Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Page 1 Consider (06/17)

  • Separated at Birth: "Beaches" Bette Midler and Kathy Griffin? (Shut Up, I Know!)

  • Movie Misses: Gay-pride season seems to be extending well beyond its official month of June. Gay marriage is now legal in California, stars are coming out of the closet (and woodwork) as never before, and NewFest -- the New York Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Film Festival -- has kicked off the summer cycle of gay film festivals with its 20th anniversary run. So why are independent gay films doing worse than ever at the box office and among critics? (Hwood Reporter)

  • The Show Must Go On: "60 Minutes" star Lesley Stahl was a last-minute replacement for Brian Williams as the host of the 67th Annual George Foster Peabody Awards ceremony at New York's Waldorf Astoria yesterday afternoon. Williams, like many in the business, is in mourning over the death of Tim Russert and didn't feel up for hosting duties. Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey, Christiane Amanpour and Heidi Klum(!) were among the winners. And Bob Woodruff -- looking hotter than ever -- proved once again that shrapnel wounds are the new black. (HuffingtonPost)

  • Never Too Old to Hate: A 61-year-old Reading, Pa., woman is in jail awaiting trial for allegedly beating her granddaughter with a cane and a belt after finding the teen in bed with another girl. (365Gay)

  • The Wedding March: On Monday at 5:01 p.m., gay couples throughout California began tying the knot. Up in San Francisco, however, Del Martin, 87, and Phyllis Lyon, 84, longtime gay rights activists, were the first and only couple to be wed, saying their vows in the office of Mayor Gavin Newsom, before emerging to a throng of reporters and screaming well-wishers. Phyllis looks like she's really into it all, but Del (seated) looks like she's ain't buying it. Perhaps she recalls that they tried this four years ago only to have the state Supreme Court invalidate Newsom's efforts, something that may happen again when voters go to the polls in November. (NYT)

  • He Ain't All Bad, Eh?: An Ontario man serving a life sentence for killing a policeman is to be honored for years of efforts to educate prison inmates about how to lower their risk of becoming infected with HIV. (TCP)

  • Deadbeat-Free Zone: Yeah, because having heterosexual parents did such a great job at giving me a dad. Where was he, again? (Slog)

  • Brain Teasers: Gay men and straight women share some characteristics in the area of the brain responsible for emotion, mood and anxiety, researchers said Monday in a study highlighting the potential biological underpinning of sexuality. (I thought "Sex and the City" already cleared this one up.) (Reuters)

  • The Truth Hurts: I started to blog about the opera singer Deborah Voigt last week when The Times interviewed her about her return to the stage in "Ariadne auf Naxos," the very production she was fired from in 2004 because of her weight. But because the topic is such a touchy one -- and I usually end up getting excoriated by my readers for saying anything about fat people -- I passed. But Michael just sent me these before-and-after pictures, so what the hell? Voigt now readily admits that her entire life is a million times better since she lost a zillion pounds (via gastric bypass surgery). That she has more self-confidence, that she's happier, that she's HEALTHIER, that she feels sexy, that she feels a sense of "physical empowerment." OK, then. Still she says the mean opera house was still wrong to fire her. She says "the way they went about it" was the problem, not that they didn't have a right to cast someone based on the overall package. So what exactly is the "right" way to tell someone that they're so fat that they're about to drop dead -- and why the hell didn't someone tell Tim Russert that, in that "right" way? I'd really like to know, and I'm sure his loved ones would, too. (NYT)

  • Cat Scratch Fever: Ziegfried and Roy just won't be happy until one of these tigers finishes off the job, will they? (AP)

    Matthew said...

    Tim Russert was not "so fat he was about to drop dead." That is partly why his death is such a shock to people. Even the article you linked to expressed surprise at his autopsy findings, that his actual arterial health was not more easily discerned from his outward appearance.

    I have always been against fat people who claim that being fat is sexy, or is just how they are, etc. But I think badgering them or firing them isn't always the right way to fix the problem. Ultimately, we all have to make up our own minds, but it's very hard, and much harder for some than for others. At least fat people are just overindulging in something we need to do to live; what about smokers and drinkers and druggies? (And don't even get me started on fat, drunk, chain-smoking coke fiends...

    Anonymous said...


    I think your remarks about Tim Russert art cruel, unfounded, and disrespectful. I read your blog faithfully, but I can honestly say I was disappointed with you saying something so crass.


    Kenneth M. Walsh said...

    Mmm, I don't think either of you read the article thoroughly -- or you missed the "bottom line":

    "If there’s one number that’s a predictor of mortality, it’s waist circumference,” said Dr. Michael A. Newman, Mr. Russert’s internist.

    But, Dr. Newman added, most people would rather focus on their LDL cholesterol, instead of taking measures to reduce their waist size. Studies have found a waist of over 40 inches in men and 35 inches in women is a risk factor for heart disease.

    Mr. Russert’s cholesterol was not high, and medicine controlled his high blood pressure pretty well, Dr. Newman said. But, he added, Mr. Russert was “significantly overweight.”

    Dan said...

    Actually, I think you're the one missing the point. Obesity is certainly a major problem in this country and should be taken very seriously. At the same time, there's a proper way to broach this issue.

    Your comments were incredibly trite and disrespectful. Would you ever make such a public comment if a friend's father passed away? "Gee, Bob, it sucks your father died from a massive stroke. Why didn't you ask him to stop being such a fatass?"

    Just show some respect, is what we're saying.

    Kenneth M. Walsh said...

    No, that IS my point. Deborah Voigt got fired and THEN addressed her health issues. Please tell me, What would have been the "respectful" way for the opera house to tell her something that she clearly already knew?