Friday, March 30, 2007

Yoo Hoo, Non-Gay Cross-Dressers!

Here's a question for you: Are you happy to be included in the category of "Queer?"

According to Corey Scholibo, a respondent for The Advocate's letters, you are (well, not happy, but included). Here's the situation:

The Advocate recently ran an on-line headline which lumped Sam, the cross-dressing son on "The Riches," in with "queer" kids on television--the nephew on "Ugly Betty" had already made the pages of the print magazine (--any why is it virtually no one has commented on the great job the writers and Rami Malek are doing on The War at Home with the character of Kenny?).

I protested with an email to The Advocate: "So far nothing the character of Sam on "The Riches" has done indicates a same-sex sexual orientation. Your headline is misleading--"Queer kid on the block."

It wasn't too long before Scholibo answered, quite nicely, I thought, with:

Gene, Thank you for your response. I agree with you completely that there is nothing in the show that implies that the character is gay, as the story clearly states. Queer is a very encompassing term that often includes cross dressing, as it was forged to imply everything out of the realm of “normal,” and has been taken back by our community as a positive word. Nonetheless it was meant to be an adjective and not a noun, nor imply any sort of social group per say.

Thank you, Corey ScholiboArts & Entertainment Editor

Here's my problem (if there is a problem): when I was growing up, "queer" was not in fashion. When it was used as an adjective for someone with a "sexual perversion" (one of the terms du jour), it only meant gay men. (Remember, I'm talking years away from Christine Jorgensen.) Even lesbians weren't usually included.

When did "our community" (not to get into whoever it is who speaks for the community) expand queer to include transgenders and cross-dressers?

And how do non-gay men and women who are cross-dressers feel about that?

Or have they even noticed?

Just asking.

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Thursday, March 29, 2007

A bit of selective memory, Dave Boy?

My favorite right-wing pundit is at it again. David Brooks writes of the Republican Party's downward slide in public trust with "No U-Turns." (Times Select)

As usual, Brooks gets most of it correct: the Republican Party is still working, largely, as if Reagan-Goldwater ideas were still "operative." Too much has changed since 1989, the last year of Reagan's presidency. The world and the United States have changed, but not enough of right-wing thinking have undergone the same.

The problem with Brooks' presentation today lies in this: (Postwar planning in Iraq was so poor because many in the G.O.P. were not really alive to the truth that security is a precondition for freedom.)

One begs to differ. In 1991, Bush I refused to continue the war effort in order to depose Hussein because of the strong possibility of sectarian violence and an inability to control an Iraqi leadership crisis--exactly the conditions which have come to pass and are obvious to all, including Mr. Brooks and other early neo-con supporters of the 2003. What would come to pass after April, 2003, was clearly anticipated by a Republican administration in the spring of 1991.

To torture the axiom, Bush II should've repeated the success of Bush I--and not moved to unseat Hussein.

Otherwise, Brooks has some interesting points.

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Sunday, March 25, 2007

A Mating Ritual Example?

On a walk a few minutes ago, I witnessed a mating ritual which I thought to be interesting.

On a concrete bike path along the edge of the neighboring golf course, I came upon a pair of roadrunners mating. He was holding a lizard in his beak and straddling her, but neither was moving.

After a few seconds, with much flurry of feathers, the mating process ensued. It only lasted for 10 or 15 seconds, then another flurry of feathers for smoothing purposes.

Before he stepped away, she became possessed of the lizard.

He merely stood for another 5 seconds or so then walked away into some nearby bushes.

She stayed in her position for about the same time, then rose, looked at me for a brief moment, and then sauntered away into a different bushy area, with that insouciance only available to roadrunners holding nice, juicy lizard in their beaks.

Who knew? All it takes is a lizard?

Wonder what DeBeers thinks of that.

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

NPR Watch 3/22/07

During today's letters segment, a listener asked why "Morning Edition" spent air time on the recent opening of a "Hooters" restaurant in Israel. Part of the letter asked if an opening of a Hooters would be covered in, say, Costa Rica.

Well, listener, no. The idea of Hooters restaurants stems from the testosterone infused fixation on the mammaries. If one sees a travel picture of Costa Rica, there's a good chance there will be a well endowed woman in a bikini; on the other hand, a similar picture of Israel is less likely to feature a "babe."

Wailing walls, mosques, suicide murders in Israel are far more likely to leap to mind than "hooters." So, an opening of a Hooters, unfortunately, is news--or at least an item of cultural interest.

Now, if you want to ask about the cultural impact of "hooters," much less "Hooters," you might get an interesting conversation going.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Talk About Hurt!

Pity the poor U.S. attorneys who were recently fired by the Justice Department.

The first "reason" for the firings was some variation on the theme of "poor job performance."

Imagine the sting! To have your job rated "poor" by this Administration. To be labeled a "loser" by Losers Incarnate, Inc.!

Oh the ignominy!

Where is the humanity?

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

A Media "Tsk"

The Desert Sun, published in Palm Springs, has an ad space in the middle of its comics page where Fox Trot used to be.

The Los Angeles Times, in today's edition (3/15/07--et tu, Tempora?), has squeezed its single panel cartoons and inserted a banner ad across the bottom of the page.

The Press-Enterprise out of Riverside, California, prints a smaller than usual "Doonesbury."

What have these guys got against the comics?

Is nothing sacred?

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

Let's Cut to Chase

This link will take you to a website written by a former "adult" movie "star," Matt Sanchez. He made movies for one of the leading gay pornographers of the '90s.

Sanchez made the front page of Salon because he was recently honored by the Conservative Political Action Conference last week in D.C., and photographed with Ann Coulter.

Until he was "outed" by leftie blogs, Sanchez was feted by the right wing because he had written a piece for the Columbia University "campus newspaper that blasted the anti-military bias among my fellow students at Columbia University."

A couple of points: 1) the anti-military bias certainly shows itself on college campuses around the nation, and it is ill informed. If the people who are anti-military thought for just a few seconds, they would realize the absolute necessity of a well-armed defense force. That is not to say that on occasion the deployment of the armed forces should not be questioned. The military is led by human beings who are capable of misjudgment. As a concept, though, the military is amoral. It is a necessary entity for the survival of the ability of college students to protest its existence. (The irony is too delicious!)

2) Sanchez has every right to have performed in gay erotica and to have moved on to a more mature posture in his life.

The only question is his decision to dance with someone other than the "one whut brung ya." He doesn't give a citation for his Columbia essay, so one doesn't know what he said. It is curious, though, that he appeared on "The O'Reilly Factor" and "Hannity & Colmes" and not, say, "Countdown." Keith Olberman might have been interested in a Columbia student's presentation of an argument against such student attitude. Of course, the right wing willy-nilly jumped on a piece criticizing anything having to do with protests against the Iraqi war; much the same as they did with Ben Shapiro from UCLA.

This story doesn't have "legs." As a matter of fact, the two friends who occasionally read this might not have heard of it at all.

It does show, though, that love and war do make strange bedfellows. I resist making obvious analogies between the Republican wet dream Coulter, and whatever Matt Sanchez has become for them.

Anyway. The Salon piece is an interesting read. Sanchez is unapologetic for his motion picture career, and he needn't be. Good for him on that.

Sanchez might be a bit more cautious of his current comrades (no pun intended). They might not be so forgiving after the story has lost its legs.

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Monday, March 05, 2007

Stalemate? Probably. Let's Move On.

Over at GayConservativeLiberal's blog, I've been engaging in a teensy teapot tempest, which I thought I'd share.

Here's the first entry (actually, in the middle of a rather interesting exchange, but I'm cherry picking) from a young man named James Henry Bailey: "Liberals can NEVER support their idiotic assertions with facts. I don't think they even try anymore. The more facts get in the way, the louder they yell "Bush lied, people died!!"

Here is my riposte to his entry: "Is it not a fact that the Bush administration did not plan adequately for post-invasion Iraq?

Is it not a fact that none of the 9/11 murderers were Iraqi?

Is it not a fact that all of the proffered meetings between Al Qaeda and Hussein were based on doubious intelligence to begin with but were touted as proof of collusion?

Is it not possible that, no matter how many "facts" liberals may offer, supporters of Mr. Bush will not believe them? So, what's the use of engaging in a barrage of "fact"?

Out of interest, however, might one ask for a "fact" which will prove that liberals give "a pass to real theocracies and the fanatic Islamo-fascists who fight to instill it."

Painting people's attitudes with a broad brush is never wise. That is true. One is best advised to avoid it.

To which he riposted (?): "Is it not possible that, no matter how many "facts" liberals may offer, supporters of Mr. Bush will not believe them?"

I for one have never suggested that Iraq was the right war to fight after 9/11. However, like it or not, it has become a very important battle that should not be under-estimated.

However, I can't believe the hypocrisy with which the left attacks this president and I am determined to expose it as much as possible. Don't forget that most of the anti-war rhetoric coming from the democrats is coming from people who VOTED FOR THIS WAR. They saw, or should have seen, the same intelligence that the president saw. (in fact, almost none of them bothered to read it).

I think you will find there are PLENTY of conservatives who do not support this war.

what's the use of engaging in a barrage of "fact"?Indeed! why even bother with it, eh??

Guess what's next. Yes! My "final" riposte:

Not supporting the war does not speak to the "facts" of the Bush Administration's mis-steps.

If anyone is underestimating the importance of this current battlefield, they should stand corrected. Who, specifically, is doing this underestimating; and if we're going to assign culpability for underestimation, shouldn't we, again, go back to the post-invasion planning of the administration?

There are, indeed, PLENTY of conservatives who do not support this war. Isn't it fair to say that most of that particular plenty have become anti-war after the administration's mis-steps? Is it possible to identify a major conservative voice opposed to the invasion pre-March 2003?

I cannot believe the senators and representatives who voted for the authority to use force against Iraq after certain conditions had been met saw the "same" intelligence as did the President. You may be correct, but such sharing flies in the face of the Executive authority of which this administration has been so jealous.

The facts have been offered. They have not been refuted. Why continue?

The meme (not simply here, but elsewhere also) has become a stalemate. Nothing new is being offered. The surge will play out; it will be successful or not.

I certainly hope it is successful.


And then, in a spirit of hospitality, I added

(If any of you guys are coming to Palm Springs for the White Party, give me a call.)

Now, I'm wondering if I didn't accidentally hit on a bit of clarity. This Iraq battlefield meme has reached a stalemate. I haven't seen any movement on either side of the argument. Maybe we should just let the surge work itself out.

In the meantime we should also be planning for our next "theatre of operations" in this battle against religious extremism.

(If you go to GCL's blog, you can find links to Mr. Bailey's blog.)

Moderates of the religious world, Unite!

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