Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Boo. Now gimme chocolate.

The universe is giving me some not-so-subtle signs that I might want to consider forgoing Halloween on the Boulevard and head for home while the getting is good.

The fun part about West Hollywood's Halloween celebration is the topical costumes (I presume there will be a number of Korean dictators, Foley's Follies and "running with scissors" themed characters). The downside is fitting X number of people into X minus Y amount of space. That, and it is already clear that the MTA isn't adhering to the detour schedule that they've been telling people ...like that's news.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Give Peace a chance...

I didn't even know that today was "Make A Difference Day." I guess I'll have to read USA Today more often. I do know that there's a peace march about to begin in Hollywood, so I'll go over and take a stroll for peace. Ironically, it's starting at the same part of Hollywood where the hooligans tend to act up (or out) around Halloween, which is why, in part, West Hollywood's Halloween celebration became so huge.

It's become very chic in WeHo to sniff, "Oh I don't go anywhere near the boulevard on Halloween!" I say, put some drag queens at the entrance and have 'em give all the straight boys a big wet kiss. Then we'll get our celebration back to ourselves, tout suite. Especially if you kiss 'em in front of their friends ('cuz living in the Historic Drag Queen Prostitute District, I can attest that plenty of those straight boys wouldn't mind it if their buddies and girlfriends weren't around to see 'em...

Friday, October 27, 2006

Methinks they doth protest too much

Photo: J. Santy, Provincetown Tourism Office

Heterosexuals in Provincetown are complaining that they have been unfairly singled out as bigots after their signatures on an anti-gay petition have appeared on the website http://www.knowthyneighbor.org.

Here in California, the LA Times did an interesting piece on the "experts" who have appeared in commercials against various ballot measures. What really concerns me is that the head of the California NAACP has taken blood money from Big Tobacco, claiming that taxes on cigarettes would unfairly hurt lower income and minority smokers. Yeah, like disproportionate tobacco-related illnesses and deaths is preferable.

Gerry Studds, 1937 - 2006

It's probably old news to everyone by now, but Gerry E. Studds, the first openly gay member of Congress died on October 14. To honor his passion for protecting the marine environment, Congress named the 842 square-mile Gerry E. Studds Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary after him in 1996, possibly the first national landmark to be named after an openly gay man. The sanctuary is located off the coast of Cape Cod. Its protection and preservation is probably a far more fitting monument than any statue. Click on the header above for a link.

That's some fancy doubletalk, considering he isn't a Republican politician

"Fuck them. I have never bashed any gays before, and if I bashed gays, I bashed them 16 years ago. There's no tolerance from [the gay community]. I'm not a gay-basher. I'm not a homophobe."

(italics mine)

Syndicated columnist Rex Wockner reprinted this quote from Buju Banton to Billboard magazine September 29.

Mr. Banton has repeatedly attempted to explain to the press why his lyrics including suggestions to shoot gays dead, peel their skin and burn them is not homophobic. The House of Blues in San Diego is the latest venue to come under fire for booking a concert with the Jamaican dancehall singer. His supporters and those who profess to disagree with the aforementioned homophobia yet insist on their right to profit from promoting and booking his performances have whined that the gay community is just too sensitive, and artistic freedom has precedence. Yeah, right; and Hezbollah should be able to hold concerts in Tel Aviv.

Okay; chill, Mark. There's another Santa Ana blowing through town, and shortening my fuse.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Last rant for this Santa Ana, I promise (but we're due for another next week)

Before I knew the program was starting, much less change the channel, one of ABC's "news" programs last night started right off with a film clip of someone jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. Not even a warning that there was going to be an image that some viewers might find disturbing. What about the children that might have been watching television? I was going to change the channel anyway to watch something else, but I had to see that few seconds of footage before I even knew that the program was starting. That was pretty goddamn shitty.

They owe me at least about ten pounds of chocolate and a month's worth of therapy appointments for that. What they owe the friends and loved ones of the person concerned is incalculable.
They should be made to pay ten times whatever the fine for that "wardrobe malfunction."

As we head into the final stretch of election season, the political ads in California are really beginning to get my goat. I presume that the scripting and filming of political commercials in LA are mitigating the runaway productions. This is a town that had sold its soul more times than people have received spam from Nigeria; yet I have to really work to find compassion for those involved in some of the disgusting ads on television and radio. I know a number of them are probably just decent people trying to pay their bills, who couldn't dare turn down a paying gig, and in all likelihood don't even know what the issues are.

That said, I have no sympathy for Big Tobacco in their fight against Proposition 86. Were it left to me, assets of the tobacco industry and their executives would be seized and turned over to pay to the families of those who have lost loved ones to lung cancer and to compensate for the cost of tobacco-related health.
Then we could take those same executives and hog tie them to the front of Humvees in Baghdad. If we taxed Big Tobacco out of business entirely, it may not stop global warming, but I suspect the crud making money off of death will have no problem switching over to another field of work.

Hey, when those Santa Anas blow, I'm not the only one who gets a little testy. I might as well enjoy the last bit of this warm desert breeze and go down to the shore. At least then I can get right-minded and centered and caught up on my reading...

Friday, October 20, 2006

T. R. Knight

It was reported last night on KABC news that actor T. R. Knight came out in an interview with People magazine. Allegedly, there was a brawl on the set between Isaiah Washington and Patrick Dempsey where Washington called Knight (who was not involved in the fisticuffs) a 'faggot.'

When Grey's Anatomy first aired, I did a search of Knight, and found a most impressive list of credits. He is, as I'm sure all the actors on the show must be, a consummate professional. The wording of his coming out was certainly a class act all the way (it isn't as if there is much precedence to compare it to). He certainly deserves to hear from the community as a result. T. R. Knight may be contacted c/o

The Gersh Agency
232 North Canon Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Now, as far as Washington's alleged use of the slur (I haven't seen any actual corroboration as of yet), if it did occur, he better damn well have a better spin doctor than Mel Gibson. And he better get going on doing damage control immediately, if he hasn't already done so.

Frankly, I was already sick of the "McDreamy vs. McSteamy" crap every week. Life's too short as it is to be wasted on such nonsense. Not that I don't have my own list of guilty pleasures... one could hardly watch much network programming for the well-acted and well-written programs alone.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Santa Anas prompt yet another rant...

Have the corporate suits behind "Lost" sold their soul to American Express? I can't remember a time when television went to such lengths to tie in an advertiser with 'exclusive' online outtakes and special scenes.

I guess as far as they're concerned, minors and anyone without an American Express card can just shove it...

Rule Number One: Never interrupt the flow of the narrative. American Express ads are not exempt. Their commercials stood out like pigs feet at Passover. Bad enough
all the networks are hurting so badly that they flood their successful programs with ads for their other programs (or their damn themepark in Anaheim).

Rule Number Two: Mediocre commercials thrown into a fast-paced, high quality program do not elevate the quality of the commercial. Or make us want the drek that they're hawking. It might even make them seem more shoddy and two dimensional than they actually are -- if that's possible.

Plus, I might throw my television at the cats howling on the fence, and I'll miss the whole rest of the season. It isn't like I don't have enough books to read that I might just give up on network television altogether.

If this is how the networks respond to losing viewers, then it serves them right if people find other things to do do with their televisions than to watch their programming. I guess while I feel sorry for all the employees getting the boot this week at NBC/Universal, don't tell me that they didn't have some idea of what kind of jerks they'd be working for.

I'm beginning to wonder if the networks are in charge of Bush's "stay the course" Iraq policies...

Last night, as always, I got sick to my stomach watching the tribute to fallen members of the American military in Iraq aired at the end of The Lehrer Report on PBS. Most of them are just so damn young. It's sick. And no one is posting the names and photographs of the dead Iraqi civilians...

...and can you believe that I didn't even have my cafe cubano this morning? Imagine what missive I would have sent off to the network presidents if I was on caffeine...

What's wrong with this picture?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Red Wind --Raymond Chandler

It was one of those hot, dry, Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that, every booze party ends in a fight. Meek, little housewives feel the edge of the carving knives and study their husbands' necks. Anything can happen.

A puzzle for you

From an actual story in the October 5, 2006 Malibu Times by Jonathan Friedman:

"The items were taken from a locked toolbox inside the home, which had no doors or windows, according to the Sherrif's deputy's report."


"Grand theft at construction site"

An owner of of a home under construction said that more than $2,000 worth of tools were stolen from the construction site. The items were taken from a locked toolbox inside the home, which has no door or windows, according to the Sheriff's deputy's report. The lock on the box was cut off, according to the report.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I'm just not up to speed with this darn computer...

Due to problems I can't figure out, I have not been able to post the last four or five entries. So it isn't that I've been ignoring posting... my hair's too short for me to pull out of my head with frustration, to boot...

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Heating costs are up - along with sales of McGreevey's book... a coincidence?

How many copies of McGreevey's book in the furnace would it take to get a typical New Jersey family through the winter?

The paths not taken...

I can't help but wonder if American interests --along with the rest of the world, for that matter-- might not be better served if the blockade of Cuba were to be lifted and imposed on North Korea.

I'm not one for hurting the innocent civilians of a despotic regime, but not one grain of rice should be rewarded for bad behavior. I'd think Kim Jong-Il might be rendered sweetly reasonable a lot sooner than Castro.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Omnes habitare in civitati Sancti Franisci volunt

The Brewery Fall Artwalk is this weekend, as is Tar Fest and the Grand Avenue Festival. There's so much to do, and so little time!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Photo: Kip Fulbeck

On Sunday, during the citywide MuseumsLA events, I took in LACMA's "In Violence We Forget Who We Are," followed by "part asian-100% hapa" at the Japanese-American National Museum, finishing up at the California African American Museum all-day event celebrating the life and legacy of Celia Cruz, accompanying the Smithsonian-curated exhibition currently on display.

The entire construction of who we are as human beings --not to mention Americans in the 21st century-- was thrown open to re-examination. The exhibition ought to be seen by everyone from kindergarten school-age child to adults who think their ideas about race and nationality are already irreversibly fixed.

If ever you have the chance to see Kip Fulbeck's exhibition, or any of his other works on identity, don't pass it up, especially if you think it doesn't apply to you. If you're on this planet, you should examine his work. As the United States population approaches the 300 million mark, it is imperative we get a more accurate appraisal of who we are as a people, even if we didn't have such an onerous cloud hanging over us in the eyes of the rest of the world.

For more information on Kip Fulbeck's work, there are two sites you can go to: http://www.discovernikkei.org/ or http://www.seaweedproductions.com.

Monday, October 02, 2006

A California sunrise

Photo from the National Park Service

The local news had cried wolf so many times this past week that I was honestly surprised to wake up and find that it had indeed showered last night, leaving the air with that wonderful fresh, damp leafy smell...

Until today, I've been none too pleased that the calendar read Autumn already; I'm still counting on it returning to a typical Southern California Summer That Lasts Through Christmas. I may not live closer than a four or five hour drive from the actual redwoods, but this photo is was the sunrise felt like this morning. If you've ever listened to the instrumental version of Enya's Storm's in Africa, then maybe you might get an idea of what I'm saying. But don't all of you that aren't already here come out at the same time. Please be nice and take turns, okay?