Tuesday, November 27, 2012

You Got to Give 'em Hope

Today marks the 34th anniversary of the martyrdom of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man elected to public office in the United States. A man who gave little gay boys like me hope with his every word and deed, even though he was long dead well before I was born.

We've come so far in the last three and a half decades I'm not sure even Harvey Milk himself would believe it if he were alive today.

In fact we've come so far since 1997, the year both Ellen DeGeneres and I came out of the closet, I'm still not sure *I* believe it.

The teevees are awash with gay story-lines, characters, and even whole shows.

Don't Ask, Don't Tell has been struck down, and homosexuals are now serving openly in the military.

Same sex marriage has been ordained in eleven states, either by judicial, legislative, or popular decree.

And this year Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin became the first openly gay person to be elected to the US Senate, giving us a voice in the highest legislative body in the land. As Ms. Baldwin herself said,

"If you are not in the room, the conversation is about you. If you are in the room, the conversation is with you. We never had an openly LGBT member of the U.S. Senate, and even though there are strong pro-equality allies who serve there, it has always been a conversation about a group of people. So this changes everything.”
We are now full fledged, indivisible, participants of that conversation. And we will look back on 2012 as the year we became true stake-holders in the American Dream, the year "hope" became a reality.

We couldn't have done it without you, Mr. Milk. Thank you for giving us hope.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving Everybody!

Just a little something from one of my favorite Holiday Movies to help those candied yams go down extra smooth.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Wiener Ban

(if only all nudists looked like this guy...)
It's one of life's unfortunate ironies that nudists are rarely the sorts of folk you'd like to see naked, and the cadre of skin-clad sunbathers who congregate at Jane Warner Plaza in the heart of San Francisco's Castro Village are no different. Generally flabby, paunchy, falling demographically somewhere between Jurassic and Antediluvian, and usually wearing nothing more than sneakers and the occasional sun hat.  It's... not a pretty sight. But fear not citizens! Scott Wiener has a simple solution to the plague of wrinkled old man flesh polluting Cloud City's pristine streets; make nudity a crime.

Mr. Wiener is the City Supervisor for San Francisco's 8th District; my old stomping grounds and the seat once held by Harvey Milk (though back then it was the 5th). He's a nice enough guy; soft spoken, polite, tall as a sequoia, and up until now his legislative claim to fame has been the introduction of San Francisco's so called "skid mark law" which (sensibly) requires a towel be placed between naked buttocks and public benches and chairs, and vigorous support for SF's "Sit/lie" law which essentially criminalizes homelessness.

(a Wiener with a plan)
Now Mr. Wiener has introduced legislation which would ban nudity in the sidewalks, plazas, parklets,  and on the mass transit of San Francisco. He says he doesn't have any problem with nudity per se, but that the situation has gotten "out of control" and that he is responding to complaints from the community. But the community is by no means unified in their disgust, and the nudists have as many supporters as detractors. In an attempt to bolster support for his crusade against balls and buttocks Mr. Wiener released a statement citing "irresponsible behavior" on the parts of some of the sun bathers, such as "wearing cock rings" and "walking past girl scout troops" because WON'T SOMEONE PLEASE THINK ABOUT THE CHILDREN!?!

All of this needs to be put in the context of the many MANY problems which are facing the Castro. Brutally high unemployment (especially among the trans population), shuttered storefronts as far as the eye can see, rampant drug abuse and a staggering rate of youth homelessness. All of which leads me to the conclusion that he either truly believes the human body is disgusting and shameful and needs to be wrapped up and hidden from the world in order to protect humanity (especially the children! oh God, THE CHILDREN!), or he's cynical enough to think he can use this issue to recreate Harvey Milk's "dog poop" moment to gain broad middle class support, and he's willing to trade his community's Liberty for political gain.

Make no mistake, this is a matter of Free Expression. Citizens of a free country should have the right to say what they wish to say, create the art they wish to create , and wear what they want to wear; even if that means wearing nothing at all. If the city of San Francisco can tell you you have to cover everything below your waist, what about above your waist? Mr. Wiener and his supporter will say that I'm wrong. That this isn't about the First Amendment because a few of these nudists sport cock-rings and have thus crossed some theoretical line from free expression into exhibitionism and obscenity.

(careful ladies...)
But the problem with "obscenity" is that everybody has a different definition. It wasn't so very long ago that two men kissing or holding hands on a street corner was considered "exhibitionism," and not so long before that that two men dancing together was considered so dangerous to the fabric of society that they could be thrown in jail. Some San Franciscans might object to pants-less sunbathers, while others take offence with bare-breasted lady-bikers, and yet others would prefer to see all women draped in head-scarves or burqas. My dad used to love to say "My right to swing my fist ends where your nose begins," meaning that we should all be allowed to do as we please up until it harms others. And public nudity does absolutely no harm to anyone, least of all children. We all have to ask ourselves "What right do I have to impose my sense of propriety on anyone else?"

In my brief life I have had the pleasure of visiting almost every major city in the United States. And the quality that makes San Francisco shine more brightly than all the others is it's dedication to personal liberty and tolerance for other people's way of life, even when we don't understand those life styles or find them distasteful.

To support Mr. Wiener's proposed ban on nudity is to implicitly agree with the Talabanic notion that the human body is dirty and shameful and must be hidden away in order to protect the world. And it is an arrow through the heart of that which makes San Francisco unique among America's cities.

It's Freedom.

(many thanks to the anonymous grammar Nazi who pointed out I spelled "per se" "per say")

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Tranny Thursdays: Let's Have a KaiKai

This afternoon's Tranny Thursday offering is a new music video from Los Angeles drag stars Willam Belli and Rhea Litre, parodying The Scissor Sisters' slightly over-played (yet still awesome) "Let's Have a Kiki."

I wasn't rooting for Willam during her time on Ru Paul's Drag Race but everything I've seen from her since then has been hilarious. When it comes to entertainment Ms. Belli is a professional.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The World of Next Tuesday

I have been blessed with a pretty warped sense of humor. And though the lion's share of the blame for that can probably be set at the feet of my of my crazy parents. I'd be remiss if I didn't give a little credit to a classic 90's cartoon called "Ren & Stimpy," which ran on Nickelodeon from 1991-96 and follows the adventures of hyper-violent chihuahua and his sweet-natured (but poorly hygiened) feline side-kick.

Although possibly tame by today's standards (though I doubt it), I'm not sure how "Ren & Stimpy" made it to the air and stayed there, obsessed as it was with nipples on horses and the secretion of fluids. Somehow this amazingly effed up cartoon survived and thrived rubbing shoulders with the likes of "Doug" and "Rugrats."

And when I think back on this crude and savagely violent piece of children's entertainment the episode which always  immediately springs to mind is called "The House of Next Tuesday," which I decided to re-watch today, to see if it held up to my memory. And it does! It is a fantastic homage to the Tex Avery "House of Tomorrow" cartoons from the 50's (which are also super effed-up, but with less violence and fart jokes, and way more sexism), but with a classic "Ren & Stimpy" take. And I realized as I hunted down clips on the youtubes, this show didn't just warp my sense of humor, but it also reinforced the idea that humans are capable of anything.

There is no problem we can't figure a way around (world dominate by giant ants? build giant magnifying glasses!), and even if our solutions cause more problems, well... that just gives us more problems to solve.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Monday Music Matinee: Burning Man

Good morning Fellow Travelers, and happy Labor Day! Here in California, Labor Day is more than a rememberence of railroad workers slain by the US Military (know your history, kids!), it's also the day when all the Burners come home from Black Rock City. Thousands of dust-coated campers, brains fried crispy by the sun (and possibly various hallucinogenic substances), pile into their RVs and make the arduous trek from the that temporary metropolis in the alkali deserts of central Nevada, back home to the glittering sea-side cities here in the Golden State and elsewhere. I say "back home" though many regard that strange and ever evolving city their true home and speak dismissively or disinterestedly about that which the call the "default world."

And though I don't share that sensation of feeling at home there, it's not hard for me to see the attraction. Black Rock City is a world unto itself. A vibrant explosion of color and sound and experience resting in the bowl of a stark dead lake. A city built of dreams and populated almost entirely by people who believe in The Possible. It's an astonishing place, unlike any other place in the world, and it's siren call has pulled me back seven times in the last ten years. The years I don't manage to make the pilgrimage I miss it terribly, and I have developed a number of coping mechanisms for dealing with this light melancholy, not the least of which involves a whole bunch of music.

I'm an admitted late comer when it comes to acknowledging Grimes' awesomeness, her music runs a little synthier than my usual tastes and her lyrics border on repetitive. But something about this video, with it's Mad-Max-meets-Kill-Bill-on-the-streets-of-Beverly-Hills aesthetic, made her click for me (it's pretty much what I'm aiming for all the time on the playa) Now i'm listening to visions and watching my newsfeed for stories of safe returns, and imaging what life would be like if Burning Man where all the time.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tranny Thursday: Gula Delgatto

Somewhere in the barren plains of central Oregon there is a dusty trail; unmarked and little traveled by any but the most desperate or unsavory. Those who trod the Whiskey Trail tell strange tales. Stories of animals that talk like men, encounters with the ghosts of friends long past, and of a cruel temptress known only as "Gula Delgatto."

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Friendsday: Where The Bears Are

Hey gang it's Wednesday-Friendsday and before I head out to picnic in the park I want to share this new web-series with you. It's a mystery-comedy set right here in Silverlake called "Where the Bears Are." It's "The Golden Girls" meets "Murder She Wrote" but gay gayer. And it features my buddies Chad Sanders as a sexy detective trying to solve the mystery and and Mario Diaz the sleazy (possibly evil) bar owner. The episodes are super short and the jokes are genuinely funny, especially several episodes in as the actors really begin to inhabit their characters. Get into it.

(hi chad!)

Monday, August 27, 2012

New Music Monday: Esthero

I've always loved Esthero, ever since those halcyon days when the late 90's became the early aught's and my basic uniform went from Hawaiian shirts and corduroy shorts to fat pants and finger-less gloves. Her first album, Breath From Another, makes up a large piece of my aural landscape from that time and I can't listen to "Heaven Sent" or "Country Livin'" without being flooded with memories of late night drives to the beat-filled warehouses of Los Angeles, or a dozen drug deals that almost went wrong. But despite being awesome, Breath From Another, wasn't a big commercial success.

Esthero's second album, Wicked Lil' Grrls, is also seeped in Los Angeles for me. Though this time the LA of 2005, when I lived my life as study in making poor choices. I was pretty miserable in those days; my dad had just died, my boyfriend and I broke up, and my life generally fell apart. I spent a lot of time getting wasted with unsavory characters and listening to this album. It was also not a huge success, commercial or critical, but was still awesome (despite the awful Myspacian spelling in several of the song titles.)

Now Esthero is going to be releasing her third studio album. It's called Everything is Expensive and its not supposed to come out until October, but she's already released the first single, and if it's anything to go by, this album is going to be a big hit. The lyrics are clever the hook is catchy and beat propels my body into motion. Get into it.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Friendsday: Summertime Realness

This music video by my little brother, Little Rikki, and Chicago-based Bear-hopper, Big Dipper, came out a few weeks ago. But as I was cruising the hot and sticky streets of Los Angeles today I found myself humming it today, and I just had to share. Happy Friendsday everybody, enjoy!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Wednesday: Friendsday

My buddy Jimmy Vogel (he of the eponymous zine) organizes a weekly picnic get together. Every Wednesday we get together to share food and stories, and watch the sunset over the hills to the west. Our little band of brothers is spread out, across the both the sprawl of Los Angeles and the vast empire of America. And the regular meet up provides a very welcome opportunity to bask in some community. We call it "Wednesday Friendsday," I look forward to it every week, and I get incredibly bummed when I have to miss it. A big part of the heartbreak is rooted in the sheer awesomeness of my friends. I am privileged to know some of the most talented and interesting homos in the world. And so many of my talented friends did interesting things in the last few weeks i thought I'd share.

First up a collaboration between between my friends, film maker Aron Kantor and Drag Diva Ambrosia Salad, and featuring some of San Francisco's most adorable boys. The video is an appreciation of Roisin Murphy's long ago leaked future single, 'Simulation.' and it's getting a lot of love all over the internets.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Chick-fil-a Fallout: A Sign of Changing Times

Yesterday (7/30) R. Clarke Cooper, Executive Director of the Log Cabin Republicans, weighed in on the recent controversies swirling around Chick-fil-a after it's president, Dan Cathy, admitted that his company gives financial support to anti-gay causes, and decreed that the whole debate was an "empty calorie diversion from equality." And warned us that an "anti-Chick-fil-a crusade" might play well in the "Democratic Enclaves" (read: godless pits of vice) on the coasts, but in "America's Hearland" (you know, the real America) queers loudly and visibly standing up for our rights is turning conservatives, moderates, and independents against us.

Don't get him wrong, Mr. Cooper doesn't have any problem with us "voting with our feet" and spending our gay dollars elsewhere, he doesn't even mind if we ask our friends and allies to do the same. He just doesn't want us to do so too loudly. You see, Mr. Cooper seems to feel that we've just about convinced social conservatives that we are human beings; and if we stay on our best behavior for just a little bit longer and don't cause a ruckus, then they will graciously grant us our natural rights. And by drawing attention to Mr. Cathy's material support for bigotry we are somehow betraying those conservatives who have stood up for common decency and marriage equality (I love you, Meghan McCain! I hope you don't feel betrayed!). Then he invokes Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., (seemingly without irony.) and then Thomas Jefferson.

"The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."

Mr. Cooper asks what would we gain if marriage activists "won" and Chick-fil-a went out of business, besides one less source of money flowing into the coffers of hate groups and the transformation of a  fried chicken fast food chain into a "martyr for religious freedom."  But the thing is, this isn't a debate about religious freedom, any more than it is a debate about fried chicken. I don't care one lick if Dan Cathy believes in ten Gods or twenty. I care that Mr. Cathy runs a business that has given thousands of dollars to organizations that work to pass anti-gay legislation all over America. That does "pick my pocket and break my leg" and yours Mr. Cooper, and the collective legs and pockets of our people.

You are wrong, Mr. Cooper. There most certainly is not "room for disagreement" when it comes to marriage equality. Just as there is no longer room for disagreement on school integration. or disenfranchising women voters. These are the positions of the truly un-American. And if Chick-fil-a ends up shutting it's doors for good it wont be because America's 9 million or so homosexuals and a couple of liberal mayors were able to somehow bully them into oblivion, but rather because of a change in American culture. A refusal to accept bigotry and persecution, no mater the scripture sighted to justify it.

And that culture is changing, but the work is far from over. And it never will be if we heed the advice of self appointed "leaders" who tell us to play nice and wait patiently for discrimination to fade away. In the words of Dr. King.

"Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can't ride you unless your back is bent."

Friday, July 27, 2012

More Chick-fil-a Fallout

It seems as though the decision by Chick-fil-a to retreat with honor from the front lines of the Culture Wars hasn't done anything to sooth the shit-storm they unleashed last week, especially in conjunction with the 'PR nightmare' they brought upon themselves with their retroactive recall of kid's meal Muppet toys in retaliation for dissolving their contract "For safety reasons," (Hey Chick-fil-a, asking for a cease-fire in your war against loving families, just to open up a front in the war against America's collective childhood? Might be a poor tactical choice.)

Weighing In on the brouhaha, Conan O'Brien helpfully offered up a new mascot to replace the recently departed Muppets.

Steven Colbert sprayed Chick-fil-a sauce on both Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum.

And this young lady called for a use of biblical jujitsu again the faith based fast food chain.

The mayor of Boston, Tom Menino, was joined in his public denunciation of Chick-fil-a by Rom Emanuel, the mayor of Chicago, and Ed Lee, the mayor of San Francisco. While Menino himself made his opposition to beleaguered fast food chain official with a letter to it's president. And all three of them were denounced by conservative/gay blogger, Andrew Sullivan and the Big Gulp hating (but fried chicken loving) Mayor of NYC who reasserted his support for marriage equality while saying
“It’s inappropriate for a city government, or a state government, or the federal government to look at somebody’s political views and decide whether or not they can live in the city, or operate a business in the city, or work for somebody in the city,”
Here in Los Angeles the owner of the Hollywood Chick-fil-a took to the Facebooks and posted this very nice letter...
But what Mr. Cillipam doesn't seem to realize is this isn't about the personally held opinions of the executive of a privately owned company (which he is entitled to) no is it about how politely treated I am at the local branch of that privately owned company (which i am sure has exemplary service). This is entirely about what that privately owned company does with those dollars after i spend them. And it just so happens this privately owned company takes those dollars and spends them on depriving my people of their natural rights.

Mr. Sullivan (who I admire greatly) says that the issue at hand is Freedom of Speech, and warns us that our equality cannot come at the expense of other's freedoms. And I agree with that. By the same token, I am deeply uncomfortable with the notion of the State passing out permits based on religious or political beliefs. I love Freedom of Speech with a depth and passion that borders on zealotry. I would defend to the death Mr. Cathy's right to call me a sodomite and an abomination, but I don't have to help buy him a printing press, and I'll be deep and cold in the ground before i allow a single penny of mine to fall into his coffers. And while I'll admit I let out a little cheer when I read Mayor Menino had pulled in the welcome mat to CFA, intellectually, the State picking winners and losers based on political belief is abhorrent to me. But I wonder what if Chick-fil-a was funding Holocaust denial, or terror abroad, or the re-introduction of racial segregation in public schools? How would I or Mr. Sullivan, or Mr. Bloomberg feel then? 

Is it proper for the State to use it's vast array of powers against a private company if that company funds the oppression of it's citizenry?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Chick-fil-a Fall Out

The other day the president of the Atlanta based, eatery Chick-fil-a came out and explicitly said what many of us already knew; that his company funds "traditional marriage" (i.e. marriages with no gay people in them) causes all around the country, and then he said all our society's tolerance of homos and unwed mothers is gonna get us smote if we don't knock it off, The reaction within the infotainment sphere was swift and mostly predicable. Condemnation from the gay/liberal media eliets, and praise from the hatemongers err... "traditional values" crowd, with a few surprises (the mayor of Boston basically said "good luck getting those permits", And the Muppets reaffirmed their support of non-traditional relationships.)

(image from the Dallas Observer)

Of course after outrage come the inevitable calls to action. Which have range from the obvious (protest!) to the awesome ("gay-in"). Myself? I'm not sure that anything really needs doing besides not giving these ass-hats our money so they can turn around and use it to fund their propaganda, and warning our friends (and making a hilarious anti-commercial/music video set to the tune of a parodied 80's pop hit, and it's been done.).

 I appreciate when  my enemies come right out and tell me they hate me. Because it means I know who not to turn my back on. And even though, after a taste of the shit storm they released, the execs down at Chick-fil-a have decided they don't want to have political opinions any more. It doesn't matter, because every time I pass by a Chick-fil-a I'll remember that these are people who wish me and my community harm, and I will count myself lucky to know that. Not all of our foes are so obvious.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Wild Forever

Are you still heartbroken at the passing of Maurice Sendak? Me too. But more importantly, so is the New York Times. They've got a great slideshow of Sendak inspired art and a lovely opinion piece. Go check it out.

[via laughing squid]

Friday, May 11, 2012

Top Six Marriage Equality Videos

I don't know how things are shaking out in the rest of the empire, but here in the Infinate Sprawl of El Ay all of the everyones are abuzz with President Obama's evolution back to position he had in 1995.

As tempted as I am to put on thick black glasses and wax cynically about the politics or the constitutional ramifications of the President's statement but this moment is just so sweet I want to savor it, like a delisious bittersweet cocholate chip cookie of equality. And when I eat cookies I usually like to nom down on a whole sleeve, and in that spirit I have have gathered together my six favorite marriage equality videos to be found on youtube.

#6 Missing You

I stumbled upon this sweet little story of transnational Circuit Love this year around Valentine's Day. A little reminder that one of the many rights we homos lack in the ability to fall in love with a citizen of a foreign land and keep them here in the States.

 #5 Republican Chokes Up at Marriage Equality Debate

This last February when the Washington State legislature took up the debate on marriage equality Republican Representative Maureen Walsh, from very conservative Walla Walla, joined the debate in favor of equality. She just couldn't conscious denying other human beings the same bond she shared with her late husband. Compassion is truly the best thing us humans have going for us.

#4 It's Time

This video from Australia comes to us from all the way back in November 2011. It is so good, I still cry every time i watch it. (ugh, like right now)

#3 It Could Happen To You

A stark reminder of how few rights we have when tragedy strikes the ones we love, this video made me very thankful for the excellent relationships we have with one another's families. Don't watch unless you've got a good ten minutes to weep at life's injustice.

#2 Keith Olbermann on Gay Marriage

This is what it means to have allies. Thank you Keith Olbermann for your empowering words after a crushing defeat. I will be forever thankful.

#1 Zach Wahls Speaks About Family

I don't know how anyone could have missed this one, the 19yo engineering student from Indiana who's lesbian moms raised so right i'm tempted to track them down and send them flowers. This is the most eloquent and passionate argument for marriage equality I've yet come across, and I can't wait for this kid to run for Senate or Governer, because he's exactly what this country needs.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

R.I.P. Maurice Sendak

If you are still feeling as heartbroken as I am by the passing of beloved author and illustrator Maurice Sendak, here are a couple of balms that will hopefully ease the pain. First up is a blog that curates original Where The Wild Things Are inspired art work called Terrible Yellow Eyes. It was launched back when the WTWTA movie came out a little bit ago, and it hasn't seen much action since then, but it is chock full of amazing art.

Then there is this great interview with Steven Colbert where both of them are firing with all cylinders.

Laughter is the best medicine.

"Do Not Go! We'll Eat You Up, We Love You So!"

Last night Maurice Sendak, author of Where the Wild Things are and dozens of other amazing stories for kids, passed away at 83. I grew up loving his books, and I think perhaps more than anyone other than my dad he instilled in me a love for telling stories. I know it's a little selfish of me, 83 is a good long run, but I feel like he left the world too soon.

I don't believe in an afterlife, but I find myself hoping there is one, just so i could have the chance to tell him how important he was to me.

The Wild Things finally have their King, let the Wild Rumpus start.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

"All Adventurous Girls Do"

Last week my brother from another mother Oscar (aka the indomitable DJ Taco Tuesday) sent me a text.
"Have you been watching Girls on HBO? The last scene of the 3rd episode just made me miss the shit out of you"
Of course I had heard of Girls, the internets are awash with bloggers and critics singing it's praises and you can't walk fifty paces in LA without encountering a bus or billboard urging you tune in. If you have just woken up from a months long coma disappointed at the lack of a zombie apocalypse and you want to know why there are four believably beautiful hipstery girls staring out at you from every bus bench in America, here the jist: Girls a new series that follows the lives and  mishaps of four friends living in the hipstery part of Brooklyn. It's produced by Judd Apatow and written and directed, by Lena Dunham who also plays the ostensible "Carrie" of the four girls, a writer (an essayist like me!) named Hannah who has a knack for making truly ill informed decisions about her own life (also like me!).

I'll admit I was intrigued, but with my already densely packed viewing schedule (which includes Fringe, Gossip Girl, Nurse Jackie, 30 Rock, American Dad, Family Guy, Ru Paul's Drag Race, and Supernatural,  for those of you keeping track at home) I was pretty content to get into Girls at some later date. But for a narcissist like me sending me a message saying "This show makes me miss you" is a bait i can't help but to rise to. And with season 4 of RPDR having recently come to a close I decided I couldn't resist. So last night The Fella and I tracked down and consumed the first three episodes and we were treated to an hour and a half of clueless boyfriends, awful sexual encounters, STD screenings and a lovingly drawn portrait of these four ladies' friendships. It was delightful (though occasionally hard to watch, which was also delightful) all the way up until the final scene of the third episode where Hannah opens up her twitter account and struggles to squeeze a day's  worth of unpleasantness and disappointments into 140 characters and i realized, if i were a girl I'd be this is the girl I'd be; funny and brave and slightly insecure, and doing my best to distill my neurosis into stories for other people to enjoy. I was hooked, and my text back to Oscar read...

"I effing love you"

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Next Drag Superstar of the World

Just like thousands of queer families in homes and video bars all over the free world, last Monday night my friends and I gathered together to watch Ru Paul crown the next Drag Superstar Of The World.

It was a strangely emotional evening for me. Of course I was elated that the Queen i'd been rooting for all season, the spooky-chic Ms. Sharon Needles, captured the crown. More than any other lady-boy who has so far graced Ru Paul's runway, Ms. Needles' style of drag is closest to the San Francisco "Drag-as-performance-art" School that i "grew up" in. But the deliciousness of Ms. Needles' victory was made bittersweet with the realization that this was the last evening of a weekly ritual that had become very important to me.

(photo by the amazing Austin Young)

As my friend Vivvyanne Forevermore once told me  "Drag is our folk art," it's a celebration of style and glamour, and also camp and raunch. And it reflects us as a people; our fierce independence, our creativity, and our ability to wear many faces (a survival skill taught to many of us by the fists of bullies and the disapproving looks of our fathers). It is quintessential part of queer culture and RPDR showcases that, warts and all. And gathering together week after with my LA Family to share in this celebration of Queer Culture... It means the world to me, and I'm already excited about next season.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Recovery Music Matinee: Chick-fil-a

Today's offering comes to you from from three of LA's most talented drag queens, Vicky Vox, Detox Icunt, and Willam Belli of DPDRS4 fame.

I haven't been on Team Willam but I love fresh parody. And releasing your music video on the same day you get kicked off your reality show? Brilliant marketing.

My hat is off to you ladies.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Recovery Music Matinee: The Sayer's Club

If you've been following this blog for any length of time then you are probably clued in to my little cover obsession. Sometimes whole months go by and that's all I've posted on here.

(I don't think this month is going to be any different)

My fella and I had the opportunity to see LP at the elusive Sayer's Club last week and it was the best live show i've seen in a very long time. I'm not gonna ruin it with words, just go watch every youtube video you can get your hands on.

(yet more) Shameless Self Promotion: Bug Chaser

Bug Chaser from Anything Is Possible Productions on Vimeo.

Good Morning Gentle Readers,

I have just received word that Bug Chaser has been picked up by FILMOUT, San Diego's LGBT film festival. And I couldn't be more stoked to share the sexy-gay-horror with the city of my youth this May.

Recovery Music Matinee: Princess Peach

Lana Del Rey and Super Mario Bros, two great tastes that taste great together...

(and also: THIS)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

An Open Letter to the Queens of San Francisco

I have always loved Drag, even as a little bro-mo on the streets of San Diego; I have always been captivated by the power of people to transform themselves, right before your very eyes, into someone else all together. And I have always always loved Ru Paul. And for the last three and a half seasons I have watched (with varying degrees of faithfulness, though i have seen RPDR on tour) as epic talents and titanic egos met and clashed in a quest to become America's Next Drag Superstar. And I have lived! With but one complaint/question, Where are all the San Francisco Queens?

I'm not the first person to ask this question, though I've been asking it for a while. I've heard reasons ranging from RuPaul doesn't look kindly on the SF School of drag, to the notion that SF Queens don't apply to RPDR because they aren't interested that kind of attention. Well last night the call went out, there will be a fifth season of switch games and drag queens lip-synching for their lives. And I have one request for the Queens of San Francisco. 

(and yes, I'm talking to you, and you, and you, and you, and you and all of you. If anyone has an "overabundance of charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent" it's you ladies)

You say you don't want to be famous? I say "fame" will give you the profile and the connection to make the art that you want to make, and to put on the shows you want to put on. Even if you think it's not "your kinda thing," or that that isn't a particular hill that you want to be king err... QUEEN of, I don't care.  Think of what you could do with all that money, think about THE GOOD you could do with that money. And finally, San Francisco has a beyond belief Drag Cabaret sceen that deserves a little attention.

So hop to it, Queens. Send in those videos. Because RuPaul needs you, America needs you, and I need you to be up there on that screen every week, because a couple of times a month just isn't enough.

Crazy love.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Shameless Self Promotion

Hello Gentle Readers,

Although I haven't written anything here worth reading  in a least a week, and even though I have several deadlines i'm not making I thought I'd stop by and let you guys know that Bug Chaser has been selected to show at (the slightly awkwardly worded and not, strictly speaking, accurately named) A Night of Horror International Film Festival in Sydney, Australia.

The festival is from March 22 - April 1. If I have any secret benefactors who don't know what to get me for my birthday, let me tell you right now, a ticket to Sydney would be an excellent place to start.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Romney/Paul Rumors

Ron Paul is running the above add in Michigan blasting Rick Santorum as a "fake conservative" and the internets are abloom with speculation that Ron Paul is providing secret aid to the Romney campaign.

And frankly, the Romney campaign could use all the help it can get; the party he is hoping to lead to victory in November is demoralized, his campaign is spending more money than it's bringing in, and he's getting trounced in the polls by a sweater-vest wielding ass-hat whose name is synonymous with dirty butt-sex. To top it off poor Mittens has to go to Michigan and explain to the good people of Detroit that the Federal bailout of the auto industry was a Very Bad Idea even though the people of Michigan support it, Clint Eastwood supports it, and Mitten's himself very probably secretly supports it but doesn't have the balls to say so (i don't have anything to back that up, but at this point if Mitten's says something we all kind of assume he believes the opposite).

And Mitten's could certainly benefit from an alliance with the good doctor. He has to know that his three biggest vulnerabilities are his utter lack of enthusiasm from the base, the general disregard independents have for his flip-flopping, and his inability to go negative without hurting his already limited favorability numbers. Whereas Ron Paul's base is almost fanatically devoted to the candidate and his message, independent voters seem to regard the congressmen with the affection usually reserved for adorably curmudgeony old uncles, and Ron Paul's campaign has a history of effectively attacking their opponents without dinging the congressmen's numbers.

So what would be in such an alliance for Ron Paul? Well, while strictly speaking it isn't impossible for Ron Paul to capture his party's nomination (in a world where carpenters rise from the dead, anything is possible), it is very very very unlikely the Republicans will make him their standard bearer. But i'm not sure President of the United States is really a job Ron Paul wants. What Paul wants is influence. He wants enough delegates at the Republican convention to enshrine liberty, nonintervention, and fiscal responsibility within the Republican Party Platform. An alliance with Mitt could give him a seat at the table, a chance to shape policy, and maybe a cabinet position or a slot on the ticket for himself or his son, Rand. I don't know this for sure (despite my passionate and burning love for the good congressmen, he doesn't include me in any high level stratigic conversations) but my impression is that Ron Paul and his campaign are playing a long game, they are looking past this november to 2016 with an eye to shifting The United States off it's decades long course of decline.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Recovery Music Matinee: Justin Bond

This week's offering is a clip of the incomparable Mx. Justin Vivian Bond performing Carly Simon's classic ode to 1970's douchery, "You're So Vain."

Last night my Special Gentleman Friend and i got all dressed up and headed down to the Red Cat Theater and the Disney Concert Hall in down town LA, where it was our pleasure and our privilege to see Mx Bond read selections from v's new book, Tango: My Childhood, Backwards and in High Heels, sing and tell some of the most hilarious-astonishing-riveting-brutal stories you've ever heard. V didn't sing "You're So Vain," but v did perform a brilliant selection of covers and songs from her two albums, Dendrophile and Pink-Slip, including Stevie Nicks' "Rhiannon" and this number...

It was kinda epic. If you've never seen Justin Bond perform, I insist that you do. I don't think i've ever seen a more captivating and charming story teller (excepting possibly the late Christopher Hitchens). Unfortunately last night was v's last LA show, but you have one last chance to catch Mx. Bond before v leaves California in San Francisco on the 23rd at the Great American Music Hall. Go.

On another note, today is President's Day here in The States, and I have a lot to say about the ongoing amazingness/clusterfuck that is the Republican nominating process. But i'll save that for tomorrow, and just leave you with this...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

My first snarky thought was "I guess Circuit Queens feel love too," but my gay-on-gay prejudice withered in the face of this couples unrelenting adorableness. Happy Valentine's day, Yoav and Matthew, and best of luck to you.

[via Accidental Bear]

Monday, February 13, 2012

Recovery Music Matinee: Whitney Huston

I was never a huge Whitney Huston fan, but i always respected her. And if you grew up in the 90's, as I did, then you couldn't help but be exposed to her constantly. She was everywhere; all beauty, and grace, and a voice that could fill a cathedral.

She's gone now, and the world is all the lesser for it.

(Rest in peace, Ms. Huston)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

An Emotional Appeal for Equality

As you've probably heard, this has been a pretty stellar week for gay rights, with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals striking down Prop. 8, and the Washington State legislature voting in support of marriage equality.

My fella ran across this video of Republican Maureen Walsh's impassioned argument for equality.

And to top it off Ellen got targeted by some heinous house-frous, this is how she responded...

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Monday, February 6, 2012

Recovery Music Matinee: Kate and Janelle

Every once in a while I come across one of those beautiful and heartwarming stories that makes me believe passionately in the mystical power of the internets. Long Story Short: Kate and Janelle, desperate to save their their beloved alma mater from shutting it's doors forever,apply their angelic voices to some Neko Case songs to draw attention and maybe help raise some money.

And who should discover them, but Neko Case. .

"Wow. That just made me bawl my eyes out. What beautiful singers. I'm not worthy," 

Ms. Case was so touched by the song that she invited our intrepid duo, and the crew who helped them film to her Dec 10th show in Kingston. Where she dedicated the last song to them and invited them back stage.

Because they had the courage to use their talents to fight for something they love.

I love living in the future.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hedonistic Sustainability

I watch TED Talks because they give me hope for the future; as opposed to the news which makes me want to cry.

And Now...

... a brief word from our sponsors.

April First.

(eff yeah!)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Recovery Music Matinee: Brigitte

When i posted last weeks cover i immediately knew this video had to come next (clearly i'm a sucker for a seductive dance). It's a cover of this song, which i think is a translation of this Nas track (but i don't speak french, so don't hold me to it.). And i love everything about it; that attitude! those dresses! and that shoulder shimmy around 1:55!

My inner drag queen is banging loudly on her dressing room door, demanding some stage time.

(sorry Brenda, not this time.)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

And Now...

... a brief word from our sponsors.

Its hard for a total history nerd like me to choose my favorite President, but be-polio'd "Bad-Ass" FDR easily makes it to my list of top five (along with noted time traveler Thomas Jefferson and Frank's trust-busting uncle Teddy... but defiantly not that vampire hunting, constitution suspending, cock-gobbler Lincoln.) even before I knew he received "the Polio" from the bite of a lychanthropic agent of the gestapo.

Isn't history fun?

[via World of Wonder]

Monday, January 23, 2012

Recovery Music Matinee: Peaches

Another excellent find from my handsome fella, this week's cover sees Lisbon-born electro-ninja Moullinex join forces with Peaches, the Queen of... whatever the lady version of "cock rock" is, to revisit one of the most bad-ass dance tracks to come out of the 80's.

I have to say, while my love for Peaches is infinite and long reaching (she spat blood on me and my friends at the very first live show I ever saw), she has come up with anything really new in years, and I've kinda tuned her out. I'm glad to say, this track has rekindled my enthusiasm.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Monday, January 16, 2012

Recovery Music Matinee

My fella found this awesome video last week, and if I wasn't so sleepy I would spend pages and pages gushing about it. But I am, so... enjoy.