Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Chill, Bitch. I Never Said You Were.

Missionary Position

I may have grown up in a predominantly Mormon area, but I don't remember anything like this going on. (These guys really fill out their magic undies.)

Survival of the Fabulous

From this Sunday's Times Magazine: I don't know the answer to this question, but I do know my cat Troy had a serious thing for a stuffed Woodstock, who was definitely a boy.

Pets and the City

All the White Moves

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
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If I'm not mistaken, the Tea Party has gotten involved in organized sports.

Page 1 Consider (03/31)

  • The Gloves Are Coming Off: OK, just so we're clear on this. The only way I'm watching Levi Johnston's new reality show -- which he just happens to be shopping around at the same time Sarah Palin is launching hers -- is if his crystal-meth-dealing mother has a plum role on it. (E!Online)

  • So Sorry, He Said: A retired U.S. general has apologized for comments this month linking the defeat of Dutch troops by Serb forces at Srebrenica in July 1995 to the presence of openly gay soldiers in the Dutch military. What he meant to say is gay soldiers were responsible for World War II. (Reuters)

  • Dealey With It: Everyone's in an uproar about Erykah Badu's new video for the song "Window Seat," because she strips as she walks down a Dallas sidewalk before collapsing naked near the spot where John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. Personally, I'm more scandalized by her wrap-free head than her private parts. Talk about going nekkid. (NYDN)

  • Honey, I'm Homo: Gay and lesbian couples who share a home may identify one another as "husband or wife" on their 2010 census forms if that's how they view their relationship -- even if they have not legally married in any of the places where it is allowed. Nothing like gender stereotypes in same-sex relationships to make you feel like you're accepted in society! (Seattle Times)

  • He Had a Job to Do: And you thought the gayest thing about "Cambodia" was the Kim Wilde song. (NYT)

  • Commander in Chic: Is America ready for a gay president? (The Huffington Post)

  • Foul Balls?: The feds questioned "Celebrity Rehab" grad and soon-to-be sex tape star Mindy McCready to find out if her former lover Roger Clemens ever struck out in the sack, hoping to show a correlation between his libido and his use of performance-enhancing drugs. You may recall the married-with-children pitcher began a "friendship" with the country singer when she was 15. (NYDN)

  • Maryland Crab: Don H. Dwyer Jr., a Republican member of the Maryland House of Delegates, plans to bring impeachment charges on the House floor on Wednesday against the state’s attorney general, Douglas F. Gansler. The reason? Gansler issued a legal opinion last month saying the state would recognize same-sex marriages from other places and ordering state agencies to give gay married couples the same rights as heterosexual couples. (NYT)

  • Capital Gains: Marriage applications have skyrocketed since the District of Columbia started issuing licenses for same-sex couples this month, with droves of gay partners expected to relocate to the city from states where they can't tie the knot. (Wash Examiner) Meanwhile, all of these potential newlyweds have divorce lawyers champing at the bit. (Wash Examiner)

  • Where Is the Love?: Not the kindest review for "Just Say Love," a film version of a stage play by David J. Mauriello. (NYT)

  • This Time Together: I'd read Carol Burnett's new memoir -- and thanks to my newfound unemployed status, I may even have time: If the wholesomeness of “The Carol Burnett Show” seems out of step with the wry attitude of contemporary comedy, Burnett said she was glad to have lived in an era when her upbeat sensibility prevailed, and appreciative now to see clips of the program turn up on YouTube, even in bootleg form. “That was the time for me, and I’m grateful for that,” she said. “We all get to be a certain age, and we all die. Well, I would rather be where I am now than starting out now.” (NYT)

  • Pricey Beard: James Van Der Beek has $7,750 a month to be doling out in spousal support? (TMZ)

  • Fait Accompli: Here's hoping Chaz Bono finds all the happiness in the world in his new (and complete) life. (TMZ)
  • Wet Dream

    Some more rare(ish) Jon-Erik Hexum photos over HERE.

    Dobson Sigh

    Just realized Sarah Palin's heckle-filled attempt to breathe some life into John McCain's Senate campaign was at my old high school in Mesa, as was a visit last year by President Obama and an upcoming episode of MTV's "Made." The most exciting thing that ever happened when I went there was when Billy Gasswint broke his hand while attempting to gay New Wave bash my friend Myk Mishoe. Oh, the memories ...

    Tuesday, March 30, 2010

    This Gun for Hire

    Got my taxes done today and hoped my accountant could notarize my buyout agreement, which is due today on my final day at work. Turns out my tax gal isn't a notary public, but she told me there's one in the building's basement. So I run downstairs because it was closing in five minutes, and the next thing I know I hear a rapid succession of gunfire. After getting up off the floor, I discovered it's a combination rifle range/notary public, which sounds more like something you'd expect to find in my native Arizona, or a "Saturday Night Live" skit (other than the fact that it's funny).

    Something Tells Me It's All Happening at the Zoo

    I've probably only been to the zoo a few times in my life. My mom was adamantly opposed to them -- not because she was some pre-PETA activist but because she thought they were "disgusting" -- so took each of us kids once and then we were "on our own." It's been more than 20 years since I set foot in the Phoenix Zoo (the National and Detroit zoos were my other two), but little Gertrude -- a baby mandrill who goes on display Saturday at the Bronx Zoo -- may be just the cutie to lure me back ...

    All the News That's Fit to Outsource

    So, today is my official last day at work. These past four months have been strange ones: continuing to work for a company until they are ready to outsource your department kind of feels like living with someone who dumped you until they can find a new apartment -- with their new lover. Still, compared with the millions who got laid off and were jobless the same day, the four-month warning was preferable, as it (kind of) allowed me to prepare mentally and financially for what's next. I said I wasn't bitter when this all went down in November, and of course my feelings have changed a dozen times since (that Elisabeth Kubler-Ross was no fool). But as this new memo from the Newspaper Guild makes painfully clear, the whole thing truly could have been avoided (we offered MORE concessions than they even asked for, including a 17 percent pay cut!). And because of this, it makes the whole unfortunate situation all the more sad.

    March 29, 2010

    Black Wednesday

    This week marks the demise of the 93-year-old News Service. As Guild members will recall, The Times announced in November that it would outsource the work of the News Service to a new nonunion (and low paid) editing center in Gainesville, Florida, and lay off the department's staff of almost 30 editors. Wednesday will be the last day of work for nearly half the News Service workforce. The others are expected to be laid off in early June.

    It did not have to come to this.

    In December, News Service staffers indicated they were willing to work longer hours at a reduced salary to keep the department intact in New York. However, Times management’s outrageous demands that News Service employees agree to those steep wage cuts and be forced to revoke the buyouts that the majority had already been granted, were among the major factors that prevented an agreement to avert the subcontracting. Management also refused to guarantee that the work would not be subcontracted at least through 2011, which means that the workers could have been agreeing to nothing more than the pay cut and reduced severance, while management still could have gone ahead with its subcontracting plans.

    Using Boston Globe-style negotiating tactics

    While Times management at first seemed to express interest in reaching an agreement with the Guild, management cruelly decided at the last moment to scuttle a proposed deal. Apparently, management was more interested in sending Guild members in the Newsroom a message that it was prepared to play hardball, the way it did at the Boston Globe, in the upcoming 2011 contract negotiations, than it was in saving the venerable department.

    “The Guild had made a proposal that met all of management’s initial goals for saving more than $5 million over the next five years, with no start-up costs and vastly reduced severance expenses,” said New York Guild President Bill O’Meara. “However, the company then moved the goalposts, even after it was forced to admit a $400,000 ‘error’ in its cost-saving projections. That ‘error’ was in its favor, of course.”

    Under the Guild proposal, News Service employees would have agreed to a wage reduction of approximately 17 percent, and they would work a 40-hour week. The company would have saved about $1.5 million in severance pay and the operation would have continued uninterrupted.

    Established in 1917, the News Service extended The Times' reach from New Jersey to the frontlines of Iraq to the space station. Every day, its editors sent stories by wire, by TimesDigest and through branded pages to the four corners of the world. Its staff deserved better from Times management.

    On Wednesday, the first News Service editor reports to work at 10 a.m. The last leaves at 2:30 a.m. on Thursday. We hope Guild members can find a few minutes throughout the day to visit the staffers at their desks on the ninth floor to say goodbye and wish them well.

    #####

    Tanking With Mr. Cooper

    Although I can't say I'm all that surprised (I certainly never watch it), the decline in viewership over at CNN is still staggering when it you see it in black and white. Even the network's silver golden boy, Anderson Cooper, has seen a 42 percent drop in viewers -- and that's during the tight T-shirt extravaganza that went on during his Haiti earthquake coverage.

    The New York Times reports:

    For the network’s longest-running host, Larry King, who has always been regarded at CNN as the centerpiece of prime time because he drew the biggest audiences at 9 p.m., the quarter was his worst ever.

    Mr. King’s audience dropped 43 percent for the quarter and 52 percent in March. He dropped to 771,000 viewers for the quarter from 1.34 million in 2009. More alarming perhaps, Mr. King, whose show has been regularly eclipsed by Rachel Maddow’s on MSNBC (and is almost quadrupled by Sean Hannity’s show on Fox), is now threatened by a new host, Joy Behar on HLN (formerly Headline News.)

    Anderson Cooper has long been regarded as the strongest host at CNN, but his show has suffered badly as well. For the quarter, Mr. Cooper dropped 42 percent in viewers and 46 percent among the 25-to-54-year-old audience that the news channels use for their sales to advertisers.

    In the past, CNN relied on big audiences for Mr. King’s show to deliver viewers to Mr. Cooper. Now Mr. Cooper sometimes finds himself losing to repeats of shows on MSNBC and HLN.

    Morning Wood

    Monday, March 29, 2010

    Are the Photos by Diane Arbus, or Nan Goldin?

    At first I thought Page Middle School had had a reunion without me. Then I read that nine members of a Michigan-based Christian militia group have been indicted on sedition and weapons charges in connection with an alleged plot to murder law enforcement officers in hopes of setting off an antigovernment uprising. Sounds like a typical day at Rosie's Park to me ...

    He Bangs (Guys)

    Stop the presses, Ricky Martin is officially gay.

    Statement from his official site:


    A few months ago I decided to write my memoirs, a project I knew was going to bring me closer to an amazing turning point in my life. From the moment I wrote the first phrase I was sure the book was the tool that was going to help me free myself from things I was carrying within me for a long time. Things that were too heavy for me to keep inside. Writing this account of my life, I got very close to my truth. And this is something worth celebrating.

    For many years, there has been only one place where I am in touch with my emotions fearlessly and that's the stage. Being on stage fills my soul in many ways, almost completely. It's my vice. The music, the lights and the roar of the audience are elements that make me feel capable of anything. This rush of adrenaline is incredibly addictive. I don't ever want to stop feeling these emotions. But it is serenity that brings me to where I'm at right now. An amazing emotional place of comprehension, reflection and enlightenment. At this moment I'm feeling the same freedom I usually feel only on stage, without a doubt, I need to share.

    Many people told me: "Ricky it's not important", "it's not worth it", "all the years you've worked and everything you've built will collapse", "many people in the world are not ready to accept your truth, your reality, your nature". Because all this advice came from people who I love dearly, I decided to move on with my life not sharing with the world my entire truth. Allowing myself to be seduced by fear and insecurity became a self-fulfilling prophecy of sabotage. Today I take full responsibility for my decisions and my actions.

    If someone asked me today, "Ricky, what are you afraid of?" I would answer "the blood that runs through the streets of countries at war...child slavery, terrorism...the cynicism of some people in positions of power, the misinterpretation of faith." But fear of my truth? Not at all! On the contrary, It fills me with strength and courage. This is just what I need especially now that I am the father of two beautiful boys that are so full of light and who with their outlook teach me new things every day. To keep living as I did up until today would be to indirectly diminish the glow that my kids where born with. Enough is enough. This has to change. This was not supposed to happen 5 or 10 years ago, it is supposed to happen now. Today is my day, this is my time, and this is my moment.

    These years in silence and reflection made me stronger and reminded me that acceptance has to come from within and that this kind of truth gives me the power to conquer emotions I didn't even know existed.

    What will happen from now on? It doesn't matter. I can only focus on what's happening to me in this moment. The word "happiness" takes on a new meaning for me as of today. It has been a very intense process. Every word that I write in this letter is born out of love, acceptance, detachment and real contentment. Writing this is a solid step towards my inner peace and vital part of my evolution.

    I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am.

    RM

    Keeping It 'Real'

    Michael spotted a familiar face parked outside my apartment this afternoon, one Danielle Staub of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey." Of course I had to go say hi -- and she couldn't have been sweeter. Turns out her daughter was at a "go-see" at the modeling agency next door -- so THAT'S why these gods and goddesses are always outside my home! -- and Danielle was being the good mother waiting for her. She says there are preview trailers of the new season online now -- and that things get even uglier between her and the other housewives ("we're talking physical violence against me"). Yikes -- and can't wait!

    Tempest in a Tea Pot

    Frank Rich says what many of us have been saying all along: the rage has nothing to do with health care:

    If Obama’s first legislative priority had been immigration or financial reform or climate change, we would have seen the same trajectory. The conjunction of a black president and a female speaker of the House -- topped off by a wise Latina on the Supreme Court and a powerful gay Congressional committee chairman -- would sow fears of disenfranchisement among a dwindling and threatened minority in the country no matter what policies were in play. It’s not happenstance that [Barney] Frank, [John] Lewis and [Emanuel] Cleaver -- none of them major Democratic players in the health care push -- received a major share of last weekend’s abuse. When you hear demonstrators chant the slogan “Take our country back!,” these are the people they want to take the country back from.

    Page 1 Consider (03/29)

  • Schmear Campaign: If you're looking to stalk "Hangover" hunk Justin Bartha -- who's now starring in the classic Broadway farce "Lend Me a Tenor" -- then Murray's Bagels downtown is a good place to start. (NYDN)

  • One Step Forward, 10 Steps Back: The Marine Corps' top officer said he would not "force" straight Marines to share rooms with gay service members if Congress repeals the "don't ask, don't tell." No word yet on the segregated water fountains. (WaPo)

  • Balk Choi: Iraq war vet Lt. Dan Choi says Defense Secretary Robert Gates' new rules that make it more difficult to boot gays in the military don't go far enough. "The reason why 'don't ask, don't tell' is so repugnant is because it forces people to be in the closet and lie, and that hasn't changed," Choi said. "The real price of 'don't ask, don't tell' is that it institutionalizes shame." (NYDN)

  • 'Office' Fun: Schrute Farms, the fictional bed and breakfast from the NBC comedy “The Office,” has been a marketing bonanza for TripAdvisor. (NYT)

  • Status Report: Ever wonder what will become of your Facebook account when you kick the bucket? (Gizmodo)

  • Misstep: Are we supposed to be surprised that ballerinas -- famous for being arrogant and narcissistic -- are now tweeting their every thought, no matter how insignificant? (NYT)

  • Method of Modern Love: I see it's not just me: everything's coming up Hall and Oates. (Reuters)

  • Three's a Crowd: Did you know that it's against the law for more than three unrelated people to live together in a New York apartment? (NYT)

  • Jaws Log: Anderson Cooper, on assignment for "60 Minutes," writes about plunging into bloody water to swim with one of the world's most vicious -- and endangered -- predators. Sounds like someone's prepping for coming out of the closet to me. (The Daily Beast)

  • Extreme Takeover: Homo Edition: An Islamist mob shut down a gay conference in East Java over the weekend. (Gay City News)

  • Imitation of Christ: The "gay Jesus" play at Tarleton State has been canceled because of concerns about the students' safety, "as well as the need to maintain an orderly academic environment." (Dallas Morning News)

  • Full Service: Would partners of gay troops get benefits, too? (AP)

  • Something in Common: Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai have rarely agreed on anything -- until now: oppressing gay people. (NYT)

  • Positively Sad: More than 14 percent of gay men in the District are HIV positive, almost five times as high as the overall rate for the city's adults and teenagers, according to a snapshot of the community released Thursday by the D.C. HIV/AIDS Administration. (WaPo)

  • Hot Tranny Mess Alert: The Tribeca Film Festival intends to screen “Ticked-Off Trannies With Knives” despite protests from GLAAD. (NYT)
  • Morning Wood: Chad Pinther

    On the Rag, Vol. 81

    A look at what's making news in New York and L.A.'s free gay rags:

    Frontiers explores the top gay destinations for when you need to escape from L.A.

    Next explores the role of queer transgender men in New York's gay community and asks the question, "Are trans men the new gays?"

    BREAKING NEWS

    At least 37 people were killed Monday when two separate blasts rocked metro stations in central Moscow during rush hour, and Russian prosecutors say they have launched a "terrorism probe." (MSNBC)

    Sunday, March 28, 2010

    The Sad Adventures of Old Christine

    Be sure to read Christopher Goffard's gripping article about the final days of L.A. Times sports writer Mike Penner (aka Christine Daniels), who for a brief moment in time was the world's most celebrated transsexual -- and a role model for transgender everywhere -- before depression led him to take his own life after transitioning back to male.

    Coming Soon

    Saturday, March 27, 2010

    BFFs

    The only way this game of H.O.R.S.E. between Andy Roddick and Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat -- played down in Key Biscayne, Fla., at the Sony Ericsson Open -- could be more fun would be if Virginia Wade were playing Andy instead.

    Friday, March 26, 2010

    Preemptive Regret

    (Now get off our backs.)

    Calvin Who?

    Whatever you're into, Jockey has a package sure to please.

    Headlines and Headliners 2010

    Had a late night at the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA) Headlines and Headliners fundraiser in SoHo last night, so please forgive my lack of posts today. It was a great event with lots of fun people held in the big Mitchell Gold store on Lafayette (if you haven't shopped there, it's fantastic. Too bad Troy destroyed my MG leather sofa!). Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb presented scholarships to two LGBT student journalists, and Absolut kept the crowd very happy. The evening was capped off with late-night Mexican food with Andy Towle and his lover, Dave, plus Josh and Josh (Are Rich and Famous), whom I was delighted to finally meet, in the flesh. Photo highlights follow:

    Hoda and Kathie Lee work the crowd

    Bravo! Bravo! With Andy Cohen (this one's for Spyro)

    Regis-free zone: Andy Towle, Katie Lee Gifford and Dave Grant

    Contessa Brewer and Josh H

    The crowd makes itself at home

    Me and Kathie Lee

    Hoda and Kathie Lee wonder where the waiter is with their drinks ...

    The Contessa in the (212) (plus some anchor chick)

    Strike a pose

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