You will have to go to Bilerico tomorrow to see my response to the following (first of a series from one man on a particular subject):
Have you ever seen a 3way relationship work? Really? We tried it once and it didn't go so hot because he was more into Fred (my partner) than me. This time I was the instigator, but he seems to like Fred just as much as me and Fred feels good about it.
(Sorry to be doing the cut and paste thing (no matter how amusing) but packing up a household has taken me longer than expected. It's driving me nuts, truth to tell. Just when I think I've got it all under control, I open another cabinet or go deeper into another closet. Stuff.
It becomes clear that as we switch out the god we have in the driver's seat, each of the passengers will eventually and in turn be thrown under the bus. There is no universal god. Only an extremely personal one. The invocation at the inauguration ought to consist of five minutes of silence to allow each attendee to to burn mental incense to god or Santa Claus or to go outside for a smoke.
For the best reflection on this to date, read Frank Rich's You're Likable Enough, Gay People. While reading it, I asked C if Frank Rich is gay. He replied, "No. He's Jewish and a New Yorker."
(For those of you who don't get that - and I doubt there are many - the next time you take your mother or aunt to a Broadway musical, ask them if they realize how much of the National Humor is either gay or Jewish.)
This made me mad. Mad that we are behind rather than in the lead. Mad that we have to spend zillions of dollars on heat when it could be generated for free. If our country wakes up only when its wallet is almost empty, maybe our president-elect will have the brains and vision to throw some of our tax dollars into fostering this type of residential efficiency. Can anyone give me even one good reason for not doing so?
Next on Bilerico: The Vociferous American Erection
You will have to go to Bilerico on Friday morning for my response to the following:
Dear Father Tony,
This is about my husband’s “little problem” at his gym. Every time he comes home, I ask him “Was he there?” We are getting a lot of laughs out of this but my husband (straight and with a great bod) is asking me what he should do. I’m a (straight) woman so I’m in the dark about this so I’m asking you because you would know…
In the shower at the gym is a guy who is very friendly with my husband. My husband says he likes talking with this guy who is funny and smart but after they got to know each other, one day he comes home and tells me that when they were in the shower together talking, this guy got an erection in the middle of the conversation. I said “What were you talking about?” He says “the economy!” Anyway, the guy doesn’t try to hide it and my husband doesn’t know what to do so he went back to his locker and left really fast.
The thing is that now, it happens the same way every time they are in the shower together. They could be talking about anything and after a few minutes the guy gets an erection and just keeps on talking.
My husband is cool with the gay thing in general but he is not sure how to handle this. It’s like “out there and pointing at him.” He thinks he should say something. I asked him if it happens to the guy only when he’s talking with my husband or with other guys also and my husband says he has never seen it happen with other guys but it’s not like he’s looking so he doesn’t know for sure. He thinks he should say something, but what?
We froze but we marched. From Herald Square (think Macy's and Miracle on 34th St, you hinterlanders) to Times Square. In numbers approaching a few hundred strong, the little lights of protest warmed up the night. More formal observations and video to follow tomorrow, but
a) Just as I expected and despite instructions from JoinTheImpact, this was not a silent, prayerful or chanting crowd. Out came the megaphones and all the usual shouts of "When I say XXXX, you say XXXX...XXXX! etc. (I really hate that one. It's too convoluted.) and the hey hey ho ho chant was aimed this time at having Rick Warren to go.
b) Numbers were small (<300?) but impact was high: strong sound system and a stage in Times Square.
c) Proof of the consistently amateur or naive approach to this phenomenon is the fact that the wooden podium had no sign on it with a logo and info that would show up in media coverage.
d)And this is MOST important, we need to show great respect and encouragement to the young people who are producing these events. Someone at last is doing something. The flaws are inconsequential. To not show up, despite the weather would have been unthinkable.
This Q&A for Caroline Kennedy is one of the oddest-funniest pieces of writing I've encountered in quite a while. I just finished reading the questions and answers aloud to C, and see if you can't do the same without feeling that her handlers are manipulating a Caroline sock puppet. They seem to want to create a one-name persona for her, like Cher or Charo. (I'm glad to see she's down with gay marriage, but elsewhere in the Q&A, I begin to wonder who she really is.) Anyway, if you do it aloud, use a wise-cracking 1945 Daily Planet reporter-in-fedora voice for the questions, and for the answers, use an Eleanor-Parker-as-the-Baroness-in-Sound-of-Music voice for the Caroline says answers.
Tomorrow on Bilerico: "His Man Goes South for the Winter"
You'll have to go to Bilerico tomorrow at noon for my response to the following:
Dear Father Tony,
You won’t print this, I know, but maybe you can email me your opinion. I met a guy I like but there is a problem. He told me before we met that he was really into one thing. His face in my butt. (My on-line pics show I’ve got some classic bubble butt). I chatted with him because he is gorgeous (my opinion) and I began to fall for him. When we finally hooked up, he wasn’t kidding. I didn’t see much of his face and my mattress got the rest of him if you get my meaning. He says he’s never had it so good and I really cannot complain because he is so good at it, but still. We have talked about this. I told him I want more and spelled out what I like to do. He shrugs and says that is the way he is. When we are not going at it, we have great conversation. He is very well educated and can recite English poetry for hours. I love the sound of his voice (English accent) and I feel guilty about complaining but I want what I want just like he wants what he wants. I know you are going to say that we should never go into a relationship thinking we can change someone, and I guess I did but isn’t it OK to ask him to think about me sometimes? Sheesh. Is that too much to ask? I think I should stop seeing him and I think you will say that but sometimes I think maybe there is a way to work this out so we both get what we want. That’s it. Is there a way to make it work?
This year, you can donate that tired tan Burberry plaid scarf, knowing that everyone you don't want to look like is wearing it or its knock-off.
Instead, reach into the back of the drawer and find that bright red and black plaid scarf. Or, if you didn't save it, get yourself a new one. This is the scarf of the season. It can say so many things. I'm cheery! I'm nostalgic! I'm angry! I'm bloody! I'm defiant! You choose.
Pair it with a black hat and jacket as a fiery accent. You needn't reserve this plaid exclusively for the neck. We recently had the opportunity to observe this same plaid on the friendly silk boxers of a new acquaintance.
As you can see below, this plaid conjures the muse of Christmas Past but she has not yet convinced me to smile. Still ten days to go.
There are ways to take it apart and analyze the components, if you are looking for guidance in your own writing. You note the opening image, a speedy blur and then a rapid zoom into the person who is the focus of the piece. You note the economy of choices made. You notice the way the reader is carefully ushered along with no confusion as to where the next door leads. You note the superb attention to visual angling, background sound, and interior emotions. You note the timing.
Is it possible to learn this type of story telling? I think not. Either you have it in you or you don't. Teachers can give you polish and help you avoid excesses, but they cannot give you instincts. This is not to say that we are brilliant every time we touch the keyboard, but sometimes...and this is one of those times for Miss Lynette.
I've written about Bob and Ray's Christmas party in previous years.
I still think it is one of the best parties imaginable. We see some folks only annually at this party. They and we do not exist for each other outside this Brigadoonular fete.
You cannot be deleted from the invitation list, except by a verified report of your death.
The food is always memorable and the bar is like a $2 hooker...oh, figure it out.
This year, I upset a twelve foot ficus tree by sitting on the edge of its pot. Its shaken leaves provided an attractive garnish to the baked ham on the nearby buffet.
Despite their request that friends stop giving them tree ornaments (their collection is rotated in its yearly presentation), I spied an Orbamament that is new and a festive pig that I do not recall.
Here are C, Rob (who spins at Nowhere every second Sunday of the month), his partner Tim who is an admirable artist and our Joey who, at some point in 2008, transcended definition.
As you'll see in this tiny vid, the energy was high and convivial, but I think there was something different in the air this year. An uneasiness about the future. A sense of apprehension. We are entering a season of adjustment. Financial. Political. Social and philosophical. We are all preparing mentally for some not-yet-defined but major surgery. You could almost smell it just above the pine needles and the warm brownies. I listened as a doctor talked about being laid off from his municipal post. There seemed to be less shimmer in the costuming. Less bravado. Less daring. It's as if we have all taken a punch and are getting our wind back as we struggle to our feet. We are far away from the last round. We'll make it. We will win. We just need to pay attention.
This afternoon we stopped by the Postmasters Gallery on 19th Street to see Jennifer and Kevin McCoy’s “I’ll Replace You”, a photography and video exhibit exploring the business of exchanging viewers, artists and critics with themselves (the real McCoys).
I was eager to see this because C is featured in a large composite photo in which Jennifer poses with a number of people who are wearing Kevin’s orange vest and a wig/glasses/stashe combination that mimics his look. (In an adjacent piece, Jennifer is replaced by people who pose with Kevin.)
Can you spot the boy, even as he recreates his pose, albeit in mirror image?
Here he is.
At another gallery we saw this, for which there are no words.
Here's a picture of Ricky Martin wearing his new twin boys. What caught my attention in this photo is the way Ricky looks at us. His eyes seek out the viewer's understanding and seem to yearn for the viewer's approval. I think we've been given that look before. By Joan Crawford. The comparison stops there, as I suspect Ricky will be a much better parent than was Joan.
Here are threewonderfulwomen who have recently become unavailable as godmothers for the twins. They are in the great Green Room together, preparing and sharing their complaints about men for when they are ushered into God's throne room where their voices will scorch the paint off the walls.
On Saturday, Dec 6, 2008, Barney Frank spoke at a Victory Fund luncheon at The Mayflower Hotel in Washington DC. We who were at the National LGBT Blogger and Citizen Journalist Initiative were also invited.
Barney spoke about what we should demand of those who say they love us, and, about the passage of an inclusive Hate Crimes Bill, but the funny money-quote is at the end of this two-minute clip from the video I made.
There is but one question begged but not raised: Given the ephemeral, immediate and rapid nature of blogging, is it not performed more often than not by those afflicted with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder)? This colors not only the style of presentation, but the level of thought and discernment. A swarm of locusts descends upon and devours the whole farm in seconds before moving on. A horde of impatient shoppers breaks down the Walmart door and tramples the staff. The swarm, the horde, the blogger and the commenter. Far away, in deep woods, lives the writer, listening to snow fall.
Because of this, you probably won't take the time to read all four pages of Mr. Sullivan's essay, as did I, but I seriously recommend doing so because each new section opens a door to yet another perfectly stated truth about what we are doing here, and why this is not the same as - and will never replace - writing.
I have always thought of this as a place to practice or prepare for writing, like stretching before a run.
The Washington Blade covered the Bilerico Meet and Greet held at a coffeehouse called ArtfullyChocolate. You'll find the full set of photos here, but I feel this one, in which I'm with Zamna Avila of AskTheGayLatino, captures my inner ferocity or perhaps just the embers of sleep deprivation.
(And don't miss the pic of blogger friend Mike of DC seated to my right with the fabulous Nick Cargo of PageOneQ to my left.)
As you might imagine, a gathering of bloggers might be understated as hyper-communicative. Even during the presentations, almost no one stopped surfing, texting, emailing, twittering, uploading, editing, posting and electronically gossiping with a pal across the room. This is not to say that we didn't absorb what was being presented. We are simply of the breed that can intake stimuli from various sources simultaneously and deliver it simultaneously to a number of unrelated recipients. The presenters seemed to understand this and not mind it.
Heavy on the political (which is something I mostly leave to others) but, as you'd imagine, a room full of fascinatin gay bloggers is like a day spent at the flea market at Brimfield, MA: acres of interesting stuff each piece with its own intricate history and message and life.
Regarding the political side to this, I'll summarize for you:
In the American Revolution, there was one Paul Revere. Today, in the revolution that has now begun for ownership of individual rights, bloggers are the new Paul Revere, but there are hundreds of thousands of them and they are not all shouting the same thing about the British coming. They are shouting huge heaps of overlapping static. Sometimes they pull together suddenly like a school of fish responding to the force of the current. There is no skill to this. There is only speed. You almost need to be out of the water to see, let alone control this. Nevertheless, the political bloggers feel that coalescence is within their grasp.
Here's the fabulous Mike Rogers of PageOne who is our overworked organizer (and you'll pardon me for liveblogularly skip the links for the moment):
Eric Leven of Knuckecrack and Bilerico makes a point while Nate of the blog www.buffawhat.com does something unrelated on Vimeo.
And of course, JoeMyGod and I do our duelling banjoes thing with our cameras (they are the new fans).
We began the weekend with a reception at the premises of the HRC (Human Rights Campaign) conveniently located across the street from the YMCA where I spent the afternoon exercising. The company was scintillating and the conversation covered everything from the the mellifluous voice of Pam Spaulding to the fact that Hillary's doctor told her she could never again wear high heels to the handsome blogger behind Ask The Gay Latino.
Here's the whole Bilerico gang, blurred because I didn't notice that I had the camera set to macro-focus.
A fascinating and encouraging GLAAD-sponsored Harris Interactive survey has just been released to the accompaniment of a call-in question/answer session in which I participated for The Bilerico Project.
This post-election survey called The Pulse of Equality, shows that majorities of Americans are pro-LGBT rights and that public sentiment is trending toward greater acceptance.
GLAAD President Neil G. Giuliano said that this is the first survey ever commissioned by GLAAD. He said "We wanted something that could help media navigate the post-election narrative."
I asked Rashad Robinson, Senior Director of Media Programs at GLAAD, where in the USA he felt the strongest pockets of anti-LGBT sentiment remain. Mr. Robinson replied that the rural areas of America are the most resistant to acceptance and that the survey demonstrates that interaction with visible and identifiably LGBT folks has resulted in greater acceptance. In rural areas, that interaction is smaller.
I also asked him about the fact that the survey demonstrates that the highest levels of negativity involved not only the evangelical Christian churches, but also the male population age 65 and over. I wondered what, if anything, GLAAD was doing to reach that demographic. He replied that GLAAD has and will continue to appeal to that demographic through targeted media outreach such as sports programming. This is encouraging and I can't wait to see the GLAAD-sponsored Aussie Bum shorts on the male cheerleaders during next year's Super Bowl halftime show.
Seriously, read the survey. It will make you feel good.
Tomorrow on Bilerico: "His teeth are in the way of world peace"
You will have to go to Bilerico tomorrow morning to see my response to the following:
Dear Father Tony,
The last guy I dated was six months ago. He broke it off with me but I thought everything was going along perfect. Finally he took my call and told me the reason. Sex. He said I give really bad head. He said it was painful. He said my teeth are the problem. I go to the same dentist since I was a kid. How do I tell him to fix this without telling him why or do I need a gay dentist? There’s a guy who I think is interested but I keep avoiding him because of this. Now I’m afraid to even kiss anyone new. Can I just learn to give good head?
I think I'll join it just as a goof. They'll rue the day.(Although I do like limited government and private property rights, something tells me that I'd be rubbing shoulders with some "tiny" folks. Think Gulliver's Travels.)
For Immediate Release Contact: Adam Bitely November 24th, 2008 Phone: (202) 689-9266
Dear Fellow Blogger,
It is my distinct pleasure, as the president of Americans for Limited Government, to invite you today to become a key member of the exciting new conservative “bloggers central,” NetRightNation.com.
At ALG, we recognize the critical role you as a blogger play in gathering, assimilating, and disseminating news and commentary. And I, personally, am deeply grateful to you for taking the lead in fighting some of the most important battles our country has faced over the past decade, and more.
That's why I am so pleased to announce that NetRightNation.com is providing bloggers like you, the mainstream media, politicians, and other opinion leaders free, instant access to nearly 60,000 conservative blogs nationwide. And counting.
As a complete service bureau, NRN provides you a wide new array of blogger opportunities. As a featured blogger on NRN, you will be able to post your own blogs and interface with other like-minded bloggers nationwide. You will soon be able to “claim” your blog and customize your blog profile.
Information on NRN – blogs, as well as Twitter feeds -- will be divided by state, as well as by issue, to make it easy for you and others to access. NRN will also include a sophisticated search engine function and will soon have the capability for you to subscribe to customized email blog feeds on your topics of choice. Stay tuned, for these features will soon be online!
And all of that is just the beginning. In fact, I have asked ALG's Director of New Media, Adam Bitely, to follow up on this note with a letter of his own providing you the exciting details on how NRN can help you grow your own blog.
Above all, we want to make sure NRN is all that you, an important member of the conservative blogosphere, want it to be. So, as you visit NetRightNation.com, I urge you to please give us your input on how to make it the valuable asset we are committed to providing, at absolutely no charge.
Thank you for all that you are doing. I look forward to hearing from you.
Bill Wilson President, Americans for Limited Government
Americans for Limited Government is a non- partisan, nationwide network committed to advancing free market reforms,private property rights and core American liberties. For more information on ALG please call us at 703-383-0880 or visit our website at www.GetLiberty.org.