Friday, August 31, 2012

I Used to Like Clint Eastwood

As we have previously established, Uncle P is old. Old enough to remember when actor/director Clint Eastwood was hot. Seriously. In those Sergio Leone Spaghetti Westerns and on "Rawhide?" Damn! Hell, even in Unforgiven. I have not watched his current wife's 'reality' show on the E! network (though I generally loathe those kinds of programs), so it's been a while since I've seen him.

Last night, however,  Mr. Eastwood was the much bally-hooed "Surprise Guest" at the Republican National Convention, where he proceeded to ramble on to a empty chair for nearly 12 minutes (he had been given 5) and nearly caused Twitter to break down. If you haven't seen it, here it is:

Honestly, if any other 82 year-old had been caught talking to an inanimate object in public for 12 minutes, they would have been sent to a home. Still, I don't understand how an avowed Hollywood liberal (as illustrated in the graphic above) can support a platform of homophobia, misogyny and science-denial. Is this what happens after one turns 75? Does one suddenly change political parties and lose all sense of fashion at the same time? If that's the case, then please shoot me when (and if) I turn 70.  Better dead than poorly-dressed and ill-informed (or something like that). Oh - and no matter how old I am, if you ever see me with a comb-over, you have my permission to slap me as hard you can (hopefully dislodging the comb-over in the process).

I can only hope that dementia has set in. It's the only explanation for Eastwood's behavior last night that makes any sense to me. Of course, maybe someone slipped him some acid just before he went on. 

The whole thing makes me tired, angry and sad.

More, anon.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

I Finally Have a Favorite

William Close
Finally, after most of the season, I have a favorite AGT contestant. Instrument inventor William Close is who I want to win this season. Not nearly as outrageous as past favorite Prince Poppycock, but at least as talented as Barbara Padilla, Close's amazing and original instruments are nothing short of astounding. And while I still don't know how he is able to tune that monstrous instrument (get your minds out of the gutter, right now!) in such a short time, hearing and seeing him play it is simply a joy.

At his first audition, Close turned the entire theatre into a musical instrument with his "Earth Harp," a gigantic stringed instrument that must be astonishing to see and hear in person. His early audition in L.A. was quite unlike anything I had ever seen before and while he was a standout, I wasn't sure I'd seen this year's best act.

The judges put him right through to New York without a second audition in Vegas, which spoke volumes to his talent and his Quarterfinals performance proved they were right to do so. Howie, Sharon and Howard have all said that Close is their personal favorite to win and I am sure they are right. Of course, Close is no stranger to performing. Here he is at Burning Man 2011:

And here again at the Museum of Music and Instruments (MOMAI) in Venice, California, for New Year's, 2012:

If any one of this year's AGT contestant's deserves a large-format show in Vegas, it's William Close. An innovative, original and daring artist (who else would turn his own girlfriend into a living violin?),  Close certainly deserves to be in the Top 6. I know I would happily spend money to see him and his collaborators in performance. Close has now moved on to the finals, and I think he has the best chance to win.

Today, yet a third co-worker who has seen me perform, suggested that I audition for AGT. And while I am flattered and do consider myself a competent singer, I know that I wouldn't make it past the first round. It's still nice to dream, though.

More, anon.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Play Dead

Over the years I've had my share of pets. Three dogs; three cats; a dozen or so gerbils; tropical fish; anoles and my very funny (though occasionally very noisy) current pet, Skye. I suspect that most of us, at one time or another, has or has had a pet. And we eventually come to realize that (with the exception of a few of the larger parrot breeds), we will outlive our pets. It's part of life and often how most children first learn to deal with death. 

But what if the Zombie Apocalypse took place tomorrow? What would happen to our beloved non-human family members? Filmmakers Andre and Diego Meza-Valdez attempt to answer that question with their very amusing and just a bit disturbing short film, Play Dead. Set in Miami, Play Dead is a story about survival, camaraderie and why dogs hate cats. 

Enjoy (language and violence may be NSFW):

Play Dead (2012) FULL MOVIE from Andres and Diego Meza-Valdes on Vimeo.

Personally, I'm sure there are plenty of other food options for the surviving humans.

More, anon.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My Head Will Explode

I was going to write about the RNC tonight but I realized that if I did, my head would literally explode from their lies and hatred of women and gays. Subjugation of those one deems weaker than you has historically proven to be a winning policy. It worked particularly well during the dark ages, when only the clergy and the royals could read. Of course, women and gays no longer see themselves as weaker than the bullies who would make us 'less than' and they are now running scared and using every deceitful tactic they can to deny us rights.It's nothing less than disgusting. So much so, that I avoided tonight's coverage of the RNC in order to keep my dinner down.

Seriously, it is my hope that no woman is ever raped. But I really hope that no GOP-supporting woman ends up pregnant from a rape or forced incest. Can you imagine being compelled by law to spend nine months living with a reminder of the horrors and degradation of that event? Not to mention knowing that the rapist would have full parental rights to the child he fathered? I can only think that some Repugnican a-hole has secretly lobotomized the women who would support such a platform. Can you explain why any woman would support this? I don't know a single one who would.

And as for Marriage Equality - well, we've all seen how Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, and Sweden have all fallen into the depths of the abyss because of they allow men to marry men and women to marry women. It's such a shame that those countries have been subsumed into the fiery depths of hell. Wait... what? They haven't? Shocking!

Why is it any politician's business who I love? Why is it any politician's business whether a woman chooses to have a baby they ca't support and do not want? Why is it any politician's business how I (or any of us) live the life that the U.S. Constitution guarantees we live it? Those sentences may not be grammatically correct, but I'll be damned if I'll let some rich, government fat-cat tell me how I can or cannot live my life. 

I know I'm probably 'preaching to choir' here, but the choice for any sane, rational human being is clear. Let our current President finish the job of cleaning up the mess left to him by a complete idiot, or allow Twit Romney and Paul Moron to run slipshod over the Constitution. That odd, buzzing sound you hear? It's Lincoln, furiously spinning in his grave because the party he once led has now become a bunch of hateful bigots.

I can't promise this will be my last post on this subject. In fact, I can almost assure it won't be. But until the current, ultra-right GOP is laid to rest, I will not be silent. And nor should you. 

If you care about Freedom; if you care about Human Rights; if you care about Women's Rights; if you care about LGBT Rights, you know what you must do this November.

Rant over. Back to the usual nonsense, next time.

More, anon.

Monday, August 27, 2012

I Miss Michael Jeter

Michael Jeter
My dear Post Apocalyptic Bohemian, Stephen, reminded me that yesterday would have been character actor Michael Jeter's 60th birthday. 

Probably best known for his roles as the homeless cabaret singer in The Fisher King; mouse trainer extraordinaire Eduard Delacroix in The Green Mile and Mr. Noodle on 'Sesame Street,' Jeter was an extraordinarily talented performer who was equally comfortable in front of a camera and a live audience. Jeter's first film appearance was in Milos Forman's 1979 adaptation of Hair but he went on to appear in dozens of films, including Ragtime; Zelig; The Money Pit; Tango and Cash; Patch Adams and Jurassic Park III.

On television, Jeter appeared on 'Night Court;' 'Designing Women,' 'Evening Shade,' 'Picket Fences' and 'Taken.' Jeter was usually a second banana on shows like 'Evening Shade' and 'Picket Fences,' though he was often the most memorable member of the cast. I was always glad to see him, because he usually elevated even the crappiest of fare, like Jurassic Park III

A recovering addict, Jeter proved that hard work and ambition could lead to greatness and he was rewarded in 1990 with a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Featured Role - Musical, for his astounding performance as the fatally ill bookkeeper Otto Kringelein in Grand Hotel. I was lucky enough to see that show and his astonishing, rubber-legged dancing in the number "We'll Take a Glass Together:"

Jeter passed away from complications due to AIDS on March 30, 2003, at the far-too-young age of 50. Talented, funny and smart, Jeter may not have been a so-called "A-Lister," but he was always a stand-out in whatever he did. Here he is an appearance on Letterman in the 80's.

I wish we could have seen what he might have done in the past 10 years. RIP Micheal. I know I'm not the only one who misses you!

More, anon.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Augment THIS!

Google's "Project Glass" Augmented Vision Glasses
You may have seen the video from Google about their newest in-development hardware/software combo package called "Project Glass," which is basically computerized eye-wear that allows it's user to interface with everyday reality and their personal Google accounts.

As someone who has worn eyeglasses and/or contact lenses from a very young age, I find the concept both intriguing and frightening at the same time. It's bad enough that we have so many distractions on a fairly regularly basis as it is. Now imagine that everything you see is connected to the web.  Everyone you know; everything you read; everything you eat; everything you do... shared with everyone you know and everyone they know. Sort of a live-feed Facebook (or in this case, Google+).  In case you missed it earlier this spring, here's Google's video about the project:

Yikes! As much as I love the Internet and the connectivity it gives me to people literally all over the world, there's something decidedly Orwellian about Project Glass. I don't share everything I do online with everyone to whom I'm connected. Like most of you, I share only things of common interest with selected friends and family members. Just imagine sharing everything with everyone. No thanks.

Young filmmakers Erin May-raz and Daniel Lazo take it a step further and imagine a not-too-distant future in which everyone is connected by an implanted device called 'Sight' in their short film of the same name (via):

  Sight from Sight Systems on Vimeo.

Of all the possible futures Science Fiction can imagine, this may be one of the worst. Of course, using technology for personal gain is nothing new. But we have to draw the line, some where. And please don't lie to yourself - everyone has a secret they wouldn't want to share with anyone, let alone online, for all the world to see. The alternative? Unplug yourself. 

More, anon.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Tie that Binds Us All

Neil Armstrong
It astounds me that there are still people out there who think the July 20th, 1969 Moon Landing was faked. These are probably the same people who think our President faked his birth certificate; women can will their bodies to prevent pregnancy from rape; all gay men are pedophiles; AIDS came from a man having sex with a monkey and Jesus rode a velociraptor around Jerusalem.

Two days after my eighth birthday (yeah, do the math), Neil Armstrong became the first human to set foot on Earth's moon. Armstrong, along with Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, traveled over 220,000 miles, risking their lives to make history. I sat up late to watch the event with my parents. I don't really remember my parents' reaction to it, though I know I was excited and entranced as Armstrong stepped down from the Apollo 11 lander and uttered those iconic words. 

Personally, I would have been terrified to make that trip. Sure, everything had been tested and retested and tested again but there was no guarantee that they would actually make it to the moon. And even less of a guarantee that they would make it home again. Still, the rush of setting foot on an extraterrestrial body for the very first time must have been nothing less than astounding. As Collins orbited above, Armstrong and Aldrin planted a US flag; played golf  and bounded about in the reduced gravity. They must have felt like Superman. I can't even imagine what it was like for them to look back on Earth from that barren landscape. Talk about breathtaking views! 

At the very respectable age of 82, Armstrong joined the Great Majority today, leaving behind him a legacy even greater than those of Columbus, Magellan or Vespucci. In the future annals of Human History, Armstrong will be remembered as the man who led the way in exploring the places we will be forced to go, once our rapacious appetites have depleted Earth's resources. And while I am personally unlikely to have antecedents, I do take some comfort in knowing that the human race may actually have a chance for survival after we have finally, utterly and inevitably destroyed our home planet.

Armstrong's passing also serves as a reminder that we all share the same fate. Rich or poor; famous or anonymous; successes or failures; we all will eventually pass from this life. What lies beyond is anyone's guess (though I'm guessing it's nothing). Of course, Armstrong's feat might have been just a little more exciting had it gone like this:

Personally, I'm looking forward to the day when space travel is more like this:

And, hopefully, not like this:

Rest in Peace, Commander Armstrong. The entire world owes you a debt of gratitude. In a year in which so many pioneers have passed, yours is among the saddest.

More, anon.

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Impossible

I can't begin to imagine the horrors suffered by the people who both died and survived the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. I remember feeling hopeless and helpless as I watched video of tourists and natives in Indonesia being swept away in one of the worst natural disasters in recorded history. Over 220,000 lives were lost in Indonesia; Sri Lanka; India; Thailand and the surrounding island nations. Among many others, openly gay American Interior Designer Nate Berkus lost his life partner, Fernando Bengoechea in Sri Lanka during the event.

Screenwriter Sergio G. Sanchez and director Juan Antonio Bayona (both best known for the excellent 2007 Spanish-language horror film The Orphanage), have collaborated again to tell the story of one family affected by the tsunami in the upcoming film The Impossible.

I first saw the trailer I am about to share the day before yesterday and found myself weeping almost uncontrollably within the first few minutes. Ewan McGregor (I Love You, Philip Morris; Moulin Rouge); Naomi Watts (Mulholland Dr.; King Kong) and Geraldine Chaplin star in this true account of one family caught up in a truly horrific event.

Director Clint Eastwood briefly visited this theme with his 2010 supernatural drama Hereafter and the tsunami scene in that film was devastating. 

Watching the trailer for The Impossible a second time still has me sobbing like child. I don't know what seeing the actual film will do to me, but I know that I MUST see it. The Impossible is scheduled for release in the U.S. in December. Watch both of those clips in Full Screen for the fullest effect, though I can't promise you won't be profoundly affected by them. I was and am.

More, anon.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Another Remake I Don't Mind

Chloe Grace Moretz as Carrie
I was not quite a High School Freshman when I first read Stephen King's debut novel "Carrie" in 1974 (yes, we've established that I'm old). It was set in 1979, the year I was going to graduate. In my class was a young lady who very much reminded me of Carrie: shy, odd, withdrawn... in the callous way that young teens can be cruel, my friends and I occasionally referred to her as 'Carrie' (I very much regret that, by the way).

When Brian DePalma's amazing film adaptation came out in 1976, I was stunned by not only Sissy Spacek's and Piper Laurie's performances, but also DePalma's direction. I'd never seen a movie like it and I was in awe. I can't even tell you how many times I've seen Carrie since then. Certainly more than a few dozen. And it never fails to move and entertain me. Those split-screen shots are just incredible.

Flash forward 36 years later and director Kimberly Pierce (Boys Don't Cry) is currently shooting a theatrical remake (I don't want to talk about David Carson's 2002 TV remake, which despite a script by Bryan Fuller and good performances by Angela Bettis and Patricia Clarkson, failed on almost every level), starring Chloe Grace Moretz (Let Me In); Julianne Moore (The Kids Are All Right) and the always amazing and underrated Judy Greer. And despite what one of my fellow horror bloggers has to say about her, I think Moretz is one of the finest young actresses working in film today and I can't wait to see what she does with the role. As for for Moore - she's been robbed of awards before (her performance in Far From Heaven is just heartbreaking) and I imagine her take on religious zealot Margaret White will be nothing less than amazing.

DePalma's film, as good as it is, is a little dated and a bit corny (the tuxedo scene always seemed out of place, even way back then) and the TV version is bound by the conventions of the medium. If anyone can pull off a decent remake, it's Pierce, who demonstrated an intense insight into the psyche of an outsider in her first film (which garnered Hillary Swank her first Oscar).

Spacek and Laurie both earned Oscar nominations for their performances in the original, but AMPAS' aversion to Horror as a serious genre kept them from winning. Let's hope that Pierce can work her magic and earn her leads the awards their predecessors deserved.

The original also featured Scream Queen PJ Soles (Halloween); Broadway superstar Betty Buckley; TV superhero William Katt; Steven Spielberg's first wife Amy Irving; DePalma's ex-wife Nancy Allen; brilliant comedienne Edie McClurg and the second film appearance by alleged masseur-groper and avowed Scientologist, John Travolta (he was in a terrible, though iconic little horror movie called The Devil's Rain, previously). What a cast! 

And while I have every confidence that Pierce will deliver a competent and frightening version of King's novel, I doubt she'll be able to top this:

And the less said about the two productions of the stage musical, the better.

More, anon.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Gayest Fight You'll See This Week

Warning - links in this post may be NSFW, though the videos are probably fine - unless you work for a church or some other Christian/Muslim/religious organization.

Today, over at My New Plaid Pants, JA offered up a 50th birthday tribute to Gay-for-Pay 90's porn star Jeff Stryker. While I understand Stryker's appeal to a certain demographic, my reaction to him has always been "Meh." He is mentioned as part of a very humorous dialogue between Jeffrey and his father in Paul Rudnick's Jeffrey and that's really all I know (and want to know) about him. He is not "my type," as it were. His Wikipedia page says he was inducted into the AVN Hall of Fame and has a star on the Hustler Porn Walk of Fame. It seems a bit odd to me that someone should be semi-famous for appearing in porn, but so be it. It worked for Jenna Jameson and Traci Lords, I guess. 

Regardless of what you or I may think about the 'Adult Film Industry' and those who participate in the films, we both know that porn stars can only be described as 'actors' in the broadest sense. Which brings me to one of the clips JA included as part of his post about Stryker. It features Stryker and a host of impossibly well-built blonds in a ridiculously silly fight at a train yard, resulting in one of the most unintentionally hilarious scenes ever committed to VHS:

Of course, seeing this clip immediately brought to mind (for the second time this week, mind you) one of the most hilarious fight scenes of all time, from the musical Jesus Christ: Vampire Hunter:

Yes, you read that correctly. JCVH is a musical. And yes, Uncle P owns a DVD copy of this movie (it was a Secret Satan Santa gift from an equally twisted Day Job friend). I particularly love how the atheists keep pouring out of the car like clowns in some bizarro circus. Of course, the terrible electronic soundtrack and ridiculous sound effects only add to it's brilliant awfulness. I had the JCVH DVD for about three years before I actually watched it, and only then it was with D and a couple of his friends, all of whom found it just as hilarious as I did.

Here's the thing: Sex is often very funny. And funny is always good, even if it happens when being bad. I just hope you have as much fun being bad as I do. 

More, anon.

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Child of Rape Responds

Rep. Todd Akin: "First of all, from what I understand from doctors (pregnancy from rape) is really rare... If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."

Oh really? I know at least one child of rape who has something to say to Senator Congressman Akin:

"I'm Your Boyfriend Now, Bitch!"

Seriously? You're on the Senate Congressional Science committee and you publicly make an idiotic statement like that and don't expect backlash? Have you never taken a basic high school biology class? Are you so out of touch with reality that you have to insult and denigrate 51% of the country's population? Is Missouri so backwoods that inbreeding has left you with half a brain? And what does your comment say about the constituents who voted you into office?

Is this what we've come to in American politics? It used to be Us Against the World. Now it's The Haves Against The Have Nots. Straights Against Gays. Republicans Against Women. Rich Against Poor. What the hell went wrong? We no longer have the Soviets to hate, so we'll hate everyone who isn't white, rich and Republican? And let's not get into the whole FRC as victims in the shooting at the hate group's headquarters last week. I could write for days about those creeps playing the victim card.

Yes, I certainly know that all of those prejudices have always been in place. But just when I thought we were actually about to turn a corner in tolerant acceptance, some a-hole opens his mouth and reminds us of just how far we still have to go.

Sure, I have some friends who are Republicans. But they are also smart enough to know that the poison being spewed by the "Tea-Party" is nonsense. They are (for the most part) what I like to refer to as 'Lincoln Republicans:' Fiscally conservative but socially liberal. They are smart enough to ignore the religious fundies' views on women and the LGBTQ community; know full-well that so-called Intelligent Design is scientifically invalid and recognize the importance of social programs and the arts. Sadly, my friends are in the minority when it comes to their political party and their voices are consequently drowned out by the vociferous lunatic fringe.

Todd Akin's comments about rape are indicative of everything that's wrong in America, today. How did the "Land of the Free" become the "Land of the Rich and Stupid?" 

I may be gay, but when I was younger, I hoped that one day I would have children of my own. Now I'm glad I never did, because I wouldn't want them to grow up in a country that embraces stupidity and hatred. 

Legitimate rape? Disgusting.

More, anon.


A single mislaid keystroke destroyed an entire post! Grrr!

More, anon.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Retro Review: "Monsters"

Sometimes an independent film I really want to see plays in such limited release, I never get to see it here in the wilds of suburbia. Thankfully, cable is changing that for me. Such is the case with writer/director Gareth Edwards' 2010 Monsters. a film I've read a lot about, but didn't get to see until tonight.

Monsters takes up six years after a space probe crash-lands in Mexico, bringing back an alien life form which takes over most of the country, turning it into an "Infected Zone." Each year sees a dangerous alien migration which prompts airstrikes by both the U.S. and Mexican Airforces and has caused the U.S. to erect a gigantic wall along the Mexican border.

When Sam (Whitney Able) is injured in an attack in El Salvador, her wealthy publisher father sends Andrew (Scoot McNairy), one of his photographers, to escort her home. The night before Sam is scheduled to leave on the last ferry of the season, Andrew gets very drunk and loses Sam's passport and the $5,000.00 ferry ticket to a woman whose face we never see. With no other choice but to travel through the Infected Zone, the pair make their way back to America via riverboat and on foot.

What follows is not a typical alien monster movie, but rather an often frightening character study of two very different people who, forced by often horrific circumstances, end up bonding in a surprising way. Sam, apparently engaged to a man she doesn't love, wants only to get home. Andrew, who desperately wants to capture a living alien on film, has a young son who doesn't know he's his father. McNairy (probably best known as Noel on TV's "Bones") and the gorgeous Able (the as-yet-to-be-released-in-the-U.S. All the Boys Love Mandy Lane) give lovely, subtle performances as two strangers who bond under extraordinary circumstances. Edwards, on tap to direct the upcoming Godzilla reboot, has crafted a very likeable film, eschewing massive effects work for rather intimate story-telling, albeit in some exotic locales. The effects, also by Edwards, are both creepy and beautiful, especially in the movie's final scene. Edwards' script, which comments on loads of topics (including the current debate on illegal immigration) is smart and poignant, with enough creepy scares to keep it interesting.

The monsters in Monsters, best described as electric scorpion/octopus combinations, are actually few and far-between. When we do see them, it is usually from a distance or at night, where we merely catch glimpses of gigantic legs and tentacles. But this movie is much more about two people on a journey, rather than giant, destructive beasties on a rampage. If you're looking for giant, destructive beasties on the rampage, then Monsters is probably not for you. If you want interesting characters thrown together by extraordinary circumstances, you should see Monsters. *** (Three Stars out of Four). Monsters is currently playing on Showtime Extreme.

I'm glad I finally got to see this movie and am now very interested to see Edwards' take on the most famous kaiju monster of all.

More, anon.

Friday, August 17, 2012

WTF? "American Horror Story: Asylum"

American Horror Story: Asylum
Sorry. I was too angry and upset to post about the recent shooting at the FRC, so I decided to post about fictional Horror, instead.

Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk (creators of "Nip/Tuck" and "Glee") took audiences on a sexy and surreal journey into a rather  nontraditional ghost story in the first season of "American Horror Story," a show people either loved or hated. Uncle P adored the show and couldn't wait to see where it went. Of course, it helped that some amazing actors, including Jessica Lange; Dylan McDermott; Connie Britton; Zachary Quinto; Charles S. Dutton and Morris Chestnut, were along for the ride. Weird, creepy and supremely insane, Season 1 ended with fans wondering what would come next.

Now we are about to be treated to Season 2, with many cast members (including Lange) returning as completely different characters in a story about an East Coast insane asylum in the 1960's. Quinto (and a few others) join Lange in this new tale, which promises to be equally as freaky but not nearly as supernatural. Lange is the head of the asylum and joining the cast is sexy, tatted "The Voice" judge Adam Levine as 'The Lover" (whatever that means).

FX has released a very short and very freaky teaser for Season 2, called "American Horror Story: Asylum:"

Damn! What the heck is in those buckets? Who is the nun? Why is she throwing what appear to be body parts (?) on the ground in the woods? How is any of this connected to an asylum? Personally, I can't wait to find out. "American Horror Story: Asylum" premieres this coming October on FX. Between this and season 3 of "The Walking Dead," Fall 2012 should provide all the Horror any fan could ask for.

More, anon.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

My First Hate Comment

I've been writing Caliban's Revenge for just over four years now and I have published just about every comment I've ever received, though they are sometimes few and far between. While I have less than 60 followers, I know plenty of people who read the blog regularly. Those who do comment, are usually polite and often agree with me. And even when they don't agree, as long they are civil, I approve their comments in order to present opposing points of view. I think I've rejected two comments in all that time, both of which were rude, but neither of which were outright hateful. That changed today.

In my Gmail inbox today, I found a request for comment moderation on a "Gayest Thing" post I wrote over a year ago about wrestling. Specifically, about a video that featured hot guys in sports set to the Backstreet Boys' song 'I Want It That Way.' I posted a picture of a wrestling singlet and talked about how some wrestlers get a little 'excited' when competing. It was all in good fun and two of my gay blogger friends, Michael Offutt and Pax Romano, both left amusing comments at the time. Anyway, I opened my Gmail tonight to find to this comment waiting approval by an anonymous troll:

 "F*ck you f****t! Wrestling is the least gay sport" (the stars are mine).

Needless to say, I did not approve the comment. But I still felt I should share it because it goes to prove how far the LGBTQ community has to go in making people understand that we are not sick, evil, pedophiles who want to turn everyone gay. Seriously, I'm actually glad that men like Newt Gingrich and Bryan Brown aren't gay. Ew! And honestly, how can anyone say that "Wrestling is the least gay sport?" What other sport lets men roll around in Spandex onesies, grabbing each other's crotches and butts while trying to assert their dominance? Seems pretty gay (not to mention lots of fun) to me.

So I am dedicating the probably NSFW videos and photos below to you, Anonymous, homo-hating troll. I hope you enjoy how manly they are:

Of course, the phenomena is not just limited to wrestlers:

So, Anonymous, I guess wrestling is the least gay sport, as long as you define "gay" as men who don't get boners while wrestling. Oops!

More, anon.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Pole to Pole (or: Art Can Be Sexy and Sex Can Be Artistic)

Travis Scott, Chris Talbot and Luke Quadrio - Pure Pole Studs
There has been some talk of adding Pole Dancing to the 2016 Olympics. Some people I've mentioned this to have expressed disdain and even disgust at the notion. Yes, I know - Pole Dancing is usually associated with sleazy girls in "Gentlemen's" clubs. But lately, the grace and athleticism required for such performances has been acknowledged as something more than just "dirty." Hell, on last season's 'America's Got Talent' a male pole dancer, Steven Retchless, almost made it to the semi-finals.

The upper-body strength required to do these impressive moves is nothing less than amazing. Personally, I would give almost anything to be able to do what these guys do. Gay Aussie trio Pure Pole Studs are proving that athletes can be sexy (not that anyone doubted that, anyway). Take a quick look at what these boys can do (via):

How can anyone say these guys aren't athletes? Can you do that? I doubt it. I know I certainly can't (nor ever could). And honestly, what delineates Pure Pole Studs from the Chinese Poles performers in Cirque du Soliel's Saltimbanco? I'm guessing it's fancy costumes and and a live orchestra:

Saltimbanco was the first of many live Cirque du Soleil productions I have seen. My dear friend Elizabeth and I were entranced. They never fail to amaze and excite me and always make me wish I was capable of performing such astonishing feats of athleticism. Many Olympic gymnasts have gone on to become Cirque performers and Prospero's own Ariel (the very sweet and intensely focused Christina) has studied with them, going on to create her own athletic clowning duo which performs all over the world. Cirque even has a show in Vegas that is all about human sexuality, "Zumanity" at the New York, New York casino and hotel:

So, where do we draw the line between 'Sex' and 'Art?' Not an easy question. Nor should it be. Pole dancers as athletes? Athletes as sexual beings? To me, it's all just part of being human.

More, anon.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Happy 113th, Hitch!

Hitchcock and Friend
I'm pretty sure I posted about Hitch's birthday last year, but I'm too lazy (and too sick with a very nasty Summer cold) to look it up. Director Alfred Hitchcock made the 20th Century's most iconic thrillers and in 1960, changed the movie-going habits of America. Audiences used to show up for movies whenever they felt like it, often entering a movie that was already in-progress and sticking around for the next show to see what they missed. By insisting that no-one be allowed to enter the theatre after the first ten minutes of Psycho (the grandfather of all 'slasher' movies), Hitchcock forced audiences to arrive before the movie started.Psycho also upended audience's expectations by killing it's star in the movie's first act, something unheard of previously.

Of course, Hitch is famous for more than just that. He created the term MacGuffin and knew that the suspense of climbing a rollercoaster's first hill was far worse than the drop. He famously said about building suspense (you should excuse the paraphrasing here): "Place a bomb under a table at a meeting which only the audience knows is there," or something to affect. He also said (directly quoting here):
"The length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder."And rather infamously, he is known for saying that "Actors should be treated like cattle." As much as I admire his films, I have to disagree with that particular sentiment.

Among my personal favorite Hitchcock films are:


Strangers on a Train

North by Northwest:


Rear Window:

The Birds:

And of course, his masterpiece (widely derided by critics upon its initial release), Vertigo

Hitch was also famous for making cameo appearances in his own films. Here (via) is a video compilation of all of his cameos: 

Modern filmmakers owe an incredible debt to Hitchcock. He may have been (from many accounts) a bastard, but he created some of the most indelible images and films of all of all time. Personally, I don't know a single member of my generation who doesn't know and love at least one of his films. 

More, anon.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Why I Watch the Olympics

Danell Leyva

Martin Reader
Iain Percy

James Magnussen

Alexandre Despartie

Clemente Russo
Jake Dalton
Arthur Zanetti

To quote the fabulous George Takei - "Oh, my..."

Sometimes it is good to be shallow... But don't get me started on the absolute messes that were this year's opening and closing ceremonies. The games themselves may have been amazing, but the opening and closing were two hot messes that just didn't work at all. I'm all for stage directors making movies, but dead-set against movie directors doing live theatre. They just don't get it, as very well evidenced at this year's games. Pity. BTW - If you know the names of the hot Olympians I have not identified, please let me know in the comments, so I can rectify this post.

More anon,