Friday, January 30, 2009

The Three Degrees - Live in London

You will want to give this your undivided attention.
You will want full volume and full screen.
The year was 1975. They are singing live.
They are not being ironic or derivative or retro.
I am amazed at the emotion they bring to this.They are almost in tears.
The dresses look homemade.
I am amazed at the harmonies and how much they evoke the McGuire Sisters.
And how much better than the Supremes they were.
What is not to love here? You'll thank me.

Word Fun

A pathologist sent me this list:

Washington Post's "Mensa Invitational" which once again asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition. Here are the winners:

1. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.

2. Ignoranus: A person who is both stupid and an asshole.

3. Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.

4. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

5. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

6. Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

7.Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high

8.Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

9. Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

10. Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

11. Karmageddon: It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.

12. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

13. Glibido: All talk and no action.

14. Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

15. Arachnoleptic Fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.

16. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

17. Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you're eating.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Thursday on Bilerico: Kevin Unrepentant

And below the video, for those who'd skip it, is the text of the letter. You know you'll find my answer at Bilerico on Thurday.

Hi Fr. Tony:
I'm a practicing catholic and have a question about confession. I go several times a year and always say the same thing: jerk off regularly, watch porn and have sex with guys a couple times a year. I feel like God is saying why do i confess the same thing over and over when the priest absolves it over and over! Should I continue to bring this up or let it go and confess more important stuff? Thanks for any insight you may have. Kevin

(PS: I had selected a sweet accordian-laden Henry Mancini cover of Crazy World from Victor Victoria as the background, but my itunes library had a different idea.)

UPDATE: It's up. Get on it.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Blackballed Fr. Geoff - an update

Fr. Geoffrey Farrow's story has been taken up by Wayne Besen. It will also appear in the monthly newletter of DignityUSA.

Earlier today I got a phone call from the interim director of CLUE. He reiterated the displeasure felt by CLUE's board of directors about the actions taken by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. CLUE is preparing an official statement about this matter and it is expected that the representative of the Archdiocese on CLUE's board will also have something to say. There is really only one thing that the Archdiocese could say that would make any sense. Let me write it for them: "We have reviewed the matter and would like to clarify our position. It was never our intent to stand in the way of Fr. Geoffrey Farrow's being considered as a candidate for the open position at CLUE. We would hope that CLUE would continue its dialogue with any and all qualified candidates." Then, when the microphone is off, that same henchman for the Cardinal can privately tell the directors of CLUE that in these economic times, funding to all organizations is under incredible strain and it would be a shame to have to cut back CLUE's funding for economic reasons, and that their level of funding is currently under review in the larger context of the work of the Archdiocese with its limited budget yadda yadda yadda. That's how I'd do it anyway, if I was still working for the Evil Empire.

The interesting thing is that I have now talked to two of CLUE's leaders. They both speak with the fearlessness that comes with honesty. They don't mince words. They seem to be real men of God. The kind you can trust. I don't think they can be bought.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Catholic Church maliciously blocks new job for Father Geoffrey Farrow

Have you wondered whatever became of that California priest who refused to give in to a directive from his bishop to instruct folks to vote yes on Prop 8?

If you've been following his blog, you know that Father Geoffrey Farrow was suspended for following his conscience but continues to work for LGBT justice.

The fact that he is barred from functioning as a Roman Catholic priest is bad enough, but recently, through mutual friends, I received some sad news about Father Geoff. News that makes me extremely angry. News that demonstrates the malice of a church that preaches the love of Jesus while deliberately persecuting a priest who for all the right reasons dared to follow the real teachings of Jesus.

Father Geoffrey Farrow had applied for a position with the Los Angeles branch of CLUE, Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice.

CLUE identifies itself as follows:

We are an interfaith association of over 600 religious leaders throughout Los Angeles County who come together to respond to the crisis of the working poor.

CLUE derives a significant part of its funding from the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Today I spoke with a member of CLUE's board of directors, Rev. James Conn, a Methodist minister and Director of New Ministries for the California-Pacific Conference of the United Methodist Church. Reverend Conn had been directly involved in the recruitment and interview process involving Father Geoff.

I asked him if CLUE had denied Father Geoff a second interview specifically because the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles threatened to cut off all its significant funding for CLUE should Father Geoff ever be offered the position in question.

As incredible as it may seem, Reverend Conn confirmed the truth of this and expressed his heartfelt disappointment over the fact that CLUE had to choose between continuing the interview process with an extremely promising and qualified candidate or risk losing the financial support of the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Los Angeles that is critical to CLUE's work.

A second interview with Father Geoff had been scheduled for December 15, 2008, but on December 13, Father Geoff received a phone call from CLUE expressing disappointment over their decision to terminate the interview process solely because of the threat made by the archdiocese of Los Angeles whose representative on CLUE's board of directors had brought the situation to the attention of the highest level of authority in the archdiocese.

It is important to note that, in his interview, Father Geoff was not trying to pass himself off as a priest "in good standing" with the Roman Catholic Church, and that the bishop who suspended Father Geoff is the ordinary of a different diocese.

It is also important to note that the ministry performed by CLUE is to the poor. Its primary focus is not the LGBT community. Father Geoff would not be representing the Catholic Church on matters of faith and morals in his new position.

It is important to note that at the age of 51, after having devoted 23 years of his life to the Roman Catholic Church plus an earlier 7 years in the seminary, Father Geoff has had his medical benefits discontinued and is without income and assistance from his bishop. While it is disgusting that his bishop has turned his back on Father Geoff, it is infuriating to think that his bishop would conspire with the Cardinal Archbishop of Los Angeles to block gainful and appropriate employment.

I am well familiar with the jargon of the Roman Catholic hierarchy. They will say that they feel compassion for Father Geoff and that they pray for him, but their actions speak too strongly and demonstrate deliberate malice. They do not wish him well. And, God forbid that they should have ever proactively attempted some sort of out-placement effort on his behalf. Some bishops privately do that on behalf of priests who leave, but not the hard-hearted bishop who cut off Father Geoffrey Farrow nor the malicious Cardinal Archbishop of Los Angeles.

I am writing this because I've learned over the years that the Roman Catholic Church gets away with this kind of despicable and inhumane treatment of men who choose to follow their conscience only when its bad deeds are not held up to a strong light. Father Geoff does not wish CLUE to lose its funding and therefore has remained silent about this, but his friends have brought this situation to my attention, and I want Catholics in California and beyond to understand clearly the level of unchristian behavior and deliberate malice of which their bishops and cardinals are capable.

I hope you will consider going to CLUE's website and leaving them a message about your feelings (please keep in mind that CLUE wanted to continue its interview with Father Geoff so don't paint them as the "bad guy". If you want to leave a message for the real "bad guy", you may contact the office of Cardinal Roger Mahony.

Archdiocese of Los Angeles
3424 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90010-2202
213 637 7000

Ask them why they hate Father Geoff. When they assure you that they do not hate him, ask them to prove it and soon. Right now, more than their insincere prayers, he needs a job.

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force NYC Leadership Kick-Off

Last night, in New York City, I went to a party on 14th Street at the Design Within Reach Store.

Then I went with Joe and Aaron to Rawhide because we were in a mood for some raunch dressing. Later, at GymBar, we met this guy whose name escaped me while he showed me his collection of me-with-celebrity photos kept on his camera.

(I made one of him with Joe but it is not pretty.)

Today I woke up with a cold. I rummaged about until I found something C had stuffed in my Christmas stocking.

I've been rubbing it on my chest like a mad thing. There's no food in the house and it will be hours before C comes through the door. Camille is not happy about being forced to suffer unattended and with no audience.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Curiosity as an American value

In his inaugural address, the new President Obama has just included curiosity in his list of saving American values. How refreshing and delightful. We have endured so many years of defensive and suspicious leadership. We have all but forgotten that our country was once strong in its curiosity about the world, its people and its horizons.

From the text of the speech:

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends -- hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism -- these things are old. These things are true.

forebearers vs forebears

In his inaugural address, the new President just used the word forebearers. While certainly more inclusive than forefathers, he could have used the more elegant noun forebears, as in My forebears were Italian. The word does however open the door to some Four bears walk into a gay bar jokes.

A Joyfully Broken Chicane

The word of the day is chicane. I just heard it come from the mouth of an NBC reporter.

Let's use it in a sentence:

With the inauguration of Barack Obama, the racial chicane of Amercian history has been permanently dismantled.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Michelle Obama's gown

This is what I would put her in. I was aiming for youthful/sexy/elegant. I think she should go with the "column" rather than the "flow". She has the body for it. I think she ought to emphasize her shoulders. I think a low neck line is better than a scoop or something higher which might be too "suit-of-armor". I think she will opt for the high waist which is something she seems to like and favors. I think the halter should be soft and gathered. Maybe shear over silk. The sheath below the waist could be slubbed silk or textured with shimmer. It should not be brocade which would be too heavy. This part has to be fluid and must follow and accentuate her movements. Overall, the color ought to be sapphire or cobalt or some mingling of sapphire, cobalt and teal. The jewelry ought to be delicate to counter her muscularity. Could be diamonds or marcasite. (I hope she doesn't do the big pearls). I think this tanzanite and diamond necklace from Tiffany & Co. would be fine. At the transition between the top and bottom parts of the gown, I've left the possibility for a thin blue satin cord/sash and even a space under the left bosom for one of those brooch/applique thingies she likes but she'd do better without.

I think the revelation is scheduled for Tuesday. I'm guessing she'll choose something by Maria Pinto.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The New Bilerico

To all of you who say that Bilerico is dry, I say check out this post from one of our new contributors. I am proud to have pushed for his recruitment. I'd walk to Buffalo in the snow for a piece of that!

PS: The directors of Bilerico had a brainstorming session last night. We've got plans I think you'll enjoy. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Doris Day Pink

I'm sure Cooper's owners won't mind. Besides, it'll wash out. Maybe.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

where'd this come from?

For all you beefeaters, isn't this a woofworthy blog?


I'll be baby-sitting a little bit of cotton fluff named Cooper for the next two days.
The breed is known to have separation anxiety, and sure enough, the little guy has spent the first hour studying the door through which his master left.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Thursday on Bilerico: His Closet is a Duplex

I haven't yet written my response to this letter, but I've got lots to say. You'll have to go to Bilerico on Thursday for it.

Message: I am a happy self-identified gay man living in San Francisco who has had a number of successful long-term relationships with men. But for the last couple of years, I been having sexual dreams and fantasies about making love with women, in addition to my continued fantasies and attractions to men. Am I cracking up, emerging from another closet or just going through a phase? Read me my beads!


Golden Globe Gowns

A good gown has to enhance the woman in it while retaining some artistry of its own, and, it has to move.

As I watched the nominees and presenters at the 2009 Golden Globe Awards Ceremony – and you can find a good compilation of the ladies in their finery here - (all the following photos are ripped from that slideshow), I found the menswear insignificant or annoying, but the women were dazzling , with “classic” as the predominant note.

I was wowed by the red-robed Eva Longoria. You had to see her walk on stage to really understand why she was the evening’s best-dressed woman. (Am I fair to judge a woman’s intelligence by the gown she chooses?)

She looked...Divine.

I’m giving a strong and surprising second-place to Drew Barrymore who justified her crooked hair. I think she’s ready to star in an Angie Dickinson bio-pic. (Did she swap purses with Eva?)

The absolute vavoom of Beyonce Knowles and Megan Fox is indisputable, but their dresses were only slavish servants to their curves.

Anne Hathaway whose skin tone always makes her look rather refrigerated seemed to step out of a John Singer Sargent painting. Third place.

Equally alluring was Penelope Cruz, but there ought to have been a necklace. Did it fall off in the limo?

I was highly impressed by Mrs. Pierce Brosnan who proved that zaftig can be sexy. She seemed perfectly comfortable in this elegant dress.

As a subcategory, the black dresses with shear panels were not so hot. Did a troop of girl scouts sew these to get a merit badge?

Finally, there is Glenn Close who did not walk on stage. She was beamed up.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

those silly awards

well it's turning into a horse race for second place!
I know fifty contributors at Bilerico who would love to be the bridesmaid. Why not help them out? Vote!

class='thickbox'>Put a ring on it

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The art of the insult

Once again, I call your attention to the venerable Dick Cavett.

While reading this, I was sifting through famous insults I recall, and holding them up for comparison. I kept coming back to Joan Rivers on Elizabeth Taylor. That string of burger joint jokes. As deadly and polished as those insults were, I think we could not enjoy them because of what they targeted. Not evil but weakness. When Joan turns the gun on herself in that recent commercial in which she says “Oh honey, this face has seen more knives than a benihana”, we can laugh easily because she owns the weakness targeted. I wonder if she wrote that line herself.

And there's that Dorothy Parker review of a Kate Hepburn performance in which Kate "ran the gamut of emotion from A to B". No one ever thought of Kate as weak or vulnerable, so we can laugh. I wonder if she herself laughed.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Improving the red carpet

As we head into the award show season, there is discussion about the appropriateness of rented diamonds and designer gowns in a time of economic crisis.

This provides me with the opportunity to suggest a change for which I have long pined.

Would it be too much to ask that the stars arrive dressed in the signature costumes they wore in the films or plays that earned them their nominations?

Also, would it be too much to ask that the writers of those productions provide them with pithy but dazzling acceptance speeches? The unscripted gushing of all but a few winners is annoying.

These shows are supposedly delivering the best in entertainment, folks. I'm sure Reese Witherspoon is a nice lady, but wouldn't you really rather hear her say something supplied by Bruce Vilanch or Joan Rivers?

And don't get me started about the pain of listening to non-performers accepting awards.

I know this puts a burden on Meryl Streep this year, but she could change out of the habit in her limo en route to the after-party.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Worth visiting

OK so my husband likes this blog better than all others (Including mine? Maybe. He's smart enough to say "Oh no baby, I love it in a different way.") Nico is indeed an enchanting youngster, and has something of merit to say about anything. My husband, who will eat nothing from the ocean or from fresh water for that matter, is fascinated by the fact that there is nothing Nico won't eat. A recent post offers us a newly composed Christmas carole, a link to pics of drunken Brits, some sass about Silent Night and the national anthem, and, a pic of Marie Antoinette's gallows-wear. What's not to love. Go there, but come back. I've always been jealous suspicious of smart gay children.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Tomorrow on Bilerico: "The Naked Boy Giver"

I’m making a bit of a detour on Bilerico this week to comment (with owner’s permission) on an irresistible post I read at a blog called Naked Boy Chronicles
Here’s the post abbreviated:

I have a problem letting go

I did not see the Boif this trip around.

He was insistent on seeing me and I asked him to please respect my wishes and leave me alone. I told him I was not ready yet, I am still hurt over his leaving me. So he respected my wishes and left me alone.

I just felt that seeing him would bring me down simply because he had to leave again. It was like giving someone a gift and then snatching it away. I didn't want to set myself up for that.

I felt it would be a case of him mocking me and showing off and him telling me about his wonderful life now and how he has everything now and how he never had anything here. He should read all the earlier blog posts, he had everything here: Love, respect and all my possessions and money. But mostly love.

He actually told me on the phone one time that he had nothing here and that's why he left. He said I had everything and he had nothing. Can you imagine how that made me feel? Nothing? I thought I was something.

I thought I gave him everything -- especially unconditional love. I used to joke about him leaving me and tell him that no one would take him and that after five minutes of him, they would return him. And I loved the thought. The thought of him being mine forever and always returning to me.

My problem is I get attached to people and make them family. I don't have one of those weird families that quarrel. I have a big Italian family. We outright yell, scream and go crazy and in five minutes, it's all over as if nothing happened. He and I were like that, we argued all the time, but never held a grudge.

I am not used to giving up on family members and just having them out of my life. I don't live like that. He is like family to me. I can't get over that he is gone. That's my problem. I can't let go.

Old photos

Seventeen years ago I had a few solo shows in the Wretched Little City. I was doing portraits. I wasn't using Photoshop in those days. Not even digital. Had folks lie down on the kitchen floor of our old farm house. I was surprised at the level of trust my friends placed in me with camera in hand. Here are a few from a show called A Resting Ritual. They were just about life-sized. While packing up the house I came across them after not having seen them for years.

My agent, Miss Ward, was a willing model.

This one was called She Knows the Drill. Miss Ward was not happy with the way she had applied her lipstick. As I said, no Photoshop. Women especially liked this one. T shirts and note cards followed.

C was not a willing model but he could be convinced. He actually designed the metal wavy frames in which these were originally mounted. They did some serious damage to the gallery walls. I think this was titled Housebroken or maybe Fully Domesticated. The sessions were great fun with folks holding props and lights and wondering what I had in mind. I had nothing in mind.

Monday, January 05, 2009

If you liked it....

As Beyonce recently bounced: "If you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it." And that is figuratively what I hope you'll do to Bilerico, a nominee for Best Gay Blog 2008.

[Upfront disclaimer: I'm part of the Bilerico editorial team.]

As you know, I love my Joey and Andre and Andy and Pam, so why vote for Bilerico?

a) Bilerico is much more than a cut-and-paste fast food kind of gay news aggregation. The contributors present developed opinions that are not geared to a fast rabble-rousing. I often disagree with what is presented, but you know I'm the kind of person who often spends hours looking at bad art because it helps me know what is good and true when I find it.

b) They have this advice column written by an insufferably self-absorbed ex-priest who considers all questions as excuses to tell stories of his ribald past. But, he is a slightly cute from certain angles. I don't think he's real, but he seems to be working hard to keep Bilerico planted in the fertile gutter of explicit sex.

c) Bilerico was last year's runner-up. This year, they're bigger, harder and uncut and needier. Put a ring on it.

e) Tell me that you have voted for Bilerico, and I will grant you the sexual favor of your choice. Specify it in the comments section below so I can prepare.

You do know that you can vote every 24 hours.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Road Notes

To prepare for the DC beltway, study the chariot race scene in Ben Hur.

The South is different. Between Richmond, Virginia and Jacksonville, Florida, NPR disappears, and the dial is swamped with Jesus. Consumers are fed what they want.

The convenience store women are very fat, funny and call me honey.

In a South Carolina parking lot, I am sitting in my Smartcar, trying to keep the juices from a Wendy’s ½ pounder from dripping onto every other part of me by mashing it onto my mouth, when I look up to see a family stopping close to my windshield to take a photo of my car. I wanted very much to ask them to delete it and to let me run back inside to purchase the salad item. That would be what is expected of a Smartcar owner. It’s been several years since I had one of these burgers. Not changed a bit. I’ll eat another one in 2019.

The optical sensors on the urinals of the rest stops all along Route 95 are labeled Zurn. Probably a German manufacturer. Could it be that the blinking red dot is doing more than sensing motion? Is it recording? Would the rapid frisson of an expedient jerk-off confuse the dot into a wild flush? I think I might like to be a Zurn, with an endless stream of the traveling men of America unzipping before me. Zurns should come equipped with applause meters.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Best post elsewhere in 2008

This post combines politics, culture, art, design and sex. It's a summary of what we will remember about 2008 when we go back to the future. Today, you'll call it shallow, but those who sift through the past, decades from now, will study these images and note that even if no gay man received a cabinet appointment, the heart of at least one gay man was wrapped around the First Lady (Sorry Betsey Johnson. I assume you were joking.)

PS: I think she'll choose the de la Renta.