Saturday, March 31, 2007

Spring Walkabout

After a nice Bloody Mary brunch cooked up by Farmboy C, the three of us made a to-go Bloody and headed up Broadway for a stroll in this lovely spring weather. Somehow we kept going and going, first running into an anti-foie gras protest at Fairway Market, which was largely ignored by busy Seder shoppers. Then we stopped in at Columbia University to wander around the commons, getting trapped by locked gates at the north end of the campus. Sixty blocks from where we started, the furthest north I've been on the West Side, we dropped in at Grant's Tomb, where I finally put the joke to rest, once I saw the coffin.

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Friday, March 30, 2007

Manhattan Peep Pimpin'

Father Tony took this great pic of Aaron and Jeff at Exit Art last week, perfectly capturing their opinion of performance art, or at least mine (usually). I was in hibernation for some pervy disco event and wasn't along for the excursion, but I thought I'd post this pic anyway, for pure beefcake value. Jeff is taken, but our boy Aaron (left) is available, tall, very furry, well-employed, and an excellent chef who makes his own pasta, bread, beer and even vodka. His hobbies are photography, European travel, and exploring the cave of the unknown. I've only pimped a friend on this here website thingy once before, but if this post disappears, it's because Aaron has murdered me for doing this.

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The Fey Four

The Monica Geller in me compels me to mention the Fey Four, the penultimate round of Malcontent's March Gayness, in which I'm bracketed against Outsports. The other two survivors are Towleroad and OMG Blog. The original 64 blogs in the playoffs yielded me a couple of new reads, I recommend scanning that list for some fun new stuff. Voting in this round ends tomorrow, then comes the Championship Death Match, which will take place in the nude. Hopefully.

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CBN Targets San Diego Pride

The Christian Broadcast Network has set their sights on San Diego Pride, today publishing a news story accusing that city's pride committee of targeting young children for recruitment, under the guise of family-friendly events, using "reformed" ex-gay, ex-con, and ex-drug addict James Hartline as their insider source.

Little do many realize how aggressively homosexual communities pursue and recruit youth to accept and adopt their lifestyle. But San Diego's James Hartline knows full well the battle waged to win America's youth. Just what would one see while attending San Diego's Gay Pride Event? Hartline, who marched in the LGBT Pride Parade nine years ago before coming to Christ and leaving his homosexual lifestyle of 30 years, gives us a candid, first-hand look.

Panning across the summer festival, one would see pornographers, transvestites, male strippers, female flashers and scantily clad adults imitating homosexual acts as part of the public display. The entire event is rife with derogatory visuals aimed at perverting young and innocent minds.

Last year, Hartline witnessed a man wearing a thong while pedaling the LGBT Pride Parade route on a bicycle and handing out candy to children. This year, one can expect to see San Diego Cooperative Charter, a public kindergarten through 8th-grade school, marching its students in the parade under its banner in a repeat performance.

Hartline is dedicated to putting an end to the K-8 students' participation. He brought their involvement into the public eye after witnessing children as young as six years old being exposed to the obscene atmosphere of the parade last year. Children participated while handing out pencils donning the school's Web address.

Licentious influences abound throughout the San Diego annual gay event, which openly invites children. Little discretion was shown by event organizers, as an 11-year-old girl was seen leaving the festivities with a bag filled with condoms and sexual lubricants. Hartline explained that the event provides an open market for gay porn companies, sex toy manufacturers, triple-x gay pornography and male escort services. Ironically, the San Diego LGBT Pride Parade is promoted as a family-friendly festival. Yet its organizers announced that this year's event will carry even more pornographic material than previous years.

The article continues with the typical Christian wingnut blather about gays using student groups such as the Gay-Straight Alliance for recruiting purposes. James Hartline is a member of Exodus, of course. Keep an out for ol' James on Manhunt, San Diego. And please email me if you have evidence of James having any recent homo-indiscretions. As always, we are our own worst enemy.
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HomoQuotable - Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum

"I absolutely believe that anybody in this generation who is at the forefront of social justice and making an impact on Judaism would care deeply about the role and the place of gays and lesbians." - Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, just named by Newsweek as one of top 50 most influential rabbis in America, who placed Kleinbaum 19th overall and one of only 5 female rabbis to make the list. (via - NY Blade.)

Kleinbaum is head rabbi at Congregation Beth Simchat Torah, the world’s largest LGBT synagogue. Last week, Kleinbaum made news when she and National Gay and Lesbian Task Force head Matt Foreman were arrested during the ACT-UP Army prostest in Times Square.

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Jennicam Redux

In a real-life remake of the film Ed-TV, from San Francisco (where else) comes the story of Justin.TV, an internet show in which 24-year old Justin Kan is in the 11th day of wearing a netcam on his head and "lifecasting" to the world, 24 hours a day. Justin's site is sagging from the hordes of net zombies anxiously chatting as they watch, riveted, as Justin brushes his teeth and goes to McDonald's. The show's slogan is "Waste time watching other people waste time."

Corporate sponsors are rushing in to place their products in Justin's apartment. Critics are calling Justin TV the "last gasp of Web 2.0" and something that will be looked back at in as much embarassment as the dot-com boom of the late 90's. Justin's backers plan to have hundreds of Justins out there eventually, saying that they plan on capturing the vital 18-35 male demo currently slipping through the fingers of the major networks.

Are we really that bored, people? The only thing that makes Justin TV slightly different from the Jennicams of the 90's is his wireless mobility. I've tried to check in on Justin a couple of times this morning, but the site is overwhelmed. Maybe I should try a JMG-cam. You could watch my exciting life as I blog, change the kitty litter, and watch Law & Order reruns. On the other hand, a helmet cam on the second floor of the Eagle would be interesting, wouldn't it?
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Morning View - Nutella

In a nod to foreign tourists, the NYC hot dog carts are selling Nutella, a vile gelatinous hazelnut tub of muck that I'd never heard of until I moved here to work for a British company. My coworkers adore Nutella, but are grossed out by peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Go figure. The product was invented in Italy during WWII when chocolate was scarce and has been sold as Nutella since 1964. Yuck!

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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Arrests Taking Place At ACT-UP Demo

I just got a message from Rex Wockner saying that arrests are beginning to take place at the ACT-UP Army demonstration on Wall Street. Wockner estimates the crowd at 800, with about 20 arrests so far. More to come as I get reports.

UPDATE: Rex Wockner has filed this story on the protest. In San Francisco, Michael Petrelis covered the west coast version of the demonstration. Chris Schiffelbein of Queer Justice League has blogged a report. On Wall Street, photographer/blogger Andres Duque was on the scene and filed this post with photos, two of which appear below with his kind permission. He's also posted a short video to YouTube. TOP: Demonstrators clamber atop the iconic Wall Street bull. BOTTOM: The die-in begins.

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Go Sanjaya!

As reality and contest shows leave me cold, I haven't followed American Idol since the Kelly Clarkson season. But I have to comment on the hilarity of reading about Sanjaya Malakar continuing to thwart the judges, thanks in large part to the sarcastic support of Howard Stern and the Vote For The Worst website.

American Idol has always seemed to me to be a flat-out cruel show, particularly the early shows of every season, in which self-deluded (or clearly mentally ill) contestants are given airtime, solely for the purpose of ridicule. Therefore, it's rather delicious to see the show's voting system hacked by the vote-for-the-worst crowd. As Simon Cowell himself said Tuesday night after Sanjaya's "performance", "I doesn't think it matters anymore what we say."

The vote-for-the-worst phenomenon has been around for at least a few seasons, to my knowledge. But this recent hack-success has actually got me interested in the show for the first time since Ms. Clarkson. Go Sanjaya!

UPDATE: The Times Of London has a great analysis of why a win by Sanjaya may signal the beginning of the end of American Idol. (h/t- Moncrief.)
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Morning View - The Frick

The Frick Collection sits at the corner of 5th Avenue and E.70th Street, facing Central Park.

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ACT-UP Army Marches Today

Don't forget that today at noon will be the 20th anniversary ACT-UP march on Wall Street to demand universal health care, single-payer insurance and drug price controls. Marchers will assemble at 11:30am at the Federal Building, at the corner of Broadway & Worth. I have a work thing that will hopefully end in time for me to get down there, but if not, somebody please send me their photos to run later today.

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Open Thread Thursday

Have you had sex with somebody from your office? Have you had sex with somebody AT your office?
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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Family Affair

LOGO apparently doesn't see any homophobia in Blades Of Glory, as the cast of the movie will host an upcoming episode of the gay cable channel's Click List video countdown show. Of course, that doesn't have anything to do with LOGO and Paramount being sibling Viacom companies. Not at all.

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Cut Hets, Not Gays, Says UN

The United Nations' health agencies recommended today that heterosexual men undergo circumcision, citing "compelling" evidence that the procedure may reduce their odds of contracting HIV by up to 60%, while also noting that the procedure has little benefit for men who have sex with men. UNAIDS and the World Health Organization said that up to 5.7 million new cases could be prevented in sub-Saharan Africa alone, were circumcision to be widely implemented. About 30% of men worldwide are presently circumcised.

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Foley Faces Possible Charges In Florida

ABC News is reporting that Florida law enforcement officials are building a possible case against disgraced former Rep. Mark "measure it for me" Foley (R-FL) for sending lewd messages to minors on the internet. The decision on whether to bring charges is said to be a month away and will depend on the testimony of the former congressional pages who received the messages.

Federal charges have not been possible because actual sexual contact with a minor was never proven. The age of consent in Washington, DC is 16. However, Foley apparently sent at least some messages from Pensacola, in violation of Florida's very strict internet predators law. Foley has resurfaced in Palm Beach after spending time in Arizona "rehab" for his drinking problem and his supposed own childhood molestation issues.

Foley is definitely a creep and an embarassment to gay people. Still, I'm of mixed opinion on these possible charges. It seems like 16 and 17 year old boys should be able to fend for themselves on the internet and that law enforcement should focus on the scumbags that target kids less able to protect themselves. On the other hand, the super-high visibilty of the Foley case could serve to give all potential child predators pause. What do you think?
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LGBT Athletes To Speak At Final Four

The Human Right Campaign, Nike, ESPN, and the Women's Sports Foundation are jointly hosting a discussion panel on LGBT athletes at the NCAA Final Four competition in Atlanta on Friday. Openly gay athletes expected to appear include former NBA star John Amaechi, former pro baseballer Billy Bean, former NFL players Esera Tuaolo and Dave Kopay, and others. The press release from the HRC doesn't mention if this event will be televised (perhaps on ESPN?). Check out the Women's Sports Foundation's site, It Takes A Team, which advocates for making high school and college athletics a safe and welcoming place for LGBT athletes.

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Paper Or Paper?

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted yesterday to ban plastic shopping bags, the first major U.S. city to do so. Mayor Gavin Newsom is expected to approve the legislation, similar to laws already enacted in many foreign cities. The ban is expected to save 450,000 gallons of oil and reduce the annual amount of landfill SF creates by 1400 tons.

Everybody's going to have to get one of those reusable canvas bags that all the hippies use, otherwise there will be a lot of groceries rolling downhill from ripped paper bags. I always reused my grocery bags as garbage bags at home, but I knew myself too well to get a canvas shopping bag, as I'd never have it on me when I needed it.

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Morning View - Third Avenue


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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A Sign Of Spring


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Who's Your Favorite Big 8 (Blog)?

JMG survived the first three rounds of Malcontent's March Madness gay bloggers playoffs, somehow squeaking by Queerty in the third match. Go vote for your favorites in the Big 8 round, this time I'm up against 2007 Bloggies finalist Scott-O-Rama. I think the Final Four round will come at the end of the week. Go Ohio State! I mean, Towleroad!

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Quebec Says "Non" To Boisclair

Lead by openly gay Andre Boisclair, yesterday the Parti Quebecois suffered a huge setback in Quebec's provincial elections, winning only 36 out of 125 seats. This means that the long-festering Quebec separatist movement will not get another referendum anytime soon. One of the things I don't miss about living in South Florida was having to endure incessant news babble about the Quebec secession issue, thanks to the massive French-Canadian snowbird community that favors the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood area.

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HomoQuotable - Buck Angel

"I would never fail to tell anyone before we got home that I am a man with a pussy. That is not cool at all." - Buck Angel, in an interview with Outrate (NSFW). Having seen Buck in action several times now, he certainly doesn't lack for amorous attention from gay men, but the disclosure issue is certainly Topic #1 for our burgeoning FTM population. On the flipside, I have heard of many instances of transitioning MTFs waiting too long to make their own "big reveal", with often unfortunate results. Maybe there are similar stories on the FTM side, but the relative novelty of the movement just hasn't gotten the stories out there yet.

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Leave But Also Stay

Yesterday Hillary Clinton said that if she were president, she would definitely sign the House bill that demands total pullout of U.S. combat troops from Iraq by summer of 2008. But she also said that a continued indefinite American presence was necessary to sweep Iraq for terrorists, continuing her strategy of making absolutely no one happy about her policy on the war. And of course, she has yet to express any regret for her support of the invasion and occupation in the first place. This is a real sticking point for my potential support of Sen. Clinton during the election run-up.

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YouTube Awards

Aside from the clever OKGo treadmill video, I was unfamiliar with any of the winners of the 2006 YouTube Awards, announced yesterday. I just can't believe Mr. Pregnant didn't win anything.

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Expired Love

Today my lover turns one year old. Should I expect problems to begin tomorrow? I write this post to pre-empt the jinx.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Bedtime Story



Dancing With The Boys

Chris of San Francisco's Remember The Party hipped me to this incredible performance by two boys who incorporate break-dance moves into a rollicking, hilarious swing-dance routine, in what will undoubtedly become one of YouTube's most viewed clips. The person who posted the clip slyly disabled blog embedding in order to drive traffic to his NSFW twinkie-porn site (which he links in the clip description), and further attempts to create controversy by titling the clip "Two guys dancing together. Is this gay?" Asshat. Don't go the jerk's site, but do watch these boys dance. It's a beautiful thing.
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Attractile Dysfunction

BELOW: DJ Michael Fierman leans over his record as he sooths the morning masses shortly after taking the Black Party stage at 11AM. Notice that unlike the preceding two DJs, Fierman is using vinyl. That's Bonnie Pointer's Heaven Must Have Sent You on the turntable.

Another Black Party has come and gone, always with an astonishment of how quickly time passes inside the Roseland Ballroom. "2pm? It's not 2pm! That's crazy talk. Stop that crazy talk you crazy bottom!" This year's production ran much more smoothly than last year's. I arrived at 2am to find no real line at the box office or will call window. My backpack was quickly inspected and without even the traditional cursory circuit party pat down, I was inside. Even more amazingly, there was only a very short line at the coat check, all the windows were staffed and I checked my coat in under 3 minutes, a far cry from last year's almost 90-minute door-to-dance floor ordeal. On the main floor we found yet another leap forward in nightclub technology: air conditioning! It was actually quite comfortable on the dance floor, despite the body heat of 5000 men.

I arrived on the main floor as DJ Michael Marx cued up The Bird And The Bee's Would You Be My Fucking Boyfriend and it seemed for a moment that this would be another in an almost unbroken string of great Black Party nights. Yet, despite dramatic operational improvements, over the evening there proved to be a prevailing sense from those I spoke to that this year's event never quite reached critical mass. We never really got to that "we're all here together" place. No one could quite put their finger on why, exactly. A few I spoke to actually blamed the pleasant temperature, saying that in order for the energy to rise, so must the heat. I think there's something to that. Others criticized the murkily-understood NASCAR theme of the party. Banners ringing the dance floor limply leather-mocked NASCAR's corporate sponsors. Logos spotted: Fist Union, STD, Daring Queen, Dick In A Box, Penis Oil. It wasn't until near the end of the party that it was pointed out to me that the text inserted on the banners between the logos could be read as one continuous sentence that wrapped around the room: "You can tell the ideals of a nation by its advertisements." That's Norman Douglas.

Adding to the '07 flaccidity was a remarkably unremarkable lighting design. In 2005, we got the hypnotic videodome. In 2006, we got the carnivorous steel spider with a murderous mirror-ball body. This year, a two-tiered framework of video projection screens flickered with quick-cut porn images as silhouetted dancers writhed from behind. It was very Isaac Hayes performs Shaft at the 1971 Oscars. There were some suspended lighting rigs that fanned out and moved a bit, but the effect seemed slight. Overall, I found the light show disappointing and not up to the Saint's usual breathtaking standards. The DJ booth continued its baffling but reliable annual counterclockwise relocation around the dance floor, looking small and lonely at the west end of the room, location of last year's unforgettable mammoth goth castle inhabited by copulating porn stars, witches, and Buck Angel. This year's shows included a Buck Angel manpussy redux and a yawn-inducing fisting "demonstration" that finished up with the long-ball end of a baseball bat. Oh, um, "shocking!"

DJ Tony Moran took over the "turntables" at 4am, then delivered an interesting, if overlong, reworking of Ofra Haza's house classic Im Nin'alu. Man, I loved that track. The sample/remix thingy, not so much. Moran then proceded to skip through the Now That's What I Call Circuit! Best Of 90's Edition: Jam & Spoon's Right In The Night, Luminaire's Flower Duet (second only to Yoko Ono's Unfinished Music #1 as the most annoying record ever made) and Nalin & Kane's Beachball. He also played the disco version of the Brokeback Mountain theme song. I am completely serious about that.

Before you lend too much weight to the above bitchery, I must stress that the dance floor suffered not one moment of being less than wall-to-jockstrap packed with the menz. There was a very high beauty/grizzly quotient on hand this year, keeping the crowd race-walking the sidelines and balconies, to make sure that nobody missed getting a look at their asses. Among the celebs I spotted were a wobbly Rupert Everett, Pulitzer-winner Michael Cunningham (The Hours), Andrew Sullivan, and some others best not named here. That's Gawker's job. Speaking of which, the Manhattan Offender arrived with a Gawker/Fleshbot film crew at 10am to conduct interviews with wide-eyed departing leatheristas. Be afraid.

A personal highlight of the party was meeting National Gay & Lesbian Task Force head Matt Foreman (pictured left with realtor-to-the-stars Joe Bongionvanni) and Foreman's charming partner, with whom I bonded over our mutual Southern roots. Also making the scene was Provincetown bon vivant Scott Hayes, spotted glad-handing porn stars and Broadway divas with equal aplomb. A special surprise was colliding with loyal JMG commenter Freddy In PTown, whose simple-yet-effective jockstrap/boots ensemble turned a few heads so hard, I think I heard bones crack. Freddy is as delightful in person as he is here on JMG and I've got the PG-13 photos to prove it. I also met lots of great guys that read this here website thingy, thanks all of you for your kind words.

As longtime readers know, I sort of live for the final portion of the Black Party, and DJ Michael Fierman was reliable once again, opening with Depeche Mode's Black Celebration, his signature opening number. The next four hours of disco biscuits are tough to cherry pick for titles, but I particularly enjoyed hearing Boris Midney, Marlena Shaw's required-by-law-Saint-classic-so-Michael-had-to-play-it, Touch Me In The Morning, and Donna Summer's MacArthur Park Suite. Finally, around 3pm, Fierman finished his encore with Diana Ross' Ain't No Mountain High Enough, and we, the two hundred or so remaining, filed slowly for the coatcheck, arms around each other. This year's Black Party was a low point in this century's Saint history, but do not doubt that I will be back next year.

UPDATE: I forgot to mention that for the first time in memory, none of my group witnessed any patrons in drug-related distress. Wahoo, my people! In fact, I almost took a picture of Roseland's hired paramedics sleeping in their ambulance parked behind the venue.

BELOW: Christian, of New York Boys Of Leather steps outside the Roseland at 1PM for a smoke break. Passing Hasidim were unfazed by the codpieces and chain mail jocks. On the far right, you can see the Hello Deli, well-known to Letterman viewers.
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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Morning View - McDonalds

OK, not exactly a "morning view", since I took this on Friday night. This is the entrance of the McDonald's on 42nd Street in Times Square, which bills itself as the world's largest. Isn't that exciting? No? Not really? Embiggen to smell the grease.

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Rerun

Probably not much blogging today, will be sleeping all day (or as much as I can), to get ready for tonight's event. In the meantime, here's my (too long) "live blogging" of last year's Black Party. And here's a very short story I wrote about the 2005 event.

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Friday, March 23, 2007

DJ Michael Fierman Chats With JMG

Veteran DJ Michael Fierman will play the closing set at this week's Saint-At-Large Black Party. Today, Michael answers a few questions for JMG.

JMG: Tell me about playing at the original Saint. How did you get the gig?

Michael Fierman: Playing records at the Saint was the equivalent of a Carnegie Hall performance for piano recitalists; the ultimate achievement. The prestige conferred on one by giving a successful performance there could launch a career overnight. Naturally, a disastrous first outing there would have an equally chilling effect on a young disc jockey's hopes. In the spring of 1982, the Saint wanted to add a young talent to their staff of veterans much as the Yankees might do today. They launched a series of seven Tuesdays featuring some of New York City's rising prospects with the intention of hiring only one of them as one of their "starters" for the following season. I was fortunate to be the one they chose.

JMG: How many times have you played the Black Party? Is there something different about a Black Party gig?

MF: This will be my 13th appearance as DJ. There are so many differences between the approach to playing the Black Party, and the outlook one might have on other events. Beyond the artistic challenges and opportunities, there was also the issue of orchestrating a cohesive structure for an 18 hour event. In the heyday of the party, and the circuit in general, these musical prerogatives were handed to one DJ, who was entrusted to imbue his or her persona and vision to a musical event. Remember "the trip"? In these days of ADD, where the lowest common denominator is king, these concepts have fallen by the wayside.

JMG: You're known as a "Morning Music" DJ. How would you define morning music?

In an event such as the Black Party, after one has reached the initial "peak", any music that follows could be called morning music. That period of time, what I used to call the "rarefied atmosphere", is where you can be the most creative, delving into all sorts of unusual and eclectic byways, as well as building up to a series of peaks. Each set of music after the traditional 6 am encore would have a different feel and flavor. I always viewed them as movements of a symphony, each one being a viable stand alone piece that relate to and build upon the other. Leonard bernstein's book, The Joy Of Music, was a great inspiration to me as a young DJ, as well as my mentor, Robbie Leslie, and my idol, the great Jim Burgess, whom I still consider to be the greatest artist our profession has ever produced.

JMG:What are some of your favorite classic tracks? Is there anything recent that you feel is a great example of morning music?

MF: Oh dear. The old favorite song question. What can i say? Being pressed for time and space, let's just say one name. Boris Midney. As far as new records, for morning play I'll mention Again by John Legend, Until The End Of Time, by the Sunburst Band, and Karawane by Escort.

JMG: What do you have planned for your Black Party set?

MF: I'm planning an interesting eclectic set. Mostly new, but with a few old friends that we know and love featured.

JMG: What's in your future?

MF: As Albert Einstein said, I never think about the future, it comes soon enough.

JMG: Thank, Michael! Break a leg!
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ACT-UP Anniversary March

Thursday, March 29th, please join me at noon for the 20th anniversary ACT-UP march on Wall Street to demand universal health care, single-payer insurance and drug price controls. Marchers will assemble at 11:30am at the Federal Building, at the corner of Broadway & Worth. Other bloggers, please spread the word. Let's get the gay blogosphere well represented at this important event! I will post another reminder on Wednesday next week.

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Sex O'Clock

Last night a feisty pre-Black Party crowd swarmed the Eagle, where I found myself in group of the New York Boys Of Leather, chatting with a cute young FTM named Kyle. I can't recall how the topic came up, but Kyle hipped me to the FTM portmanteau du jour: "clock". Clit + cock = clock. Everybody got that? Now you know. Tonight NYBOL and MetroBears are staging a Bailey House benefit at the Dugout, 8pm - midnite.

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Blades Of Bore-y

Last night Aaron and I attended a preview of Blades Of Glory, starring Will Ferrell and Jon (Napoleon Dynamite) Heder. Will Farrell plays the same character we saw in Anchorman, a deluded megalomaniacal ladies man, who along with Heder is banned from men's figure skating after a gold medal ceremony fistfight. Thanks to a loophole pointed out by Heder's creepy gay stalker, the two champions return to competitive skating as the sport's first-ever same-sex pairs skaters.

While Aaron enjoyed the flick as an allegory for America's discomfort with male couples, I grew increasingly annoyed and bored with the film's one-note joke premise. "Ew! He's totally holding that guy by the butt!" "Ewwwww, his balls are totally in his face!" "Ha, ha! The blond has to skate as the girl!" Ferrell and Heder rolled their eyes and curled their lips in disgust at every touch. After the film, Aaron and I stood in the lobby with the Manhattan Offender and Josh & Josh trying to decide if what we'd seen was homophobic. I was in the minority, the other guys just thought it was typical gross-out the audience humor. However, when that gross-out point is the act of two men touching, what else could it be but homophobia?

I do have to give props to the who's-who of figure skating who lent cameos to the movie: Peggy Fleming, Sacha Cohen, Brian Boitano, Nancy Kerrigan and Dorothy Hamill, even though the film relentlessly skewered the sports' over-the-top costumes and drama. Scott Hamilton was quite good as an announcer given to bad metaphors. And the camera trickery made it look like Ferrell and Heder were indeed performing.

Aside from the stalker character, gay men are noticeably absent from this movie, rather odd, yes? Heck, my own ex is at this moment in Tokyo with his boyfriends, attending the world figure skating finals. However, eagle-eyed Aaron spotted what may have been a deleted sub-plot when he noticed that a stained-glass window in the ski-lodge of Ferrell & Heber's coach (played by Craig T. Nelson) that seemed to depict Nelson and his choreographer in an embrace, wearing matching shirts with a red heart. This movie will be bullet-proof to reviews, the preview audience applauded at the end. As for me, meh.
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Morning View - Times Square

From the southwest corner of 42nd & Broadway, looking north. At 60 degrees, it would almost feel spring-like this morning, if not for the overcast sky.

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Mike Jones Tries Again

Mike Jones has managed to get his "Ted Haggard Massage Table" relisted on eBay. And now Rev. Karen Booth, the fundie that got it pulled the first time, in once again calling on her minions to barrage eBay with complaints. From her site, Transforming Congregations:
MEMO TO EBAY

From: Rev. Karen Booth
To: Customer Relations
Re: Offensive Listing

To Whom It May Concern:

I want to draw your attention to eBay item 290092184603 “Ted Haggard Massage Table.”

This item is not only offensive to any person in the eBay community who might be personally connected to Mr. Haggard, but is also highly offensive to Christians, particularly conservative evangelicals. I think it is a violation of eBay’s stated Community Values and I ask you to remove the listing from the eBay website.

I have put an alert on my ministry’s national website and have also informed other national Christian ministries, including the American Family Association. (The auction is also being discussed on several Internet blogs.) If the offensive listing is not removed, I will encourage my supporters to boycott eBay, which I also intend to do.
Rev. Booth is typically fundie-obsessed with homosexuals, check out her "hot topics" under "be informed" Or maybe just send her an email, laden with "Christian love", as I just did, @ transcong@aol.com.
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The Junior Voguer

Yesterday a friend sent me this video, in which a very young boy vogues, struts, and poses to Beyonce's Irreplaceable. The kid is adorable and definitely has talent, but when I read the accompanying comments I found a barrage of anti-gay vitriole calling for the child's mother to find God and intervene before her boy grows up into another RuPaul. Poor kid. Fortunately, there are also some wonderfully supportive messages too.

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John Edward's Wife Has Cancer Again

Elizabeth Edwards, wife of 2008 Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, announced this afternoon that her cancer has recurred, this time in her bones. She was treated for breast cancer in 2004. Mrs. Edwards says that she is currently asymptomatic and that her treatment will not affect her husband's campaign and fundraising. Talking heads are already speculating on how this news may change public opinion on John Edwards. Will this news spur "sympathy" support or will it cause some to expect that Edwards will eventually be forced to pull out? Edwards is currently polling fourth nationwide, but is #1 in Iowa, the critical first primary state.

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Three Little Gay Maids

Embedding is disabled for some reason, but do check out this hilarious video from a recent LA Gay Men's Chorus show. And wait for the end. More great clips here. UPDATE: Ooh, this one too!

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HomoQuotable - Peter Tachell

"This vote is another nail in the coffin of homophobia. The defeat of the religious fundamentalists is a just reward for their deceitful scare-mongering campaign." - British gay activist Peter Tachell, celebrating that despite vigorous protest and lobbying by British fundies (remember Monday's video?), the Sexual Orientations Regulations was approved by the House of Lords yesterday. Zod saved the queens!
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Stella Wants Her Dough Back

Best-selling author Terry McMillan is suing her gay ex-husband (who is now a hairdresser) for $40 million, saying he tried to defame her during their divorce. She originally settled her divorce for an "undisclosed sum". What will the sequel be called?
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Uncivil Servants

An interesting story in today's NY Times reports on a new website, Uncivil Servants, which allows NYC residents to upload photos of city employees, cops, and film crews who are violating city parking regulations using their city-issued permits to park just about anywhere they want.
The rules for using government-issued parking permits are complex. But the permits are intended for specific locations, like blocks around courthouses or precinct stations, and not as a way to avoid paying parking meters or as an excuse to block fire hydrants and bus stops.

Critics, like Transportation Alternatives, say lax enforcement has, in essence, transformed the permit into a salary bonus, a perquisite for holding certain city jobs. An uncounted number of permits are counterfeit, the group says.

The Web site allows anyone to anonymously post photographs of cars that seem to be parked illegally and include as much information as possible to identify the offender. In just a few days, the site also has become a popular forum for impassioned exchanges in the city’s survival-of-the-swiftest struggles over one of its scarce resources.
This issue used to piss me off, back when I had a car, especially knowing that a huge portion of the parking permits are counterfeit. Cops in particular are angry about Uncivil Servants, saying that publishing pictures of their license plates puts them in danger. I imagine that this site will spread to other cities. What do you think of this tactic?
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Open Thread Thursday

Spring is here, sort of, and I'm dying for a road trip. I really need to get off this tiny island. What's your favorite quick getaway destination?
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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Justice For Kevin Aviance

All four assailants charged in last summer's brutal assault of drag entertainer Kevin Aviance pled guilty in NYC court today, receiving prison sentences ranging from 6 to 15 years in plea agreements that included hate crimes embellishments. The four young men, who range in age from 17 to 21 years old, had faced up to 25 years each for the attack, had they been found guilty in a trial. All had been charged with gang assault as a hate crime.

The above hefty sentences, satisfied readers, are the result of New York's hate crimes laws. To ensure that such justice is available to LGBT people nationwide, please read the post below this one and make sure that your representative in Congress hears from you.
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LGBT-Inclusive Hate Crimes Bill Introduced In Congress

Yesterday, with the support of a broad coalition of professional organizations, including many law enforcement groups, House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) introduced the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which will extend hate crimes protection to the LGBT community. Today the American Family Organization issued an action alert to stop the legislation, saying that the hate crimes bill will be "the first step toward silencing any opposition to the homosexual lifestyle."

To dramatize the horrible perversions about to be wrought upon God-fearing society, the AFA imbedded a video of a Chicago gay pride parade, with the red-lettered warning: "The video is highly offensive, but it is real footage from the actual parade." The video is nothing but standard pride parade footage, shirtless hunks gyrating on floats, boys holding hands, an occasional drag queen. (It was clearly made by a gay man, who laid a great dance track under his footage. I feel sorry for this guy whose home movie has been hijacked by the AFA.)

Visit the HRC's site where they have made it very easy for you to find and contact your Congressperson to urge support for this very important bill or to thank them for already being a co-sponsor. My representative, Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), is already onboard and I just sent her an appreciative note. Go to the HRC link above and find out where your Congressperson stands. Do it NOW.

UPDATE: The owner of the video has made it private, preventing the AFA members from seeing it. Good boy!
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Azis

Azis, the fascinating Bulgarian bear, drag queen, pop singer, politician and Eurovision 2006 semi-finalist, was recently voted by his countrymen as the 2nd greatest living Bulgarian and 21st greatest of all time. Check out his smokin' hot new video, which is probably safe for work as long as your co-workers don't mind you checking out some really, really hot men oiling up and checking each other out. I have no idea what he's singing about, but does it really matter?

JMG Hits 2 Million

Pam Spaulding's mention that her vital site recently hit 2 million visitors reminded me that I meant to mention that this here website thingy recently did the same, last Sunday or so.
Crazy!

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Wayne Besen On The Daily Show

Wayne Besen, founder of Ex-Gay Watch and Truth Wins Out, appeared in a Daily Show segment Monday night called Diagnosis: Mystery, which hilariously lampoons looney Richard Cohen, the "conversion therapist" and author of Coming Out Straight. One of the funniest Daily Show bits ever! Well done, Wayne!

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Homophonics

The Eagle, Sunday, 10PM

Man 1: Well, sure, you are kinda nelly, but some guys like that.

Man 2: What are you talking about??!!

Man 1: What?

Man 2: You asshole, I said I was a feminist, not effeminate!

Man 1 (shrinking): Oh.....

Man 2: And I am NOT nelly!

(Man 2 stalks away.)

Man 1 (to himself): Whatever, girl.
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Few NJ Civil Unions So Far

Early figures are showing that gay couples in New Jersey aren't exactly rushing to be civil unioned. Only 229 couples have applied for licenses in the first month (although not all municipalities have reported in), which some activists say is indicative of a feeling that gay marriage will eventually come to the state, causing many couples to wait. If true, it seems curious to me that gay couples in New Jersey wouldn't at least go ahead and get the civil license, if for no other reason than to show their numbers and support for full marriage equality. However, I can understand rejecting civil unions as "less than". New Jersey civil union licenses cost $28 and can be applied for here.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Still In The Two-One

I've already posted too much about the rents on the Upper East Side, but I'll mention this too. Today I wandered across the street on my way home from the subway to peek at the signs in the lobby of a new apartment building almost ready for tenants. The posted rents are pretty much in line with the neighborhood, but as I was peeking through the glass, a woman next to said, "Please. They're out of their minds. This place won't even be in the two-one."

On July 1st, the post office is splitting the vaunted 10021 zip code into three, creating 10065 and 10075, which is causing a huge outcry from zillionaires who are worried that their apartments will lose value once no longer in 10021, which was the #1 zip code in the country for federal election campaign donations in 2000 and 2002 Remaining smugly silent, of course, are those who will keep 10021. My semi-shabby (but not chic) 3rd-floor walk-up will stay in the "two-one", and I'm sure that news will make all the working stiffs on my block feel so much better about their rent.

UPDATE: Gothamist has a map of celebs in the two-one.
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Iraq: Year Five Begins

Yesterday an anti-war vigil in the East Bay marked the 4th anniversary of the start of the Iraq War. In San Francisco 57 demonstrators were arrested in a massive die-in. Our hearless leader marked the anniversary yesterday by warning Americans not "pack up and go home" and demanding that legislators immediately approve additional war funding.

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Larry Kramer Interview

Veteran reporter Rex Wockner has posted an interview with Larry Kramer, done after last week's ACT-UP Army demo in Times Square, in which Kramer talks about the new ACT-UP Army and rails against the HRC and the Clintons. Kramer:
I want this new ACT UP to be an army confronting this hate in every way we can, whether it is Hillary and her constant waffling -- which, of course, isn't hate, yet -- or the judges ruling against us. Gen. Pace's disgusting talk is hate. As I say in the speech, there is not one elected official or candidate for president who, given half the chance, would not sell us down the river. Bill Clinton was the prime example of that, with his "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and his support of the hateful Defense of Marriage Act. Gays at HRC and elsewhere lining up to give [Hillary] big bucks is a big mistake. We demand now, and pay off later -- after they show us the beef, not before.
Read the entire interview.
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Two Daddies Or Ten Daddies

Here's a bit of YouTube nastiness courtesy of British fundies who are planning to protest Parliament's plan to enact a "Sexual Regulations" bill allowing schools to educate children about gay families. Unbelievable.

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Facehook

About 500 of you lovely folks have loaded your mug into my Reader's Photos thingy in the sidebar. Cool! Keep 'em coming and keep the photos safe-for-work, por favor. Longtime JMG readers might recall the interstate romance that was struck up between two readers who met via those photos. Those guys emailed me last week to say that they celebrated their first anniversary in December. Congrats to them!

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Buck In The Box

Last night the lovely Manhattan Offender and I went down the The Box, a beautiful new/vintage theatre/nightclub in the Bowery, for a screening of Schwarztwald: Rites XXVII, filmmaker Richard Kimmel's fascinating part-fantasy, part-documentary about NYC's immortal Black Party. All the leatheratti were in the house, including Testosterone photographer Joe Oppedisano, New York Boys Of Leather members Christian and Blaze, and NoiZe Magazine's Michael Taylor.

MO and I had a chat with the movie's star and the evening's host, transsexual porn star Buck Angel (NSFW!!!) who was charming and funny. Trivia: The Box was built by Simon Hammerstein, great-great grandson of the namesake of Saint-At-Large New Year's venue Hammerstein Ballroom. And his grandfather was the second half of Rodgers & Hammerstein. BELOW: Filmmaker Richard Kimmel and Buck Angel toast the film's conclusion. More pics at Manhattan Offender.

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Monday, March 19, 2007

Ow Ow Ow

My houseguest is a cranky, cranky old man.

Ebay Pulls Jones' Massage Table

Mike Jones emailed me last night to tell me that after letting it run for 9 days, eBay has pulled his "Ted Haggard massage table" for "violation of charity policy". Before the auction posted, Jones spent 30 minutes on the phone with an Ebay representative ensuring that he met their criteria. But the fundies rallied to deluge eBay with complaints and eBay caved, depriving Denver's Angel Heart HIV/AIDS food service of the proceeds. Shame on eBay!
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Garrison Keillor Apologizes

I didn't comment on last week's mini-furor about A Prairie Home Companion host Garrison Keillor's Salon.com essay that seemed to slam gay marriage, because knowing Keillor's deadpan delivery so well, I thought the piece was pure satire.

The country has come to accept stereotypical gay men -- sardonic fellows with fussy hair who live in over-decorated apartments with a striped sofa and a small weird dog and who worship campy performers and go in for flamboyance now and then themselves. If they want to be accepted as couples and daddies, however, the flamboyance may have to be brought under control. Parents are supposed to stand in back and not wear chartreuse pants and black polka-dot shirts. That's for the kids. It's their show.
Many did not agree with me, including Dan Savage, who responded with a lengthy column titled Fuck Garrison Keillor. Today Keillor has issued an apology, sort of, in which he argues the Salon piece was meant as a gentle jab at his dear real life gay friends. Most of the commenters aren't buying it, but I think I still tend to take Keillor's side on this. What do you think?
UPDATE: Rex Wockner has extensive follow-up on this story, including Dan Savage's reaction to the apology.
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No Hangers

Three North Carolina men were sentenced to time already served for performing at-home castrations on six men who willingly submitted during SM/dungeon scenes held in a remodeled carport. "Master Rick" and "Slave Danny" will now have three years of supervised probation. I wonder if that means they can still go to IML this year?

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Morning View - Reading Material

Other than TV Guide, this is all my Christopher Street barbershop offers to waiting customers.

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Sunday, March 18, 2007

Donnie Davies At SXSW

Blogger St.Murse attended the Donnie Davies concert at SXSW yesterday. Check out his review. Donnie and his band Evening Service were on the same bill as the Buzzcocks, a nice little bit of pairing for the homo-interested.

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March Gayness

I was thinking about writing a post soliciting your recommendations for some new blogs for us to check out, but Matt over at Malcontent has come up with a creative and fun game that has the same result. Check out his March Gayness, a take on basketball's NCAA March Madness, in which Matt has created a 64-blog playoff system where readers vote their favorite blogs into the next round. In the first round (Matt used a number randomizer), I'm bracketed against Republic of T, so check him out. There are lots of familiar and unfamiliar blogs in Malcontent's playoffs, and I've already discovered a few that I really like. Thanks, Matt!
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Saturday, March 17, 2007

Magicially Queerlicious

ABOVE: Irish Queers member JF Mulligan sets up. (Embiggen to read the banner.)

Forget "Erin Go Bragh", the real chant of today's NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade was "Queers can march in Dublin! Queers can march in Cork! Why can't queers march in New York?" Or at least that was the favored chant in the Queer Corral, which is what the Farmboyz and I dubbed the fenced-in "official protesters" area on 5th Avenue in front of the Plaza Hotel, where the Irish Queers contingent was assigned. Our neighbors in protester jail were a group of very supportive artists protesting the parade's ban on whimsical costumes, such as leprechauns. (Thousands of men marched by in skirts, but no whimsical costumes are allowed?)
ABOVE: Irish Queers press liaison Emmaia Gelman leads the chanting.

Protesting for the 16th year, today's Irish Queers action also supported a broad menu of progressive causes, including the anti-war movement, the Sean Bell case, and immigration reform. This lead to some rather clunky although spiritedly delivered chants, one of which was so weakly rhymed that Farmboy C told me it offended his sense of meter. ("The cops murdered Sean! Homophobia is wrong!")

Yesterday's mini-blizzard dumped half a foot of snow on Manhattan, surely diminishing parade attendance. And after almost three hours of standing in ankle-deep slush, I had lost the feeling in my feet. But happily, the energy level in the Queer Corral was kept high by the Rude Mechanical Orchestra, NYC's "radical marching band" that lends musical accompaniment to many protests around town. The Farmboyz and I particularly enjoyed their marching band versions of Beyonce's Crazy In Love and Salt-N-Pepa's Push It. Ooh, baby, baby.
I paid close attention to the parade participants as they passed the Irish Queers. The children in the parade were just bewildered by all the shouting. The folks in the several large groups visiting from various Irish counties seemed to be largely supportive, many of them waved, smiled and took pictures. The bagpipe brigades and marching bands hardly allowed their eyes to slide over to our side of the street, although a couple of the drummers gave us the finger and shouted, "Go home!"

The parade's organizers, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, moved by with grim faces as the Irish Queers shouted "Shame! Shame!" Mayor Bloomberg and Rudy Giuliani (marching separately, interestingly) did not give us so much as a wave. And the thousands of marching cops seemed too busy flirting with the hula-hooping cute girl in the artists' contingent next door to give much notice to us. I guess they didn't notice her sign.
ABOVE: The highlight of the day was when an Irish woman marching with County Kerry spotted the sign on the right and rushed over to the barricades to shout with a smile, "YES! He WOULD!" It was a wonderful moment. BELOW: From Cup Of Joe, a sign which once was posted in most NYC establishments, something the AOH seems to have conveniently forgotten.

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Friday, March 16, 2007

From Boys To Men Gets Lambda Nom

From Boys To Men, which includes my story Terrence, has been nominated for a Lambda Literary Award for Best Anthology. Congratulations to the editors, Ted Gideonse and Rob Williams, and my fellow writers.

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Hillary Continues Gay Outreach

Hillary Clinton continued her campaign for gay support yesterday, speaking at the GMHC 25th anniversary gala at Chelsea Piers. The event, which raised almost $900,000 for GMHC, was also attended by former NJ governor Jim McGreevey, Larry Kramer, Rosie O'Donnell, and other luminaries. Among the evening's honorees was Matilde Krim, founding chairman of AMFAR.

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