Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

There's No Hiding 'Teh Gay,' Even on the Internet

First there was "gayface," and now there's "gayfacebook," as MIT students Carter Jernigan and Behram Mistree have found a way to determine whether male Facebook users are gay -- regardless of whether the men disclose their orientation to all of the Internet. Jernigan and Mistree's homosexualist-spotting program was unable to help them zero in on wily lesbians and bisexuals, and I'd make a lame joke that attempts to explain such a failure, except I'm not on Facebook (there's already enough aggravation in my life without being alerted every time someone from my third grade class orders pizza), so I've got nothing. Just one more post this month, though, and I win...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Will I Post More Than Twice in September?

It's the question all of America is asking (and by "all of America," I mean seven people, including two in the UK and one in Canada, none of whom will care enough to check back for an answer later this month unless they're really, really bored at work or forget to clear their browsing history and accidentally select "Cranky Lesbian" on their drop-down menu when they mean to click something else), and while Vegas oddsmakers don't think it's going to happen, I bet that it will. I wouldn't place a large bet -- I'm anti-gambling, mostly because I value my hard-earned money but also because Kenny Rogers put me off it back in the day -- but maybe a dollar or two...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

"Anyone Had Any Dirty Phone Calls Lately?"

Apparently that's what a lascivious John Gielgud would be asking you if he were still alive. But he's dead as dead can be, so I'll ask instead: Anyone had any dirty phone calls lately? I haven't. A few days ago I picked up on the third or fourth ring and was greeted by heavy breathing that was ultimately revealed as the work of my grandfather, who sucks in air like Darth Vader over the phone (when he isn't coughing and loudly repeating everything he is told to my poor disinterested grandmother). Was I disappointed? Perhaps, but only a little. You never know what obscene phone calls tomorrow might bring, and I'm always hoping for something that mirrors the famous "212 Fuck You" exchange from Serial Mom.

Anyway, writer Michael Thornton wants everyone to know that Gielgud was a dirty birdy (TM Misery) who liked younger men, didn't practice monogamy (is that like practicing the clarinet -- the longer you do it, the better you get?), and (presumably) whacked it to pictures of a nude Iggy Pop. And then told Judi Dench about it. Or something. I lost interest a few paragraphs in and moseyed over to ESPN.com to check out the draw for the U.S. Open; Roger and Rafa are on opposite sides, but I wouldn't be surprised if one of them doesn't make it to the final. Hopefully Nadal's knees will hold up, as I like what he'll be wearing this year and would rather see it than the bland ensembles most of his competitors sport...

(Yes, my thought process is a bit muddled today, but I swear it isn't my fault.)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Classiest Gay Nuptials of All Time

Right here. When my girlfriend (who recently told me to get off my lazy ass and update this motherfucking blog already, but in a less Samuel L. Jackson-ish tone than that) and I get married, that's the first thing we're going to do: hit a guy with a shoe, both of us, so that way we can honeymoon in a luxurious prison cell that boasts amenities like a creaky cot and a toilet that hasn't worked since 1973. Truth be told, I'd rather spend a week in France or go to a quiet bed and breakfast for a few days, but she's a Roger Corman fan and you know how he romanticized women's prisons...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Shock of Shocks: Another Boy Band Member Comes Out

Duncan James of the British band Blue has come out as bisexual (warning: the link will take you to a trashy UK tabloid website that will hurt your eyes and possibly your intellect), and the best part of any boy band member coming out is always reading the comments his borderline illiterate fans make online afterward, so let's sample some of the reaction to his announcement:
"this news is brill!!!!"

"NO, NOT DUNCAN!!! I loved him, OMG! I was a huge fan! What i can say? It shouldn't be this way. What is happening? I don't think being Bi is a good thing...."

"no such thing as bisexual. you smoke a pipe - youre gay. end of!"*

"It was SO obvious!!!"

"Well as Duncan is always walking up and down Compton Street in London's gay village, there was no shock to this news."

"absolute filth. You should be locked up for putting women at risk from your dirty sordid antics. mind you, you would probably enjoy dropping the soap in the showers!!! disgusting human being"

"you seem like a top bloke mate that's all that matters well done for being brave and talking about it good luck" [Cranky note: Well, we know that comment was the work of a heterosexual, because there's no way 'a gay' would be able to call James a top anything with a straight face.]
Overall, there were lots of "Duh!" responses, which makes a modicum of sense if you're familiar with the hair and posture (more pictures here) of this particular boy bander. Honestly, I found the reactions to be disappointing, perhaps because Blue hasn't been relevant for years. What I'd really like to happen in the near future, just to see if the Internet can withstand it, is for a current heartthrob with mass tween and teen appeal -- a Daniel Radcliffe or Robert Pattinson -- to come screaming out of the closet. If that could be timed for December, it would make for the greatest holiday season ever.

*Presumably that doesn't apply to lesbians.


Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Obligatory "OMFG, Federer!" Post

Back in May*, I asked if eight greater words than "Federer stuns clay king Nadal in Madrid final" had been written all year. That's a distant memory now, with the French Open in the rearview mirror, and this evening I saw a ten-word proclamation that must certainly qualify as the best headline I've read all year (other than "Palin Resigns"): "Roger Federer confirms he is greatest ever in wonderful finale." So to my father, who has been antagonizing me since Federer's bout with mono last year by saying at the start of every tournament that his best playing days are behind him: Suck it.

* I know, I know, what happened to June? Your guess is as good as mine.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

This Just In: Gay Men and Straight Men Can Be Friends!

You can read all about it in the New York Times, where this is apparently news -- three pages worth of it -- to some people.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Heartwarming Mother's Day Post

Not to spoil the movie or anything, but Gwyneth Paltrow's head is in that box.

My dear, dear mother doesn't know about this blog (my siblings give her enough to be distraught about as it is), but should she ever learn of it, one of the first things she'd do is search for mentions of herself -- to see if she has grounds for a libel suit. Well, Mom, you're going to have to find another reason to sue me, because I only talk smack about you in private, and I'm only mentioning you now so I can tell you Happy Mother's Day and have it recorded for Internet posterity. Thank you for never having any freak-outs about wire hangers, and for never starring in Trog. To the extent that I'm capable of loving anyone, I love you, and I'm sorry for writing that salacious tell-all in the '70s. Next time I'm mad at you about something, I'll sleep on it for a week or two before inking a book deal.

And to anyone reading this who's also a mom, provided you're not the kind that gets calls from Child Protective Services, Happy Mother's Day to you, too.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Would You Trust These Women With Your Children?

More mothers would entrust their children to lesbians Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi than to Jennifer Aniston, international tabloid sensation "Brangelina," and media titan Oprah Winfrey (whose omnipresent "best friend" Gayle King was not mentioned in the survey), according to a poll conducted by some website I've never heard of before.*

While this might seem mildly interesting on the surface -- Ooh, heterosexuals trust the gays not to corrupt their children! -- I think it's important to remember that Jennifer Aniston has kissed women on TV (and appeared in a Melissa Etheridge music video) and is way too obsessed with her hair not to travel everywhere with at least one gay man; Angelina Jolie is rather famously bisexual; and there's no way that Oprah (whose South African school for girls is apparently a hotbed of sinister 1950's-style predatory lesbianism, let us not forget) and Gayle aren't conducting revealing interviews with each other's genitalia when they have their famous Stedman-free sleepovers. In other words, those kids are gonna be around some degree of "the gay" regardless of who watches them.

(For the record, while I don't have real children yet, my girlfriend and I have an imaginary son that I wouldn't be opposed to letting DeGeneres and de Rossi babysit, but only if they promised not to pass him off to Ellen's hairstylist's family, à la lggy.)

* The Reuters website has been a bit unreliable for me today; if it doesn't work for you, freakin' Google the goddamn story. Don't be lazy!

Monday, May 4, 2009

In Senegal, Even Dead Gay People Aren't Safe from Persecution

We've already established that in Senegal, there are few pastimes more popular than the irrational hatred of homosexuals. But Senegalese villagers recently took their maniacal homophobia to a depraved new low, exhuming the body of a young man from a Muslim cemetery not once but twice, and depositing his corpse in front of his parents' house on the second occasion, because he was reportedly gay. How do you think the Westboro Baptist Church loons react when they read a story like that? Do they nod admiringly, or would even they agree that there are no words to describe such a ghoulish, hateful act?

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Another Person Who Everyone Already Knew Was Gay Finally Comes Out of the Closet

This time it's former Amish widow-turned-civilian astrophysics instructor Kelly McGillis who has shocked absolutely no one by swinging open the closet door. My brother, who had a crush on her when he was a little boy who watched Top Gun over and over again (I still haven't forgiven him for that), will be devastated, though that's really no one's fault but his own -- I've spent the last 20 years telling him that McGillis, who hosts a yearly flag football tournament in Key West, Florida, is a gigantic lesbian and he never wanted to listen, even when my parents added, "No, for sure, she's a gigantic lesbian." Now if someone could please reach her The Accused costar and rumored ex-girlfriend Jodie Foster for comment on all of this, that would be fantastic.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Dutch Are a Crazy People

From the Radio Netherlands website comes the strangest headline I've read all week: Lesbian Women Report Growing Intolerance. No word on whether lesbian men have been experiencing similar problems.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Why I Haven't Been Posting Much Lately

Earlier this month I wrote that I hoped to post more in the coming weeks. That hasn't happened just yet, partly because my concentration has been shattered by a woman who still hasn't figured out that she could easily find someone who is smarter and funnier (but certainly not more attractive) than me to pay attention to, and partly because I think we already knew in our heart of hearts that Britney Spears is fine with gay marriage and that Angie Harmon is an idiot, in addition to being a terrible actress. The story that finally lured me out of hiding is one you've probably already heard: Shirley Tan gets to stay in the U.S. for now, thanks to Sen. Dianne Feinstein. "For now" isn't good enough, of course -- Tan should be here permanently -- but it's better than nothing.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Lesbian Axe Murderers Don't Just Exist in "High Tension"

Canadian lesbian -- like there's any other kind -- Ashleigh Pechaluk loved her girlfriend Nicola Puddicombe so much that she practiced writing love letters to her that expressed warm and fuzzy (and trite) sentiments like "Baby, you are my angel ... I want to enjoy my life, and the only way I can do that is if you're by my side."

But Puddicombe, who made similarly goopy declarations of love in a Valentine's Day card she gave to Pechaluk three years ago, also had a long-term boyfriend. How, then, could Pechaluk enjoy life with Puddicombe at her side? Why, by reinforcing every horribly offensive and antiquated lesbian stereotype known to man and murdering Puddicombe's boyfriend with a $16.49 axe, of course! Pechaluk's trial for the 2006 killing began this week, with Puddicombe's soon to follow; Puddicombe stood to collect $250,000 in insurance and pension payouts in the event of her boyfriend's death. Both women, it should go without saying, deserve to rot in jail.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Breaking News: I'm Not Dead

Nor was I captured by Somali pirates, despite what the mainstream media has reported. I've been busy with various things that keep people busy (like not observing Passover and wondering how the new "Fast and the Furious" movie made so much money at the box office last weekend), and I will hopefully be less busy this week. Unless you've all enjoyed the silence over the last few days and would like me to stay gone for a while, in which case I'd hate to let anyone down.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Want People to Mock You Behind Your Back?

Do yoga with your dog. Has it really come to this? Are people truly so bored and so eager to spend money on absolute crap that they're going to turn this into a fad? And don't dogs have it bad enough as it is, what with having to relieve themselves outdoors year-round and being yelled at to stay off the furniture? Won't somebody think of the dogs?! They're plenty flexible already: haven't you ever noticed how much time they spend licking themselves in hard-to-reach places?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

"Coronation Street" Lesbian Revealed

In July of last year, a producer for the 8,000-year-old British soap opera "Coronation Street" told The News of the World, that bastion of journalistic integrity, of plans to add a lesbian character to the show's cast. Today, The News of the World is reporting that the lesbian will be "teen terror Sophie Webster," who has been on the program since the early '90s. But wait, there's more:
Sophie (Brooke Vincent) shatters her new born-again Christian image by dumping her boyfriend to romp with a girl member of her bible study group.

The tearaway stunned parents Sally and Kevin when she told them she was turning over a new leaf by turning to God.

I'll admit, that made me laugh; if nothing else, it's bound to make for lighter viewing than "For the Bible Tells Me So."

And People Wonder Why I'm Always in a Bad Mood

When you can't log on to the Internet without reading stories like this and this, and when you can't turn on a tennis match anymore without seeing Roger Federer lose to an inferior opponent, what is there to be happy about?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Just Make Sure Tony Scott Doesn't Direct

Penélope Cruz has already been getting into character during press conferences.

The story of the two female police officers in Israel who posed undercover as a lesbian couple to help bust 46 drug dealers needs to be made into a movie, right now. The plot will have to be tweaked a little, in typical Hollywood fashion, so the officers slowly find themselves attracted to each other in real life, but you can't disagree that gay audiences aren't owed as much after the travesty that was "Partners". And I can't be the only one who thinks this would be the perfect project for Penélope Cruz and Salma Hayek -- it would easily draw twice the audience as "Bandidas," which means at least four people would see it...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Advertisers Want to Help You Find Sperm

Woody Allen finds these ads very troubling; as you might recall, he fathered
a child with a lesbian in "Manhattan" and had a hard time dealing with it.


Have you ever wondered why there are often ads for find-a-sperm-donor services on this, a website that has nothing to do with wanting, having or raising babies? (Not that I have anything against babies. They're cute and some of them have a weird way of looking like tiny little elderly people that I find amusing, but they also baffle me. In a lot of ways, they're like women: I have no idea why they're crying, and they've been known to unexpectedly throw up on me.) It's a question that's been weighing on my mind since earlier this afternoon, when I glanced at my post about "A Secret" to make sure I hadn't made any glaring typographical mistakes and noticed an advertisement beneath it that said "Find a Sperm Donor Today -- Serving Lesbian Couples & Singles."

I ask you, women and queens who read this, how effective can these ads really be? What are the odds that someone who comes here to read about "Daphne" is going to glance down at the screen, see that kind of banner, and think to herself "What a great idea! I hadn't planned on having a baby -- I'd only wanted to know if this movie was worth renting -- but now I know where my tax refund is going!" Really, if the idea is to target ads to a particular demographic, I think they'd be better off hocking "Mommie Dearest" DVDs and curling brooms here (yes, Canadian readers, I see you out there), but that's just a hunch.

A Semi-Secret Lesbian in "A Secret"

Julie Depardieu tends to Quentin Dubuis in "A Secret"

I don't recommend you seek out Claude Miller's Holocaust drama "A Secret" for its lesbian content, which is virtually nil, or for any other reason. The story of François, a young French boy who was born to Jewish parents in the 1940s and spent his childhood convinced he was competing against a "phantom brother," it's a handsomely made film that shows little interest in most of its characters (when Ludivine Sagnier hardly registers as a presence in a film, you know something isn't right) or, ultimately, anything that happened to them. (It also skips between the '40s and '50s and the 1980s somewhat hokily; the black and white scenes with Mathieu Amalric as the adult François are nice to look -- until they take on the appearance of perfume ads, with the emotional depth to match.)

But one of its characters is a lesbian, which I hadn't seen mentioned in any of the reviews I read prior to renting it, so I thought I'd mention it here for those of you who keep tabs on these things. That character, Louise (played winningly by Julie Depardieu), a massage therapist and long-time friend of François' family, is in some ways the emotional heart of the film: It is Louise, not his mother, who François runs to for comfort in times of distress, and it is Louise who eventually answers his questions about the past.

Not much is made of her orientation, which is first hinted at when a 7-year-old François asks why she doesn't have a husband and her response suggests she'd simply have no use for one; in a later scene that serves no purpose other than to illustrate that she does have a personal life, she greets a smiling female acquaintance on the street and leads her into her apartment. (She also, in a minor but noticeable touch, sometimes wears pants while the women around her are in dresses.) Louise's defining moment comes during a heated exchange with Esther, a character who believes the husband of a woman who was taken away by the Germans is cheating on his absent wife:
Esther: Doesn't it make you sick?

Louise: I've seen worse.

Esther: You say that because you also...

Louise: Go on, say it. I also think Tania's desirable? It's true. She's beautiful and desirable.

Esther: So you excuse them?

Louise: No, I just don't judge them.
Louise is able to calm Esther; her gentleness and pragmatism has that effect on everyone. She is an interesting supporting character who would have been even more interesting in a better movie.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Homophobic Parents Ruin Girl-Girl Action for Viewers of Crappy TV Show

Remember earlier this month when I speculated that maybe parents of teens and pre-teens in Australia wouldn't act like fuckheads about the upcoming lesbian kissage on "Home and Away"? I was way, way wrong.

The Australian
is now reporting that "Since the lesbian story-line began two weeks ago, 100,000 viewers have turned off and complaints have been flooding in," prompting producers to edit the kiss, which was reportedly "no more intimate than any kiss shared by a heterosexual couple" on the show, to make it less explicit. You'd think concerned parents in Australia would have bigger things to worry about than a simple TV lip-lock, but maybe that's part of the problem -- they're too busy watching TV and bitching about 'the gays' to make sure their kids aren't depressed or pregnant. (It's almost like they think they're Americans...)

UPDATED (04/01/09) - For some reason it's making headlines that the controversy-stirring kiss in question aired on "Home and Away" in Australia on Tuesday as planned. I'm not quite sure what all the hullabaloo is about, as you'll recall that the original report never said the kiss was being scrapped altogether, just that "some of the more intimate close-up images of policewoman Charlie Buckton and deckhand Joey Collins sharing a passionate kiss" would be cut. That fits with what network honcho Bevan Lee had to say about the episode; from the Telegraph article linked to above: "'Home and Away' bosses had decided to air the first, more gentle kiss, without the 'more lusty' follow up because it fitted better with the storyline."

In other words, this isn't much of a victory: it's exactly what we were told was going to happen back when this first made news, even if Lee maintains the decision to show a tamer kiss was merely "artistic" in nature.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Marlene Dietrich Wouldn't Tolerate This!

Gay rights activists in Morocco (one of Marlene Dietrich's favorite on-screen spots for picking up women -- in real life, I think she'd pick 'em up anywhere) are worried that the already limited rights of the country's gays and lesbians are being threatened anew by the Moroccan government's purported plans to "preserve citizens' ethics and defend our society against all irresponsible actions that mar our identity and culture". Frankly, I read the entire article and still don't know what the hell's going on over there (it took a turn for the convoluted around the halfway point), but it's another thing to get pissed off about, and you can never have enough of those.

I've Been Sucked Into a Vortex of Boredom

Mind you, I'm not bored enough to paint a gigantic penis on the roof of anyone's house, but this has been a very uneventful day so far and we're not even through the morning yet...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Is Homophobia Killing Straight Men in Jamaica?

This, if you ask me, is quite possibly the WTF to end all WTFs:
CHAIRMAN of the Jamaica Cancer Society, Earl Jarrett, has raised concerns that the fear of being labelled homosexuals is causing some Jamaican men to shy away from doing prostate examinations, resulting in the country maintaining the record of having one of the highest prostate cancer rates in the world.
Or, as Jarrett recently explained to Rotary Club members in New Kingston: "In 2009, there is no reason why Jamaican men should still be of the view that to have a digital rectal examination is an indication of some homosexuality. There is no reason why we should allow the homophobia to get to the stage where it impacts on our health."

The last time my mom had a mammogram she came home with a mug that bore the name of the center she visited and some kind of inspirational slogan; maybe in Jamaica they could pass out complimentary shirts that say, "I had a digital rectal examination in a non-homosexual kind of way and all I got was this lousy t-shirt."

Sunday, March 22, 2009

You Stay Classy, British Tabloids

British reality TV star Jade Goody died this morning of cervical cancer, as almost everyone with a working Internet connection must know by now, and what does the ever-respectful Sun newspaper have to say about it? I didn't read the body of the article, but I think you'll agree that the headline speaks for itself: "Jade Goody loses cancer fight - Mum was a lesbian, Dad was a drug addict burglar who hid guns under her cot."

Friday, March 20, 2009

'USA Today' Readers Are Geniuses of Stupidity

Some choice reader comments in response to an innocuous USA Today article about a new Williams Institute study that analyzed poverty rates among "the gays" and found that "children of same-sex parents are twice as likely to live in poverty as those of traditional married couples."

Lee Badgett, a co-author of the study, points out that gay families are at a financial disadvantage because they're denied Social Security survivor benefits and are also, in many cases, denied the same health insurance coverage as their married heterosexual counterparts; Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation -- they're idiots, if you aren't familiar with them -- has already called the study "garbage." Here's what anonymous jackasses on the Internet have to say about it:
"Dumb article, same sex couples could not have kids."

"Really, that's what makes people poor? Because there is no one or government program to pick up the slack for them? It's amazing that single people can make it at all, if that is true."

"Who would have figured that having a father and a mother who honor marital covenants makes any difference with their children. I guess that is why it is called a family."

"And this is news? USATODAY will print anything to take the spot light off Obama and his failed policys."

"Actually it is impossible for same sex parents to have children, at least in the conventional sense. To state something like this without at least qualifying it shows poor understanding at best."

"People can print this story and use it in their bathrooms to wipe with. I usually have respect for USAToday, but this story has no backbone or validity."

"Poverty is the least of the problems these kids have. Growing up in a homosexual environment is the worst possible scenario for a child. Allowing gays to adopt children is a huge error in judgement by the courts and state legislatures."
And of course, there's also a comedian:
"I think they would have more money if they didn't eat out so much.....I couldn't resist saying that."

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

This is the Kind of Stupidity That Gets Me to Post

For several days I've been waiting to read something, anything, that's worth writing about here, but nothing was happening ... until now. ABC is finally, after eight seasons that had to be horrible since even the commercials made for tedious viewing, killing "According to Jim." That will free the show's star, "Curly Sue" actor Jim Belushi, to spend more time being unfunny around his family, who will likely decide not to renew his contract when it ends in 2012.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Argentina Loves Teen Lesbians, In a Non-Pervy Kind of Way

When I first clicked on a story called "In Argentina, a Camera and a Blog Make a Star" at the New York Times website this morning, I had no idea who it was about. But the second I saw a picture of 17-year-old Agustina Vivero, a popular "flogger" (or photo blogger) from Argentina whose Internet success has earned her modeling gigs, TV offers and promotional appearances, I thought to myself, "Do these teenagers know their 'star' is a lesbian?" As it turns out, they do. Writes Alexei Barrionuevo:

Her unlikely popularity is also redefining stereotypes of youth celebrity in Argentina. Ms. Vivero, who is openly gay, describes herself and other floggers as "androgynous" for their unisex clothing. She is comfortable with not being model-thin, eschewing dieting and boasting of her love of junk food and chocolate — a different message in a country where women have high rates of eating disorders.

"We are breaking a lot of barriers," she said.

That's pretty kick-ass, is it not?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Australian Soap Will Scandalize Viewers with PG-Rated Lesbian Dancing

Quick, someone call John Lithgow. This madness must be stopped! A policewoman character on the Australian soap opera "Home and Away" is about to find love with a female deck hand (is it safe, then, to assume they don't have lumberjacks in Australia?) in a story line that will feature kissing and -- I advise you not to read any further if you're easily offended -- dancing. On the count of three, let's all shake our heads like we're convinced the world is going to hell in a handbasket and say it together: Won't anyone think of the children?

A group called Pro-Family Perspectives is doing just that; their director has been quoted as saying, "The plot lines that young kids and teenagers should be presented with should be about really authentic relationships that are not just sexualised." Whether that means they disapprove of homosexuality or they're merely opposed to the idea of a lesbian relationship being used as a possible ratings stunt, I couldn't tell you. In any event, there's been little sign of widespread public outrage yet, maybe because parents have viewed their own teenagers' MySpace pages and are smart enough to realize that their kids won't be seeing anything on "Home and Away" that they haven't already taken countless pictures of their drunken friends doing at parties.

Americans Reject Religion; Religion Seeks Comfort in Tub of Häagen-Dazs

Finally, the rest of America is catching up to the gays in the really-fucking-sick-of-religious-zealots department. From a CNN report:
America is a less Christian nation than it was 20 years ago, and Christianity is not losing out to other religions, but primarily to a rejection of religion altogether, a survey published Monday found.
And why might that be? Mark Silk of Trinity College thinks it could have something to do with evangelical crazies scaring the bejesus out of everyone. Again from the CNN article:
"In the 1990s, it really sunk in on the American public generally that there was a long-lasting 'religious right' connected to a political party, and that turned a lot of people the other way," [Silk] said of the link between the Republican Party and groups such as the Moral Majority and Focus on the Family.

"In an earlier time, people who would have been content to say, 'Well, I'm some kind of a Protestant,' now say 'Hell no, I won't go,'" he told CNN.
I find it hard to believe that Americans have started to tire of waking up early on Sunday mornings to listen to kooky pastors like Rev. Willie Wilson rant and rave, in graphic detail, about the nuts and bolts (or nuts and screws, as he puts it) of Very Important Subjects like gay sex. But there are lots of things I've never understood about Americans -- everything from how we made REO Speedwagon popular to why we allowed Alan Alda to become so self-important -- so there's really nothing new there.

Monday, March 9, 2009

If You Like Photography...

Check out this article about Ruth Jacobi. (I have nothing rude to say about it, which doesn't happen very often.)

So Long, Suckers (and Good Riddance, Betty!)

Pam Grier is prepared to defend herself against another Papi-centric story line.

"The L Word" was put of out of its misery last night after six seasons of unwavering mediocrity, and while I didn't see the finale (a few episodes into the shortened final season, when it became clear that the writers had again failed to come up with any kind of game plan, I bailed), some guy who did says it sucked. He misspelled Pam Grier's name in his review, by the way, so I'm not quite sure that he can be trusted, but ... Oh, who am I kidding? There's no way in hell the finale wasn't every bit as terrible as all the episodes that preceded it. And if you're looking for a second opinion, Entertainment Weekly's Nicholas Fonseca agrees the big denouement left something to be desired, but ends things on a more philosophical note, writing:
But years from now, will it even matter how the show went out in its final hour? It was really the other 69 episodes that made The L Word a TV milestone.
If by that he means a milestone in unbridled -- and unrivaled -- awfulness, then I agree. But Fonseca continues:
As the retrospective that aired beforehand reminded us, its impact expands far beyond its barrier-busting stories: TV's first deaf lesbian, its first regularly occurring transsexual character, bisexuals of both genders, drag kings, the US military's don't-ask-don't-tell policy, biracial identity, gay parenting, sex/drug/alcohol/gambling addiction, sexual abuse, midlife sexual awakenings, breast cancer...this show took on a lot. Judging by the frequent erraticism of its storytelling, it probably took on too much. In the end, I say, thank goodness it had the guts to take them on at all.
My thoughts are slightly different. Maybe, on occasion, when you know you're failing miserably at something, you have to stop trying to do it. I know that's the kind of crazy notion that runs contrary to everything the entertainment industry normally believes in (after all, these are the same brain trusts who thought Freddie Prinze Jr. was a good idea in the '90s), but can you honestly say that "The L Word" was successful in its handling of any of those issues?

It didn't entirely botch the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' story line (which was less effective than it would have been had viewers been given more reasons to care about Tasha, the new character who was the focus of the subplot), and no missteps were made with issues of biracial identity, but the failures of all those other story lines were pretty massive. What "The L Word" did best was frivolity and froth, and even those episodes (which were mostly the work of writer-director Angela Robinson and not Ilene Chaiken, the show's demented creator and resident peddler of overpriced "L-Word"-themed jewelry) were few and far between.

Altogether, this is a series that will be remembered for two things: having a bunch of lesbian characters (which is good) and inspiring eight trillion shitty YouTube fan-edited clips of C-list actresses making out with each other while Sarah McLachlan wails in the background (which is bad). Call it a draw.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Another Example of My Astonishing Stupidity

The kind of photo that causes my confusion.

Why is it that every time I flip through a magazine and kind of half-glance at a picture of someone walking their dogs and think to myself "Now there's a guy I'd have sex with (if I had sex with guys)," it ends up being Jessica Biel?

It happened to me earlier this week for what was probably the third time in two years, and it's starting to piss me off. What is wrong with my head (on second thought, don't answer that) that it can't remember that broad shoulders, muscular arms and macho posture almost always equal Jessica Biel? Perhaps more importantly, what is wrong with me that I don't bother looking at someone for more than a nanosecond before I consider having sex with them? We already knew I was something of a whore when it comes to film noir actresses, but to think that it has now extended to a former star of "7th Heaven" who is best known for dating the "Dick in a Box" guy is kind of depressing.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

What Is On This Lesbian's Head?

And did she kill it before putting it there? I've never seen Jane Velez-Mitchell on CNN (or Headline News) before, but it would add to the excitement of the broadcast if there was always the possibility that her hair -- which appears to be a roadkill-inspired variation on the Carol Brady shag -- might get up and walk away. (That's the kind of suspense that keeps me watching Frank Cusumano's sports segments on KSDK, don't you know.)

The most important parts of yesterday's New York Times profile of Velez-Mitchell were the following:
Jane Velez-Mitchell is a true-crime author, a television talking head, a lesbian, an animal activist, a recovering alcoholic and a vegan.
and...
Ms. Velez-Mitchell's hour of water-cooler talk, delivered with heavy doses of opinion, reached an average of 596,000 viewers in February, up 74 percent from the slot's average for the same month last year, when the conservative commentator Glenn Beck was the host.
That's fantastic, isn't it, when HLN viewers prefer a lesbian vegan/animal activist to the insufferable Glenn Beck? The only thing I don't understand is why the Times had to point out that she's a recovering alcoholic: I'm pretty sure that "true-crime author" is a euphemism for that, so it was a little redundant.

P.S. If I ever get a gig on CNN, I plan on either wearing a clown wig or a Tina Turner circa "Private Dancer" wig on-air. Actually, who needs CNN as an excuse? I'm going to wear a rainbow-colored clown 'fro all day tomorrow just for the hell of it.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Uganda Confronts the Gay Menace

"Shh... We don't want those men who are singing show tunes to know we're here."

Take a look at this press release straight out of Uganda:
Family Life Network and other stakeholders in Uganda have organized a three-day seminar to provide what they termed as reliable and up to date information so that people can know how to protect themselves, their children, families [sic] from homosexuality.
What kind of protective "how to keep your kids away from the evil gay agenda" measures do you think the Family Life Network will advocate at this seminar? I hope parents are encouraged to take a page from Jodie Foster's book and build a panic room. The joke would go right over their heads, of course, but you'd have to assume that happens with some regularity when you're dealing with people who feel compelled to defend themselves against homosexuality. Which reminds me: I saw an obscure Bela Lugosi movie on TCM last October -- they played it in the middle of the night, after yet another screening of "White Zombie" -- that suggested garlic will do the trick.

Clutch Those Pearls, Irish Lady!

Parents can be funny about "the gay." My mom and dad, for example, were fine with my coming out -- their only complaint was that I waited too long to tell them. (My parents, it should be noted, are insane: I came out to them when I was in high school. What was I supposed to do, celebrate my fifth-grade graduation by flinging the closet door open? It's not like I had a clue what was going on back then. When I turned on VH1 hoping to catch George Michael's "Freedom! '90" video, I thought it was because I liked the music.)

But even though they've adopted this "Give me a G, give me an A, give me a Y!" rah-rah attitude, voting for pro-gay politicians and seeing "Brokeback Mountain" in theaters (which was good because it meant my dad had to watch guys make out, but bad because he doesn't seem to realize now that not all gay people are tortured ranch hands from Wyoming), they still use a few phrases that make me cringe. The most popular one is "We just want you to be happy."

Shouldn't that go without saying, that your parents want you to be happy? How often do parents, even really poor excuses for parents, tell their children, "We want you to be unhappy. Seriously, Tim, we've never liked you. We're not even indifferent to your happiness. We hate you so much that every Wednesday and Saturday, right after we pray to win the Powerball jackpot, we ask God and Jesus and your dear departed grandpa up in heaven to make sure your life is full of heartache and misery."

And what about this one: "It's just that it's such a hard life." What the hell are the people who say that talking about? What is so hard about being a gay adult in the United States in the year 2009? Fine, so the world is full of homophobes. The world is also full of racists and sexists and anti-Semites, yet not once has anyone ever sat me down and said, "You know that I love you and accept you, and that I've never had a problem with you being a girl. It's just that I worry about you. It's such a hard life, having to sit when you pee and not being guaranteed the right to vote until 1920."

When my dad hauls out the old "such a hard life" chestnut, I have to take a deep breath to keep from snapping, "Having cancer is hard. Learning to use a prosthetic leg is hard. Living in dire poverty is hard. Being transfixed by Eva Mendes's ass? Not hard. I'm not complaining."

But there's something else I won't complain about from now on: My dad. Because over the weekend I read something in The Irish Independent that put all his hand-wringing in perspective. Behold, the parents who are "devastated because our only son says he's homosexual." The mother's hysterical letter to an advice columnist includes passages like:
I have prayed until I am sick. My husband is on medication for high blood pressure, is severely stressed all the time, and cannot sleep. He says "never a day goes by that I don't cry". What a waste.

I am distressed, crying bitterly, and full of guilty questions like where did we go wrong. What did we do, or fail to do? I cannot close my eyes at night without crying out loud and wondering and worrying about him. How can we relieve this situation?

We have not discussed the issue with friends, although some close relations are aware of it. We feel we have to sell our small business and move away from here. I don't think I can bear this any longer. Yes, we think of the anguish our son must have gone through/must still be going through, his loneliness and isolation. Yet he is happy to visit gay clubs and meet with other men.

What are the odds that all the "anguish" her son is going through has more to do with having nutcase parents than liking gay porn? (She mentions porn in the full letter.) And what does she think selling her business and moving is going to accomplish? She's still going to know her son's a big 'mo regardless of where she lives. And her husband! His blood pressure's through the roof, he can't stop crying... He sounds a little queeny himself, the way he's thriving on all the drama. If I were the hugging type, I'd hug both of my parents today. And once the shock subsided and they asked what it was for, I'd say, "For not being fuckheads." Warms the cockles of your heart, doesn't it?

Saturday, February 28, 2009

A Great Way to Bring a Conversation to a Grinding Halt

"I met three men in a Tiki bar once in Texas who were married to each other."

So said Chloë Sevigny in a recent Los Angeles Times interview with her "Big Love" costars Bill Paxton, Jeanne Tripplehorn and Ginnifer Goodwin. Here's the reaction to Sevigny's remark:
[Silence]

Paxton:
Wow.

Tripplehorn:
That was a conversation stopper! What do you call that? Gay-lygapous? Gay-lygamy.

Sevigny:
They loved the show.
As well they should! By the way, for anyone who has ever asked him or herself "Gee, I wonder what Bill Paxton thinks about gay marriage," you get your answer here. In response to a question about the Mormon campaign to pass Proposition 8, Paxton says: "I just feel like, God, live and let live. As long as somebody's not trying to make me live a certain way, or people are consenting adults, I have no problem with it. But I'm a libertine and a liberal."

So there you have it -- the guy from "Twister" (and my personal favorite "Apollo 13" astronaut) supports your right to get gay-married. No word on whether the stars of "Volcano," "Dante's Peak" and every other disaster movie Hollywood hurled at us post-"Twister" are of similar minds.

P.S. As a parting bonus, here's a kind of gross clip of Jeanne Tripplehorn making out with Salma Hayek in "Time Code." (For those of you who haven't seen it, it's an experimental film in which four story lines are followed by four different cameras simultaneously and in real time with no edits; the audio you hear in the YouTube clip belongs to the action taking place in another quadrant of the screen the YouTuber didn't bother showing. Tripplehorn plays a typical nutty lesbian character in the movie, which was oddly appropriate given her involvement in "Basic Instinct.") If you prefer the retro butch look, you can check out Chloë Sevigny in "If These Walls Could Talk 2." A few of the search results will probably be age-restricted, but some of you pervs might like that.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Wanna Despair of Humanity?

More than usual, I mean. If so, read this. (Or you could just wait a few months for the inevitable "Law & Order" episode based on this particular crime to hit airwaves.)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Why Does Xbox Live Hate the Gays?

I'm not a video game person (though I used to take down fierce opponents -- namely my mom and her best friend -- in matches of Tetris and Dr. Mario, and was known to break the occasional window in games of Paperboy), so everything I've heard about Xbox Live has come directly from my brother and his geeky pals.

And what they've told me is that more than a few of their fellow gamers are hateful, foul-mouthed bastards with a fondness for anti-gay slurs. All of which adds to my confusion about Microsoft's purported practice of suspending users who identify themselves as gay in their player profiles. Why is the word "gay" considered offensive when it's used by a gay person, but acceptable when employed by trolls as an insult? And if Microsoft isn't willing to give the gays a break here, what code word should they use to get the point across without risking a suspension? I tried to come up with something all smart-assy, but I'm stumped.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Between Awards, An Oscar Observation

Boy, those musical numbers are really going to go a long way in making people think Hugh Jackman isn't gay, aren't they?

(More later, possibly, if I don't fall asleep.)

"What? Marisa Tomei for 'My Cousin Vinny?!'"

UPDATE (10:04 AM Monday) - Holy Bob Hope, was that a boring night. Lots of predictable and undeserving winners, which was par for the course, but the producers didn't offer anything to make up for it. And most of the speeches were so scripted and awful (still, anytime Penélope Cruz wants to hook up with me, I'm free -- and if I'm not, I can get that way in two seconds flat), with the exception of Dustin Lance Black's, which was the best and most moving of the night.

The insipid New Age-y/Oprah-style "We Speak Your Name" nominee ego-stroking in the acting categories was also problematic; only a few of the presenters (Eva Marie Saint, Whoopi Goldberg and Robert De Niro come to mind) were able to pull it off. Next year I propose having Steve Martin hand out all of the awards. Yes, my love for him is known far and wide, but he excels at taking the piss out of the same pretentious, self-congratulatory nitwits whose approval Hugh Jackman so nakedly desires. And so what if Jackman's a song-and-dance man? Anyone who has seen "Pennies from Heaven" and "All of Me" knows that Martin can cut a rug with the best of them.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Are You Ready For Some Football Oscars?

Awards are essentially meaningless, like almost everything else in life.

Last year, as you might recall, I covered the Oscar telecast. I've been asked if I plan to do the same tonight, and the answer is probably not. I'm underwhelmed by a lot of this year's nominees and don't think it'd be much fun to write about them, though a last-minute change of mind is possible. (A last-minute change of mind is always possible, unless it's about something like voting Republican.)

Also blasé about tonight's ceremony: the normally excitable Robert Osborne, the reigning queen of Turner Classic Movies and a professional Oscar historian, who recently told The Chicago Sun-Times: "We forget that the importance of the Oscars is to award artistic achievement. I'm not sure it is anymore." I'm with Osborne on two things -- that the Best Supporting Actress push for Kate Winslet in "The Reader" was ridiculous (she ended up being nominated in the Best Actress category and is widely expected to win; I'd rather see Melissa Leo take it for "Frozen River"), and that it would be great if Frank Langella won Best Actor for "Frost/Nixon."

Langella isn't thought to stand a chance in the year of "Milk" and "The Wrestler," but he's my sentimental favorite because Oscars, as we all know, are normally handed out to actors not for whatever performance they ultimately win for, but for a previous performance that was overlooked by the Academy. In my opinion, Langella deserved to win last year for "Starting Out in the Evening," but his work in that film wasn't recognized with a nomination. Honestly, I'm still shocked by that -- how dare the Academy disrespect Count Dracula! I hope he makes the rounds at the after-parties tonight and bites all their necks.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Kansas Woman Can't Stop Thinking About "The Joy of Gay Sex"

Who sits around and obsesses about "The Lesbian Kama Sutra" being on local library shelves? (Pretend that was said with an Austin Powers-esque "Who throws a shoe? Honestly!" tone of incredulity.) Concerned Topeka resident Kim Borchers, that's who. And in addition to her lurid fascination with flexible naked women having all kinds of bendy sex with each other, Borchers objected to her local library keeping "The Joy of Sex," "The Joy of Gay Sex" (if gay means happy, isn't all gay sex joyful?) and a book about quickies where anyone could find them. Because sex is dirty, you see, and needs to be hidden.

Borchers made the availability of the books enough of an issue that the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library's board of trustees voted last night on whether to restrict minors' access to them; they ruled 5-3 in favor of censorship. (If you read more at The Topeka Capital-Journal, you'll note that the three dissenting votes were cast by women; three of the five 'yes' votes were cast by men. I'm just throwing that out there in case any of you want to say something like "The patriarchy strikes again!" I love lesbians who blame everything on the patriarchy; they're funnier than half the movies Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon made together.) The controversial decision caused one of the 'no' voters, Michele Henry, to get teary-eyed and announce, "I can hardly sit here. I am sickened to be a part of something like this."*

Does anyone else think this would make a great Lifetime Original Movie for John Waters to direct? Valerie Bertinelli could play Michele Henry, and the role of Kim Borchers has Mink Stole written all over it.

*I guess that means Henry's unaware of the national epidemic of kids going to check out "Encyclopedia Brown" books and stumbling across guides to spicing up your gay sex life instead. It happened to my cousin a few years ago and he still hasn't recovered.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

UK to Bigoted Phelps Clan: "Fuck Off, You Wankers"

Remember Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary of the UK who made waves a few months ago when she basically told Iranian gays seeking asylum in the United Kingdom to piss off and stay closeted in their home country to avoid execution? She's attracting headlines again this week, and this time it's for something good: American hate-mongers and national embarrassments Fred and Shirley Phelps want to stage one of their moronic protest publicity stunts outside a Hampshire, England performance of "The Laramie Project," and Smith is having none of it; she has blocked Fred and Shirley from entering the UK on the grounds that they're hatred-inciting extremists.

Not everyone is satisfied with Smith's decision (gay rights activist Peter Tatchell doesn't understand why homophobic Jamaican reggae singers don't face similar bans), but I like it. Not as much as I'd like to see Fred and Shirley picketed by thousands of angry gays and stylish drag queens holding signs that say "God Hates Hags," but it'll do for now.

Edited to add: Smith, by the way, is still insane.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sometimes the Headlines Write Themselves

It's been a while since we last flipped through the pages of British tabloids (one can only stomach so many stories about little boys who might be fathers; and previously reviled cancer-stricken reality TV stars who are contemplating dying on camera), but today I saw a headline I couldn't resist: "Gay City Roller."

If you think you know where this is headed -- that a member of the Bay City Rollers, a group I'm more familiar with as a punch line than as musicians (my middle-aged mom was more of a Carole King and Carly Simon girl in her youth) -- has come out of the closet, you're right. Sort of.

Singer Les McKeown, who fronted the band for most of the '70s, admitted during an appearance on the British TV show "Rehab" (which is apparently similar to VH1's "Celebrity Rehab," a program I hope that none of you watch -- there are much better things you could be doing with your time, and it wouldn't kill you to read a book or take your dog for a walk or something) that he's been shtupping guys throughout his lengthy marriage to a woman.

The revelation struck the Daily Mail as scandalous, but in reviewing the old photos of McKeown that accompany the article, I'm finding their shock a wee bit disingenuous. For a less tabloidy take on McKeown and his struggles with substance abuse, Scotland on Sunday has an interview with him that doesn't feature any sidebar links to stories about Posh Spice or Kylie Minogue.

For anyone too lazy or disinterested to click the links, McKeown would like to stay married to his wife despite his interest in man-sex, which is the only thing that prevented me from calling this post "Pop Star Everyone Thought Was Gay Shocks World By Revealing He's Gay (And It's Not Ricky Martin)." I mean, I may not be familiar with their music, but who hasn't heard the "Gay City Rollers" jokes a million times by now?

As a parting bonus, here's a 30-year-old picture of Les doing a somewhat drunken and dim-witted looking version of jazz hands.

Monday, February 16, 2009

CNN Turns to Soap Operas on Slow News Day

If anyone cares, CNN has taken time to recognize a monumentally important moment in the history of the fight for marriage equality crappy soap operas: Bianca "Daughter of Erica Kane" Montgomery's big fat lesbian wedding to some, uh, other lesbian. Enjoy it while you can, because I'm sure within the next few months it will be revealed that Bianca's wife is an alien or a guy who was cast out of Pine Valley as a teenager and then had a sex change operation so he could return unnoticed and exact revenge on Erica, or something similarly stupid.

Related: "Coronation Street" Residents Prepare for Potluck Dinners

Saturday, February 14, 2009

If Sam Cooke Was Okay With Cupid, Cupid's Okay With Me

Those of you who remember the way I bitched about Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve might have expected me to write something dismissive or contemptuous of Valentine's Day. Dear reader (I love it when columnists write "dear reader;" it always sounds so cloying), I will not. For somewhere today, probably in the Deep South, a redneck hid a cubic zirconia engagement ring in a bucket of KFC Extra Crispy and broke into a nervous sweat, hoping to God (or his favorite NASCAR driver) that his unsuspecting girlfriend wouldn't accidentally swallow it. And when that girlfriend found that ring, slathered in grease and rat droppings and whatever else those poor chickens are fried in after they've been decapitated by the ever-smiling Colonel, her eyes went as wide as they did that time in her junior year of high school when she peed on an EPT stick and got a false positive -- and they filled with tears of joy as she accepted his proposal.

Yes, this is called our most romantic holiday for a reason, and for the sake of romance, which has given us so many great movies and songs, I'm willing to overlook the most preposterous things about Valentine's Day. Take, for example, its crass commercialism, with all its stupid suggestions that women only care about jewelry and chocolate. I won't say a word about that.* Nor will I dwell on the fact that countless couples who are happy tonight will have acrimoniously split by this time next year. After all, that's hardly unique to Valentine's Day. (There are people who are single now who weren't single on Columbus Day.) Instead I will wish you all a Happy Valentine's Day, one I hope was filled with Preston Sturges films and old Drifters records, or whatever it is you like. (Maybe you're more the "Breaking the Waves" and bondage type, which is cool. You might have to be a masochist to visit this site with any regularity.) Oh, and I hope you took care not to pass STDs to anyone -- that's only supposed to be done at Christmas.

*I'm making a real sacrifice here because there's a lot I'd like to say about the fact that "Nights in Rodanthe," which was easily one of the worst films of 2008, is currently selling at a respectable clip on DVD simply because it was released to coincide with Valentine's Day. If hell exists, a seat must surely be reserved there for Nicholas Sparks.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Ah, Silly Rich People...

Well, fine, I'd make an exception for Tony Manero.

I don't know who the hell "charmingly loopy socialite" Arden Wohl is (Google says she likes the pot, but don't all charmingly loopy socialites?), but I'd like to thank her for cracking me up with her comments to The Observer about a short film she made that stars Azura Skye and Leelee Sobieski:
In the dark, romantic fairy tale, the two women flirt, gaze at one another profoundly, fight, gaze some more, cry, gaze, cry, gaze. The whole thing concludes with a scene in which Ms. Sobieski may or may not have sex with Ms. Skye's dead body.

"It's based upon my personal experiences. My harrowing and complicated relationships with the people closest to me," Ms. Wohl told the Transom. She was garbed in slim black pants, a frilly satin blouse and her usual eccentric headband.
Okay then! BTW, next week I'll be screening a short film based on my own personal experiences. It will consist of two women sitting in awkward silence, occasionally grimacing and checking their watches, and conclude with one of them calling the other uncommunicative. The accusation will be met with more silence, but there's a moment of suspense and ambiguity at the very end when the other woman finally looks like she's going to open her mouth. Is she about to speak, or simply sigh? Critics will spend decades getting into passionate arguments about it in the pages of Cahiers du cinéma and Sight & Sound. There won't be any necrophilia (Lynne Stopkewich pretty much cornered the market on that with "Kissed"), and anyone who shows up wearing an eccentric headband will be ordered to leave. You've been warned.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Stupid Headline of the Day

ZDNet wants to know, "Are drunk Facebook photos killing your job prospects?" What I want to know is: How do Facebook photos get drunk? Unfortunately, the article (which regurgitates figures from surveys of HR people and job-seekers alike) doesn't provide any answers. Because it's stupid.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Jo Monk Kicks Ass

The 91-year-old lesbian, who is working on a book about her life, had this to say about being gay in the 1940s and '50s (and way before that): "Everybody says what a terrible life it was, but I quite enjoyed myself. I didn't find it terrible. I was very proud." And she was wearing pants in public when it was still considered daring for a woman to do so, which just adds to her greatness.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

All the Young Dudes, Make Out With Each Other

"What? You mean this is seriously the best Miramax could do?"

How is it possible that "Velvet Goldmine," which first came out on DVD in the U.S. 10 years ago, hasn't been re-released with an anamorphically enhanced transfer? When I'm watching glam rockers played by Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Ewan McGregor paw at each other, it should go without saying that I want to see it in all its widescreen glory, dammit! I felt cheated when I rented "Goldmine" last night (having wrongly assumed the DVD had been upgraded somewhere along the line) and was treated to such a shoddy transfer. Miramax would never neglect a Kevin Smith movie like this, and Kevin Smith movies tend to majorly suck. It's a conspiracy, I tell you, and I'd call shenanigans on it if I knew shenanigans' phone number.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Wanda Sykes Talks to The Advocate

A good interview by Ari Karpel. Sykes is mostly serious, like when she talks about her seven-year marriage to a man:
"I actually made the choice to be straight as a kid," she says. "Early on I knew [being gay] wasn't gonna fly. No way. And from the teachers and church and all it was, This is wrong! What's wrong with me? And you pray and ask God to take it away, and you bury it and bury it, and you shut that part of yourself off. Then you try to live the life that you're supposed to live."
But she also gets in a few good jokes, the best about the media coverage devoted to her coming out at a marriage equality rally in Las Vegas last year after the passage of Proposition 8 in California: "I was like, Damn, whatever happened to 'What happens in Vegas...?' "

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Kelly Clarkson Denies Being a Lesbian, Doesn't Deny Sucking*

"Why on earth would anyone think I'm a lesbian?"

My sister alerted me to this. I believe her exact words were "Kelly Clarkson says she isn't gay," followed by maniacal laughter. So there you have it: My sister thinks Ms. Clarkson's lying. As for Kelly herself, it's true that she recently told the web site PopEater she isn't gay. She added: "I could never be a lesbian. I would never want to date [someone like] myself, ever. I'm a crazy person. I need some kind of stable, quiet man." You hear that, world? She needs some kind of man. A man with a penis. The kind of penis that isn't neon purple and made of silicone, because she totally isn't a lesbian. (No word on whether that means she's bisexual...)

I'll admit that I'm not quite sure I buy what Kelly's selling here, but I get why she seized the opportunity to prattle on about her alleged heterosexuality. A simple Google search shows that a lot of people think she's gay, and she has a new album to promote. What I don't get is why she thinks that being a lesbian means she'd have to date someone like herself. It's not like one woman is every woman (unless she's Chaka Khan), so there's no logic to her attempted logic. Her comments about feminism weren't much better, which is why I suggest forgetting all about the PopEater interview and taking a gander at this picture of Kelly that was snapped at the Playboy Club a few months ago instead. She's posing like fucking Papi from "The L Word," people. Wake up and smell the flannel shirts.

* About the headline: I don't really think Kelly Clarkson sucks. (Anyone who sings "Crimson and Clover" in concert without changing the lyrics is all right with me.) It was just really hard to pass up using a headline like that.

Step Away from "The Biggest Loser" and Switch to TCM

As if to make up for last month's ill-advised Ricardo Montalban marathon, Turner Classic Movies is showing "The More the Merrier" tonight as part of their 31 Days of Oscar: Urban Housing block of programming. Besides featuring one of Jean Arthur's best performances, this George Stevens comedy about the housing shortage in World War II boasts one of the most romantic scenes I've ever seen in any movie, as a woozy Arthur tries to resist her attraction to one of her boarders (played by the always brilliant Joel McCrea). The scene is on YouTube -- everything ever recorded in the history of the universe is apparently available on YouTube -- but you have to see it in the context of the movie to get the full effect.

Monday, February 2, 2009

About Roger Federer's Loss

A few days ago, someone asked if I'd wear Jeanne Moreau's veil again if Roger Federer lost to Rafael Nadal in Sunday's Australian Open final. The answer was maybe, depending on the match. The Wimbledon loss had been a heartbreaker and required a period of mourning. The Australian Open final turned out to be different. By the time it was over, Federer was crying like his name was Stella Dallas, but for me it was less a heartbreaker (there was no good reason for him to have lost this time) than a head-scratcher. And so the veil is staying put -- for now. Hopefully nothing will happen later this year to change that.

In happier, non-tennis news, Cherry Jones digs Golda Meier and uses the word "goyim" in this interview about her work on the new season of "24." I don't watch "24" (its creator, Joel Surnow, donated $2,000 to Rick Santorum in 2006 and I'd feel dirty doing anything that might help line his pockets), but in the wake of Tammy Lynn Michaels going nuts about Rick Warren and misspelling "yarmulke" all over the place in December, I was dreading the next shout-out a lesbian celebrity gave to the Jews. Thank you, Cherry Jones, for not making strange comments about matzo ball soup. You're a mensch.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Lesbians, Does This Appeal to You?

You might think this description of life in a lesbian community sounds like the work of David Sedaris -- I know I hoped it was -- but alas, it's a real article from the Times:
BEHIND the gate at Alapine, about five miles from the nearest town in the southern Appalachian mountains near Georgia, the women live in simple houses or double-wide trailers on roads they have named after goddesses, like Diana Drive. They meet for potluck dinners, movie and game nights and "community full moon circles" during which they sing, read poems and share thoughts on topics like "Mercury in retrograde — how is it affecting our communication?"
I would sooner kill myself than live in a community like that (the first time someone asked me how Mercury in retrograde was affecting our communication, I'd snap "Are you fucking kidding me?"), but I guess it takes all kinds.

"We're the Stains, and We Don't Put Out"

Lady Gaga will revive this look any day now.

ESPN2's live broadcast of the women's final of the Australian Open doesn't start until 3:30 a.m. ET, and having just finished listening to the audio commentary Diane Lane and Laura Dern provided for the DVD release of "Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains" (who knew Diane Lane said "Bless" so much?), I'm running out of things to do in the meantime. The question, I suppose, is whether it's worth staying up for the match, which will re-air at a more reasonable time later in the morning. Dinara Safina and Serena Williams are thrilling to watch when they're in control of their heads, but what if only one of them shows up mentally today? It could make for a terribly boring one-sided match, and who wants to lose sleep to watch one of those -- especially with Federer/Nadal coming up tomorrow night. I'm so conflicted!

P.S. You know the only thing "Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains" was missing? Some "Times Square"-esque lesbian overtones. That the screenplay made that impossible by having all the band mates be related was kind of lame. Aren't girl bands always better when one or two members give off the vibe that they could go either way? That's the only reason I ever watched a Spice Girls music video: to determine which Spices would be the most likely to hook up with each other. It's been a long time, but I think my conclusion was that Ginger and Scary were skanky and up for anything, that Sporty was so eager for approval that she'd do whatever they told her to do, that Baby was a boring heterosexual, and that Posh's lesbian experience was probably limited to making out with her own reflection in the mirror while lost in a starvation-induced haze. If any of you disagree with that assessment, feel free to let me know where I went wrong.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ripoff!

Woody Allen and Tony Roberts never filmed a scene like this.

Shame on you, Allan Stewart Konigsberg, for being so stingy with the Scarlett Johansson/Penélope Cruz scenes in "Vicky Cristina Barcelona." Don't get me wrong, the movie was good, your best since "Sweet and Lowdown." It's just that a lot of us are still upset about "Scoop" and "Cassandra's Dream," and you could have tried a little harder to make it up to us.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Is Elijah Wood Safe and Accounted For?

Significant ice accumulation is expected in my neck of the woods tonight, which I'd normally welcome because I love horrible weather*, but I just saw "The Ice Storm" for the second time a few months ago when it was re-released on DVD and now I'm worried that my parents might be at a key party and my brother might accidentally drug Katie Holmes with sleeping pills intended for someone else.

The Katie Holmes thing is troubling because she's probably already being drugged by Tom Cruise or someone on his payroll, and if the pills mix and they're not supposed to she could break out in hives or grow a second head or something. (On the upside, having a second head might expand her dramatic range.) The key party possibility is especially disconcerting because, c'mon, they're my parents, and just thinking about that makes me want to throw up more than anyone has ever thrown up in the history of the world. I'm not sure where I'm going with this; I think the moral is to never watch "The Ice Storm" if you live anywhere that might experience severe winter weather.

* When driving conditions are difficult everyone becomes anxious, and when people are anxious they're more likely to be terse than chatty. Since I hate when people say things like "Good morning!" and "How are you?", I wish everyone was terse all the time.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Like Anyone Watches "The L Word" for the Stories

Mia Kirshner (on the set of "The Black Dahlia") tearfully asks God,
"Why can't I catch a break?"


Does anyone else find it a bit odd that the L.A. Times is questioning whether killing Jenny Schecter on "The L Word" will drive viewers away from the show? As much as I hate to defend any of the decisions made by the hackety-hacks (don't talk back!) who write for "The L Word" (assuming it isn't written the way I've long suspected it was: by putting typewriters in front of oversexed zoo animals and handing the resulting drafts over to escaped mental patients for polishing), aren't they just finally, after five long years of mind-boggling mediocrity, giving the viewers what they want by killing Jenny, one of the most widely loathed central characters in the history of television? (Is it not true that all twelve of the people who paid to see "The Black Dahlia" in theaters were rabid Jenny-haters who wanted to pretend it was a movie about Schecter's violent death?)

Mind you, I watched "Big Love" last week instead of the season premiere of "The L Word," so I can't comment on the particulars of this "Oh my God, they killed Jenny! You bastards!" plot development yet. It just seems obvious that the viewers who have faithfully watched (and almost as faithfully complained about -- not that that ever stopped them from watching) this train wreck for the last five seasons aren't tuning in for the storytelling.

Grouse as they might at the prospect of Jenny's death spurring a season-long game of Clue, these viewers come from hardy stock, having suffered through missteps including but not limited to voyeuristic roommate guy; drag king Ivan; the Max debacle; the Betty invasion, which happened over and over again; Jenny turning into a self-harming stripper/Talmudic scholar when repressed memories of childhood sexual abuse came to the surface (she wasn't really a Talmudic scholar, but I still laugh when I think of her breaking out the Hebrew); Dana's death; Alice fucking a vampire; Tina's ill-fated return to man-cock; Kit getting pregnant at the age of 87; Shane having sex with every woman she meets (and not seeming to care when it's hinted that one of them might be an arsonist); and freaking Papi.

In other words, the people who watch this show -- and I know because I'm one of them -- have no respect for their own intelligence, don't care about decent writing or acting (if the fans cared about decent acting, they wouldn't have spent so much time complaining about Mia Kirshner and Marlee Matlin on assorted message boards over the years; and they wouldn't have been so invested in the Tina/Bette pairing), and only watch "The L Word" because lesbian characters are almost impossible to find anywhere else. Hell, the writers could probably kill off several more characters and while the viewers would complain, they'd likely keep tuning in as long as every now and then a hot actress appeared and (to borrow a phrase from an SNL sketch) hugged another woman with her legs in friendship.

The real crime in all of this (if the character is actually dead) might be that Jenny wasn't killed off years ago, which would have served the dual purpose of pleasing viewers and freeing Mia Kirshner to pursue more work with directors like Brian De Palma and Atom Egoyan and less with visionless goofballs like Ilene Chaiken.

It's a Good Thing It Is (Or Was) Saturday

Because my nerves are going to need a day to recover from those Safina and Federer matches.

(Yes, this was a paltry post, but I'm still too jittery to write anything else. Give me a few hours to calm down and sleep a little, and then I'll try to scrounge up something to complain about.)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Odd Decision of the Day

TCM is inexplicably honoring terrible actor/"soft Corinthian leather" aficionado Ricardo Montalban with a seven-film tribute today. I fear this portends a full 24-hour block of William Shatner's greatest non-hits when he kicks the bucket. Hopefully Shatner's immortal and this will be a non-issue.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

About the Whole Jane Addams Lesbian Thing

What's next, saying these two were just friends?

As Michael Abernethy notes when mentioning Addams' recent induction into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame: "That Addams was a lesbian is a matter of speculation, as Addams wasn't gracious enough to leave an entry in her diaries that said 'I'm a big ole lesbian.'" Still, I can't believe that in the year 2009 grown men and women continue to debate whether she was gay.

Let me tell you a story about Jane Addams. When I was in fifth grade, my history class learned about child labor legislation and settlement houses and female involvement in social and political activism and all of that. Jane Addams was a big part of the unit. At the time I was an oblivious kid who'd yet to pick up on the fact that my aunt and her female roommate were more than roommates, but after reading a few paragraphs about Addams my gaydar started going off like Fannie Flagg -- "Match Game" era Fannie Flagg, the queerest of them all -- had entered the room.

The people who think Addams wasn't gay, the ones who can somehow keep a straight face while trying to sell us that "romantic friendship" line, they'll say that a ping (or twelve) on the gaydar is meaningless. Sometimes they'd even be right. But aren't they also being kind of deliberately obtuse?

The fifth-grade teacher who taught me about Jane Addams was a mild-mannered man in his mid-thirties who had never been married to a woman, professed not to have a girlfriend, but wore a wedding band anyway. He shared a house with, and routinely traveled with, his long-term male roommate. What would the historians who are reluctant to concede that Addams was likely gay (after all, they've never seen Paris Hilton-style video footage of her having sex with Mary Rozet Smith) make of my teacher and his "roommate," a man who was still in the picture years later when a friend's sibling took the same class and had the same teacher. Would they try to act like the two men were just very close pals, or would they do a collective spit-take and shout "Bitch, please!" if asked to believe they weren't a couple? I'm not a historian myself, but you can mark me down in the "Bitch, please!" camp when it comes to both Addams and my teacher.

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