Friday, September 28, 2007

Brokeback Mountain, The Opera!

Yep, 12-tone gay cowboys ... It's not a hoax ...

When word emerged this week that an operatic version of Brokeback Mountain is in the works, with a score by Charles Wuorinen, [pictured, left, with with Lepton the cat] a lot of people in the classical music world weren't sure what to think. For a start, the news appeared in the Rush and Molloy gossip column in New York's tabloid Daily News — not a place the industry thinks to look for breaking developments. And the combination of material, medium and music seemed wildly improbable: a spare short story by Annie Proulx about inarticulate Wyoming sheepherders — which, granted, had been made into a film that was very compelling but was far from histrionic — translated into the most histrionic of art forms? With a composer who's one of America's last major unrepentant modernists?

It was hard not to wonder if this was some sort of out-of-season April Fool's joke ...

"I think it's a marvelous idea," Wuorinen's manager, Howard Stokar, told Playbill Arts. "And so did Annie Proulx ... she liked the idea of it being an opera, and she liked the idea of Charles composing it."

There's no commission or opera house involved just yet — says Stokar, "Right now, it's really just under discussion. Who knows what's going to happen?" — but Proulx's approval means that one major hurdle that fells many worthwhile projects has been cleared. (Leonard Bernstein, for instance, is said to have worked on a treatment of Nabokov's Lolita but couldn't get rights to the story.)

The idea for a Brokeback opera was all Wuorinen's. "He wanted to work on a dramatic piece,"said Stokar, "and this seemed like the perfect subject."

Via Playbill Arts

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Sad Truth About The Blog Racket

Ready for the facts, kids? Bogging is like a bargan sale at Macy's. If you weren't at the front of the line when the doors opened, you don‘t get the silk pajamas. Like professional wrestling and capitalism itself the game is fixed and, like high school, social (if not financial) success depends on who you know. But all is not lost, if you work real hard you might still be able to make a buck.

I Ate At Fox News

I was in the Big Apple recently and ate lunch at the Fox News headquarters on Sixth Avenue near Rockefeller Center and I couldn't get over the fact that there was no difference between the Fox commissary and any other media employee’s restaurants in New York City. I mean, it was exactly the same, even though it's run by fascists and most of the patrons were Fox News propagandists!

It was frigin’ amazing! I mean, there were no nooses hanging off the plastic fichus trees, nobody was wearing Nazi armbands and, unless you actually brought up the subject of Hilary Clinton, nobody screamed ‘bitch!’ or ‘fuck her!’ Except for the large portraits of Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity on the walls you’d think you were eating at the Time-Warner building or CNN. It was exactly the same! There were even black people eating there, not many but they were there! Frigin’ amazing!

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Bar Life

My letter to the editor did NOT get published as promised by Bay Times. (See my article two posts below, or click here.) I decided then to revise and update it, and resend it. Here is the result:

Dear Editor,

It is clear to me that Hole in the Wall Saloon's prolonged relocation difficulties is a matter of karmic justice, than of NIMBY politics and business rivalry. During my two-plus years as a regular patron, I have witnessed (and suffered) incredibly dark mojo that still continues. Here's a quick list of my grievances against Hole in the Wall:

- I was drugged and mugged by a patron of Hole in the Wall. No customer or bartender gave me any compassion or support, nor did they admit knowing the culprit. (I have since learned that some regulars, and most bartenders there, knew all along.)

- Before the mugging, I had formed an excellent friendship with one patron, Larkin. But immediately after I informed him of the attack, he ceased our association. And it continues to this very day (more than a year-and-a-half later).

- Some of Larkin's "friends" (including bartenders Gary C. and Chris A.) humiliated me, turning him against me. I had to endure this for MONTHS (that is, until I finally left that bar).

- Weekend bartender Chris A. did nothing when I was attacked by a somewhat large dog. Instead, he kicked me out, and let the dog and owner stay.

- I was threatened with severe violence by another patron (red-headed speed freak Chris), on Gary C.'s shift. Yet the bartender did nothing.

I finally left that bar to hang out at the Eagle Tavern...a place I found much friendlier and safer, at least for a while. Sadly, the gossip from Hole in the Wall followed me there. Obviously, some bartenders and patrons have manipulated Larkin to hate me. (I can barely IMAGINE the wicked gossip used against me, and why Larkin fell for it.) I was recently threatened from one loser named "Gypsy" who is friends with the above-mentioned Gary C., and hangs out at BOTH bars. The bartender on duty, Ron, failed to 86 (or even reprimand) him for threatening a patron. So my days at the Eagle may be numbered, too.

Being Buddhist at heart, I take the high road: "I have no enemies, only teachers." My goal is not vengeance, but justice. Those who play my enemy I hope to win as friends. Imagine what all this negative energy can do for gay rights here in Gay Mecca, once it's channeled into a positive route! I do have an excellent resolution in mind, to make this a win-win situation for all involved:

Larkin, I cherish the friendship we had for a while. I prayed that you'd get your old job back at the Tacqueria next door to "The Hole", and to have you return to South of Market, where you were the star for over seven years. I am the one behind welcoming you to the Eagle, when all other bars wouldn't have you. Just ask Ron. Truth is: we've BOTH been shafted, and the last thing these A-holes care to see, is the resumption of our camaraderie. My prayers for your return to SOMA have been answered in every way, and I only need to look forward now, to my return into your heart.

It is time to mend all damage done. But time has grown short. If you do not change your ways, this will all backfire, and what you wished against me shall come to avenge me instead. Larkin, your willful cooperation with such evil will only entrap you, unless you answer to your conscience NOW. You are my hero: don't fail me, or yourself.

I want Hole in the Wall to relocate UNDER MY TERMS:

Rename the saloon to "Larkin's Lagoon"...where Larkin will be the host and professional bouncer. He'll be paid a living wage including quality health care. A plywood cutout of Larkin (artfully painted, holding a cue stick in one hand, cigarette in the other, with his trademark sardonic smile) shall be attached to the front door, or beside it. Details on how the bar should be run will be left up to me, during negotiations with the owners.

This includes reducing alcohol consumption by 80%, and increasing marijuana use drastically, by including THC based concoctions. (Currently illegal, but we know it's the right thing to do in order to heal our community. At this point in our history, to NOT move in this direction makes us complicit with the persecution of our homophobic enemies. Can you say "speakeasy?")

In sum: I take heart from Buddha's words in the Dhammapada: "A fool is happy until his mischief backfires. And a good man may suffer until his goodness blossoms."

A more detailed account of my grievances and solutions can be viewed at my Gay Bible web site:
gay-bible.org/truetales/6_dark-mojo .htm

Sincerely,
Zeke Krahlin Gay Activist since 1973

tBlog - ZekeBlog

The Gist

Condi's "Closest Female Friend"

I had an interesting conversation with Washington Post diplomatic correspondent Glenn Kessler, whose new book is The Confidante: Condoleezza Rice and the Creation of the Bush Legacy.

There have long been questions about Rice's sexual orientation and her personal life in general. As Kessler notes, "She has built a wall of privacy around her that is never breached." But Kessler had access to Rice's closest friends and to Rice herself, and he reveals some eyebrow-raising information that hasn't been out there before.

In the book and on the show, Kessler described how Rice's "closest male friend" is openly gay, a man by the name of Coit D. Blacker, a Stanford professor (Rice was provost at Stanford in the late 1990s for six years) and a Democrat who served in the Clinton administration. Blacker, whose partner is also mentioned, advised Al Gore's campaign in 2000, while his close friend Rice became a chief confidante to a president who has tried to make gays into second class citizens in the U.S. Constitution.

But wait, it gets better.Rice's "closest female friend" is a woman named Randy Bean (pictured here), who is unmarried and whose sexual orientation is not stated. She is described as a "liberal progressive;" she's a documentary filmmaker who works at Standford University and once worked for Bill Moyers. She and Rice and Blacker (again, who has a partner) are discussed as a "second family," a term Bean uses, also saying that, "on friends, [Rice] goes narrow and deep."

According to newly revealed information in the book (which Kessler found through real estate records), the two women, Rice and Bean (yes, hilarious), own a home together and have a line of credit together. Bean explains this to Kessler by saying that she had some medical bills that drained her financially years ago, and Rice and Blacker helped her out by buying the house with Bean. But over time Blacker sold his share of the house to Rice and Bean, and then Rice would later get the line of credit with Bean to do some renovations on the home. Kessler, when pressed, said he did not know if this meant there was something more to the relationship between the women beyond a friendship.

Michelangelo Signorile

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

There's One Born Every Minute

Disgraced memoirist James Frey is back with a new novel and judging by some of the comments on a UK Times article his gullible fans are waiting to lap it up:



I loved both of James Frey's books and don't really understand why people are treating him the way they are. I watched the show where Oprah went after him. The books are incredibly touching and would assist anyone who is surviving addiction or knows someone close to them who is surviving addiction. I do understand there are some fabrications but, that is what sells. You have to keep the reader interested. Every movie out there is "based on a true story" and yet people don't seem to wonder how much is based on that story. James Frey has really taken a beating and he has stood up, been honest, and taken much mroe than he deserved. I certainly would support James Frey in his next novel. He has a beautiful style of writing and is one of my favourite authors

Kathleen Parker, London, Ontario

I decided to read the book " A milion little pieces" after everything had already happened with Oprah. The book itself changed my life!!! With each turn of the page, it was no longer a book ,but a journey in which I walked beside James. I felt his emotions as if they were coursing through my body, I felt his pain as if I was searching for my next drink. It is the most beautiful and raw story. I cried, laughed, became angry and desperate. Keep in mind, I knew from the beginning what everyone was saying about his fabrications, and how upset they were. I, for, one believe we should be thanking him for giving us the honor of reading such a life altering book. It was for me and those I have shared it with. I walk with you James Frey... through a million little pieces, and I walked with you while meeting your friend Leonard. Thankyou for giving me that honor.

Diane Gehrling,
worth , US, IL

The unsung hero of L'affaire Frey and the first person to catch on to Frey’s scam was John Dolan writing for an expatriate journal published by some Americans in Moscow appropriately called The Exile. Dolan wrote hilarious reviews of Frey’s books and was very familiar with the reactions of Frey’s moronic fans. He was on the case long before The Smoking Gun picked up the ball and ran with it. Dolan’s summation on Frey and his fans can be read here.

Chris Crocker May Get Reality Show

YouTube sensation inks deal with 44 Blue

The "Leave Britney Alone" guy could be getting his own TV show.

Reality shingle 44 Blue Prods. has inked a development deal with Chris Crocker, the Internet superstar whose tear-filled defense of Britney Spears has generated nearly 8 million hits on YouTube in just one week.

Plan is to develop a docusoap built around Crocker, a 19-year-old who lives with his grandparents in Tennessee. Even before the Britney clip, Crocker had developed a large Net audience via numerous video performances posted on MySpace.com.

"Chris first got on our radar a year ago," said 44 Blue prexy/co-founder Rasha Drachkovitch, who said he wants to develop a show that plays to Crocker's strengths.

"It's going to pretty much be the 'Chris Crocker experience,'" he said. "We consider him a rebel character that people will find interesting. He's going to be a TV star."

Since posting "Leave Britney Alone," Crocker has become a darling of the mainstream media, appearing on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" and inspiring countless spoofs, including one from actor Seth Green ("Robot Chicken").

Variety.com - 'Britney' guy may get TV gig

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Backpedaling Kos Style











Hmm... Somebody got some ''splaining to do. Kos diarist bobbyd100 apparently had second thoughts on the Andrew Meyer tasering incident at Flordia State University. He removed his original post defending the cops (in support of Kerry, he said). The Google Cache preserves the evidence.

There's lots of hand wringing going on over on Kos about this incident. 'Reasonable conservative' Jon Swift has a droll take on the issue.

Cops Taser Student For Being A Jerk

Sparks flew during a townhall meeting that Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., held yesterday at the University of Florida. Journalism student Andrew Meyer interrupted the speech, prompting police to drag him away from the microphone and shoot him with a Taser gun.

"He apparently asked several questions — he went on for quite awhile — then he was asked to stop," university spokesman Steve Orlando tells the Associated Press. "He had used his allotted time. His microphone was cut off, then he became upset."

There's a video on YouTube, too. The best quality footage is from The Gainesville Sun.

AP says Meyer was charged with resisting arrest and disturbing the peace. He is being held at the local jail.

Update at 9:55 a.m. ET: Thanks to bopdieuropa85 for pointing out in the comments section that the event was in the afternoon, not the evening.

The Independent Florida Alligator identifies Meyer as a senior who is majoring in telecommunication and says he used to work as one of the student newspaper's columnists. (A selection of his writings for the paper. Some more material.)

Here's an excerpt from the paper's editorial about the incident: "UPD's actions are inexcusable and out of line. It owes an apology not just to Andrew Meyer, but also to all of UF. We must be able to trust those who are supposed to protect us. We should not have to fear them."

Meyer's fellow students have created a Facebook group devoted to this incident. It's called "John Kerry conference at UF! A fiasco!!! Needs to be known!" They plan to stage a protest later today.:

Update at 12:06 p.m. ET:

John Kerry's office just sent us this statement from the senator:

In 37 years of public appearances, through wars, protests and highly emotional events, I have never had a dialogue end this way. I believe I could have handled the situation without interruption, but again I do not know what warnings or other exchanges transpired between the young man and the police prior to his barging to the front of the line and their intervention. I asked the police to allow me to answer the question and was in the process of answering him when he was taken into custody. I was not aware that a taser was used until after I left the building. I hope that neither the student nor any of the police were injured. I regret enormously that a good healthy discussion was interrupted.

Cops Taser student who questioned John Kerry- USATODAY.com

-Nick Antosca, Huffington Post:

Kerry Should Be Ashamed, and the Cop Who Tased Andrew Meyer Should Be Jailed

One sickening thing about this whole disgraceful incident is how some liberal bloggers are applauding this disgusting bit of police brutality:


UF Student (justifiably) Tasered


Members of Accent, Student Government’s speakers bureau, cut off the microphone because Meyer used profanity, said Steven Blank, Accent chairman. Accent sponsored the forum, which was held at the University Auditorium.
So the ruckus started when the student government cut the mike! (I don't recall any 'profanity' on the many tapes of the incident.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Times Select Is Dead

The New York Times will stop charging for access to parts of its Web site, effective at midnight Tuesday night, reflecting a growing view in the industry that subscription fees cannot outweigh the potential ad revenue from increased traffic on a free site.

In addition to opening the entire site to all readers, The Times will also make available its archives from 1987 to the present without charge, as well as those from 1851 to 1922, which are in the public domain.

Times to End Charges on Web Site - New York Times

You Tube Wars

Kent Hovind is an evil creationist liar who is currently cooling his backside in prison [in Edgefield, S.C.] convicted for evading $840,000 in taxes. That’s the good news. It’s downhill from there.

His group, Creation Science Evangelism, has been on a pogrom — a jihad, if you will — taking down YouTube videos that reveal Hovind for what he is: an evil creationist liar. This group has been sending YouTube notices of copyright infringement, claiming that the anti-Hovind videos are using copyrighted material from Hovind himself.

There’s only one small problem: Hovind has said in the past that his videos are not copyrighted! * So why would he then turn around and say they are copyrighted? Why, to illegally silence his critics, of course!

Did I mention he’s an evil creationist liar?

CSE has sent YouTube many of these notices, and YouTube has been responding by suspending the accounts of the users. I don’t blame YouTube for this; they have to take down the videos until they can determine what’s what. It’s Hovind’s group that’s the real decaying rot of society here. JanieBelle has details of the first shot across the bow by Hovind’s noisome cult, when RabidApe was suspended from YouTube. And now she has the goods on their suspension of the Rational Response Squad (NSFW language on both links; in fact, in most of the links in this post). The RRS says this is a felony, since

Hovind’s group is making multiple false copyright claims. A creationist like Hovind breaking the law? Heaven forbid! Oh wait. He’s already in prison for a felony. Silly me.

It’s not so much the felonious actions that tick me off (though the upside is that they are actionable) as it is the wanton and horrifying misuse of the law to silence critics. They must know what they are doing is wrong and illegal. As I’ve said before, I guess, for creationists, the Ninth Commandment is optional.

Bad Astronomy Blog » Kent Hovind: creationist liar and evil, evil, evil

Stupid Dino Tricks: A Visit to Kent Hovind’s Dinosaur Adventure Land

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Pink Shirts Legend Grows

The story of two Nova Scotia boys who got more than 400 schoolmates to wear pink to support a bullied younger student has swept across North America and made its way to Europe.

Travis Price and David Shepherd, Grade 12 boys who organized a drive to back a new Grade 9 student who was harassed for wearing a pink shirt on the first day of school last week, have been deluged with e-mails and interview requests from near and far.

Their story was first published Thursday, and now the tale has reached well beyond the confines of their school, Central Kings Rural High.

CBS in New York came calling Friday, and the largest daily newspaper in Spain is picking up the story."I’ve talked more in the past couple of days than I have in my whole life," Travis said.

Nova Scotia-ChronicleHerald.Ca

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Keith Olbermann Archive

Video archive of every Countdown show (even on the nights Keith has off which seems a bit obsessive) broken down into segments for your viewing pleasure. There is no excuse to miss Keith now!

Olbermann.org: An Unofficial Keith Olbermann Archive and Fan Site

Escape from Real Bitch Island


Nineteen and gay, too effeminate to hide, and persecuted by haters in his small town, Chris Crocker turned to the web to vent. Now he's a huge YouTube celebrity. Is the internet Chris Crocker's ticket out?

The Stranger, Seattle's Only Newspaper

The Stranger article was published last May. Chris's "Leave Britney Alone" video posted above, which played all over cable TV this week, may be his breakthrough. He was on the Jimmy Kimmel Show last night and more notoriety is likely to follow.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Message From James Brown

MP3: Message From James Brown

This is a rarity: an unreleased promotional single that was probably distributed to radio stations only. There is no discographical info whatsoever (there isn't even a label on the record), but it must date from around 1967, which would be the time of national race riots that it is obviously intended to try and quell. JB had done a famous concert at Boston Garden during a severe time of unrest in '67 to 'keep people off the streets', and this little record will give you some idea of what was going through the Godfather's mind at that time, expressed in his own totally unique way! Not much more you can say about it; it speaks volumes for itself.

WFMU's Beware of the Blog: 365 Days #256 - Message From James Brown (mp3s)

Pam's House Blend

Many thanks to Mike Signorile and producer David Guggenheim for access to the audio of my segment yesterday on Mike's satellite radio show on SIRIUS OutQ 109. We tried in 20 minutes to untangle the latest GOP gay scandal involving Republican Congressman Patrick McHenry (R-NC10) and a cast of characters involved in a bizarre Florida murder-suicide. It's a murky, pretty depraved mess that is crying for mainstream media to pick up. Have fun listening.

Audio: MP3

Pam's House Blend:: Audio from the Signorile show on Patrick McHenry and the latest sordid GOP gay scandal

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

How not to miss the Spector verdict...

Opening arguments for the Phil Spector murder trial began in Los Angeles on April 25. KTLA, a local television station, is streaming live video of the trial on its Web site. You can also access KTLA's streaming video on the Los Angeles Times' dedicated Web page for the trial, which includes its own real-time trial blog. Court TV also provides live Web coverage, now free of charge (earlier in the trial there was a $5.95 fee), as is its Spector blog. Also now free of charge is Court TV's invaluable video archive of key trial testimony. Click here for trial clips through June 28, and here for trial clips from July 9 to the present. For key documents in the case, click here. For a list of prospective witnesses, click here. For a video archive of KTLA news reports about the case, click here. For a Chatterbox primer on the case, click here.

How not to miss the Spector verdict. - By Timothy Noah - Slate Magazine

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Beijing People’s Television?

This link below is a TV stream from China that I can find no information about on the web. The station plays mostly English language movies with Chinese subtitles with no commercial breaks. There's Chinese stuff between the movies. No program guide that I can find so you have to take pot luck. I've seen Independence Day (1996) and Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004) playing recently.

bjiptv

The O’Reilly Fracture

Keith Olbermann’s Countdown has reached a milestone that many thought was out of reach. After getting a boost from an airing during the pre-season football broadcast on NBC a couple of weeks ago, Countdown has burst into a real competition with its nemesis, The O’Reilly Factor.

The highpoint of the week for Olbermann was Friday when he bested O’Reilly in the 25-54 demo by 39,000 viewers. But the trend has been heading this way for a while. On Thursday, O’Reilly took the hour, but Olbermann had won the first half (Countdown: 408K - Factor: 373K). An average of all airings for the shows for the week gave O’Reilly a lead of just 11.7K demo viewers. A year ago O’Reilly was clobbering Olbermann by 279K. Are the walls closing in around you Billy?

The first full week after Olbermann’s NBC appearance, Countdown spiked 17% over its 2nd quarter 2007 average. This week that bump is 37%, so there is no evidence that this train is losing speed. The Factor, on the other hand, is still under-performing its 2nd quarter average by 16%. O’Reilly is quickly becoming the Little Train That Couldn’t.

A key point in this victory is that, while last week’s success was achieved with O’Reilly on vacation, this week Bill was on duty and he still got his loofah handed to him. Also, for the record, Olbermann appeared during halftime on the Saints-Colts game Thursday which might have given him an extra push on Friday. And the week was shortened by the Labor Day holiday (Countdown did not air on Monday but O’Reilly did. The Factor pulled in just 329K which was its 2nd worst number for the week).

News Corpse Blog » The O’Reilly Fracture: Countdown To Victory Edition

Monday, September 10, 2007

Pianists, Lies, And Audio Tape...

The Joyce Hatto story is about more than pianists, lies, and audio tape. At its heart is failed ambition and deeply sweet revenge...

"There was a transparent poignancy to the con: Hatto had possessed genuine talent but there had been no brilliant career. The con had a genius and the revenge a sweetness, the false persona providing a balm for her failed ambition. It was also a love story, one that would have been right at home on Sunset Boulevard."

Fantasia for Piano: The New Yorker audio

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Daddy Dearest

This is off an album my dad made in the 1960's called, "Chips of Wisdom" (my dad was a pretty famous ventriloquist back in the day). Ostensibly, this was an album for kids, but it was so disturbing we couldn't listen to it when we were little.

I don't know if it was the horrible subject matter, my dad's acting or the album cover, but this thing gave us the willies. We had nightmares about it.

The premise is that my dad takes his little puppet out into the woods to have some father/son chats with him. So already, the creep factor is at a 10. He proceeds to teach him all about character and wisdom, which is admirable I suppose, but he does it by telling some of the most terrible stories you've ever heard.

File this away under terrible things we used to do to our children, before we knew better. And then take just a brief moment to reflect on what my childhood must have been like.

April Winchell

WFMU's Beware of the Blog: 365 Days #252 - Paul Winchell and Jerry Mahoney - Chips Of Wisdom (mp3s)

(If you suspect that Winchell might have some issues with her father, you are correct.)

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Wishin', and hopin', and thinkin', and prayin'...

Despite the hopes of many democratic progressives, the gay GOP murder-suicide case in Orlando will not lead to the outing or political ruin of any possible republican closet cases like Patrick McHenry in North Carolina or Ralph Reed in Georgia in my always humble opinion.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The Alleged Death Of Classical Music

Justin Davidson bids farewell to his job at Newsday with a ringingly hopeful overview of the state of classical music. A generous shout-out notwithstanding, I agree with most every word. I especially like this thought: "I've never been sure why the appetite for apocalyptic stories about classical music seems to be unquenchable. Maybe it's that in populist America, we take pleasure in the thought that democratic culture can expunge an ancient tradition associated with the aristocratic." Hence the American media's love for the death-of fable. These days, ironically, mega-rich pop stars are more aristocratic in their values and habits than anyone involved in classical music.

(via Alex Ross)