Friday, September 28, 2007
Critical Mass turned 15. Hot, sexy, yet still underage. And, we're off!
Yes, that is a dog in the bag.
Just a little loop down Embarcadero, and back.
Hottie in short shorts from behind. Whee! Enjoying relaxing slow group fun. MUNI train drivers honked, either in appreciation, or to tell cyclists to get out of the way.
Hottie in short shorts from the side. "Take the Bridge!" some shouted. We didn't.
Heading back up Market St. as it got dark. Ahh, that long thin main drag, and all those treacherous train rails.
Cutie on a funny bike as we pass City Hall. The goddess was kind, and fulfilled my wish, to have the entire ride go right to Hayes Valley, only blocks from my home.
I stopped home, ate a banana, gulped a protein shake, changed my shirt, washed my face, and headed off to see Circo Zero's Sol Niger. When I got to Octavia Blvd, the ride had shifted back in the direction I was going.
The show was cool, and dark, and creepy and artistic. At one near silent point, I could hear the TV helicopters fluttering overhead, and knew that the last shreds of the ride were still racing around wreaking havoc.
I felt good.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
As reported in the BAR, the Folsom Street Fair's poster, a parody of Leonardo da Vinci's "The Last Supper," has sparked the venemous spew of the rightwing religistas. Apparently, they've just discovered that (after years) Miller Beer is a sponsor of a leather street fair! Shock and horror, etc.
The Catholic League, while engaging in massive copyright infringement by posting dozens of pics by FredAlert, is doing nothing but help promote the already very popular spanky wanky day-long fair.
Miller's reps caved and asked to have their logo removed from the posters, which, um, have already been printed and distributed all over town. Hello?
Rightingistas have "called for a massive boycott" with their alleged pals in the other faiths, including Muslims, who don't drink beer.
Funny, I don't recall The Catholic League aligning with Muslims to protest the mass murder of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians through the past years of the Bushco Occupation.
And while the religistas blather on about how shocking some street spanking is, they fail to recognize that A) the poster parodies a painting, not the event itself. B) The painting was made by a homosexual. C) Gays drink more beer than conservative prudes, and similar boycotts have failed, miserably. D) The Fox Network, which plays home to this joke of outrage, broadcast two prominent "Last Supper" parodies, on its shows The Simpsons and That 70s Show. Dozens of others feature kittens, dogs, and even Sesame Street characters. As Dan Savage asks, "Where's the outrage there?"
Oh, and while we're on the subject of public sadomasochism, why not fancy some Vatican-sanctioned art? And a little Mel Gibson movie so disgustingly violent and sadomasochistic that it makes Folsom St. seem like, well, Sesame Street by comparison.
Other opinions here and here.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
According to the NY Daily News:
Brokeback Mountain writer Annie Proulx has given the go-ahead to an opera based on her story about two gay cowboys, we hear. Fellow Pulitzer Prize winner Charles Wuorinen will compose. Producer Beckett Swede, whose Future Music has mounted Gordon Getty's operas, is also creating "Popra: Famous for 15 Minutes ... My Years With Andy Warhol," written by former Warhol superstar Ultra Violet.
Please provide your suggested song titles in the comments.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
GOP presidential candidate, former New York City mayor and occasional drag queen Rudy Giuliani has his staffers distancing themselves from a fundraiser that crassly asked $9.11 per person.
Considering Rudy has been boasting about his accomplishments ever since Sept. 11, it should be no surprise. But his underlings are claiming it wasn't their idea.
Rudita, as he's known when in drag, arrogantly dared terrorists to try and bomb the World Trade Center after the 1993 attacks, and for course, they took him up on his dare.
EVERY one of his fundraisers should have a crass 9/11 tie-in. So 9/11 is, in effect, Rudy's fault.
And, also in the world of crass entertainment, closeted lesbian Queen Latifa got a bit huffy when asked about her obstruse comments on gay marriage by Dallas Voice Life+Style Editor Daniel A. Kusner.
Kusner gives the play-by-play from a multiple-reporter phone interview, where he's the only interviewer asking "the gay" questions.
Latifah and her underling promised a longer interview to discuss the "gay" topics later, after the four-prong fluff session was over with. Of course, they lied and backed away when pressed.
Latifah skirts around questions about her own sexual orientation. That may have been off-limits for years. But when she makes comments about gay marriage, rolls into a town with her publicists courting the gay press for her domestic violence cause, then doesn't know squat about the discriminatory problems LGBT couples face when trying to deal with domestic violence issues, it's time for Miss Thing to get schooled.
And, in news that makes it now official; there is no reason at all to watch Saturday Night Live ever again:
Maya Rudolph abruptly left the show just before the season opener and will not be returning. With her fabulous characterizations (Nooni! Whitney! Donatella Vercase!) and singing talent, she will be missed from the otherwise banal show, which died years ago, but nobody told Lorne Michaels.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
The New York Times' erudite Frank Rich weighs in on the perspective that Sen. Larry Craig actually broke no laws, and aside from being the typical conservative pork-lovin' hack of a politicians, who's followed party lines against any pro-LGBT legislation, and his previous eagerness to clear himself -without being asked- of the early '80s page scandal we all forgot about pre-Foleygate, he's actually innocent.
"Justice lovers of all sexual persuasions must rally to save the Idaho senator before he is forced to prematurely evacuate his seat," wrote Rich.
Who's on Craig's side? No less an unlikely supporter than a gay activist with half a century of creds, Frank Kameny, who recently had the honor of getting a few personal items added to the Smithsonian Institution.
I remember meeting Frank in the mid-1990s. He was sitting on a little stool outside a movie theatre in Los Angeles, protesting the fact that the gay film festival OutFest had Coors as a sponsor. The beer maker has a long history of its foundation supporting rightwing politicians and legislation, but has spent a lot of advertising and sponsorship money to show that it's changed.
I even recall, when I was first fulltime at the Bay Area Reporter, a group of Coors reps coming to the office in an attempt to woo us into placing their ads. Among the people at the meeting (deceased) publisher Bob Ross held was none other than Mary Cheney.
The Craig circus may not have died down completely, but it's certainly taken a side ring. Completely off the circus line-up is a less splashy scandal that will probably never see much more attention, but it's Watergate-worthy. Unfortunately, Bushco has accumulated such a huge dungpile of scandals, that they tend to become too stench-ridden to differentiate.
Basically, according to Harpers's, Bushco snooped on John Edwards and Hillary Clinton's campaigns, in a corrupt attempt to find something -anything- to prosecute in an attempt to ruin their campaigns. Very Rovian, and very real.
Front and center in the pop culture circus, aside from Britney, are the pics of -allegedly- Oscar de la Hoya in fishnet stockings, heels, and -this is new- a tutu.
Having been a cast member of a production of Rocky Horror Picture Show (Brad Majors, believe it or not) who wore fishnets twice a weekend more than 30 times at the old Kent (Ohio) Movie Theatre back in the 80s, I'm not one to judge. Good for Oscar if he likes to wear drag. Some very macho men have a feminine side. I, however, -a total 'mo- actually gave away all my Halloween costumes a while ago.
Oscar's outfits remind me of a very sexy Cuban guy I dated many years ago. He looked like Oscar, was quite -perhaps too- butch in his usual demeanor. But come Halloween, in a tight skirt and heels, he was the nelliest thing since Chris Crocker.
The debate drags on over the authenticity of the pics.
There's no debate over the fabulousness of Circo Zero's latest show, Sol Niger. I'm going next weekend, and you better get tickets soon. Last weekend sold out.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
"In accordance with the principles of doublethink it does not matter if the war is not real, or when it is, victory is not possible. The war is not meant to be won, it is meant to be continuous. The essential act of modern warfare is the destruction of the produce of human labour. A hierarchical society is only possible and the basis of poverty and ignorance. In principle, the war effort is always planned to keep society of the brink of starvation. The war is waged by the ruling group against its own subjects. And its object is not victory over Eurasia or Eastasia, but to keep the very structure of society intact. " - Goldstein's Book - 1984 by George Orwell
Blackwater USA Dealing in Illegal Arms Sales
Iraq Expands Blackwater Investigation
Romney Hires Blackwater for Campaign Security: CorporoMedia Ignores It
Petreus: just like Powell, a Liar
The MoveOn.org "Gen. Betrayus" Ad Brouhaha
"General Betray Us" a Rightwing Phrase First
MoveOn.org Backs Up "Betrayus" Ad
GOP Aide Pushes Reporter Down Stairs
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Broker Accused of 'Spin Rage' at Gym
NEW YORK (AP) - A Wall Street stock broker has been charged with assault after he became enraged during a cycling class at a posh health club and slammed a fellow member and his bike against a wall, according to a complaint.
Christopher Carter, 44, a broker at Maxim Investments Group, was at Equinox gym taking a spin class, a high-impact workout using stationary bikes. He apparently became so fed up by member Stuart Sugarman's hooting and grunting during the workout that he picked up Sugarman and his bike and hurled them into a wall.
"This is spin rage," said Samuel L. Davis, Sugarman's attorney.
Sugarman, 48, a Manhattan hedge-fund manager, suffered a back injury that required surgery to correct a herniated disc pressing on his spinal cord, Davis said.
The incident took place last month at the Upper East Side gym, which is frequented by celebrities and wealthy business executives, Davis said. Sugarman, who weighs about 200 pounds, was enjoying the "euphoric experience" of cycling and was making noises to increase his high, according to Davis.
"Carter yelled over to him to shut up," Davis said. "My client yells back: 'This is spin class. If you don't like it, leave. Stop being such a baby,'" he said.
With that, Carter walked over to the bike, lifted it into the air and flipped it over, Davis said.
See the Video Interview.
(This is why I don't go to Spinning Classes, other than the idea of riding a one-wheeled bike to no where.)
Monday, September 17, 2007
Andrew Meyer, a University of Florida student was violently assaulted and tasered by rent-a-cops at the University of Florida at a tepidly attended speech given by Democratic Conceder-in-Chief John Kerry.
Here's the disturbing video.
The idiot fake cops "arrested" him for 'inciting to riot.'
Meyer asked three questions.
Why did Kerry so quickly concede the 2004 elections, when it was known on election day that there massive problems? Why didn't he contest the results? And was he a member of Skull and Bones in college, the secret society of rich white power males? Did he actually want to become president?
Wait, that's four questions. But, why was Meyer handcuffed, tased, and dragged away?
For asking the questions millions of people long ago figured out the answer to; that Kerry's secret cabalistic membership in Skull and Bones may have had as much to do with him "losing" the election as the massive second round of election fraud in the presidential elections.
You can read the many comments on that incident in the comments; the guy was misbehaving, out of order, yada yada.
You can hear Kerry muttering on in the background in his monotone as Meyer is pummeled to the ground.
Last year, activists led a march decrying the use of tasers. Almost 200 people have died from police use of tasers. Here's the audio of a woman in a wheelchair being tasered to death.
Typing from my Old Timey Post-Activist Rocking Chair, I can only offer some tips for would-be confrontationists:
If you really want to get the point across, be concise. Don't hog the mic.
If you plan on being disruptive, be prepared to get arrested. Bring legal aide in advance.
I'd say bring media, but it seemed there were about two dozen people with cameras of all kinds. But the cops have upped their (potentially fatal) technology, too, which is why I no longer do these sort of things.
But you kids. Keep it up.
Update:CNN has caught the story, as have many other corporate outlets, thanks to a variety of independent videographers who caught several angles of the fracas.
"Taserkid" as Meyer is being derisively called by rightwing pundits and dipsticks, may sue, and the rent-a-cops were placed on leave; paid leave (here, for being an ass, you get money for nothing).
Oh, and "Taser Boy" Meyer is a bit of a would-be actor, as shown in this silly short film from his website.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Sally Field, accomplished actress of film and TV, whom I've adored since her days as The Flying Nun, got censored during her acceptance speech at the Emmys tonight. She won Best Actress in a Drama.
I didn't watch the show. I was at a barbeque having fun. But in Hollywood, several actors got censored for using four-letter words.
Fox, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch, who has admitted to being biased in favor of President Bush and the invasion of Iraq, deleted Field's reference to mothers being upset about their kids being sent off to a "god damned war."
The question being raised is whether Field would have been so censored if she only hadn't used a swear word. The channel that spewed out years of blatantly pro-Bush, pro-war, anti-peace, anti-liberal propaganda might have let Field make an anti-war statement, is only she hadn't put the words "god" and "damned" together, not used it as an adjective for "war."
But apparently, putting those two words together and saying them on broadcast television loosens the very fabric of our nation, and will result in the complete unraveling of our national sanctity.
Forget that the entire "war" has been proven to be a complete fraud, Alan Greenspan castigated Bushco for the "war" being nothing but an obvious oil grab, and a majority of polled Americans want Bush/Cheney impeached.
But say "god" and "damned," and say goodbye to your quotable quote while you hold a fake statuette.
You wouldn't know that from reading the Associated Press article about Emmy censorship, which even censored any mention of Sally Field being censored! A second Yahoo/AP article specifically focusing on Emmy censorship also deliberately omitted referencing Field.
That's show biz!
Thankfully, at least the LA Times' Tom O'Neil included the Field fracas in his coverage.
Oh, and watch Brothers and Sisters, for which Field won the god-damned Emmy. It's good TV, despite coming from the network that brought you the utterly fraudulent Path to 9/11.
Oh, and Ugly Betty on ABC is the gayest show since Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. America Ferrera won for Best Actress in a Comedy. And my local ABC affiliate aired the G-rated and yet war-referencing bit of Field's acceptance speech without the GD words, but didn't mention Fox's censorship.
Gee, maybe they're not so bad, at least some of the time.
LATER: Others chimed in, and many celebrity shows aired her complete quote, with just god-damned bleeped out.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Some good news today, for a change:
Central Kings students wear pink to send bullies a message
By IAN FAIRCLOUGH Valley Bureau
CAMBRIDGE — Two students at Central Kings Rural High School fought back against bullying recently, unleashing a sea of pink after a new student was harassed and threatened when he showed up wearing a pink shirt.
The Grade 9 student arrived for the first day of school last Wednesday and was set upon by a group of six to 10 older students who mocked him, called him a homosexual for wearing pink and threatened to beat him up.
The next day, Grade 12 students David Shepherd and Travis Price decided something had to be done about bullying.
RELATED: Pink shirts legend grows
"It’s my last year. I’ve stood around too long and I wanted to do something," said David.
They used the Internet to encourage people to wear pink and bought 75 pink tank tops for male students to wear. They handed out the shirts in the lobby before class last Friday — even the bullied student had one.
"I made sure there was a shirt for him," David said.
They also brought a pink basketball to school as well as pink material for headbands and arm bands. David and Travis figure about half the school’s 830 students wore pink.
It was hard to miss the mass of students in pink milling about in the lobby, especially for the group that had harassed the new Grade 9 student.
"The bullies got angry," said Travis. "One guy was throwing chairs (in the cafeteria). We’re glad we got the response we wanted."
David said one of the bullies angrily asked him whether he knew pink on a male was a symbol of homosexuality.
He told the bully that didn’t matter to him and shouldn’t to anyone.
"Something like the colour of your shirt or pants, that’s ridiculous," he said.
"Our intention was to stand up for this kid so he doesn’t get picked on."
Travis said the bullies "keep giving us dirty looks, but we know we have the support of the whole student body.
"Kids don’t need this in their lives, worrying about what to wear to school. That should be the last thing on their minds."
When the bullied student put on his pink shirt Friday and saw all the other pink in the lobby, "he was all smiles. It was like a big weight had been lifted off is shoulder," David said. No one at the school would reveal the student’s name.
Travis said that growing up, he was often picked on for wearing store-brand clothes instead of designer duds.
The two friends said they didn’t take the action looking for publicity, but rather to show leadership in combating what they say is frequent bullying in schools.
Friday, September 14, 2007
Talk about a Warholian fifteen minutes!
Chris Crocker is insta-famous for his screeching, bawling "Leave Britney Alone!" YouTube rant. Instant parodies, instant replies, instant re-edits (like the one below) and instant in-depth interviews; well, that one by Eli Sanders is actually well-thought and well done.
Lots of antigay attacks, lots of support and a ton of attention have been written in comments about the Southern femme boy (on Real Bitch Island, aka somewhere in the south US).
And word is he'll soon have a reality show, more fame, and more ridicule, but at least an escape from his small town life. MTV execs want to exploit his "virality."
Half of me thinks, "You go, girl!" the other half thinks, "Oh, joy, another stereotypical queeny Franklin Pangborn for the media to eat alive.
He's a hero. He's a little boy. He's a queen. He's a star.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
ABC Shelves Path to 9/11 DVD
by Vyan in General Discussion: Politics
Wed Sep 12th 2007, 02:29 PM
Last year during the fifth anniversary of 9/11 ABC televised a mini-series "dramatizing" some of the events which supposed led to attacks against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
Now, amid virulent criticism of the accuracy of it's docu-drama, ABC has declined to release the film on DVD and it's writer/creator, avowed conservative activist, Cyrus Nowresteh is now hopping mad. From Today's WSJ.
Left-leaning pundits, politicos and bloggers waxed hysterical about its supposed inaccuracies and anti-Clinton bias, though the vast majority of them had not seen it.
This passive self-censorship is just as effective as anything Joseph Stalin or Big Brother could impose. The result is the same: the curbing of free speech and creative expression, and the suppression of a viewpoint that may be an inconvenient truth for some politicians.
But ABC pulling the DVD had nothing to do with "left-leaning pundits" and everything to do with the film being a pile of lying crap.
More blather from Nowresteh via Raw Story.
Last Wednesday, in a front page LA Times Calendar piece "Clinton and the missing DVD," reporter Martin Miller gave voice to the latest series of charges from the mini-series’ neo-con writer/producer Cyrus Nowrasteh who now claims that out of deference to Hillary Clinton, ABC is shelving the five hour mini-series which was hyper-critical of her husband’s counter-terrorism record.
Oh, so now this is a dastardly plot by the villus Hillary Clinton - do tell?
In his latest FrontPage booking, Nowrasteh whines, "Last year at this time it was a coordinated effort from the Clintons, Sandy Berger, the DNC, and the far-left loony blogosphere to swamp ABC with emails and phone calls and threats to get them to block the broadcast, or recut the movie. Since then it’s been more subtle. I know there have been phone calls to top execs at Disney from President Clinton himself, and friends of the Clintons, of which there are many in Hollywood."
Wow that Hillary sure is powerful. I wonder if she got some help from that dirty bastard George Soros?
Frankly, if this is what happened - if the "far-left loony blogosphere" actually managed to cause ABC to fix the gross errors in this movie, which as a card-carrying member of that loony far-left I blogged about thoroughly here, here, here, here and here last year (and I was far from alone) - I would be impressed.
Yet somehow, I don't think that's what happened.
I think the fact that film essentially defamed John O'Neill, Richard Clarke, George Tenet, Madeleine Albright, Sandy Berger and Bill Clinton by manufacturing failures of inaction on their part which didn't take place and ignoring many successful aggressive anti-terrorist actions that did probably had more to do with it. And then there's also the issue of intellectual theft.
Don't take my word for it, listen to what Peter Lance, author of "1000 Years of Revenge" one of the books that was purportedly a major source for "Path" has to say about it...
.... 1000 Years For Revenge, was one of the three works on which ABC based the mini. They acquired it for a quarter of a million dollars in 2005 under threat of litigation, after they’d lost the book in a bidding war with NBC.
Nowrasteh then proceeded to launder most of my critical findings on negligence by the FBI and the two Bush administrations and give Path a twisted pro-Bureau slant through the eyes of ex-ABC News correspondent John Miller, who now works as Assistant Director of Public Affairs for the FBI.
"Years" documents how various failures under Bush 41 within the NYPD and NY Office of the FBI were critical in allowing Ramzi Yousef, the original WTC bomber to roam free for several years and eventually conceive of the plot which became 9/11 to finish the job he'd started in 1993.
There was a rival book on the bidding table called "The Cell" which was essential a "Disney-ized" version of similar events, but was so white-washed it was " Like telling the story of John Dillinger’s take down without mentioning FBI agent Melvin Purvis"
As it turned out, ABC failed to acquire the rights to "Years" after a fierce bidding war - so naturally Nowresteh simply appropriated parts of it to fit into his fictional narrative and went on his merry way. More from Raw Story.
Now, in July as the cameras began rolling on what ABC first called "the History Project," something told me that I should get a look at Cyrus’s script. When I turned to the first page of "Night One," I saw that Nowrasteh had lifted much of my book, scene by scene, dialogue for dialogue. He’d even titled the first two hours, "The Mozart of Terror," the name I’d coined for Yousef.
But beyond the hijacking of 1000 Years, what was most galling, was how Cyrus, hungry for some book on which to hang his story, had now embraced The Cell, the very book he’d bad-mouthed to me and elevated John Miller, who was about to take a job as chief FBI flak, to a lead character.
Worse, he’d taken the hapless Det. Lou Napoli – who had ignored Ronnie Bucca’s warnings and failed to follow the WTC bombers – and turned him into a lead member of the FBI posse out to stop bin Laden, a bullpen of real and fictional characters now led by John O’Neill.
Unable to legally acquire my book, Nowrasteh had simply appropriated it and used what he wanted from it and then set up The Cell with its pro-FBI slant as the "based on" underlying work for his re-telling of "History."
Nowresteh's unauthorized lifts from "Years" led to a lawsuit which was eventually settled for $250,000 and gave ABC the rights to the material that Nowresteh stole prior to it's airing. The settlement also included a gag-order to keep Nowresteh's theft and distortion of history and facts from becoming public - an order which Peter Lance has now knowingly breached in order to get the facts out.
Facts such as these which were not included in the film.
* Bill Clinton personally authorized each and every aggressive action suggested to stop and/or contain Osama Bin Laden (Roger Cressey)
* Under Clinton the CIA had standing orders to Kill Bin Laden (9/11 Report Page 199)
* No U.S. military personnel were ever on the ground in Afghanistan prior to 9/11 and ever had visual contact with Bin Laden (Richard Clarke)
* Bill Clinton specifically ordered Joint Chiefs Chairman Hugh Shelton to develop a plan to put Special Forces on the ground in Bin Laden's camps, but it was the Pentagon who balked - not the White House. (Richard Clarke)
* The Development of the Armed Predator, under Clinton, to address the logistical problems which plagued Special Forces in Afghanistan
* Richard Clarke's urgent Jan 2001 warnings about Al Qeada to Condi Rice and call for an immediate Principles Meeting which was ignored for 9 months.
* The Bush Administration doing nothing in response to the U.S.S. Cole bombing once Al Qaeda had been confirmed as the culprits in early 2001.
* The Midnight Ride to Condi's Office by Tenet, Cofer Black and Clark to warn that something big "10 on a scale of 1 to 10" was coming, which was ignored.
* The August 6th PDB.
* George Tenet's personal briefing of Bush in August at the Crawford ranch to reemphasize the PDB and make clear that "They're Coming Here"
* The fact that the Armed Predator, though ready, was not even discussed for deployment by the WH until Clarke's "urgent" meeting finally took place on Sept 5th.
* Sept 11th, G.W. Bush and the seven minutes of "My Pet Goat".
In the Nowresteh retelling of events, the failures of both Bush 41 are Bush 43 are completely white-washed - while any missteps by Clinton are magnified and many are completely fabricated. Clinton did everything wrong, Bush did everything right.
But how could we expect this film to give the Clinton Administration a fair and accurate shake when it was first announced and publicized triumphantly by Rush Limbaugh?
"The film really zeros in on the shortcomings of the Clinton administration in doing anything about militant Islamofascism or terrorism during its administration. It cites failures of Bill Clinton and Madeleine Albright and Sandy Burglar."
The fact is that this film was never conceived of, and never will be considered a "documentary" or for that matter true. Numerous members of the 9/11 Commission have spoken up to point out that it fails to reflect their findings. It well past time that people like Mr. Nowserteh learned a) Censorship is something the Government does, not Private Companies and b) Freedom of Speech is not Freedom to Lie.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Top Chef contestant beaten by anti-gay attackers on Long Island
A former contestant on the reality show Top Chef was beaten by attackers yelling anti-gay slurs, her lawyer said Tuesday.
Josie Smith-Malave, a lesbian who was featured on Season 2 of the Bravo channel show, was among a small group of women asked to leave a Sea Cliff bar over Labor Day weekend, lawyer Yetta Kurland said. About 10 young people followed the women out and began screaming anti-gay epithets, spitting on them and then beating them, Kurland said.
The women, who had been on Long Island to attend a friend's birthday party, suffered bruises, and one received injuries to her head. One of them had a camera taken in the attack.
Wow, that's awful. Here's a 2006 interview with Smith-Malave on AfterEllen.com
UPDATE: One of the alleged attackers has been arrested.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Sunday, September 9, 2007
by Frank Rich
New York Times
It will be all 9/11 all the time this week, as the White House yet again synchronizes its drumbeating for the Iraq war with the anniversary of an attack that had nothing to do with Iraq. Ignore that fog and focus instead on another date whose anniversary passed yesterday without notice: Sept. 8, 2002. What happened on that Sunday five years ago is the Rosetta Stone for the administration's latest scam.
That was the morning when the Bush White House officially rolled out its fraudulent case for the war. The four horsemen of the apocalypse — Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell and Rice — were dispatched en masse to the Washington talk shows, where they eagerly pointed to a front-page New York Times article amplifying subsequently debunked administration claims that Saddam had sought to buy aluminum tubes meant for nuclear weapons. "We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud," said Condoleezza Rice on CNN, introducing a sales pitch concocted by a White House speechwriter.
What followed was an epic propaganda onslaught of distorted intelligence, fake news, credulous and erroneous reporting by bona fide journalists, presidential playacting and Congressional fecklessness. Much of it had been plotted that summer of 2002 by the then-secret White House Iraq Group (WHIG), a small task force of administration brass charged with the Iraq con job.
Today the spirit of WHIG lives. In the stay-the-surge propaganda offensive that crests with this week's Congressional testimony of Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker, history is repeating itself in almost every particular. Even the specter of imminent "nuclear holocaust" has been rebooted in President Bush's arsenal of rhetorical scare tactics.
The new WHIG is a 24/7 Pentagon information "war room" conceived in the last throes of the Rumsfeld regime and run by a former ABC News producer. White House "facts" about the surge's triumph are turning up unsubstantiated in newspapers and on TV. Instead of being bombarded with dire cherry-picked intelligence about W.M.D., this time we're being serenaded with feel-good cherry-picked statistics offering hope. Once again the fix is in. Mr. Bush's pretense that he has been waiting for the Petraeus-Crocker report before setting his policy is as bogus as his U.N. charade before the war. And once again a narrowly Democratic Senate lacks the votes to stop him.
As always with this White House, telegenic artificial realities are paramount. Exhibit A, of course, was last weekend's precisely timed "surprise" presidential junket: Mr. Bush took the measure of success "on the ground here in Anbar" (as he put it) without ever leaving a heavily fortified American base.
A more elaborate example of administration Disneyland can be found in those bubbly Baghdad markets visited by John McCain and other dignitaries whenever the cameras roll. Last week The Washington Post discovered that at least one of them, the Dora market, is a Potemkin village, open only a few hours a day and produced by $2,500 grants (a k a bribes) bestowed on the shopkeepers. "This is General Petraeus's baby," Staff Sgt. Josh Campbell told The Post. "Personally, I think it's a false impression." Another U.S. officer said that even shops that "sell dust" or merely "intend to sell goods" are included in the Pentagon's count of the market's reopened businesses.
One Baghdad visitor left unimpressed was Representative Jan Schakowsky, a Democrat from Chicago, who dined with her delegation in Mr. Crocker's Green Zone residence last month while General Petraeus delivered his spiel. "He's spending an awful lot of time wining and dining members of Congress," she told me last week. Though the menu included that native specialty lobster tortellini, the real bill of fare, Ms. Schakowsky said, was a rigid set of talking points: "Anbar," "bottom up," "decrease in violence" and "success."
More at NY Times online.
Saturday, September 8, 2007
MSNBC asks: Should Bush be impeached?
89% - Yes, between the secret spying, the deceptions leading to war and more, there is plenty to justify putting him on trial.
4.2% - No, like any president, he has made a few missteps, but nothing approaching "high crimes and misdemeanors."
5.3% - No, the man has done absolutely nothing wrong. Impeachment would just be a political lynching.
1.9% - I don't know.
Thursday, September 6, 2007
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Opening night of Sweeney Todd at the Geary Theatre was a festive affair.
Actors Conservatory Theatre celebrated its 41st anniversary, and the show, a touring version of the recent Broadway revivial, is a stripped down, slightly demented variation on the previous operatic original.
While it did leave me craving a viewing of George Hearn and Patti LuPone's rendition of Todd and Mrs' Lovett's Act I closer ("It's priest, have a little priest!"), this version did have some haunting and darkly funny moments. It's a classic, to be sure. Leads David Hess and Judy Kaye are great. I saw the original cast (Angela Lansbury and Len Cariou) at the Uris Theatre in 1979, with my mom!
The insane asylum theme in this version, and expressionistic take and set, makes for great theatre nevertheless.
Yet, it didn't seem to wow the opening night audience. Standing ovations were few at first, and no doubt nothing like the gaga raves I expect tonight at the (re)opening of the touring version (one of 10) of Mamma Mia! at the Orpheum. Sweeney Todd leaves you creeped out, and it's understandable. But seriously, how many shows have an ensemble cast that sings, acts and plays musical instruments, the entire score, actually?
Look for articles about the show and its star in this week's BAR.
At intermission, Armistead Maupin quickly walked by, as I sipped a glass of celebratory champagne among others, including my pal Seth Eisen, soon to perform with Circo Zero, and Todd Eckart of Robert Moses Dance Company, soon to perform in a show of gay male choreographers. More on those shows soon.
But who should saunter by, with a jaunty, if not decidedly passé, cap, but Laura Albert, aka J.T. Leroy.
My pals doubted that it was Albert, but she was sporting the same tacky hat as in the photo on my recent post about her lawsuit for fraud. The poor dear.
Maupin, of course, recently wrote the best-selling The Night Listener, about a woman who defrauds a writer with a fake sob story. Wouldn't it have been sweet to see the two in an intermission confrontation? Well, no. Maupin's much too polite for such antics and Albert would have simply slithered away.
Sunday, September 2, 2007
...or, How I Schmoozed My Summer Vacation:
The National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association held its annual convention in sunny San Diego last weekend, but I spent most of my time in the cool air-conditioned comfort of the host hotel, the Westin Horton Plaza.
With panels from 8:30am to 6pm, it made for a lot of talking and sharing information, laughs, a bit of controversy, and a lot of networking. Photos are on the site, taken by the prodigious Jason Smith, and at Rex Wockner's blog (I forgot my camera and took nary a pic, so instead are book covers of authors who were there. Me so shilly!).
I also read a brief few passages from my third novel, Cyclizen, at the Authors Café, organized by marketing guru Bob Witeck.
Notably absent was previous big sponsor Planetout/Gay.com. Still suffering from its near-collapse (and last-minute bail out by Bill Gates' investment firm), not a single employee of that monopoly showed up, save the publisher and managing editor of The Advocate. At a lunch time session, they showed some images of their revamped "look" for the venerable, once-great publication (which I've written several articles. You can only find the recent one in 2000. My favorites are from the Richard Rouillard era, with Mark Morris, Clive Barker, and a few other celebs.)
What the Advocate folks hoped would be a breezy lunch-time show-off session (the mock-ups had a lot of white space, and -quelle surprise- a straight actor on the cover!) turned into a mud-slinging Q&A session where the publication was critiqued by many, including Larry Kramer.
Larry spoke at a later session with SF KPIX reporter Hank Plante (whom I admire, and who likes PINS, he said!). With his voice softened, and the panel becoming more like an audience with the Dali Lama, a reverant air pervaded, as well it should. I arrived late, and sat in the back with a certain hunky editor, who took a bit of pleasure in playing peanut gallery with his aside comments to me. Yet, it turned out they had a lot to agree upon.
It's just that Larry's "call to arms" as his colleague the stalwart Rex Wockner mentioned, from the olden days of street protests, is quite over. I have nothing but the highest respect for Larry, particularly when he repeated his insistence that George Washington, Abe Lincoln, and the entire Jamestown colony were gay.
But our political softening in the face of duplicitous politicians isn't going to change. And people just aren't going to do protests like we used to.
Well, maybe not gay people. But Larry noted that some seniors, in asking him what they could do about an impending closure of a facility (the details escape me), were told by him to simply lay down and not get up until they were arrested and/or their demands were met. It worked.
What also worked was the authors' readings. I had to zoom through my selections in 7 minutes. I think I did it.
Others were Wayne Besen (love him), Bob Smith (funny! his new novel, Selfish and Perverse, is sweet and incredibly funny. What do you expect from an accomplished comic?), and Johnny Diaz, whose Boston Boys Club is doing quite well. Noel Alumit read a striking passage from his new book.
Jason Howe of Lambda Legal, Greg Hernandez of the LA Daily News, Chris Hayes of Columbus' Outlook Weekly, Jason Knight of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, Sgt. Eric Alva, Kevin Naff of the Washington Blade, Peter McQuaid of Pride Magazine, and many others were among the folks I was happy to chat with, and who represent the best in activism and media.
Colleagues I know whom I got to catch up with included Libby Post, Karen Ocamb, Chris Crain, Cathy Renna, and lots more.
A lot of hilarious and dishy off-the-cuff comments about all sorts of things were shared through the weekend, as we went out to dinners and bars. Unfortunately, it's all off the record!
I will divulge that colleague Fred Kuhr (former editor of InNewsWeekly, now of Canada's Xtra and Press Pass Q) is the funniest guy on earth. Along with co-worker Matthew Bajko, we ended up among a gaggle of guys dining two nights at restaurants where the food was served on either gargantuan plates or in buckets. (There goes the diet!)
It was also great to chat with accomplished writers like Michael Luongo (who's been to Iraq, Afghanistan, and all over the world), Kim Powers (former NYC pal who has a memoir, and a new novel out), catch up with Kevin Boyer (who did a fantastic job marketing Chicago's Gay Games), and hang a moment with Trebor Healey (who gave me creds in the writer's panel.)
But the oddity of the convention was the presence of a few, yet vocal rightwing bloggers. I don't even dare call any of them journalists. They're not. GayPatriot couldn't utter Hillary Clinton's name without calling her a bitch. Boy From Troy tried to flirt with me, failing to comprehend that some people simply aren't charmed by those who were stupid enough to vote for Bush. He allegedly had an amusing moment in a men's room with author-commentator-voiceover stud Ben Patrick Johnson; lucky guy!)
But the piece de reactionary was a smug Church Lady type who bragged about being a "colleague" of wacko antigay nut job Peter LaBarbera. He's the one in Chicago who snuck into the International Mister Leather convention in full leather gear, allegedly to snoop on the kinky goings-on, but seemed more than a bit too interested himself. LaBarbera also led the failed efforts to ban rowing from suburban Crystal Lake at Chicago's 2006 Gay Games VII.
Church Lady also bragged (I didn't bother talking to her, but overheard one of her many loud pronouncements in the hotel hallways) that she's writing about the conference for WingNutDoody, er, WorldNetDaily, a front for rightwing bigotry that pretends to be a news source. Here's here snide take on the convention for Americans for Truth (that's layered in snickering antigay blather).
And while I did have time for a little bit of push-ups in my hotel room, in between watching bits of the World Track Meet, I never got a moment in the tiny pool. Apparently, everyone was practically holding court at the better pool at last year's convention in Miami.
Next year's is in Washington DC (in August!), and 2009's is in Montreal, a city where, despite its charms, I will never again visit. If you don't know why, I suggest you read my old Sports Complex Gay Games/Outgames controversy articles.