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1149 posts categorized "POP CULTURE"

Jun 30 2016
6-PACK — Trudeau On The March + Daddy Neil Patrick Harris + Jihadists 4 Trump + California Heat Wave + #HeterosexualPrideDay Lampooned + Guns! Guns! Guns! Comments (0)

Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 10.20.24 AMCanadian PM Justin Trudeau (Video still via Daily Xtra)

*widget boy cultureAFTER THE JUMP: Trudeau will be 1st PM o march in Gay Pride Parade, “disappointed” in continuing gay blood ban, will address anal vs. vaginal age of consent.

*widget boy cultureThey like it raw in Neil Patrick Harris's family. (I couldn't resist. I tried. No, I really didn't)

*widget boy cultureOnline jihadists “giddy” over possibly Trump presidency; they realize it would push world toward global religious war. 40% or so of U.S. wants that, too.

*widget boy cultureTriple-digit temperatures are baking California.

 

A photo posted by share your body (@men_hairy) on

*widget boy cultureSteve Grand's hilarious parody in response to #HeterosexualPrideDay.

*widget boy cultureSupport for stricter gun laws surges; gun shop raffles rifle to support Orlando victims ... and publicize a new facility; shooter at Andrews Air Force Base?

Trudeau video after the jump ...

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 ...

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Jun 26 2016
Not Good Enough Is Enough Comments (0)

Donna_Summer_3(Image via Stargayzing)

Amazing!

This is arguably the best completed album ever rejected by a major label ... and it was by a major star at the peak of her fame.

And it's great.

 
Jun 25 2016
Armenia Girls: A Review Of KATDASHIANS: BREAK THE MUSICAL Comments (0)

IMG_7267*Three sisters: Kim Kat (Carmen Mendoza), Kourtney Kat (Bridget Kennedy), Khloé Kat (Elliott Brooks)

Okay, like, I got invited to this super exclusive new Off-Broadway show called Katdashians: Break the Musical, and it was seriously the funniest thing everrr or, like, at least, it was a funny thing, you know? Bible.

Katdashians: Break the Musical is the very funny creation of Bob and Tobly McSmith, the warped minds behind past romps like Bayside! The Musical!, Full House: The Musical! and Showgirls!: The Musical. With the McSmiths' perverse combo of legitimately complex songs and gross-out humor, tight direction by tight John Duff (who we would all like to see attempt to break the Internet with his own fame-ready caboose), and Broadway-level choreography by Viva Soudan, the show has more to offer than just cheap laughs at the world's most famous Armenian-Americans.

IMG_7219*There goes Times Square (again). (All images in this post by Matthew Rettenmund)

Though there are plenty of cheap laughs, too.

The show follows—wallows in?—the regrettable ascension of the Kardashians, ending somewhere just beyond Caitlyn Jenner's transition. The songs are, as the title suggests, frequently parodies of famous numbers from Cats (which is returning to Broadway in the near future—that legendary musical is as bad as Keeping Up with the Kardashians and apparently just as hard to euthanize permanently), but there are also clever re-workings of tunes by Beyoncé, Madonna and other suitably fabulous fame whores.

And yes, it was “better than Cats.”

IMG_7269*A Chorus Feline

Speaking of which, if there is anything limiting about doing a parody of the most famous, most polarizing people alive, it may be that the show works best if you know everything about the Kardashians and also have the Cats original cast recording memorized. Thing is, very few people probably check both boxes. Luckily, the show does work if you're only into one or the other, and even seems to work if you're a novice regarding both. I surveyed some patrons and was surprised how few were well-versed in Kardashian lore, though a girl behind me who claimed she knew nothing knew all the terms in the “How to Speak Kardashian” insert from our program. The guy next to me, who knew zero about the Kardashians, laughed loudly throughout. I mean, jokes about pubic hair and anal sex are pretty universal.

IMG_7257*Finding North: Vogue cover subject Kim vogues.

The cast/cats are purrfect, led by Carmen Mendoza as busty, bratty, dusky-Baby Doll Kim Kat. She has her look down pat and has the star quality necessary to function as the epicenter of an attention-logged sect.

Bridget Kennedy as Kourtney Kat is a riot, offering a deadpan, personality-free take that reminded me of the fun femme performances in the late, great American Psycho. She channels a Selma Blair monotone and has the requisite bombshell looks, the exact recipe for Kourtney.

Standing out from an already stellar group is Elliott Brooks as Khloé Kat, whose character gets the Cher-in-Moonstruck treatment as we follow her from Khloé's birth status as a softer, potty-on-me-mouthed version of The Thing to the voluptuous blonde work-out fanatic that she is today. With manic, verbal-diarrhetic glee, she spits out shocking one-liners about anal sex, anal beds, “Shit on a dick!” and projectile vaginal discharge—singing hysterically at one point about the seemingly drug-resistant strain of pubic hair she hosts—and yet still makes the audience root for her. Definitely pick of the litter.

IMG_7287*When Mama Jenner introduces her new boyfriend, Corey Gamble.

Bailey Nolan is Kris Kat/Kris Jenner's doppelgänger thanks to the perfect wig and a great vocal imitation; it felt like Kris was appearing in the show herself, which is not something I would put past her. Her counterpart, Peter Smith as Bruce/Catlyn/Caitlyn, nailed the transgender trailblazer's guyish speech and was able to make us cheer for her transition all over again, even though in real life, Caitlyn turned out to be kind of a dud in the inspiration arena. Smith's take on a parody of “Memory” was a show-stopper.

IMG_7284*They call me Bruce: Smith's Catlyn was the cat's meow.

Knee-slapping, mutinous scenes featuring choreographer Soudan as Kylie Kat and Ariel Ash as Kendall Kat (in a mask and peek-a-boo unitard, she was the spitting image) had some audience members howling. Alexis Kelley and Jenyvette Vega serve as ass-tastic Dash Dolls.

IMG_7295*Let's hope the litter-box office is strong!

Best thing about the show, though, might be the innovation of encouraging (non-flash) photography, and especially selfie-taking, throughout. So if your mind wanders, take a great selfie and let your followers on social media know that you're doing looking good.

In the end, this sometimes almost admiring, more often catty, hoot has its claws out mostly for you, the audience that pretends to revile a family famous only for being famous ... all the while watching their every move like a cat watches a bowl-bound goldfish.

Katdashians: Break the Musical is at the Elektra Theatre at 300 W. 43rd St., NYC, through July 16. Tickets are $25-$45. Visit the site here.

Keep reading for video and pictures from the opening-night champagne toast ...

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6-PACK — Stonewall Statues Come To Life + Emma Stone Hearts Billie Jean King + Biden, RuPaul & More Honor Orlando Victims + Brits Want Second Bite At Apple + J'Adore Delano + ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS Pride! Comments (0)

*widget boy cultureWomen who posed for iconic statue by Stonewall reflect on nearly 40 years of progress.

*widget boy cultureEmma Stone pays tribute to the incredible achievements of Billie Jean King on tonight's VH1/Logo Trailblazer Honors.

*widget boy cultureAlso on Trailblazer Honors: Biden, RuPaul, Aguilera, Etheridge and many more pay tribute to the fallen 49 from the Pulse mass shooting.

*widget boy cultureMore than a million Brits want a second referendum on leaving the EU following this week's disastrous result.

*widget boy cultureAdore Delano on working on her new tunesas a boy.

*widget boy culturePatsy & Edina don't mind queer-baiting, but they won't do anal:

 
Jun 24 2016
Kirk Cameron: Thou Shalt Not Lie Comments (0)

So far this year, Kirk Cameron has claimed Jesus's attitude was “either you're for me, or you're against me,” claimed a wife should follow her hubby's lead and has led us to believe that Ben Carson (who?) was a bona fide godly man.

He's either always wrong or always lying. See video.

 
Jun 23 2016
Scores Of Music-Industry A-Listers Sign Letter Demanding Gun Control Comments (0)

ClofjLgWgAAw_3B.jpg-large(Image via Billboard)

Billboard has assembled an impressive list of music-industry names for a cover and open letter demanding that Congress act on gun control.

In the preamble, the publication links music, gay rights (the rainbow imagery) and the all-too-easy access to guns in the U.S. in making the point that change is necessary to protect the “life-affirming ritual” of dancing.

(Disappointed Madonna didn't sign on, and am hoping she isn't still of the mind that “guns don't kill people, people kill people.”)

 
Jun 17 2016
6-PACK — Not So Fast On Mateen Gay Rumors: FBI + HRC's Touching Orlando Tribute + Rick Scott: 2nd Amendment > Orlando Victims' Lives + Mass Shooting In Mexican Gay Bar + DNC Shake-Up + Trump Slumps! Comments (0)

13428378_10103511280807118_8380955904607561550_n(Image via Time)

*widget boy cultureFBI thinks people claiming Omar Mateen was gay and a Pulse regular are probably mistaken. (They've probably seen the Grindr accounts in question; we haven't.)

*widget boy cultureHuman Rights Campaign creates eight-story tribute to Orlando victims, comes out strong for gun control.

*widget boy cultureFlorida's doofus Gov. Rick Scott: “The 2nd Amendment never killed anyone.” Guns don't kill people, Republicans kill people.

*widget boy cultureContradictory reports on how many, but at least 5 dead in mass shooting at La Madame gay bar in Xalapa, Mexico.

84472184376ea7538e715a4600f58b7f_400x400(Image via Brandon Davis)

*widget boy cultureDNC SHAKE-UP: Buh-bye to Debbie Wasserman Schultz and hello to Brandon Davis.

*widget boy cultureTrump's polling numbers fall off a cliff, but her arch-nemesis Julian Assange's meddling could get her indicted. (Says he.)  

 


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