Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Crime and Punishment (UPDATE)

Ian Parker's expansive reporting in the New Yorker on the Tyler Clementi case is definitely worth a read. The friend who pointed me to the piece said it would change my opinion about Dharun "Worst Roommate Ever" Ravi: "This case has taken on a life of its own that isn't based in reality. There was no sex tape! There was no broadcast over the Internet! There was no outing!" But perhaps she oversold his lack of culpability to me. Because while it's clear that things are never as black and white as a juror might want them to be -- and I agree that only the person who takes his life is responsible for killing himself -- I came away thinking he was not only a major douche who had broken the law, that he was arrogant for refusing to take a no-jail plea deal that also helped to ensure he would not be deported. Decide for yourself HERE.

UPDATE: I deliberately left my main point out of this post as I wanted to leave it to the reader to decide for himself. But given some of the comments, I will say this: The defense would like us to now believe that Ravi is being swept up in some "anti-bullying" backlash that does not really fit this situation, but I'm not so sure I agree. He has not been charged with violating ome reactionary anti-bullying statute. He's been charged with invasion of privacy (which he clearly did), witness and evidence tampering (which he clearly did -- and I don't even blame him; he was scared and tried to get his story straight with friends and delete tweets), and bias intimidation. The ONLY part -- and admittedly the most serious part -- that is debatable is the bias part, which a jury can decide. But even if you believe his defenders who say he did not have hate toward gays, can you really see ANY situation where he would have done what he did -- setting up the camera to spy, tweeting about how gross it was, setting it up again and inviting others to come watch -- if his roomie had a chick over? I can't, so isn't that kind of the definition of a bias?

Victoria Azarenka Does Ellen DeGeneres

In all the excitement of Novak Djokovic winning yet another major over the weekend -- and then ripping his shirt off again -- I somehow neglected to mention the impressive victory by Victoria Azarenka, who appeared to be slipping from being the Next Big Thing to the female Andy Murray prior to Saturday. The 22-year-old from Belarus completely dismantled Maria Sharapova, 6-3, 6-0, to win her first Grand Slam title, and overtake the No. 1 ranking. (She's also undefeated this year.) While this is definitely great news, watching Petra Kvitova, Li Na and Samantha Stosur each break through in 2011 only to lose in the first round of the following major doesn't instill a huge amount of confidence in me that Azarenka is truly a force to be reckoned with yet. However, Kvitova has shown signs of bouncing back -- so let's hope Victoria is more Petra than she is Ana Ivanovic. One thing's for sure, however, she's awfully cute with Ellen!

More HERE.

'Service' With a Smile

Fans of LGBT Hollywood lore are going to love this one. New York Times reporter Brooks Barnes has a great profile about Scotty Bowers, who recently wrote a shocking tell-all memoir about Old Hollywood's sexual underground, where he was a major player as a rent boy "arranging" gay liaisons for the likes of Tennessee Williams, Charles Laughton, Vincent Price, Rita Hayworth, Errol Flynn, Gloria Swanson, Katherine Hepburn ("over 150 different women"!), Noël Coward, Mae West, James Dean, Rock Hudson and J. Edgar Hoover, to name but a few. Bowers himself -- now 88 and married to a woman for the last 27 years -- claims Edith Piaf, Spencer Tracy, Vivien Leigh, Cary Grant, and the abdicated King of England Edward VIII as past lovers of his own.

After years of being pestered, Bowers says he finally wrote the book -- "Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars." -- "because I’m not getting any younger and all of my famous tricks are dead by now. The truth can’t hurt them anymore.”

He claims a chance encounter with Walter Pidgeon ("Mrs. Miniver") while working as a gas-station attendant at the corner of Van Ness Avenue and Hollywood Boulevard, near Paramount Pictures, started it all. Pidgeon propositioned him, he accepted, and soon he was arranging "dates" for all of Pidgeon's friends and associates.

Naturally, not everyone is as excited to see the book published as I am. Cary Grant's daughter still claims her dad was straight and found the "bisexual" rumors amusing, while Cynthia McFadden -- Katharine Hepburn's longtime friend and mouthpiece -- says it is the estate's policy not to comment on things of this nature. But the proof is in the details and as his publisher says, there seemed to be nothing meanspirited about it at all. ""You don’t get the sense that this guy is trying to exploit these experiences.”

Read more HERE.

Order the book HERE.

Hart to Hart

With thanks to Gary: Robert Wagner certainly doesn't look like he wants to drown Jeffrey Hunter in this vintage Hollywood shot.


Here's a look at Madonna's new LP, "MDNA," and single, "Give Me All Your Luvin'." Pre-order begins on iTunes this Friday, Feb. 3. Album out March 26. I see "Vogue" in the album cover photo and didn't even know they made singles anymore. The artwork's a big improvement over "Hard Candy" -- here's hoping the music is, too!

*Stole the headline from my pal Robbie!

Hollywood & Pine

My leading-lady-obsessed friend Nathaniel breaks down the cover of the Vanity Fair Hollywood issue woman by woman -- "stats, trivia, including which men they've shared onscreen" -- on his Film Experience Blog HERE.

'Decapitated Cerebellum in Tavern of Ill Repute'

As the man convicted of this bizarre 1983 murder seeks parole, the former city editor at the New York Post recalls his role in the most famous tabloid headline in history. Read HERE. (Thanks, Jim)

Arizona's Split Personality

Fun facts from Wikipedia: Did you know that Arizona's insane governor, Jan Brewer, never earned a college degree? (She did, however, receive a radiological technologist certificate from Glendale Community College.) Also, one of her sons was declared not guilty by reason of insanity for the rape of a Phoenix woman in 1989; he has served 21 years in the Arizona State Mental Hospital.

The Arizona Daily Star reports: The records show Ronald Brewer was indicted on two charges of sexual assault and one count of kidnapping. In July 1989 he forced his way into a woman's apartment, slapped her numerous times and then committed sex acts against her. In February 1990, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Gregory Martin concluded Ronald Brewer was not legally responsible "because at the time of the conduct, the defendant was suffering from such a mental disease or defect as not to know the nature and quality of his acts, or that was he was doing was wrong." Martin committed him to the Arizona State Hospital.

Ronald Brewer's criminal record was a matter of public record until it was mysteriously sealed right before Mom took office, something she says she had nothing to do with. (This wouldn't be the first time she's abused her authority, though. Ask the Arizona Supreme Court.) Read HERE.

Tuesday 'Retro' Ad Watch

(Click to ENLARGE)

These are great! (Via JimRomenesko)

Morning Wood

Monday, January 30, 2012

Ladies, Start Your Engines

In honor of "RuPaul's Drag Race" Season 4 starting tonight on Logo, the hilarious Damiana Garcia catches up with the girls at the red carpet premiere in L.A. I've never seen the show, but Damiana kills me every time! Here she is with all of the new queens, Ru and the judges:

Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick

Never noticed Wayne Gretzy at those foam parties at the Palladium! See the uncropped version HERE.

Cynthia Nixon: That Kenneth Walsh Was Right All Along (UPDATE)

OK, maybe she didn't quite say that. But I did tell her so -- and I'm happy to see Cynthia Nixon now admits that I was right -- she's not choosing "to be" gay, she's bi and choosing to exercise her gay option -- even if she has to be all Miranda-y about it.

In a statement, she said:

"My recent comments in The New York Times were about me and my personal story of being gay. I believe we all have different ways we came to the gay community and we can't and shouldn't be pigeon-holed into one cultural narrative which can be uninclusive and disempowering. However, to the extent that anyone wishes to interpret my words in a strictly legal context I would like to clarify:

"While I don't often use the word, the technically precise term for my orientation is bisexual. I believe bisexuality is not a choice, it is a fact. What I have 'chosen' is to be in a gay relationship."

UPDATE: For those who don't appreciate my childish antics, John Aravosis explains why we couldn't just "let this go" -- even from an LGBT ally like Nixon -- HERE.

Monday Ad Watch: David Beckham Bodywear

Here's a peek at a commercial for the new David Beckham Bodywear collection, due to launch at H&M on Thursday, that will premiere during the Super Bowl.

Fasten Your Seatbelts, It's Going to Be a Bumpy Night

If you think male flight attendants are bitchy now, wait'll they're forced to marry women in order to keep their jobs.

Party Gone Out of Bounds

Nick Jonas Gets Porked

Saw Nick and Joe Jonas at Rub BBQ the other night and see it's now turned up in the "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" star's "My New York" list for The Post. The kid's got a good taste -- I'm a pulled pork fan myself -- and his brother likes my other favorite restaurant in Chelsea. If you haven't been "we" both recommend ...

He writes:
5 RUB, 208 W. 23rd St., between Seventh and Eighth avenues
“I was really craving barbecue [one] night, so I went on Google and looked up the best barbecue spot in NYC and this place came up. It’s really good. I’ve been there a few times since — I watched the Giants game there a few weeks ago, which was fun. I get the pulled pork sandwich with some cornbread and hush puppies. That’s my main deal.”

Caption Me

Monday Ad Watch

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Novak Djokovic Defeats Rafael Nadal in Longest Grand Slam Final in Open Era!

Hard to imagine a better match than Novak Djokovic's epic 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7, 7-5 win over Rafael Nadal for the 2012 Australian Open crown. That's four of the last five majors for Nole and seven straight wins over the Spaniard -- all in finals. Djokovic has quickly become what Nadal was to Roger Federer, only this time I like it! Incredible stuff!!!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Thomas Roberts Does '30 Rock'

Don't watch Liz Lemon and the gang, but my neighbor says Thomas Roberts made a cameo on the show last night -- and was accused of being gay. Anyone see it?

On the Rag, Vol. 183

A weekly look at what's making news in the free gay mags:

Boi Chicago's looking sporty with its health and fitness issue.

Next features Simon Doonan, who claims gay men don't get fat. Read HERE.

RIP, Juan Luis Pedro Felipo de Huevos Epstein

Wow. Sad to read that Robert Hegyes -- who played the lovable Juan Epstein on "Welcome Back, Kotter" -- has died. He was just 60 and had a heart attack yesterday in New Jersey. With the possible exception of "Happy Days," no show was more important to my schoolyard schmoozing when I was a kid. If you hadn't watched it, you were nobody in Mrs. Jackson's class at Hiller Elementary. His obit reveals that he wasn't even Puerto Rican -- he was of Italian and Hungarian descent! -- and that he was more than at peace with being remembered as a Sweathog: "It's a job where I went to work and laughed every day," he told The L.A. Times in 1995. "So how do you beat that?" RIP, Robert.

Buddha Call

If you have some time, this is unbelievably funny.

Smells Like Team Spirit

From my friend Marc in Newburgh, N.Y.: Go Giants, indeed. But remember to flush.

Andy Murray Would Give the Shirt Off His Back for a Slam

Poor Andy Murray. He took Nole to 5-all in the fifth in the semifinals of the Australian Open, yet still couldn't come through in the end. A dream final versus Rafael Nadal is next!

Margaret Court disapproves of this man-on-man moment.

Fruits & Vegetables

I love you most of all, my favorite vege-table.

Hugh Jackman at JFK Airport

Sadly, I never see him on the AirTrain.

Suspicion of Love

Nicely played, Wall Street Journal!

Friday Ad Watch: Looking Good!


Ad copy: Rohit Chauhan, famous singer-performer, got Hair Transplant done from Dr. A's Clinic, widely considered world's leading hair transplant centre.

(Mustache-removal sold separately.)

Morning Wood

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Armie Hammer -- Hottest Mug Shot Ever!

Now if only he were a sex offender instead of just a pot smoker. (Via TMZ)

'Real World' Hottie Danny Roberts Wants You to Come Downtown

When I briefly lived in the Little Tokyo section of downtown Los Angeles in the early '90s, the idea of a television show being set there -- much less a gay one -- seemed impossible. A lot has changed in 20 years, and now "L Word" producer Larry Kennar is bringing us "DTLA," a new series that follows a group of friends in Downtown Los Angeles as they deal with the breakup of lovers Lenny (Darryl Stephens) and Bryan (Matthew Stephen Herrick). The show will begin airing on Canada’s OUTtv in late spring, but because it's a DIY project, it looks like there's a KickStarter page looking for donations for a second season. (If there is a home for it in the U.S. I have not heard about it.)

What I find most interesting about the project, however, is the eclectic cast, which includes Danny Roberts ("The Real World"), Tiffany Pollard ("I Love New York"), William McNamara ("Doing Time on Maple Drive") and Leslie Jordan ("Will & Grace"). Guess which two starred in my '90s sexual fantasies -- hints HERE and HERE!

Popnography has the trailer and the full story HERE.

Shit Madonna Says

Not hilarious, but it has its moments.

Two Guys for Every Guy

Who says you can't go "surfing" in Manhattan?
Learn how to Hang 10 at Chelsea Piers HERE.

'Cayman My Ass!'