Monday, November 30, 2009

Palin Quits..........................................Again

Boy, this woman's idiocy knows no bounds.

it seems that The Quitter has done it again, and proven that she doesn't care about the "real" Americans that she's so fond of speaking about ad nauseum.

La Palin was in eastern Washington state [sorry FP] for Thanksgiving and was supposed to run in a 5K for charity. all good, being thanksgiving, and she is on the campaign trail, er, I mean, book tour. The Quitter was gonna run with regular folk but then, she got word that some of those regular folk were gathering at the finish line to see her, so what did she do?

Uh huh. Quit.

It proves, once and again, that Sarah Palin can win anything, and quits most everything.

Side note: Was Palin going to cook for Thanksgiving? Nope. According to her own twatterings on Twitter, it's "too much work."

Um, not for regular Americans, Sarah.

Partial Rights Are Not All Rights

I just finished reading the most asinine article ever!

There seems to be a movement gaining ground that would like the LGBT community to stop asking for marriage equality and instead, settle for Civil Unions.


They say it's just a matter of semantics; civil union is just like marriage, but we wouldn't call it that. Civil union will guarantee you certain rights in certain states, but wouldn't grant you all the rights of marriage in all states around the country. It's Marriage Lite; it tastes great, but it is oh-so-less-filling.

Here's my take: they say marriage is just a word, and why should we be raising all the hubbub over a word? Well, f*g is just a word, too; as is c**t and n****r, but we don't bandy those about left and right. Words have meaning and power, and civil union has less meaning and power than marriage.

Picture two couple sitting in a restaurant, celebrating anniversaries. Dick and Jane order a lovely cake for their tenth wedding anniversary and the entire dining room ooohs and aaahs over the happy couple. Nearby, Fred and John are celebrating their tenth civil-union-ersary with a lovely cake. Is it the same?

That would be No. Fred and John, while celebrating their love, would also be celebrating the fact that they are different than Dick and Jane; that they are somehow less than Dick and Jane.

Now, picture this: kids on a playground in school. Bonnie is talking about her mommy and daddy and how they went to dinner to celebrate their tenth anniversary. All the kids go crazy because ten years is, like, forever. Little Andy says his two Dads just celebrated their tenth civil-union-ersary and all the kids laugh and tell him that it isn't the same thing. You know, kids can be cruel. Sometimes.

Civil unions are the scraps from the dinner table, and if we take the scraps, then we are saying outright that we only deserve scraps. If we take the scraps and eat quietly like good little LGBTs, and then suddenly say we wanna eat at the big people's table and have a plate with real food on it, well, who's to say we aren't going to be told that we asked for scraps [civil unions] and we got them, so we should just be grateful.

I don't want partial rights. I am not a partial person. Carlos and I aren't a less than couple. We don't pay part of our taxes. We follow all the rules of society and deserve all the rights and privileges that society offers everyone else.

Would Rosa Parks been okay with sitting in the middle of the bus?

I think not.

The asshat article, misguided though well-intentioned, is HERE.

I've Got Your Sin Right Here

People wonder how asshats and so-called pastors like Phillip Lee [see story below] are able to convince young gay men and women that they can change. And people are confused as to how someone can feel such shame in who they are that they actively seek out charlatans who profess to know the secrets to turning the gay back to straight. Where do these folks get such notions?

Well, for a start, let's take a look at Osby Davis, mayor of Vallejo, California, who is quoted by the New York Times as saying, “They’re [gay people] committing sin and that sin will keep them out of heaven. But you don’t hate the person. You hate the sin that they commit.”

Hmmmm, could this be one of the reasons that parents of gay teenagers seek out phonies like Phillip Lee, and any number of other ex-gay ministries? Maybe if people learned to open their minds and their hearts, and close their mouths, we wouldn't be faced with such a dilemma. We wouldn't be faced with the number of suicides of young gay people who have been told everywhere from parents to preachers to politicians that they are a sin; we wouldn't be faced with more stories of children brutalizing children because they are assumed to be gay, or because they are, in fact, gay. Quit calling it a sin, if you want to save lives. That's a good starting point.

Meanwhile, back in Vallejo, gay rights activists are calling for Davis to be censured for his remarks and Davis himself is backtracking; he's rolled out that old "taken out of context" excuse for his bile, and also says, “I have worked hard to unite Vallejo and I will continue to do so. To those I have offended by my comments, I apologise....I care for the entire community and my desire is to build consensus on our diversity. Let me be clear, I have and will stand against hatred, discrimination and divisiveness wherever they exist.”

Unless you're gay, but then you're going to Hell and divine souls like Osby Davis will never have to see you again.

It Ain't Broke

Well, another one of those ex-gays is at it again.
Phillip Lee, pastor of the aptly named His Way Out ministries in Bakersfield, California, is telling us that The Gays can change who we are because Phillip Lee changed who he is; he went from being a big old flaming queen to being a big old flaming asshat.
See how that works?
Lee says homosexuals are "sexually broken" and can be led out of the lifestyle through a mixture of counseling and scripture. That's what happened to Lee. After being a practicing homosexual--practicing?--for over 17 years, he found his way out. Or is it in? Yeah. In. And so now Lee conducts one-on-one counseling and organizes support groups out of his downtown Bakersfield office. He says he works with about 100 teens struggling with identity issues both in person and on the Internet, and is a guest speaker at local churches services.
It's amazing to me that people like Lee are still out there, using their own self-loathing to tell the world that gay is wrong and can be changed. Hasn't it been several decades since the American
Psychological Association announced that one cannot change sexual orientation? And yet parents, out of their own sense of shame, are dragging their children to charlatans like Phillip Lee. And those teenagers he ministers to are being fed the lie of self-hatred.
What's worse, being accepting of who you are as a gay person, or being told you're broken and need to be changed? Which course causes the greatest harm?
Phillip Lee is a homosexual--say it Phil, "I'm a big old Liza loving, Castro cruising, showtune singing, boa wearing, man loving queen."--who feels such a sense of shame at being gay that he wants to "cure" other folks of their gayness. Well, Phil, I've got news for you: you aren't changing anyone, least of all yourself. You're a gay man, a pathetic gay man. And you should be ashamed of yourself for thinking there's something wrong with that.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

I Should Be Laughing: Renny and Wyatt Talk

“There’s a saying old….”
Having showered and changed into a well-worn pair of Levis, faded to the color of the sky on a hot summer day, and a clean white shirt, Wyatt padded quietly in sock clad feet down the hallway. The voices, one coming from downstairs at the back of the house, the other behind Renny’s bedroom door, stopped him at the top of the stairs.
“…says that love is blind…”
Leaning against the banister, Wyatt listened to Renny croon from the tiled bath in her room, and marveled at the sweetness and light with which she sang; her voice sounded so pure and innocent.
“Still, we’re often told, seek and ye shall find...”
Unable to hold back, Wyatt joined in—“So I’m going to seek a certain lad, I’ve had, in mind…”—his rich tenor melding beautifully with the delicacy of Renny’s voice upstairs, and the low, huskiness, the sassiness, of Sarah Vaughan, downstairs. “Looking everywhere, haven’t found him yet. He’s the big affair, I cannot—”
Immersed in the view beyond the upstairs window, distracted by the music and the sunset, which invigorated the hills along the coast with optimistic colors, Wyatt hadn’t heard the bedroom door open. The carpeted field across from the house, as well as those rising up the mountain, were dappled with rich emerald greens and luminous yellows; the leaves on the trees nearest the highway becoming a robust green almost purple, sparkling like exotic jewels. The wildflowers running unbridled in Renny’s Forever Field were a rainbow of splattered color and the sky above twinkled light satin. So much color trapped in the glass square, surrounded by the bleakness of the house. The expression on Wyatt’s face, when Renny discovered him outside her door, was reminiscent of Dorothy’s the day she stepped from her black-and-white world into the Technicolor of Oz.
“Sorry…I—.” He instantly plunged his hands in his pockets to silence his music.
“It’s okay.” Renny smiled almost as melodically as she sang. She stood against the doorjamb running a towel through her hair. “You have a nice voice.”
“Thanks…um…you, too.” Wyatt stared; in a plain white robe, her hair so wet it was a deep, rich brown, she looked more like Harry and Jimmy. Without the jewelry and the extravagant wardrobe, her face scrubbed free of make-up, she seemed years younger, more playful, if he could believe. Wyatt realized at once how beautiful she was, but she stiffened under the pressure of his gaze; he braced himself, positive about her response at another of his intrusions. “I didn’t mean to bother you. I was walking downstairs and…. I suppose I really should wear a bell.”
“I can’t believe I said that.” Renny laughed loudly, a completely unexpected though entirely welcome sound; she stepped into the hallway, gathered her billowing bathrobe in one hand, and hopped onto the banister. She shook her head as she laughed, spraying water in every direction. “I’m sorry, Wyatt. I can be such a bitch.”
“Well, you are pretty good at it,” he teased, laughing tentatively until she giggled along with him. Living with Harry, he had acquired the ability to say what was on his mind with a laugh and a smile; most times, it put people at ease. “But you should see Harry first thing in the morning. There’s a real bitch for you.”
Renny’s smile paled and he noticed that the flamboyant colors on the other side of the glass dimmed as well. “Please, Wyatt, you have to know I didn’t mean it. You took me by surprise is all. I thought I was alone. I’d forgotten how quiet this house can get.” She hopped off the banister and walked back into her bedroom, shaking her head, though with a sadness now. She kept talking, and when she disappeared into her bathroom, Wyatt slowly entered her room.
“I suppose you found the bottle.”
“Did you tell—.”
“Thanks.” Leaning back, she stared through the bathroom door at Wyatt. “I suppose I should explain—.”
“You don’t have to,” he said, but, realizing she wanted to talk, he sank onto her carefully made bed. There was still an aura of uneasiness in the room, that shadow of their morning encounter darkening the relationship somewhat, but Wyatt liked her, and wanted to know her, to understand her.
“It’s not like I have a drinking problem…” Renny began, although both she and Wyatt, unbeknownst to the other, recalled an old joke: ‘I drink. I get drunk. I fall down. No problem’; neither smiled as it played through their minds. “One of the less pleasing gifts I got from my mother is that I tend to drink in times of crisis, and—.”
“This qualifies, no doubt.”
“Wyatt,” Renny volunteered with a controlled smile, “this is the mother of all crises. It’s opened up a can of worms that I thought…” The words trailed off, and she ran a comb through her drying hair; in one fluid motion she swept it behind her ears in a sleek chignon, which she then pinned back with two ornate onyx and silver pins before going on. “I know it’s foolish, but it helps calm my nerves…sort of numbs the edges.”
“You could always talk to someone,” Wyatt said. Watching her, he couldn’t help but think that she needed her hair and makeup, jewelry and clothes to be perfect, so precise, so neat, to mask what was happening beneath the surface. “I’d be willing to listen.”
“You know something.” With a vacant look in her eyes, Renny mechanically began brushing her cheeks a dusty rose. “I can out-dress anyone…anytime…ever! I can give a party for a hundred people and make each one feel like the guest of honor…I can order off a menu in fluent French and know the perfect wine for each course. I can tell the difference between Anne Klein, Calvin Klein, Donna Karan and Bill Blass at thirty paces. I’m…I’m a genius at picking out the perfect gift and I always send thank-you notes…I can—.”
Now, holding a mascara wand to her eyelashes, she stopped rambling and her eyes welled up; her hand began to shake and the wand tumbled into the sink, streaking the porcelain with feathery black lines. Unsure of what he could, or should, do for her, Wyatt sat still until, thinking she was about to faint, he ran to the bathroom door. Renny stopped him with a wave of her hand.
“I’m okay.” The whisper kept him at bay, though he lingered in the doorway and looked at her near flawless reflection in the mirror. Not surprisingly, she was already dry-eyed and reapplying the mascara. “See…Wyatt? I can do all of those things without even thinking about them. And I can listen to friends…acquaintances, actually…for hours on end, prattling on about this or that, but I never talk about myself.” Her voice trembled like her hands. “I think it’s best to keep things hidden. It’s, I don’t know, safer.”
“Sure.” Examining her eyes in the vanity, turning her face this way and that, she sniffed her approval. “Nobody asks questions I don’t wish to answer, and my secrets stay my secrets.”
“But…holding things in can’t be good for you,” Wyatt disagreed. “No one can ever get to know the real you.”
“The real me?” Her eyes filled again, but the perfectionist quickly re-emerged and she tilted her head back to stem the tide of new tears. “There is no real me anymore. I’ve told so many lies and lived too many lives to be a real person. I don’t even know who I am, which is why…being here…in this house…where…I can’t go back an be that person.”
“How do you keep people—.”
“I smile sweetly and change the subject.” She murmured almost to herself, and then, meeting Wyatt’s eyes in the looking glass, she asked, “How come Harry’s so calm about Mother’s death? He seems to be handling it all so well…coming home, I mean.”
Wyatt was bewildered. “Is this an example or are you—.”
“I’m changing the subject, Wyatt. Please.” She smiled at him while constructing her face, though Wyatt believed no amount of powder or shine could cover the hurt. “Harry’s so quiet and matter-of-fact about all of this.”
Realizing that Renny was closing herself off again, that the walls were going back up, Wyatt eventually began to speak. “It sounds sad, but Harry’s used to people dying. The first time someone he loved, someone he was close to, passed, he was pretty torn up, but over time, he’s gotten used to it.”
“Was it AIDS?” It was the first time the thought had crossed her mind—that way—about Harry. Renny had never known anyone who had the disease, much less died from it. For her, the virus was nothing more than a blurb on the evening news, a headline in Time, a red ribbon at an awards show.
“Sometimes.” Wyatt said reflectively. “Most of the time, I guess. We’ve lost a lot of our family like that.”
“Your…family? I didn’t know you—.” Once more she was struck by how little she knew about her brothers; Jimmy was married and had a son; Harry had Wyatt and…. She set her blush down on the counter and faced Wyatt. “Who?”
“Our family. Mine and Harry’s.” Wyatt explained, although he saw only chaos and a bit too much rouge on her face. Pausing a moment or two, thinking about his life, his family, Harry, Wyatt found a new way to begin.
“There’s a quote of Maya Angelou’s, ‘The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.’ Have you heard it?” Renny shook her head and he went on. “For a lot of gay people, it isn’t like that. Home isn’t a safe place. Their families don’t make them feel safe; they cannot be themselves. We get cursed at, shut out, cut out…” Wyatt fought to keep the tears from falling. “Anyway, in order to feel safe and loved as we are, gay people often create new families out of friends, old lovers and—.”
“Did your family do that to you?”
“No!” He chuckled, and, for some reason, felt embarrassed for it. “I was luckier than most. My Dad had a hard time of it, at first, no grandchildren to carry on the family name and all that. And my mother blamed herself for the things she did, or didn’t do. But they love me…and Harry, too. They treat him like a son. Harry has a family in my family.” He stopped when Renny’s smile turned to ice.
“Don’t get upset,” he finally said. “He doesn’t blame anyone, not anymore, I think, but he feels like he lost his family a long time ago. You left and he didn’t know where to find you. And Jimmy, well…he was just a kid when Harry moved away; what could he say to Jimmy about being gay?
“When people ask if he’s gay, Harry says, ‘Yeah! In every sense of the word!’ He’s learned that because of our ‘family.’ He’s discovered that he’s all right.” Wyatt laughed a bit, but then turned serious. “He wrote your mother, telling her that he was gay, trying to explain who he was, and that he was happy. He wanted to share that with her, but she never answered him. So, he gave up…he didn’t want to, but he felt it was the only way. He gave up, and started a new family to share…birthdays and holidays, anniversaries…life, even death.”
Renny nodded as she listened. “And because a lot of your family is gay, you’ve seen many of them die from AIDS?”
“Yes,” Wyatt nodded soberly, stopping to remember the friends, the lovers, the family, he no longer had in his life: Erin and Joey. Mark. Eddie and Ryan…And he told her about John, Harry’s first lover, ending by saying, “He died of pneumocystis…complications from AIDS.”
“Oh my God, Wyatt. Is he—?” The idea of Harry being sick, of him dying, hit her full force, leaving her breathless; it couldn’t happen, not after she’d found him again, but Wyatt was quick to calm her fears.
“No! No…he’s fine…he’s—we’re both fine.” He swiftly said. “Harry was lucky. He didn’t come out until after the virus was big news, and I think it scared him into monogamy and safe sex. He’s always…we’ve always…been safe.”
“This is so sad…” Holding a tube of lipstick in her hand, Renny stared at the jade green tube as though she had no idea what is was, or how to use it. She looked frozen in place, until she finally said, “I hate to think of him dying alone…like our mother.”
Stung by her inability to comprehend what he was saying, Wyatt stepped into the bathroom—essentially a tiled closet with a drain, the room was that small—and took the lipstick from her hand. This simple act appeared to thaw Renny and she looked up at him. “He isn’t alone, Renny,” Wyatt said. “I told you. Harry has a family that loves him. And he has me. I love him, Renny—I think I fell in love with him before I even knew his name—and I’ll be with him forever. We’re a family, Harry and me, but, I was thinking, there’s always room for a sister and brother.”
Crying now, out of sadness and joy, Renny hugged him. Much as Harry had done, though for entirely different reasons, Renny created a family of her own; only she dreamt up the family from her past while he created one for the future. That was the difference between them, Harry and Renny; she dwelled on the past while he looked straight ahead. Renny started to say something to Wyatt, but he was near tears, too, until she whispered something in his ear and they began to laugh.
“Oh shit. There goes my makeup.”

Friday, November 27, 2009


Since we'd gorged on turkey and stuffing and gravy and potatoes and cheesecake, et all, we decided that the "Day After" ought to consist of a nice, long walk. Oh, we could walk through our neighborhood, but we've done that; we could walk through Smallville, but we've done that, too. So, instead, we opted for the Riverwalk along the Congaree River in Columbia. It was a gorgeous day, cool and sunny, so off we went, driving the long drive from Smallville to Columbia, and then on down to the river.

They have a paved pathway up the river from the Gervais Street Bridge to the Hampton Street Bridge, and the down from the Gervais Street Bridge to just beyond the train trestle.

There are bridges that traverse parts of the trail that might otherwise be impassable, making the Riverwalk perfect for joggers and bikers, and dog walkers, Mom's with strollers, and homo's from a nearby small town.

This is the Gervais Street Bridge that crosses the Congaree River from West Columbia into Columbia. It is one of those old bridges from a time when they were considered an art form and not strictly a utilitarian venture. These kinds of bridges look just as beautiful from the roadway as they do from underneath.

The path takes you under the Gervais and then up the river toward the Hampton Street Bridge, letting you walk almost at the river's edge.
The Hampton Street Bridge is one of those modern bridges, with no inherent beauty whatsoever; we moved away from creating structures that serve our lives as well as our spirits, to structures simply built to serve a purpose.
But as we walked along we came to a covered part of the path, where vines, now nearly bare, crawled up the poles and struts and look like they'd be a beautiful shady spot come spring.
But, for now, we got to see some of the last of the fall colors along the river; gone were the ruby colored leaves, and the scarlet leaves, leaving behind just brilliant yellows and oranges.
As we traveled south, I caught sight of a Great Blue heron soaring just above the water. Since there was a stand of trees between us and the water, it was impossible to get a picture of this beautiful bird hovering above the river. But then we came to a clearing and found him sitting on a rock in the middle of the river, waiting for me and my camera.
Then the path turned again, and it grew very shady and cool; as a more traditional 'mo,' this part reminded me of The Wizard of Oz, just before the Flying Monkeys arrive to whisk Dorthy off to the castle. Yes, my imagination is vivid.
We passed under yet another bridge, the Knox Abbot, and discovered a lovely mural of a riverboat heading upriver toward Columbia. The artists worked on getting the landscape just right, so that it almost fools the eye and mind into thinking it's real.
Finally we got down to the train trestle and figured we'd turn around and head back; it was lovely, but we both felt we'd been walking long enough, and now had quite a reverse hike back to where we parked the car. It was a truly gorgeous way to spend an afternoon, and, when we got home, i discovered that our little walk along the river, was about 5.5 miles!
I had a slice of cheesecake upon arriving home.
I deserved it.
I desserted it?


It was such a lovely day yesterday, both inside the house and out. We'd been having the drizzlies in Smallville for a few days, and yesterday it was cool, almost cold, and sunny. And to make it nicer, we slept in; Carlos usually gets up at 6AM and I follow at about 6:45, but yesterday it was nearly 9AM before we decided to greet the day. It.Was.Fantastic!

We had a simple breakfast while we discussed the battle plans for the day. Carlos was in charge of turkey and cranberry sauce and cheesecake; my duties were mashed potatoes, stuffing, bread, and, of course, wine.

While eating breakfast i mentioned to Carlos that i had heard from an old friend [Hi Suzanne!] on Facebook, and, as usual, Carlos had no idea to whom I was referring. He'd never met Suzanne, but I'd told him all sorts of stories, like this one:

When Suzanne was younger, she and a friend were making plans to go out on a Friday night. Her friend's mother, Betty, was desperate to tag-along, but she had one request. She sat the girls down and said, "I want to go out with you, too. But, don't call me Mom," she glanced at her daughter, "and don't call me Betty," she turned to Suzanne, "My name is Nicole Somblier."

This story always killed me. So, I said to Carlos that Suzanne had mentioned on Facebook that Betty had passed away, and Carlos said this:

"Bette Davis?"

"Yes," I said, "My friend Suzanne's friend from high school's mother was Bette Davis."

Oy! Anyway, I took some pictures of the day--Carlos is allowing NO faces--and here they are:

MaxGoldberg and Tuxedo, resting up in the sunroom before the feast. Little did they know thast their Thanksgiving feast would consist of the same dry food they get every day.

Tuxedo sees something shiny, and the hunt begins. Look at his face; he's ready to kill.

Ozzo, auditioning for a part in the Smallville production of Oliver!: "Please, sir? May I have some more?" Sadly, a neighborhood Schnauzer got the starring role, and Ozzo will be Orphan # 6.

Tallulah Belle, AKA La Princessa, cannot be bothered. She made a vow to never appear in public until there is food on the table.
Joy? Of cooking? I.Don't.Think.So.
This is the bird, which Carlos constantly referred to as a dead chicken, after it's two-day brine bath in apple cider, chicken stock, salt, sugar and spices. Then It was slatthered in herb butter and set on a rack. Sounds like some of the clubs I used to go to in San Francisco. God, I miss the 80s!
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with red onion, garlic and walnuts. Mon petite little cabbage!
Carlos' homemade cranberry sauces with bits or orange and cinnamon! He made enough so he can use the leftovers as a marmalade for toast. Always thinking, that Carlos!
Carlos makes the most incredible cheesecakes, including this Pumpkin Cheesecake. I think he should open a Smallville branch of Carlos' Casa de Cheesecake. I made some homemade whipped cream and we ate the cheesecake with Arabian coffee and a giant snifter of B&B. Mmmm.Mmmmm.Good.
And then here's our table, with enough food for an army, but that's how we cook around here. Every bite delicious.

Cheers to a Happy Thanksgiving from Smallville of all of you!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Repost: November 26, 2008

I first posted this last year, the day before Thanksgiving, and I decided to repost it to remind me of where i was then, what I thought then, and what I wanted out of life.
The more things change the more they stay the same.
Happy Thanksgiving from Bob and Carlos in Smallville!

Not to brag, but I've been told that I am an extremely polite person. I was raised on Please and Thank You, Yes Ma'am, No Sir, and I still act that way today.
I was selected for jury duty in Miami once and when they were questioning us in the courtroom, it was my turn to stand. Well, it was a narrow aisle, so I put my hands behind my back, and as the judge and the lawyers began to ask their questions, I always answered Yes sir, No Sir. The judge stopped for a second and smiled. "Are you in the military?" he asked.
"No," I said, "I was raised by a military man."
Another time, a few years earlier, I was in a grocery store buying a birthday cake for a co-worker. I asked if I may please order a cake. May I please have a name iced onto it. I pleased and thank you'd my way through the ordering process and finally the girl left to go in the back and finish my order. But she turned around and just before disappearing, and she said to me, "I think you are the most polite person I've ever waited on."
I smiled and said, "Could you just shut up and ice my damn cake!"
When all else fails slip into sarcasm. That's my motto.But I digress.
Tomorrow is a day of thanks for Americans' a truly American holiday, like 4th of July, but one we celebrate not with picnics and beer, firecrackers and sparklers, but with a meal we share with friends and family.I have so much to be thankful for this year.Yes, the usual family and friends and health and happiness, blah blah blah, everyone says that.
But I am also thankful that we are soon to have a President that inspires hope, not fear; who speaks to truth and not to lies; who wants to show the world that America is not defined by the last eight years.
I am oddly thankful that Prop 8 passed, because it has motivated not only the gay community but everyone who believes in equality to stand up and say No More. It has galvanized many people, gay and straight, to work together to see that All Men (and women) Are Created (and treated) Equal. Complacency doesn't get you anywhere; and simply asking for what's right doesn't always work. Demanding what's right is what's sometimes necessary.
I am thankful that Stylista is almost over because it's like a car wreck I can't avoid. I try to avert my eyes, but then, some diva queen breaks down and it sucks me back in.
I am thankful that Jennifer Hudson has given me a new catch phrase, which I have already almost worn out, "Don't make me hit you with my pocketbook."
I am thankful for cold mornings and blue skies.
I am thankful that Elisabeth Hasselbeck cannot spout her anti-Obama hate speech on The View anymore. She is the poster child for The Ill-Advised Who Have a Platform and abuse it.
I am thankful for small dogs and cats because, well, I'm bigger than them and I will always beat them. Just channeling Joan Crawford and Christina at the pool.
I am thankful for......Carlos Dad and Mom Jeri and family David and family uncles and aunts and cousins sunshine falling leaves music pets living breathing speaking thinking being feeling living.
For Life.
It encompasses it all.
To Life.

Happy Thanksgiving

Idina Menzel: "Defying Gravity" from Wicked

Sting "Fragile"

Crowded House "Distant Sun"

Linda Ronstadt "Someone To Watch Over Me"

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Charleston Steps Forward

This story comes to us from ISBL's Chief-Papi-In-Residence, Carlos.

It seems that the Charleston City Council passed ordinances expanding the city’s existing policy prohibiting discrimination in housing to include age, sexual orientation and gender identity. Yes, the LGBT community just got a few more protections down Charleston way.

And, in addition, the council passed a public accommodations ordinance that prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status, disability, age or sexual orientation.

While this all sounds lovely and hopeful, and i am grateful for each little foothold, or in this case toehold, the LGBT community, especially those of us in South Carolina, gain, I was dismayed to discover that Charleston is only the second city to add sexual orientation and gender identity to those protected form discrimination. The first such city was Columbia.

Hopefully others will follow suit. Maybe, one day, even Smallville.

Glambert Speaks

This morning, on the CBS Early Show, Adam Lambert spoke about that performance, you know, the one heard round the world. And i liked what he had to say.
On apologizing to the children who may have seen him, he reminded us that the performance was at 11PM, and he also said, "I'm not a babysitter, I'm a performer."
Very true. Maybe, as he suggested, parents could have viewed the performance and then decided for themselves whether or not to let their children see it. Lambert also pointed out that Janet Jackson grabbed the crotch of one of her male dancers in the first 8 minutes of the show and no one complained. He made note of the fact that Eminem sang of having 17 rapes under his belt but no one got upset.
So, women can grab the crotch of a man, but a man can't?
And it's okay to brag about rape in a song lyric?
I think Adam's sexual orientation, and his kind of Fuck you attitude about it, was what really made people mad; he was an openly gay performer being openly gay, and I'm glad he isn't apologizing for his performance. He did, however, say that if he had to do it over again he would change one thing: he'd sing it better.
So, here's the video version of For Your Entertainment, and I kinda wish he'd performed it like this:

No Thanks

Well, here we are, the day before Thanksgiving when we should all take a moment and be thankful for the tings we have; health, home, family, love.......but what about those that have no home to go to, or family to take them in, or do not feel love?

What about them?

They have, at least in San Luis Obispo, California, Dan de Vaul to thank. de Vaul, a rancher, has, for years, illegally housed homeless people on his own property. And how do we thank Dan de Vaul for doing what so many simply couldn't, or wouldn't? He was arrested, tried, fined, and after refusing probation, sentenced to 3 months in jail for two misdemeanor violations of building and safety codes at his Sunny Acres ranch.

But Dan De Vaul refused the terms of his probation because he said it would mean he could no longer provide shelter for about 30 people who reside in his sober-living facility. For eight years, he’s operated the program on his 72-acre ranch, housing clients in mobile homes, tents, garden sheds and an aging Victorian home.For a time, he also housed people in a three-story stucco barracks until it was shut down last year.

So, why won't Dan de Vaul take probation? “The first condition of probation is obey all laws,” De Vaul said. “I’m proud to go to jail for housing the homeless.”

Sometimes doing the right thing gets you a big fat thank you, and sometimes, in San Luis Obispo anyway, it gets you jail time.

Communion Is A Weapon

Apparently Rhode Island Bishop Thomas Tobin does not know the meaning of Separation of Church and State, because, in a story that just came to light, in 2007 he asked Congressman Patrick Kennedy to stop taking Communion over his support for abortion rights.
Yes, because Kennedy followed the law, the bishop is playing hardball with the wafers and wine.
Tobin says he told Kennedy back in February 2007 that it would be "inappropriate" for him to continue receiving the fundamental Catholic sacrament, "and I now ask respectfully that you refrain from doing so."
Now, by ask respectfully, Tobin meant he would bar Kennedy from receiving communion and instruct other priests in the diocese not to administer the sacrament "because of the positions that [Kennedy has] taken as a public official."
Now, Tobin is playing the victim, whining over the fact that Kennedy is choosing to discuss Tobin's nearly three-year-old request: "I am disappointed that the congressman would make public my request of nearly three years ago that sought to provide solely for his spiritual well-being."
This is a new tactic by the Catholic Church: communion as a weapon against those Catholics who might be what I like to call "Free Thinkers," those Catholics who understand that the world has changed and that the church is lagging far behind.
So, what next then, in the God War? Tobin's move has spurred other priests and bishops who threaten pro-choice and pro-gay politicians from partaking in one of the Church's most important sacraments.
This might sound especially cruel, but let us not forget that this is the same church that hid pedophiles within its ranks, that sought to pay off victims of molestation, and that just this last month, threatened to withhold services to the homeless community and the poor in Washington DC if marriage equality becomes law there.
Why this sudden activity in withholding services and communion for anyone with a political opinion that the church doesn't like? Is it the fact the the number of Catholics is falling? More and more people are leaving the church over its refusal to join the rest of the world in the 21st century. Maybe it's because the church has spent billions--with a B--on child molestation suits and they need the cash, so they use threats to get their way.
No communion if you favor reproductive rights.
They punish an entire group of people because they don't like marriage equality.
Well, if that's the Catholic way of thinking, they can have it. In my mind,m God is love, and the Catholic church doesn't know a damned thing about it.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

One Networks Trash Is Another Networks Treasure

Adam Lambert’s performance on tomorrow morning’s Good Morning America has been canceled, said an ABC News spokesperson: “Given his controversial American Music Awards performance, we were concerned about airing a similar concert so early in the morning.”

In response to the situation, Adam, taking the high road, told Ryan Seacrest, “Obviously I respect their decision, they gotta do what they gotta do. It’s too bad, I think there were a lot of fans who were excited to come see me [but] they probably had a lot of pressure coming at them from certain people who weren’t happy about it. I respect their decision - I don’t necessarily agree with it, but they need to do what they need to do.”

The CBS Morning Show, either showing no concern over what Adam may or may not do, or in a desperate bid for ratings, announced that Adam Lambert will appear on their show tomorrow morning.

Go Adam. But, honey, sing it better this time.


Carlos and I had a most interesting discussion over dinner last night [sidenote: dinner was blackened pork chops over lime infused rice with black beans, peppers, onions and tomatoes in a mole sauce....que delicioso].

We were talking about Adam Lambert's AMA performance and all the uproar over it. The discussion of him pulling the guy's face into his crotch....his fondling a female dancer....his big old tongue groping kiss on the guy in the band. All of it; and how people were calling it pornographic.

So, what is pornography, and who gets to be the judge. I mean, the Carrie Prejean tapes are called pornography, but Lambert kept his clothes on and, with the exception of maybe a few hundred Innocent teen boys and girls caught unawares about that tingling...down one got off. So, which is pornography?

Is a photograph of a nude woman pornographic? What if she's lying there spread eagle? How about if her hands, or as Joe.My.God. calls them, her Ladyfingers are visiting her nether region? Which one is pornographic? Not into nude women? Yeah, I get what you're saying. Same thing applies to nude men. Pretty pose? Spread eagle showing the goods? A little bit of chicken choking? Who's to say what's pornographic.

So, then Carlos wanted to talk obscenity, and I noted that the same rules apply. Everyone has a differing view as to what is obscene. I don't find nudity obscene. I don't find pictures of men and women, in any combination, performing sex acts, particularly obscene. That doesn't mean I want to see them on my TV or computer, but, you know, to each his own. For me, war is obscene; violence is pornographic. Murder is immoral.

And yet we see that every night of the week from old Sopranos reruns to any number of CSI or NCIS or Law & Order type shows. And no one raises a fuss. so, why all the hubbub about Adam Lambert's performance?

He's a man, that's why. Oh, and his being openly gay probably added fuel to the fire. See, if it was two women kissing [or three, Madonna, Britney and Christina, I'm talking to you] there would have been little or no uproar. Straight women are not particularly bothered by two women kissing; lord knows the Lesbians don't have a problem with it. Gay men, too, don't care. Madonna's various same-sex liplocks never raised a, um, flag, if you will, in me. And straight men, well, they get downright erect at the thought of girl-on-girl action.

No, it's because Lambert's a guy and gay. It was in-your-face-gay-man-kissing, and it made some crazy. Not straight women, I say; they probably didn't care, unless you count the perpetually uptight types a la Elisabeth Hasselbeck. Gay women weren't bothered either, because it isn't their cup of tea. Gay men, well, we thought Cool. No, it was the straight guys, because they're too macho to admit there's nothing wrong with mano'a'mano spit swapping. See, the straight guys think that if they didn't bitch and moan, we might think they like it and they can't have that.

So, it's mostly straight men who got their boxer briefs in a snit over Adam Lambert's overt sexual, and some say pitchy, performance. And, since it is straight men, for the most part, who control the media and the news in this country, that's why there was such a fuss.

Was it pornographic? Not in my house. Obscene? Nope. Immoral? Hardly. But then, I'm a gay guy, and, to me, who you love, who you kiss, who dives into your crotch, is entirely your business.