|This Makes Me Cry Every Time I See It|
So, I have two rather gay topics to cover tonight and I wasn't sure which one I wanted to talk about the most, so I decided to talk about both.
First up: Today marks the First Anniversary of the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, which finally allowed gay men and women to serve openly in the U.S. Armed Forces. You'll do well to note that this is one of several campaign promises President Obama has kept.
And despite all the hand-wringing; nay-saying and doomsday talk from the Conservative Right., all reports indicate that the repeal of Clinton's compromise has had zero negative effects. None. Nada. Nothing. Recruitment has remained steady; morale is just as good as ever and only 2 servicemen have resigned as a result. Surprised? Not me. Nor is anyone with half a brain. Most Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines serving today have grown up knowing, accepting and loving gay friends, family and co-workers. The photo above has become as iconic an image as the Sailor kissing the Nurse on D-Day and happily proves to the bigots and haters that they have lost (and continue to lose) in their fight on the wrong side of history. I can only imagine that the repeal of DOMA and Prop 8 will soon follow, paving the way for true Equality. Still, I suppose that 'haters gonna hate.'
Of course, the Entertainment blogger side of me wants to talk about Tom Hooper's film version of the most popular show in Musical Theatre History, Les Miserables. There is much noise being made about the movie being shot using live singing on set, rather than the actors lip-syncing to prerecorded songs, as though it's the first time such a thing has ever been tried.
To that I say: What a Load of Crap! Even into the late 50's, musicals were shot this way. In fact, as late as 1975, director Peter Bogdanovich* used that very technique for his (admittedly terrible) musical comedy At Long Last Love, starring Burt Reynolds; Cybill Shepard and the amazing Madeline Kahn.
It helps if one has actors who can actually sing (I have my doubts about Russell Crowe - but I think he's an a-hole, anyway). We know that Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Sasha Baron Cohen and Colm Wilkinson (the show's original Jean Valjean) can sing. But can they sing well enough to pull off such an endeavor? Only time will tell. Les Miserables is scheduled to open on Christmas Day.
*It should be noted that Bogdanovich directed two of my favorite comedies from the 1970's: Paper Moon and What's Up Doc? (Damn. Ryan O'Neal was hot back then, wasn't he?)