Tuesday, July 31, 2007
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.)
Posted by Kenneth M. Walsh at 8:10 AM
Monday, July 30, 2007
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)
Posted by Kenneth M. Walsh at 11:10 AM
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.
Posted by Kenneth M. Walsh at 12:47 AM
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Posted by Kenneth M. Walsh at 7:48 PM
Posted by Kenneth M. Walsh at 12:06 PM
Friday, July 27, 2007
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
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.