Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Who Knew...

... Saudi Arabia is a gay paradise? Apparently the street harassment in Riyadh is off the hook, especially if you're a pretty little Filipino. (Party for the Rights)

... John Roberts is rumored to be gay? Repressing one's true self can have dire consequences indeed. (Underneath Their Robes; Forbes)

... 11 1/2 years in TV could have the same effect on your brain as a lobotomy? (Josh&Josh)

.... a white girl could do the soca wine and piss off all of Jamaica? (Jamaica Observer)

... there's a dance called the soca wine?

Monday, July 30, 2007

You've Been Warned

Don't let your brain go to mush just because it's the middle of summer. While you're slathering sunscreen in the Pines or the Hamptons, groups across the country are taking it upon themselves to right the "wrongs" of our country's current immigration system.

First it was the Minutemen, now it's the Patriots' Border Alliance aka thinly-veiled hate groups. I'd like to dismiss these blowhards and go about my day, but that's what the German public did back in the 30s and we know how that ended.

The "Patriots" are calling for anyone with an ax to grind against the world to take their frustration out on our nation's borders. Pissed off because your Ford plant closed or because you're too good to clean toilets at a K-Mart? Get your gun and hunt for "illegals" down at the "Arizona Border Muster," a two-day affair where you can man your own Minuteman post.

Creepy, fringe activity is one thing, but these folks don't want secure borders, they want power. White power. And guns ablazing their going to seize it. Mike Forest is the president of an Oregon-based "Patriot" group and he wants to run for senator in 2010, Presidential candidate Duncan Hunter is another immigration zealot -- behind the rallies, behind the calls for "justice" is a lynch mob mentality that is going to use government to turn violent and throw us into modern day Jim Crow leadership.

Don't say you weren't warned.

Monday, July 23, 2007

A Gay Is Born (Again)

I'm usually too hungry or too absorbed in my fabulous life to let very many things affect me. But tonight at 9:45 pm I was shaken to my core and I am still a weepy, shaky mess.

When Miss Patti Lupone mopped the floor and shook the rafters of the City Center with her rendition of Rose's Turn, the final number of Gypsy, all the anger, hope and sillyness that I keep bottled up inside just came pouring out. I think we're supposed to laugh with Mama Rose at this point in the story, but Miss Lupone's voice took me there. And I am strung out on her voice and her panting and her drag-me-off-the-stage-kicking-and-screaming pizzaz.

Because I'm not a theater queen. Because people singing and panting and screaming right in front of me makes me uncomfortable. Because I don't let myself go that way in public. Because this is the best show I've ever seen on the stage.

And eff what the New York Times had to say about the show. Their hateration is "unenthralling" though predictable.

If you're in town through the 29th treat yourself to history and buy tickets now.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

China Should Not Be Making Airplanes

Following any catastrophe that claims human lives there are woulda-coulda-never-again discussions that, if we're lucky, effect immediate change. Here's hoping...

In the wake of the TAM airline disaster in Brazil today I thought to calm myself by looking up evidence that reminds me that, yes, one is safer in the air than in the ground.
A few Google searches later, though, I'm not so sure believe that anymore...especially because I just learned that Airbus and Boeing will be parceling a big chunk of their manufacturing to China.

The same people who nearly wiped out our cat population a few months ago because they deal in bribery and shoddy craftsmanship are now putting together jumbo jets! No thank you.
On the flip side, what good is a well made plane if it doesn't have an equally good runway to land on or a sharp control tower to take instruction from? Here in the U.S. our airports are fraught with issues: antiquated runways and overworked control towers to name a few.

When it comes to air travel, both the private and public sector are blatantly thumbing their noses at the safety of passengers. Ladies and gentlemen you're all sitting ducks.

Now fasten your seatbelts.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Victims, Palestine: Show Me The Money

Sometimes it's good to throw money at problems. Like the Bush administration pledging support for Mahmoud Abbas' government in Palestine - the message is simple: stop engaging in terror, we'll feed your people. What's even better, we're not going at it alone this time either. Instead of plowing through the Middle East with a sense of entitlement, we're reaching out to other moderate nations in the region -- Jordan, Egypt -- and are inviting them to sit at the table to, for the one billionth time, discuss the mess that is the Israeli-Palestinian situation. And for the bargain price of $190 million, it's worth it to this tax payer just to stop hearing about another series of bombings on both sides of the Gaza strip. It's a commendable step in the right direction and I won't even grit my teeth while giving President Bush his due kudos.

There are times, however, when throwing money at a situation just makes matters worse. Case in point, the record $660 million settlement awarded to the plaintiffs in a case against the Archiodcese of Los Angeles for the alleged cover up of child molestation. Does anyone think this is the last we're going to hear of blood-thirsty pedophile priests? Psssh! As we've seen over the years, claiming molestation has become quite lucrative. Which begs the question, what's the cost of a child's innocence? I mean, that's really the issue here, that children were violated by authority figures they were taught to trust. Fine. These priests belong in jail and the families belong in therapy -- not at Club Med doing aquarobics and sipping Mai Tais.

I'm very put off the by money lust going on in these cases against the Church. I'm not a Catholic nor was I raised one, but as an impartial observer, it just looks like anybody can cry rape these days and collect a pay check. It's kind of hard to take pity on someone who can ascribe a dollar amount to their suffering.

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Beckham Test of Decency

The image on the left is just one of many scintillating photos of David Beckham that grace the August issue of W magazine. Oh, and his Asian-tranny-looking-wife Victoria is in the shots, too.

As you can see, David Beckham is perfection brought to life. The tatoos, the muscles, the so-straight-I-can-do-gay-porn look. Divine. And it get's better -- he's got a skill too. Seeing as America is clamping down on immigration, David and his wife either won some sort of visa lottery or they made an impassioned case to the US Embassy about how they'd boost our country's status in the world community by moving to Hollywood. Bex could go anywhere -- Dubai? -- but he chose our land to plant that Union Jack. Hallelujah.

This is all beside the point of this post, though. See, even in barely there white skivvies, David Beckham doesn't look louche, derranged, or cracked-out. That's fashion: tasteful sexuality that leaves us wanting more. Unlike the new ads from Sisley on the right.

Hardly anyone remembers United Colours of Benetton, Sisley's parent company, but the folks there are trying like the dickens to remain relevant. Clearly, when you want to matter, you do coke. Right, Linds? Right.

But most of us are fed up with coke. We see what it did to Lindsay and the hopes of Parent Trap 3 being made. And we don't think it's funny. So yes, Sisley got my attention with two cracked-out models snorting a white dress because they're fashion junkies. I, however, see junkies strewn about 7th avenue in chelsea and they look a lot like these chicks. Not sexy, not fashionable.

Both photos test our sensibilities, but when is too much too much? If it involves David Beckham, it's best to quote the Spice Girls : "too much of something is just as tough." When it involves drugs and advertising, "stop right now, thank you very much."

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Live Earth and other Noble Pursuits

I love a good show. And I happen to love Madonna. And I also love Al Gore. But something about this Live Earth global fiasco seems like more of a marketer's wet dream than a vehicle to stimulate responsible treatment of the earth's resources.

What's not sitting well with me is the spectacle of conscientiousness that is behind run of the mill self aggrandizing of Hollywood's glitterati. I have a hard time believing that Kanye West, the biggest megalomaniac in music, cares about global warming, or anything besides his ice and porn. And I doubt little else will be on the minds of the scantily-clad throngs in Rio either.

I appreciate Al's effort, and I don't doubt that the world is in for a great show -- but the emptiness behind this gesture is disappointing. I mean, even the venues selected for the shows are wack -- Having a concert for the environment in China is the most ass-backwards move ever -- the last time I checked China was killing its people with smog and the systematic bulldozing of its forests.

And the reason why the earth is being pummeled is the same reason why there are people dying of hunger in Africa -- because the world doesn't care. And just like Live 8 didn't get us to care about Africa neither will Live Earth get us to buy Priuses, or, in my case, Kanye's next album.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Sicko Politics

Life, liberty, health and great clothes -- isn't that everyone's inalienable right under the Constitution?

I just got back from watching Sicko, Michael Moore's latest attempt to shock audiences into mass hysteria and a Marxist revolution....and I'm sold! (If only because I look pretty good in camouflage).

We all know that healthcare in America sucks. I should hope it's not anti-American to say so -- the fact is we spend more money on WMD's (fighter planes don't drop daisies, you know) than on taking care of the sick. And behind this gross prioritization of funds is a (sadly) uniquely American ideal: I'll take care of myself, eff the rest of you. We simply do not see healthcare and education as a basic human right.

And that's the point Moore's film makes.

I know, I know, Moore is a fat liberal who hates America more than Osama himself. But take him out of the equation -- the fact is that America is the only industrialized nation in the world that doesn't offer universal health care. We're the richest nation in the world yet we can't manage to provide decent medical care for all of our citizens.

That's not a partisan statement, it's the truth. And it's beyond infuriating.

Another truth is that the price of denim should outrage people just as much as our abysmal healthcare system. Death and taxes are unavoidable, as is my dismay that every pair of perfectly faded and abused jeans I see bears a price tag of $250 or more.

Well I've certainly had enough (thank God it's summer and I can wear speedos everywhere) and so has one Sarah Jessica Parker. Her new line of women's clothes, Bitten, offers all the basics for a cute wardrobe -- from shoes to coats to panties -- for under $20.

But just like Hillary Clinton faced a ton of hate when she tried to bring healthcare to the masses, so too has SJP been hated on for bringing fashion to the people.

I often entertained the thought that it would be a wonderful world if everything were free. I'd toil at my PR job while the janitor toiled at his, but we could all rock denim and diamonds if we so chose.

But we're feudal creatures -- our titles define us, we all need to rank in order to matter don't we? Everyone in his place... what's the point of going to the best doctor if you're maid can see him too? What's the point of wearing a Tom Ford tuxedo if the H&M version looks the same? (that was more of a plea from me to Tom to introduce a men's line at Hennes).

Health and fashion shouldn't be political issues. To those who poo-poo on universal healthcare and fashion at great prices, I offer the following words from SJP: "tell me what troubles you about women in this country having affordable, well-made clothes [and free healthcare]. Let’s talk about it."

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Libby: He's No Criminal, Just Well-Connected

The language of partisanship is based on timing and convenience. When a Democrat refuses to divulge information on their personal life it's called "perjury," but when a Republican leaks information that compromises the safety of a CIA agent, it's called "OK."

The President of the U.S. gets a blowjob during peace time and in the middle of a spectacular economic upswing and our Senators think he should be impeached. Fast forward 10 years later and the Vice President's Chief of Staff leaks the name of a CIA agent, in the middle of "The War on Terror," and he gets NO jail time. WTF?! I hate to say it, but I'm starting to feel bad for Paris Hilton!

Why? Because Bill and Paris were railroaded for being trampy -- no one cares that Paris is a drunk driver, they care that she showed her cooch off in a sex tape and made millions of dollars off of it. People were WAITING to put a modern day Hester Prynn behind bars. And poor President Clinton? He "lied" about having had sex with an intern -- because that's who's business? Right.

Meanwhile the war on terror rages on, we haven't found Osama, soldiers are dying every day, and then the very people who started this war in the first place are putting their own countrymen in danger --- and no one says BOO.

And we're not supposed to laugh at this and scream foul? If only Osama would make a sex tape as opposed to those annoying, fuzzy videos -- the Republicans would have found him by now and would have sent him to Jesus Camp.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

A Mighty Embarassment

I said I wouldn't do it but I did it. James and I just got back from seeing A Mighty Heart and hands down, it's a gripping, intelligent film. Angelina Jolie's performance captures the reason why the book behind this movie was made in the first place: to continue to draw the world's attention to the misery beneath the phenomenon we know as jihad. Jolie's performance -- so in line with her roster of work as an alpha-femme both on screen and off -- empowers the audience to ask questions, to demand accountability and change from the forces that propogate the cycle of war and poverty instead of sulking home a weeping mess. Yes, we all know how Daniel Pearl's story ends but there's a bigger, yet unresolved story still unfolding. This film places the onus on all of us to seek out its end -- a mighty challenge for sure.

Ann Hornaday at the Washington Post captures my reservations about the movie: "Welcome to the new Cinema of Compulsive Reenactment, wherein excruciatingly painful recent events are rushed to the screen with breathless, almost fetishistic detail, and whose precise aims are subject to interpretation. Is this instant mythologizing a form of catharsis? Closure? Rank exploitation? Or a particularly American, impatient brand of revisionism, designed to create an immediately usable past?"

Note: I never took issue with the making of the movie or the writing of a book. I just cringed at the juxtaposition of such a weighty story alongside the glitz of the Cannes Film Festival. I also meant to sound judgemental, even mean. I still don't understand how life goes on, with such lucre, after the horrific death of a loved one. But so it does. How a bunch of people decked out in couture in the south of France can allow themselves to be impacted by the film is beyond me, but I'm glad I go to see it for myself. In Brooklyn. Far from Karachi.