Tuesday, July 31, 2007

He's All Wright

David Wright and his killer smile.

Page 1 Consider (07/31)

  • Shit Brown: United Parcel Service said Monday that it would offer health benefits to its employees’ partners in civil unions in New Jersey, 10 days after Gov. Jon S. Corzine wrote a letter urging it to comply with the state’s five-month-old civil union law. The policy decision was a reversal for the company, which had said it could not offer such benefits because the couples were not legally married, and will affect an unspecified number of United Parcel’s 8,700 employees who belong to the Teamsters union. I'm sorry, but if you can't follow the law in a state in which you're doing business, then don't do business there. (NYT)

  • Unlawful Search and Seizure: Perhaps this explains some of the retarded rulings John G. Roberts Jr. has made since becoming chief justice of the Supreme Court. (WP)

  • Where's the (Brotherly) Love? Philadelphia is updating its national ad campaign aimed at homo tourists, targeting subgroups within the gay and lesbian community. I don't know why they would want to mess with their current campaign though. I've always marveled at all of those "Philly's More Fun When You Stay Over" ads, so much so that I actually found myself trying to book a getaway there until I remembered that once we got off the train we'd be in, Philadelphia. (AP) (Sorry, Ms. Painter!)

  • The Night the Lights Went Out in Florida: Let's see. A man in women's clothing was shot in the head by someone who claims she "came on" to him, but the good old state of Florida has announced that it is not investigating this as a hate crime. I don't know which thing angers me more: Florida's refusal to admit what this was -- or the disgraceful "gay panic" defense. Putting them together is just too much. (365Gay)

  • My, How She's Grown: Chelsea Clinton has a chance at being the first first daughter to ever get a second stint in the role. (NYT)

  • The Barre Truth: The National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association, of which I am a proud member, has a new executive director in David Barre. Congrats to David. I look forward to (perhaps) meeting him at the big national convention next month in San Diego. (NLGJA)

  • Puget Sound: A 28-year old homeless man has pleaded not guilty to killing former Seattle radio talk-show host Mike Webb. Scott Brian White, 28, was arrested at transient campsite. He is charged with first degree murder. Police say that the two men know each other and that White had briefly lived with Webb. (365Gay)

  • The (Miss) Adventures of Michele, Queen of the Desert

    My brother Terence alerted me to this story that ran in his paper back home in Phoenix. Michele deLaFreniere, chairwoman of Scottsdale’s Human Relations Commission, has filed a complaint against the owner of a nightclub in Scottsdale for banning all transgender people from his bar.

    Tom Anderson, the owner of Anderson's Fifth Estate, claims he had no choice but to ban deLaFreniere (is it just me or do all trannies have these VOILA! names???) and her friends because "dozens" of women had complained about their using the women's bathroom. Since he’s liable for the safety of his customers (having them use the men's room wasn't an option either because the neanderthals who frequent this place were harassing them in there), Anderson claims he had no choice but to ban transgendered people from the bar. "There was no place I could put these people," he said.

    hile I'm skeptical that "dozens" of people were complaining (deLaFreniere claims she had been to the bar many times and women were always supportive of her and her friends), I don't doubt that the situation might have escalated quickly (Anderson claims deLaFreniere threatened to use her position with the city against him, a claim she denies although why wouldn't she? She works for the Human Relations Commission for crying out loud). But Anderson indignantly denies saying -- as he refused her and one of her friends entry into the club a couple of days after Thanksgiving, something he does not deny -- "I don’t want your business or your kind here,'" by claiming, "That’s a dramatization she wants to make to further her cause. I don’t use that kind of language," he said. “I don’t have a problem with (the transgendered). If that’s the way your life is going, so be it. It doesn’t bother me in the slightest"

    You ban fellow human beings from your place of business based on who they are and what they look like, saying you don't have any place to put "these people" and you don't have a problem with them? Now he can see what it's like for transgender people when they come across someone who does have a problem.

    Footnote: My brother Terence doesn't buy the "dozens" of complaints bit either, although he notes: "I can't imagine any man or woman seeing this transgender person in any restroom and not being frightened, especially after a couple of drinks. She looks like she'd knock you on your ass." Better watch it, Tom. (And the girl looks pretty fierce for 52, I might add.)

    Monday, July 30, 2007

    Ingmar Bergman Dead at 89

    Ingman Bergman, the "poet with the camera" who is considered one of the greatest directors in motion picture history, died today on the small island of Faro where he lived on the Baltic coast of Sweden, Astrid Soderbergh Widding, president of The Ingmar Bergman Foundation, said. Bergman was 89. (NYT)

    Crack Addict: Nick Youngquest

    Surely you remember Nick Youngquest, the hunky rugby player I featured last summer? Turns out this handsome young Aussie is quite fond of getting nekkid for the camera, as you will see after the jump. ----->

    Page 1 Consider (07/30)

  • Eternally Homophobic City? Two gay men have been charged with "lewd conduct" for kissing in front of the Coliseum in Rome. The pair were rushed into a police car and taken to a police station where they were held for several hours. Eventually they were issued a summons to appear in court and released. If convicted the pair could be sentenced up to two years in prison. The incident has sparked a public outcry in Italy. It's a good job no one saw what Michael and I did behind the Vatican. (365Gay)

  • Go West, Young Man! George Bush doesn't like black people and Kayne West doesn't like homophobes. (Advocate)

  • Leaving Normal: Tabloid staple Star magazine -- wisely reasoning that pissing off The Gays is not a good way to sell magazines -- quickly apologized for listing the kiss begin Kevin James and Adam Sandler as "Not Normal." But as I told my friend who made a big stink about it in the first place, is there really anything normal about being willing to kiss the King of Queens? (BoyCulture)

  • Woo Hoo! "The Simpsons Movie" raked in a whopping $71.9 million to debut as the top movie this week. Am I alone when I say I'm truly stunned? (AP)

  • Murder in Connecticut: Not sure if this has made the national news, but this poor man was brutally attacked and his wife and two beautiful daughters were raped and murdered in their own home last week. How he got through this memorial service is beyond me. My thoughts are with him and his. (NYP)

  • Midget Skeleton: Before his election as mayor in 2001, it seems squeaky clean New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was the target of a sexual harassment suit by a female executive who accused him of making repeated raunchy sexual comments while he was chief executive of his financial company, Bloomberg LP. Among the allegations in the complaint: Bloomberg asked the woman who sued if she was giving her boyfriend "good" oral sex. (Is that an inappropriate work question?) Analysts wonder if this might stop him from becoming the next U.S. president, but I think Jon Stewart's explanation why that will never happen is a little more on the money. (AP)

  • A Father's Plea: As Congress moves to make the Matthew Shepard Act a reality, Dennis Shepard, urges us all to take action. (Advocate)

  • Rough Justice: Fed up with deadly drive-by shootings, incessant drug dealing and graffiti, cities nationwide are trying a different tactic to combat gangs: They're suing them. This should be an effective way of dealing with it. The witness list -- aka snitch central -- will make nice new targets. (AP)

  • Left Wing: Stephen Colbert really did break his hand? (AP)

  • Queen of All Media: Did you see blogger bad boy Perez Hilton on the cover of The Times' Sunday Styles section? He says he sees three to four children in his future, some adopted and some biological, like a “gay Angelina,” he said. (NYT)

  • Moving On: "Grey's Anatomy'' creator Shonda Rhimes said she's confident fans will put last year's unsettling season in perspective and remain loyal to the ABC medical drama. Rhimes acknowledged story lines that included death and infidelity represented a "darker journey,'' one that provoked some critics and fans. The series was hit by the real-life drama involving Isaiah Washington, who was fired after he used an anti-gay slur. Rhimes said the show rose above that crisis. "It was a difficult season for us behind the scenes. But creatively we moved in the direction we planned to move,'' Rhimes told a meeting of the Television Critics Association. (AP)

  • Safety First: Concertgoers at a festival in the Dutch city of Lichtenvoorde were treated to an unusual sight Friday: A pink hot air balloon 127 feet high, shaped exactly like a condom, drifting lazily across the sky. The balloon, with the words "Vrij Veilig" -- Dutch for "Safe Sex" -- was launched by the public health service in the eastern district of Gelre-Ijssel, near the German border but most residents were so high they thought it was just a figment of their imagination. (AP)

  • Soap Opera: Has anyone seen "Dr. Bronner's Magic Soapbox" that new documentary about that crazy guy who invented those fabulous glycerin soaps? I'm oddly fascinated by the idea of an escaped mental patient striking it big. (Official Site)
  • Just Say Said Julie!

    So I dragged Michael to Joe's Pub on Saturday night to see everyone's favorite easy Earth Girl, Julie Brown. I was kind of embarrassed to even ask him to go and I was certain we'd be the only people in the audience. We got there about a half-hour before showtime and would you believe the line was stretched out long and far along Lafayette Street? (Naturally, the crowd could have easily doubled for one of Kathy Griffin's audiences.)

    We quickly decided a table was in order and sat down to Smell the Glamour. Sure, Julie had simply dusted off those old backing tracks from the '80s and showed a couple of old clips on an occasionally uncooperative video projector above the stage, but that didn't stop the show from being a complete hoot. Looking sexy and fit as ever, Julie came flying out singing "I Like 'Em Big and Stupid" (from her classic 1984 EP, "Goddess in Progress," which is about to be reissued on CD!) and never looked back. Part stand-up, part audience participation (think boys in wigs during "Girl Fight Tonight!" from 1987's "Trapped in the Body of a White Girl") and part storytelling, it was easy to remember why Julie was one of the shining moments of '80s MTV. What's interesting (or perhaps surprising is the word I'm looking for) is that Julie really is a very talented pop songwriter. When I first heard her Madonna parodies from "Medusa: Dare to Be Truthful" (like "Happy Place") I remember thinking they were every bit as good as anything Madonna's ever released. On Saturday night she did the terminally infectious "Party in My Pants" and I still feel the same way. From there she launched into "Vague" -- complete with updated celebrities during the rap portion (who'd have thought Nicolette Sheridan would actually be in vogue again, though?). When she finished her crowd-pleasing encore of "The Homecoming Queen's Got a Gun" she was so excited that she came back out just to wave and announce that she didn't have anymore songs. (Truth be told she hadn't done "Earth Girls Are Easy," which happens to be one of my faves, but ...) Afterward she lapped up the "backstage" attention as she patiently posed for photos and signed CDs and DVDs. A fun night with a really funny lady. (Question: When is "Strip Mall" coming out on DVD???) Visit Julie's funny Web site here. and her Facebook here.

    Outrageous Fortune

    Michael and I had dinner at our favorite Chinese place in Chelsea last night. My fortune, above, was a little bit off, but Michael's -- which I misplaced -- was even scarier: YOU'RE SMILING NOW BUT WAIT UNTIL YOU GET HOME. (Huh??? Someone having a bad day at the fortune-writing office?) No word on whether Michael's been on the crapper all night ...


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    Saturday, July 28, 2007

    Prince William: Losing It?

    Maybe royalty and humidity don't mix, but I'd say these photos of Prince William taken today at the World Scout Jamboree 2007 Opening Ceremony at Hylands Park in Chelmsford, England, constitute further proof that Prince Harry has leapfrogged past his big brother to now wear the crown of royal hottie ...


    I say Andy Roddick fires Jimmy Connors before we even make it to the U.S. Open.

    All North American Boys

    Canadian hunk Frank Dancevic reached his first ATP semifinal yesterday and will face American Andy Roddick today in the Indianapolis Tennis Championship. In the other semifinal, American James Blake takes on Russian Dmitry Tursunov (neither of whom is too hard on the eyes either).

    Bourne. Jason Bourne.

    Matt Damon at "The Bourne Ultimatum" press conference at The Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, last Saturday. He looks a lot happier than he did at this firing squad.

    Friday, July 27, 2007

    Legends of the 'Fall'

    I saw these photos of Pete Sampras and Jim Courier on the wire and couldn't quite figure out what was going on. They were taken yesterday and filed under "Talon Air hosts Match of the Modern Masters" -- which given the fact that both players has won multiple Grand Slam titles I'd say the name is fitting. But why are there 13 people in the audience?

    Who'd You Rather?

    Who would you rather?

    Morning Wood: Marcus Patrick

    The 6-foot, 200-pound Englishman is a second degree black belt and former British Tae Kwon Do champion turned soap stud.

    More pics after the jump. ----->

    Page 1 Consider (07/27)

  • Move Over, Lucy: Since they're on 33 times a day I've been watching a lot of "Will & Grace" reruns lately. How I'd forgotten just how hilarious Debra Messing is! The "Hydro Bra" episode had me in tears, and when her mom (the brilliant Debbie Reynolds) fixed Will up on a date with a guy from Grace's childhood I about died! (LIE)

  • The (Anticlimactic) View: The Los Angeles Times is reporting that Whoopi Goldberg and Sherri Shepherd will join the panel of "The View." Sorry, but no Rosie, no interest. (LAT

  • Secrets and Lies: So first the U.S. military paraded Pat Tillman's picture saying he died a hero when he was killed by enemy fire. Then they admitted that he died from friendly fire. Now they think he was murdered? (AP)

  • This Principal Was Not His Pal: I've heard of being mad as hell and not taking it anymore, but this 16-year-old victim of bullies might have gone a little too far when he murdered his principal for not doing enough to help him. (365Gay)

  • Death to Breeders: A straight bashing in Palm Springs? (Advocate)

  • Beam Me Up, Please: I'm apparently the only person in the world who doesn't watch "Heroes" but this Zachary Quinto -- who plays the villainous Sylar -- sure is adorable. He's set to don a pair of pointy ears to play Mr. Spock in the newest installment of the Star Trek feature franchise, which may be enough for me to watch my first "Star Trek" anything ever. (HR)

  • The Diaper Diaries 2? A Navy man who got mad when someone mocked him as a "nerd" over the Internet climbed into his car and drove 1,300 miles from Virginia to Texas to teach the other guy a lesson. When he finally arrived, Tavares burned the guy's trailer down. (AP)

  • Mea Culpa Lite: Disgraced former prosecutor Mike Nifong acknowledged Thursday there is "no credible evidence" that three Duke lacrosse players committed any of the crimes he accused them of more than a year ago, offering for the first time a complete and unqualified apology. "We all need to heal," Nifong said. "It is my hope we can start this process today." Um, now you wanna let the healing begin, now that you've been rendered powerless? (AP)

  • Mr. Anita Bryant: Hotels and tourist attractions that depend on LGBT travelers are reportedly worried incendiary comments by Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle about gays will result in a severe loss of business. Fort Lauderdale ranked No. 6 among gay travelers last year, and accounted for about 11 percent of Broward's $8.5 billion tourism industry. But over the past month Naugle has infuriated gays with homophobic remarks. Instead of protesting this guy why doesn't whoever had sex with him in a rest stop just come forward and get it over with. You know it's only a matter of time. (365Gay)

  • Honeymoon in New England: Gay couples from New Mexico can marry in Massachusetts because their home state has not explicitly banned same-sex marriage, officials said. New Mexico joins Rhode Island as the only states whose gay residents are allowed to marry in Massachusetts, which is the only state that allows same-sex marriage. (365Gay

  • Back to the Glass Castle: Jeannette Walls bids the Scoop and msnbc.com adieu. (MSNBC)

  • Blue Note: The legendary Etta James was in stable condition Thursday after being hospitalized for complications from abdominal surgery she had last month, her manager said. The 69-year-old blues singer was being treated at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Here's wishing her a speedy recovery. (AP)

  • Chelsea Boy: Ethan Hawke

    Here's Ethan Hawke looking healthy at the New York City premiere of "The Hottest State," the film he wrote and directed based on his novel of the same name. I didn't read the book but it's about a young actor from Texas who tries to make it in New York while struggling in his relationship with a beautiful singer/songwriter (go figure).

    The Specimen: 'Do U Damage'

    Here's the debut video by the Brooklyn-based band The Specimen, whose brainchild is Matt Gorny, the boyfriend of my pal/co-worker Anita. In a page from the small-world files, "Do U Damage" also happened to be used in the film adaptation of my friend Matt Rettenmund's book "Boy Culture." It's a catchy tune and a fittingly fun video. Get more of The Specimen here.

    Thursday, July 26, 2007

    Someone Had a Check-Up Today ...

    He claims to be a cat, but Troy is all bunny to me. (He's holding his own, BTW.)

    Bourne to Be Together?

    Actors Matt Damon and Ben Affleck arrive at the Los Angeles premiere of "The Bourne Ultimatum" at the Arclight Theater yesterday in Hollywood. I have to say that this is one franchise I never thought would happen. I only saw the first Jason Bourne film but I distinctly remember the audience laughing inappropriately whenever Damon was supposed to be tough or threatening in a scene. Maybe everyone else thought it was cute, too. (Source)
  • Related: Matt Damon Does GQ

  • Matt sure looked happier with Ben than he did earlier in the day when he received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

    Page 1 Consider (07/26)

  • Does This Friend Make Me Look Fat? Obesity can spread from person to person, much like a virus, researchers are reporting today. When one person gains weight, close friends tend to gain weight, too. Finally, a little science to back up what I've been saying all along. (NYT)

  • Ft. Fagg: Those Fort Bragg soldiers love the gay porn. (365Gay)

  • Reno 911: Police have charged a Reno, Nev., man with trying to hire a hit-man to kill his wife so he could avoid a messy divorce and be able to live with his homosexual lover. Reno Police say that James Gau, 50, sought to have his estranged wife murdered so that his gay relationship would not become public and possibly lead to his being denied custody of the couples six children. I'm guessing this probably isn't going to help much with that either. (365Gay)

  • Mad Magazine: Genre fires its editor and replaces him with a "straight" married with children guy who likes to pretend he's fooling around with Jann Wenner, or something. I told Chris Ciompi he should run one of my articles ... (Jossip)

  • Bad Hed: Trangender Workers Making Advances in the Workplace / Hey, I have no problem with transsexuals. But I don't want them making the move on me -- especially when I'm trying to get some work done. (365Gay)

  • Shooting Fish: A cat in Rhode Island is said to predict deaths at nursing homes. That's amazing. I predict the sun will come up tomorrow. (AP)

  • McUnions: Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern announced Wednesday that his government will bring in legislation giving same-sex couples the same rights as married pairs. The legislation would be similar to Britain's civil partnership law that gives gay and lesbian couples all of the rights of marriage except the name. Could America be more ashamed of itself now? (365Gay)

  • Nauglehead: Why is the mayor of Fort Lauderdale such a dick? (Towleroad)

  • Scared Straight (Into Forgetting a Word): I think it's wonderful that this coach has started a program to help kids steer clear of gangs and violence, but maybe Todd Walker, who calls his organization Restoring Inner City Peace, or R.I.P., could use a little help with his abbreviation. (NYT)

  • Tour de Farce: Chaos and disgrace enveloped the Tour de France early Thursday after the event’s overall leader, Michael Rasmussen, was removed from the race by his Rabobank team for lying about where he was training so he could avoid taking random drug tests. Can we just be honest -- finally -- and admit that steroids are prevalent throughout sports? (Oh, and at my gym.) (NYT)
  • Catching Up With Richard Wall

    Richard Wall at the "Lost Colony" 70th anniversary last week at the Outer Banks, N.C., with Dixie Griffith, Andy's daughter.

    So all of my blogging about Stephen Gutwillig's recently restored version of the classic film "Parting Glances" has had a fun ripple effect. Yesterday I received an e-mail from none other than Richard Wall, who played the wonderfully gay fabulous Douglas ("just one, honey!") in the film. Richard's had a long and busy career working as a professional musician (he worked with Bob Fosse conducting national tours of "Chicago" in the '70s and '80s, right up until 1985 when the last production was done at Harrah's in Atlantic City starring Chita Rivera -- "I love that show!"), teaching and conducting. In the '90s he managed a classical FM radio station in Raleigh, N.C. and began working at Duke University conducting for the Duke Children's Golf Classic Celebrity Show every May. These days he's semi-retired and going to reunions. ("That's all I do!!")

    Q: So great to hear from you! All of my friends worshipped the Douglas character back in the day and would recite all of his hilarious lines! Do you keep in touch with any of the other cast members?
    A: No, I haven't seen any of them since Bill Sherwood's funeral. And since I don't live in NYC anymore, I never see anybody. But even to this day, wherever I go, someone says to me "Weren't you in 'Parting Glances'?" And then they gush and gush.

    Q: Well count me as one of the gushers! Tell us what you remember about making the film.
    A: It was a wonderful experience for me, because the casting director "discovered" me walking up 85th Street towards Broadway and said, "Are you and actor?" and of course, I said, "Yes." The next thing I know I'm at the Tribeca Film Center auditioning for Bill Sherwood, and the following weekend, we were in Fire Island. All the Fire Island filming was done in one August day in 1984. It was blazing hot and I had to change make-up and clothes many, many times because of all the whipped cream. And I got sunburned because of all the aluminum reflectors!

    Q: What did you do when you finished filming?
    A: Then I left town to teach in college in California and saw the film in L.A. when it came out. The most amazing part is that Bill used his apartment for the two lovers and it was/is directly across 84th St. from my apartment! So whenever I watch the movie and see those scenes filmed in the apartment, I can see my old apartment through the windows, especially my air conditioners and my white cat.

    Q: The budget for the film was very tight. Didn't it almost never get finished?
    A: The film took almost a year to complete after the Fire Island scenes because they couldn't get the money to film the airplane sequence. A couple of years after the filmed opened, I was back in NYC and standing in front of the record store (used in the film - where I also was the manager) and Bill Sherwood walked up and spoke to me. He was very gaunt and frail and, obviously, near death. I said, "You are the man who has made me a legend!!" And he loved that.

    Q: Did you ever see him again?
    A: No, that was the last time I ever saw him. What a sad loss. But at least we have the film to remember that glorious summer of 1984. You know that it's a true story, and Bill was one of the two lovers? Yep.

    Q: I heard a rumor that there is going to be a New York premiere of the restored version of the film later in the summer. If you hear anything, will you let me know and travel to New York to be my date?
    A: I probably won't hear anything about it, but I will come to the "re-premiere" with you! :+) "No autographs please! You think beautiful girls are gonna stay in style forever?"

    Remind you of anyone? Vintage Douglas Richard ... :-)

    Douglas: Why don't you pack a little bag and fly to Paris for the weekend with me. I have a standing reservation on the Concord, a suite in the huitieme, and a box at the opera. I never dine at a restaurant with less than two stars. What do you say?
    Peter: Chem lab, Saturday morning.

    Nick: Hey, Douglas -- looking trim.
    Douglas: So are you.

    Douglas to Terry (played by Andre Morgan -- where are you?): I'll have the last laugh. I may have committed the gay cardinal sin of being a bit overweight, but it's this self-imposed unattractiveness that's spared me from the plague.

  • 'Parting Glances Reunion'
  • Revisiting an Old Friend
  • None of That

  • First Day of School

    My sister's heart was breaking, but my nephew A.J. sure had a blast at his first day at kindergarten. By Day Two he was already in trouble, though. I'm assuming it was for being way too cute :-)