Sunday, January 31, 2010

Acting Up

Some interesting behind-the-scenes details on the run-up to President Obama's "sudden" decision to repeal "don't ask, don't tell":

The New York Times reports:

WASHINGTON — President Obama and top Pentagon officials met repeatedly over the past year about repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell,” the law that bans gay members of the military from serving openly. But it was in Oval Office strategy sessions to review court cases challenging the ban — ones that could reach the Supreme Court — that Obama faced the fact that if he did not change the policy, his administration would be forced to publicly defend the constitutionality of a law he had long opposed.

As a participant recounted one of the sessions, Obama told Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that the law was “just wrong.” Obama told them, the participant said, that he had delayed acting on repeal because the military was stretched in two wars and he did not want another polarizing debate in 2009 to distract from his health care fight.

But in 2010, he told them, this would be a priority. He got no objections.

On Tuesday, in the first Congressional hearing on the issue in 17 years, Gates and Mullen will unveil the Pentagon’s initial plans for carrying out a repeal, which requires an act of Congress. Gay rights leaders say they expect Gates to announce in the interim that the Defense Department will not take action to discharge service members whose sexual orientation is revealed by third parties or jilted partners, one of the most onerous aspects of the law. Pentagon officials had no comment.

Quote of the Day

“I congratulate Roger on all of his accomplishments, and to keep it doing it year after year is incredible and tonight he was a lot better than me,” said Andy Murray, choking on his words at the trophy presentation after losing in the Australian Open final to Roger Federer in straight sets. “I can cry like Roger; it’s just a shame I can’t play like him.”


Saturday, January 30, 2010

Quote of the Day

“As you saw today, she took me to the umpteenth level. She clearly hasn’t, like, lost a step at all since she’s been gone. So I feel like I played a girl who’s been on the tour for the past five years without a break. I think her game is definitely better. I mean, it was excellent before she left. But, you know, I think she’s added a lot to it.” -- Serena Williams, speaking about a rejuvenated Justine Henin, whom she defeated in the final of the Australian Open on Saturday.

(Translation: even when Justine is at her all-time best, I can beat her.)

Friday, January 29, 2010

Cat: It's What's for Dinner

'Raw Justice'


 Crime Reporter: Man Had Sex With Wife Thousands Of Times Before Killing Her

Guys With iPads

Don't act like you didn't know THIS was coming. But where's guyswithoutiphones?

Popping the Question

Bravo to Hector Flores, the college kid who asked President Obama where he stood these days on same-sex marriage.



Via Towleroad, here is the Super Bowl ad for the gay dating site ManCrunch that CBS will not run, despite the fact that they are letting Tim Tebow and his mom hawk a hate group that wants to rob gays and women of their rights. First of all, is this site even real? And if it is, my only problem with this ad is that it's completely unrealistic. I mean, really. How many times have you been at a Super Bowl party where you were shocked when two guys kissed? And if the site really is -- as it says in fine print on the bottom of its homepage -- for "connecting men with other men and allowing them to open up about the down low," then would the guys really be doing it in front of one of their "shocked" straight friends? And isn't calling it "on the down low" more of a black thing? (White men are Park 'n' Riders.) The fact that the service is free and came out of nowhere makes me think it's really a front for some rightwing organization trying to collect data on closeted men. Oh, wait. They already have that: they're called GOP voter registration records.

Open Season

News that a soon-to-be-released study shows that monogamy is not a "central feature" in 50 percent of same-sex relationships certainly makes me pause given that the five gay couples with whom I am most close all favor this "feature," as do Michael and I, and the survey sample was from the Bay Area(!). But I certainly do not judge or disagree with the logic of open relationships, especially given the prevalence of extramarital activity going on in "opposite marriages." (Why cheat when you can play with permission?) But despite such obvious benefits, it's hard to imagine this won't undermine the legal fight for same-sex marriage, where right-wing "family values" types like wag their finger and swear that things be between one man and one woman and then secretly carry on with multiple women and multiple men.

The New York Times reports:

A study to be released next month is offering a rare glimpse inside gay relationships and reveals that monogamy is not a central feature for many. Some gay men and lesbians argue that, as a result, they have stronger, longer-lasting and more honest relationships. And while that may sound counterintuitive, some experts say boundary-challenging gay relationships represent an evolution in marriage — one that might point the way for the survival of the institution.

New research at San Francisco State University reveals just how common open relationships are among gay men and lesbians in the Bay Area. The Gay Couples Study has followed 556 male couples for three years — about 50 percent of those surveyed have sex outside their relationships, with the knowledge and approval of their partners.

That consent is key. “With straight people, it’s called affairs or cheating,” said Colleen Hoff, the study’s principal investigator, “but with gay people it does not have such negative connotations.”

The study also found open gay couples just as happy in their relationships as pairs in sexually exclusive unions, Dr. Hoff said. A different study, published in 1985, concluded that open gay relationships actually lasted longer.

Tired Old Queen at the Movies: 'The Letter' (1940)

Sticking with his Oscar theme, this week Steve Hayes tells us about the performance he says should have won, but didn't -- Bette Davis in "The Letter." Steve says: Davis lost to Ginger Rodgers in "Kitty Foyle" (what the?). It's sort like when Judi Dench in "Mrs. Brown" lost to Helen Hunt in "As Good as It Gets."

THE LETTER (1940): Director William Wyler sits on her mannerisms and squeezes out of Bette Davis what may be the ultimate depiction of sexual repression gone haywire. Set in the jungles of Malaysia with a thundering score by Max Steiner and strong support by James Stephenson as her lawyer and sinister Gale Sondergaard as the wife of the man shes murdered, its high melodrama at its steamy best. "The Letter" was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including best picture, best actress, and best director.

Friday Ad Watch

From the same people who brought us THIS and THIS -- where do I sign up?

Page 1 Consider (01/29)

  • Chelsea, Lately: Andrew Hampo catches up with the late-night funny woman and talks vodka, Oscar specials and her new book, "Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang." (AdAge)
  • State of Her Union: Tracey Ullman does a mean Rachel Maddow -- and an even better Arianna Huffington. (MSNBC)
  • Powertool: WWE wrestler Chris Jericho was arrested early Wednesday morning for public intoxication. Sadly, I wasn't his cellmate. (NYDN)
  • Repealing DADT: The Pentagon has been studying ways to integrate gays into the military and, for the first time, will offer recommendations to Congress next week "on a way forward," defense officials said Thursday, following President Obama's declaration that he wants to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" law this year. (WaPo)
  • Pimp My President: I'm glad racism is not an issue in the energetic "Tea Party" wing of the Republican Party.'s e-mail fundraising solicitation -- "Obama Pimping Obama-Care, One Last Time!" -- could have just as easily been done on Clinton or Bush, right? (TPM)
  • Minimum Requirement: A branch of the retailer Tesco has requested its customers not to shop in pyjamas or bare feet. I didn't even know Florida was in Wales. (BBC)
  • Bullet Buffet: Is Indiana a different country or something? (It's all CRAZY, especially the last post.) (Fat Like Me)
  • Beholden: RIP, J.D. Salinger. Yes, I too was one of those kids whose life was profoundly affected by your work ("Catcher" and "For Esme," too). Deal with it. (NYT)
  • Morning Wood

    Giuliani Makes Shit Up -- Again


     Why does Rudy Giuliani think it's OK to go on national television and lie through his teeth about President Obama's State of the Union? Oh, I know why. Because Republicans don't care about facts. They only care about winning (See: Atwater, Lee). God, I wish Democrats had just a little Republican in them. ...

    Thursday, January 28, 2010

    Out of Bounds

    Just so I'm clear on this, Mrs. Tebow: because you had a difficult pregnancy in 1987 and CHOSE to carry your baby to term, you are lending your support to an organization that believes other women should not have the same CHOICE that you had ... because your son is a good football player?

    Good Hed

    'Screen' Queens

    So great to see that my pal Dennis Hensley's "Screening Party," a comedy pilot ("Mystery Science Theater 3000" meets "Friends") based on his novel of the same name, is finally available to watch online. The scene: Six diverse friends get together to watch, skewer and celebrate the classic romantic comedy "Pretty Woman" and discover that movies themes -- sex, love, money, shopping -- reverberate in their lives in unexepected, funny and occasionally touching ways. The pilot stars Ossie Beck, Dennis Hensley, Felix Pire, Erin Quill, Tony Tripoli and repeated scene-stealer Nora Burns.


    Catch all four parts HERE.

    Thursday Ad Watch

    Hey, 'Neighbour'!


    Good news, guys. It seems before the star of yesterday's Legal Wood post, Ben Lawson, was making a name for himself on American television, he was being exploited as a piece of meat in his skivvies on the Australian soap "Neighbours." Let me know what you think. (Thanks, Bill!)


    Page 1 Consider (01/28)

  • Kids Say the Darndest Things: You know some Dems are losing touch with reality when Rep. Bill Owens, the unlikely winner in the much-watched election in New York’s 23rd Congressional District last year, is starting to believe his grandchildren when they say he resembles GOP hottie Scott Brown. (They sound like very sweet kids, Grandpa. And I'll bet they love your stories.) (NYT)

  • Hurry Up and Wait: Testimony concluded in the first stage of the federal trial over California’s ban on same-sex marriage, but neither side expects a quick decision. (NYT)

  • Too Little, Too Late: President Obama urged Congress in his State of the Union address last night to repeal the ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military, but Democratic allies and Republican opponents alike are already criticizing his approach. (AP)

  • Keith Slept Here: When two artists/designers realized their Craigslist apartment used to be Keith Haring's, they used him as their design inspiration. Check out the Broome Street digs HERE.

  • Hot Property: Speaking of New York real estate, Anderson Cooper has reportedly bought a $4.3 million, 8,240-square-foot firehouse in Greenwich Village that he is converting into his dream home. Not sure if this is true or not, but a commenter on The New York Post who calls himself Osama bin Biden reports that "Andy plans to have Firemen parties so he can slide on their poles" at the new digs. (Someone ring the alarm!) (Huffington Post)

  • North American Fag Hate Agreement: Mexican federal prosecutors announced Wednesday that they will try to overturn Mexico City's gay marriage law, which allows same-sex couples to adopt children, on the grounds it violates the constitution. (AP) Meanwhile, some dick congressman from Utah is trying to fight marriage equality in D.C. (Do the words mind your own fucking business mean anything to you?) (Blog Briefing Room)

  • Glass Half Full: While I'm in awe of both of their games, it's no secret that I'm not a huge fan of either of their personalities. Still, I'd be lying if I didn't say that a Serena Williams vs. Justine Henin at the Australian Open doesn't sound like the best final in years. (AP)

  • Junk Food Lite: Taco Bell and other fast-food businesses have jumped on the reduced-calorie bandwagon, but experts have conflicting opinions on whether fast food is a healthy dieting tool. (Skin Deep)

  • Mad Man: For the life of me I cannot figure out why Jon Hamm would get rid of these whiskers. (Pop Wrap)

  • 35 Is the Loneliest Number: Newsday, the paper of record for people living on Long Island, announced the number of people who have signed up for its Web site now that it's behind a pay wall: 35. (Observer)

  • eHarmony: Now that the courts have ruled in their favor, I'm sure LGBTers are just lining up for creepy Neil Clark Warren to find their perfect mate. (Did they mean Neil Patrick Harris?) (Recorder)

  • RIP: Howard Zinn, an author, teacher and political activist whose book “A People’s History of the United States” became a million-selling leftist alternative to mainstream texts, died Wednesday in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 87 and lived in Auburndale, Mass. (AP)
  • From Bleecker Street to Fleet Street

    Probably my favorite thing about YouTube is discovering things I never even knew happened, like when Debbie Harry presented Paul Simon with his prize at the Brit Awards in 1987. The video has since disappeared, but i found this photo of Deb and Chris Stein at the event.

    Winners: The Bangles and Paul Simon

    Morning Legal Wood

    While one of my friends is a Ben Lawson fan, a reader says Matt Long is the best thing about "The Deep End." I may just be forced to tune in to decide for myself. ...

    Quote of the Day

    "I hated the soup and felt little for the can." -- Patti Smith, recounting in her just-released memoir, "Just Kids," how she and her partner in crime Robert Mapplethorpe differed on the merits on Andy Warhol, Mapplethorpe's idol.

    Defensive Rebound

    Well, if idle hands are truly the devil's workshop, then have I got a treat from Hell's kitchen. Greg Oden -- a center for the Blazers who is out for the season due to a knee injury -- has been using his spare time to take naked pictures of his genitalia. He's already come out to apologize for the "very embarrassing" incident. But after seeing the photos, it doesn't look like he's got anything to be embarrassed about to me. (non-work-friendly photos HERE.)

    Filed under: "When will celebrities learn?"

    Wednesday, January 27, 2010

    In Case You MIssed It


    Steve Jobs got his latest inspiration from MadTV.

    RIP, Zelda Rubinstein

    The "Poltergeist" star died at 76 today after a series of illnesses. Zelda will forever be loved by the LGBT population for being the first celebrity to do an AIDS PSA campaign -- and a racy one at that! I can still remember sitting near her at the California Pizza Kitchen at the Beverly Center shortly after I moved to Southern California in 1990. My friend Mark and I were waiting for my parents to join us for lunch -- they were driving in from Solvang, where they were vacationing -- when we noticed the diminutive star walk in. Mom and Gary were over an hour late, but seeing Zelda -- my first star sighting in L.A. -- left me struck, and I barely noticed the time. RIP, Zelda.

    Picture This (18th and 6th)

    Mmm. The dictionary definition of yummy.

    Wednesday Ad Watch


    Music Box: The Go-Go's

    When the Go-Go's finally reunited to record a full-length album in 2001, I was thrilled with the outcome. Although some of it suffered from a similar problem as Blondie's "No Exit" -- specifically a few of the songs sounded more their respective singers' weaker solo material -- "God Bless the Go-Go's" did give us a few instant classics in "Unforgiven" and "La La Land," and still ranks high on my '80s reunion albums.
    What I didn't realize until very recently, however, was that the band seemed to be seriously poised to record that fourth album way back in 1994-95, right after the release of "Return to the Valley of the Go-Go's." In a 1994 interview on "Good Morning America," the gals repeatedly told Charlie Gibson that an album's worth of material had been recorded during the "Valley" sessions, before they settled on three songs to release. (And Jane reiterated this in an interview with Brandy Wine in 1994 outside Food Bar in Chelsea.) As enjoyable as "God Bless the Go-Go's" was, it bombed and drove the band's label, Beyond, into bankruptcy. By comparison, "No Exit" -- which was released on Beyond just two years earlier -- was a big moneymaker for the label, debuting in the American Top 20, boasting a No. 1 single in the U.K. ("Maria") and eventually selling something like 2 million copies worldwide. Given how explicitly Go-Go's sounding "Good Girl," "Beautiful" and "Whole World Lost Its Head" were from "Valley," I can't help but wonder what the reunion album would have sounded like had it been recorded in the mid-'90s as planned and, if it had been a bigger success then, if there would have been an album No. 5. (Just to dream ...)

    Grey Area

    I'll bet this is much funnier if you've ever seen "Grey's Anatomy," which I have not, but I'm guessing some of you have: "Gay's Anatomy" is a new show about three ambitious young urologists who aren't afraid to get their hands dirty. They work hard. They play harder. They touch your privates for a living.

    Gay's Anatomy: a web series - EPISODE ONE: "Exciting New Positions" from Gay's Anatomy: a web series on Vimeo.

    Page 1 Consider (01/27)

  • Bells Chime: Word on the slopes at Sundance is that "The Kids Are All Right," a new film starring Julianne Moore and Annette Bening as a lesbian couple who are unwillingly reunited with the sperm-donor father (Mark Ruffalo) of their two teenage kids, is the breakaway hit of this year's festival. The film is directed by Lisa Chodolenko of "High Art" and "Laurel Canyon" fame and is already generating Oscar buzz -- before even getting a distributor! (NYmag)

  • Swann Song? Some new information on the Robert Wone murder case in Washington. New government documents have hit and they go into detail on the electro-stimulation (BDSM) device found at the murder scene. This is the gizmo that the prosecution theorizes was used on Robert after he was injected with paralytic drugs -– prior to his stabbing. The trial of the three housemates is set to start in May -- but not for murder. All prosecutors have been able to charge them with is conspiracy, obstruction of justice and crime scene tampering. (Who Murdered Robert Wone?)

  • Hell's Kitchen Homicide: The man suspected of killing New York City event planner John Lea (above) last week waived extradition in Vermont on Monday and is expected to be back in New York by the end of the week. (Advocate)

  • Sissy Talk: If you've ever been called "pantywaist" before -- and really, who hasn't been? -- then you might be interested in knowing how that lovely insult came to be. (Language Corner)

  • What a Dick: So everybody knows John Edwards is a scumbag. But I'd still watch his sex tape. (Gawker)

  • Hate Never Sleeps: Three weeks after New Hampshire legalized gay marriage, opponents will ask a House committee today to repeal the law and let voters amend the constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman. (Boston)

  • Bad Reputation: Kristen Stewart, who portrays Joan Jett in the new film about the Runaways, is shaking things up at Sundance. (NYDN)

  • Republican Family Values: We have Bush-era abstinence-only sex education to thank for the first increase in teen pregnancy in years. Can a Bristol Palin "bump" be far behind. (NYT)

  • 300 Million Reasons to Stay: If the reports that Elin Nordegren won't be divorcing Tiger Woods are true, then which of the golfer's lady friends is the real whore? (NY Post)

  • Fit to Be Tied: So you make one bondage short and suddenly you're unfit to be a cop in South Florida? (Steve Rothaus)

  • Labelmakers: Dueling stories about up-and-coming actor Ben Whishaw are out in Out and New York this week, with different takes on the actor’s ambiguous sexuality. (Mediaite)

  • Fasten Your Seatbelts, Fellas: This spread of "Bachelor" stud Jake Pavelka in OK! magazine ought to be illegal. (Boy Culture)

  • Have Webcam, Will Starve: A gay couple in Italy have begun a hunger strike for marriage equality. (The gays will do anything to look good!) (Passport)

  • Seeing Red: Moscow's mayor, Yuri M. Luzhkov, an outspoken opponent of gay rights groups, referred to gay parades as "satanic." (NYT)

  • The Drama Club: The unsolved Christmas day murder of a gay bar’s manager in Louisiana was likely not a hate crime, but the exact motive remains undetermined, the Terrebonne Parish sheriff said. (Houma Today)

  • Disgusting: The murder trial of Linda Stein, former punk rock manager and real estate agent to the stars, has turned ugly as the accused killer's lawyers try to point finger at Stein's daughter Mandy. (NYDN)

  • Gator Aid: Women's groups are calling on CBS to scrap a planned Super Bowl ad featuring virgin/crybaby Tim Tebow and his mother, which critics say is likely to convey an anti-abortion message. (AP)