Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The Grinch Was Just A Misunderstood ACLU Lawyer

Shit, Bill O'Reilly's onto our secret plan to destroy Christmas! Time for Plan B. Long live Festivus!

Roommate, Part Deux

OK, so the guy who was going to move in with me flaked. If you would like to live in L.A.'s best kept secret of a neighborhood, Mt. Washington, in a little house with your intrepid blogger and his handsome Basset/Beagle, please drop me a line at

Best. Billboard. Ever.

Given Iowa's position on gay marriage, I guess this means I shouldn't hold my breath.

Shout out to Gayorbit.

My Movie Is Out. Your Entertainment Salvation Is Nigh.

OK, boys and girls, if you have been at all enjoying my blog, here's the first time that I will ask for something back. Support my blog by buying my movie. It's only ten bucks, it's an enjoyable little film, and it'll help me pay off some massive debts. I'm not begging, but if you don't buy it I'm going to put you in a headlock and give you a nuclear noogie. Here's the pitch:

STRAIGHT ACTING a documentary film about the subculture of gays who play contact sports - rugby, ice hockey and rodeo now available on DVD.

Pissant Productions announces the DVD release of STRAIGHT ACTING, Spencer Windes’ debut documentary film about his evolution from a conservative Mormon missionary into a comfortably gay man, by playing violent contact sports. The fifty-seven minute film which premiered in June at New York City’s NewFest Film Festival is available via DVDs retail for $9.95 (plus $1.50 shipping and handling).

On the rugby pitch, hockey rink and rodeo circuit, Windes encounters the subculture of queer athletes busting stereotypes - including their own. Bruised and bloodied, Windes emerges from the scrum having rediscovered a trait common to all men, gay or straight: the need to play.

"Gay or straight, all guys like to play - I hope that this message comes through in my film, especially now when we spend so much time discussing what divides us rather than what unites us as Americans, athletes, men - just human beings. There is more to gay culture then what the media shows and more that unites us than divides us." said Windes, a freelance writer and the web marketing manager for American Apparel.

STRAIGHT ACTING, features the music of Fugazi as well as that of several up and coming independent artists. Produced by Amy Sommer ("Waco: The Rules of Engagement") the film was edited by Matt Martin ("Unprecedented: The 2000 Presidential Election") and Emmy award winning music man Lawrence Brown provided the score and music supervision.

What's The Arabic For "Do Lunch"?

In a trick that makes utter, perfect sense to anyone living in Hollywood, the L.A. Times points out that the U.S. Army has been paying off newspapers in Iraq to run positive stories actually written by U.S. soldiers, but published as "news". Apparently, they have been using a front organization, the "Lincoln Group", to pose as "freelance journalists" and plant happy- pro-America propaganda all over the Euphrates Valley. This has the Times' media-belly-button-gazing editors all worked up into a righteous frenzy:

The military's effort to disseminate propaganda in the Iraqi media is taking place even as U.S. officials are pledging to promote democratic principles, political transparency and freedom of speech in a country emerging from decades of dictatorship and corruption. It comes as the State Department is training Iraqi reporters in basic journalism skills and Western media ethics, including one workshop titled "The Role of Press in a Democratic Society."

Man, are those shills down there at the Pentagon a bit slow or what? Everyone knows you don't just hand over stories and money directly to journalists. That's like giving a crack rock and an AK to a six-year-old. The kid might have some fun, but everyone is gonna find out about it, and soon. Rather, you engage in the seductive veil dance of Hollywood PR. A free stay in a luxury hotel, an open bar, an overflowing buffet line, some handsome actors to flatter said love-lorn journalists with their undivided attention, and the next thing you know, the "articles" are writing themselves! What the Pentagon needs is the Iraqi equivalent of the TCA Press Tour. Someone in Washington better put in a call to Pat Kingsley. After battling Tom Cruise's Thetans, a violent insurgency would be a relief.

Birds Of A Feather It Is

The Vatican helpfully provided an explainer of their latest gay-haten' in the form of an article written by a French Jesuit, one Fr. Tony Anatrella, that accompanied the new policy in their official house paper, L'Osservatore Romano. Here's why the 'mos supposedly make bad priests:

He (Anatrella) said they (da queers) tend to have few friends, to close themselves off from others in "a clan of persons of the same type," to resent the claims on their time made by parishioners, to encourage other gay men to enter the priesthood and to deal with authority predominantly as a matter of "seduction and rejection."

Tend to have few friends. So apparently only the popular kids get invited to this party. That sounds, so, oh, I don't know, Christian?

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

SUSA Governor's Poll

Here's my quick take on the SUSA 50 state Governor's poll.

If you look at the Governors with positive approval ratings, there are 27 at 51% approval or above. These slots are almost equally split between Republicans and Democrats, 14 to 13. But if you add in the Red State- Blue State factor, it takes on a whole different slant. There are 11 popular Democratic governors in states that went for Bush, and only four popular Republican governors in states that went for Kerry. On the negative side, there are five unpopular Republicans in the statehouse of Blue States, and only one unpopular Red State Democratic governor, Kathleen Blanco, whose poll numbers have plummeted in Katrina's wake. All and all, this hints at Bush tarring the popularity of Republicans where they have been able to win in Blue States, where the populace, guaranteed three more years of Bush, are taking out their frustrations on a convenient local target. Democrats in Red States are getting the bonus of being in the opposite party from an unpopular President, who now has negative ratings in many of states he won last year.
By the way, what the hell happened to Frank Murkowski? And Matt Blunt? Nepotism backlash?

Where Are Your Crazy Turkish Gunmen When You Need Them?

So, apparently this fruit

thinks that I am intrinsically morally disordered.

Fuck off.

Ya know, the Catholic Church has spent most of it's history doing more foul then fair, but at least with John Paul, you had the benefit of some redeeming social value. His standing up to Communism, his alliance with Solidarity, his concentration on young people, even the stunt of hitting every damn country on the globe was kinda cool in a "Lonely Planet" way. But this current Santo Padre is more then just a bust. Remember, this is the first big thing he chose to do in office. I'm sure that all those whipped puppies in the pews, who are so obsessed with their own uncleanliness they'll buy anything a man in a funny hat says, are just thrilled at this latest spiritual purging. But think not that a world where a man like Mychal Judge or Henri Nouwen is considered a bad Catholic will long offer its broad support to this deeply corrupt institution. Understand, the Holy Father isn't just fucking over the gays, but by making this his top priority, the very calling card of his papacy, he's fucking over the church and its multitude of needs as well. When the day comes that Roman Catholicism has gone the way of Shinto (and if things keep going the way they are in Latin America, that day ain't far off)we'll be able to look back at this Prada-wearing doofus and say to ourselves, man, what was up with that guy and the gay sex?

By the way, it says right there in the Bible that you are to "call no man father". It don't say nothing about "daddy", though.

Some Men Just Don't Look That Good With A Beard

Have you ever wondered what a closeted gay man must look like while pretending to enjoy the company of women? Let's let Republican National Committee chairman Ken Mehlman (who refuses comment at all on his unending "bachelorhood") provide us with a handy visual aid:

I'm constantly amazed a how much people reveal, even when they try not to. Photo courtesy of CapitolBuzz.

Either You Get This Or...

Monday, November 28, 2005

I Always Knew I Was A Hack-hack

OK, I now seem to have Andrew Sullivan's holiday flu. And I'm not even into barebacking. Is the government finally enacting their plan to bring down the blogosphere through it's weakest link, the compromised immune systems of the wan, daylight-adverse bloggers themselves?
Regular blogging to resume shortly. Besides, I now get rugby matches from England on the DirecTV. Fuck blogging.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Wee Holiday Blogging

I'm just moved into my new apartment in Mt. Washington this weekend (Yeah!). I don't yet have DSL, so I can't really post (Boo!). But I do now have DirectTV, complete with a British sports package that will give me a half-dozen rugby matches a week (Yeah!)so give me a call if you want to roll over for a game. This broadcast will resume Monday.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Thou Shalt Not Violate The California Criminal Code

Today's L.A. Times has an article about the bust-up of an lawyer-orchestrated insurance fraud ring that would box in innocent drivers on the freeway, cause an accident, and then rip off their insurance companies. All in all, 22 people were arrested. Where do you recuit so many folks into such a criminal enterprise?

"Several suspects were enticed to join the ring at a church bible study group, in the Inland Empire."

You Might Like

This guy I know recently purchased the 2nd season DVD of Scrubs from Amazon. Here's what they also recommended:

Recommended because you added Scrubs - The Complete Second Season to your Shopping Cart:

323. Mr. Big - FlexoFlesh® 6.3" Realistic Dildo (Mulato)
Release Date: March 31, 2005
Our Price: $75.95

Love that Irascible Zack Branf? Love big black dick? Sounds good to me.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Sam, the world's ugliest dog, has passed on.

Luckily, the world's most handsome dog continues to hold his crown.

Tips to Defamer.

I Guess This Gives New Meaning To The Phrase "Well Hung"

Let's see. A stagnent economy. Millions of under-employed young people desperate for a future. An international reputation for uncooperative stonewalling. A government riven by political rivalry. What do you do? Hang ya some queers!

(New York, November 22, 2005) – Iran's execution of two men last week for homosexual conduct highlights a pattern of persecution of gay men that stands in stark violation of the rights to life and privacy, Human Rights Watch said today. On Sunday, November 13, the semi-official Tehran daily Kayhan reported that the Iranian government publicly hung two men, Mokhtar N. (24 years old) and Ali A. (25 years old), in the Shahid Bahonar Square of the northern town of Gorgan.

Iran, welcome, to the Eighteenth Century!

And He's Not Even An Enron Executive

Do you think he'd notice if we replaced the turkey with, say, a mentally retarded sixteen-year-old on death row?

I Heart Bitter Ex-Mormons

Check out She's the best thing to come out of Utah since Steve Young's ass.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Ten Movies I Hate

Amy Konig has come up with her list of ten movies she hates. Here's my list, in no particular order:

10) A Clockwork Orange
9) Pret A Porter
8) Pulp Fiction
7) Natural Born Killers
6) Goonies
5) The Island Of Doctor Moreau(remake)
4) Eyes Wide Shut
3) Short Cuts
2) Alexander
1) Every single film produced by Jerry Bruckheimer

I could go on like this. This is just what pops to mind. It's so much better to hate then to love.
Ooh, did I manage to forget Scarface (remake)?

Homo Envy

I really wish y'all would stop acting so gay! You pretend like it's some "brave act" for an actor to play queer. While we're at it, why don't we just break out the blackface?

No, it's actually nice that a-list actors aren't afraid to practice some good, old-fashioned man-on-man tongue-wrasslin' on the big screen.

And at least Heath Ledger does a good impersonation of a man at his own execution:

Friday, November 18, 2005

Listen To Me Rant About Intelligent Design

this is an audio post - click to play

Pentagon Measuring Stick

We know that the White House is expert at lowering expectations. Maybe they could "recast" the Iraq debacle with help from Montgomery Elementary:

Props to Sullivan.

It's The End Of The World As We Know It, And They Feel Fine

The December issue of Vanity Fair features an article entitled American Rapture, by Craig Unger (frustratingly not online). In the article, excerpted from his forthcoming book, he deals with the rise of "end times" evangelism, with special focus given to how it is affecting politics, including foreign policy. He talks about the blind support that evangelicals have been giving to Israel, support premised on their interpretation of passages from the Book of Revelations stating that in the end times, all nations will turn against Israel, save the righteous. The Israeli government has courted this support, which is a tricky matter, since these same evangelicals believe that at the final moment of Armageddon, the Jews will convert to Jesus (talk about your back-handed compliments).

Unger pays particular attention to the Tim Lehaye "Left Behind" series of novels, an evangelical revenge fantasy where Christians lead a militia-style rebellion against a demonic "one world government" that represents everything about the liberal world they love to hate. In the end, all these "secular humanists" and their pawn-like armies are violently murdered by a serial-killer Jesus who descends in terror from the sky as the ultimate tyrant, to murder anyone who doesn't buy the party line.

It's chilling stuff, especially when LeHaye leads a tour group to Israel, and standing on Megiddo, the group leader describes how the valley below will be filled with blood. Literally. Like, they've calculated it, how many murdered non-believers it will take to make the rivers of Palastine run red. They tell each other these fundamentalist ghost stories with whispered reverence, the same hushed glee that I heard in Sunday School when the "last days" would come up. Like all true believers, Christian fundamentalists want their beliefs justified in blood.

Which got me to thinking. The left too has its share of "true believers"; folks who use the same neural pathways of unquestioning obeisance, who also have a "born again" experience when their eyes are opened to the stations of the liberal cross. I'm not talking about the Communists here, although they of course provide the great example of how "religious" thinking isn't always about god (think of Lenin welcoming news of a famine in Russia with the cold calculation that it would advance the goals of the revolution). Instead, I mean the current, contemporary, growing Left, a loosely defined body amongst which I count myself a member. Because unfortunately, I have also seen some of the same delicious anticipation of destruction on the Left, that is the calling card of the evangelical Right.

Look at the war, for instance. Maybe one of the most lasting consequences of the Iraq War to the United States (the consequences to Iraq are another matter) is the extent to which those who opposed the war are proved right. The problem is that "those who oppose the war" paints a broad brush. It includes everyone from real-politic Republicans put off by its tar-baby potential, to hard-core pacifists who would stare impassively if jackboots marched down their street.

In amongst those who opposed the war there are those who could be described as Left-fundamentalists. These are folks who, in their desperation to be right about the things wrong with America, wish failure upon it. There really are those who want us to lose the war; no they are not Democrats in Congress. But there are true believers who would rather be proved right, no matter the consequence to Americans and Iraqis.

There is only one reason I can see to hope that we lose the war. That's in the belief that by losing, America will be forced, in its newfound humility, to become a better actor on the world stage. I can see the rationale behind this; a kind of liberal "tough love" approach, a belief that there is only one way to learn some lessons, and that's with hard lumps. The problem with this mind set, which I think a lot of the war's fiercest critics hold, is that it basically misunderstands human nature; when defeated, people are not prone to introspection and improvement, but rather, they are prone to discontent, defensiveness, and re-writing their failure to create a painless revisionist history. See Germany, after 1918.

Defeat for America in Iraq could teach us some valuable lessons, such as that you cannot impose democracy, you cannot rule a people that do not wish to be ruled, imperial power is not enough to change hearts and minds, and it's better to lead by example then force. But it's an act of unreasonable optimism to think that these are the lessons we will learn. If we couldn't take such truths with us out of Vietnam, why Iraq? We should have learned in Vietnam the old lesson of colonialism, that no people that wishes not to be ruled can be. Instead, the biggest lie I heard about Vietnam growing up, was that we could have "won" that war if only we had fought it full-throttle; if we hadn't of been hampered by Johnson, the anti-war movement, and other various disloyal Americans, from the Media to the Trilateral Commission to those pussy vets who threw their medals over the White House fence, we would have won that war. I would guess by killing every single Vietnamese, thereby assuring that the putrid red rose of communism never swelled in their breasts. If only we had used the bomb...

This thinking was born in both a fond keening for absolute power in the face of an object lesson in the limits of power and technology, and also an as excuse for dealing with the painful reality of a lost war, America's first. The Right looked at Vietnam and instead of digesting the bitter medicine and allowing the wound to heal, they shirked the psychic truths of that conflict and turned with poison to their fellow citizens, blaming them, instead of accepting the spoiled fruits of their own pride. Who's to say they won't do it again?

No one should rejoice at our failure in Iraq. Losing this war will fuck up this country for a generation. Extremists are people who look on tragedy and see opportunity before they see empathy. Tragedy can however be an object lesson, if understood with the proper heavy heart. I hope dearly that we will learn well the lessons of our failure here, and make America a better, more responsible nation. I hate what this war has done to my loved and native home. But for the death cults on the Right and the Left, waiting for their respective Armageddons, this damage is not to be mourned, but to be embraced, for it takes them one step closer to their final orgiastic denouement, the destruction of everything they hate.

The destruction of the West.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Whither The Bulge?

The New York Times is reporting on the newest trend amongst college wrestling teams; moving away from the traditional singlet to a two-piece suit similar to what bicylists wear.


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The Downward Spiral

What better example of the decline of American journalism then the strange trip of Bob Woodward. From crusading journalist who is unafraid to expose those in power, to administration lap-dog tenaciously protecting the same, could there be a better symbol of how deeply in bed the Washington press corps has gotten with their subjects? Bob should go back and read those recently released Nixon transcripts. Something has to shock him into realizing how deeply the rot has gone.

Nixon Redux

The NYTimes has a front-pager on the new release of classified documents from the Nixon Administration, and how they relate to the current predicament. Le plus ca change, indeed.

Of course the real irony is that Johnson and Nixon made the same mistake, ignoring the lessons of history. Like those before them, they bogged their nation down in an unneeded war of aggression, prompted by an epidemic of fearful paranoia in the context of a larger geopolitical struggle. The lessons they ignored? Those laid out by Thucydides in the History of the Peloponnesian War.

Syracuse, anyone?

I'm afraid that no one in this White House has ever read the Melian Dialogue. On second, much scarier, thought, maybe they all have. What better explanation for our current foreign policy then the argument of the Athenians:

The strong do what they can; the weak suffer what they must.

From The Onion, Of Course

BOSTON—The Rev. Francis Sebastian's Sunday sermon condemning homosexual behavior was suspiciously rich in detail and nuance, parishioners from the Adoration Of The Savior Catholic Church noted Monday. "For a celibate man of the cloth, Father Sebastian is very specific about which code words not to use on which forbidden chat rooms at which times of the night," said Betty Riegert, 67. "He also seems to have done his homework on what happens if you flash your headlights at certain rest stops along Route 16." Riegert and other parishioners expect Sebastian to revisit his usual well-worn themes, "Consider The Lilies," "Back Street Sodom," and "Christ The Bridegroom," next Sunday.

File Under "News Of The Obvious"

Bill O'Reilly discovers experimental homosexuality at Brown. Repeat, at Brown. I think that experimental homosexuality is actually in the school charter.

Anna Nichole Loves The Sushi

So rumors are flying about Anna Nicole Smith's recent lesbo romp. In the "comes as no surprise" column, mark down the late night I was at Cantor's with my friend Max, during the "Anna Nicole Show" days, when the woman herself stumbled in with cameraman and entourage in tow, including her famously smitten and mousy assistant Kimmy. When Kimmy got up to use the little girl's room, Anna started looking around for her and whining in the same voice my dog makes when it needs to take a dump. "Where's Kimmy! Where's Kimmy!" When Kimmy re-appeared across the room, Anna jumped to her feet and jiggled past our table, taking Kimmy in a full embrace and sliding her tongue into Kimmy's mouth. I looked at Max, Max looked at me, the Corned Beef in my mouth turned nasty, and we got up and paid the bill.

Reason #342 Why I Heart Canada

Canadians elect a hot, coke-snorting, 39 year old homo the head of a major political party. There is hope for my career in politics!

Manufactured Outrage

It turns out that all but five of the 23,547 indecency complaints made to the FCC in August, all but five of them came from one shrill pressure group, the Parent's Television Council. When are we going to stop falling for the fake Wal-Mart populism? Or better yet, how about an FCC e-mail campaign asking for a little more skin on the 700 Club? After all, isn't that what's going to happen when the Rapture comes, and we're all lifted up, sans clothes, to meet our maker?

Pat Robertson naked. Mmmmm, flabby. Yum.

Props to Wonketeer.

Hard Times Come Again No More

I feel much better now. That throbbing vein on my temple, the one that has been angrily pulsating since that Sunday morning when Ray Nagin announced the evacuation of New Orleans? It just burst.

It turns out that people in the Ninth Ward are returning home to find a special little prize in their crushed cracker-jack box houses. Namely, the decomposing bodies of their loved ones. Yes, since the search for bodies in NoLa was prematurely called off on October 3rd, 104 corpses have been found, many of them by relatives finally getting the chance to return home. The Coroner of New Orleans, who warned of just such a thing, expects even more bodies to be discoved by friends and family when the whole Ninth Ward is finally re-opened.


I've been reading San Francisco Is Burning by Dennis Smith, his gripping history of the governmental malfeasance that destroyed that city in 1906. No, it wasn't the earthquake. It wasn't the fire. It was the disastrous decisions of corrupt politicians blinded by self-interest that led to that city burning for four excruciating days. Disasters change things; they reveal the truth about people and organizations that in normal times can be obfuscated and spun. A disaster is like a flash going off, freezing a clear moment in history, and giving us a reference point for political and social development into the future. The fire that swallowed San Francisco ignited a progressive political movement in California that continues to this day. Having seen our own Nero fiddling from the cabin of a converted 747, maybe we too will take heed, and learn the many lessons evident in a government that cannot even retrieve it's dead 2 and a half months after a disaster. There is a saying in the military, a saying that the P.O.W. movement kept alive: No Man Left Behind.

It's a saying that this entire nation should finally, truly, and with passion take to heart.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Play Nice!

Focus on the Family is coming to New York. Hey there, didn't you kids learn in Kindergarten to stay on your side of the Red State/Blue State sandbox? We'll, I guess that's their revenge for the gay cowboy movie.
Then again, the gay cowboy movie is getting Oscar buzz while Focus on the Family is likely to just find New Yorkers:

Props to Good As You.

It's Like Bad Shakespeare

Two signs that the rats, if not fleeing the sinking ship, are definitely scurrying along the rope lines. First, someone is leaking to the Washington Times that Bush has lost it. Remember, this paper is the house organ of the Republican Party, with especially close ties to the Pentagon. Second, ole straight-talkin' Rumsfeld might be setting up a Whaaa? Me? defense. Stuff Happens.

Hat tip to Americablog.

Welcome To The JungleLand

Born To Run is out in a limited-edition 30th anniversary box set, complete with a documentary about the grueling recording sessions that saw half the E Street Band quit, and a film of a 1975 concert performance at the Hammersmith Odeon. Need I once again say, Senator Springsteen?

Anderson Cooper Comes To Jesus

Gawker delivers the yellowcake to the lucky reader who guessed the hour of Judith Miller's departure:

They follow up with a string of other possible media prognistications, including my favorite 2:

g. When will Anderson Cooper finally, publicly admit he’s a big fag?
h. (Related: Top or bottom?)

The answers?
G. When I finally make a man out of him.
H. Ha!

This Is Where I Want To Die

A nursing home in Ireland has figured out the perfect way to ease passage from this life. A pub. On the Premises. With Guinness on tap. Good lord that's genius. Your kids might even come to visit, and the dank pub smell could even mask the formaldehyde stink of death.

Credit to Andrew.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Lost In The Woods

New York Magazine rounds out it's sex issue with a feature on Bears. It's cursory, and they don't actually talk to any bears, but for what it's worth. They coulda called, ya know.

Props to Andy.

It Don't Get No More Crazy Then This

Someone needs to put this photo in the dictionary under "Religious Nutjob". Right next to the picture of Pat Robertson.

This Might Make Bill Bennett's Head Explode

God bless the Museum Of Contemporary Art. Those crazy kids have a new pop-culture infused exhibition, reminiscent of their infamous "Helter Skelter" show a few years back. But instead of promoting the murder of comely young starlets, this particular "success de scandale" just wants you to do drugs. Lots of drugs. Preferably mushrooms.

I can't imagine a better culture-war title then Ecstasy: In Or About Altered States. I'm jonesing to go, but I've paged my dealer three times and bumpkiss. This exhibit must explain why the town's drier then Ann Coulter's snatch.

I wonder if MOCA gets federal funding? That would be awesome.

The Religious Right's Worst Nightmare

In an up-and-coming corner of D.C., an evangelical church is seduced by a nefarious loft developer. The pastor sees the clear hand of The Gay Agenda, right there in the Washington Post:

Several weeks after the initial hearing with the Historic Preservation Review Board, the Rapture Lofts project wins final approval, with modifications. But instead of calling it Rapture Lofts, the developers decide that T Street Flats is a more marketable name. So much for legacy. Pastor Theresa Garrison says she doesn't care what the lofts are called. From the pulpit one Sunday morning, she warns that the hallowed church grounds soon will be overtaken by the sinful. "See, I found out that the rent is gonna be so high that only the rich homosexuals and lesbians will be able to buy this condominium," she tells the congregation. One part of what the pastor says is true: The condos will be priced from $400,000 to $1 million, with no set-asides for affordable units.

Satan, thy name is Gentrification!

Props to Wonkette.

A Synchophant Grows A Spine?

The New Yorker imagines a Harriet spurned:

October 28th
I just spoke with Michael Moore. What an inquisitive, interesting man. He said that many of the things I shared with him about being White House counsel were very, very interesting to him. We made plans to meet for coffee soon, so that I can show him some papers. Do you know what phrase has less and less meaning for me with each passing second? “Attorney-client privilege.”

Hat tip to Americablog.

I Have A "Business Dinner"

Sorry for the light posting this weekend. I'm moving to my new house in Mt. Washington, with all that entails, and I just received a new computer at work. No, that's not lipstick on my collar. I promise to "make you feel like a natural woman" soon.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Big Truck Goes Boom!

So they've been filming Mission Impossible III, The Impregnation here in downtown L.A., including at the factory I work in. To make extra-sure that everyone knows about his unassailable heterosexuality, Tom Cruise is said to have been doing his own stunts. Which is suppose means personally, personally!! destroying these luxury S.U.V.'s with his Thetan-free thoughts. Being the good method actor that he is, I wonder how he might have motivated himself for such chaos:







I mean, how low have you sunk when your job requires you to run away from an enraged starlet in Ugg boots and pink legwarmers?

I was once a baby photographer, and I thought that was humiliating.

The eternal shoutout to Defamer.

Preach-off Round Three!

Sadly No! brings us the latest round of X-Treme Wingnut Preachoff! Who will carry the victor's crown this time, the Reigning Champion, The Canadian Crusader, Pastor Joseph Swank JR, or the challenger, a young upstart from WorldNetDaily, Pastor Jim Rutz? You might be surprised! Remember:

Watch out Yoshimi!

A large lizard. A gaggle of pretty Japanese girls with porkchops taped to their heads. A deep-seated cultural fear predicated by dozens of Godzilla movies. Mayhem ensues!

The End Of Reason?

I'm going to do something dangerous here. I'm going to recommend a book only moments after finishing the first chapter. I'm still wet from the bath and I encourage anyone who likes what I write to go and pick up a copy of Sam Harris' The End Of Faith. It's worth your fourteen bucks for the first chapter alone.

I think that I will be writing quite a bit about this book, and it's late so I'll be brief. I will say that in the first chapter Harris articulates many of my own ideas with more eloquence then I can muster. His book is essentially about how, in an age where our technology has created weapons on a scale to threaten human existence, we simply cannot afford any longer the luxury of myth.

Unlike many critics of religion, I also appreciate that Harris' book does not read like a polemic against belief; rather than an indictment, it is more a cross examination. He remarks in his first chapter that there is much about spiritual experience, what he refers to as a "change in subjectivity", that we simply do not know; and while, like E.O. Wilson in his classic Consilience, he holds out hope that science will eventually explain such experiences, he does not say that we can or should always rid ourselves of them across the vail of life (although one suspects that he probably much admires the ancient cynic who stands unbowed before death).

Anyway, pick it up. Join me in reading it. When I post about it, make comments. Form a dialectic. One chapter in and I feel, just like I did with Consilience, just like I did with a dozen different books at St. John's College, that this one could be something big. The paradigm might have slipped an inch.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Best. Appointment. Idea. Ever.

Senator Springsteen. OMG, Senator Springsteen!!!
Anyone who's ever listened to Highway Patrolman, or The Promised Land, or My City In Ruins understands that Bruce Springsteen knows more about America then any dozen of the lawyers and ex-bug exterminators currently clacking down the marble halls of Congress. With the stroke of a pen, Jon Corzine could bring a bit of poetry to the ugly business of government. He's got activist cred, hard-earned life experience, and a bone-deep emotional connection to millions of Americans.
Senator Springsteen.
If not this, can we at least name him Poet Laureate?

What Is it With Me And The Lesbians?

So, I just Googled myself (yeah, you do it too) and I found a link that, in the heading, seems to have a bit of a review of my film in the Village Voice. But when I click on it, it takes me instead to a Lesbian sex site. In Spanish. WTF?
Well, at least with a name like Spencer Windes, I don't have to suffer from a GoogleDoppleGanger.

Must. Let. Out. The. Poison.

Representative Warren Chisum (rhymes with....) of Pampa, Texas, was the author of the anti-gay marriage amendment just passed in Texas. In an act of supremely condescending moderation, he had this to say when asked about the next gay-bashing proposal on the slate in Texas, a law that would ban gays from being foster parents:

"I'm not about to go out and beat up on the homosexual community. Some of them do a fabulous job of stepping in (as foster parents) when no one else will."

That's right folks, the Republican Representative author of Texas' newest piece of gay hate law likes to casually drop the word "fabulous" in front of reporters.

What a fag.

Oh and if we make such "fabulous" parents, I guess the good representative has some research that shows that we make really, really unfabulous spouses, right? I'm sure that he tucked himself under his fabulous comforter in his fabulous "country-style" bedroom of his fabulous West Texas mini-ranch the night of the election with the smug satisfaction of knowing that, hey, he's not a total asshole. He just thinks that you have to keep people in their place, dontcha? Which for him is apparently a good six feet under. From the Austin Chronicle:

Chisum also incited controversy in 1994 when he revealed that he had invested $200,000 in the life insurance policies of six AIDS patients, paying them a percentage of the policies' face value and collecting the full amount when the patients died. Chisum justified his investment in these so-called "viatical settlements" to the Houston Post by pointing out that the settlements -- which many advocates for AIDS patients support -- allowed the patients to pay for medicine and hospital care that they might not otherwise have been able to afford. Many believed that Chisum's credibility was tainted, however, when he told the same reporter that "if they die in one month, you know, they [the settlements] do really good."

Take a good look at the banality of evil, folks:

Judge Not

I just threw my Diet Coke against the wall. Maybe we should bring back miscegenation while we're at it.

Always Reliable Pat

The Reverend Robertson, extending his assassination order to the good folks of Dover, PA:

I'd like to say to the good citizens of Dover. If there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to God, you just rejected Him from your city. And don't wonder why He hasn't helped you when problems begin, if they begin. I'm not saying they will, but if they do, just remember, you just voted God out of your city. And if that's the case, don't ask for His help because he might not be there.

All that because they threw out the previous school board that wanted to teach metaphysics in science class.

OK, all together now, to the theme tune of "androgynous Pat" sketch on Saturday Night Live:

Wheeen its time for wingnuttery, It's Pat!

Hat tip to Andrew.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The Decline Of The Empire, Vol.XXIIXVXIXVII

Ironically, Fox News has directly caused a 42% global increase in "People Who Want Us Dead". Funny how that works.

Hat tip, of course, to Wonkette.

Straight Guys Are Perverts

So this dude managed to get himself arrested in Wisconsin. It turned out that he had a habit of taking pictures of his junk and then lovingly placing said photos on the windshields of foxy area ladies.

Yet another tragic example of the life irredeemably twisted by heterosexuality.

If only Mr. Jeffrey Hein of Waukesha, Wisconsin had been a homosexual! Then he could have posted photos of his junk on, say,, where instead of arrest and humiliation, he may have received some flattering attention. Also, his mustache would have been considered an ironic reference to classic queer culture in the 70's, instead of the creepy calling card of a hetero man-perv.

Plus, as a gay, he would have had the good sense to shave his fucking head.

How many more lives will be lost to the sick and wicked ways of The Breeders (no, not the band) before America wakes up and does something about it? How many Jeffrey Heins must there be?

Story courtesy of Jalopnik.

See a Cult Classic Before It's a Cult Classic

From my buddy Doug:


Saturday 11/12 Midnight
Laemmle Sunset 5
8000 Sunset Blvd. LA Ca
This has to be the ultimate modern day ed wood discovery - John s. Rad. Who is he? Nobody knows. He's not on imdb. If you tried your hardest to make a horribly awful film, it couldn't touch this glorious 35mm stinker - yes 35mm, not video.
I would recommend going to this midnight screening if you can. John s. Rad very sincerely wrote, produced, directed, and composed the soundtrack to this spectacular piece of sh*t - look for an article about all this in Thursday's LA Weekly - but you heard it here first! it was a surreal experience to see this kind of thing opening in theaters in the year 2005 (about 6 in the LA area - proving ANYTHING is possible). Alas it sunk faster than War of the Worlds, but now's your chance! Go see DANGEROUS MEN saturday midnight laemmle sunset 5 - 8000 Sunset Blvd West Hollywood - bring friends!! bring alcohol! trust me! Get in on the ground floor of this future cult classic - you were there first!
You won't be sorry - well, you WILL be sorry but... you know what i mean.

What Anthrax Couldn't Do...

The incestous relationship between government and the fourth estate claims yet another victim:


Graphic courtesy of Gawker.

Seig Heil Olsen Twins!

Everyone's favorite adorable pre-teen Aryans are back in the news, due to their upcoming presence in Teen People. Appearently they were offered editorial control on the article. I'd give these irascible munchkins editorial control in a second. What's not to love!

I'm on Gawker!

My favorite NYC gossip blog has put me on their To Do list for the screening of my film tonight. If you are in NYC, Go! Go! Go! to the Pioneer Theatre. All the cool kids will be there, I swear. Lindsey, Brittany, Tara, Paris.
And that's just the drag queens.

Arnold Gets Two Thumbs Down

Like lots of Californians, I thoroughly enjoyed the bitch-slapping Arnold received at the hands of the voters yesterday. While I actually wanted Prop 77, the redistricting reform, to win, there is something viscerally satisfying about seeing a strong man humbled, a pleasure that was definitely in play in this election. I think that all the pundits really underestimated how much of this vote was driven by star psychology; the love Americans have of seeing once-adored celebrities brought low. This election had as much to do with the recent implosion of Tom Cruise's career as it did with the issues; like Cruise, Arnold was seen as having overstepped his bounds, of committing hubris, thus giving us all the chance to bring him low in a collective action of jealous schadenfreude. We love to set up our bad boys, who flaunt their egos and bend the rules. But we also love bringing them down hard. Call it the soap opera factor, but I think that political class just doesn't get how much elections are driven by the emotional relationship individuals have with the celebrity status of the politician in question. This doesn't just happen with ex-movie stars who run for office. Much of the collective feeling towards the Clintons is also driven by the dramatic story arc of their personal lives and how they are perceived. That's why, in a recent RNC pushpoll, a friend of mine was asked "How do you feel about Hillary Clinton?" "Does she make you angry?". George Bush's recent plummet in the polls has much to do with how his fumbling around after Katrina strayed from the script Karl Rove had written for him as the anti-intellectual "man of action".
What every politician needs these days is what actors have always needed in Hollywood; a good story. Arnold's latest chapter was a real dog. Just like Cruise shitcanning his Publi-sister this week, Arnold should start looking around at his entourage. Someone needs to put this project into turnaround.

I heart Maine

What is it about salty New Englanders that just breeds common sense?

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Give That Man a Gold Watch!

This Sunday I'll be driving over to Beverly Hills to attend a Rick Santorum retirement party.

It's one year until Senator frothy mix is up for re-election, and the hippy freaks are coming out of the woodwork. He'd behind a good ten points in the Pennsylvania polls, and it would be wonderful if we could send the man who once won Roll Call's name-the-dumbest-senator contest back to Pittsburgh with his state-funded homeschooled brats and dead baby in tow.

See if you can attend a Rick Santorum retirement party near you. All the cool kids will be there. My only question is whether there will be some hot man-on-dog action at the party. Well, it is Beverly Hills!

I'm a Bad Wingman

So I have an older posting below entitled "Lesbians Are Hot", making fun of this snarky photo of Mary Cheney they've been running in the Advocate:

I checked my Sitemeter a moment ago, and I discovered that this poor soul in Louisiana had come to my site after doing an MSN search for "Hot Lesbians".
Sorry Dude. My bad.

A Little Reminder For My 3 Straight Readers

First they came after the faggots, yada yada yada...

From Dan Savage:

STRAIGHT RIGHTS UPDATE: As I mentioned a few months ago, a vaccine for two of the most common strains of HPV, the virus that causes genital warts, is currently moving through the federal approval process. HPV can also cause cervical cancer in women, and the cancers caused by the virus kill 4,000 American women every year. Who could possibly be against the introduction of a vaccine—one that has proven 100 percent effective in clinical tests!—that will save thousands of women's lives every year? Those "culture of life" assfucks, that's who.

"A new vaccine that protects against cervical cancer has set up a clash between health advocates [and] social conservatives who say immunizing teenagers could encourage sexual activity," the Washington Post reported last week. Doctors want teenage girls to receive the vaccine as a matter of routine when they hit puberty, something the religious right opposes. "Because the vaccine protects against a sexually transmitted virus, many conservatives oppose making it mandatory, citing fears that it could send a subtle message condoning sexual activity before marriage... 'I've talked to some who have said, "This is going to sabotage our abstinence message,"' said Gene Rudd, associate executive director of the Christian Medical and Dental Associations." (To his credit, Rudd said he would want his daughters vaccinated.)

The right's abstinence message has bigger problems than this vaccine. Studies have shown that young men and women are still having premarital sex—no shit—despite the billions of dollars the Bush administration has poured into abstinence education. A study conducted at Texas A&M University found that kids who've been subjected to abstinence-only sex education, the right's preferred brand, have more sex than kids who aren't subjected to abstinence-only sex education. So what the right is saying is this: We're willing to kill American women in order to avoid "sabotaging" our ineffectual abstinence-only message. Nice.

Who ultimately gets to determine the government's position on the HPV vaccine? Thanks to George W. Bush, the Christian fundies do. From the Washington Post: "The jockeying [around the HPV vaccine] reflects the growing influence social conservatives, who had long felt overlooked by Washington, have gained on a broad spectrum of policy issues under the Bush administration. In this case, a former member of the conservative group Focus On The Family serves on the federal panel that is playing a pivotal role in deciding how the vaccine is used." W stands for women—that's what he told us when he ran for president. But, hey, it wasn't a lie. George W. Bush never said anything about standing for live women.

I've said it before, straight folks, and I'll say it again: The right-wingers and the fundies and the sex-phobes don't just have it in for the queers. They're coming for your asses too.

I Heart the Kansas School Board

Disproving evolution with every vote!

The New Yorker Torture Article

My patriotism swells like the battered cheekbones of a Haji with a broken jaw...

Bullet Effectively Dodged

Dov's off the hook on one of the sexual harassment charges. I'm sure that Chuck Norris was somehow involved.

Thirty Things You Didn't Know About Chuck Norris

Number 12: The chief export of Chuck Norris is pain.

Get that man to Guantanamo, posthaste!

Because I'm a Uniter, Not a Divider

I often cry myself to sleep on my pillow in sadness over the ugliness and tension between the disparate, often warring subgroups that make up the grand tapestry of American life. That's why my heart was so warmed by this recent headline:

Texas Gay Marriage Ban May Pass With Support of Minorities, KKK.

I'm bursting with pride at doing my little part to help Bring America Together!

Seriously, I think that what we have hear is a great example of what I like to call Lifeboat Syndrome. You see it in the anti-immigrant rants of second and third-generation Americans (I mean you, the 31% of California Latinos who voted for Prop. 187), in the easy homophobia of Black preachers, and especially in the nasty infighting and racism between minorities in Los Angeles. It's a sick zero-sum game.

There is some part of human nature that makes you want to kick the next man down the ladder. It's understandable, in a way; after the trauma of fighting racism and inequality to eke out a life in America, many still-struggling minorities have deep-seated insecurities about their place in our society, and one way to help further secure that place is to find some common link with those who are the most secure; as a Marxist analyst might say, to identify with the oppressor as a way of diverting your own oppression. See also Uncle Tom.

However you describe it, it sucks. Any minority in this country who chooses not to see the natural empathetic link between their own struggle, and the treatment of other groups also fighting for their own equal rights, is being willfully ignorant. They aren't quite Sondercommandos, but the same fucked-up principle applies. In the words of the most misquoted Rabbi in history, "Inasmuch as you have done it unto the least of these my brethern, ye have done it unto me".

Monday, November 07, 2005

New RNC poll

My liberal Canadian boss was on the receiving end of of an exploratory poll from the RNC this week. He was asked whether he preferred Jeb Bush, John McCain, or Bill Frist as a Presidential candidate in 2008. The emphasis was clearly on Bush, as he was then asked the most follow-up questions about him (he had answered that of the three, he would favor McCain), including about his role in the Terry Schaivo case. There was also a question about whether he would frequently voted in primaries. Is there a Jeb faction forming at the RNC?

Much of the rest of the poll was taken up, interestingly, with Hillary Clinton. They brought up issues like "How Do you feel about Hillary Clinton?" "Does she make you angry?" "Do you know how she voted on the Iraq war resolution?" I guess that the ducks are slowly forming their cue.

I don't know if I could face another Bush-Clinton election. Don't we have any other politicians in America?

But It Does Cure Impotence And Clear Up Acne

Courtesy of the Welch's Grape Juice website:

Welch’s Grape Juice does not provide protection against the avian flu.
While we are aware of recent research on resveratrol and the inhibition of influenza viruses, no research has studied the effects of drinking Welch’s 100% Grape Juice made from Concord grapes on the avian flu. Because of this limited information, we cannot recommend the use of our product in this area. We do know, however, that Welch’s 100% Grape Juice is abundant in a number of natural antioxidant compounds, of which resveratrol is just one, that may contribute to good health in many ways. Decisions on how to manage conditions like the avian flu should be made in consultation with a physician.

Hat tip to Wonkette.

What's Your Score?

The Daily Show went up to Massachusetts to see what difference a year of gay marriage has made to the Bay State. To scientifically calibrate this process, they took along that useful tool, the Homometer:

Watch the video, courtesy of Crooks and Liars, here.

Ode To a Mediocre Politican

Doug Forrester, the supremely boring Republican Candidate for Governor of New Jersey (when's Russell Simmons going to run?) has a link on his web site to the following poem in his honor:

The Price For Governor – Faith, Experience, Loyalty And Trust
By: Habibullah Saleem

The price for Governor is loyalty and trust
The price for Governor is the absence of lust
Thoroughly qualified Doug Forrester for sure
Bringing to the voters the requirements for cure
A state of emergency for a state that’s ill
Doug Forrester with vision with maximum skill
The price for Governor is substance in accord
Artificial opponents we cannot afford
The voters today are in need of truth
Not someone unable to produce
The price for Governor means being for real
When voting for Forrester the victory is sealed
A man unwilling to decline or pretend
No wonder Doug Forrester deserves to win
Straight to the point with honesty to share
Doug Forrester as Governor with leadership to spare
Down to Earth whether Black or White
Doug Forrester as Governor an amazing delight
With nothing to hide devoted and clean
Vote for Doug Forrester and not some scheme
Understanding New Jersey is to be alert
For health and economics he’s willing to work
Putting in place collective education
Inclusive strategies with appropriate inspiration
A family man with righteous support
Unauthorized characters we must abort
Doug Forrester is accountable, dependable and precise
Willing to listen and accept advice
Knows how to provide and care for our elders
Forrester’s character is that of a welder
Not drunk on status or monetary gain
Doug Forrester as Governor productive and plain
Derailing confusion tricks and lies
Integrity and dignity he constantly applies
A builder of unity connecting the links
From the soul to the mind is the way he thinks
Winning you over with his honorable deeds
Its clear and obvious he’s the Governor we need
Born a winner with guts to challenge
Doug Forrester as Governor with exceptional balance
New Jersey as a garden in a state of decline
Defined by experience a leader genuine
Not one to brag or foolishly boast
As Governor of New Jersey oh what a host
Exposing the magicians with all of their tricks
As Governor of New Jersey Doug Forrester we pick
So let us as voters do more than just pray
Let’s vote for Doug Forrester and without delay

I want to know more about the "absence of lust". Is that a constitutional requirement, after McGreevey?
Courtesy of The Politicker.

Olvera Street Turned Me Queer

So last week one of my co-workers had his birthday, and we decided to celebrate it by heading to Olvera Street for lunch. It was the Day of the Dead, and Olvera Street is Los Angeles's restored alley of old colonial buildings, anchored by an ancient-for-L.A. Catholic church, where you can find the modern equivalent of tourist tchotchkes; little stalls selling framed posters of the recently deceased pope being welcomed into the busom of Mary, right next to a poster of Usher with his shirt off.

At the El Pueblo we tipped the Mariachi players and ate enchiladas and drank Negra Modelos. As I sat at the end of a long table with my friends, I realized that something about this place was making me nervous, and I sipped my beer a little faster. Looking around, my eyes came to rest on the two tiny bathrooms nestled into the adobe wall at the restaurant's South end. In one of those backstory flashes that hack directors love to put in the "emo moments" of their films, I remembered a day whose dark memory had not bounced about my brain for at least twenty years. I remembered the day that turned me gay.

It was all because of that fake fucking Mexican tourist bullshit. The day had been going wonderfully; Mr. Kercheville's fourth grade class had descended upon Olvera Street like Visigoths, terrifying the docents who were trying to teach us a little about L.A.'s supremely boring colonial history. They never had a chance. There were simply too many distractions. The pungent candle shops. The fake six-shooters hanging in the souvenir stalls. The hot churros that you ate in a few mouth-crammed bites. And for me, best of all, my own souvenir of California's rich Spanish heritage: A switchblade. One that contained instead of shiny steel, a small black comb.

I don't imagine I would be allowed to buy such a toy on a school field trip today.

Switchblade in my pocket, I headed down with the rest of the students for our lunch break in the courtyard of Olvera Street's restored Casita. Set into the adobe wall were the two dark carved wooden doors that led to the bathrooms. One marked Caballeros, the other Caballeras.

Did I mention that I'm the whitest person on the planet?

As I stood there in the Retrete De Caballeras washing my hands, I was startled by the presence of a large, well-made up older Latina woman who looked down upon me suspiciously from the doorway. I thought immediately of the incomprehensible signs I had seen outside of the door, and the moment's hesitation while I had made my choice. I had chosen, and this lady, obviously, had not needed to. She was well aware of what Caballeras meant. A tingling of embarrassment crept up my spine. I knew that sometimes boys did strange things to get near to girls, and I desperately wanted this woman to know that I was not one of those boys. No, not at all. But I couldn't say it with my suddenly thick tongue, and so instead, I darted past her for the freedom of the door.

And right into the loving embrace of 28 hysterical ten-year-olds.

Someone had spied me when I entered the restroom. The hesitation at the door, the mistaken entry, the approach of the old woman. By the time I shot out into the sunlight of the Casita's elegant square, the whole class had been alerted. They were waiting, suppressing their peals of laughter for the moment, the payoff, the money shot.

My switchblade knife drooped and melted in my pocket.

Mind you, nothing turned me gay. Or rather, everything did. Genetic predisposition. The amount of hormones in my mother's womb. The psychology of my parent's relationship. Too much exposure to the Love Boat. I don't think that any one thing or moment made me gay, any more then any one thing or moment made my politics, or my language skills, or my truly weird ability to always wake up one moment before my alarm goes off. It's just me. But hack pop psychologists, and the culture warriors who enable and magnify them, love to say that there are just such formative moments when gender confusion arises. This is why ex-gay movements like to teach guys to love sports and girls to wear makeup. They want to re-create gender rituals that they believe gay boys and girls missed out on. If I was in "Conversion Therapy", my Olvera Street memory would be given a portent weight, as a key to my deformed psyche.

As it was, I tipped back my beer with a laugh and thought of that horribly embarrassed blond-haired young Mormon boy, and the way that day had float painfully in his consciousness for years.

What a fucking pussy!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Paris Is Burning!

God, it's bizarre to use that title without reference to drag queens! But Paris is, actually, burning. Some of the geniuses who gave us "freedom fries" are burning as well, with self-righteous glee. To them, this represents the ultimate failure of big government socialism, as America's Iraq war deserter fails to stand up to its own nasty Muslims. But, as Atrios puts it, think of this as more 60's race riot then Al-Qaeda. From the NY Times:

The government has been embarrassed by its inability to quell the disturbances, which have called into question its unique integration model, which discourages recognizing ethnic, religious or cultural differences in favor of French unity. There is no affirmative action, for example, and religious symbols, like the Muslim veil, are banned in schools.

This policy sounds like every anti-immigration conservative's sloppy wet dream. France was the very model of the "English first" movement (although with French!), but this model of forced integration has failed. It's done nothing but anger a population already horribly alienated by Gaullic nativism (remember that in the last Presidential election, they almost elected their version of David Duke).

One of the nasty differences between Europe and the U.S. is that we (paleo-conservatives aside) accept as Americans anyone who will accept our principles of government. Europeans care more about your "culture", something which you only really develop if you are raised in a proper European home. As a writer once reminded Susan Sontag after one of her polemics comparing America to France, you live in California for fifteen minutes and you are Californian. You live in France for three generations, and you're still a goddamn Jew.

These days, with its immigration problems, xenophobic white population, budget shortfalls, and lackluster politicians, France looks more like Texas then it does like New York. Except for the fucking. They aren't so hung up on that. But otherwise, when you look to the French state, you see a bloated, deficit-ridden government in its second term of conservative party rule, whose coffers are drained by near-endless corporate corruption, most prominently involving an oil company, while its isolated and arrogant President, wildly unpopular and facing criminal investigation, still insists on an outsized place in world affairs while failing to provide even basic security to his own people at home.

It's George Bush's America, with ennui!

I Said Good Day, Sihhhrrrr!!!!!

I little reminder. I've had over nine thousand hits on this site, and almost no feedback. Remember, feel free to email me. My address is in my profile to the right. I might even print your letter, then ridicule it in a dogmatic manner and stentorian voice.

Gratuitous sucking sound

One of the great things about my last post being passed around the internet like a mongloid hooker during Fleet Week was that I was linked to by Dan Savage, the man whose latest book The Commitment, I happen to be reading. Now, I've long been a supporter of Dan's. When I mean that I am a supporter, it means dropping a cold twenty-five bucks for a hardcover of one of his books (the proficient bugger seems to put one out about every two years). I've also sung his praises at dinner parties across the Los Angeles basin, and more recently, I've been directing a good deal of my employer's advertising dollars to web publishers that run his column (not only because I love Dan, but because I think his readers are the kind of folks who care how a t-shirt fits). Needless to say I'm a fan, and on that day that Dan finally wakes up, lays aside his twink-chasing and decides that he actually likes men, I'd be the first to volunteer as happy homewrecker (come on Dan, you know that deep down, you really want a big, hairy bloke who looks ridiculous in a Speedo).

Well, at least I would have been willing to play Vronsky to Dan's Anna until I read this book. Cuz let me tell you, it's a heart-string yanking weepy. Dan Savage is in love. Old-fashioned, romantic, semi-monogamous love. He's been together for ten years with his boyfriend Terry, and the book is essentially about how two fags in love deal with the whole new terrain of gay marriage, from Dan's Catholic mom pressuring them to get hitched, to their six-year-old son insisting that "boys don't marry boys".

This is all very dizzy, coming from a guy who writes a sex column in which he frequently encourages people to cheat on their spouses and then lie about it. But Dan inevitably does so in the cause of trying to actually make things work for couples. You see, Dan isn't the jaded fag that he's so often mistaken for; he's actually more traditional then many straight people, including his own siblings that he discusses in the book. I mean, this is a guy who bought Ann Lander's Desk! He summed this up eloquently when he was on Bill Maher recently, and announced that Bill lived more of a gay lifestyle then he did. Ain't it the truth. Reading about Dan And Terry, seeing how they interact with their son, is a far more authentic exercise in the promotion of family values then any screed written by Rick Santorum could ever be. Besides, unlike certain right wing childless screeching harridans, Dan Savage is actually a parent, and like any true parent, he realizes how howlingly funny raising a kid can be (There is a scene in a motel in South Dakota where Dan has to apply ointment to his son's road-rashed ass while the young boy yells out IT HURTS DADDY! MY BUTTHOLE HURTS!OW OW OW! loud enough for the entire Red State to hear).

My favorite passage though comes when Dan talks about trying to reconcile his rather conservative instincts as a parent and "husband" with the open-mindedness he's had to learn because of his membership in a sexual minority. "Sometimes," he writes, "I get down on my knees and thank the God-I'm-no-longer-convinced-exists that I'm gay. If I wasn't so attracted to tall blond guys who look good in Speedos, I would have probably grown up to be an insufferable, judgmental prude".

This is exactly how I feel. I cringe with dread when I realize what a self-righteous twat I would have been if I wasn't gay. Oh, in many ways I still am a twat, but because I wasn't able to slide right into smug, Mormon, Republican, lawyerly self-regard, because I had to question everything I'd been taught as a way of questioning what I'd been taught about myself, I learned to look with a cautiously sceptical eye. I'm still often self-righteous, but at least I have a sense of humor that I lacked back when I wore the somber black badge of a missionary. I also try and check myself when it comes to making or believing absolute statements. All in all, by being a queer, I was forced to be an outsider. And by being an outsider, I was forced to develop a bit of empathy, a small measure of resistance to condemning others whose behavior I don't yet or cannot understand. I'll still make judgments, but they are more measured. The biggest irony of my life is the conviction I've come to deeply believe that as an agnostic, liberal, hedonistic sodomite, I am a better Christian now then I ever would have been without this particularly lovely cross to bear.

Still, Christian charity aside, I really hope that this statement makes Rick Santorum's head explode. Pharisee ain't in it.

Friday, November 04, 2005

One Giant Metaphor

Tim Iacono over at The Mess That Greenspan Made did that rarest of things for bloggers, he actually reported a story! And what a story. He heard a rumor that his local Hummer dealer was in a panic. With year-to-year sales down about 50%, his lot was being overrun with inventory. This was scaring away customers, so he found a nearby industrial park where he could store the oversized vehicles. Thus was born the great photo metaphor of the state of 21st century America:

As Tim puts it, "Overweight, Overpriced, Inefficient, and Unloved".

P.S. Welcome Sullivanistas. Twice in one week, yikes! Feel free to stay and browse.
P.P.S. Check out this lovely site with snapshots of people giving the single digit salute to the ultimate poseur vehicle. I'd encourage everyone to submit their own.
P.P.P.S. My documentary about gay guys who play roughneck sports will be out before Xmas. Check out the pre-release web site here.

Loooook into my eyes....

In a serious breach of protocol, His Royal Highness the Prince Of Wales was accompanied to the White House dinner by the re-animated cross-dressing corpse of infamous British Satanist Sir Alistar Crowley...

Photo courtesy of Wonkette, hugs and kisses!

Reason #4822 I'm a queer...

This site sent me an inquiry asking about advertising. It's oriented towards frat boys who want to gawk at pictures of drunk girls and other frat boys pulling stunts. Total jackass territory. But it did have a gallery of Halloween costume pictures, which included what may be the gayest image these guys have ever inadvertently run:

This girl doesn't need to be told to go there. She's already there.

Do not miss this Angelenos!

Drag legend Jackie Beat is having a garage sale!
Courtesy of Queerty:

HUGE SUPER-COOL GARAGE SALE IN HOLLYWOOD! Multi-household garage sale featuring gorgeous vintage house wares, knick-knacks, clothing, games, toys, sporting goods, exercise equipment, movie & music memorabilia, costumes, etc. DON'T MISS IT! Heliotrope runs parallel to, and is in between, Normandie & Vermont. 807 is between Melrose Ave. & Santa Monica Blvd.

Saturday, November 5th from 10 AM to 4 PM ONLY!
807 N. Heliotrope Drive LA CA 90029.

Is this the birth of the "Elton Defense"?

Maybe the most maudlin posting ever, from Popbitch:

Woman kills son for listening to Elton

Britain’s papers have been full of the sad
tale of a mother who murdered her Down's
Syndrome son, after caring for him full-
time for 36 years.

So what was the final straw for the
exasperated mother?

"Patrick had spent the entire day listening
to the same Elton John CD, shouting the
word 'Elton' repeatedly."

I need a roommate!

OK, this is definitely narrowing the focus of my blog, but I need a roommate! I have a new place in Mt. Washington. It's across from the Gold Line, and within walking distance of a grocery store and coffee shop. It's two bedrooms, with one bath, unfurnished. Rent is $625, which ain't bad for L.A. I'm really excited about the new place, and I want to make it a nice home. If you like the blog and want your own version at home, then drop me a line at my e-mail address in my profile. Here's two pictures. I move in next weekend.

Sigh. If only we cared so much...

Comically mis-captioned photo courtesy of the LA Times.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Aux Ramparts!!!

Dan Savage, God bless him, has come up with an idea so jaw-droppingly simple that it could blow apart the culture wars. Why not a constitutional amendment codifying the right to privacy?

Think about it. In one fell swoop liberals could push to enshrine all these disparate culture war issues under one umbrella. Abortion would be placed on solid footing, gay rights would become constitutionally evident, end-of-life questions would be culled from the grip of grandstanding politicians. While not all Americans would agree on these different issues, they do generally approve of the right to privacy, a right that conservative legal scholars have rightly pointed out, is hardly found in the constitution (when was the last time the government attempted to illegally quarter troops in your house?).

This kind of proposal could work to undo the Gordian Knot of special interests that now come into play in people's relations between their bodies and the government. It could be used to counter the encroaching technological ability of government to spy on us in the database age. It's got something for libertarians and something for liberals, two groups who, when aligned, tend to win elections. And it would be the fight of the century.

Yes, passing a constitutional amendment is about as hard as kicking a field goal from the ten yard line. Your ten yard line. The right would go absolutely crazy. The same way they poured all their bitterness and anger and wingnuttery into opposition against the Equal Rights Amendment (a fight that gave rise to the organized religious right) they would seek to spin this amendment like a lumberjack on a log. For God's sake, one of the main arguments they made against the ERA was that it would lead to same-sex bathrooms! You could expect such silliness, and more, if there was ever an organized push to constitutional privacy.

But we live in a different age then the late 1970s. People are more immune to the excesses of spin. When the religious right organized against the ERA, it was for many Americans the first time that their church took on such a straightforward partisan political cause, and it energized and thrilled them, giving them the opportunity to conflate their religious and patriotic faiths in a zionistic fervor. But this movement, having gone so far, is starting to weaken in its excesses. We're used to seeing men of the cloth now working as partisan hacks, and we're more cynical about it. The right has damaged their most valuable asset, the reputation of the Church. Americans are now more attached then ever to their civil liberties, and the old assumption that you should listen to your preacher for guidance in world affairs is diminished. But the American appetite for privacy is not. Even many Americans who consider themselves conservative Christians are unlikely to want the Terry Schiavo treatment. It's time to appeal to such folks in as broad of terms as possible.

Ever since the rise of the Religious Right, liberals in general and Democrats in particular have been casting about for what their agenda should be; for what Americans want them to do. Health Care is gelling as an issue, as our system continues to corrode. Education is an old standard, but politically played out. Many Democrats, for practical reasons, are unable to make straightforward appeals to gay rights or abortion rights or end of life issues, because they have been bitten by being painted into the corner of being anti-Christian. Well, we need to pull back the focus, and make it a big picture issue, a core issue that people feel in their gut. The Democratic Party, not the party of a particular right or special interest, but the party of the biggest right of all, the right to Privacy.

Speaking of gay marriage

Mr. Slave and Big Gay Al tie the knot.

Mr. Garrison cries his poor eyes out.
Photo courtesy of The Malcontent.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Listen to me rant about gay marriage

this is an audio post - click to play

The sequel is always worse then the original

While Americablog has been touting a paper that Judge Alito wrote while an undergraduate to show that maybe he's not as severe a conservative as first thought, Robert Gordon at Slate has put together an excellent argument that "Scalito" is indeed more ferocious then the original. Basically, it comes down to the fact that Scalia has a bit of a libertarian streak. This finds him ruling at times against government infringement of individual rights, as he has in a number of cases. Alito, on the other hand, seems to be uniformly in favor of allowing government to treat you like a dog with a bone. This makes total sense in light of the two men's background; Scalia was most famously a law professor at the University of Chicago, where he spent a lot of time formulating esoteric arguments about the law and government power. Most of these theories were quite silly justifications for his natural conservative instincts, but occasionally, so that he could avoid contradicting himself, he had to formulate positions in actual support of limited government.
Alito, on the other hand, comes from the prosecutorial school. He probably sees the law as a tool to achieve ends, in his case the ends of big government conservatism and executive power. Of the two men, it seems that Alito will be the more, well, active judicial activist. All the more reason to kill this nomination, even if he does have a really cute college age son.

Gay marriage and polygamy

There's a judge in Utah who has recently appealed to the state Supreme Court, after a commission that oversees judges ruled to remove him from the bench. Their complaint against him? His marriage. Or rather, his three marriages. Judge Walter Steed is a polygamist.
So what?

A lot of the opponents to gay marriage love to make the "Slippery Slope" argument against it, and frequently, the next step they cite on that slope is polygamy. Well, I'm a seventh generation Mormon, and I'm not impressed. Why not let polygamy be legal?

Plural marriage in America was outlawed in the late 19th century, during a time of utter hysteria about Mormons. This was the "gay marriage" debate of the 19th century. Preachers ranted, politicians bloviated, and the federal government passed questionable laws banning the practice. The Mormon church challenged these laws all the way to the Supreme Court, and lost.

Yet as so frequently happens when the government tries to legislate taste, those who did not agree with the law kept up the practice anyway. Polygamy was forced underground, where, like the drug trade, it tended to attract some shady characters. While the mainstream Mormon church abandoned the practice of polygamy (though not the theology) in a bid for respectability, these schematic polygamists still live across the mountain West, in numbers estimated at anywhere from 30 to 100 thousand. They are not alone in their peculiar institution. Much of the world still allows plural marriage; most famous is Islam, which permits the taking of four wives by one man. When the anti-gay crowd rants about marriage being a sacred institution thousands of years old, they miss the fact that for much of the world, and over much of those thousands of years, marriage included polygamy. The Old Testament is quite evident proof of just that.

To all of which I say, so what? The Mormon Church shouldn't have to deny its theology of plural marriage. Forget the freedom of religion issue, whose business is this anyway? Provided that we are talking about consenting adults choosing to marry each other (not always the case in American polygamous communities, but that is as much a result of their closed underground status as anything) why is it my affair if one man and two women, or vice versa, wish to be married? Andrew Sullivan, in attempting to truncate the gay marriage debate from the issue of polygamy, has said that plural marriage could be disqualified on the grounds that the marriage bond is "so deep and profound that it can only be felt between two human beings". But on what grounds does he say that? There are numerous polygamists who will testify that their marriages are deep and profound, just as gay couples also testify. Why discount a form of marriage that has been widely practiced throughout history in such a manner? The modern twist on this is that if we were to allow polygamous marriage, we would of course allow it both ways; by making it possible to have matriarchal plural marriage ( a rarer, but not unknown practice across cultures) we deal away with the feminist objections to polygamy as intrinsically demeaning to women.

Look, personally, I think that anyone who wants to be married to more then one spouse at a time is a total nut. I don't claim to know exactly how polygamy works. I do know, however, that it does work for lots of people on this planet. Unlike the real objections to bestiality and pedophilia (both of which demand the sexual involvement of a partner incapable of giving consent) polygamy is a practice of adults who choose, whether for religious reasons or not, to engage in their own idea of marriage. Why should the government veto that? The legal opposition to polygamy in U.S. law is the hangover of a fit of 19th century religious hysteria, based on a silly, hypocritical interpretation of the bible. It's just another reason to get the government out of the marriage business altogether.