By now, everyone knows the American Idol stars met with President Bush at the White House this past week—that's the idea, another cog in the seriously ineffective "I'm a reg'lar guy" wheel that Bush's team is giving a spin. But as right-wing as FOX is, and as right-wing (I've blogged about this before) as American Idol sometimes feels, there just was no love for Bush. For one thing, Elliott Yamin confessed in an interview that he's "not necessarily a big Bush fan" and then overslept for the meeting (he made it, eventually). Ace Young told People Magazine that, in reference to the question of who voted for Bush, "a majority didn't." I wonder who did vote for him? I would think of the ones old enough to have voted for him, his safest bets would be Kellie Pickler and Mandisa. But regardless, isn't it delightfully inappropriate that two of them have publicly distanced themselves from Bush in interviews surrounding their meeting the prez of the U.S.A.? Glad we're on the same page—it's only an "honor" to meet the president if you're sincerely honored by his presence.
33 posts from July 2006
For progressives, Jews and admirers of good movies, it was a time to smile when Mel Gibson—arch-Orthodox Catholic director of The Passion Of The Christ—was arrested for a suspected DUI. The smile lasted for a few hours. No biggie, right? I mean, Hollywood stars of all political stripes deal with far more embarrassing scandals on a daily basis. But it would seem Mel Gibson took his arrest far more seriously than even his legions of detractors did, launching into a documented (and then redacted) anti-Semitic tirade, threatening his arresting officer with revenge (o, wrathful Mel) and cursing his "fucked" career and life. He even Russell Crowed a phone in the police station before being tossed into a detox cell. I'm not a fan of TMZ, until I really think about it, and then I am—I can't imagine being a muckraker for a living, and yet when you consider that all of the tabloid journalists in the world are a drop in the bucket versus all the hypocritical PR in the same world, you can't help but appreciate the truths that are parceled out from time to time. Think Mel Gibson is a step away from holy, even with all those rumors of his hard-drinking and hard-whoring while the mother of his —what is it? eight?—kids sits at home? That's your prerogative. But check out the original arrest report, which was apparently censored out of sensitivity for the crisis in Lebanon. Mary, Mother of God! Could Mel Gibson be the anti-Christ? And the female LAPD lieutenant who covered for him his Mary Magdalene?
UPDATE: Gibson has apologized, effectively acknowledging that he made the anti-Semitic statements in saying he does not believe them to be true. I don't care how drunk you get—you might babble nonsense, but you're not going to blurt out that Jews are the cause of all wars if you don't, on some level, believe that. Everyone who gets drunk and acts a fool loves to cart out the "I have a disease" defense. Treating alcoholism as a disease might be helpful in overcoming it, but it's also—way too often—even more helpful in trying to excuse it. I believe I have alcoholism in my family and you know what? I don't drink. Or drive. But that's another story...all those damn Jews at the DMV.
FURTHER UPDATE: Here is a dude who agrees with me on the "I've got a disease!"-isn't-good-enough front.
What is so depressing about Rumsfeld's shocking musings on whether or not Iraq is in a Civil War and Bush's taped use of the S-bomb during a G8 conversation with Blair is not only the content of the remarks, but the revelation that these world leaders who I disagree with on almost every point straight up and down the line are not even thinking. I can handle disagreeing with someone politically or philosophically, but when you listen to the reasoning employed by these two clowns, it's nowhere more deeply considered than what any layman Joe Blow might say or think. And these are the people in charge of the planet's well-being. When Joe Blow says, "I'm not much into politics," that's Joe's choice. But when all George W. Bush can muster, in conversation with Tony Blair about the Israel/Lebanon War is, "See, the irony is that what they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit and it's over," it's time for him and Joe Blow to switch places. America truly does not understand the Middle East. I don't pretend to, but I understand it a lot better than George Bush's candid uttering suggests he does, and he's the president. He doesn't even know the definition of irony...how can we expect him to grasp the positions of Israel, Lebanon, Syria and the world?
I've never fit easily into classic gay types. I know that usually when someone says he defies labeling it's a case of a big ego refusing to believe its host is so easily categorized, like how Lance Bass (applause for coming out) told People Magazine he isn't gay, he's "also gay," because he's sooo many other things.
But once you're past the "I'm gay" hump, I feel like gay men are not only accepting of labels, they're all about them. It's been my experience that of everyone I've met, gay men are the most interested in ethnic ancestry (how many of them can tell you at the drop of a hat that they're Swiss/Dutch/French as if this explains some aspect of their personalities?), and stereotypes (so much of gay humor involves pointedly remarking on how all lesbians behave, what you can expect from black boys, how many beers it takes to get to the center of a straight man) and, well, roles.
I guess it's the concept of roles, not so much of categories, that I'm talking about, like there are kinds of gay to be. You can be a twink (boyish, barely legal, all-American), a Chelsea boy (musclebound and tan in sexualized clothing, or what twinks turn into when they get older and pass their 100th partner), a leather daddy (if you don't know what this is, you aren't one), a pig (showers are the enemy and all the assholes in the world are not enough)...the list goes on. When I published Boy Culture in 1995, the one part of the book that readers consistently bring up with me is the part where the narrator attempts to outline various gay roles, including that of the clubkid vs. the partyboy.
Rice queen, dinge queen, curry queen—forget the exotic labels, even just plain old top and bottom qualify.
Straight people have types and roles, too, of course, but—and I could be wrong—I feel like gay people in general embrace roles more readily, develop them more ritualistically, take comfort in them more fully. For better or worse. So when I say I've never fit easily into a role, it's more an admission of failure—a king without a castle!—than a self-absorbed shrugging off of my own inescapable sameness-as-you.
Well, hallefuckinlujah—an obviously gay celebrity has finally done what all of the other obviously gay celebrities should obviously do: Come out of the closet and get on with it. Kudos to Lance Bass. I love the picture. It looks very "caught with hand in cookie jar." More cookies to ya, Lance. I hope (as I hoped when Ellen DeGeneres did it) that more famous people will follow suit. There is no good reason why the press should not be reporting on who is gay or who might be gay if they're going to report on all the ups and downs of the personal lives of straight stars. Lance, while not beating them to it, is beating them at their own game—when Shannon Elizabeth is your beard, it's time to shave. Lance Bass is gay. Who's next?
Wikipedia is shit. Here's a good example: Some Aussie schoolchildren (well, schoolyoungadults) have playfully inserted a reference to their Madonna-loving teacher into the relationships section of the Madonna entry—and it went through. In case the link gets fixed, here is how it looks, below. Don't believe
everything anything you read on the ’Net.
Boy Culture has won The Philadelphia International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival's jury award for Best Feature Film. Allan just wrote to let me know and to thank me again for "making it all up." For a second, I envisioned what it would be like to make up an entire film festival along with its top honor, and pass it off as real since there is so much stuff floating around on the Internet...who'd ever check? But he meant the original story, and this is a very real fest...and a very real honor. That fest is Boy-crazy: They also gave Darryl Stephens a "Rising Star" Award—check out this reel to sample a bit of his star's ascent.
Ah, July 16th, the final day of Outfest. For me. This was Awards Night, and Boy Culture was set to close the evening after either winning—or not so much—a judge's award or two. See, by being the Awards-Night film, you can't win any audience awards, but the trade-off is the prestige. And also the kick knowing that all the famous faces in attendance for the ceremony will likely sit through your movie after the last statuette is handed out.
I had wanted to wear a jacket. What can I say? I'm from Manhattan. But I went in a long-sleeved shirt and still felt ridiculously overdressed, with presenters and winners taking the stage in board shorts. I drove with Philip and Christopher in their convertible (there goes the hair...wow, I needed a cut anyway, but post-drive it was so flat it scared me) and we were asked to head over for "red-carpet" photos. It was at the Ford Amphitheatre. Like Reinas, we'd be seeing it under the stars.
The red carpet was fun. I'm used to assigning people to cover them, not being on them. I hovered in some group shots for a few, grateful that even a somewhat little guy like Derek can make an excellent accessory when you want to camouflage your gut. I finally met Emily Stiles, now Emily Brooke Hands, and found her to be delightful. Her part in Boy Culture—as indelible as it is—is quite small, yet she had taken care to read my novel and told me so right off the bat. Derek was very Polo in yellow and Jonathan and his GF Katrina were basic black. I got to see my girl-crush Kether again, albeit briefly, and we all sweated bullets inside the pre-party. The pre-party was held in the guts of the backstage (understage???). The lighting made it feel like a fake gay bar you'd find in a low-budget gay movie. No comments from the peanut gallery.
"I don't even want straight people to see us acting like that." That's what an openly gay actor from one of Outfest's shorts told me when I asked if he'd seen Another Gay Movie, possibly the most hyped gay film since Trick. I can't agree with him in that it would sound too much like the queers who cringe at flamboyance during Gay Pride—I find that sentiment psych-illogical. But I will confess I knew what he was getting at: The movie left me feeling vaguely...embarrassed? By what? For whom?
I definitely liked Edge of Seventeen, the 1998 film directed by David Moreton and cleverly written by Another Gay Movie's director, Todd Stephens. I have to confess I've never even heard of Todd's directorial debut from five years ago, an oddball-sounding flick about Stevie Nicks fans called Gypsy 83 that featured Karen Black. I hear that Gypsy 83's distribution nightmare (it wasn't considered gay enough to be a gay film) led Stephens to conceive of Another Gay Movie as not just [insert film's title here], but as The Most Gay Movie. Ever. The concept is interesting—instead of another gay love triangle or another gay hustler movie (hey!), why not invent the genre of gay gross-out flick?
One review I read in L.A. stated that if you could "get" the concept, Another Gay Movie was the best of Outfest. Not by a mile. First of all...what's to get? I just summed it up in a line or two and I'm sure you followed, right? Now that we've wrapped our minds around the gimmick, does it play?