Sunday, December 30, 2007

Posh and Dave Wish You a Happy New Year

Here's some fireworks for your New Year's celebration.


Friday, December 28, 2007

Missionary Position

This should in no way be construed as an endorsement of presidential candidate Mitt Romney, but I gotta say Mormons are HOT! Peter's annual calendar gift to me ranks as one of the best all time calendars I've received and one of my favorite gifts this year! Everything about these men on a mission are golden, not just their plates.



This is not the first time Mormons have proved to be suprisingly and steamingly hot; the move Latter Days proved that.


Of course this all calls for this (non-Mormon-specific) classic.


Sunday, December 23, 2007

My Holiday Gift To You

Your present? Janice Dickinson's Twelve Days of Christmas.

See, I told you I loved you.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Gay Holidays

Peterson Toscano is, among other things, an ex-gay survivor and shares his experience as well as posts about similar items on his blog.

This video is Peter recounting a very funny tale from his ex-gay days that he titles "A Homo No Mo Christmas."




I hope everyone has a very refreshing and Homo-Friendly Holiday!

Other holiday links you may enjoy:

Best Hot Cocoa Mixes

The Real Story of Rudolph

Wikipedia entry on "Santa Claus"

Monday, December 17, 2007

It Looks Good, No Joke

The trailer for the new Batman movie The Dark Knight is now online. Go check it out.

Batman Begins was, I'd argue, about as good of a superhero movie as you can get. It got the tone of the movie right, pin-point characterization, good costuming, and it all didn't seem too silly at all. The only other movies that really come close to me as very well done super-hero films are Spider-Man 2 and the 1977 Superman movie.

The Dark Knight looks very well like it may be a very worthwhile sequel. I admit that Heath Ledger as the Joker initially seemed off to me, but Nolan did such a good job with the first movie, particularly with casting (well, I could have done without stepford-Cruise Katie Holmes, but she wasn't terrible), so I was willing to see how it worked out. Judging by the trailer, I'd say he's quite the impressive Joker, actually. What we can see shows a pretty scary Joker; he's calm until he has a fit of rage and seems genuinely homocidal. Jack Nicolson's much lauded Joker portrayal from Burton's Batman never sat well with me; he was far too campy (although, admittably, the performance fit the tone of the movie, which was a bit too campy for me as a whole) and over-the-top. Ledger's seemingly cool, brooding Joker is infinitely more frightening.

Warner has done a ton of viral marketing for this film. Take this interesting site for instance: The Gotham Times. Check out the "tear" on the front page and lots of interesting tidbits scattered among the other pages. Then compare it to: The Ha Ha Ha Times. I find it effectively creepy and morbidly humorous. A whole listing of the websites can be find here: Yahoo results. (Thanks to Mike Sterling for pointing this out.)

I'm looking forward to this movie

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The 12 Gays of Christmas

Twelve abs you could drum on



Eleven models posing

Ten...lord my heart is leapin'




Nine lads a dancin' (and singing, naked, of course)



Eight maids a biking



Seven swains in swimwear




Six guys a-playin' (if I were bad, this would have been TOTALLY different)




FIIIIVVEE OOOOLLLDDDD QUEEEENS!
(And don't think I didn't have a naughty alternative to this one)



Four cut boys




Three wet friends




Two total dears




And a portrait of a bare tree (I guess)...


What's in your advent calendar?


Have a Mary Christmas!!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The Religious Right is Oh So Wrong

The public image of the leaders of the religious right I met with so many times also contrasted with who they really were. In public, they maintained an image that was usually quite smooth. In private, they ranged from unreconstructed bigot reactionaries like Jerry Falwell, to Dr. Dobson, the most power-hungry and ambitious person I have ever met, to Billy Graham, a very weird man indeed who lived an oddly sheltered life in a celebrity/ministry cocoon, to Pat Robertson, who would have had a hard time finding work in any job where hearing voices is not a requirement.

—Frank Schaeffer, Crazy for God (selection quoted in "oldspeak," an online journal)


Frank Schaeffer is the son of evangelical minister Francis Schaeffer. Together they had a significant impact on American Evangelical Christianity, essentially forming the modern Religious Right movement. Frank's life journey, which has led him to be a filmmaker and prolific author, as well as the father of a marine who served in Iraq, has brought him to the writing of a memoir called Crazy for God that focuses not just on his life, but the lives of his parents, many Evangelical leaders and the Religious Right movement.

Below are select quotes of his during various interviews. These interviews are either printed in their entirety at or linked through his
website. Please go visit FrankSchaeffer.com for more of his insights as well as to learn about him and his works.

I became aware of Schaeffer through the Bob Edwards Sunday (12/9/07) broadcast, where Schaeffer gave a fascinating interview. Unfortunately the Edwards broadcast requires purchasing a copy, but fortunately many of Schaeffer's points and insights are captured in other interviews, exerpts of which appear below.

I was profoundly impacted by his thoughts on how modern Christianity is a cult of personality; that all one has to do is say the right things at the right time to the right people to make millions virtually overnight. He describes modern Evangelicals as hungry for the next big person, forgetting those who become tainted or imbroiled in scandal; the focus has gone off of Christ and onto people. In a similar vein, in another radio interview (link below), he discusses the Disney-fication of American Christianity.

Schaeffer was particularly insightful about the Religious Right being anti-American. Members of the Religious Right are striving, hoping for, and amplyifying the signs for their apocyliptic vision of the world. He discusses how they revel in bad fortune and outcomes because it enforces their view that, as Jerry Falwell once put it, God has removed his hand of protection from America because of its sins.

Slightly less fascinating, but strangely comforting was his insight into the nasty character of figures like Dobson and Falwell. Both he and his father thought that Pat Robertson was just plain insane, a sad confirmation of what most people suspect. He certainly does not spare George W. Bush, pointing out that he believes Bush to be a sincere Evangelical, which makes him all the more dangerous as president since he believes in the rightness of his actions, sincerely believes that he is in league with God and so fails to properly contemplate and consider the situation fully and to look for points of compromise, so sure is he of his actions.

I had hoped to bring you some direct quotes from the interview; my personal summation is lacking; Schaeffer spoke far more eloquently. Hopefully, these other interviews will provide you with a good idea of his eloquence and pointed and unique insights. What follows are his words.


Interview with John W. Whitehead

A lot of people in the evangelical and fundamentalist communities speak theoretically about homosexuality being no worse than adultery or divorce. However, in practice, they are not undertaking national campaigns to single out evangelical people who were married to somebody else at one time and got divorced. So actually there is a tremendous moral hypocrisy there because the whole gay issue has been singled out for special treatment.

In other words, the Religious Right was as negative and anti-American as anybody I ever talked to on the Left. I personally came to believe that a lot of the issues that were being latched onto by the Christian Right, whether it was the gay issue or abortion or other things, were actually being used for negative political purposes. They were used to structure a power base for people who then threw their weight around.

[The Religious Right's] idea was that without fundamentalist Christian beliefs being absolutely imperative for everybody in the country, the country would go to hell in a handcart and that would be the end of everything. So negative things were always accentuated. ... By the time they tell you over and over about all the bad things happening, such as statistics on crime, teen pregnancy and so on, I begin to get the feeling that they don’t want things to get better. This is their shtick. This is the way they raise their money. This is how they maintain their central power base.

[George W. Bush] is arguably the worst president in the history of the United States. He is unfit for the office of president of the United States. He has trouble speaking the English language and articulating a point of view....It is ironic that someone who proclaims he is a Christian president has single-handedly started a war that has undone the last Christian minority in the Middle East.


Schaeffer to the Dallas Morning News

"Unless you know who you are and have a life outside of your ministry, you will be corrupted by the control you have over other people's lives. You can begin with the best intentions, but the success itself will take you farther away from God than any failure ever will.
Big-time American Christianity is incompatible with the Gospel. It is part of the entertainment business. No matter what you think you are doing, you are really just another celebrity in a celebrity-obsessed culture. If you want to serve God, get out of the evangelical machine while you still can and save yourself. "

No matter how good a cause, when you think you are on a mission from God you eventually get crazy. I wasn't exempt. The problem is that the evangelical world is really a series of personality cults. And for a while there I was a personality.

But this brings up another point: Evangelicals just don't "get" what writing – or art for that matter – is.
The problem with the evangelical slant on writing (and all art) is that in itself it isn't worthwhile, it must serve some "higher purpose." In the evangelical's case, that's "bringing people to Christ."
This reduces human expression to propaganda. It also means that no artistic conversation is honest. There is always an ulterior motive. Religious fundamentalists always look for what is not there.

Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back

Interfaith Radio Interview with Frank Schaeffer (about 20 mins)

FrankSchaeffer.com

Oldspeak

New Revised Fundamentalist Bible Translation

From the Really New Testament:
1.And. lo, Jesus said, "Go forth and spit upon the homosexual. Curse him in public; defile his name to all. From him take from his property, job, family, and hope. Hit him upon the cheek; if he turns it, smite him yet again. Smite him with seven upon seven blows. Show no mercy; turn all against him. Once thou hast cast down the sodomite, feel free to indulge thy lust watching women who lie with women.

2. "Sit upon high in thy mega-church casting judgment upon all who art not members. Render unto the politicians what e'er may gain their favor to further my work. Impose my will upon all creation."

Well, it seems like this is what they are reading...

Russian Evangelicals responsible for Sacramento gay man's death.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

100 Movies, 100 Quotes, 100 Numbers

This is a lot of fun.

And I thought Dubya was backwards

Huckabee wanted to isolate AIDS patients (via Yahoo! News)

Who is more of a threat to progress: Mike Huckabee or Mitt Romney? Discuss.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

You, Sissy?

I recently entered into a discussion about the appropriateness ofhumor about homosexuality in popular media. First, humor is subjective; I have on more than one occassion strongly disagreed with how gay organizations (GLAAD most notably) have reacted to gay depicitions. Still, I understand where the sentiment originates and why people are very sensitive about it.

I think that sensitivity comes from years of unbalanced representation. Most of the earliest American popular media depictions of homosexuals made us into predators or silly nancy-boys, worse than even women, perhaps even negroes. And, of course, very real societal /religious persecution doesn't help exposed nerves and raw sensitivities much.

I do sometimes think that over-reactions or getting up in arms about what I perceive as the wrong things hurt "the cause", as it were; after all, we don't want to show ourselves as the sissies they think we are, do we? There's nothing worse than being a sissy; nothing worse than not being able to take that "playful" punch on the shoulder; nothing worse than crying when the bully beats you up. Real men don't cry.

There is a concern among some of the brethren that we gays are pushing for legislated acceptance. While some may be trying to accomplish that, I don't personally need to legislate acceptance of my gaiety. I do think that a gurantee of my rights needs to be legislated; otherwise, hey, this is America and you are free to hate me as long as you like as long as you grant me my rights.

But really, in this quest for civil rights, do we have to be so uptight that we can't take a joke? We gays are pretty funny, right? The straights will like us better if they can make those hairdresser and interior decorator jokes about us, won't they? (See "not being a sissy" above.) For me, sure, we can joke all around all day if I know that you're in my corner or that you're at least an equal opportunity abuser (and also that I can joke about your secret desire for the lawn boy to blow you).

Recently I was watching a documentary on Don Rickles, a man who has been insulting everybody for the past 40 years or more. Many comedians noted that Rickles can "get away with it" because he applies the insults equally. I'm pretty okay with the fag jokes from him, because, hey, he's throwing it about every other minority (and majority) group. Does Kathy Griffin or Margaret Cho want to crack some gay jokes? Go ahead, they've shown their friend. Dave Chapelle? He takes a crack at just about everyone and does it intelligently (which often is another qualifying element about whether it is funny or tasteful, for me at least), so okay. South Park? Well, that show has offended me on a lot of stuff, so why not add homosexuality to the list.

Speaking of Chapelle, he once commented on the Actor's Studio that he received a lot of flack from his relatives about a lot of his skits and particularly his use of the "N" word. Although it didn't/doesn't stop him, he essentially said he understood their concerns, since sometimes he wants to punch out white guys using the word because they think it's okay since they saw it on TV (and they found it funny). I have a similar reaction; I'll be the first one to make a joke about us gays but damn it, straight boy, you better not say a word.

I've heard the accusation frequently: why can't we take a joke? Why are us gays drowning in a gloomy and unfriendly quagmire of PCiety? But we seem to be one of the few populations that the accusation sticks to (well, us, and women. Broads can be so uptight you know.) Don Imus was thrown off the air for (a very poor) "joke" about black women, and that's one example. Yes, some people thought it was an overreaction, but overall it didn't stick. These kind of "jokes" are not tolerated by society, and generally it is accepted that this is not a being overly sensitive, unless you're talking about the gays, who are, for some reason, perhaps because they're so feminine.

I think the questioning of gays' sensitivity by other gays is actually rooted in the need for acceptance. We may say we don't care if we are accepted, but if so, then why care if somebody lodges a complain we find baseless or unnecessary? Why label it with "whining" or as hyper-sensitive or PC? We do so because we're afraid we'll be seen as different, as a sissy, as not mainstream, as not being able to play well with others, and all of that leads to non-acceptance. If we truly didn't care about what people thought, we'd just ignore what we thought were baseless complaints instead of labeling it as "humorless" or "whining." We so badly don't want to be seen as a sissy.

If Pat Roberson is on it, it's the highway to hell

Certain fundamentalist Christians believe that Interstate 35 is related to prophecies in Isaiah 35 (Isaiah 35:8 refers to a "highway...of holiness") and so have set up ministries along its route.

Wayne Besen has the video (from Right Wing Watch).

These people think that an American interstate is mentioned in the Bible? That's just, well, arrogant, not to mention stupid.

I also found absurb the "converted" homosexual in the clip. He mentions that he was going from gay club to gay club prior to being on his way to see his fiance when he encountered the evangelists. He says he felt like he was "on acid" when the evangelists told him "fire" and touched him. A couple of things: gay men refer to their significant others several ways - partner, husband, boyfriend, etc., but I've never heard one refer to another many as "fiance." So, perhaps this allegedly converted homosexual was on his way to meet his female wife-to-be? I know that when I was about to become engaged that I very much thought that my feelings about men would go away; had an evangelist approached me during this time with the offer to "take away" my homosexuality, I would have been eager to take him up on the offer (and then act like it had been successful). And second, perhaps you were on acid if you were traveling between gay bars.

One of the other alleged converts was "a back slidden youth pastor." Think this guy might be feeling a little guilty? Think he might also be eager to think and act like he has been changed? Maybe a little.

And from a pure theological perspective, I'm tired of the claims of faith healing (prove it, guys, seems like it would be a huge news item) and the non-Biblical use of tongues and the Holy Spirit. Of course these people aren't interested in sound theology, just using Christianity as their modus operandi to impose their world vision and oppress people different from them.

More Woes For Larry Craig

According to the Associated Press, the newspaper the Idaho Statesmen reports that eight men have said that Senator Larry Craig made sexual advances toward them, with two actually having sex with him. One of these eight is now famed male prostitute Mike Jones, known for bringing down the Reverend Ted Haggard. Craig, of course, denies the accusations (yet again).

Do I believe at least that some of the accusations are true ? Yes.
Do I believe Mike Jones? Not really.
Does it matter? Not really.

I think it's been pretty well established that Craig is a major self-loathing homosexual, trapped in a closet made out of two-way glass. (We can see in, he can't see out). It would be easy to feel sorry for him except that he has used his political power to bash other gay people.

This development really is of minimal interest except to see how Craig continues to twist in the wind, with no supporters (except his in-denial wife), and works to save...what, I'm not sure. His political career is in shambles now, his public persona is completely discredited, so the only thing left that I can think of left to save is his personal self-image. If he can continue to shake off the accusations, he can convince himself somehow that he hasn't been after dick all this time, he's just been misunderstood.

Denial is a powerful force and leads to the dark side, Luke. I'm sure when Senator Craig takes a copy of Men's Health into the bathroom, he's just wanting the latest workout tips.

Not Weight Loss, but Self Gain

Most of us have seen countless weight loss stories on TV; in some respects, this is no different but I was moved by this woman's perspective on her situation after losing 500 pounds without surgery.

Interview with Diane Sawyer (Yahoo / ABC)

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Interesting PSA

A glaad PSA was aired on the Sci-Fi channel after the season premiere of Battlestar Galactica, which (apparently, I don't watch it) had a lesbian relationship. Check the link (which I found via Comic Gays) out to see the PSA (which include Eric Mabus of recent Ugly Betty fame):

Gay Sci-Fi PSA