smithsonian, who opened the museum in 1976.

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Open Thread Thursday

My apologies for the lack of posts yesterday. I wasn't feeling well in the morning and couldn't get to a computer for the rest of the day. Aside from a rare shirking of my duty to you, gentle reader, I was struck by the fact that since I'd also managed to misplace my cell for the day, I was completely out of touch with everybody for more than 12 hours. It's rather amazing (and sweet) that in a mere 12 hours of radio silence, I returned to my intarweb to find just under 100 concerned or puzzled emails from friends and readers.

So the question is this: In today's Crackberry/cellphone/email world, what's the longest you have been completely out of touch (deliberately or accidentally) to those wishing to reach you?


Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Kokesh Loses In Tribunal

Cpl. Adam Kokesh, Iraq vet, anti-war activist, UMSC reservist, and AMERICAN HERO, lost his case before the Marine Corps today as a three-member panel recommended that he be involuntarily released from the Individual Ready Reserves and have his honorable discharge from the Marine Corps downgraded to a "general", or less-than-honorable discharge. Kokesh was brought up on charges that he had dishonored his uniform by wearing a "stripped-down" version of it to anti-Iraq war protests.

A general discharge means that Kokesh will get to keep his GI benefits, which a dishonorable discharge would have ended. The separation from the Individual Ready Reserves is largely symbolic, as Kokesh was scheduled to complete his committment on June 18th.

Kokesh's lawyer said, "What that means is he is not dishonorable, and he's only kind of honorable, so in effect, the board picked the safe route." Kokesh vowed to appeal the ruling, saying, "I'm standing on principle and we're going to contest this on principle. It's not going to go away. It's clear these tactics of intimidation are being used against members of Iraq Veterans Against the War. Freedom of speech means the right to say what other people don't want to hear."

On Sunday, Kokesh appeared on Good Morning America with two other Iraq vets charged for their anti-war activities:

The Iraq Veterans Against The War are spinning today's ruling as a victory, since Kokesh did not receive the severest punishment available. Please leave your messages of support for Adam Kokesh at his blog, where right wingers have been leaving hate messages, including calling Kokesh a "faggot" for his anti-war views.

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HomoQuotable - Graham Norton

"One of the most annoying myths about celebrity is that it might get you laid. In fairness, the people I do sleep with are better-looking than the people I slept with prior to becoming famous. But I think it's to do with being rich as well." - Talk show host Graham Norton.

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Gay Protest At NYC Russian Consulate

With Russian news cameras rolling, rainbow flag creator Gilbert Baker and gay activist Brendan Fay poured Stolichnaya vodka into the street in front of New York City's Russian consulate in protest of the treatment of Russian gays by their government.

Under the wary eye of the NYPD (who did NOT want to be photographed) and U.S. State Department operatives (the earpieces are a dead giveaway), a small group of protesters marched on the sidewalk with placards. Brendan Fay attempted to deliver a letter of complaint to the consulate staff, but they did not come to the door.

I spoke briefly with the Russian news team, who seemed sympathetic to the cause and promised that their story will run on Russian satellite news later today. I will provide a link to their online streaming account of the event when it becomes available. Russian nationals waiting at the consulate were generally friendly, with one woman commenting that she worries for the safety of her gay cousin in St. Petersburg.

RELATED: SPI International, the Russian spirits manufacturer that has owned the rights to make and distribute Stoli since 1992, won an 18-month court battle against the Russian government in the U.S. District Court of Southern New York in April 2007, granting it the right to the trademark in the United States. Pernod Ricard, the international distributor of Stoli, acquired the brand last year when it bought Allied Domecq, a former co-defendant in SPI's case. When Russia stripped SPI's right to bottle and sell Stoli from Russian soil in 2002, SPI moved manufacturing to Latvia, despite continuing to label Stoli as "authentically Russian vodka". Pernod Ricard maintains the the vodka is merely bottled in Latvia and is shipped there in bulk from Russian distilleries, although that claim is disputed. The Russian state-owned import-export agency Soyuzplodimport continues to maintain that they alone hold the right to manufacture and sell Stoli, which is the 3rd largest selling vodka in America, with annual sales of $400 million.

UPDATE: Today's action at the Russian consulate is being criticized by some activists, who maintain that as a private (for now) brand that strongly supports gay events and causes, Stoli is not a correct target for a boycott. While I only heard of this boycott today, my understanding thus far is that Stoli was chosen due to its being the most widely-known Russian brand is the world, with the hope that the mainstream media would finally take notice of the plight of Russian gays. If the organizers of today's action would care to elaborate on Stoli's selection, I'll post their explanation here.

UPDATE II: The NY Blade used the top photo in today's cover story.

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Russian Embassy Protests Today

UPDATE: This post has been updated above, with photos.

Late notice, but there's a vigil taking place today at the Russian embassies in New York (noon) and San Francisco (4pm) in protest of the treatment of gay pride marchers at last week's Moscow Pride event. Protesters intend to pour Stolichnaya vodka into the sewers in front of each embassy. Nikolai Aleseyeev, head of Moscow Pride, says, "We are thankful for the support of gay Americans mobilizing on our behalf to do what we can't - stage vigils at Russian government offices. Please don't forget about your brothers and sisters beyond the United States, and our difficult struggle for equality."

Supporters of the protest include Brendan Fay, of Irish Queers, and Gilbert Baker, creator of the rainbow flag. Michael Petrelis is organizing the SF vigil, asking, "I beg my fellow gay and lesbian Americans to refrain from buying Stoli vodka, as just one way to express solidarity with gays in Moscow. This Pride season, please avoid ordering Stoli."

Read the U.S. State Department's comment of the plight of gays in Russia. An exerpt:
In May gay rights activists hosted a small international conference in Moscow on combating homophobia; however, the mayor of Moscow and the courts denied their applications to hold a gay pride parade. According to Human Rights Watch, on May 27, several dozen Russian lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender protestors, accompanied by Russian and foreign supporters, including members of the European and German parliaments, sought to hold two successive protest rallies, one to lay flowers on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier near the Kremlin wall, and the second a vigil at city hall in support of the freedoms of assembly and expression.Organizers decided to hold these events after a court upheld Mayor Yuriy Luzkhov's ban on a march they planned for that day. At both events hundreds of antigay protesters, including skinheads and nationalists attacked the participants, beating and kicking many, while throwing projectiles and chanting homophobic slogans. Police intervened only belatedly, failing to protect demonstrators from violence; observers noted that police inaction aggravated the violence.

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HRC Blasts Holsinger Nom

The Human Rights Campaign has come out swinging against the nomination of Dr. James "Conversion Therapy" Holsinger for U.S. Surgeon General. HRC head Joe Solmonese: “Dr. Holsinger has a record that is unworthy of America’s doctor. His writings suggest a scientific view rooted in anti-gay beliefs that are incompatible with the job of serving the medical health of all Americans. It is essential that America’s top doctor value sound science over anti-gay ideology.”

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Swag Tuesday

Courtesy of A&M Books, this week's Swag Tuesday prize is a double-whammy of beach reading pleasure. Take a peek inside the beach culture of fabulously gay Rehoboth Beach via bestselling author Fay Jacobs' two compilations of stories about gay life on the summer playground for Washington DC's homos: the bestselling As I Lay Frying: A Rehoboth Beach Memoir and Jacobs' brand new Fried & True: Tales From Rehoboth Beach.

In 1995, writer Fay Jacobs and her partner Bonnie literally cruised into town and discovered the unique charm of this seaside community. Almost immediately, Fay began chronicling her life as a Rehoboth weekender in a column that appeared in the magazine Letters from CAMP Rehoboth. In the years that followed, Fay's Rehoboth fans have followed her smart, witty columns as Fay & Bonnie made the transition from visitors to regulars to locals themselves. Fay's unique voice and her willingness to bare it all in print turned her fans into a sort of extended family. Fay's essays, finally together in one volume, tell a story that is sometimes provocative, sometimes political, occasionally heartwarming, and always hilarious.
Autographed copies of Jacob's best selling As I Lay Frying: A Rehoboth Beach Memoir and her brand new book, Fried & True: Tales From Rehoboth Beach will be yours if you are the lucky commenter chosen from this post. Only your first comment counts and please leave your email. Publicists: please contact me if you'd like to take part in Swag Tuesday on JMG.


Morning View - News Of The World

From a 1st Avenue bodega, where the rain has soaked their newspapers. Most of the papers they sell are in Hebrew, Arabic, or Russian. I'm not aware of a big Arabic community on the Upper East Side, so I'm guessing those papers might be racked for the cab drivers that favor this bodega.


Monday, June 04, 2007

HomoQuotable - Rufus Wainwright

"I do feel like I live a fabulous life. And I know that’s why a lot of the critics get so mad at me sometimes, because they’re just really jealous.” - Rufus Wainwright, talking to the NY Times, adding that his fans have "a tinge of sadness to their devotion. It relates with the alienation that I bring up. So I still feel somewhat subversive, which is nice.”

Wainwright mentions that his fame means that he had his profile taking down by a certain "gay cruising site", because site adminstrators thought it couldn't possibly actually be him. Yet Mr. Ego longs to even more famous, saying, "I’d love to play Madison Square Garden and get hounded and lose all sense of dignity.”

For the record, I adore Wainwright, and his recent Neil Tennant-produced Release The Stars is quite lovely, if a bit of a commercial flop in America. But ain't she grand?

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Hurricane Voodoo

Yesterday my mother's neighborhood association performed a ritual burning of a banner bearing the names of this year's hurricanes. This new tradition began last year, which turned out to be the first in several years that Orlando was not clobbered. Mom's not claiming that this bit of homeowner voodoo worked, mind you. But it does make everybody feel a little better. The 2007 hurricane season officially started on June 1st, but tropical storms Andrea and Barry jumped the gun in May. Barry is drenching NYC today.

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Bally's Belly Up

Private equity sharks are circling the near-dead carcass of Bally's Total Fitness as the gym chain prepares to enter bankruptcy with its shares trading at 31 cents. Bally's has been for sale since last year. If no buyer emerges before bankrupcty, all common stock will be wiped out and the owners of the company's debt will become the new owners of the company. In January 2006 Bally's sold their Crunch Fitness division for $45 million. Bally's has long suffered from charges of poor customer service practices, ranging from complaints of over-aggressive sales tactics to claims of fraudulent fees charged to members attempting to end their contracts.


Queersighted On Gay Cinema

AOL's Queersighted is running a neat promotion:
How were gays portrayed in classic Hollywood? Find out this month when Turner Classic Movies airs 44 films covering six decades of gay pride and prejudice in cinema. Starting with Algie the Miner from 1912, the series takes viewers through the film eras of Pre-Code, Classic Hollywood, Code-Busters and ends up in the year 1969 when things became more Out and Open with groundbreaking films like The Boys In the Band.

AOL's is the exclusive online partner for the festival and is showing rare movie trailers (many never seen by modern audiences), interviews with panelists like Armistead Maupin, Don Murray, Alan Cummings and Charles Busch, photos of the stars and original movie posters.

At the link above, people can also download a complete schedule of dates, times and movie listings for this series that will run Mondays and Wednesdays during the month of June on TCM.

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Bosox Fans Rip A-Rod

You gotta hand it to the Red Sox fans for their evil taunting of Yankees star Alex Rodriguez, who made the tabloids over the weekend after being photographed cavorting with a chestally-enhanced blonde stripper who was Not His Wife. Hundreds of fans at Boston's Fenway Park showed up with these masks during this weekend's game in a promotion run by a local radio station.

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HRC Questionaire Results

The Human Rights Campaign has released the results of its questionnaire (PDF) posed to all Democratic presidential candidates, where they express universal support for ENDA, the hate crimes bills, gay adoption, same-sex spousal immigration rights, increased AIDS funding, the repeal of DADT, and science-based sex education and disease prevention. All candidates also support changes in how the federal government recognizes same-sex couples in the areas of federal tax and benefits However, while all candidates expressed their support of civil unions for same-sex couples, only Dennis Kucinich gave a nod to same-sex marriage. No's on gay marriage came from Clinton, Obama, Edwards, Richardson, Dodd and Biden.
RELATED: The candidates discuss DADT. (via - Towleroad.)

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Anti-Gay Wingnut To Be Surgeon General

President Bush has nominated an anti-gay religious whack-job to be U.S. Surgeon General. Dr. James Holsinger, the man to be put in charge of the health of all Americans, runs a little side project with his wife called Hope Springs Community Church in Lexington, Kentucky, where in addition to helping those with alcohol and drug problems, he ministers to people he claims no longer wish to be gay or lesbian. A representative of the church says, "We see that as an issue not of orientation but of lifestyle. We have people who seek to walk out of that lifestyle."

James McDaniel, coordinator of Soulforce Lexington, a local chapter of the national LGBT group that opposes religion-based bigotry, says, "Dr. James Holsinger has demonstrated in the past that he harbors religious-based prejudice towards homosexuals. As a gay American, I am deeply concerned over any surgeon general nominee not being healed of such personal prejudice."

There will likely be an outcry from the major gay orgs regarding Holsinger. I will keep you advised. His Senate confirmation hearing should be scheduled shortly. Holsinger must appear before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, which is chaired by Ted Kennedy, with other committee members including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

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Morning View - 14th Street Station

Exit at the grubby 14th Street station for the LGBT Community Center.


Saturday, June 02, 2007

Instant Convertible

The height limit for the Lincoln Tunnel is exactly 13 feet. Not 13 feet, six inches. Now you know. And so does a certain Texan plumbing supplies deliverman.



Last night I trekked down to Soho to meet From Boys To Men editors Ted Gideonse and Rob Williams at the launch party for Bob Smith's new book Selfish And Perverse. Great party, tons of gay lit bigwigs in attendance, with Michael Musto lurking in a corner. The loft was stiflingly hot, but I lucky enough to spend a few sweaty minutes chatting with Edmund White about his new book Chaos, during which he confessed that he'd read the comments here on JMG when we gave the book away on Swag Tuesday. I also got to chat with comedian Judy Gold about her upcoming appearance at the Commercial Closet Awards. She kills me. By the way, From Boys To Men lost in its category at Thursday's Lambda Literary Awards. Rats. But Famous Author Rob Bynes won in his category, go Rob!

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Friday, June 01, 2007

Google Sees All, Including Your Cat

Google Map's new Street View feature is quickly raising privacy concerns from people dismayed to find they can zoom right in on their homes, with one woman even spotting her cat sitting in her window. At the present, Street View only has complete street-level images of New York, San Francisco, Denver, Las Vegas and Miami, with more cities to be added. Some dismiss privacy concerns, saying that anything that can be seen from a car on the street cannot be considered private, but others are worried about stalkers and other forms of internet harassment. I just checked my own address and instantly found a panoramic image of my street and my front door. Neat, but also kind of creepy.

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A California lesbian is suing dating site for discrimination because it does not offer any not-hetero options. Linda Carlson is citing California law that prohibits sexual orientation discrimination in business and is moving to make hers a class-action suit, with a jury trial and unspecified damages requested. Recently, competing dating site launched a widely praised ad that mocked eHarmony for not allowing gays to use the service.

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Grey Gardens

After viewing RuPaul's Starrbooty yesterday afternoon, I hopped an uptown train and met Aaron to attend Grey Gardens, currently celebrating 10 Tony nominations, including Best Musical, Best Score, and Best Leading Actress (Musical) for Christine Ebersole. Looking around the gorgeous Walter Kerr Theatre, I tried to remember when I was last there. Could it have been waaaay back in '91 for Angels In America? While the show wasn't exactly my style (all those affected New England accents get on my nerves, paging Mayor Quimby), the cast was marvelous, especially Miss Ebersole, who is my pick to win her category at the Tonys. Xanudu, Starbooty, Grey Gardens: possibly the 24 gayest hours of my life.

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RuPaul's Starrbooty

Yesterday I attended a screening of RuPaul's new movie Starrbooty, which makes its debut at NYC's NewFest film festival this Saturday. Produced by RuPaul and directed by Mike Ruiz (above right), Starrbooty follows the title character, the world's leading supermodel and secret agent, as she goes undercover as a Meatpacking District hooker to find her adopted niece Cornisha who has been abducted by evil cosmetics mogul Anika Manner (Candis Cayne) who plans on selling Cornisha's clitoris to the highest bidder. Along the way there is kung-fu action, gun play, dance routines, and lots and lots of raunchy, perverted sex with full-frontal engorged male nudity. Got all that?

Starrbooty pays homage to blaxploitation icon Pam Grier, John Waters, and Mommie Dearest with appearances from porn stars Gus Mattox and Micheal Lucas and several notables of NYC's drag scene, such as Lady Bunny, Candis Cayne, and Sweetie. (I particularly enjoyed seeing Micheal Lucas machine-gunned to death while holding his hard cock in his hand. Sweet.) Before the screening, RuPaul cautioned us that the film was still being tweaked before its Saturday debut and that we were the first audience to see Starrbooty. If you go, set your faces on stunned. Mine still is.

UPDATE: The official site for Starrbooty is now online. Check out the trailer and the music video on YouTube.

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Morning View - Brill Building

Built in 1930, Time Square's Brill Building, at 1619 Broadway, is where a massive amount of American pop songs were written, home to the offices of such luminaries as Leiber & Stoller, Bacharach & David, Carole King and Neil Sedaka. By the early 60's, the work done in this single building so influenced American pop that many music historians charcterize the sound of the time as the "Brill Building sound". My favorite Brill Building song: Burt Bacharach and Hal David's The Look Of Love.