Saturday, September 29, 2012
Friday, September 28, 2012
Thursday, September 27, 2012
I seem to be in a state of revisiting my childhood. However, rather than watching the cartoons I grew up watching, I'm reading the books those cartoons are (sometimes loosely) based on.
So, after finishing Caleb Carr's very dark The Alienist (which review I'm still working on), I picked up Margery Sharp's The Rescuers.
If I were expecting a trip to the Louisiana bayou, I expected wrong.
Bernard the pantry mouse has been called to the Prisoners' Aid Society to entrust Miss Bianca of the porcelain pagoda the mission of finding the bravest mouse in all of Norway. See, she is moving there: traveling by bag with her boy to the Embassy in Oslo.
Once, there she meets Nils, a brave Norwegian mouse whom she must send back to the Moot-house and the Society to be instructed on a dangerous expedition: to free a poet from the belly of the Black Castle. However, Miss Bianca realizes that she longs to see her Bernard of the Pantry, being poor be damned, and instead of returning to her boy, she travels back to the Moot-house with Nils.
Once returned, all three agree to travel together to the Black Castle to free the poet.
In reading Margery Sharp's The Rescuers, I found myself comparing Miss Bianca of the book to Eva Gabor's Miss Bianca in the Disney cartoon. And at first I was leaning towards Disney, but by the end of the book, I found Sharp's Bianca a much more dynamic character, and though I read the character throughout with Miss Gabor's accent, I found I greatly preferred the characters of the book moreso than the cartoon. Both Miss Bianca and Bernard were quite a bit more developed in the book rather than in the cartoon, which seemed to take the end result of the book and start the cartoon with those characteristics as a given.
My favorite part of the story occurred rather early on when Miss Bianca is trying to draw a map for the sea-going Nils.
For the first time, Nils looked uneasy.
"Could you let me have a chart, ma'am? On shore I'm a bit apt to loose my bearings."
"Certainly," said Miss Biana. "If you will give me the materials, I'll do it now."
After a little searching, Nils produced from one of his boots a paper bag and a stump of red chalk. (He found several other things first, such as half a pair of socks, a box of Elastoplast, a double six of dominoes, a ball of twine and a folding corkscrew.) Miss Bianca sat down at a table and smoothed the bag flat.
At the end of ten minutes, all she had produced was a sort of very complicated spider web.
The Moot-house was in the middle - that was quite clear; but the rest was just a muddle of criss-cross lines. Miss Bianca felt so ashamed, she rapidly sketched a lady's hat - just to show she really could draw - and began again.
"Hadn't you best start with the points of the compass, ma'am?" suggested Nils.
Miss Bianca, alas, had never even heard of compass points!
"You put them in," she said, turning the paper over. Nils took the chalk and marked top and bottom, then each side, with a N, and S, an E, and W. Then he gave the chalk back, and Miss Bianca again put a dot in the middle for the Moot-house - and again, out of sheer nervousness, drew a lady's hat round it. (The garden-party sort, with a wide brim and a wreath of roses.) Nils studied it respectfully.
"That I'd call clear as daylight," he said. "You should ha' set your compass first." He laid a finger on one of the roses. "Them, I take it, would be duckponds?"
"Oh, dear!" thought Miss Bianca. She knew perfectly well where the Moot-house stood - Bernard had explained everything so clearly - but she just couldn't, it seemed, put her knowledge on paper. And here was good brave Nils preparing to set forth with no more guide than a garden-party hat! (31-32)
Yesterday was the 55th anniversary of West Side Story's opening on Broadway.
A racially-charged retelling of Romeo and Juliet, West Side Story is set in the “blighted” West Side of 1950s Manhattan, the potent themes of star-crossed love and gang rivalry successfully translated from 16th century Italy to 20th century New York by book-writer Arthur Laurents and lyricist Steven Sondheim. The premiere was timely. One day before the curtain rose on West Side Story, America had witnessed a key event in its Civil Rights Movement with the forced integration of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas.
By most measures, Maged El Rabeiy is an unlikely hero: But at a conference last summer this wiry, unassuming Egyptian with a degree in literature stunned his countrymen when he became the first person in Egypt to publicly announce they were HIV-positive.
Unlike Magic Johnson, whose similar announcement in 1991 helped attract empathy and awareness, Maged, 32, was further isolated after sharing his status: “In other countries, you can openly say you have HIV, and then go to a hospital and be treated and provided with services: in Egypt, you cannot,” Rabeiy tells Egypt Independent. “Here your community will shun you, and most of the doctors won’t work with you, as they’re afraid of the virus, and the nurse will ask you to leave. So you have to stick to a small network of people out of the limelight, and I knew that nothing was going to improve that way.”
Rabeiy, who was already active in AIDS awareness when he disclosed his status, has been busy ever since. He is a prominent speaker on the conference circuit and was recently awarded Germany’s Annemarie Madison Award, which honors special service in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Despite the fear and insults he faces in his homeland, Rabeiy says opening up about having HIV has shown him who his true friends are: “On a personal level, it has changed everything, because I know that the people who love me accept me for who I am, and not because of a lie.”
And though he might not seem appreciated, he soldiers on knowing that he is doing the work he was meant to do. “I don’t know how long I will be alive but I hope that I have opened the door in Egypt for children of the future to one day say, ‘I am an Egyptian with HIV. Here I am, and I also deserve to live equally.’”
Kevin Fenton, MD, Director, CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and Tuberculosis Prevention, released a statement to mark National Gay Men's HIV/AIDS Awareness Day' on September 27, reminding us that "nearly 350,000 gay and bisexual men with AIDS have died, and more than 8,000 still die each year."
On National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, we honor the remarkable history of gay men’s leadership in the fight against the HIV epidemic. Three decades ago, extraordinary community and public health prevention efforts led to dramatic declines in new HIV infections among men who have sex with men. Yet infection rates are now increasing among young gay and bisexual men, particularly men of color. We must not allow another generation to be devastated by this disease. Together we can, and must, revitalize the passion and dedication that helped turn back the HIV epidemic among gay men during its darkest days.
Research and surveillance data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention remind us that gay and bisexual men remain at the epicenter of the U.S. HIV epidemic. HIV prevention, education and testing for men who have sex with men remain top CDC priorities. As part of CDC’s High Impact Prevention approach to fighting HIV, we are working to ensure resources are directed to the activities that will have the greatest impact in reducing the toll among gay and bisexual men, and other populations at highest risk.
One of the most important things every gay and bisexual man can do to stop the spread of HIV is to get tested for the disease at least once a year. If you test negative, you’ll have peace of mind and can redouble your efforts to stay safe. And if you test positive, you can get the medical care and support that you need to keep healthy and protect others from infection. It’s a simple, quick way to reduce the toll of HIV, and can ultimately help us to turn the tide in the fight against HIV and AIDS in America.
This past weekend was the annual Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco, where thousands of leather and BDSM kinksters strutted their stuff. For all the dirty goodness, check out the Folsom Street Fair photo slideshow on GayCities.
I want that yellow and black half harness!
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Some memes I simply reshare on Facebook, while others I download and repost on my blog.
UPDATE: It has been pointed out to me that this fabulous quote does NOT appear in any of Thomas Jefferson's written or oral works. Sadly.
Yes, I realize that it may seem strange to follow up a post supporting a pro-religion protest (which honestly I believe Eltahawy's protest is more about racism than religion necessarily) with one about anti-religion posters, but I'm nothing if not complex.
Also, the Garbage Pail Kids Styled Pedobear just gives me the giggles.
Egyptian-American journalist and blogger Mona Eltahawy was taken into custody by NYPD officers yesterday as she was attempting to cover one of Pamela Geller's anti-Islam subway posters with purple spray paint.
During her protest, Eltahawy was accosted by Geller supporter Pamela Hall, who attempted to physically block her from defacing the poster. After a scuffle ensued, two police officers arrived and arrested Eltahawy.
She was booked on charges of criminal mischief and graffiti.
Eltahawy is not the first to express outrage over the posters put up by Geller and the anti-Muslim American Freedom Defense Initiative in 10 subway stations around the city. Stickers denouncing the ads — which call for the support of Israel over "the savage" — as racist have been spotted in several locations.
Thanks to a meeting this morning, I'm getting a late start, but until I can post something humpible, check out this creepy ass book that I just found.
Shirley Jackson meets The Twilight Zone in this riveting novel of supernatural horror
A village on the Devil‘s Moor: a place untouched by time and shrouded in superstition. There is the grand manor house whose occupants despise the villagers, the small pub whose regulars talk of revenants, the old mill no one dares to mention. This is where four young friends come of age—in an atmosphere thick with fear and suspicion. Their innocent games soon bring them face-to-face with the village‘s darkest secrets in this eerily dispassionate, astonishingly assured novel, evocative of Stephen King‘s classic short story “Children of the Corn” and infused with the spirit of the Brothers Grimm.
Sadly, the online image of the book doesn't do it justice...the orange should be more of a flaming orange rather than a sun-bleached orange.
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Monday, September 24, 2012
Sunday, September 23, 2012
Saturday, September 22, 2012
Chick-fil-A has now withdrawn any suggestion that it wants to make nice with the gay. The CEO issued a statement suggesting that Chick-fil-A will continue funding officially-designated hate groups and anti-gay bigots, and that nothing, nothing, nothing has changed.
Seems clear to me that the organization is in turmoil. Or else they wouldn't have let the Chicago alderman say publicly that he'd received a letter from Chick-fil-a assuring him that they'd changed.
The religious right must have beaten the bejeesus out of Chick-fil-A privately, and the organization bizarrely wasn't expecting it (how could they not expect it?), and now has caved again in the other direction.
Chick-fil-A is in for a rude awakening. That southern bigot thing might work in Mississippi and Alabama, but good luck with running a restaurant that moonlights as a far-right gay-hating activist church in California.
Salt Lake, on the other hand...oh, that's right, Southern Baptists probably think the Mormons are going to hell too).
I went to my first AA meeting last night. Everyone was very welcoming, while the guy next to me kept leaning over on occasion and whispering, "Breathe. Breathe."
It was kinda awkward too. Large groups of people kinda make me nervous, especially when it's your first time there and because it is your first time, the focus is on YOU. As a first-timer, they say in the meeting that you are the "most important person there." And then the focus becomes the 1st step, I guess both as a means of reminding everyone that at some point everyone was a first-timer, but also that first-timer reminds them of where they began.
I knew a couple of faces thankfully.
I felt very lonely afterwards.
But already, I've started rearranging next week so I can go to the other gay meeting on Wednesday as well as the one on Friday.
Friday, September 21, 2012
Thursday, September 20, 2012
This must just be the week when secret recordings of famous people saying awful things come to light -- first Mitt Romney says he doesn't care about half of the country, now Paris Hilton calls all gay men "disgusting." During a car ride that was recorded for whatever reason, Paris's male friend tells the heiress about Grindr, to which she reacts by saying:
"Gay guys are the horniest people in the world. They're disgusting. Dude, most of them probably have AIDS...I would be so scared if I were a gay guy. You'll like, die of AIDS."
She knows that, like, most of the people who pay her any attention are gay, right? Listen to the audio here.
More proof that the independently wealthy are some of the most useless people on the planet.
Though I greatly enjoyed the essays in In Praise of Messy Lives, I found some of the subject matter...well, though I may have a few things in common with single mothers living on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, I don't have enough to keep my attention through several essays. So when I got to the essay "Whose School Is It Anyway?" I simply had to put the book down and walk away. I'd already made it through the "Perfect Parent." Can't we move on to another topic?
Otherwise, I loved the Books section. Roiphe's essay on Susan Sontag was moving! "The Naked and the Conflicted" was a big YES! And I couldn't agree more with her essay on E.L. James's 50 Shades of Grey "The Fantasy Life of the American Working Woman":
In fact, if I were a member of the Christian right, sitting on my front porch decrying the decadent morals of American working women, what would be most alarming to me about the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon, what gives it its true edge of desperation and end-of-the-world ambience [sic], is that millions of otherwise intelligent women are willing to tolerate prose on this level.
And now looking through the table of contents I may have to read the Internet section: there's an essay called "Gawker Is Big Immature Baby"! But if I read one more mention of a house being built or picking out strollers or schools, I may have to scream. (Yes, I know there is a bigger picture to these essays, but it got old. Quickly.) So, I guess my point is...be ready to skip around.
My favorite essay was the one on Susan Sontag's Reborn: Journals & Notebooks, 1947-1963:
And yet the innumerable tiny details that preoccupy Sontag over the years, the moments when she does describe her relation to the physical world, are revealing. There are a surprising number of entries in which she resolves to bathe more frequently. "Take a bath every day," she writes over and over, which somehow one doesn't imagine reading in the journals of an adult. But bathing is difficult for her; it involves a confrontation with the physical body she finds distressing. She tells us she sometimes falls asleep in her clothes. There is something endearing in this self-portrait: the arrogant command of her authorial voice somehow belied by a sweet image of the unworldly woman writer, so uncomfortable with the basic physical demands of life, so flustered by soap and water.
If there was any doubt, the notebooks confirm that the uncompromising intelligence, the unsparing honesty Sontag shows in her work is not a post or affectation. Her entries give evidence that she is to her core as unrelenting, unironic a critic in life as she is in her work. The harshness and purity and impossibility of her writing carry through into her days. All weakness she fears in herself, the baroque and excessive self-contempt she feels, is marshaled for the highest cause: she wills herself into a strength of vision and ambition of voice unrivaled in a woman thinker. She writes, "The writer is in love with himself," and so she labors to create a self she can love, to reflect that perfect, arrogant writer's confidence, that necessary narcissism. In his rather beautiful and tormented introduction, [David] Rieff wonders whether he should have published these journals at all, as his mother never made her wishes clear before she died. But the reader, at least, is grateful that he did. The notebooks are invaluable for anyone interested in how the serious and flamboyant intellectual dreamed up her greatest project: herself. (120-121)
Image of the author via the NYT's Arts Beat
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
I'm totally an ass man: Via Queerty: Daniel Radcliffe Films Naked Beach Scene For “The F Word” - follow the links if you want peen as well.
Also, check out this very cool Harry Potter/Merlin mashup.
I don't know who John Corvino is but Good As You says this is funny.
David Mixner posts some lovely National Geographic Nature Photos
However, he also posts a report that the Arctic sea ice will completely collapse in the next four years - trying not to think about it too much.
So...think about this puppy instead.
Or, if schadenfreude is more you thing, enjoy the upcoming GOP civil war
should when Romney loses.
Dangerous Minds has a post on a Dutch study showing that sexual repulsion is diminished by sexual arousal. What I don't understand is why the study was performed only on women: we gay men have been licking ass for centuries longer than they have?
Proof, once again, that one should always be aware of one's surroundings.
Here is some good Internet advice from Descartes.
Boing Boing poses the question, When does bad news become funny?
Also via Boing Boing: Turing and Burroughs: a Beatnik SF novel
What if Alan Turing, founder of the modern computer age, escaped assassination by the secret service to become the lover of Beat author William Burroughs? What if they mutated into giant shapeshifting slugs, fled the FBI, raised Burroughs’s wife from the dead, and tweaked the H-bombs of Los Alamos? A wild beatnik adventure, compulsively readable, hysterically funny, with insane warps and twists—and a bad attitude throughout.
Via Kickstarter...this is an awesome cause!
And, lastly...Ben Folds Five are joined by The Fraggles. (Thank you, AfterElton)
Via Good As You
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Chick-fil-A Ceases Anti-gay Donations, Clarifies Stance on Gay Customers & Employees
September 18, 2012 – Chicago, Illinois – The Civil Rights Agenda (TCRA), Illinois’ largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights advocacy organization, has learned that Alderman Moreno has finalized his negotiations with Chick-Fil-A. Alderman Moreno’s advocacy has resulted in the company confirming that they will no longer give money to anti-gay organizations. The Civil Rights Agenda worked closely with the Alderman in an advisory role as he negotiated these concessions with the executives at Chick-fil-A.
In a letter addressed to Alderman Moreno and signed by Chick-fil-A’s Senior Director of Real Estate, it states, “The WinShape Foundations is now taking a much closer look at the organizations it considers helping, and in that process will remain true to its stated philosophy of not supporting organizations with political agendas.” In meetings the company executives clarified that they will no longer give to anti-gay organizations, such as Focus on the Family and the National Organization for Marriage.
Additionally, they have sent an internal memo to franchisees and stakeholders that stated that, as a company, they will “treat every person with honor, dignity and respect-regardless of their beliefs, race, creed, sexual orientation and gender,” and that their “intent is not to engage in political or social debates.” This statement was placed into an official company document called “Chick-fil-A: Who We Are.”
Sorry, I know too many conservative "Christians" who think lying to the "infidels" is the proper thing to do. It's simply a means to separate the gullible from their money.
Alex Garner via the Huffington Post
For many people, living with HIV means living in the closet and that can be an isolating experience filled with shame and agony. In the past 40 years we've seen great success at tearing down closet doors in the LGBT community. LGBT people chose to come out, at considerable risk to their livelihood and safety because they felt a life lived in the closet wasn't worth living. The coming out movement of the LGBT community is a modern success story. It demonstrates that when people live open and unashamed lives, society can witness their humanity and our culture can evolve.
We can bring about the same kind of change for HIV. People living with HIV have no reason to be ashamed or embarrassed. HIV is a disease, and having it doesn't make us dirty, worthless or immoral. It simply means we have a virus.
Via Back2Stonewall who also provides these 5 handy pirate phrases for flirting:
5. Pardon me, but would ya mind if I fired me cannon through your porthole?
4. Have ya ever met a man with a real yardarm?
3. Ahoy there you strapping lad! Wanna know why my Roger is so Jolly?
2. You’re drinking a Salty Dog? How’d you like to try the real thing?
1. RAMMING SPEED!
Everyone get out your copies of Treasure Island!
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Friday, September 14, 2012
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Band of Thebes has a post on gay author Jaime Manrique's new book Cervantes Street:
Your wait is over. The eminent gay author Jaime Manrique's big new novel, his first in five and half years, is now on sale. The publisher is comparing Cervantes Street to Amadeus and Wolf Hall, for its dazzling recreation of a renowned life. It has already won kudos from Junot Díaz ("fantastically talented") and Esmeralda Santiago, but the reader whose opinion matters most in this case is Edith Grossman, the famed translator who published the definitive Don Quixote. She loved it: "Jaime Manrique has written an exceptional historical novel, recreating with imagination and detailed accuracy the world of Late Renaissance in Spain. Manrique's rendering of the life of Cervantes is brilliant, and his solution to the mystery of who wrote the false Quixote is fascinating, and very persuasive."
One early review praised his telling of "the already larger than life true story of Miguel de Cervantes, who flees Madrid after a near-fatal duel, loses use of his left hand in battle, is kidnapped and sold into slavery by pirates, who believe he “will fetch a good ransom because he’s a war hero” and, finally, pens the masterwork Don Quixote. Too good a story to be true? Perhaps, but what Manrique is really interested in is not the sensationalism of Cervantes’s life but his star-crossed relationship with Luis de Lara, who lacks Cervantes’ talent and heart, but gets the money and the girl. Neither man is satisfied with his lot in life, and they compete and support each other in turn, both jealous of what the other man possesses (Manrique assumes both points of view)."
Manrique recently told PW: "Even though I had been an admirer of Don Quixote since I’d read it at 15 years old, I had no idea about Cervantes’ life. I started reading about him and traveling to places he’d lived. I learned where he was born, where his family lived; I learned about his time as a soldier and a slave. But many specifics of his life remained unknown. I wanted to fill in the emotional spaces between the highlights."
The Millions has a post on Christopher Hitchens's posthumous Mortality.
The post includes this quote from Hitchens's friend Christopher Buckley which made me laugh in a manner unbecoming to being IN a library.
One of our lunches, at Café Milano, the Rick’s Café of Washington, began at 1 P.M., and ended at 11:30 P.M. At about nine o’clock (though my memory is somewhat hazy), he said, “Should we order more food?” I somehow crawled home, where I remained under medical supervision for several weeks, packed in ice with a morphine drip. Christopher probably went home that night and wrote a biography of Orwell. His stamina was as epic as his erudition and wit.
No, not a good role model for me currently but still a laugh-out-loud good read.
Via BuzzFeed: 15 Photos Of Libyans Apologizing To Americans
A peaceful demonstration from Benghazi, the Libyan city where a U.S. ambassador was killed in a consulate attack Tuesday. “Chris Stevens was a friend to all Libyans.”
Via BoingBoing: Snapshots from Benghazi
...out, out, damn spot!
Upon seeing the news yesterday about the deaths at the US embassy in Libya and learning that it was a US-made video (in which the prophet Muhammad was depicted as a womanizing, child molesting, homosexual - how he could be all three confuses me) that had something to do with those deaths, I immediately went in search of who was responsible for those videos. And it seemed a few online sources also had that idea.
What we found was Florida pastor Terry Jones...the man responsible for organizing a Qur'an burning that led to several deaths including UN officials.
I say hand Mr. Jones - he ISN'T a pastor - over to the protesters. Let them deal with him.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Monday, September 10, 2012
I love Filthy Otter and no, jp820 is not me, though I imagine we have similar tastes. :)
Other news: my laptop is officially fixed so as long as I have wireless at my place, I'll be a little more free to be on the Internets.
As for me and B, we're currently taking a break. And it isn't simply my drinking that is the issue, but that is his story, so if he wants to tell it, I'll leave it to him to do so.
We are both, however, hopeful of getting back together.
Saturday, September 8, 2012
Friday, September 7, 2012
Image and quote from Daily Kos: A passionate defense of one term, a vision forward for a second one
President Barack Obama's speech last night at the Democratic National Convention served as the final, rousing call to action to Americans who, as the president said, "face the clearest choice of any time in a generation."
"What's at stake" is a talking point in any election campaign, and candidates spend a lot of effort trying to convince apathetic or disillusioned voters that they should vote because their lives will be affected by the outcome, and that they should vote for them, specifically, because they present the best solutions. Last night, President Obama proved that "what's at stake" is more than just a talking point. He compellingly laid out the case that no, contrary to what some voters say with a shrug, both candidates aren't the same. There's a choice to be made in this election -- a very real choice between two very different visions and governing philosophies -- and the president, from the pundit reaction, did a fantastic job of presenting the implications of that choice to voters last night.
Update on the laptop. Apparently, it should be called a "lap"top. I was told by my IT friend that it was obvious I kept my laptop too much in my...well...lap, and that this caused the fan that cooled the hard drive from working properly which caused the hard drive to fry.
So, he is replacing my hard drive today. Most of my files (a.k.a. porn) is salvageable but I will have to re-install my programs.
At least it's an easy fix. One-handed typing here I come! :)