July 2006September 2006 

 

29 posts from August 2006

Aug 30 2006
It's A Gas-Gas-Gas Comments (0)

Last night, I got home and smelled gas on our floor in my apartment building. I thought it was bad enough that I planned to drop off my stuff and head downstairs to alert our doorman. I walked in and my partner looked at me and said, "I know—I smell it, too!" Turns out he'd complained already, only to have the doorman say there was no one around to check it, it must not be too bad because we were the only ones complaining and someone probably just, you know, left their stove on. I went down and said that wasn't good enough—start calling.

I wound up calling 311 (New York's service number that in theory leads you where you need to go). The reason for this post is that I am still shocked at how effective this was. I called, got a live person within a minute, was told the smell of gas mandated a 911 call and was patched through to 911 (something I would have hesitated to do on my own) and was instantly patched through to the fire department. The firemen were on our floor in 10 minutes or less. We heard the siren right after hanging up.

They agreed on the smell and narrowed it down to one apartment, which was empty at that moment. Unfortch, they had to force the door open. Once inside, they killed the gas to the stove and reassured us we'd been right to call. Minutes later, Con Ed arrived and disagreed with the source—they focused on a neighboring unit. It turned out the woman inside had left her gas stove on and had fallen asleep (apparently, hours earlier). Either way, Con Ed agreed we'd done the right thing.

I'm posting this because I guess as is human nature, existential quandaries negative superficialities and savage if fair criticism tend to attract more attention on blogs, and this was a case where my cynicism was extinguised by the people who responded to this potential emergency. It's as reassuring to know that help can be so near under the right circumstances as it is unsettling to know that our doorman thinks someone leaving their gas on full blast while napping is something that can be attended to in the ayem...

 
 
Let's Go To The Tape Comments (0)

Mathew Knowles thinks the world is out to sabotage Beyoncé. I think that's a croc.

 
 
Kiki & Herb: Alive On Broadway Comments (4)

KhwebI can finally say I've seen Kiki & Herb. I caught their Alive On Broadway show around the corner from where I work as part of a benefit for The Ali Forney Center, which helps homeless queer youth. It's a good cause, though I wonder if perhaps the queer youth could have stuck it out and remained homeless for a few extra days if it meant sparing me this experience.

My joke is, of course, totally inappropriate, but it's in keeping with the shtick that Justin Bond does as Kiki, a has-been chanteuse who gets steadily drunker on stage and more politically incorrect as she goes along—at one point, she acknowledges the 1997 murder of Forney by saying it's always good to get involved in causes, even if all it may get you is dead.

Thud.

When will artists realize you can't be hilariously un-PC on purpose? The opposite of PC is not un-PC, it's truly not caring what you say and what people will think. Don't they get it?

Actually, this reminds me of my first thought when I realized I was gonna write about this show. It was that this duo (Kenny Mellman plays "gay Jewtard" Herb as well as the piano) has rabid fans who would probably react to any negative commentary with an incensed, "You don't get it! You don't get it!" or the always final, "You have no sense of humor!" I get it—I just don't want it. And I don't have a sense of humor—I know exactly what humor is. And—at least to me—this ain't it.

Some shows inspire you to get off your ass and get creative when you see them because they're so brilliant and amazing. Others inspire you to get off your ass and get creative because, "If this makes it to Broadway, I need to stop watching Seinfeld reruns and take a stab at it myself."

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Aug 27 2006
The Tails Of August Comments (4)

PrayFarrah Fawcett, Kate Jackson and Jaclyn Smith—arranged in order from most to least kooky, from oldest- to youngest-looking, from biggest to littlest star at the time their signature show Charlie's Angels was first cast—were received at the Emmys tonight as if they were Bette Davis, Lillian Gish and Ann Sothern arisen from the dead. My first reaction was, like that of the audience, one of thoughtless elation. But you have to believe that 10 seconds later the audience must've been thinking, "Wait a sec—we hated that show. These broads were in a jiggle show, not Prime Suspect!" (Fair enough, but Kate Jackson was nominated for an Emmy as Outstanding Lead Actress in a...Drama...not once but twice for Charlie's Angels back in the day.)

The elation is not really because we have a passion for these particular women, though I did buy my first teen magazines solely for Farrah Fawcett pinups and still own my Charlie's Angels collectible stickers. It's more that they're some kind of nostalgia trip to a time we imagine was less complicated. I know the "less complicated" part of it is on the money because Kate Jackson said so herself, managing to work a 9/11 reference into an Aaron Spelling tribute. I know the "we imagine" part of it is on the money because while the ’70s might seem rosy to some people now, Vietnam, gas lines and plenty of other historical events argue otherwise.

R2481310964_1I know this feeling of nostalgia is nothing new. When I was watching TV shows in the '80s that were lionizing the stars of the '50s, my parents were probably thinking what I'm thinking now, "Jeez...already?" The other slightly disturbing thing is that despite how "great" Farrah, Kate and Jaclyn look (in reverse order this time—though Farrah has done lots to reverse her tragic surgery mistakes of the past decade), seeing the results of so many nips and tucks and injections sort of creepily defeats the swell of nostalgia. It's like a dog who takes a dump and turns around to find no poop—a huge mystery thanks to a fast-acting, curb-conscious owner with a quick-draw, plastic-baggied hand.

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Aug 26 2006
Gotta Joe, Gotta Joe, Gotta Joe Right Now, Gotta Joe, Gotta Joe, Gotta Joe Comments (2)

Joe_hung_upMy good friend, Hairy Twink, sent me an update of his blog. The Notorious J*O*E* (aka Joe To Hell!) is hilarious. He modestly says, "i cant write, i flat out steal from others, its all dumb. and i love it." But as I told him, "You say you just take stuff, but it's like photography: it's not what you take, it's how you take it." I think that sums up a lot of the most fun blogs. I love that he found that bizarre thing on the Christian aspect of fisting (yeah, try talking her into it with that one) and I agree with him wholeheartedly about Project Runway—I would have been just as nasty to Angela's mom for bad-mouthing me. Everyone else put on a happy face and let the chips fall where they may...why couldn't she? (Granted, her outfit was atrocious. But so were all but a couple of them.) Anyway, get Joeing.

 
 
Aug 24 2006
Thank You For Hatin' On Loew's Comments (0)

BoxOfficeMojo is now offering us the opportunity to review movie theatres. Perhaps I'm behind the curve on this, but it was a new idea to me. It seems like the perfect way to get even with those annoying people who sell the popcorn. I just hope people aren't too harsh on truly bad theatres that nonetheless are the only theatres showing certain movies, like the hard-to-deal-with Quad in NYC—sure, it sucks (it's practically like reverse-stadium seating), but where else are you going to see Broadway Damage? Okay, bad example.

 
 
Aug 23 2006
Birth Of A Salesman Comments (4)

PaperboyWhen you're liberal—very liberal—you're supposed to be against big business. To be sure, big business has a lot wrong with it. Where there's a money business, there's funny business. But am I alone as a liberal capitalist pig?

See, communism...would be a nice idea if it weren't so stupid. Sorry, Evangelicals, but communism is the answer to, "What would Jesus do?" And I'm an atheist.

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Aug 22 2006
That Just Ain't Copyright Comments (0)

I got majorly schooled today. The hardest lesson to learn is the one you've already been taught—summer school is a drag.

CopyrightI've always been intrigued by the issue of copyright. For one thing, it’s exceptionally murky in this country (and everywhere). I mean, there are very few cut-and-dried scenarios. If you create something, it’s yours forever, right? Wrong! There are time limits on most things you create, after which (you’re hopefully long since dead) they enter the public domain. However, these creations can be and are often legally used without your consent if the use is considered “fair use.” This usually applies to scholarly works and the news—hence, a photographer’s last photo of a glamorous starlet taken before she was killed might fairly be used in a news report without the photographer receiving a fee or granting permission. You could even argue—and I would—that using images in the context of a blog, provided it's not just a photo forum—might be fair use.

But that is a simplification. And that, in turn, is an understatement.

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Aug 21 2006
Gay Sex In The 70s Comments (0)

I always felt I was rather uptight, compared to most gay men. After watching Gay Sex In The 70s, now on DVD, I know I am.

The film is a no-frills documentary on the period between Stonewall and AIDS, a dozen years of libertine gay sexuality that its maker —Joseph Lovett—wishes to shine a light on in order to preserve what a positive time it was in many ways.

I missed that period of time, but I'm not sure I missed it. But taking into consideration that my first sexual experience happened six years after the discovery of AIDS: I'm torn on Lovett's hypothesis that those dozen years were like some sort of homosexual Paradise Island.

On the one hand, I'm not so reactionary as to be of the same mind as a (straight) roommate I once had, who observed of the destruction that AIDS wrought on gay men in the 80s that "you play, you pay." I mean, come on...who knew that then? Isn't that what's so horrifying, that the rules could be so dramatically rewritten after it was far too late to change how you played? At least, that's what's always scared me so much about AIDS—if AIDS could come out of nowhere and be as devastating and global as it's become, couldn't...something, anything, else do the same thing now? Maybe a disease will spring up that's only passed from sucking dick or body contact or kissing or sitting around and passing judgment on others. So when he said that to me in the early 90s, it really pushed me away from that conservative side. He later had unprotected sex with a (female) director friend in Central Park and, to my knowledge, never "paid" for it.

On the other hand, as open as I can be about sex, I've also always had the theory that sexual abandon is not the same as sexual liberation, and that in the gay community, it sometimes borders on cannibalism—everyone sleeping with each other to fill some internal self-doubt and leaving in their wake a whole lot of jaded, me-first, callous users.

I guess it doesn't have to be one or the other—it can be both and, at times, neither. The "neither" part is what Lovett seems intent on remembering with his compelling oral and visual history.

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Aug 20 2006
Crazy For Chew Comments (0)

25_1Madonna, known for chewing ’em up and spitting ’em out. You've got to love that eBay makes dubious things like this possible. A foreign seller lists a piece of chewed gum and asserts it's "not to loose...." because it was chewed by Madonna on her last tour. Oh, and if you win, it's pickup only. In Lyon, France.