"Civilization is a conversation over time."

No one who knows me will be surprised by my odd and well-documented fan girl obsession with the U.S. Supreme Court. My pin-up love for John Roberts Jr. hasn't diminished, although I would be lying if I said I didn't miss cranky old Rehnquist, waving his walking stick violently at reporters attending his morning walks. Alito is not very interesting to me, mostly because he doesn't have weird doilies popping out of the top of his robe like The O'C did.

Speaking of The O'C, I have been recording C-Span's America & The Courts on my DVR and I love it. They had a great award program honoring The O'C herself attended by Ruth Bader Ginsburg and John Roberts Jr a while back. There was thunderous applause at the end of the speech so she had trouble finishing with her big finale about being the first woman on the Supreme Court. "I look forward to the third, the fourth and the fifth!" clearly indicating her preference for the majority of the court to reflect the majority of the population. I agree.

More recently, I caught a speech by Justice Kennedy at the ABA Convention in Hawaii earlier this month. I have never followed him closely, and this was the first speech of his I ever witnessed. It was great. I now have a new pin-up for my wall. Here are some of my favorite moments from the speech:

"The enlightenment was of tremendous importance to the civilized world. Isaac Newton, for over a hundred years, was the most famous person in the world. The average person didn't read his thesis on physics, but this business about the apple falling down made sense. And people wondered 'If we can explain the laws of the universe, can't we explain the principles that should control a government? Can't we have a government by conscious design?' And so the framers drafted the American Constitution."

I loved his direct connection between the advancement of science and our ability to create our own destiny as a society. The only way to create progress is by distinguishing reality from myth and superstition.

"The framers knew that they weren't prescient enough and they were not brazen enough to specify all of the elements of justice. They knew this could become an apparent only over time. They knew that the whole purpose of a Constitution is to arise above the inequities and the injustices that you can't see. But now we are in an era, where I sense something different is happening. We know that 'truth' needs no translation. There is a word for 'truth' in every language. We know that the world is getting smaller. We know that the rule of law is essential. We hear a lot about security. But our best security, ultimately our only security, is in the world of ideas. And I sense a slight foreboding. I sense that we are not making the case as well as we ought."

I think he has really hit the core of the issue we have, especially in the Middle East. The value of democracy is participation and engagement in change. There is a resistance to want to understand why we are resented around the world, but I don't think we are hated and resented. I think it is their frustrated attempt to engage in a change, to affect their own destiny. But we have to make the case that our path of reasoned and modulated change over time is better than chaos, terror and totalitarianism, even as we struggle ourselves with the slowness of that reasoned change in our march of equality at home.

Justice Kennedy talked about clean water in Africa and that the main issue blocking the most fundamental need in human existence was not science, but government corruption. The law only works when people respect it, and they feel that the government they share is worthy of that respect. This is the fundamental problem in Iraq. It is lovely that people voted in the election, but the elected officials need to be worthy of that vote. As we see at home, if politicians don't operate as promised, the electorate gets very cranky. But we have a foundation of democracy to temper our feelings. It is much harder to create that same foundation of trust that we have out of a bad situation of bombings and terror. Election cycles and change seem far away compared to car bombs and explosions.

"For us, law is a liberating force. It's a promise, it's a covenant. It says that 'you can hope, you can dream, you can dare. You can plan. You have joy in your existence.' That's the meaning of the law as Americans understand it. And that's the meaning of the law that we must explain to a doubting world where the verdict is still out."

I think it is easy to forget the importance of consistency in our American experience. Life here is not perfect but there are certain things you can count on. I was reading some crappy in-flight magazine a few years back and an economist wrote about the importance of the basic right to own land. He described it as the backbone of the human experience and more importantly civilization as we know it. If people can depend on the land they own (that no one will suddenly take it from them, or blow it up randomly and leave them with nothing) they can make plans, for home, for family, for business. The chaos of life is what prevents the stability and wealth we know here at home. Iraq can never be free without the security of a consistent notion of law, of property, and of common sense and reason. Until we convince them that this level of consistency (and not corruption and chaos) works, there can be no peace in the world.

A Variety Of Musings

I think the world is a much scarier place when I find myself regularly agreeing with George Will.

So for weeks now, I have been drenched in flop sweat at the prospect of World War III. Iraq is something of a mess, or if you run Iran, something of an opportunity! Today on "This Week" they played a clip of the Chief of Staff of the Army. Here's the upside:

"Reporter: Are we winning the way in Iraq?"

General: Are we winning? Well, I wouldn't say we're losing."

So I am no military expert and even though I was against this stupid war in the first place, the last thing we need is Saigon II (think of the awful Broadway musical it might spawn!), with Iran picking up Iraq like 70% off shoes at the Barney's Warehouse Sale. Iranq, an amusing joke from the Harvard Lampoon in the mid-80s is no longer as hilarious as it once seemed.

Now, here comes Hamas and Hezbollah (and why on earth can't American reporters pronounce it like they do in Israel... are they afraid of seeming biased toward Israel or something equally stupid? Because I don't think the Prime Minister is pronouncing it wrong, Wolf Blitzer) and Israel is turning selected portions of Lebanon into swiss cheese. Here is my plan for middle east peace:

"Hello. This is the Prime Minister of Israel. Everyone has 72 hours to evacuate the Gaza Strip because we are going to bomb it back into the stone age, bulldoze every single scrap of everything there, and then plant a new forest and declare the whole area a National Park. No campers after dark."

Let Egypt, Jordan and Syria have a taste of Hamas for a while in a Mideast rendition of You, Me, and Dupree. Oh yes, I see his hand waving violently in the air, so let us not forget about that tireless attention whore North Korea. Talk about your bastard step-child desperate for Daddy's love.

In the end, U.S. diplomacy all boils down to parenting tactics. Clinton was the hands-on dad who smothered you in love and always kept an eye on you. Bush is the stern, absentee father who shows up brandishing his belt after you did something wrong. Meanwhile, these rogue nations are just tempermental teenagers, slamming doors and insisting that as soon as they get nuclear weapons of their own, they are sooooooo out of here! They should all get jobs and a life and stop fighting over scraps of land I wouldn't wish a mall parking lot on. It's embarrassing.
  • Current Music
    Standard Time
November 05

Gay Marriage

I am so annoyed by the desperation and political grandstanding of the upcoming Federal Marriage Amendment vote next week. Senator Wayne Allard of Colorado is a pandering douchebag if he thinks marriage in America is one iota safer because of this amendment. He of course is concerned that the rest of the country will fall to the same horrible fate as Massachusetts. The 7300 gay marriages performed there in the last three years have apparently scared the living crap out of him all the way up in the Rocky Mountain state. The irony of the amendment he is proposing is that by changing the law to declare marriage as only being between one man and one woman, they are implying that currently there is no constitutional definition of marriage in America (true) and therefore, there is no legal reason to deny it to anyone. Oops!

Naturally, if he really cared about saving marriage, he would realize that more people got DIVORCED in Massachusetts during the same time as got gay married. And Massachusetts has the lowest divorce rate in the country. Good old God-fearing Texas has more than twice as many divorces per capita as Massachusetts, as does the rest of the Bible Belt, and more than twice as many pregnant teens. Now there's a record you could run proudly for President on. With 50% of all marriages ending in divorce, if Allard really wanted to save marriage, he would propose a constitutional amendment banning divorce. If the straight people love their marriage so much, they can keep them... permanently. No matter what. Til death does them part.

Here is how I see marriage in America today: it's like a beautiful, neglected neighborhood in desperate need of revitalization. No wonder the gays are attracted to the idea. They just want to come in and fix up the place and show you how it can be done right. The straights of course are outraged that the gays will show them up in another arena, as if we haven't already mopped the floor with them in Hollywood, the arts, literature, and most importantly, home decor!

Stop being such pussies and let the gays fix up marriage. It couldn't possibly be any worse off than it is right now.
  • Current Music
    the air conditioner is kinda loud

Postcards From The Edge Of West Hollywood

Greetings! This infrequent website update is coming to you direct from my supersecret bargain hotel on the outskirts of West Hollywood. Here's a hint: $117 a night. The hotel is odd and quirky which I mostly don't mind, and at these prices and with this location, I really don't mind.

So far my Los Angeles adventure has been mostly uneventful. In the first 24 hours in town, I did see four different porn stars. I had forgotten how porn figures are everywhere in this town. First up, I saw Brad Benton at East West. Then, I ran into Roman Heart at Here, where I also saw Dean Phoenix. The next morning, I was driving to Starbucks and spotted Chris Wide crossing the street. Of course, I actually talked to him the following night at Dean Phoenix's birthday party at iCandy, where Dean Phoenix tried to coax me to dance with him in front of everyone. Of course I was mortified and stood in front of him with a pale look of aghast horror as he shook hopefully in front of me while a room full of hunky 20-somethings wondered what I was doing there. I felt like a yokel at iCandy because I just wanted to blurt out "this place looked bigger on TV" thanks to its showings on the LOGO series Open Bar, but I don't think anyone there watched LOGO but me. And I don't even like it that much. Then again, if I didn't want to feel dorky, I wouldn't be driving around LA for hours at a time with gas at nearly $4 a gallon just to listen to myself on the radio. PS I was hilarious!

The only other gay "celebrity" sighting I had was Mr. Jay from Top Model, looking platinum and smiley at Here on Sunday night. Strangely, my roommate Mike had sent a text message two hours earlier telling me that he ran into Kim Stolz from Top Model. Is it odd that we both saw Top Model people, two hours and 3000 miles apart? And speaking of models, celebrity party planner Wade Williams and I were having a low key lunch at Bristol Farms on Monday, which will always and forever be Chasen's to me, when we spotted Heidi Klum pushing a cart full of groceries toward her SUV. I hope there was some makeup and a hairbrush in that cart, and no photographers around because she looked like a papparazzi's wet dream. And then today, I was at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and I saw the Janice Dickinson Model Agency in what had previously been U-Wash Doggie and her Agency sign had a big "For Lease" sign next to it, which was so priceless, I was incensed that I didn't have my camera with me. Hopefully I will remember to grab a shot of it tomorrow.

Tomorrow night I wrap up my Hollywood adventure with lunch on the Warner Bros. lot and by appearing at Heather Tom's pre-Daytime Emmy party on my way to the airport to fly home. I hope I know more people at Heather Tom's house than I knew at Dean Phoenix's birthday party but I doubt it. Overall, it's been nice being in LA, but it hasn't exactly been a red carpet rolled out to greet me. Some drunk people have said interesting things to me since I have been here though, but as soon as the lights clicked on at the bars at 1:45am, I was reminded why I like drinking in New York City so much more.
  • Current Music
    "At This Moment" on the Big 80s Channel

WYSIWYG Talent Show Update

This past week, I performed at the WYSIWYG Talent Show and now I am so mad at Michelle Collins.

Last year, I attended WYSIWYG for the first time. Usually, I am on the air on my radio show while the monthly blogfest commences. My roommate Mike and the rest of geek night are frequent attendees and invited me out to see it when I was on vacation last spring. Sean (no relation to Michelle or Jon) loathes blogs and blogging so he didn't want to go. The show theme was Worst Jobs Ever, which was like a custom glove for Michelle Collins to slide into. She killed. KILLED!!! It helped that Gawker lady, who ended the show with a thud, was a monotone mess who read aloud from her upcoming book with all the passion of a woman discarding junk mail. 

Being a whore for attention, but lacking any real talent, I thought, "I can do better than that bitch!" I decided that when the right topic came along, I would also do a reading at WYSIWYG Talent Show. I also determined that Michelle Collins had to be on my radio show ASAP. Michelle joined for Blog-O-Rama and killed. KILLED! Even Romaine loved her, and we have very different senses of humor. Generally if we both like someone, they are an A+ for the show, not that our guests are listed on a piece of paper with letter grades and booked by our producer accordingly.  Everything is electronic now. 

There was minor grumbling from listeners that Michelle would never talk about being on our show on her blog, but I ignored it all. Michelle and I have a shared love of the Olive Garden, and I'll never forget our magical night at the Olive Garden Times Square bar where we shared the horror of seeing an unused bowl of bottomless salad tossed in the trash. Bottomless salad we would happily have consumed or poured into Michelle's purse when no one was looking. The rumbling got louder recently when she didn't mention our show but did mention another show she was going to be on that appears on a competing satellite radio company. Still I let it go. 

Nine months ago, I asked Chris Hampton if I could do the Starfuckers: Encounters of the Celebrity Kind for my WYSIWYG debut. Having worked at a movie studio, lived in Hollywood, and shopped at the same supermarket as Nell Carter and Phyllis Diller, I figured I might have some stories to tell. For nine months, I sweated and worried and plunged into denial about the whole thing. It was like being pregnant, but I lost fifteen pounds. So I guess it was more like being pregnant and anorexic. I revealed to Michelle on her last appearance on the show that I was drenched in flop sweat about the whole thing and what a nightmare it would be for me to stand up in front of people since I hate being in front of a crowd. She insisted that I would be amazing and she would be sitting right there to see the magic happen. 

So this week, I went to the Bowery Poetry Club. I sat backward in my seat for the first half hour waiting to catch a glimpse of Michelle. Nothing. Chris tells me I am on third and to have a drink. I've already had three. I think "third is a good spot as long as no one kills before me." First performer goes up. Sports guy with story about baseball. I don't care about sports at all, but he is very animated and the story gets a warm reception. He switches things up at the end by turning it into a magic act and pulling a baseball from his pocket with just a hint of flair. Second performer gets up. She tells story about Corey Feldman moving into her building. Funny stuff. Now I am even more nervous. Where the hell is Michelle Collins? Jon Collins? Sean Collins? Do I have time for one more drink? Maybe a Tom Collins. 

Chris calls me up to do my set. Beforehand, I had worked out an opening joke with props. I cut out little slips of paper like you find in programs at Broadway shows when the lead performer is out sick. Mine said, "At tonight's performance, the role of Bob's Big Boy will be played by Derek Hartley." The joke bombed on the radio when I told it and sitting with the geek night crew I got a lot of stonefaced responses. Up on the stage, I announced that I was abandoning my opening joke. I had also planned to reference Gawker girl by announcing in a monotone patter that I would be reading slowly from my grocery list. But Michelle wasn't there and it was going to be a personal joke to her. I couldn't believe it. Where was Michelle?

I broke my act down into three parts. I wanted to start with my story about not recognizing Dan Renzi at Dennis Hensley's birthday party. Dan Renzi isn't all that famous but the story is so good to me, that it bears constant repeating. Next I had a lightning round of short celebrity stories: the girl who threw up after meeting Richard Gere, the three way with Elizabeth Shue, stories guaranteed to shock and offend, but also none that lasted so long that if they sucked, I couldn't just quickly move on to something else. The third part was a celebrity improv where I asked people to shout out names of celebrities and I would tell stories about them, if I had them. When we did this on the air, it was a disaster, but by the end of my act, I figured I had nothing to lose. Colin Farrell (no story, but an observation about his gay brother Eamon), Eddie Murphy (no story, but a revelation about the tranny hooker he gave a ride to), and finally pay dirt when Bea Arthur was shouted out. I wrapped things up with a story about Glenn Close and the press junket for Air Force One. Earlier I warmed up the crowd with an old bit about the shitty movie Mary Reilly, and brought it home at the end of my act with an appropriate celebrity coda. 

I thought I killed. Mike thought I killed. The woman who went on after me looked like she wanted to beat me in the face with her guitar. I think she thought I killed too. Michelle Collins probably would have thought I killed too if she had bothered to show up. Oh well, at least I did better than Gawker bitch and everyone treated me better than Glenn Close. So that's something. To be fair, if I can't do ten minutes of patter in front of a crowd after three years of four daily hours of live radio, I am the most pathetic performer ever. Also, I tossed out nearly 20 celebrity encounters in ten minutes so there was a little something for everyone. If you only have one celebrity story, it's a much riskier gambit. Of all the performers, Dave Gordon was my favorite since our career paths had a lot in common and he shared the same ironic view of the celebrity life that I have. Amnesia gets bonus points for flirting with me, although she probably doesn't remember. I think I will do WYSIWYG again, although I don't think I will be leaving the safe topic of celebrity. See you next year, Michelle, or else!
  • Current Music
    I Hate Michelle Collins (Junior Vasquez arena mix)

Pure and Simple

Ann Coulter is a lying racist cunt. I have absolutely had it with her smug attitude, bony ass and snappy lies.

Her latest on the Oscars:
"Even on AIDS -- which is something you'd expect people like Clooney to know something about -- Hollywood was about seven years behind. Wait, no -- bad choice of words. Even on AIDS, Hollywood got caught with its pants down. Still no good. On AIDS, Hollywood got it right in the end. Oh, dear ... Note to self: Must hire two more interns to screen hate mail.

The point is: The Hollywood set didn't start wearing AIDS ribbons to the Oscars until 1992."

1992. That's exactly three years after Reagan left office without even saying the word, let alone doing anything to stop it. Ann Coulter can shove her bias right up her own ass like the dildo of lies it is. Just because Hollywood was painfully slow in recognizing a crisis, it was completely non-existent in the GOP and the Reagan White House. There is plenty of shame to go around, but the bulk of it lands squarely on the shoulders of filthmongers like Ann Coulter, who feign enlightenment now but who were viciously silent through the 80s and 90s. Elizabeth Taylor has personally raised a quarter of a billion dollars to fight AIDS. What has Ann raised? Even a quarter?

Here's more of her racism wrapped up as wit:
"Contrary to Clooney's impassioned speech, no theaters ever forced black people to sit in the back. If you were trying to oppress people, you would make them sit in the front, which are the worst seats in the house. Or you'd just make them watch a George Clooney movie."

This is the filthy lie that really set me off the most. I have personally seen the colored entrances to the classic theaters in downtown Los Angeles. Los Angeles!!!!! And if Ann Coulter was able to get off her high horse for six seconds, I would be happy to take her down there and rub her ugly whore face in the Colored Only sign in that dirty alley until all her smugness blended smoothly into her cracked cheekbones.

Eat shit, Ann. You know, like the homophobic, racist shit we see in your column. You dirtbag whore. Seriously. Houses land on witches all the time. Why do you live?
  • Current Mood
    bitchy bitchy

A Marriage Made In Heaven

I had an epiphany tonight. I decided that fighting for gay marriage is the wrong approach. Sure, it would be great to have the 1,001 legal rights that come with civil marriage, but the Christians are right. Marriage is a covenant with God that needs to be protected. Marriage is crumbling. With 50% divorce rates and celebrity marriages going only hours or days, it is time to get serious about marriage in America.

This is why I am pushing for a voter initiative ending civil marriage. Marriage is a religious institution that needs to be protected, and it can't be protected while laws are on the books that allow any old Carmen Electra or Britney Spears to get married. Marriage should return to being purely a religious institution and we should do away with civil marriage entirely.

I am sure the Christian right will agree with me, because the rights associated with civil marriage (such as hospital visitation, custody, transfer of assets, etc.) aren't important enough reasons to endanger the sanctity of marriage. After all, they argued that it isn't a compelling reason to allow civil marriage for same sex partners because the sanctity of marriage is too important to just be summed up in a few legal points. The covenant with God is the most important thing. So, I am sure they will agree that their own marriage before God is more important than these silly little legal rights and will be happy to forgo them since they are so unimportant. They have pointed out that most of those rights can be obtained in other ways anyway, so in fact they aren't giving up anything at all.

Is it constitutional to do away with civil marriage? Well, the constitution itself is silent on the issue of marriage. There is no constitutional right to marriage any more than there is a constitutional right to an abortion because the constitution doesn't mention it. True the Ninth Amendment makes clear that just because something isn't in there doesn't mean you don't have a right to it. But we don't like ambiguity in the law. It is what leaves abortion so unsettled and it's leaving the door open for gay marriage. Clearly, if the framers had meant for marriage to be important, they would have included it in the constitution. Additionally, the constitution leaves some laws up to the states and the full faith and credit clause allows for contracts binding in one state to be upheld in others. But marriage itself is a God given right, not a constitutional one, as they have pointed out many times, and we are a country of God.

Besides, we can't count on the Supreme Court to protect marriage. They might approve gay marriage and open it up to anyone. After all, in 2003, they refused to intervene in Silver Vs. Commack Self-Service Kosher Meats, in which the nature of determining legally the definition of "kosher" was put in question. If the state can't used a religious definition of kosher, when it has always been, like marriage, a specific religious practice, and is forced to open it up to a lower standard to accommodate someone else, it could allow anyone's definition of marriage to stand. And we just can't stand for that.

The real point here is saving marriage. The only way to save it is to return it to its original owners: the churches. Keeping the state out of marriage is the only way to ensure that the government is not in the business of regulating a religious practice, which would be a clear violation of their constitutional right to religious freedom. So, join me, won't you? The end of civil marriage is the only rational choice we can make to protect marriage!
  • Current Music
    Handel's Wedding March

Even More Reason To Hate the AP

I hate to sound like a broken record, but the Associated Press still sucks. Here is the most recent gem (my emphasis in BOLD):

Police Apologize, Drop Charge Vs. Sheehan

Sheehan's T-shirt alluded to the number of soldiers killed in Iraq: "2245 Dead. How many more?" Capitol Police charged her with a misdemeanor for violating the District of Columbia's code against unlawful or disruptive conduct on any part of the Capitol grounds, a law enforcement official said. She was released from custody and flew home Wednesday to Los Angeles.

Young's shirt had just the opposite message: "Support the Troops — Defending Our Freedom."

Someone at the AP needs to learn what the word opposite means. The opposite of "2245 Dead. How many more?" is not "Support the Troops - Defending Our Freedom" it's "138,000 alive. Why stop now?"

And while I am on the subject of this whole shirt flap, never mind the text on the t-shirt, since when is it appropriate to wear a t-shirt to the State of the Union address? How about flip flops, a wife beater and a sweat band? That seems dignified. It's all so stupid, I don't even know where to begin.

  • Current Mood
    annoyed annoyed

Supreme Annoyance

Not long into doing my radio show on Sirius, the Supreme Court decriminalized sodomy, which had religious zealots all twisted up in a knot. In the midst of our gay rejoicing on the air, a listener called up and complained about the "liberal Supreme Court." When I assured him that 7 of the 9 justices on the court were appointed by Republican Presidents, he flat out called me a liar. So, to make my point, I listed, in order of appointment and from memory, each justice and the president that nominated them. "Wow," he said, "I had no idea." Even with the two recent changes to the court, it is still Republicans: 7, Democrats: 2.

Something similar happened at dinner on Friday night. Out at 44th and X with friends, the nomination of Alito came up as the plates were being cleared. Earlier in the week, Ann Coulter casually joked about someone poisoning Justice John Paul Stevens' creme brulee. I suppose she was implying that life is better in places like Colombia where justices are routinely assassinated, especially if they are fruity, bowtie-wearing uppercrust types, unlike that downhome gal Ann Coulter, a long-necked filly who is totally out of place on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and wearing casual Donna Karan separates on primetime TV. I would poison Ann Coutler myself if she ever ate something, which of course is also my attempt at humor, Ann! Hilarious right? But seriously folks, if Ann likes murdered justices so much, I would happily pay for her one way ticket to Bogota. I would spring for business class, but she is such a down-to-earth homegal, I am sure she would never dream of insisting on such luxury.

Alito is an enormously qualified individual for the Supreme Court. It just happens that he is rabidly conservative, like a legal beagle version of Cujo, just waiting to gnaw on our civil liberties like the door handle of a broken down car. It isn't his conservatism that bothers me. It is the insane frustration of far right wing nuts. Yes, as my friend Cyd, pointed out, many conservatives have been disappointed by the conservatism of some of the GOP appointments to the Supreme Court (such as Ms. Coulter and the Ford-appointed Stevens). But the problem as I see it, isn't with the justices, it is with the right wing. They already have 7 out of 9 justices. In a fair, two party system, having 4-5 justices from each party would seem appropriate. Instead, they have an overwhelming majority. If that isn't enough for them, how crazy do the appointees need to be to satisfy them? Perhaps it isn't the justices themselves that are out of the judicial mainstream, it is the psychotic conservatives who hate them that are so blindly out of touch with the realities of life and real people that they don't even know what the words moderate or mainstream mean anymore.

The worst part of all this right now is the crying. Except for 2 years in the early 90s, the GOP has controlled at least 2 out of the 3 branches of government for the last quarter century. In the last five years, they have tightly controlled all three. Despite that, life here is still far too liberal! And what's worse, some tough questioning at a hearing, a rare opportunity for elected democrats to speak on the record, evokes outrage that the nominee's wife cried under the pressure. Same for a cheap award show joke causing a hapless 12 year old girl to burst into tears, although no cameras recorded the tragedy for posterity. Maybe they aren't crying because of the mean old democrats. Maybe they are crying because they know that their family members are polarizing right wing nuts that are out of the mainstream of judicial thought or soon-to-be convicted, sleazy lobbyists who bilked an oppressed minority group out of millions. Let this be a lesson to Democrats, if you hit them even slightly, they burst into tears. Here's a new strategy: Maybe you should try hitting them harder. Just a thought.
  • Current Music
    Smack My Bitch Up - Pordigy

Who's Gay In Hollywood?

Who is or who isn't gay in Hollywood is a raging debate played out in the pages of datalounge.com so endlessly it seems that no one is immune (A special message to David Cronenberg and Viggo Mortensen for their sexy buss stop at the end of the End Of Violence film clip on the Globes tonight: get a room, fellas, if you don't want online gay chatter about you). Tonight, one of the gayer spectacles we look forward to each year, the Golden Globes, unspooled at the Beverly Hilton Hotel with much press coverage, although I am fairly certain that red carpet journalists at the annual drunken fete routinely outnumber U.S. viewers.

Much has been made of the "gay cowboy movie" Brokeback Mountain, with feverish conservatives refusing to admit that they were wrong about audiences rejecting the film. Another week has passed with Brokeback back in the top ten of films and again, for the fourth or fifth week in a row, still with the highest per screen average of any film in the top ten. This doesn't mean much to anyone outside of Hollywood, but it means a great deal to Hollywood since the more money a movie makes per screen, the more profitable the film is for studios and theaters. Yes, Glory Road made more money in its opening weekend as a total, but it will seem pretty disappointing to a theater owner on Wednesday when he tries to sell a $5.00 bucket of popcorn to an empty theater. Meanwhile, the Wednesday showing of Brokeback will continue to be full, or nearly full, of coke guzzling and twizzler swilling patrons, propping up an industry that just had its worst year in two decades.

However, what kills me the most about the "gay cowboy debate" is the notion of it as a gay movie. Where are the gay people? True, the lead characters are in some kind of gay romantic tangle, but labeling them gay seems, at best, awkward. Ang Lee and James Schamus are lovely heterosexuals who have a great record of making quality movies with gay themes (see also: The Wedding Banquet). Bernie Taupin, who won a Golden Globe tonight for his lyrics for his best original song on the film, is the longtime hetero partner of Elton John. He and Ang can join Robin Williams and Matthew Broderick in the male fag hags category, as straight men who have a long history of successful (read: financial) interactions with the gay community. As it stands, I can find no openly gay person involved with Brokeback Mountain working above the line. So basically, a bunch of straight conservatives are railing against a movie made by straight artists. It's not an anti-gay fight so much as an anti-capitalist fight. As we have seen with their boycotts, protests and bad attitudes, they are anti-money communists your Uncle Dick Nixon warned you about in the 1960s.

Meanwhile, Desperate Housewives, a show created by an openly gay men, featuring several openly gay people working behind the scenes, rakes in the cash and the viewers (more than 25 million each week) with nary a peep of protest. If they really hated gays, they would go after the gays who make the product, not the straights, who are just trying to make money to put food on the table for their wives and children in proper heterosexual family units that the American Family Association is always raving about. Yes, they have been pressuring NBC to dump Book Of Daniel because of its "themes" (which means openly gay creator and gay character), but really they just don't want another Desperate Housewives on their hands, another hit so big, it would be laughable to protest it.

The 86 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (which coincidentally is also their median age), delivered a big fuck you to America's right wing all night long. Conservative-bashing George Clooney in Good Night and Good Luck - winner, Rachel Weisz playing crusading anti-corporate activist in Africa - here's your Golden Globe, pot-dealing mom in Weeds - Mary Louise Parker, come on down!, head of non-traditional boarding house family in Lackawanna Blues, step right up S. Epatha Merkerson, interracial marriage revealed on Lost - this calls for a Globe, suddenly sizzling gay story line on Desperate Housewives - HFPA gold for you Marc Cherry, play a tranny or a lisping homo and it's win win win! Everywhere you turned, it was a liberal nirvana of rainbow colored representation that must have had James Dobson stomping his feet through the floor like Rumplestiltskin.

In the end, I think it is all much ado about nothing. What really changes people's minds about gays is actually knowing a gay person themselves. It is far more impactful for one person in Des Moines to come out than it is for a gay cowboy movie to come out there. Just by being ourselves, we do more to change the world we live in every day than any well-meaning straight people can. Although, if they can make money doing it, more power to them.