Saturday, August 31, 2013

Sex, Lies and Pat Roberston

Pants on Fire
Pat Robertson continues to be one of the worst human beings alive. I'm not saying this because I'm gay. I'm saying this because I am a rational human being. 

Listen, I have no problem admitting I am a Secular Humanist. I also have no problem with people who are religious. I have a dear friend of over 35 years who is an Episcopal priest. My own sister is a devout Christian. Neither of them have condemned me to hell because of my innate sexuality. They take the New Testament at it's word: "Love thy neighbor as thou wouldst love thyself." They also know that many of the things in the Old Testament were written before the rise of Science and Reason.

But there are plenty of uninformed, frightened and honestly ignorant 'Christians' who fall for the kind of fear-mongering their religious leaders use to keep them in line (i.e. 'donating'). These preachers continue to use and abuse the Bible to further their own agendas, threatening their followers with eternal damnation if they don't agree with their vitriol. Among the worst offenders is Pat Robertson, who hosts the "700 Club" (founded by the very publicly disgraced Jim Bakker). Robertson's obviously loony claims include telling a woman whose husband had cheated on her that she should make a home so nice he wouldn't want to stray. But earlier this week, Robertson made what is probably his most insane claim, ever:

"The Stuff" to which Robertson refers is HIV/AIDS. And while there are admittedly a very few equally insane people who do want to infect others and even fewer and even more insane folks who actually seek out infection (more on that in another post, someday), Robertson's story about HIV+ people in San Francisco using special rings to infect innocent people with AIDS is probably the singularly most preposterous statement I've ever heard. And I'm not the only one to think so:

Thankfully, the folks at CBN (The Christian Broadcasting Network) recognized Robertson's ramblings as false and didn't air that particular segment, but that didn't stop his hateful claim from being posted online for everyone to see.

Personally, I don't understand how any educated person in the 21st Century still believes that homosexuality is a product of demonic possession; the result of sexual abuse; influenced by other gay people or a deliberate choice. Having never been possessed, abused, influenced nor having deliberately chosen my sexuality (as has no one else, ever) I find myself both alternately wanting to punch Robertson in his nose, asking him when he 'chose' to be straight and sitting down with him and explaining just how wrong he is.

Here's the thing: As long as there are superstitious, uneducated people, Robertson and his ilk will continue to influence their opinions. Using fear; threats; misinformation and outright lies to propagate prejudice, people like Robertson, Vladimir Putin, the most recent former Pope; the head of the ROC; Robert Mugabe and various Hindu and Muslim leaders will do everything they can to keep their followers from recognizing Truth.

Ignorance is not bliss, folks. It is death. Thankfully, the tide seems to be turning and with the recent SCOTUS rulings, the U.S. is well on the way toward joining the 21st Century in recognizing that LGBT people are deserving the same Human Rights as our straight counterparts. For the first time in my lifetime, I have hope that I will not die a second-class citizen, something I honestly never thought I'd live to see. The times are indeed, a-changing. 

I just hope that those who refuse to accept reality will eventually realize that if they don't grow, learn and accept the truth, they will leave a legacy of ignorance and hate for future generations to scorn and ridicule.

More, anon.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Some Shameless Self-Promotion

JTMF is proud to present a One Night Only staged reading of The Laramie Project; Sunday, October 6th, 2013. The reading will take place at the Kelsey Theatre on the campus of Mercer County Community College in West Windsor, NJ.

Proceeds will benefit The Tyler Clementi Foundation.

Presented to commemorate the 15th Anniversary of the attack on Matthew Shepherd, the reading will be followed by a special talk-back with the cast and representatives of The Tyler Clementi Foundation.

Directed by Judi Parrish, the cast includes Melissa Abrahams of Chesterfield, NJ; Brian Bara of Levittown, PA; Christian DiTullio of Lawrenceville, NJ; Damian Gaeta of Hamilton, NJ; Kathy Garofano of Morrisville, PA; Laurie Hardy of Hamilton, NJ; Jennifer Nasta Zefutie of Cranbury, NJ and Jeremy Robinson of Chesterfield, NJ.

We hope you can join us for this very special event (the only JTMF event this year). Tickets are $10 to $15 and are available by calling the Kelsey Box Office at 609-570-3333; online at or at the Box Office one hour before curtain.

Bullying and suicide among teens and preteens remain at all-time high. You can be part of the solution by attending this important event.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

It's On First

Sadako (Samara in the U.S.)
I have never been the athletic type, nor the kind of person who enjoys watching sports. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule - Olympic swimming, diving, gymnastics and wrestling can provide many hours of entertainment... ooh -- what a give-away! 

Of course, sport in the U.S. is all about competition, machismo and pain (well, at least when it comes to American Football). Baseball, the so-called "Great American Pastime," is just plain boring. But leave it to the Japanese to make baseball interesting. Well, at least the opening pitch. At a recent Japanese baseball game. the opening pitch was thrown by Sadako, the vengeful ghost from the Ringu series of J-Horror movies. This video (from a Facebook friend) says it all:

I would so see a game where Sadako (or Freddy, Jason, Pinhead or Pennywise) threw the opening pitch. Though I doubt they could do it quite as well as Sadako did in that clip. Freddy's glove would shred the ball; Jason would pitch it through the batter's head; Pinhead would throw a puzzle box and Pennywise would just drag the all the players down into the sewer. 

And since we're talking about Japanese horror and Japanese sensibilities, another Facebook friend posted the below clip from a Japanese "Candid Camera" style show:

Hilarious and rather mean, I don't know that I would have fallen for this, especially with the puppeteer's legs so clearly visible. Still, it's a prime example of how Japanese humor and horror seem to go hand in hand. Hmmm... kind of like Uncle P's sense of humor, when you think about it. 

Anyone know where I can get my hands on a velociraptor suit?

More, anon.

Monday, August 26, 2013

What's That Spining Sound?

Miley as Hannah Montana
Despite the persistent rumors that he had himself crygonically frozen, I can assure you that Walt Disney was interred at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, California., along with dozens of other Hollywood legends.

And even though I said on Facebook that I wouldn't watch Miley Cyrus' performance at last night's VMA's, the great cry and hue about said performance pretty much left me feeling like I had to watch it and comment further. And so I did. Now comes the further commenting.

All day I've been wondering why I heard spinning sounds from the west. Having watched Cyrus' performance, it has become apparent that whatever remains of Mr. Disney is spinning fast and hard enough to be heard nearly 3000 miles away. The man who once asked Annette Funicello to keep her navel covered in her Beach Blanket movies must be vomiting ectoplasm all over the place.

As I am sure you must know by now, I am hardly a prude.I like sex as much as any other red-blooded American male. And it honestly takes a lot to offend me. Still... when America's Sweetheart turns herself into America's Slut, even Uncle P has to take notice. 

It's not that I am opposed to a young woman growing up and reinventing herself. Nor am I opposed to any young person's sexual awakening. Far from it. Go for it! I certainly wish that at 20 I had had the balls to be myself (though 20 for Uncle P was well into the last century - a very different time). Still, I don't think I would have been nearly as overtly sexual as the former Disney star was last night. If you haven't seen it (and I may be the last American to actually subject myself to it), here's the clip:


I don't blame parents who are upset that their children's idol gave such an exploitative performance. I don't even blame Robin Thicke (though he was obviously complicit) for his part in Cyrus' lascivious performance. Cyrus is legally an adult and can do whatever she likes, as long as it's legal and doesn't harm anyone else. Still, I have to wonder how all those tweens and teens who watched Cyrus' wholesome Disney show and expected an equally wholesome performance from their idol (not to mention their parents' reactions) reacted to her rather lascivious performance. Were I a parent of a 12 to 15 year old girl, I imagine I'd be rather incensed, myself.

Here's the thing: Your television's remote (or when I was a kid, dial) has a button that allows you to change the channel if you see something you don't like or don't want your children to see. If you didn't change the channel last night, you have no right to complain about what was aired. If you let your children watch that mess, you have no right to complain about its overtly sexual images. If you let your children play violent video games, you have no right to complain when they act violently in their social play. And if you take your 8 year old to see an "R" rated horror movie, you have no right to complain when said 8 year old wakes you up because he or she had a nightmare.

Change the channel. Hire a sitter. Don't buy 'Street Murdering Pimps' for X-Box. Don't complain when you allow your children to be exposed to things which you find offensive.

Get over it, already.

More, anon.

Holy Mjolnir

Chris Hemsworth
While I found Kenneth Branaugh's Thor to be a messy and rather silly entry in the Avengers films, Australian hottie Chris Hemsworth proved to be a rather perfect Thor and I actually enjoyed his performance in Marvel's The Avengers.

This November, Thor and Hemsworth are back in Thor: The Dark World. Directed by "Game of Thrones" director Alan Taylor, the movie re-unites Hemsworth with human love interest Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) in a story about a dark entity which threatens both Earth and Asgard (Thor's home world). 

Combining Norse mythology with modern Superhero comics, Marvel's comics place Thor in the body of disabled med student Donald Blake, who discovers his godhood almost by accident. The movies ignore this part of the origin story, much to the dismay of loyal Marvel fanboys. Personally, I'm more of a DC guy and really don't care about Thor's origin story, But a hot Aussie in as little clothing as possible? I'm there!

Here (via) is the trailer for Thor: The Dark World:

I know Marvel has several gay Supes in their stable. Too bad Thor isn't one of them. And too bad we have yet to see one in any of their films.

More, anon

Thursday, August 22, 2013

From X-Men to X-Factor, AGT and Other Nonsense

Kenichi Ebina
Regular readers know that I have two "Reality Show" vices: NBC's "America's Got Talent" and SyFy's "Face-Off" (BTW - had "Face-Off" existed in the late 80's/early 90's, I totally would have been a contestant). The new season of "Face-Off" has just started, though AGT is about to go into their semi-finals.

And to be perfectly honest, I'm not digging AGT so much this year. First off, Heidi and Mel are great, but they are no Sharon Osbourne. Say what you will about Mrs. O, but she sure knows how to command an audience and I must admit that I love her brassy style. Heidi and Mel together serve as the Voices of Reason and seem to work well as both comedic 'straight men' to and buffers between Howard and Howie, though I often doubt their judgement (especially Heidi's) when it comes to talent. Klum comes from modelling (and has had her own successful contest show for years), though I have to ask what makes her qualified to judge dancers, singers, acrobats, musicians and variety acts? Former Spice Girl Mel B at least has some experience in the industry, as sketchy as it may be.

Still, it's not the judges that are the problem (at least not their chemistry). It's the acts the judges have put through this season. AGT is quickly becoming a 'Been There; Done That; Bought the T-Shirt and Returned It' show. If I see one more "Shadow Dancing" act, I'm going to throw up. Stop giving standing ovations to acts ripped off from other acts, please. They're boring. And stop giving guys who build Rube Goldberg machines spots instead of far more interesting and talented acts.

I am a fan of Forte, the operatic trio who met online (especially their gorgeous new member) and charismatic & adorable young magician Collins Key. And I would honestly be very pleased if either of them won. But now that they're about to start the Semi-Finals, I have a clear favorite: Japanese stunt dancer Kenichi Ebina. His audition was pretty astounding and he was pushed right through to New York without having to endure the Vegas call-backs. His first New York performance was truly brilliant. Combining prerecorded digital images with an astoundingly precise live performance, Ebina flawlessly immersed himself in a video game. Live. Onstage. Amazing. Watch. Watch Full Screen:

I must agree with all four judges. The man is astounding.

In other reality show news, a sweet and dear friend (K's older sister, actually) shared a clip from "X-Factor Australia" on Facebook today that just took my breath away. Remember the first time you saw Susan Boyle? 14 year old Jai Waetford puts that moment to shame:

I've never seen all the judges on any talent competition show lose their minds like Danni Minogue, Ronan Keating and LMFAO's Redfoo do there. I'm betting the actually talented (and graciously humble) Waetford has young girls all over the world asking "Justin who?" within the next year.

More, anon.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

X-Men Live; Gay Actor Out

Vin Diesel in Riddick. Confused, Ain't Ya?
Trust me when I tell you all these things really do tie-in together. If you saw my earlier post on Malaprop Mom, you'll continue to  understand what a weird day it continues to be for yer ole Uncle P.  My workday was disrupted by a rather annoyingly unsuccessful doctor's appointment (Grrrr... Long story - trying again tomorrow evening) and for the first time in a long time, I had several things I wanted to talk about. 

So, first: There's a story going around Facebook about a boy in China who can see in pitch black darkness. Snopes, as of this writing, has nothing on this. A friend of mine posted it with the headline: Evolution? If it's true, it's obviously a mutation, which according to Darwin leads to evolution.  Take that, Fundie wingnuts! The story reminded me of two works of Sci-Fi/Fantasy. First, David Twohy's about-to-be-released Riddick, the third in a trilogy of films in which Vin (I want him to talk dirty to me) Diesel plays an escaped convict/savior/mercenary who has had his eyes surgically altered to see in the dark (watch both of these on Full Screen):

And this Red Band trailer for Riddick is probably NSFW for language and violence:

Damn! Now THAT's an Action/Sci-Fi movie!

Of course, the "Evolution" tag also made me think of the mutants who make up Marvel's "X-Men." Homo-Sapiens has remained pretty static for the last 195,000 or so years. It's about time we started to evolve. Of course, the very tabloidy news also brings to mind my favorite Weekly World News story:

Now continuing on my ADD adventure, "Prison Break" star Wentworth Miller officially came out in a letter to the St. Petersburg International Film Festival, to which he'd been invited to attend. Miller, whose sexuality has been the subject of much debate since his breakout role on the Fox series finally opened the glass closet in his response to the invitation saying, in part (via):

"As a gay man, I must decline. I am deeply troubled by the current attitude toward and treatment of gay men and women by the Russian government. The situation is in no way acceptable, and I cannot in good conscience participate in a celebratory occasion hosted by a country where people like myself are being systematically denied their basic right to live and love openly."

As I have said all along, visibility is the key to acceptance. Thank you for finally feeling free enough to admit what many of us have suspected and for standing up to a homophobic regime, Mr. Miller. Your voice is a welcome addition to the cause.

Well this was a strange melange of things to talk about, wasn't it?  Je ne regret riens!

More, anon.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Oscar Bait or Tragic Mistake?

Cameron Diaz and Still Creepy Penelope Cruz in The Counselor
Director Ridley Scott has made some of Turn of the Century's best films, including Alien; Blade Runner; Thelma and Louise and Gladiator. His most recent 'non-prequel' (which was totally a prequel) to Alien, Prometheus, had some issues, but was entertaining as hell (yes, Charlize should have run off to the side - we get it).  

Scott's latest thriller The Counselor - about a lawyer (Michael Fassbender) involved with some rather unsavory drug dealers - is currently listed as 'In Post-Production' on IMDb, with a scheduled release date of October 25th. Fassbender co-stars with Javier Bardem, Brad Pitt, Penelope Cruz (it's like she has a puppet mouth, or something... she just skeves me out... ugh!... )* and Cameron Diaz in a role some people are already supposedly whispering rumors that she just may give the performance of her career, which could lead to the possibility of an Academy Award... (Yes, I am fully aware that this is a dreadful run-on sentence with a superfluous parenthetical, thank you very much fellow Grammar Nazis).

Really? The girl from The Mask and There's Something About Mary? The foul-mouthed, pot-smoking, money-scamming Bad Teacher (a movie I only just saw - and sort-of enjoyed - on cable one night in Chicago last month). I saw a teaser for this movie when Dear D and I went to see The Conjuring last month and Diaz was in it, but had nothing to really say. A new trailer has surfaced (via) and we see quite a bit more of her character and I must admit, I am intrigued. With a script from novelist Cormac McCarthy (The Road; No Country for Old Men), The Counselor has all the pedigrees and earmarks that catch the Academy members' attentions. What do you think?

Let the campaigning begin!

More, anon.

*Don't start with me. Just because I'm gay does NOT meant I don't know how to appreciate a beautiful woman when I see one. I also know that I am in the minority when it comes to my opinion of Ms Cruz's physiognomy. It's all well and good until she opens that slash in her jaw... Seriously. It's like female Spanish Guy Smiley in the flesh! Bllllllllllluuuuurrrrrrrggggggggghhhhhh!

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Most 80's Gaga You'll See This Week

Gaga Gives Good ____?
I'm not ashamed to admit to being a fan of Lady Gaga, though I would never count myself among her "Little Monsters." I'll probably never see her live, but I certainly won't change the channel should one of her songs come on the radio (on the rare occasion I have it on). And I guess it doesn't hurt that she's a very vocal and passionate straight ally to the LGBT Community at large. And while I am peripherally aware of the latest 'feud' between Lady G and the even weirder blogger Perez Hilton (why is his head so BIG?!?!), I am far more interested in Gaga as a provocatrix.

My humor, my style, my tastes and my sensibilities have always tended toward the dark. Friends on Facebook are often confounded and disturbed by the pictures, articles and links I post there. And they aren't afraid to tell when they are confused and/or disturbed by something I've posted. My response to their discomfort continues to be this: "If you are moved and/or disturbed by something I have posted, then my point has been made. I am and always have been a provocateur. It is my intention to disturb and/or move you." Neither of those are bad things. We all need to be shocked out of complacency now and then. And Uncle P is more than happy to do that for you. 

Gaga wants to do the same and the new video for her latest single, "Applause" does just that. Combining 80's techno beats from the likes of Devo and Gary Numan with modern club sounds; her trademark surrealist images and a song that speaks to everyone who has ever performed for an audience, the video is nothing short of fascinating to watch, especially on Full Screen (for the best effect):

Go ahead and hate me. I don't care. I'm a Gaga fan. What are you gonna do about? That's right. Nothing! Punk! Get the hell off my lawn, you damn kids! Uh... I uh... I mean, er... Yeah? You and what army? So there!

See? I can be tough and butch and so gay I fart rainbows, all at the same time. What?!?!

More, anon.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

8 Sundays

That's right. There are only two months to go before the return of television's most audacious drama "The Walking Dead." Immeasurably better than Season 2, Season 3 ended with the defeat of  the Governor; the death of Andrea (as much as I hated what she had become as a character, I still hated that she went, as well as how. Andrea was once much smarter than that); the death of Lori (happy the idiot is gone, but sad for Rick and the baby); the death and reanimation and destruction (at the hands of his own brother) of Merle and the incorporation of the survivors from Woodbury into the prison. Every single character was tested last season. Not all of them passed.

The teasers and interviews and con panels all promise not only deadlier (faster? hungrier?) Walkers but a new threat that is neither human nor Walker. Huh? I'm guessing the return of bubonic plague. Or cholera. Or maybe the whole thing will turn out to a live-action version of 'Oregon Trail' and they'll all die of dysentery. 

Regular readers know that "The Walking Dead" is one of my Malaprop Mom's favorite shows, hooked when I basically told her she had to watch the pilot when I re-watched it on DVR the next day. This helped open the floodgates, paving the way for "Falling Skies" and "Grimm" (all of which have some very interesting characters who grow and change with the plot lines). 

An acquaintance, who shall remain unnamed and only somewhat shamed, told me thought the failure of World War Z meant the end of the genre. I laughed and pointed toward not only the unprecedented success of "The Walking Dead," but any number of other upcoming zombie projects. World War Z failed for the same reasons most of this summer's movies failed: Lack of story and characters no one cares about. And I've always thought adapting Brooks' rather clinical novel was an exercise in futility. The ravenous flesh-eating 'Romero' zombie will be around as long as horror movies, doing what horror movies do best: remind us of how much worse our lives could be. Oh, glorious schadenfreude! And maybe too, they remind us to not let ourselves go dead inside, something too many people seem to do these days.

Uncle P and more than a few people he knows are all chomping at the bit, counting down to the big chow-down on October 13th. The official trailer (which I'm too lazy to bother checking to see if I've posted it before, so I'm posting it anyway) is pretty intense.

What did Tyreese see? And while Big Spot! may be a thinly disguised version of Big!Lots, I imagine those would probably be among the last stores looted along with any number of dollar stores. And who are all these new former Woodburians? Are the Walkers getting smarter, or just hungrier? Won't the Walkers just eventually rot away? Honestly, I'm just looking for a rousing and exciting season to rival Season 1. Here's a little bit of behind-the-scenes with cast commentary:

More, anon.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Some Truth, Some Justice and One More Thing

Scott "Kill the Gays" Lively. See: Degenerate; D-Bag; A-Hole; Creep
2013 has been quite a banner year for LGBT Equality, both here and abroad. Of course, these strides have been much to the consternation of the extreme right, who continually make claims about the "wrath of God" and the path to the End of Days, yet claim to follow a man who preached "Love they neighbor as thou wouldst love thyself." Jesus supposedly performed attended a marriage but is never quoted as saying anything about it. Nor does he say anything about homosexuality. Yes, he tells his followers to obey the laws of the Torah, but he was Jewish. Of course he would. I suspect that the man depicted in the New Testament would be pretty unpopular with modern extremists. "Hippie scum!" "Tree-Hugger!" "Fag!" (Oh, how I hated typing that word). "Commie Pig!" Still, you know that's what they call modern peace and anti-violence proponents.

I'm not, as you know, a believer. But I understand all and agree with most of the precepts in the New Testament. But they seem to me more instinctive, than anything. Yes, stealing and killing and raping are bad. I don't need a shaman to tell me that. That was my parents' (and later, my teachers') job. And I think they did pretty well. I didn't need to be afraid of eternal pain for not doing the right thing, though I was on occasion the recipient of momentary pain when I deserved it (which was extremely rare and not ever anywhere close to abusive). And the thought of the humiliation of being arrested has kept me from doing anything really stupid. That's not to say I haven't had close calls. I can think of more than a few times I was certain I would be calling for bail money, only to get off with a ticket or warning.

Scott Lively, author of the absurd The Pink Swastika, an "expose" in which Lively (pastor of the Abiding Truth Ministries, which is officially recognized by the SPLC as a Hate Group) claims that Hitler's Nazi's were gay and used their pent-up aggression to kill Jews (or some such crapalicious bovine excrement), has been ordered to stand trial for Crimes Against Humanity for his role in crafting and supporting Uganda's so-called "Kill the Gays Bill." Federal Judge Michael Ponser, ruling the case eligible for trail, said in part: 

"The history and current existence of discrimination against LGBTI people is precisely what qualifies them as a distinct targeted group eligible for protection under international law. The fact that a group continues to be vulnerable to widespread, systematic persecution in some parts of the world simply cannot shield one who commits a crime against humanity from liability."

 This truly is the beginning of the end for the Anti-Equality Movement. I don't know what penal sentence would accompany Lively's conviction, though I know what peni... No! No, no, no! Not going to go there (penile -- ooh, what a give-away!). Damnit! What I mean to say is that even in those "Country Club Prisons," some guys are going to be some other guy's bitch. And you may look tough, Rev, but I'm willing to place $100 on you crying like a little girl the first time your new cellmate bends your legs over your ears.

Someday, a very long time after all of us are gone, superstition will have fallen away to science and reason and none of this will matter.  But that someday is still a long way off (if we don't succumb to climate change before then). What matters now is stopping the people who preach hate under the guise of love, using fear and superstition to keep their followers in line. 

But here's the thing: They are getting desperate. They know that they are losing in the court of public opinion and they are running scared. We saw the same kinds of behaviors in the 60's and 70's when it came to African American and Women's Rights. Sadly, they will continue to moan and complain and paint themselves as martyrs and victims long after they've lost. But they'll eventually die off. I'm just glad I am here to see the start of it. 

Regardless of the trial's outcome, it is unlikely that the poison in Lively will dissipate. He can't bring himself to admit that he might be wrong and suddenly see the error of his ways. He isn't smart enough to evolve and reinterpret what he grew up 'knowing' to be the 'truth.' FDR said it the best: "The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself." We have much scarier things to worry about, folks. Love shouldn't be one of them.

As for Mr. Lively, I hope he is found very guilty (because he is) and that he spends many years living out the prison rape fantasies he's undoubtedly harbored since adolescence, though not nearly as pleasant as he probably imagined. I actually feel sad that he is so filled with hate and fear and can only hope he lets go of them and finds personal peace.

More, anon.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Tipping the Scales

No One Knew? Seriously?
WWE wrestler Darren Young (quite a fine specimen of Homo-Sapien, as you can see in the figuratively flaming photo to your immediate right) today became one of the growing number of celebrities to come out as gay very casually. Last week, former child star Raven Symone came out casually on Twitter: "I can finally get married! Yay government! So proud of you!" 

My sister used to watch wrestling because she thought it was funny. She was watching ironically long before any Brooklyn Hipster d-bag was self-aware). I'm not sure if she still does. 

Anyway, neither myself nor WWE "Superstar/Hot-Slab-O-Beefcake" John Cena (whom you'll  see in the video below) think of Professional Wrestling as a sport. It's entertainment and the starting grounds for many action and comedy movie stars. Dwight "The Rock" Johnson has proven the most bankable of those who came out of the ring and onto the soundstage. Are professional wrestlers athletes? For the most part, I'd say yes. Ever see a stuntperson's body? Or a male dancer's body?

Oh, who the hell am I kidding? Most of my readers are gay men and straight women. Of course you have! And you get what I'm talking about. If you are one of my straight readers who has no actual gay friends, ask me to explain it to you later.

Young's public announcement for a TMZ reporter (who randomly got the story of his career) continues to add the kind of visibility, volume and tone we need to communicate and educate folks who are still on the fence about LGBT rights. Besides, long-time readers know just how Uncle P feels about wrestling (link may be NSFW).

Here's the thing: As I have repeatedly said: Visibility is our strength; Invisibility our weakness. I like the new casual way of coming out. Gone are the days when Ellen Degeneres; Neil Patrick Harris and Lance Bass got magazine covers for coming out. Coming out no longer has the stigma it once did. More and more str8 folks are finding out we're really not the dirty perverts the superstitious would have you believe. Still, in thousands of homes across America, there are young wrestling fans who are struggling with their sexuality. Darren Young gave those kids a voice today. He gave them hope and strength. More importantly, Young broke down yet another  barrier towards understanding and acceptance. And it helps that this was the response to the news from Cena (via):

Thanks for being open and happy, Darren.. And know that you most certainly saved lives today.

Now, about John Cena's brother... anyone know how I can get his number?

More, anon.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Anti-Bucket List

#3 on My Anti-Bucket List
I didn't tell this story on the blog last night, because I had posted all I thought I had to say about it yesterday on Facebook. But a little distance and a day spent trying to stay out of pain have led me deeper and deeper into the labyrinth until the beast had to be confronted head on.

Late last week, I started to notice a twinge in my lower right back, in the muscle known scientifically as the Internal Abdominal Oblique. It was annoying, but treating it with heat, ice and OTC NSAIDS seemed to be working. Sunday night, I barely registered more than a small twingey reminder or two and I thought I had made it through the worst of it. 

Yesterday morning, I woke up feeling fine and had my shower as usual. I made it back upstairs and sat on the bed to put on my pants. I stood, like I always do, and was instantly struck with pain the likes of which I have never experienced. Honestly. I have had a nasal cauterization and several oral surgeries. I know pain. This was far worse than anything I've ever experienced and I quite literally screamed. If this is half the pain of childbirth, I wouldn't wish it on any woman ever, even my mother!. But it passed quickly and I gingerly made my way downstairs with every intention of going to the Day Job. Once down on ground level, it quickly became apparent that I was in serious trouble. And the idea of folding myself into a car and driving myself for help was patently absurd. 

So, for the fourth time this year, EMTs were called to my house though this time, it was my mother calling them for me. The entire morning was rather surreal and I joked with the EMT's* (who arrived very quickly) - "Well, I can cross this off my bucket list!" They politely laughed and as I was later lying almost flat on my back, dozing and waiting for the drugs the ER nurse had administered to take effect, I realized that an ambulance ride to the hospital should really be on everyone's 'Anti-Bucket List'

I posted a few more things on my Anti-Bucket List and asked my Facebook friends to list theirs. There were quite a few amusing answers and they got me thinking about other things I never need to experience before I die. So here they are:

Uncle P's Anti-Bucket List: (A Work in Progress; Subject to Change at Any Time without Notice)

Ride in an Ambulance
Handcuffed Ride in the Back of a Squad Car
Getting Stabbed in the Shower by a Maniac
Being Bitten By Zombies
Being Trampled in a Stampede
Being Trapped Aboard a Sinking Sealiner
Forced to Watch another High School Production of Grease
Forced to Eat Poutine.
Being Surrounded by Russian Skinheads
Get a Haircut so Bad It Makes Me Cry
Buy a Pair of Crocs
Drink PBR
Associate with Anyone Who Actually Drinks PBR
Give Myself Over to the Cult of The Boy Who Lived.
Wear a Utilikilt
Marry a Woman
Have Gallons of Baked Beans Poured All Over Me
Have Leeches Pulled from My Body (don't click, K!)
Be Struck by Lightning
Be Burned at the Stake
Be Forced to Watch Every Episode of Every 'Real Housewives' Show
Three Words: "Chilled Monkey Brains"

I have a few more, but I realized they are really rather depressing, so I thought it best to leave them out. Luckily, the ER was literally empty at 8:30 AM and I was seen and treated right away. The Attending ER doctor put his finger right on the spot and said "Oh! I can feel it spasm!"  I was given a 10mg Valium (Seriously? Did you not hear me give my height and weight?) and a gluteal injection of a muscle relaxer and two prescriptions, along with instructions to rest with continued heat and ice for three days. This is the end of Day 2 and while I think I feel better, I thought the same last night, as well.

So, are these the kinds of things other people think about while recovering at home, under heavy medication, after a frighteningly intense bout with pain? 

No... It seems right up there with my usual nonsense, if you ask me.

Now I am asking you: What's on your Anti-Bucket List? What thing(s) do you never need to do before you die? 

More, anon.

*And no, neither of them were the cuties from last month, though both were pleasant, patient and professional. Everyone in the ER was equally so and what started out as a rather scary experience was quickly getting better. I'm sure it helped that I was the only one in the ER, which undoubtedly facilitated my treatment but it seemed to me this was how they probably handled every patient and I was very impressed.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Summer of Suck Part Deux?

Okay, is it me, or have there been very few summer tentpole movies to actually live up to their potential once again this summer? And yes, I missed a lot of them, though only one by accident. And it seems as though I really didn't miss much...

This past weekend saw the opening of South African director Neil Blomkamp's big-budget debut Elysium. It took the number one spot for its opening weekend but performed far below expectations, beating out stoner comedy We're the Millers by just $3M. As a fan of Blomkamp's debut District 9, Uncle P was excited for this big-budget thriller starring Matt Damon and Jodie Foster. And then I started reading the reviews and had to take pause when Colin Berry, one of the Happy Mutants at the insane Science/Art/Maker/Literature/Politics blog BoingBoing posted his review, calling it "...everything that sucks about movies these days." (Read it here).

And lots of big-budget blockbusters saw similar fates. R.I.P.D.; The Lone Ranger; World War Z; and After Earth (even though it never advertised that it was directed by one-hit wonder M. Night Shyamalan) all failed, miserably. Guillermo del Toro's much-anticipated Kaiju Vs. Giant Robots movie Pacific Rim underperformed, as did White House Down with Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx. 

The top performers so far this summer? Despicable Me 2; The Conjuring (a movie I wanted more from); Monsters University; Man of Steel and Iron Man 3. I've seen only one movie on this list and liked it, but not nearly as much as some people.

No one is quite sure why some of these movies failed, though I suspect that audiences have finally caught on and want more than just CGI FX and deafening sound to carry a movie. To which I say: Hurray!

But summer's not over and I have high hopes for a few late summer/early fall releases:

Kick-Ass 2 (NSFW):

The World's End:


Insidious: Chapter 2:


That last clip is absolutely terrifying! I can't wait!

More, anon.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Dogs' Best Friends Step Up for Equality

Just One More Reason to Love Boxers?
Uncle P's Mother is a fan of televised dog shows. Personally, I cannot watch them without thinking about Christopher Guest's hilarious, ad-libbed spoof Best in Show. Guest and company's followup to Waiting for Guffman (probably the funniest movie about Community Theatre ever made) is exactly how I always pictured the folks who enter, judge and attend such events. It's also the first time I really took notice of then up and coming lesbian star Jane Lynch.

Now don't me wrong. I may hate dog shows, but I love dogs! My last dog, a Golden Retriever/Cocker Spaniel mix named Brandy (I gave in on that argument) was a fiercely loyal and protective dog who passed away the night before she was scheduled to be put down (all this while I was unemployed and had to inform my friends I wouldn't be participating in Christmas that year). I found her at the foot of the stairs to my bedroom, her chin and one paw on the bottom step. That's completely true and I'm crying again just thinking about, so don't worry if you're crying, too.

My first dog was an AKC Registered Schnauzer bitch, officially named "Brian's Heidi." My maternal grandmother bought her for me and my father hated her and she spent her entire life chained to the kitchen table or on a short leash in the side yard (the dog, not my grandmother). No dog should have lived that kind of life and I feel guilty that Heidi didn't have the life Brandy had (and before you ask, yes I'll talk about the cats someday, too - just not tonight).

Anyway... what this is all leading up to is an official letter from the AKC (American Kennel Club) to the FCI (aka World Canine Federation), urging them to move the 2016 World Dog Show from Russia in light of recent anti-LGBT laws and events there. The letter is below (Via):

Dear Rafael,

One of the most compelling aspects of the human-canine bond – cherished internationally more than ever before – is the fact that our dogs love us unconditionally. Dogs do not discriminate. Gender, race, sexual orientation and other status do not enter the equation of responsible pet ownership.  That is why the American Kennel Club and our constituency are puzzled and disappointed by the decision to allow Russia to host the 2016 World Dog Show.  The proliferation of anti-gay and lesbian laws in Russia today is both disturbing and shocking to our community.  The choice of this country as a venue for such a prestigious dog show flies in the face of the ideals of the human-canine bond.

On behalf of the American Kennel Club, our member clubs, and the American purebred dog fancy, we urge you to move the 2016 World Dog Show from Russia to a nation that respects and upholds human rights for all its citizens.  The international dog community deserves to enjoy the World Dog Show in a place that stands for freedom and equal rights for all.  AKC cannot and will not support participation in the 2016 World Dog Show if it is held in Russia.

As exhibitors, breeders, handlers and trainers, we teach our dogs many things.  But there is no denying, they teach us too.  Our bond with dogs is not defined by the type of person who holds the leash.  We cannot support competition in an environment where tolerance does not exist.

Yours respectfully,

 It was signed by the AKC's Chairman of the Board, Alan T. Kalter and the President & CEO, Dennis B. Sprung. 

 Can there be any better proof that animal lovers are better Human Beings? I think not! Here's to the AKC for stepping up!

If I ever get another dog, it will be a boxer named "Tyson." Why? So when people say "Really? A boxer named after Mike Tyson?" I can say "No. He's named after Tyson Beckford, a-hole!"

More, anon.

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Gayest New Rap Music You'll Hear This Week

F. Virtue
Uncle P is generally not a fan of Hip-Hop/Rap. It has nothing to do with my age. I was there at the beginning, kids. I thought it was going to be another novelty or short-lived phenomenon like Disco. But it wasn't. Instead, it got intense and homophobic and people were being shot and killed and it just got ugly, both in themes and sounds. 

There have been a very few exceptions to my aversion to the genre, one of which I heard a long time ago (and I have no idea who it was or what the song was) which was a rap in French. As a French speaker, I found the phrasing rather fascinating. And I don't mind short bursts of rap in the middle of a really good pop tune (though really good pop tunes are very few and far between, these days).

And I actually like the latest single from openly gay rapper F. Virtue, 'Anita Bryant.' 

For those of you too young to remember, Anita Bryant is a former Miss America (1959) from Oklahoma who had a very lucrative deal promoting Florida Orange Juice in the 1970's. The ultra-conservative Christian went on the warpath when Dade County, Florida passed one the country's first  anti-LGBT discrimination laws in 1977; decrying LGBT people as immoral and consequently derailing her OJ contract. She was once rather famously pied at press conference, to which she infamously replied, "At least it's a fruit pie!" 

Stupid Bitch. Anita is still with us, poor thing. I hope every state that passes Marriage Equality Laws drive a stake through her shriveled, black, homophobic heart.

Wow! Another very uncharacteristically mean thing for Your Host to say. I can't fault Ms. Bryant for the lies she was taught to be truth as a child, but I can fault her for never bothering  to question what she was being taught. Of course, much like today's WBC and NOM (among others), Bryant's greatest contribution to the Community has been raising awareness about discrimination, hate and blind faith. Dare I suggest we actually thank to former Beauty Queen? We can at least be charitable and forgive her lack of true worldly compassion (something I've always been led to believe true Christians must possess).

Anyway... Virtue's 'Anita Bryant' is smart, defiant and probably NSFW. While Virtue is no Chris Evans or Jake Gyllenhaal, he probably wouldn't get kicked out for eating crackers in my bed. Enjoy (via): 

More, anon.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Karen Black; Mean Pranks; Death and Other Jokes

Karen Black in House of 1000 Corpses
Veteran genre actor Karen Black has passed away at 74 after a long battle with cancer and that makes Uncle P very sad. Ms. Black's career spanned 6 decades and included films such as Easy RiderFive Easy Pieces; Airport 75 and The Day of the Locust. But she's probably better known for her genre films which include The Pyx (1973); Burnt Offerings (1976); Invaders from Mars (1986) and House of 1000 Corpses (2003). 

Among those of us who grew up in the era of disco and only one HBO channel, Karen Black is best remembered for an ABC TV Movie of The Week called Trilogy of Terror. As I am sure you've figured out, it was an anthology of three scary stories. No one I know (including myself) remembers anything about the first two stories. Because it was the third story that freaked out everyone who saw it. It was the third story that all my friends were talking about the next Monday at school. And it was the third story that made my sister almost lose her mind (a lot more on that in a bit...). 

As of this writing, she has three films yet to be released. Black, with her wonky eye and unconventional beauty, came to stardom during the Indie Film Renaissance of the 70's (sometimes referred to as the "Second Golden Age') and managed to maintain a very interesting and viable career long after many of her contemporaries didn't. Karen Black was truly One-of-a-Kind.

And so I don't leave on quite a dark note, I'll segue into two real-life events, memories of which were triggered by the news about Ms Black.

My Dad, despite his many faults, was pretty funny and I'm not ashamed to admit that a big part of my sense of humor is directly related to his. He knew a million jokes and he told them well. He often used fairly accurate accents when telling them, which led to my ear for it (which has proven very useful both on and off stage). He loved nonsense and dark humor, and took great joy in pranking my sister and mother. Here are two examples:

When my sister was very young, she would get scared and sneak into my parents' room in the middle of the night. When they started locking their door, she took to coming up into my room, which was basically a loft with no door. I woke up many mornings to find her in my bed.  Trilogy of Terror originally aired on a Friday night. I don't need to tell what Sis did. That Saturday morning, our father got up and started to make breakfast. She heard him rattling around and called out -- "Hello?" Dad snuck out to the living room and made sounds like the Zuni Doll in that clip. Needless to say, Sis crawled back into bed and didn't move or make a sound until I woke up, some time later. Poor kid!

Which led me to this memory of a Halloween in the mid-to late 70's. Trick or Treating was pretty much over for Uncle P for good, but I still went out with Sis and we had some fun times. Of course, in those days we were out for hours (especially on weekends) and would fill pillowcases two or three times. It was safe and there were hundreds of kids and parents out. This particular night, Dad hid a monster mask in the bathroom. I was upstairs, Sis was in her room and Mom was in the kitchen, which is where kids knocked for candy in almost every house in our area, about to go to bed. Dad snuck into the bathroom and put on the mask and a trenchcoat (and nothing else). He snuck out the front door, crept around to the kitchen door and knocked.

Poor Mom, thinking it was last-minute Trick-or-Treater, opened the door. Dad yelled "Trick 'r Treat!" and flashed her, thinking she would recognize him and laugh. Instead, Mom screamed for Dad and slammed the door! Sis and I both came running, only to hear Dad braying like a hyena outside while Mom came to the realization of what had just happened.

Is it any wonder I am the way I am?

Here are some trailers for my favorite Karen Black Horror movies:

More, anon.

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Gayest Videos You'll See This WeeK

Mr. Gay World 2013, Chris Olwage of New Zealand
Generally, I hate beauty pageants. That's right - I despise something a lot of gay men adore. Miss America; Miss USA; Miss World; Miss Universe... all of them are rubbish, as far as I'm concerned. They not only bore me to death, but promote sexist stereotypes and reduce their contestants to far less than the sum of their parts. 

I particularly hate children's pageants. You know that pedophiles are regularly masturbating to episodes of 'Toddlers in Tiaras," right? Ugh! The sexualization of children in such events sickens me to no end. Images of the late Jon Benet Ramsey literally turn my stomach. And don't even get me started on Honey Boo-Boo and 'Dance Moms.' I'll cut a bitch! Beauty pageants exemplify everything that's wrong with modern societal values. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for physical beauty. But there's got to be more. As the saying goes, "Beauty is only skin deep." And really... if you're pretty, we better be able to have an intelligent conversation afterwards.

This past weekend saw the 'Mr. Gay World Pageant,' in which gay men from around the globe competed for the 'coveted' title. Needless to say, there wasn't a Bear among the contestants. Every one of them was young, trim and fit. It may has well have been the 'Mr. Ambercrombie and Fitch World Pageant.' 

This year's winner, a Kiwi by the name of Chris Olwage (who's 'five-head' is even worse than Josh Duhamel's) won. His talent? Dancing en pointe, something exceedingly rare among male dancers. That's not to say I have anything against men dancing en pointe. Far from it (though I can't help but compare my own feet - ruined by years of dancing in musical theatre - to the feet of ballerinas I met while working for the NYC Ballet... ick!). And while Olwage has an amazing body, give me a fuzzy, beefy Bear over a skinny dancer any day. Below (via) is Olwage's talent entry in the contest:

And speaking of fuzzy, beefy Bears, Mumford and Sons (who had a very LGBT friendly hit not too long ago) are back with a new video for their latest single, "Hopeless Wanderer," which features former SNL hotties Jason Sudekis and Will Forte along with Jason Bateman and Ed Helms. Sudeikis and Forte (wearing a rather unflattering yak hair beard) appear to swap some spit (something they've done many times in skits on SNL), though the catchy new song has only the vaguest connections to the LGBT community. Watch it below (also via):

Personally, I'm waiting for Ricky Martin, Neil Patrick Harris and Cheyenne Jackson to collaborate on the ultimate gay song/video, written by Elton John and Matt Zarley. If you see it before I do, let me know ASAP.

More, anon.