Tuesday, July 31, 2007

JMG PSA

Don't worry, JMG isn't going all beefcake/NSFW on you. It's just that I feel it's my patriotic duty to mention that the 2008 FDNY calendar came out today. Why do you hate America? The calendar raises about $150,000 annually for a non-profit fire safety and training program. Get yours here. With all the gay firemen prowling Ty's, I have to wonder if any of this year's calendar men are FDNY-FOD.
RELATED: FIREFLAG/EMS, the gay firefighters and emergency workers organization, and GOAL, the gay police officers organization, will be co-hosting the August 19th Sea Tea, a disco/buffet/booze cruise around Manhattan. See how I made this post look all legit and shit?

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HomoQuotable - Sheryl Swoopes

"Since my coming out, I've gotten letters from parents who have said, 'Thank you for what you have done in coming out and helping me better understand how to deal with my daughter, or even my son.' Those parents with gay kids are asking themselves, how did this happen to my child? How did they turn out this way? Of all the things I've accomplished in my basketball career, to think that me coming out could possibly save one person's life far outweighs the things I've accomplished on the basketball court. " - WNBA star Sheryl Swoopes, talking to AfterEllen.com.

I really like Swoopes and I was sorry to read recently that Nike decided to pull the plug on her shoe endorsement deal and thought the commercial was really cute. But I think her legacy as an out pro female basketball player may always be clouded by her statements that some people "decide" to be gay. In 2005, she told Gay.com, "I think there are a lot of people -- gays and lesbians -- who believe you are born that way. I think there also a lot of people who believe it's a choice. And, for me, I believe it was a choice. I was at a point in my life where I had gone through a divorce and was not in a relationship, and the choice I made happened to be that I fell in love with another woman."

I'm glad that Swoopes is having a positive influence on kids, but how does she explain to them how one "chooses" to fall in love?

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For Whom The Web Tolls

I wanted to write about ghoulish MyDeathSpace.com yesterday, but after the AP's story was picked up by virtually every news outlet, the site crashed from all the traffic. MyDeathSpace is a virtual graveyard populated by deceased members of MySpace - kids who committed suicide, soldiers killed in Iraq, victims of murder, cancer, car accidents - a cornucopia of tragedy.

The site currently hosts about 2700 profiles and receives more than 100,000 hits a day. There, vulturous vampiric voyeurs pore over the final posts of distraught teens, worried GI's, and bravely sunny chemo patients. There's even a death map so you can stalk the dead in your area. MySpace has no relationship with MyDeathSpace, but family members of deceased MySpace members are typically granted control over the pages and many leave their loved ones' profiles up as a cyber-memorial.

I find this phenomenon creepily fascinating. And fascinatingly creepy. I suppose if I were hit by a car, I'd want my blog to stay up, so I'm not entirely sure why MyDeathSpace skeeves me so. Maybe it's their banner ad for TrueSwords.com.

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Case Study #832

The evils of heterosexual adoption:

July 31, 2007 -- Nine teens and young adults adopted in New York were cruelly abused, starved and shackled like prisoners in their Florida home by a heartless scam-artist mom who lived off money meant for the kids, authorities said.

The hundreds of thousands of dollars came courtesy of New York taxpayers.

The children were often bound together with plastic ties, allowed to soil themselves and bore scars and burns, Florida investigators said.

None appeared to have more than a fourth-grade education.

All were starving.
Stop het adoptions now! Children deserve loving godless parents who will send them to exclusive schools and on cruises with Rosie O'Donnell!

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The Power Of 10

The premise of the upcoming CBS game show, The Power Of 10, hosted by Drew Carey, is asking contestants to predict how Americans respond to certain questions. On the pilot episode one of the questions is this: If asteroids are headed for Los Angeles and New York City and the government only has the power to save one city, which should be saved? Over two-thirds picked New York. Only two-thirds? Kidding! I love LA! Maybe the asteroid could just hit Orange County?

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Morning View - Christopher Street Fashion

Finally. That hard-to-find rainbow-hued gay pride bikini you've all been waiting for is here - available now on Christopher Street - so please rush, ill-tempered Kazakhstani clerks are standing by, anxiously fingering their Saddam mustaches as you decide whether you want the matching suspenders, wristbands, and choker. Which, of course, you do. Sadly, the rhinestone tiara is for display purposes only. For your convenience, you can get a Brazilian wax for your new bikini at any of the 73 nail salons in the Greater West Village Shopping District.

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Swag Tuesday

This week's Swag Tuesday booty is an autographed copy of Out Magazine columnist, author, and actor Jesse Archer's latest book, You Can Run: Gay, Glam, and Gritty Travels In South America. Archer's acting resume includes the movies Boy Culture, Hustler WP, and A Four Letter Word -which he also co-wrote, earning him the Grand Jury Award for Best Screenplay at last month's Outfest, the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival. Archer blogs at Jesse On The Brink. From the You Can Run book jacket:
From Machu Pichu to a cocaine purchase in a Bolivian jail, You Can Run follows the intrepid, fantastic, and totally true adventures of flamboyant gay men through the gritty rough and tough of the the real South America. Author Jesse Archer and his American boyfriend Zane spent nearly two years traveling the continent in search of adventure. And find it they did.
Enter to win You Can Run by commenting on this post. Only your first comment counts and please remember to include your email address. Entries close at midnight today. Publicists: If you'd like to take part in Swag Tuesday on JMG, please email me.

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Monday, July 30, 2007

UPS Reverses On Civil Unions

After pressure from NJ Gov. Corzine and Lambda Legal, UPS has reversed its previous stance denying benefits to the partners of civil-unioned employees. The lawyer representing the UPS employees for Lambda Legal said, "UPS is joined by hundreds of employers around the state in hearing that civil unions are different from marriage and that is to be expected when people are given second-class status. The consequences to such ongoing mistakes are severe, and rather than going employer to employer and explaining civil unions one by one, the legislature has a quick fix: allowing same-sex couples to marry."

Good for UPS, although I almost wish they'd forced the issue back to the courts.

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The Rules Of Leather
Are Simple And Finite

NYC Eagle, Sunday, 8:30PM

Random Guy: I can't believe what just happened. You know I'm a sub, right?
JMG: No, but OK.
RG: So I just tried to buy a collar in the leather shop and the guy wouldn't fucking sell me one without my master being there!
JMG: Do you have a master?
RG: No.
JMG: Well, rules is rules.
RG: It's so stupid.
JMG: If you were wearing a collar, wouldn't that make a potential master think you already belonged to somebody?
RG (considering): Um, I guess it could, but I'd risk it.
JMG: Hey, you could always try PetCo.
.

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Newt: It'll be Clinton-Obama

Newt Gingrich is predicting a Clinton-Obama ticket for the Dems, saying, "I think that either Mayor Giuliani or Governor Romney or Senator Thompson would be a very formidable opponent for what I expect will be a Clinton-Obama ticket, and I think that there's a possibility that will work."

Right now, I'd prefer Gore-Clinton. Or Clinton-Edwards. Or Clinton-Bloomberg. And after Obama's calling Clinton "Bush-Cheney lite" last week, it seems like it'd be hard for him to backpedal from that to accept second billing from her. Of course, pols never have a problem flipping on any issue, so anything's possible.

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Chaka Khan, Chaka Khan

I'm gonna tell you something good. Chaka Khan releases her first studio album in ten years, Funk This, on September 25th. Billed as a "return to her funky/r&b roots", the album is produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis and contains a duet with Mary J. Blige and a cover of Prince's Sign 'O' The Times. In 1984, she had her biggest solo hit with another Prince cover, I Feel 4 U. I've been a Chaka fan for over 30 years, going back to when her band Rufus first started. Then they became Rufus Featuring Chaka Khan. Then it was WTF Happened To Rufus? What your favorite Chaka song? Mine would be 1975's Once You Get Started.

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HomoQuotable - Perez Hilton

"I’m like Madonna, I’m not afraid to offend." - Gossip blogger Perez Hilton, to the New York Times, in what the Times called "one of several self-generated comparisons to the pop star." Hilton, who is curently defending multiple copyright infringement lawsuits from photo agencies (as well as a defamation suit), has an upcoming VH1 reality series titled What Perez Sez. Ads on PerezHilton.com cost $9000/week.

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Scrumtious

I was just tipped off by a reader about a LaChapelle-esque ad campaign that the Regional Tourism Committee of Paris has launched in London in a bid to draw visitors to the Rugby World Cup. Embiggen for the kissy hawtness.

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Big Voice Opens in SF August 1st

My pals Steve Schalchlin and Jim Brochu's show, The Big Voice: God Or Merman?, a musical comedy about their 22-year marriage, opens in San Francisco at the New Conservatory Theatre on August 1st. The show had a great six month run in New York City, winning rave reviews from Variety and the New York Times.
Our contemporary embrace of the memoir is a longing for the true adventures of life. The trick is to make memory art without losing the awkwardness that proves authenticity. Here art is achieved with light hands, and the result is a triumphant and very touching song of praise to everyday love and the funky glories of the show business life.
I loved The Big Voice and wrote about it several times. If you're in SF, do not miss this. Tickets are available here.

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Morning View - Schnabel Building

Basquiat director Julian Schnabel's new West Village tower has been getting so many atrocious reviews that yesterday Superdaddy and I ducked out of beer bust to wander over to West 11th and see for ourselves. And, wow - is this thing fugly.

An 11-story addition to the top of an existing 3-story former stable, its proposed construction was fought in vain by Village preservationists. Schnabel ignored their concerns over the tower's incongruous height and then thumbed his nose at the neighborhood by painting the building a strange hue of pink, which he calls Venetian Red.

Yesterday's gloomy weather muted the color in my photo, so go here for a better shot of the hideousness. Oh, and read the comments on Gawker. My favorite: "This is what happens when you build on ancient drag queen burial grounds." It's rumored that Schnabel's pal Madonna has her eye on the penthouse.

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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Non-Sequitur Sunday

If there's anything better for erasing the blues of a gloomy, muggy, rainy Sunday afternoon than dancing around your apartment in your underwear to Sylvester, I'd like to know what it is. I feel mighty real and yes, I do wanna funk. That's all I got.

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Saturday, July 28, 2007

A Message From Fort Lauderdale

Nicki Grossman, president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Visitors and Convention Bureau, dropped a comment on one the Flush Naugle posts and I'm reposting it here so that everybody sees it.
Hello, I’m writing from The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau.

I wish to reassure you and your readers that Greater Fort Lauderdale is a warmly welcoming destination to all travelers. We stand united and proud that our destination has long been enjoyed by gay visitors and supported by the local gay community.

It is important for you to know that the long-standing and positive reputation in the hospitality industry, and the actions of our community, speak far louder than the words of any one individual. Our tourism industry long ago rolled out the Rainbow Carpet and we are committed to providing SUNsational Service to all visitors---straight and gay. Our community is very proud of the diversity of our residents and our visitors.

The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau has aggressively promoted the destination to the gay travel market for more than ten years and will continue to do so. As home to the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association, and with more than 100 gay-owned establishments including 30 gay guesthouses, plus restaurants and bars and the second largest Metropolitan Community Church, we invite your readers to personally come and experience our diversity.

We look forward to welcoming readers of this blog to our sunny beaches and appreciate your continued support of Greater Fort Lauderdale.

Thank you.

Nicki E. Grossman
President
Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau
gflcvb@broward.org
Thank you, Ms. Grossman.

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Friday, July 27, 2007

Gay Activists Disrupt UN Secretary General Speech In San Francisco

Gay activists interrupted the San Francisco appearance of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon yesterday, protesting the United Nations' refusal to address the plight of LGBT people being murdered, attacked and imprisoned around the world. Led by local activist Michael Petrelis, activists disrupted Ban's speech to the World Affairs Council of Northern California, chanting, "Break the silence! Talk about gays!" (Photo credit: Clinton Fein.)

General Ban responded, "That is most unusual welcome for me . . . As Secretary General, I'm supposed to answer all questions . . . The gay rights issue is very sensitive."

Petrelis: "The UN has been silent for far too long, as our gay brothers and lesbian sisters are aggressively selected for human rights violations, torture and execution across the globe, simply due to their sexual orientation." A global day of solidarity for LGBT people is planned for August 4th. The NYC event is being organized by veteran activist Brendan Fay and I will attend.

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Clinton V. Obama

The pressure of being second place must be getting to Barack Obama. Yesterday he broke the long-standing "no attack langauge" truce between himself and Hillary, saying, "The reason that this president has failed to lead this country is because he hasn't been able to unite our country. He's polarized us when he should have pulled us together. That's why the experience we need in the next president is the ability to bring this country together. It's not enough to just change parties."

Obama then referred to Clinton as "Bush-Cheney lite".

Clinton told CNN: "I've been called a lot of things in my life but I've never been called George Bush or Dick Cheney certainly. We have to ask what's ever happened to the politics of hope?"

Both candidates have posted the exchange on their sites.

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Broadway Friday

- Elaine Stritch will do a three week run beginning in January at the Carlyle Hotel in a show called Elaine Stritch At The Liberty....At The Carlyle. Tickets are $125 and you must order dinner - which, of course, is not included.

- A revival of Sunday In The Park With George hits Broadway on February 21st. The Pulitzer Prize-winning Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine show first opened in 1984 and ran for 540 performances. Tickets for the revival go on sale in September.

- Beauty & The Beast ends its 13-year run on Sunday. It is the 6th longest running show in Broadway history.

- The soundtrack for Hairspray climbs to #4 on the Billboard Top 200 this week. The first single from the soundtrack, You Can't Stop The Beat, enters the Hot 100 at #88. Over on Hot Club Play, Wicked's Idina Menzel cracks the top five with Defying Gravity.

- Raul Esparza will star in a revival of The Homecoming, set to open December 4th at the Cort Theatre.

- The Australian production of the Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert: The Musical is headed for Broadway and the West End, squarely aimed at the disco-loving soccer moms that have been packing Mamma Mia for the last six years. The show features 23 tons of scenery and 514 costumes.

- Record companies vying for the Xanadu cast album are insisting that temporary lead Cheyenne Jackson perform on the record, not James Carpinello, who left the show until September after breaking his foot. The cast album deal may fold without Jackson, whose contract contains no stipulations for recording. Jackson's performance has been winning rave reviews.

- Rumors are flying that Hugh Jackman is being considered for lead in a musical version of Brokeback Mountain. James Mardsen (Hairspray, X-Men) is up as the other lead. Which one's the bottom?

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Pefectly Cromulent

Spiderpig, Spiderpig
Does whatever
A Spiderpig does
Can he swing
From a web
No he can't
He's a pig
Look ouuuuut
He is a Spiderpig

Last night, with Squishees and KrustyO's in hand, Dr. Jeff and I attended the midnight screening of The Simpsons. On the walk home from the City Cinema on 86th Street (strongly disrecommended by the way) Dr. Jeff threatened me with physical harm if I gave away any The Simpsons' jokes in this review.

So let me just say that almost all your favorite characters get screen time, all the usual Simpsons targets are skewered (politicians, Fox, Disney, the church, preachy environmentalists), and the usual so-earnest-it's-funny ending is provided. The animation is great with a fair amount of CGI, but nothing is so jarring that it felt unSimpsonian. Still, with all that familiarity, there was a decent story arc and you didn't feel like you were watching four episodes strung together. The nudity and swearing helped.

The major celebrity voice of the film is provided by Albert Brooks (curiously credited as A. Brooks), and another mega-celebrity plays himself. Of course, Dr. Jeff and I stayed until the last moment of the credits with all the other Simpsons geeks, some of whom weren't born when the show began. Jeff gives The Simpsons a B+, probably due to the absence of his beloved Kang and Kodos. I give it an A-. I'll probably see it again this weekend just to catch up on the jokes I missed last night.

I still just can't believe they killed Maggie.

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There's No Basement In Sparta

I ran into Lady Randomocity while she was performing her court-ordered community service and as she hitched up her alcohol-monitoring anklet she mentioned that this week's Swag Tuesday winner is Buster from San Antonio. Buster sez: "That's simply amazing! And my first post on your site, too. The last time I won anything was a weekend in Palm Springs in the 70s, but the DVD of 300 is a pretty good for my second time." Thanks go out to Buster and to Warner Home Video. Publicists: If you'd like to take part in Swag Tuesday on JMG, please email me.

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Morning View - Maine Monument

The Maine Monument, at the Columbus Circle entrance to Central Park, was created by sculptor Attilio Picarelli and was built in 1913. The monument is dedicated to the memory of the 260 sailors killed when the U.S.S. Maine exploded in the harbor of Havana in 1898, which triggered the Spanish-American War. Several investigations over the last century have given conflicting accounts, but many believe that the Maine's sinking was a "false flag" operation, not committed by the Spanish but rather by Americans looking for a reason to go to war with Spain. Sound familiar? The old battlecry "Remember The Maine!" is something to keep in mind the next time Homeland Security tries to create hysteria. Expect something big in October next year.

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

954-828-5004

Things have a little heavy on the news from Fort Naugledale in gay blogland, but as a former resident with many friends living there, I am compelled to persist. Therefore, I can't resist showing you this video from some rinky-dink outfit called Active Christian Media, who ask for support for Nauglepoo. Many are speculating that the Christian right is grooming Naugle for higher office once his lame duck term expires.

I say do as the video asks. Call Toilet Boy and tell him what you think.

RELATED: UNITE Fort Lauderdale does NOT want a gay boycott. Many of our folks' livelihoods depend on the gay tourist trade. Naugle is an aberration in an otherwise very supportive city and county government.

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Expanded Panel For HRC/LOGO Debate

The HRC/LOGO debate for presidential candidates, now titled "The Visible Vote '08", has added two more panelists. Bloomberg.com columnist Margaret Carlson and Washington Post editorial board member Jonathan Capehart will join HRC head Joe Solmonese and lesbian rocker Melissa Etheridge in quizzing the candidates. Perhaps taking its cue from last week's successful YouTube debate, LOGO is soliciting questions from the public to be asked during debate. (via - HRC Back Story.)

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Transit Gets HOT

The transit situation in New York City is getting, uh, interesting.

- The Port Authority is polling commuters entering the Lincoln Tunnel, asking if they'd be willing to pay up to $30 per entry in order to use a proposed super-fee lane, which could cut their drive into Manhattan by 20-50 minutes. The HOT, or high-occupancy/toll lane would be creating by reconfiguring the inbound lanes. The present fee is $6.

- Taxi drivers are threatening to strike in September if they are forced to accept in-cab GPS tracking systems, complaining about the cost (several thousand dollars pro-rated over three years) and the likelihood of the system creating even more back-seat drivers. (Guilty! "Go through the park!")

- The MTA is preparing another fare hike, likely around 6.5%, with a vote expected in December. The last fare hike took place in 2003, when a single ride rose from $1.50 to $2.00.
Annual rises tied to the inflation rate are planned for 2010 and onward.

- A commission to study Mayor Bloomberg's congestion pricing plan is forming in the state legislature today, with a vote scheduled for March. The new plan would charge drivers $8 to enter lower Manhattan. Even though the plan has not yet been approved, the MTA is already counting on the revenue and has budgeted an extra $600M in "new governmental aid" into the 2010/2011 budget.

Thirty bucks for the tunnel, then another eight bucks to go downtown. I bet people don't even blink.

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Hate Crimes Bill Dead For Months

The Democrats' ploy of attaching the federal hates crimes bill (the Matthew Shepard Act) as an amendment to a Department of Defense appropriations bill did not work because the Dems also attached an amendment requiring troops to pull out of Iraq by May 1, prompting Republicans to plan a filibuster on the item. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) pulled the bill from consideration last week. The bill will probably not be considered again until October or later.

Some gay rights groups such as the HRC continue to support attaching the MSA to the DOD bill, but others are silent. A similar ploy failed in 2004 when the Senate approved the hate crimes act as attached to a DOD appropriations bill, but the House did not allow it to come to a vote. This time the situation is reversed as the House approved its versions of the hate crimes act in May. Activists theorize that Bush would not dare veto a DOD bill, even with the MSA attached, so long as the troop withdrawal provision isn't there too.

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Haloscan Issue

Haloscan is having its quarterly meltdown. Comments appear to be posting OK, but the number count is not updating. My apologies. Hopefully this will be resolved soon, but in the meantime y'all will have to manually check each post for added comments.

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Morning View - Nickel Spa

At the corner of 8th Avenue and 14th Street, "where Chelsea meets the West Village", is the Nickel Men's Spa, your one-stop mani-pedi-facial-waxing angertwink superstore. The building is said to have been a "historic bank", but I've never found out what it was.

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Open Thread Thursday

What are you reading?
.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Buttinskis

New York Magazine is riffing on a survey released last year by the CDC that reports that the incidence of anal sex among heterosexuals has climbed by about 50% over the last 15 years, with 38% of women and 32% of men now saying that they occasionally indulge in backdoor shenangigans.

The article, written by sex advice authors Em & Lo, mentions that while most of heterosexual anal sex is, ahem, one way, straight men are feeling increasingly free to admit that they too enjoy anal play and that number of women buying strap-ons to use on their boyfriends is rising. Anybody seen one of the Bend-Over Boyfriend videos? I totally have not. Except a few times.

A married straight guy tells Em & Lo, “My wife is totally turned on by the idea of ‘having’ me, as that’s just not something women really get to do most of the time, and it’s not something that guys have usually had done to them. It really is a reversal in the most primal of ways. I think anyone who doesn’t enjoy it or thinks they wouldn’t is hindered by their own hang-ups. It feels good, period. And breaking taboos is sexy. Variety is sexy. Being vulnerable is sexy.”

South Beach. Facial hair. And now anal luvin. Those wacky breeders co-opt everything.
.

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Matt Foreman Rips Into Naugle

Matt Foreman, Executive Director of the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, spoke at yesterday's Flush Naugle rally, where he issued a blistering call for Naugle to be "shunned" and "not allowed at any gathering where decent people are." Local police estimated the crowd attending the rally at between 800-1000, staggering numbers, particularly for a town that has been been very sleepy regarding gay activism. Watch the video - Matt Foreman fucking ROCKS. Big thanks to Father Tony for providing the video.



UPDATE: Towleroad has a big post up with lots of pics of the rally.

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Brother, Can You Spare A Dime (Bag)?

One of the most striking differences between living in San Francisco and New York is the panhandling situation. As any San Francisco resident or visitor will attest, you can hardly walk 100 feet down any city street without being aggressively begged for money. Friends and I once counted being asked for money eight times over four Market Street blocks.

In Manhattan, despite a population many times that of SF, panhandling is much less pervasive and infinitely more soft-pedaled. This, because despite a law against panhandling being repealed in 1992, the NYPD continues to arrest beggars. Since the '92 law was ruled unconstitutional, 10,000 have been locked up, 3500 in NYC alone.

A recent NYC ordinance allows cops to arrest beggars who behave in a "menacing or threatening manner" - a subjective call totally in the hands of the cops. Knowing this, panhandlers tend to work the trains or other very crowded areas where they can easily disappear into crowds if someone decides to call the po-po on them. It's not as easy as passively accosting passersby while squatting on the sidewalk, but it beats jail. One notable exception would be the elderly man who daily sets up a cardboard desk on 42nd Street near Grand Central, wailing "Pleeeeeeease help me" every 15 seconds. His woeful yet hypnotic cadence became a years-long catchphrase in our office whenever somebody was mired in a difficult project. Pleeeeeeeeease help me. Extra food often made it down from the 26th floor to that man.

Yesterday, a Manhattan federal judge approved moving forward a class-action suit on behalf of six street beggars. The first beggar involved in the suit, a crackhead with 52 arrests, settled with the city last year for $100,000. Money, I suppose most would presume, he immediately spent on 10,000 dime bags. I don't know how I feel about this lawsuit. I definitely feel for some, but probably not most, of the panhandlers I encounter in NYC. I do know I'm glad that I don't have to endure SF-level begging.

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Bolten & Miers: Contempt Of Congress

Led by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), the House Judiciary Committee just voted 22-17 in a decision that forces the full House to vote whether to hold White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and former staff lawyer Harriet Miers in contempt of Congress for refusing to submit to subpoenas regarding the Alberto Gonzales scandal. The White House contends that all its staffers enjoy absolute immunity from subpoenas due to "executive privilege."

Conyers has drafted a resolution for a vote that would cite Bolten and Miers for contempt and subject them to arrest, with a possible $100,000 fine and one year prison sentence upon conviction. Which, of course, will never happen. Because IF the resolution passes a full House, Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi would refer the case to the U.S. Attorney for Washington, DC.....who is a Bush appointee and according to Justice officials would not pursue the case. The last person cited for contempt of Congress was EPA lackey Rita Lavelle, back in 1983, for refusing to appear before a House committee.

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Time Mag's Top 100 Albums

A common stunt to draw traffic to your site is to compile a list of something and proclaim it as the "100 Best" whatevers. "100 Best Albums Ever" seems to be the default list for magazine sites these days, and now a couple of critics from Time Magazine have compiled a list called the All-TIME 100 Albums. I find it very telling that of the 9 albums from the new century to have made the list, 4 are reissue packages of music made decades ago: Elvis Presley, Muddy Waters, Sam Cooke, and Hank Williams. Personally, I can't think of a single album this century worthy of the list. They do appear to have the 70's portion of the list pretty well covered, with most of my personal favorites there: The Clash - London Calling, Stevie Wonder - Songs In The Key Of Life AND Talking Book, Parliament/Funkadelic - One Nation Under A Groove, Ramones- Ramones. Of course, I'd also include Donna Summer's Once Upon A Time and Giorgio Moroder's seminal From Here To Eternity.

Morning View -
Hercules, Mercury, Minerva

Created in 1914 by French sculptor Jules-Alexis Coutan, the three statues that grace the top of Grand Central Terminal were the largest sculptural group of the time. Hercules (god of physical energy) and Minerva (goddess of moral energy) flank Mercury, the god of commerce. The giant eagle behind Mercury represents America. The entire piece stands 48 feet high. Mercury, whose fey pose amuses many, is 28 feet high with 9 feet arms. I grabbed this photo yesterday as I attempted in vain to sneak a photo of the nearby steam pipe explosion site. This here pic embiggens mightily.

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HomoQuotable - Rupert Everett

"Oh God, I could never do that to a child. Can you imagine what it would be like, having your two dads coming to school speech days? And hearing those awful queeny rows while you are trying to get to sleep?" - Rupert Everett, telling London's Daily Express that he does not support gay adoption. Everett, who claims that he has 10 godchildren, has also said that he will not have children of his own because he'd make a lousy father.

You may recall the furor his comments made in January when he said, "Gay people aren’t like the Jews or the blacks. They’re not enough of a community, and I think they’re too self-hating to be a community." Anybody got a figure on how Everett's autobiography sold?

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Asshat Of The Year Nominee

Pulling a fast one on local activists and media, today Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle did not apologize for his anti-gay comments at his press conference, as had been expected, but instead launched an even more venomous attack on gays (video). Naugle said he only apologized for having "underestimated" the problem of gay public sex in the beachside resort town. Naugle then gave the press a media kit containing print-outs of the site CruisingForSex.com, which gives tips on places to meet in Fort Lauderdale for public sex. Naugle cited the case of Rep. Bob Allen, who was recently arrested for attempting to have sex in an park and shrugged off shouted responses that Allen is purportedly a straight married man.

Flanked by the virulently anti-gay Rev. O'Neal Dozier, Naugle again repeated his warning that gay men are running amuck in Fort Lauderdale and called on city residents to call police whenever they suspect gay men are having sex in public places. Fort Lauderdale police report only a single arrest for public sex at the gay beach in the last three years. Naugle went on to call for the Broward County Tourist Commission to "rethink" their long-running gay tourism campaign, claiming that Broward County has the highest rate of new HIV infections in the country. The press conference ended to the shouts of "Shame!", "Resign!", and "You are an embarrassment to our city!"

Naugle's pal, Rev. Dozier, is famed for having told a local paper in 2003 that being gay is “something so nasty and disgusting that it makes God want to vomit" and "AIDS is God's punishment." Even Dubya was forced to remove Dozier from his advisory council after those remarks. Dozier's church is in nearby Pompano Beach, prompting UNITE Fort Lauderdale's Waymon Hudson to speculate that no local church was willing to support Naugle.

Naugle is attempting to spin his entire anti-gay position (and he refuses to use the word "gay") as merely his attempt to quell public sex, but makes no mention of any distaste for heterosexual public sex. I'd like to call on the residents of Fort Lauderdale to CALL THE POLICE every time they see straight couples hooking up in public - in nightclub parking lots, on the beach, wherever.

NEW JMG FEATURE: Asshat Of The Year. Welcome, Mayor Naugle, as our first nominee.
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HomoQuotable - Elton John

"I have to speak my mind because as a gay man now I have a responsibility to. I sat back too long. When ACT-UP were going in and trying to change the face of AIDS awareness in America because nobody else was doing it, I sat back and did nothing." - Elton John, expressing guilt over not having taken part in the gay movement earlier. Since beginning his activist life, his Elton John AIDS Foundation has raised over $125M. John's latest project is supporting the Nepal's only gay rights group, the Blue Diamond Society, currently under fire by that nation's government for "promoting homosexuality."

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The Poz Chip

The Indonesian state of Papua is planning to microchip some residents with HIV in a bid to prevent their transmitting the virus to others. Out of a population of 2.5M, 3000 residents are thought to be HIV positive. Papua is located on the western half of New Guinea.

According to an Indonesian doctor assisting in the new law's preparation, "Some of the infected people experience a change of behavior and can turn more aggressive and would not think twice of infecting others." He claims that only those "deemed likely" to transmit the virus will be chipped. Local AIDS activists are understandably outraged, saying, "People with HIV/AIDS are not like sharks under observation so that they have to be implanted with microchips to monitor their movements."

It's almost laughable. Almost.

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Liberal Bigs Back Flush Naugle Campaign

If you are in Fort Lauderdale today, get on down to City Hall (at 100 N. Andrews Avenue) by 4pm for a massive Flush Naugle rally. DJ Julian Marsh will be spinning tunes to inspire the crowd beginning at 3:30 PM. Speakers will begin taking the stage at 4:30pm and there will be a "Power To The People" after party following the rally at Art Bar at 6:30PM.

An impressive rosters of national and local speakers will be on hand for today's rally:
-Matt Foreman, Executive director of The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
-Carlton Moore, Fort Lauderdale Vice-Mayor
-Howard Simon, Florida Executive Director of the ACLU
-Stacey Ritter, Broward County Commissioner
-Andrew L. Rosenkranz, Florida Regional Director, Anti-Defamation League
-Ken Keechl, Broward County Commissioner
-Nadine Smith, Executive Director Equality Florida
-Mitch Ceasar, Chairman, Broward County Democratic Party
-Scott Newton, Mayor of Wilton Manors

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Morning View - Broadway & 53rd

From the east side of Broadway & 53rd. To the left, the Broadway Theatre, current home of The Color Purple. To the right, the Ed Sullivan Theatre, home of the David Letterman Show.

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Swag Tuesday

Courtesy of Warner Home Video, this week's Swag Tuesday prize is a 2-disc special edition DVD of 300, the sepia-drenched homoerotic Spartan muscle and gore fest that so fascinated the gay blogosphere earlier this year. Due out on July 31st , this special edition version contains 90 minutes of bonus material, including the intriguingly titled segment, "The Shocking Life of a Spartan Revealed".

Get ready for a cutting-edge, heart-pounding, visual masterpiece on July 31st when 300 arrives on DVD, HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc from Warner Home Video. Based on the stylized graphic novel from icon Frank Miller (Sin City), 300 is an epic action-adventure about the 300 Spartan warriors led by the heroic King Leonidas who challenged Xerxes and his massive Persian army at the ancient Battle of Thermopylae. Facing insurmountable odds, they fought to the death to defend their honor and freedom, inspiring all of Greece to unite against the enemy.
Enter to win by commenting on this post. Only your first comment counts and please remember to leave your email address. Entries close at midnight Tuesday, EST. Publicists: if you'd like to take part in Swag Tuesday on JMG, please email me.

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Monday, July 23, 2007

Tubing The Dems

Tonight's CNN/YouTube debate for the Democratic presidential candidates was fascinating. The format, which involved candidates responding to the YouTube'd video questions from the general public, was unique and effective. I'm betting we see more of these. Here are two clips of the candidates responding to questions about gay marriage and about religion-based discrimation against LGBT people. Chris Johnson has the transcripts of the questions and responses over on HRC Back Story. And mad props to Brooklyn's Mary and Jen for getting their question used.

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Flip This Space

Everybody knows parking is a nightmare in Manhattan. And yet that nightmare can provide a sublime sense of superiority to the vast majority of residents who don't own cars -myself included - although I'm occasionally inconvenienced due to friends having to circle my block for an hour searching for a space. An interesting recent NY Times story mentions that new residential buildings south of 60th Street are restricted to providing only one parking space for every five units. (The rules are slightly less restrictive above 60th street, where in some areas developers are required to provide more spaces due to higher car ownership.) I presume the intent is to discourage downtowners from adding to the gridlock, but I have to also wonder if the city's super-expensive parking garages didn't have a hand in that ruling.

According to the article, Manhattan parking spaces are selling for around $1100/sq. foot, just slightly lower than the average cost per square foot of an apartment. With the average parking space now costing $165,000, with some locations going for more than $225,000, some real estate speculators are buying just the parking space, with the mindset that being a parking space landlord is much easier than renting out an apartment. In the last year, 40 Manhattan parking garages have closed and only 23 have opened. At that rate, a parking space seems like a good investment.

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Design Flaw

NYC Eagle, Sunday, 9pm

Guy 1: So anyway, we had a really good weekend together. He's totally perfect for me, except for- and I hate to say this - his apartment.
Guy 2: Why? Is he a slob?
Guy 1: Oh, no. Everything is spotless. You could eat off the floor.
Guy 2: So the problem is......
Guy 1: The problem is his place is total tchotchke HELL. Seriously, he has like all these, I don't know, Hummels or whatever. And all this QVC crap. It's everywhere. All. Over. I just wish he wasn't such a hot fuck. So disappointing.
Guy 2: Hey, I've got lots of knick knacks lying around too. So what? I like to collect things.
Guy 1: And you've been single how long?
Guy 2: Shut up!

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Con Ed To Closed Stores: Suck It

Con Edison says they will pay for the repairs of buildings that suffered physical damage from last week's steam pipe explosion, but that there will be no compensation for lost business. Many buildings suffered blown-out windows and destroyed signage. The "frozen-zone" around the explosion site has been reduced to the four blocks around E.41st and Lexington Avenue. Stores and restaurants inside the zone remain closed. In addition to lost sales, some eateries have had thousands of dollars worth of food spoil.

It appears that repairs were attempted at the site just days before the explosion. I don't pretend to understand the legal obligations that Con Ed may be subject to, but it certainly seems that they have a moral obligation to compensate all those businesses who are suffering due to Con Ed's negligent maintenance of the city's infrastructure. I suppose Con Ed is just lucky that this incident didn't happen during the winter, as that steam pipe provides heat to dozens of midtown towers who find it cheaper to buy steam from Con Ed, rather than installing their own boiler systems.

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NJ Gov Steps Into UPS Debate

The governor of New Jersey is demanding that UPS abide by state law and offer domestic partners benefits to the civil unioned. UPS says that under its federal collective bargaining agreement, union employees' benefits are covered by federal laws that only recognize fully married couples. Non-union UPS employees do have access to domestic partners benefits in New Jersey. In Massachusetts, all married employees are eligible.

Gov. Corzine sent a letter to UPS, saying in part, "Surely, as a company with a long-standing commitment to its employees and the community, UPS would not want to make its employees and their families face these difficult choices based on the subtleties of the interaction of federal and state law." According to Lambda Legal, hundreds of companies in New Jersey continue to refuse benefits to the civil-unioned.

I find myself pleasantly surprised that Gov. Corzine is advocating for LGBT folk to UPS, especially since so far there are only a handful of people affected by their decision. Good for him. But I also find myself hoping that UPS continues to resist, as that may provide continued momentum to the marriage equality movement in New Jersey. The UPS story highlights what has become increasingly apparent: civil unions are a weak, ultimately unacceptable compromise.

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Hairspray: Biggest Musical Opening Ever

Hairspray opened big this weekend with $27.8M in ticket sales, making it the biggest opening weekend ever for a musical. With ticket prices adjusted for inflation, Hairspray edged out Best Little Whorehouse In Texas and Grease for the record. The original Hairspray only grossed $6.7M over its entire run. Unbelievably, I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Lousy was #1 this weekend, bringing in $38.4M. This despite an abysmal 14% positive reviews percentage, as tracked by Rotten Tomatoes.

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Class Photo

Saturday afternoon we herded most of our crew to Brooklyn, braving every pirate's favorite subway line, the R, to attend the Big Lug party at Cattyshack, our favorite NYC lesbian bar. Only half of the guys in this photo have a blog. The other half are freaks.

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Morning View - Harlem River

This is a northward view of the Harlem River as seen from the Washington Bridge when crossing from Manhattan into the Bronx. Technically a tidal strait, the 8-mile long Harlem River connects the Hudson and East rivers and forms the northern boundary of Manhattan. Interestingly, due to the 1895 redirecting of the Harlem River, the Marble Hill neighborhood, now on the Bronx side of the river, is actually within the Manhattan borough limits.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Tammy Faye Messner, 65

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

On The Scene At Flush Naugle Rally

Roving JMG reporter Father Tony is in Fort Lauderdale where he dropped in at the Unite Fort Lauderdale-sponsored Flush Naugle rally in the parking lot of the Shoppes of Wilton Manors, Fort Lauderdale's all-gay shopping center. Local activists are demanding the Major Jim "Robo-john" Naugle either step down or apologize for his anti-gay statements.

At the rally, Tony interviewed Waymon Hudson (left), president of Fight Out Loud, a fledging gay activist group born of the infamous "death to homosexuals" intercom announcement made at Fort Lauderdale International. Hudson and his partner were at the airport when the announcement was made and through their activism, a apology was made to the gay community by the mayor of Broward County and the evildoer was terminated. To contribute to the work of Fight Out Loud, follow this link.

Here's a minute-long interview Tony did with Hudson.

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Friday, July 20, 2007

Insert Joke Here

Tomorrow Dubya will have a colonoscopy (insert joke here) during which he will temporarily transfer power to Vice President Cheney (insert joke here) as Dubya will be under anesthesia while doctors probe him (insert joke here.) Section 3 of the 25th amendment provides for the temporary transer of power in the event of the disability of the president (INSERT JOKE HERE).

Bush transferred power to Cheney during his last colonoscopy in 2002. Cheney will be in charge of the country for about 2.5 hours. I'd like to be under anesthesia myself during that time. Being awake will be too terrifying.

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New Annie Lennox Album
Features HIV Prevention Anthem

Annie Lennox has a new album coming, Songs of Mass Destruction, due on October 2nd. Produced by Glen Ballard, the album includes a feminist/HIV prevention anthem titled, Sing, which features 23 major female solo artists: Madonna, Sarah McLachlan, Celine Dion, Fergie, Faith Hill, Pink, Dido, Gladys Knight, kd lang, Angelique Kidjo, Bonnie Raitt, Shakira, Melissa Etheridge, Anastasia, Joss Stone, KT Tunstall, and many others.

Early reports say the opening of Sing calls for the implementation of mother-to-child HIV transmission prevention programs in South Africa. The song comes from Lennox' involvement with 46664 (Nelson Mandela's human rights group) and the HIV/AIDS activist organization, Treatment Action Group. Vocalists from TAG also perform on Sing.

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Toyota Yaris: Gayer Than The Miata?

Gay consumer site GayWheels.com has posted its latest list of the top ten vehicles searched on their site, where the Toyota Yaris continues to reign at #1.

1. Toyota Yaris
2. Saab 9-3 (sedan and convertible)
3. Mazda MX-5
4. Volkswagen Jetta
5. VW EOS
6. Dodge Caliber
7. Toyota Camry
8. Audi A3
9. VW Rabbit
10. Infiniti FX

The Yaris? Really?

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PhoboQuotable - Isaiah Washington

"Whether or not it serves any particular agenda that he's nominated now, to make a point, I can't speak on that. That's theoretical. I don't know, but good for him." - Isaiah Washington, implying that yesterday's Emmy nomination for Grey's Anatomy nemesis T.R. Knight was a reward for suffering Washington's "faggot" taunts. NBC has offered Washington a guest spot on the upcoming Bionic Woman remake.

UPDATE: Readers correctly point out that Washington did make a more gracious comment during the interview: "T.R. Knight is a good actor. He has been a wonderful actor from day one. T.R. Knight, congratulations. He finally got the attention he deserved."

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Bay Area Bounces

The Bay Area experienced its strongest earthquake in several years this morning, a 4.2 temblor centered in the Oakland Hills. Only light damage is reported. My last month living in SF, we had a pretty good jolt one afternoon, causing me to jump into my bedroom doorway, just like the experts tell you to. My roommate, however, ran into the kitchen to throw himself against his teetering china cabinet. Priorities.

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I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Lousy

The reviews for I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry, which opens today, are scathing. In his 1-star review, NY Post critic Kyle Smith says, "If there were a Straight Lack-of-Pride Parade, I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry could be the grand marshal. The movie isn't insulting to homosexuals but to comedy. As a hetero, I'm so embarrassed, I'm thinking of going undercover until this movie fades away. If you need me, I'll be at Xanadu."

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Tammy Faye Credits Gays For Saving Her

"You know when we lost everything, it was the gay people who came to my rescue and I will always love them for that." - Tammy Faye Messner, speaking on Larry King Live. Messner is near death from lung cancer and weighs only 65 pounds. (via - Towleroad.)

Some of the commenters on Towleroad complain that even near death, Messner is an "attention whore" who cannot pass up a chance to be seen on national TV. Perhaps. I will always remember happening upon an episode of the PTL Club back in the early 80's and being startled to see Messner interviewing an AIDS patient. Her kindness towards that man was something I'd never seen on television, particularly on a Christian program. I don't buy that Messner was innocently unaware - duped by her husband Jim Bakker - as the PTL Club defrauded viewers of millions of dollars. But that interview will always stay with me.

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Broadway Friday

- This week the soundtrack for Hairspray enters the Billboard 200 at #20. Over on Hot Dance Club Play, Idina Menzel's remix of Defying Gravity climbs to #7. The cast album for Wicked has been #1 for 73 weeks on Billboard's Top Cast Albums chart.

- A Broadway adaptation of the the classic Sidney Poitier film, Guess Who's Coming To Dinner, is expected in the fall of 2008. Direction to be by Kenny Leon.

- Lone Star Love, a musical comedy starring Randy Quaid, opens at the Belasco on December 3rd, previews begin November 11. It will be Quaid's Broadway debut.

- Last week's Broadway grosses are topped by Wicked for the 19th consecutive week, at $1.4M, followed by Jersey Boys and the three Disney shows: Lion King, Mary Poppins, Beauty & The Beast.

- Cheyenne Jackson reports that he will appear in Xanadu until the end of September, when James Carpinello will return from his foot injury.

- Margaret Cho will headline the off-Broadway burlesque show The Sensuous Woman at the Zipper Theatre. The show opens September 26th.

- Jo Anne Worley on the rigors of joining the cast of hit show in mid-run: "It's like jumping on a freight train that's going full speed a couple hundred miles an hour." Worley recently replaced Georgia Engel in The Drowsy Chaperone.

- Andrew Lloyd Webber has inked a deal for an American reality show that will follow the casting search for Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat. Webber has had success in the UK with a similar reality series for Joseph and with a show called How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria, which followed the casting search for a production of The Sound Of Music.

- A new Harvey Fierstein-John Buccino musical, A Catered Affair, begins previews on March 28th, 2008. Starring Fierstein, Tom Wopat, and Faith Prince, Affair will be directed by John Doyle, who won the 2006 Tony for directing Sweeney Todd. The show begins a pre-Broadway run in San Diego in September.

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Morning View - Hudson River

A jogger pauses to take in the view from the Christopher Street pier. And nope, I don't know him. By the way, I was trying to take a picture of the Statue of Liberty (just to the left of his nose) when he walked into the frame. True story!

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Dame Bassey Gets It Started

About ten years ago, I broke my hand and arm in six places when I tripped over a big pile of air that someone had negligently left lying on the Market Street sidewalk. But that didn't stop me from attending Dame Shirley Bassey's concert that night at the San Francisco Opera House, where in a vicodin haze I was chastised by the usher for banging my cast against my armrest because I couldn't applaud. We were especially amused by the endless stream of old queens coming to the lip of the stage with giant bouquets. By the end of the show poor Shirley hardly had a place to stand. Here's 70 year-old Dame Bassey performing Pink's Get the Party Started. Shirley is immortal.

UPDATE: Here's Dame Shirley's MySpace page.

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Defying Gaiety

Documentary filmmaker Bill Hussung says the world will be "shocked" to see the Broadway stars and dancers that appear in his upcoming film, Gay No More, which follows about 20 performers who belong to a Life Ministry support group that meets twice weekly in "underground locations."

Hussung: "It's an ex-gay movement with the core belief that you are gay because of a sexual trauma in your background. When you discover what that is, you can release it and be cured of gay desires. People will be shocked to learn how widespread among the New York theater community this is." Hussung says everybody in the film has signed a release agreeing to be outed as "ex-gay".

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A Klieg Of His Own

Last night my houseguest and I were wandering up 2nd Avenue after dinner and ran into a wild scene around 76th street - searchlights, paparazzi, a red carpet, and a couple of hundred screaming girls. All of this outside was taking place in front of a small restaurant. I walked up and asked a few of the girls, "What's all this for? Who's coming?" Three of the girls screamed back in unison: "JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE!" I guess my face kind of fell when I said, "Oh," because the one of the girls said, "YOU know he's HOT!" Clocked.

We considered hanging around for a minute just to watch the bedlam, but a moment later a 60-ish man jogged by wearing sneakers, red lace panties, garters, and a camisole. Houseguest looked at me, "What is THAT all about?" I said, "Hmm, my guess is that his dom is punishing him. Something like, 'You are a bad, naughty boy. Now I want you to jog up 2nd Avenue and think about what you've done. Oh, and wear this.'" I love this town. And that's the guy that should have had the spotlight.

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Open Thread Thursday

What's your favorite hotel? What's your favorite chain?
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Morning View - 41st Street

I'm sure by now that most of you heard of yesterday's explosion near Grand Central Terminal. I was at home, 30 blocks away, when the explosion took place around 6PM, and immediately got a dozen frantic phone calls from friends who know that my office is about 200 feet from the site of the explosion. It's just amazing that more people weren't killed - these AP photos hardly do justice to the damage. Transit is fucked today, of course, with most trains bypassing Grand Central.

The news coverage of ash-covered and bloody pedestrians running down the street was riveting, of course everybody thought it was a truck bomb, not an 80 year old steam pipe. The city's response was amazing, within minutes the entire area was locked down. If you work within a couple of blocks of Grand Central there is no access to your building today.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Rabbit Season! Duck Season!

Rite Aid, Grand Central Terminal, Wednesday 2pm

An elderly woman approaches a pharmacist, who is out on the floor with a phone, examing the shelves.

Elderly Woman (brandishng a pill bottle): Excuse me, do you have these in a suppository?
Pharmacist (puts phone on his shoulder): If there aren't any on the shelf, then we're out.
EW: I need them in the big bottle.
PH: I'll help you in a moment, m'am. I'm helping another customer.
EW: Well, do you have them?
PH (annoyed): Not if they aren't on the shelf.
EW: I need them in the big bottle. Suppositories.
PH: M'am, I'll be with you in just a minute.
EW: OK.
(Ten seconds pass.)
EW: Do you have them? I need the big bottle. Suppositories.
PH: M'am, please! One minute.
EW: OK.
(Ten seconds pass.)
EW: Are you looking?
PH (grabs bottle from woman): These are pills. We only have the pills.
EW: I want the suppositories. The big bottle.
PH (wearily): We don't HAVE the suppositories. We only have the pills.
EW: I want the suppositories. The big bottle. Do you have them?
PH (light bulb goes on): I only have the suppositories.
EW: I want the pills.
PH (puts bottle on shelf): Let me look. Oh, here they are! Pills! Do you want the big bottle?
EW: That's what I've been trying to tell you! PILLS.
PH (hands woman the original bottle): I only have the big bottle.
EW: Wonderful! Thank you! You've been very helpful.

The elderly woman heads for the cashier. I give the pharmacist my best "Well played!" look and we share a smile.

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GLAAD Pissed At Post

GLAAD has issued a call to action over yet another anti-gay Sean Delonas cartoon published in the New York Post. If the above cartoon offends you, contact the NY Post: Jesse Angelophone 212-930-8274, fax (212) 930-8540, e-mail: jangelo@nypost.com.

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Hate Crimes Bill Suspended

Lacking the 60 vote threshold needed for approval, the Department of Defense reauthorization bill (to which the Matthew Shepard Act has been attached) was just removed from consideration by Senate Majority Leader Reid. Negotiations continue to get the bill reintroduced.

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Gay Adoption = Assimiliation?

My scientist buddy Dagon used to live in Manhattan but is now back in Austin, Texas, where he studies and teaches plant biology. Dagon also noticed Little David's post about the two gay men who adopted an infant baby, but his take was a little different.
I've been online too much reading theist vs. atheist fights, and as a result I have a persistent stress headache. I was reading some gay blogs too and ran across an account of two gay men "adopting their first child", a phrase encapsulating a horror of hideous heteronormative assimilation. In particular, the word "first" chilled my bones. How many babies is it going to take to satisfy these two gay men?

While I'm not sure about evolutionary explanations of homosexuality, I do feel strongly that our fate is different from that of the those who can breed, which I guess includes lesbian couples at this point. Our fate is in some ways a distinctly selfish one; however, I also have a lot more headspace for my research than many of my married, child-rearing colleagues. There are distinct advantages to the situation. I would not choose to be straight, given the choice. Call me selfish.

I'd be more approving of two men settling down together, pretending to be a nuclear family, if it were part of some kink. It's the earnest mimicry of the nuclear family that kills me. I feel the gays are cut out for something different, maybe better--that's up to us.

I'm skeptical of straight people finding their lives' fulfillment in having babies and (at least!) doubly skeptical of gays' pantomiming that life trajectory. Turning one's back on powerful biological imperatives, including the urge to reproduce, is important. It is the kind of action that separates us from animals. We are, of course, animals, but we are also uniquely positioned to defy our base instincts. Failures to defy these instincts constitute massive failures as human beings.
Fascinating stuff. Ten years ago, maybe even five years ago, I would have agreed with Dagon completely. Perhaps it's my age or battle fatigue, but I can no longer muster much more than a puzzled shrug when I talk about homos who want children. I have never felt the slightest momentary twinge of interest to procreate or parent, but I must support our people that do, and in whatever manner pleases them. That doesn't mean I don't still consider heteronormative assimilation to be the greatest internal threat to the continuity of gay culture. It is.

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Poz Soldier Arrested For Barebacking

A 25-year old Army private in North Carolina has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon and committing a crime against nature for having unprotected sex with an 18-year old male civilian. Fort Bragg officers warned Pfc. Johnny Dalton to not have unprotected sex after he tested positive for HIV last November. They were alerted by the civilian's mother after he fell ill and tested positive for HIV, although it's not known if his infection can be traced to Dalton.

Dalton is being held in county jail pending a $50,000 bond. According to North Carolina law, an HIV positive person must use condoms at all times and must always disclose their condition to sex partners. Dalton faces the same charges in both civilian and military court. He was not deployed to Iraq due to his serostatus, but apparently was also not challenged on his gayness.

Question: A "crime against nature"? Didn't the Supreme Court legalize sodomy nationwide? What am I missing here?

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True Colors, Rich Morel, Blowoff

The soundtrack to this summer's True Colors tour is available now for download with the physical CD due on August 7th. The highlight (to me) is Morel's Pink Noise remix of Cyndi Lauper's True Colors. You probably know Rich Morel from his smash remixes of tracks by Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys, and many others - not to mention his partnership with Bob Mould as one-half of Blowoff, Washington DC's smash monthly dance party. Big news: Blowoff comes to NYC on September 8th at the Highline Ballroom!

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The Hottest Place For A
Honeymoon In A Hotel Room

In the wee hours of the morning, Lady Randomocity called me from her mahjong game in Brighton Beach to slur the name of this week's Swag Tuesday winner, Manhattan Bill, whom she thinks is the first Gothamite to win so far. Bill sez: "Now I'm feeling the groove!" Bill wins four remastered double-disc CDs from Universal Music Enterprise's Gold Series, now available on Amazon. Thanks Bill and thanks UME! Publicists: if you'd like to take part in Swag Tuesday on JMG, please email me.

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Morning View - New York Times Tower

The just finished new headquarters for the New York Times, a 52-story tower on 8th Avenue across from the Port Authority, touts itself as one of the most energy-efficient skyscrapers ever built. Designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop and FXFOWLE Architects, the tower is covered with ceramic tubing meant to "screen the double glazed, spectrally selective, low-emissivity, full-height glass wall around the building, thus reducing the building's cooling loads." Did everybody get all that?

At 1046 feet, the Times Tower is tied with the 77-story Chrysler Building for 2nd tallest in NYC, although both will soon be displaced by the nearby Bank of America Tower which will rise to 1200 feet. (When comparing building height, only the structural height is used, according to rules and regulations of the World Council on Tall Buildings.)

While the engineering innovations of the Times Tower are impressive, it seems that most Gothamites give its aesthetics a resounding "meh". I concur. Another chance to create something iconic has been botched. I'm much more hopeful for the BOA Tower.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

And We Laughed

My good friend Jerry is staying with me for a week while he's here for work. We've been pals since the late 80's. Tonight he came home from a long day of meetings and noticed my passport sitting out.

"Oh, where are you going?"

"I just need a renewal. I've been meaning to do it forever. It's been expired for a couple of years."

Jerry sat down and flipped through the passport. "Wow, old picture. I remember that haircut."

We laughed. Then he turned to the first page. "Wait, was this the first time we did London?"

"Yup."

"That was a crazy trip." He looked up and cocked his head, saying, "Who all was on that trip?"

"Me, you. And three dead guys."

And we laughed. Does that seem strange? We invoked the memory of three friends who died over a decade ago....and we laughed. I've noticed that a lot of guys our age have a black, macabre sense of humor about AIDS sometimes. You kind of have to. Sometimes.
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Shelter Kitty: Week Eleven

Shelley's new favorite place to nap is on top of my stove, which longtime readers will know I disabled years ago - so no worries about her getting burned. I guess she figures that if she's right there next to the counter, there's no chance in missing out any possible roast beef sandwich preparations. She's warming up to friends a lot easier, but still dives under the bed when the street buzzer goes off. It doesn't appear that I will be able to break her of sleeping on me. Guess I'll have to get used to it.

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Dubya's Only Ask

"My only ask was that if his daughter doubted my tolerance to her orientation that I would hope that he would help make it clear to Mary that this is a--I was just worried about--the reason I'd federalized the issue is because I was worried about the courts' defining the issue and that we'd end up with de facto marriage that was not traditionally defined, I guess is the best way to put it."- Our chronically syntax mangled president, speaking to Andrew Hayes in his upcoming book, Cheney: The Untold Story of America's Most Powerful and Controversial Vice President. (via - New Republic.)

So Dubya was worried that Mary didn't like him. As a commenter on New Republic put it, "Although I take a back seat to no one in my hatred of George W. Bush, I think it's clear that he's not a bigot. That's why it is so reprehensible when he panders to the bigots in his base."
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And Baby Makes Three

My pal Little David just penned a lovely and amusingly sarcasm-laden tribute to his friends Mark (pictured) and Dan who have just adopted an infant girl, Ella. Go read David's dissection of his friends' "flagrant attack on the American family", resulting in their getting Ella via a "godless municipal government in thrall to the homosexual agenda." Good stuff.

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Flush Naugle Campaign Gains Steam

The Flush Naugle campaign has energized Fort Lauderdale's sleepy activist community and in a way, we should thank Mayor Robo-john for that. Living in what many consider to be the nation's gayest city, Fort Lauderdale's LGBT folk have long been lulled into a sort of quiet bliss, enjoying the robust gay tourism trade that has been heavily courted by the Visitors and Conventions Bureau, whose materials tout the area as the "America's top gay resort", a claim made credible by the collapse of South Beach's gay scene several years ago.

If you live in the tri-county area, get down to Fort La-de-da's City Hall next Tuesday. Even if you think the Flush Naugle campaign is trifling, remember that Naugle is a servant of Dark Lord D. James Kennedy, whose slimy anti-gay tentacles hurt us nationwide.

RELATED: Back when quaaludes were the currency of gay clubbing, the town was often called "Fort Luderdale." Then the gay spring break thing happened and the moniker morphed into "Fort Liquordale". Now the t-shirts in the gay shops proclaim the city as "Fort Leatherdale".
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