November 2006January 2007 

 

52 posts from December 2006

Dec 31 2006
Crystal Cleared Comments (1)

Screenhunter0104kh1_1"We do!"

I've been anti-fascinated and an anti-fan of Scientology for a number of years, ever since I began putting together the fact that so many closeted homos seem to gravitate to it and get married and have (adopt) children. The story behind Scientology is too bizarre to be anything but reality, and the beliefs are almost as whacky as Evangelical Christianity.

My personal experience with Scientology is limited to the cheerful boys who attempt to hand me informational cards every single solitary day outside my offices when they're not on a cigarette break, and also a series of phone calls I received from the cult's New York offices.

I had edited a one-shot magazine called Hollywood's Hottest Hunks about 10 years ago, and Tom Cruise was one of the natural selections. In my bio of the man, I referred to Scientology. I was fairly even-handed about it, pointing out Germany's recognition of it as a cult and both sides of the argument. But I guess I was a tad too dismissive, because a small-voiced lady from the center called to ask me about my writing, why I'd taken that tone and if I'd like to print a retraction.

I told her the story spoke for itself, was entirely factual and that a retraction was as likely as a sequel to Far And Away. She persisted, and called me I believe about three times. By the third call, she was asking me to come have lunch at the Celebrity Center and take an informational tour. I had to firmly tell her that if she called me again I'd consider it harassment and that this was "case closed" for me. She stopped.

No Evangelical Christian would have done that; pestered me personally like that on the phone. National boycott? Yes. Phone tag? No.

Cruisesalute_1Cruise and the look-alike head of Scientology.

Surfing, I once stumbled onto this very thorough and apparently accurate listing of all the famous or once-famous folks involved in Scientology. Some are born into it (Giovanni Ribisi), some dabble in it to please datemates (Katharine McPhee), others are lifers who sing its praises as loud and proud as the Kool-Aid man (John Travolta).

I don't think it should be banned and I wouldn't drag a Scientologist through the streets attached to the muffler of my pickup. But there is something very wrong with a group that preaches self-actualization when, in all actuality, one's actual self is the last thing one could expect to discover through its teachings. If anything, it seems like proof that desperate people (it seems to be very popular among lost souls and former addicts, like Kirstie Alley) can convince themselves that just about anything is a positive alternative to despair and self-destruction. Even "worshiping" in a faith made up from scratch by a sci-fi writer not that long ago, paying obscene amounts of money to find enlightenment, being hooked up to a machine to discover personality defects and spending inordinate amounts of time defaming psychologists and helpful drugs.

I'll defer to Xenu.net:

"Celebrities are under a great deal of stress and public pressure, and often have a good deal of money to hand. Scientology may be to them what gangs are to poor inner-city youths: a way to find someone that cares about them."

Yes, Scientology seems tailor-made for emotional crips.

(Tom Cruise images from StopScientology.com.)

 
 
Dec 30 2006
It's A Sidewalk, Not A Sidestandaroundinmyway Comments (0)

This is Times Square, outside the building where I work, as of about 6:40 PM ET on New Year's Eve Eve. I can not imagine being there tomorrow or why anyone would want to be. I feel plenty alive without having to surround myself with humanity like this. But hey, more power to ya. Just, you know, get out of my way 'n' stuff?

Img_1444

 
 
Dec 29 2006
There IS A Dog! Comments (0)

My favorite holiday card this year was this portrait of my friend and co-worker Tanya's beloved dog, Missy Kaye. She had the canine snapped despite many places refusing to work with dogs except at pre-determined times of the year. This year, Christmas was a bit of a bitch—we had two illnesses that delayed our merrymaking—so it's only fitting that my favorite card would picture a bit of a bitch. The dog is wearing an angel costume...pure heaven.

Missykaye_1

 
 
The Tab Hunter: Vol. 5 Comments (1)

January 8, 2007

Gq3a_2Think tabloids hit below the crotch? Try GQ.

I always leave out People from my Tab Hunter, mainly because it comes out a day late but also because it is a mag apart from the others—it really is the boilerplate for a good tab, and yet also has enough non-tab content so as to give every item in it extra heft and validity.

This week’s cover is beautiful (if not unique—Us, OK! and In Touch have all forged People’s signature People1a_1white/blue/yellow motif) and has been produced with standards as posh as those used in printing a coffee-table book. Ironically, it’s a “SPECIAL DOUBLE ISSUE” and yet is all about people who are now “HALF THEIR SIZE!” with “NO SURGERY! NO PILLS!” No kidding, this is a no-brainer—no way it won’t fly off the stands now that the trans-holidays are over and we’re all looking for the skinny on looking skinny. The feature (page 63) is overwhelmingly long and focused almost exclusively on no-names, but full of useful info and inspiring before and after shots.

People’s James Brown tribute (page 54) is stunningly photo-edited, as befits a legend...though I can’t help remembering what a meanie he was. (Don’t agree? Ask his wife who died during a plastic-surgery procedure, or his partner, who was barred from his estate right after he died on Christmas Day.) People shows off by having a Gerald Ford tribute, too (page 60). I bought this magazine at O’Hare less than 24 hours after Ford passed away. Yes, they’ve had it written for 20 years. But still—this is how the big boys publish.

The first of this week’s countless polls about whose side we’re on—Trump’s or Rosie’s—comes down as a virtual tie, with Donald drawing 51% of the vote and Rosie 49% (page 22). Keep this in mind—it’s on the test.

Other things that caught my eye included an ad for something called Grease: You’re The One That I Want! People2a_1coming to NBC from the producers of Dancing With The Stars (page 10), which sounds Squaresville; a pic of Prince William playing soccer that bizarrely appears to include the teen-male version of Lindsay Lohan as his rival (page 13); a thigh-inducing shot of “NFL LEGEND” Dan Marino (page 105); and also the good-catch info that the original Lionel Jefferson, Mike Evans, died December 22 at age 57 due to throat cancer (page 138). Don’t look for him in anyone else’s version of “Passages,” and yet I felt bad for him, worse than I felt about James Brown.

People3a_3

I was sorely disappointed that People gave Dreamgirls only a 2.5 out of 4 stars (page 31)...is it really a half star less good than Gay, Straight Or Taken (page 39)? But then People is imperfect in its reach—note that on page 24, readers vote that they’re most looking forward to the Oscars (42%) out of all the awards shows...and yet their second most anticipated, ahead of the Golden Globes (15%) or the Grammys (18%) is the insufferable People’s Choice Awards ceremony (25%).

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Dec 28 2006
New Yorker To Gerald Ford: Drop Dead Comments (0)

Pi1002_1The man felled by a peanut farmer.

Nah, I'm not that scathingly partisan that I'm cheered by Gerald Ford not seeing 94, though my first reaction was, "So?" I barely remember him—the only memory I have of him in office is of Betty Ford's Mary Tyler Moore cameo, and that might be a case of seeing it after the fact and convincing myself I truly remember it, as happens all the time with family photos.

Ford_to_city_drop_deadMaking bald-headlines.

He was president for 2.5 years, pardoned Nixon, fell down a lot...what else is there to know? Plenty, apparently. Like about a week's worth. I don't know how I'll end up assessing Mr. Ford in my own mind after all is said and done, but I've read some compelling arguments that my fellow Michigander was fair, honest, a diehard political junkie who was dying (unfortunately, too much so) to see Hillary Clinton as a candidate and quite open-minded about gay issues. I am reluctant to suddenly fall in love with him post-mortem based on his glowing obits, which seem to be hitting those talking points pretty hard, but he seems to be a majorly fab guy compared to George W. Bush. It's so icky to be longing for the days of an overlooked prez like Gerald Ford over our current marionette puppet.

But two tidbits about Ford that I found most personally interesting were Towleroad's Andy1_2reminder that the guy who saved him from Assassination Attempt #2 was outed by Harvey Milk and died in misery over it, and the fact that Ford was the first former prez to join an organization in support of gay rights (even if it was Republican).

"Clumsy" Gerald Ford was a stand-up guy? Well then maybe I really am the Queen of Scots, Mary.

P.S. If there is another gay male angle to Gerald Ford, it might be that his son Steven Ford, an actor, was an ever-lovin' dollll.

 
 
EGay Comments (0)

70s_1

Glancing at these images of (er, top to bottom, left to right) Robby Benson, 140008231501_ss500_sclzzzzzzz_v40842253__1Richard Hatch and Tony Danza that are being sold on eBay right now is a reminder of how much more sexually charged pop culture was in the ’70s than it's given credit for—these images are 30 years old, after all, and put to shame a lot of the so-called racy images of current stars. Nowadays, people write books called Why Do Men Have Nipples?, and in the ’70s...everyone knew why.

Tony Danza's abs? $14.99 if you buy them now.

Richard's hatch? $20+

Robby Benson in cut-offs? $30+

Men's nipples? Priceless.

 
 
Christopher Treat Comments (2)

Bro_collage_1Kept it together.

Quote Of The Gay:

"When I was young I thought I was gonna be a forest ranger."
—Christopher Ciccone (yes relation)

There's a pretty interesting interview with Madonna's kid bro here in that it touches on universal themes of big shadows, mid-life crises and cruising the clubs of South Beach. Chris was always the cute, adoring younger brother—the one Madonna accidentally (?) outed in The Advocate in 1991—but he's also a talented artist.

 
 
Dec 26 2006
Let's Roll Comments (1)

Sites I can't resist checking ad nauseum:

Whoareyou_1DailyKos
Defamer
DiscoDelivery
DrownedMadonna
Famousmales Forums/View
Gawker
Huffingtonpost
Joe.My.God.
Just Jared
Kenneth In The (212)
Madonnalicious
MadonnaTribe
MadonnaTV
Nightcharm
OhLaLaParis
The Peculiar One
PerezHilton
Pink Is The New Blog
Queerty
Talking Points Memo
ThinkProgress
Tottyland
Towleroad

This is just a partial list. New Year's Resolution #2: To get my blog set up with links and other bare necessities that I have neglected in its first year.

(Image from Tottyland.)