Friday, July 06, 2007

Holsinger Hearing Set For Next Week

Dr. James Ballcock Holsinger's nomination hearing for U.S. Surgeon General has been set for next week, where he will likely face strong questioning from Senate Health, Education, Welfare and Pensions Committee members Kennedy, Clinton, Obama and others. Most psychiatric and gay rights organizations have come out against Holsinger's nomination, as well as former Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders. You never know how these things will go, but I think Holsinger doesn't stand a chance. If you don't know about Holsinger's history, please click on the his category link on this post and you'll find my last half-dozen posts about this idiot.

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The Ball Knows

My 5-year old niece got a new American Girl doll, one that looked quite a bit like her, except for the doll's short bangs. After two weeks of begging, my sister finally relented and cut my niece's bangs to match the doll. My niece ran to the mirror with glee, but shocked everybody with, "I hate it! I'm ugly! I'M UGLY!"

A screaming fit ensued.

Her mother assured her that she looked wonderful, even held her up to the mirror with the doll to show that they looked like twins. My niece said, "You have to say that, you're my mom. But I know who'll tell me the truth!" She ran to her room and returned with her Magic 8 Ball, shaking it furiously. "Will the kids at school like my bangs?" She handed the ball off to my sister, who truthfully read the answer. "Outlook not good."

A screaming fit ensued.


iPhone: The Musical

From the New York Times' always funny David Pogue.

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Flush Naugle Campaign Launches

Equality Florida has a launched a "Flush Naugle" campaign, asking folks to mail Fort Lauderdale's anti-gay major a roll of toilet paper in protest of his robo-john installation on the gay beach. A quote from Naugle: “I don't use the word 'gay.' I use the word 'homosexual.' Most of them aren't gay. They're unhappy."

RELATED: I submitted the word "naugle" to with the definition, "Naugle: v, to take a crap in a public toilet." We'll see if it gets posted.

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LA Is Sorry, So Sorry

In what one city council member called "a major hit to the city's budget", a Los Angeles jury yesterday awarded black lesbian firefighter Brenda Lee $6.2M in her discrimination suit against that city's fire department. Lee returns to court today while the jury considers punitive damages, which could ratchet the award much higher. Earlier this year, a straight male coworker of Lee won a $1.7M judgement for retaliation he said he suffered for supporting her.

UNRELATED: I love the headline for this post. Tell me why.

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The next few days could be interesting in Washington as a federal judge just lifted the restraining order preventing the "DC Madam" for releasing her list of 15,000 clients. With that many people on the list, the damage could be widespread, hitting both parties. But judging by what hookers always say about the great business they get from Republican conventions, I'm betting there will be more red than blue on that list.

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New Advances Against Drug-Resistant HIV

Good news on the HIV front: a new investigational drug, Etravirine (a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor) has been shown in combination with Prezista (a protease inhibitor) to be very effective against advanced multi-drug resistant HIV. The just-concluded study took place in 18 countries including at 30 sites in the United States. Prezista is already approved for use in the U.S. and now Etravirine is expected to be fast-tracked for the same. The findings of the study will be presented at this month's International AIDS Conference in Sydney.

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Morning View - Subway Listening Station

Target is running a neat music promotion in the subway with billboard-mounted listening stations that you can plug your headphones right into. There's only a few record stores left in town, so aside from the listening stations in Virgin or Best Buy, there aren't many places to sample music. I keep checking this one to see how long it takes before some enterprising thief figures out how to pry the machine (in the red box) out of its mount. So far it has lasted over a week.


Thursday, July 05, 2007

Kent North Dead Of Overdose

San Francisco-based gay porn company Hot House revealed today (NSFW/sound) that top star Kent North, 33, died yesterday of an apparent drug overdose. North, a "lifetime exclusive" for Hot House, starred in 13 films for the company since joining in 2004. He recently won several industry awards and this year served as cohost at the Grabby Awards, a gay porn version of the Oscars held in Chicago during IML.

Hot House president Steven Scarborough expressed regret on behalf of the company, saying, "We are all shocked and deeply saddened. Our deepest sympathy goes out to Kent’s friends and family, especially his lover Lloyd." North was a graduate of England's Royal Naval Academy. The details surrounding his death were not disclosed.

UPDATE: Other porn sites (all NSFW) are saying North committed (possibly drug-assisted) suicide by placing a bag over his head.

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Iran Launches English-Language
Web TV Channel

Iran has launched an English-language 24-hour news channel called Press TV, which with al-Jazeera should satisfy all your anti-American propaganda needs. I've watched a couple of hours of the programming late last night and some of it is fascinating stuff, with some apparently English and American-born reporters and commenters joining the male and (headscarfed) female anchors on screen.

While much of the reporting is predictably anti-Israel/pro-Palestinian, the discussions I've seen seem rather frank, especially regarding the discord within the Palestinian and other Muslim ranks. A quote from a commenter: "I do not blame the wolf [Israel] for attacking the children of Palestine, that is the nature of the wolf. I blame the Muslims of the world for turning their backs on Palestine." And naturally they then give airtime to some anti-Zionist Ultra Orthodox Jews, during which the reporter asks them if they aren't "self-loathing Jews". Anchors also mention American casualties in Iraq, including providing a running total of U.S. soldiers killed there.

Press TV's production values are somewhat between local PBS and public access TV here in America and they have an annoying habit of drifting off into odd, sort of dreamy animated music segments intercut with images of the various occupations. The anchors are quite Western-like in their solemnity and the stories repeat frequently, a la CNN Headline News. Western media doesn't provide us with the whole story on many issues and while you obviously must regard much of what Press TV says very skeptically, I think we do ourselves a disservice to ignore the growing web access to their viewpoints. The link to the live webcast is at the top of their page.

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Win Live Earth Tickets

A friend of mine that works for Virgin Unite asked me to let you folks know about some free tickets available for Saturday's massive Live Earth shows in New York City and London. Click on the banner and fill out the four questions, the answers to which can be found on the site. You must enter by tomorrow, winners receive four tickets. Performing at NYC's Giants Stadium: Kelly Clarkson, Fall Out Boy, Melissa Etheridge, Dave Matthews, The Police, Alicia Keys and many others. At the Wembley Stadium show: Madonna, Snow Patrol, Beastie Boys, Keane, Black Eyed Peas and many others. Concerts are also taking place in Rio, Johannesburg, Hamburg, Sydney, Shanghai, and Tokyo.

UPDATE: A little birdie just told me that your chance of winning the tickets through the link I provided is very, very good.

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The Fire Island Science Project

I had a great time day tripping out to Fire Island for the Pines Invasion with Little David yesterday and I'll post more photos of the insanity after I sort through the pile. We took the ferry into Cherry Grove where we watched the drag parade to the Pines-bound ferry, had lunch, then slogged the mile or so through the ankle-deep sand over to the Pines to catch up with the drag queens for drinks at Sip-N-Twirl and the new Pavilion. The weather was crap, cold and overcast, but unlike David, I'm not a sun lover, so that was fine with me. It was only my second visit to Fire Island and my first to Cherry Grove, a scarcity of visits driven largely by my distaste for the three to four hour science project called "Getting to Fire Island."

Here's the science project:

1. A 15-minute walk to the 6 train at 68th Steet.
2. 6 train to Grand Central.
3. S train from Grand Central to Times Square.
4. 1 train from Times Square to Penn Station.
5. Long Island Railroad from Penn to Jamaica, Queens.
6. LIRR from Jamaica to Sayville, Long Island.
7. Van shuttle from Sayville to Fire Island Ferry.
8. Ferry to Fire Island.

The round trip yesterday clocked in at just under seven hours, but we mostly lucked out on train connections and were the last two allowed allowed on the packed 10:30 ferry. Five trains, a van and a ferry. Total transit cost was $45. We spent six hours on the island. Obviously, the trip isn't so bad if you're actually going to spend a few days there, but not really worth it to day trip for anything other than a special occasion like partying with a couple of hundred hilariously costumed drag queens.

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Mr. Roboto

Jim Naugle, the anti-gay mayor of gay gay gay Fort Lauderdale is obsessed with gay sex. So much so, he's installed a robotic motorized toilet on the gay beach to keep gay men from having sex in the beach's public restrooms, despite that local police say there is no such problem.

The $250,000 toilet, similar to those seen on the streets of San Francisco, opens its door automatically after several minutes, too short a time for men to fuck, according to Naugle. The public restrooms are several blocks from the gay beach, so the boys are probably happy to have the robo-john, even though Naugle's intent is typically nutso.

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Morning View - Trump Place

The strange saga of Trump Place began back in 1974 when Donald Trump optioned the old New York Central freight train yard on the Upper West Side between 59th and 72nd Streets. In '87, Trump proposed a massive development to be called "Television City", where NBC could relocate and where he'd build the world's tallest building, a 157-story tower to be designed by Helmet Jahn. The huge size of the complex was strongly opposed by city activists and NBC ended up renewing their commitment to Rockefeller Center. When Trump nearly went backrupt in the early '90s, he sold the land to Hong Kong investors with the stipulation that his name remain on any properties built there. The bland luxury apartment buildings you see here are all that have been built so far. And of course, they are sold out.


Bill Gates Buys Controlling
Stake In PlanetOut

A holding company that invests the wealth of Bill Gates has bought a 56% controlling stake in failing PlanetOut Partners, owner of Advocate and Out magazines,, and RSVP Cruises. Cascade Investments LLC joined with several other private equity firms in the rescue of PlanetOut stock, more than doubling its stock value from its 52-week low of $0.86. Shortly after PlanetOut's 2004 IPO, the stock had traded as high as $14.26.

Last week PlanetOut announced that it was selling its adult magazine division, SpecPub, a move now seen as likely made in deference to Gates' wishes not to be associated with sexual imagery. The disposition of, mostly used for sexual hook-ups, in not yet known. PlanetOut has a long history with Gates - in 1995 they launched as a channel on then-fledgling MSN. The partnership failed when Microsoft's V-Chat was largely ignored by consumers, forcing PlanetOut to launch their own internet presence.

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Open Thread Thursday

You're on death row. What's your final meal?


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 231st, Y'all

No blogging for me today, I'm heading out to the annual madness known as the Fire Island Pines Invasion. This is the 31st Pines Invasion and the 231st birthday of America. I don't know if there will be any fireworks in Fire Island, but there will be an explosion of feathers and glitter. Have a great holiday!

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Morning View - Riverside Drive Viaduct

The Riverside Drive Viaduct, located in northern Manhattan near Washington Heights was built in 1900 and runs over 12th Avenue from 127th to 135th streets. This pic embiggens nicely.


Tuesday, July 03, 2007

UES Blues

Negotiating a sidewalk flotilla of nanny-powered strollers this afternoon, I heard a toddler beg, "Mommy! Pick me up! I don't wanna ride anymore!" And watching the young woman pulling her kid up out of the stroller, I had to laugh at myself for thinking, "Aw, that's sweet. She's taking care of her own baby!" It was totally one of those, "I've been on the Upper East Side too long," moments. Hello, real world? I'm up here.

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HomoQuotable - Michael Glatze

"Homosexuality came easy to me, because I was already weak." - Noted gay activist and founder of Young Gay America magazine, Michael Glatze, who announced in a first-person column today on WingNutDaily that he is now an "ex-gay". WND crows in a separate story, "'Gay'-rights leader quits homosexuality." Apparently Glatze came to know Jeebus thanks to eating some expired ass, as he explains: "Knowing no one who I could approach with my questions and my doubts, I turned to God; I'd developed a growing relationship with God, thanks to a debilitating bout with intestinal cramps caused by the upset stomach-inducing behaviors I'd been engaged in."

Know amoebas, know Jeebus.

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Too Butch For The Ladies Room

A butch lesbian was ejected from a West Village restaurant after last week's Pride parade for using the ladies room. Khadijah Farmer, 27, was confronted in the restroom of the Caliente Cab Company by the restaurant's bouncer, who escorted her back to her table and forced her party to pay their tab and leave. Farmer, who says she is occasionally mistaken for male and is not bothered by such confusion, offered to show the bouncer her ID to prove her gender, but he refused. Farmer is not transgendered, but has retained the counsel of the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund who is demanding gender identity sensitivity training for the restaurant's staff. The listserve for Act Up Army / Queer Justice League is busy with discussion of a potential action at the Caliente Cab Company.

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Hate Crime Victim Commits Suicide

David Ritcheson, the Texas youth who at 16 was the victim of a brutal hate crime at the hands of neo-Nazi skinheads, leading to his becoming a passionate and articulate advocate for hate crimes laws, jumped to his death from a cruise ship on Sunday. He was 18. At a party in 2005, Ritcheson was beaten and sodomized with a patio umbrella by two men shouting "White power!" Ritcheson barely survived the attack and underwent over 20 surgeries over the last two years. One of the men who attacked him received life in prison, the other got 90 years.

In April, Ritcheson testified before Congress on behalf of the federal hate crimes bill. HRC's Joe Solmonese: "Today we mourn the loss of David Ritcheson, whose young life was tragically altered by one of the most vicious hate crimes in recent memory. By sharing his testimony before Congress, David’s courage helped the U.S. House of Representatives pass a hate crimes bill that will help fight these horrific acts of violence. Our condolences go out to his family and loved ones. We will work to pass a hate crimes bill in the Senate that will help honor David's life."

A movement is already underway to rename the House version of the bill "David's Law." The Senate version, the Matthew Sheppard Act, has not yet been voted on.

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Hung GWM Senator For Same. Or Not.

Rumors are flying around the intraweb that prospective Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson may about to be outed. Or not.

Andrew Sullivan sez: "Outside the extremist, activist base, regular GOP voters turn out to be relatively tolerant when it comes to sexual minorities and private sex lives. They’re not well represented by their party leaders, as far as policy is concerned. This is good news for Fred Thompson. The man has had a colorful and wide-ranging sex life, as I’m sure we will soon find out."

But Wonkette says: "Sullivan is not even close to the first person we’ve heard float this particular rumor, not that that says anything as to its truth. Because we’ve also heard, from someone who insists that he heard it from people in a good position to know such things, that Fred Thompson has an enormous dick, which is how he manages to get all of the hundreds upon hundreds of hot ladies he sleeps with."

This will be interesting.

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Morning View - York Avenue

Here's the Upper East Side's York Avenue at 63rd Street, as seen from one of the many student housing buildings for the area's numerous teaching hospitals. Rockefeller University is just next door, from whom we got the AIDS cocktail, methadone, and the discovery that viruses can cause cancer. York Avenue is the easternmost north-south street in this section of the UES, just to the right of this shot is the madness of the FDR Highway and the East River.


Swag Tuesday

Courtesy of Def Jam/Island Records, this week's Swag Tuesday booty is an autographed copy of Rihanna's hit CD, Good Girl Gone Bad. The CD contains this summer's smash, Umbrella, which is #1 this week for the 5th week, making it 2007's longest running #1 single to date.

Umbrella was also the biggest hit of NYC's Pride parade, it seemed like every third float to turn the corner was pumping that song, prompting hundreds to sing along on Christopher Street. Under my um-brah-ella, ella, ella, ay, ay ay. The video for Umbrella has had over 14 million views on YouTube, placing it in their all-time Top 20. Enter to win an autographed copy of Good Girl Gone Bad by commenting on this post. Only your first comment counts and please leave your email address. Publicists: if you'd like to take part in Swag Tuesday on JMG, please email me.


Monday, July 02, 2007

Beverly Sills, 78

Opera legend Beverly Sills succumbed to lung cancer tonight at age 78. More than any other person, she popularized opera with American audiences with her talent, her gracious charm, and perhaps most of all, with her humor. Below is her 1980 farewell performance, where she performs Tell Me Why, the song she always closed with. The song opens, "Time has come for me to leave you...." A sad, sad day.

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Rev. Hawkes Receives Order Of Canada

Rev. Brent Hawkes, the Toronto minister who conducted the marriage ceremonies that led to same-sex marriage being legalized nationwide, has been awarded his country's highest civilian honor, the Order of Canada. Hawkes has been a minister at Toronto's MCC for 30 years. In 2001, Hawkes won his suit against the Ontario government, forcing the province to recognize gay marriages. One year later the federal government ditched its plan to appeal Hawkes' case and gay marriage became legal nationwide in 2005. The Order of Canada is given in the name of Queen Elizabeth by her representative there and recognizes "exemplary achievement and service to Canada." Hawkes has won numerous other awards for his humanitarian and civil rights work.

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Thank You, Come Again

A dozen 7-Elevens around the country have been made over into Kwik-E marts in a promotion for the Simpsons movie. For the next week you can buy some of the products that previously only existed on the show. I'm going to have to run down to the Times Square 7-Eleven to get me a Squishee and a box of Krusty-O's cereal. I'm totally serious. Sadly, there is no Duff Beer, so I'm going to have to settle for some Buzz Cola. I wonder if the clerks are wearing "Apu" nametags? Here's the list of participating stores. UPDATE: Krusty-O's are already showing up on eBay.

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Lowering The Bar

Stephen Dunne, a would-be Massachusetts lawyer, is suing the state bar association, claiming that he just missed receiving a passing grade on his bar exam because he refused to answer a question about gay marriage. Dunne's lawsuit seeks to have the question removed from future bar exams, claiming it required him to "affirmatively accept, support and promote homosexual marriage and homosexual parenting" and violated his First Amendment right to freedom of religion. He is seeking a jury trial and wants punitive and compensory damages.

What about it, lawyers? Does he have a case?

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Them Bodies Got Soul

Last night we corralled a bunch of the guys at the Dugout and headed uptown for the Body & Soul reunion party at Studio Mezmor (formerly Crobar), the megaclub next door to the Eagle that I haven't been inside in three years. We walked in and immediately hit the dance floor, where we remained the entire time. The vibe at Body & Soul parties is tremendously happy, if it were still a weekly event, I can't imagine that I'd ever miss one. Last night's highlights: Lady America - Voyage, Lovin' Is Really My Game - Brainstorm, Walking On Sunshine - Rocker's Revenge.

I do wish DJ Danny Krivits would lay off the EQ tricks, he totally ruined the ending of the Brainstorm track. But otherwise it was a typically delirious Body & Soul, as good as the last one, with ball queens, break dancers, celebubears, and manic Japanese hipsters tearing the roof off the sucka. Dr. Jeff was really feeling the music last night, he pushed aside a couple of voguers and took over their go-go box. The boy was out of control! But I guess I also had too good a time, today I'm finding pics on my camera that I don't recall taking. Stupid drunkenness-proving camera.

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HomoQuotable - William Sledd

"The only people that hate me are the gays. I don't know what it is. Maybe they're jealous or they're opinionated or whatever, but it doesn't bother me at all. I joke about it. I'm like, the only people who hate me are the gays and the extreme religious people." - YouTube celebrity William Sledd, speaking about gays who criticize his flamboyance. Sledd's Ask A Gay Man series of video blogs has received millions of views, resulting in Sledd getting a deal for his own show on Bravo. Sledd starts every video with his trademark greeting, "Hey, bitches!"


Morning View - The Little Red Lighthouse
And The Big Gray Bridge

Saturday I went on a long bike ride with Dr. Jeff and the Farmboyz, trekking to the far north end of Manhattan and then into the Bronx. Under the George Washington Bridge is the famous Little Red Lighthouse, which you probably know from the classic children's book, The Little Red Lighthouse And The Big Gray Bridge. The lighthouse was originally built in 1880 at Sandy Hook, NJ but was moved to Jeffrey's Hook under the GWB in 1920. It was slated for demolition in 1947 but was saved in a nationwide campaign by fans of the book and is now listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.


Sunday, July 01, 2007

More NYC Pride 2007 Photos

Here's a few more pics from last Sunday's Pride parade. Somehow I don't have a picture of them, but one of the highlights of the afternoon was finally meeting JMG commenters Crixi Van Cheek and Dick Zinya, who trekked in from the wilds of Orange, New Jersey to join our merry band. Another group of JMG readers were located in the apartment just above us and they kindly invited us up for mojitos and bathroom breaks. We're definitely going to have to stake out the same corner next year.

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