Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger... boy culture: ME

255 posts categorized "ME"

Aug 28 2016
Chelsea Handler Finally Cuts Madonna Some Slack, Lola Reacts To Mom's On-Screen B.J. Demo Comments (0)

IMG_9161***(All images by Matthew Rettenmund)

Friday the 26th was the long-awaited 25th-anniversary screening of a pristine, restored print of Truth or Dare at Metrograph in NYC, featuring commentary by director Alek Keshishian (who also co-wrote W.E. with Madonna 20 years after they first met) and moderated by noted Madonna-basher Chelsea Handler.

IMG_9169*** copyBlack-and-white ... and would Madonna get read all over?!

I hardly knew what to expect, considering the week's other Truth or Dare screening—at MoMA on Wednesday—had attracted Madonna herself.

[If you live in NYC and haven't been to Metrograph, do go. It's a lovely, chic theater that offers eclectic movies, including classics, midnight movies, cult hits, first-run arthouse fare and, well, Space Jam. (Look who's snarking—I'm paying $15 to watch Body of Evidence there next week!)]

IMG_9155***Team Quantico

Before Truth or Dare started, my friend Raj noticed in the lobby two of the female stars of Quantico (Yasmine Al Massri IMG_9248***and Johanna Braddy) with their dates, so I was able to get some quick pics of them. Braddy was turning 4 years old when Truth or Dare was released, BTW.

The guy who came out to intro the movie had the hipster vibe down pat, shrugging his way through a few lines about how the movie was part of a series of Madonna's masterpieces, then telling us the place has a restaurant upstairs if we ... whatever. It was actually very funny, and not the typical anal-retentive speech given at fledgling moviehouses about upcoming events.

Watching the movie for the second time in 48 hours was odd because ... it totally didn't bore me. I found new things to focus on, and even spotted the late Jack Larson in/near the infamous Kevin Costner scene.

IMG_9174***

IMG_9184***

IMG_9176***My T-shirt went over big.

As the movie wore on, though, I was nervous because I'd been hoping to get some shots of Chelsea and Alek before or after. Luckily, one of my companions, Anthony (who designed my book) was monitoring Facebook and noted that fellow fanboy Michael Da Rocha had posted a pic with Chelsea from outside. That was my cue to hit the lobby, where I found Chelsea and Alek holding court at the bar with a gaggle of familiar fan faces.

 Read More

 
Aug 25 2016
There's Nothing To Say Off-Camera: Madonna Shocks Fans With Surprise Appearance At TRUTH OR DARE Screening Comments (0)

IMG_8942*Host with the most, Joe Berger (All images by Matthew Rettenmund except for Instagram embed)

Joe Berger has been working his heart out to get Madonna's glory years on film properly acknowledged, first with an invite-only MoMA screening of the 1991 gem Madonna: Truth or Dare (at the time the most successful documentary ever), then with a special evening devoted to choreographer-director Vincent Paterson, then with a Madonna film series at Metrograph that embraces the best (Dangerous Game) and worst (Body of Evidence) she had to offer.

IMG_8976*Madonna posed by these Warholian images in the lobby

IMG_8935*Famous, front-row fans!

IMG_8938*Jose & Slam! Forgot to dare them to kiss...

So think of it as Kabbalistic karma that tonight, at his Truth or Dare event, Madonna herself shocked the entire room by showing up totally unannounced (her publicists knew, the MoMA curator knew—that was it) to sit in the middle of the audience and watch every frame of the film.

 Read More

 
Aug 21 2016
My Obit For Lou Pearlman, The (((Gay?))) Bernie Madoff Of Boy Bands Comments (0)

Louis J. Pearlman, the onetime dirigible magnate who went on to found two of the most successful pop acts Img823 of all time—Backstreet Boys and their biggest rival, *NSYNC, how's that for a monopoly?—died in prison on Friday of undisclosed causes. He was only 62, which is hard to believe; like Angela Lansbury, he always projected a carefully crafted image that was far older than his years.

I have conflicted memories of the man who liked people to call him “Big Poppa,” having met and worked with him often in the late '90s and early '00s. I have too many anecdotes for a blog post, but the following form the guts of my take on the man who really, really enjoyed making the bands.

In 1998, I was the young founder of the country's first all-color, all-glossy teen-entertainment magazine, Popstar!, which was published by a seedy porn outfit called Mavety Media. It was—to put it mildly—a huge challenge for me to create, with the help of a talented designer and just one assistant editor, a 100-plus-page national magazine aimed at teen and tween girls out of the offices of a company that was also producing titles like Juggs and Playguy, the latter of which looked like a teen magazine if all the boys were naked. But it was a joy, too, not only envisioning and directing the execution of something that would find its way into hundreds of thousands of young people's lives each month, but doing it without the backing of a Hearst or a Primedia or even a Sterling/Macfadden. Instead, I had to work with a Sydney Greenstreet-like former Sunday school teacher who enjoyed telling stories of trips to Asia involving girls being lowered onto his manhood, and who started the first gay-porn mag out of the trunk of his car, but who craved legitimacy and was using me, in part, to get some.

I had no idea what I was doing. Any gay man who figures he knows what little girls like because we're in touch with our own inner little girl is bound to fail. My earliest work on my teen mag is rather beefcake-heavy, but I eventually discovered my readers preferred boycake. One person who knew that secret from day one was Lou Pearlman, who was fond of saying things like, “As long as God's making little boys, He'll be making little girls, and they'll love each other.” (And he would be right there collecting a tariff on that love.)

Even if I was not a natural-born little-girl whisperer, I was nothing if not an open-minded researcher. I was soon able to figure out which acts my readers wanted and locate their handlers. Getting them to bother sending materials to a start-up was another thing entirely. Bubblegum-pop machine Jive Records couldn't be bothered with me. I tended to do much better when I went directly to the parents, or to the managers, like Lou.

I got Lou's info and sent him a letter, explaining that I had launched a magazine, showing him the coverage I'd given his acts, and asking him to help make sure we received attention from the correct publicists. He called me up, and I can still hear his friendly voice. As lethargic as he looked, a man who was arguably eating at least some of his desires, Lou was a very direct and personable speaker. He praised my magazine and pledged to help me out. In truth, he knew a good thing when he saw it—I was giving him unparalleled coverage, including lavishing attention on his as-yet-unbroken acts, so it was not too hard for him to realize he should make sure images and interviews flowed in my direction.

Like my porn boss, he was using me for legitimacy.

 Read More

 
Aug 18 2016
Tweet Revenge Comments (0)

Follow me on Twitter here.

 
Aug 07 2016
Sunday Book Club Comments (0)

Yes, they're real, and they're presumably spectacular. Who has time to read more than a cover anyway?

HBK7Render(The author assures me it's anti-ISIS.)

Screen Shot 2016-08-07 at 10.14.10 AM(Available on Amazon)

S-l1600(A steal of just $400 on eBay)

Book5(Well, basically, it was the '70s.)

51RX72QRQ2L(I co-wrote this with a lovely, now-deceased woman, but I ... disown it.)

Poo-date(Someone did this to me on a date. I took it as a definite, Not tonight, dear.)

 
Jul 30 2016
EM20 Update Is Selling Like Hotcakes! Comments (0)

EM20_RE_Cover_071816(Cover image by Alejandro Mogollo, design by Anthony Coombs)

If you haven't picked up my update of Encyclopedia Madonnica 20 (which is, technically, EM21!), please...

...check it out here!

 
6-PACK — Gay Officer's Tough Slog + Trump = Russia + Muslim War Hero's Dad Calls Out Ryan, McConnell + NAKED ATTRACTION + Out Fox-ed + Paired Hilton! Comments (0)

Jesus-Retana(Image via Dallas Police Department)

*widget boy cultureOfficer Jesus Retana, seriously injured in the Dallas sniper attack, has long recovery ahead, 30% pay cut.

*widget boy cultureDonald Trump's ties to Russia exposed—troubling and deep. Only Clinton campaign was hacked.

*widget boy cultureKhizr Khan—whose DNC speech required no notes or Teleprompter!—calls on GOP to repudiate Trump.

*widget boy cultureThe men get totally nude on dating show Naked Attraction. (Work Unfriendly)

*widget boy cultureOut lesbian S-s-s-s-samantha FOX! joins the U.K.'s Celebrity Big Brother. My history with as Sam: 

*widget boy cultureAmerican Family Association is ever so pissed off by this Hilton ad, showing two men in bed:

Hilton-Gay-Ad(Image via Hilton)

 
Jun 28 2016
Finger On Pulse: NYC Pride March 2016 — With 100s Of Pictures! Comments (0)

IMG_7582*

IMG_7636*

IMG_7703*

IMG_7509*All of the above! (All images in this post by Matthew Rettenmund, unless noted)

My day at the NYC Pride March was a beautiful reminder of my experience in life and of the fact that I'm always having new experiences in life ... and proof that my little body's slowing breaking down. Oh, my aching gay back!

READ: 100+ Sizzling Pics from the Adonis Lounge Go-Go Boy Float!

I was tapped to follow the stripper-drenched Adonis Lounge float, photographing the guys and the gays' reactions to them as we tooled through Manhattan, Screen Shot 2016-06-27 at 11.43.40 PMbut was told the night before—at a nude party, which are great fun when only the strippers and not the patrons provide the nudity—that I wouldn't be meeting then until 3 p.m. That blew my mind, as anyone marching in the parade usually meets up in the morning. This year, organizers seemed to get more realistic about when groups should assemble on the side streets in the 30s and 40s along Fifth Avenue to cut down on congestion and fatigue, but there was no way I wanted to miss the parade itself just because I was going to be in it, toward the end. [Pictured: Me with Angel (Image by Angel Jimez), me with Edward (Image courtesy of Edward Thomas)]

So, I woke up early, fed myself, pulled on my beloved Mildred Fierce T-shirt and hauled camera over to W. 41st St., which I picked IMG_7475*
because I read that was where a group featuring teen trans star Jazz Jennings would be meeting up and thought she'd be fun to shoot again. I never found her, but did find my pal Edward Thomas and his sister.

It was a great block on which to hang out, filled with plenty of beauties, interesting faces and spirited coppers—I was mixing it up with the Gay Officers Action League, where I met a lesbian couple in love with Varla Jean Merman (my shirt provided the conversation-starter), was handed my first NO when asking to take someone's picture (an all-but-naked man in a leather jockstrap, who apparently wasn't seeking attention) and fell in love several times.

IMG_7495*Copping out!

I don't have official press I.D., which isn't technically needed to cover a public event, but I'm always worried I'll be stopped when walking from float to float. Once our group poured onto Fifth, there was no turning back and I was able to march forward pretty far, to within a few groups of the very beginning of the parade (I had fun with the Hillary marchers, unaware that had I just stuck with them a few more blocks, I would've encountered the woman herself—oh, well, I did get Chelsea last year).

IMG_7470*The first one I fell for: The adorable Zico boy and his hairy legs.

Once I'd gotten way down from the 40s to the teens, I simply turned around and began slowly moving back against the tide in order to see as many marchers as possible.

IMG_7556*

IMG_7550*

IMG_7555*Now cheer this!

It was a beautiful march—colorful, exuberant, and sunny—but it surprised me that it didn't feel as pregnant with purpose as I'd expected in the wake of the Orlando mass shooting. To be sure, there were countless expressions of solidarity and sorrow over the event, most prominently in the inclusion of Pulse owner Barbara Poma and the many WE ARE ORLANDO signs, but the parade didn't have a different vibe—it was just much, much longer. Maybe that was the Pulse effect, a rush to be a part of the bigger picture, even if more than a few moms back home were wishing their LGBT kids were not going to be quite so LGBT, quite so out in the open; I guess a lot more people wanted to send the message that they were deeply affected by Orlando, but wouldn't let that stop them from being themselves in public.

IMG_7554*

IMG_7612*Many 49ers in the crowd

The other thing I noticed more so than ever, and that drives at least some people away from the otherwise energizing event, is the relentless corporatization of it. I have argued before, and it is still my belief, that big business marketing to us is not demonic, and that if we live in a capitalist society and are the target of marketers, that is a sign of respect for our importance, our power. Also, it's psychologically vastly important that everyday brands go out of their way to support the LGBT cause openly—even if I'm not sure whether Kiehl's is a top or a bottom (probably bottom), or in what stage of transitioning Facebook may be.

IMG_7604*

IMG_7606*Case in point: Delta Airlines had human billboards ... and yet these two pics were among my favorite due to the marcher's joy.

I appreciate that the captains of industry understand that LGBT people are there customers and are not afraid to have our back on our biggest day of the year. Frankly, we'd have to buy from them anyway.

IMG_8674*The only thing they were selling was love.

That said, it's more and more of a killjoy to see so many marchers who were casted to walk attractively alongside and while wearing a logo. This fatiguing omnipresence of big business first hit me when I heard a team leader giving what sounded like shareholders speech before his company group's step-off, was compounded by running into a young friend who was being paid to participate (would he have even gone otherwise?) and was hammered home when, at the end of the draining day I was handed three rainbow bracelets—and upon closer inspection, discovered they advertised Wyndham Rewards. Womp-womp.

IMG_7436*Whether the message is from MasterCard or Harvey Milk, it's true: Acceptance does matter.

It's not moving, this businessy side of the parade, but on the other hand, I suppose it's the biggest pie in the face of every Anita Bryant ever that Walmart's with us, and that MasterCard is telling the world #AcceptanceMatters. Because it does, but who knew MasterCard would one day care?

I think what would help me get over the $$$ aspect is if the march could somehow encourage much smaller groups to have floats (at a discounted rate?) that were being judged for creativity and messaging. That way, I think people would be less inundated with pitches (including political ones) and the parade itself would only be more fun.

IMG_8467*

IMG_7591*

IMG_8600*

IMG_7716*Their bodies are not your enemy.

In the past, I've also read a lot about people thinking the parade is too sexy, too about perfect bodies. I really don't get that at all. I hunted for those sexy IMG_7777*bodies, and while there were plenty on display, it sure didn't feel excessive. I recall other parades in decades past that felt far more decadent. (I later wound up on the dirtiest float in the entire procession, and it suck out like a sore thumb-job.) I also just unfriended a very intelligent but ridiculously politicized writer whose posts obsess over racism and sexism and homophobic in ways that are more self-parody than self-help. The straw that broke the homo's back was his declaration that he “hates” Gay Pride, partly due to a wrenching experience he had once (which I get) but mainly due to his feeling that all the lovely bodies are shaming him and telling him he isn't good enough.

I fully understand that twinge one can get when one sees a gaggle of ostentatiously sexy, mind-bogglingly muscled gay dudes in Speedos IMG_8111* acting like they were born that way, and there are definitely a lot of boys who, like too many girls have always done in order to seem less threatening to men, fake air-headedness and flash skin until it becomes who they are. But they are not the ones telling you you're not good enough by having great beauty, you're the one telling yourself that. Get over it, enjoy their beauty and—you know what?—enjoy what you've got, too. We are all born and we all die and any one of us can get shot in a club or get cancer or get gay-bashed or anything else you can imagine, so celebrating our fleeting sexiness should be an act of pleasure and defiance, not something to make us binge-eat a bag of doughnuts and declare our hatred for gay pride.

IMG_7754*Don't ever hate Pride.

All that said, I did have a blast playing photojournalist (surprising that I had about a half dozen people I asked for posed pictures decline), taking portraits, candids and landscapes of the gigantic, throbbing event from noon to 3. Ultimately, there is nothing else quite like a big-city LGBT parade, even if someone, somewhere is making a little cash off of it.

IMG_7543*See change!

By 3, I had made my way back to where the floats were waiting to make their way down Fifth, and found the Adonis Lounge's station. I spent several hours there—we didn't step off until something like 6!—and then spent another few slowly, ever so slowly, marching the entire route. But that's for another post.

IMG_7577*Looking at these women, who wouldn't wanna be a lesbian?

Enjoy some of my favorite photos, SHARE on social media and feel free to chime in if you see anyone you know ...

 Read More