Friday, December 22, 2006

The lights grow dim for Rainbow Brite

Yeah, you know where this comes from-another one plucked from the Tree of Thoughts.

Happy Christmas your arse, I pray God it's our last

In 2004 the UK voted it their favorite Christmas song. Over such greats as Baby Please Come Home by U2 (and originally Darlene Love), Little Drummer Boy, White Christmas and Do They Know It's Christmas, just to name a few.

This year, MuchMusic's (Canada's MTV) show of top 20 holiday songs/videos listed it as #2. I find it signifigant that the Canadians, with their apologetic natures, chose Do They Know It's Christmas as #1, and not Tears Are Not Enough, Canada's own 1985 charity single. I guess they still feel bad about the whole Bryan Adams thing.

It reached no. 10 in the official charts this year almost 20 years after its initial release, and only lost a new vote because of a last-day message board rally by Queen fans for Thank God It's Christmas.

Times like this I like to remember something I was once told: That Freddie Mercury himself once compared Queen's music to tissue paper--an immensely useful thing when you need it, but definitively disposable.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you, from a 1988 (just look at her glorious long red hair) live performance on St. Patrick's Day...The Fairytale of New York, by Kirsty MacColl with The Pogues.

The most indispensible Christmas song...ever.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Okay, the "beauty pageant winners gone wild" thing

I haven't said much about this item because I figured Jon Stewart and especially Stephen Colbert have pretty much said what there was to be said: Blah blah blah blah male hypocrisy, blah blah blah homophobia, blah blah prudes, blah prurience.

Jon & Stephen said it a lot more satirically than that. Then I turn to TMZ this afternoon and find this:
TMZ has learned that Katie Rees, Miss Nevada USA 2007, has been stripped of her title after racy photos emerged of her kissing other women and exposing herself.

And it dawns on me: It's a publicity stunt. Okay, so sometimes I'm an idiot. Otherwise it wouldn't have taken me X-many days to figure that out. But if memory serves, ratings for the pageants have been on the wane a while, and you don't have to be brilliant to figure out why.

In an age where we're only two clicks away from being able to see Britney Spears' vagina at any given time, what hold does a beauty pageant have? So some combination of the girls, Trump, and/or other officials have decided to go after a little of that L Word/Girls Gone Wild dollar.

You have to admit it's worked like a charm. Ask yourself: When was the last time you heard so much about the beauty pageant winners? That's right, back in 1984 with the Vanessa Williams issue.

Again if memory serves, back then it actually was about hlah blah blah blah male hypocrisy, blah blah blah homophobia, blah blah prudes, blah prurience. But this is just a cynical publicity stunt.

Resist the obvious joke about the Director of something called the Palm Center writing about guys in the shower

Seriously, resist that urge. Because this is serious stuff, and good too. Via The Carpetbagger,

A new poll reveals that 73% of military members say they are comfortable around lesbians and gays. And 23% say they know an active duty soldier in their unit who is lesbian or gay…. More than half — 55% — of the troops who know a gay peer said the presence of gays or lesbians in their unit is well known by others.

Only 5% of troops said they are “very uncomfortable” around gays.

For years, conservatives have said allowing gay people to wear a uniform and put their lives on the line for their country would undermine troop morale and lead to fewer Americans signing up for military service, because soldiers are ill at ease around gay people. The claim was always weak, but with poll results like these, it’s pretty thoroughly debunked.

Okay I'm resisting one obvious temptation but I have to give in to this one: Do you suppose there are any conservatives who say that maybe, just maybe, seeing the dishonesty of the White House might lead to fewer Americans signing up for military service?

Two years after it came out, I think that might be, or should have been, the most impactful statement Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" made. Once we've shown the troops we're willing to ask them to kill or be killed for lies, well... do we expect to ask them (or anyone) to put the uniform on at all, much less wear it with pride?

Okay, that's pretty heavy stuff, so here's the paragraph I was talking about in the headline:

Prominent supporters of “don’t ask, don’t tell” have expressed concerns about privacy in the shower, [Dr. Aaron Belkin, Director of the Palm Center, who has written widely on the subject] said, but nearly three out of four troops said in the Zogby poll that they usually or almost always take showers privately – only 8% say they usually or almost always take showers in group stalls.

To be naked and fresh is always hard

NPR's Fresh Air has a couple of particuarly interesting film interviews today.

The first is with Bill Condon, who directed and wrote the screenplay adaptation for the new movie "Dreamgirls." He also wrote the screenplay for the adaptation of "Chicago," and wrote and directed "Kinsey" and "Gods and Monsters," for which screenplay he won the Aademy Award.

So I'm saying he's the real deal.

The second interview is with Christine Vachon, a producer whose films include "A Dirty Shame," "Camp," "Storytelling," "One Hour Photo" and "I Shot Andy Warhol." To be truthful I haven't actually liked most of her movies that I've seen.

But I'm recommending the interview anyway, because she has some good stories about negotiating with ratings boards, and because she uses the phrase "blinking vagina" in a sentence.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Thanks to Wings For Wheels

...where Dave Lifton has kindly included this blog in a post of links.

Monday, December 18, 2006

A sign from God

Via, Alec Baldwin says Obama is not ready to run for President. Well, that settles it. Run, Obama, run.

Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection

Shakespeare's Sister registers her disgust with a Christian group that is seeking to "re-claim" a symbol of the gay community, by going into the rainbow business.

Business is, of course, the operative word here. As I've vociferously complained previously, hate-mongering against the LGBT community sponsored by Gun-Toting Jesus Brand Religious Intolerance Righteousness is a massive cash cow: "Millions and millions of dollars are raised every year by people professing to preach The Word in exchange for a few dollars (and a few more, and a few more) in the collection baskets, but all they’re really doing is selling a product—a way to cope with a changing world that robs bigots of their undeserved dominion, that tells them they really, at long last, must share equality with non-Christians, the LGBT community, strong women, minorities, and immigrants in the public sphere. They are losing control they were never meant to have, and Christianity 2.0 sells them the righteous anger and victimhood they need. In these desperate people, the hate peddlers have found a ripe market for their wares.

ETA: By the way, is it just me? Or did anybody else get the feeling that the unexpectedly warm reaction to Mel Gibson's "Apocalypto" at the box office last weekend was the work of those self-same professed Christian livers? Especially followed by this weeks steep dive.

Call me a conspiracy theorist if you must, but it's not that hard to imagine that some of those filled with God's love just couldn't stand the idea of seeing their boy humiliated, and beat the bushes for ticketbuyers opening weekend.

Oh, and by the by, if you look over to the right there and scroll down, you'll see I've added another permanent little something.

Random Flickr-Blogging: IMG_9684: BONUS

Deep down, Roland knew that the dolphins had only come to his birthday party for the Mountain Dew and cake, but he appreciated it nevertheless. And they were very gracious about it.

"So long, and thanks for all the..."

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Sharon Stone ain't got nothin' on my ass

You Are Basic Panties

You are a laid back chick with a real natural beauty.
You can make unwashed hair and minimal make-up super sexy.
Men tend to notice you show the "real you" - and they appreciate it.
And while basic makes boring for some, it looks classic on you.

Random Flickr-Blogging: IMG_9684: One Words & Image, one funny

Now -
The mist across the window hides their eyes
But nothing hides the colour of the lights that shine
Electricity so fine
Look and dry your eyes
--Joe Jackson, "Steppin' Out"

"You...hate Christmas?"
"I detest it. It's horrible, it's fascist. It excludes the lonely, the outcast, the ugly. All Christmases do, whether they're Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu...all the ceremonies are for members only. They make the rest of us so miserable."

~Shade #19


Moments later, Gracie Chan got an idea.


Time is like a clock in my heart, Touch we touch

By chance I happened to catch VH1's "Rock Doc" presentation of the movie "The Return of Courtney Love." I found it compelling, but then, I find Love compelling. In a mad way, I've felt for a while now that I understood her.

Part of it is that stupid-dick thing I have about seeing psychologically tortured women and thinking "Well, if only I was their lover or friend..." I do find her incredibly sexy, but it's not just about that, there are a lot of celebrity women I find sexy that I couldn't imagine actually sitting in a room and having a long conversation or even exchanging emails with.

But ...well, let me back up for a minute here. When she made her "meltdown" (as some termed it) appearance on David Letterman in 2004, she seemed to most to be incoherent. Probably, in a lateral, literal sense, she was.

Yet I watched that appearance and I remember thinking that, for the most part, I understood exactly what she was talking about. In a similar way to how I always thought I understood exactly what "Strawberry Fields Forever" meant & didn't understand all the books puzzling about it.

We're only a few years apart in age, Love and I, close enough that she was dropping references to cultural touchstones I understood, the thing is, she wasn't leaving pebbles for those in the dark to follow.

I don't do drugs; I've never done drugs, and for the most part her music isn't for me. Though I got a kick out of one or two of the singles off "Celebrity Skin." Of course I would like the glossy pop one, I'm the guy who thought it was appropriate to headline a blog post about her with a quote from a Boy George lyric.

Some of the clips of her recording the songs for her new album, seen in the doc, were promising too. But to me, there is a burning core of intelligence at the heart of the girl, however caked in psychological make-up and bad habits and protective walls. Which is, underneath the gossip sites and tabloid image we have of her, part of what keeps me coming back.