Monday, December 29, 2008

Growing, Growing...Not


If it's the last Monday of 2008 and your employer is squeezing the last bit of productivity from you in the middle of the holidays, consider yourself lucky. We all know what the alternatives are and they ain't pretty.

The effects of our crumbling economy will yield long lasting effects, one of which, I think, is a generation of backward-looking adults who will have one foot sorta planted in the future and the other rooted in childhood just for safety's sake.

For those of us in our late twenties, the recent global financial crisis is reminiscent of those post-9-11 days when jobs were hard to find and the ubris of graduating from college was blunted by the realization that it was back to mom and dad's house after four years of dorm life. At age 22, 23 or 24, however, one could afford optimism, roll over on the couch or in your childhood bed, and say "a job will happen."

But what happens at 27, 28 or 29, when you're a few years into your career, esconsed in a nicer apartment and a lifestyle that consists of wine tastings and fondue nights instead of boozey sloshes through the East Village and your job is suddenly, as the British say, "deemed redundant?" And now you have a pink slip to go with your Barney's sale items? And you just had dinner at your parents' house and prayed all the way home "please, God, don't send me back there."

What happens when, in the middle of having grown up, you're forced to swallow your pride and phone home...because you're about to lose it all?

The phenomenon of delayed adulthood, where responsibility is clicked off in favor of mom's cooking and a Wii, has been studied to death and culled down to a formula that I think goes something like this:

Lazy kids + overbearing parents + wobbly economy = "twixters" (defined by Time magazine in 2005 as "full-grown men and women who still live with their parents, who dress and talk and party as they did in their teens, hopping from job to job and date to date, having fun but seemingly going nowhere.")

Today, the "wobbly economy" component of that equation can't be emphasized enough.
For those of us who have tasted that bit of financial and domestic freedom - even while paying off school loans - a return home, or even the slightest downgrade in expectations (e.g. well, I guess I won't be a TV star but at least I have dental insurance), is especially painful because it seems like only yesterday that you were slamming your locker door, mumbling "I'll show them."

Show them (your parents?) what, exactly? How to turn your old room into a home office?

Friday, December 26, 2008

Recession or Not


You say recession, I say drug dealers and prostitutes will still fork over wads of hundreds for luxury brands. Call me all sorts of politically incorrect, but a stroll through the new Gucci store on Fifth Avenue placed James and me smack in front of, not merry post-holiday shoppers, but rough, uneducated, let's just say it - ghetto - ruffians dragging an aspirational brand through the mud. Scusi, but does Gucci mean Walmart in italiano? The crowds, the loud mothers asking smelly five year olds if they like the $500 sneakers they were trying on were just too much. Such a shame that so much money and effort went into creating a glorified Chuck-E-Cheese playpen.

So where can one go in New York for a taste of the good life, without the plebes and criminals? Where can someone celebrate the end of the year with supple leather, champagne, and the scent of Aqua di Parma candles? I'll tell you where: my home, where I come to relax and blog after a productive round of bargain hunting at my fave shops: Club Monaco, H&M and Zara (ok, Daffy's and Armani Exchange factor in this list as well but please don't tell anyone). The rest of the world can have upper Fifth Avenue, I'll keep the Flatiron district where the crowds are few, the air is cleaner and there are less Escalades to watch out for.

Photo: Boxing Polar Bears at Bergorf Goodman's men's shop.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Obama and some Ex-Gay Hot Mess


Shout out to reader Lionel for reminding me about Barack and his wishy-washy gay platform: Homeboy President-elect had ex-gay hot mess Donnie McClurkin headlining a gospel tour during the campaign. How could I forget this??

Lionel's comment below, with a link to McClurkin's bio and quotes on his broken-now-mended masculinity. Thanks, L!

"The abnormal use of my sexuality continued until I came to realize that I was broken and that homosexuality was not God's intention... for my masculinity."
Donnie McClurkin. Remember him? Obama took him along on the campaign trail. Why is anyone surprised by Rick Warren. Barack Obama was always a choice between two evils."
***

Look, with the economy being what it is - and P.S. we're still in Iraq and Afghanistan - I wasn't expecting for Barack to make gay rights the focus of his first 100 days in office. I was just hoping that it wouldn't be an issue at all. Instead, this man who has access to the most brilliant minds in this country chooses backward minded folks who trade in hate and fear-mongering.

I don't want to talk about Obama and his coterie of homophobes anymore. The man is a politician and he's got four more years to show us that, tee-hee, he's of the same ilk as his predecessor. I will, however, continue to remind all of those hyper-liberal, gay Obama-freaks who have skulked away from this particular issue, that the avowed savior of thought and reason in politics is a sham who is no friend of the gays.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Unhuman for '09


While I've been on a tear about gay marriage, I've failed to keep it real on immigration, an issue that matters a lot to me. In the last few weeks there has been a wave of attacks on Latino immigrants in working class enclaves in the New York - is this an unfortunate turn of events or the harbinger of things to come as the economy continues to knee Americans where it hurts?

With all our vulnerabilities exposed in one of the shakiest times in the American experience - whether you're a Palm Beach doyenne or a Bushwick maintenance worker - one would be stupid to think that civility will reign supreme in the New Year. That's why I worry about how the dire predictions for our economy will impact those with the least recourse for defense in the U.S. Soon it will come to pass that college-educated aspiring professionals will compete with undocumented workers for all sorts of menial work that many of us didn't even know existed - just wait for the shoot outs at the bread lines.

Racial tension is an unfortunate part of America's history, and it's not going away because our new President is Black. And I don't think the attacks on these Latino immigrants are just a sad coincidence either. In fact, they're just the beginning of what I always knew would be the outcome of the thinly veiled xenophobia of the "immigration debate" led by the conservative right - an unprecedented economic slowdown being the spark that sets this problem ablaze.

Along with our plummeting dollar comes the threat of us losing our humanity in times of crisis. These "isolated" incidents speak to that and I fear more of these in the months ahead.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Forced to Vote for Obama, I Now Want an Apology..

...from the oh-so-informed gays that looked at me as if I had confessed to pricking people with a syringe loaded with HIV after expressing my reservations about Obama's qualifications for President. Remember the uncomfortable exchanges we've had at dinners and cocktails parties, where I was derided for being everything from a racist to a self-hating gay for "not seeing the light"?

Hmmm....

What say you now, oh enlightened New York liberals, that Obama is giving a prime spot at the Inauguration to Rick Warren, the Evangelical pastor who famously presided over the Saddleback debates, and oh yeah, is a staunch supporter in Proposition 8? Doesn't that sound like something W would do?

Change you can believe in indeed - change your tactics the minute you're in power. Well played, Barry. Shifty, two-faced, you certainly are a product of Chicago's stellar political system. And I thought you were a softie...

So, stupid gays, are you folks still going to send Barack a postcard asking him to consider you in his administration? Or are you going to throw a shoe at him next time he starts talking out of the side of his mouth about equality and bla bla bla?

If gay is the new black, let's revisit the 1961 inauguration of John F. Kennedy whose invocation was given by Cardinal Richard Cushing, archbishop of Boston and member of the NAACP. How would history have judged the President had he chosen some southern segregationist religious figure to pray at his inauguration? The LA Times, which offers this bit of Presidential trivia in an opinion piece that basically says the Warren decision is no big deal, clearly fails to understand the significant blow Obama has dealt the gay community.

The President-elect offers this explanation for his choice:

“That dialogue, I think, is part of what my campaign's been all about: That we're not going to agree on every single issue. But what we have to do is to be able to create an atmosphere when we -- where we can disagree without being disagreeable and then focus on those things that we hold in common as Americans. That's the spirit in which, you know, we have put together what I think will be a terrific inauguration and that's, hopefully, going to be a spirit that carries over into my administration.”

How nice, except for the fact that my rights are not negotiable. And that's the issue with Barack's point of view - like W, like pretty much most of Middle America, Barack thinks gay rights are a nice to-do like, say, curbing your dog. But guess what, Barack, my tax dollars matter just as much as that of avowed Christians, and just like you and Michelle don't belong at the back of the bus neither do James and I.

And to those who are wont to ask "would McCain have done any better by the gays?" my answer is he never promised us anything during the campaign. Here's to a great four years.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Caroline, Fran, GCL?


One of the many disappointments that comes with growing up is realizing that oftentimes the positions of "power" you thought only a select, super-human few could occupy can really be done by any gum-cracking chimp: policeman, PR director, U.S. senator.

While Chicago boils over with serious corruption charges against its Governor, New York is going soft on political scandal, offering up a fight - for now - between Caroline Kennedy and Fran Drescher (she was working in a bridal shop in Flushing, Queens, when her boyfriend kicked her out in one of those crushing scenes...)for Senator Hillary Clinton's soon-to-be vacant seat. I think a Cuomo is also jockeying for the position as well.

Um, OK.

When asked by CNN's Larry King on Monday what makes her a qualified candidate for the senate, Ms. Drescher replied "Well Larry, I'm a survivah, I'm an appointed U.S. ambassadah and I've worked the aisles at the Senate."

I'm sorry, what?

I haven't even bothered to hear what Caroline Kennedy is talking about because I'm more interested in the conversation in Hillary's head, which I hope is going something like this: "I promised myself I wouldn't kill anyone in '09 but homegirl, you're making me go there. First you and your drunk driving uncle stab me in the back in the primaries and now you're trying to fill my shoes, making it seem like anyone can roll out of bed one day, grab some cash, and say they want to be a senator? That's not how I roll."

Can we just bring in someone qualified for the position? This is not a vanity post - a Senator actually has to do a lot of work, especially in these times of economic upset. The Senate appointment would only happen if Hillary is sworn in as Secretary of State, but assuming this goes over without a hitch (thanks to a Dem majority in DC now), there are some big shoes to fill in Albany.

So, who else wants to throw their hat in the ring?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

On Sean Penn and "Milk" : Once Again, I said it First


The Los Angeles Times and The Advocate aren't having any of Sean Penn's dictator-loving ways.

Um, you know who called this out first, right?

In an opinion piece in the latest issue of The Advocate, James Kirchick laments Sean Penn's hoisting on the shoulders of the gay community as some sort hero when his "political activism [in support of Hugo Chavez and Raul Castro], irrespective of his views on gay rights, negates the values for which a movement based upon individual freedom must stand."

To those members of my community who are boycotting theaters whose CEOs donated money to Yes on Prop 8 or restaurants whose owners donated to the same cause, why not direct your ire toward someone who is making millions off the legacy of a gay rights pioneer while paling around with dictators who hate gays AND who advocate the destruction of America?

"The most important film of our time" as some silly gays are calling "Milk," stars an unapologetic America hater who can't lavish enough praise on murderers - read his cover story for The Nation. How convenient that Penn is using his publicity tour for Milk to promote Hugo Chavez' bolivarian revolution.

I'd like to know how many Chelsea queens want to pack up and move to Caracas right now.

Someone PLEASE throw a shoe at Sean Penn and the mindless ilk who, in the name of gay rights, overlook the most obvious trespasses on common sense.

Monday, December 15, 2008

So Does the Secret Service Not Care about George Bush Anymore?



President George Bush was in the middle of a last-minute victory lap through Iraq when a local journalist flung his shoes at W in protest of the Commander-in-Chief's visit to the country.

Here's what I want to know: where the **** is the Secret Service? I love how the President is just standing there ducking shoes and not one hired goon thought to jump on W or whisk him out of the room.

Let's hope Obama's security detail has quicker reflexes.

Friday, December 12, 2008

New for the Recession: A Nicer You


With the economy spiraling down the toilet I'm noticing that some alpha gays are feigning an emotion that wouldn't otherwise register on their Destroy-Conquer range of functions: concern for others.

Over cocktails this week, some of us A-gays were discussing whom we'd banish from our work lives - those roadblocks to progress who suck the air out of the day with their useless feedback or their brazen politicking. The same conversation last year would have lavished much more attention on the details of how said individuals would be banished: perhaps after a public flogging or escorted out of the building in handcuffs. This year, however, our wish was as paired down as some of our companies' holiday parties: "I don't want that blankety-blank-blank to go hungry or lose their home, I just want them out of my life."

Said, of course, from the side of the mouth, with an eye roll and a sip of a martini.

Malice, the currency of upwardly mobile young gays, is plummeting faster than the dollar. In these times of duress, which are only expected to worsen, those of us who have amassed millions in the bank of our inflated egos are realizing that 1) we're human and as such are vulnerable to the whims of the Universe 2) now is not the time for Destroy-Conquer mode. In fact, we're on "lucky to be here, for now" mode 3) maybe our moms, and Jesus (?) were right: it's not a good idea to wish for other people what you wouldn't want for yourself.

With the preoccupation of being able to keep an overpriced Manhattan flat or that gym membership (and all it's privileges), who has the time to slap a bitch or play sabotage? And is it even worth tempting Karma by wishing for the downfall of others in this precarious state of world affairs?

Through the end of the month, then, expect rainbows and sunshine from an A-gay near you. It's not that his heart has been revived by the holiday spirit, it's not that he approves of you and your Express peacoat or your clunky Steve Madden shoes, it's just that he has bigger things to worry about.

In '09, however, expect "lucky to be here" mode to turn into "it's your job or my Gucci briefcase, bitch." Then all bets are off. But for now, under the mistletoe and the haze of gingerbread and peppermint, expect softness, light and somber reflection.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

When I Grow Up

Have I ever told you that when I was a kid I wanted to be a flight attendant? Nothing (short of being in Menudo) seemed more glamorous than commandeering a microphone to welcome passengers aboard an international flight and being able to serve coffee and wine without spilling a drop (I was a clumsy child and as such my Colombian mother thought the best way to correct my lack of grace was with a smack across the face when things slipped my "manos de lana" - wool hands).

Anyhoo, that passion for flight was replaced by a passion for media. Or an unfortunate series of events.

The point is, if James were to leave me and I should find myself tired of the PR game, I would so go work for Emirates, the Middle Eastern airline who treats its flight attendants like royalty. Though, seeing as the United Arab Emirates has some strict policies against les sodomites, how would any man who gleefully accepts the airline's mandatory manicure and facial policy fare in this part of the world? Details, details.

Check out this article from today's Wall Street Journal; highlights from the slideshow below.





Sunday, December 07, 2008

Bow Down or Bow Out: Meet the Alpha-Gays


Details magazine, that closeted little glossy, reports on a new breed of power, cash and ego-swinging male: the Alpha Gay.

"Make way for the A-gays. Moneyed, successful, educated, and comfortable in their own skin, they're fast becoming the new archetype of cosmopolitan masculinity. The urban man's man. They don't own yappy miniature dogs or time-shares in Fort Lauderdale; they own Labradors and four-bedroom summer homes in Sag Harbor."

So, who's an A-gay? Tom Ford. Who's not? Carson Kressley. And who's at the bottom of the pecking order of power-fags? The Corky St. Claire's of the world.



You know the type: A bleached-tipped-dandy with a fold-out soap box who, when not "advocating" for some gay issue (take your pic here: gay marriage, AIDS, whatever - it's really an excuse to talk to mostly disinterested people about his life, workout habits, issues with food and his circle of bottom-rung 'mos) is usually on the arm of some overweight chica who knows not what an A-gay really is and so puts the trainwreck, C-list gay, on a pedestal.

***

Were it not for the fact that I don't have Tom Ford money, I'd slap you with a leather glove and toss a martini in your face to remind you that I'm an Alpha-gay.
But - as a fellow young Alpha astutely observed - among twenty-something gays, trajectory matters more than personal finances. If a young gay is going places - making friends with the boss, cutting c-gays off at the pass with intellect and panache - he's on his way to Alpha status. Throw in a smart, successful boyfriend (check) and I might be throwing drinks in your face after all.

That's 'cuz A-gays don't do nice.

Friday, December 05, 2008

One to Watch: David Campos


Cool story out of San Francisco about the appointment of David Campos to the city's board of supervisors. Campos came to the U.S. as an undocumented immigrant from Guatemala at the age of 14 - without speaking any English - and now look at him.

To boot, he's openly gay.

The lesson here, mi gente: It doesn't matter (to me anyway)how you get here, it's what you do with your life once you make it Stateside that counts.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Real Housewives: Conspicuous Consumption That Even I Can't Stomach


No one loves flash more than me. A gold watch here, a faux hawk there, pointy shoes with mix-matched shirts and ties - I live my life in costume. There, I said it. But my look-at-me ways have limits, especially during a recession.

Which is why my jaw dropped in horror last night after catching a few minutes of the Real Housewives of Orange County on Bravo. While the world is falling apart these five whores are gallivanting in a haze of bleached-blonde, acrylic-tipped, botoxed entitlement. With their chests pumped out to there with silicone and dipped in spray tan and diamonds no less. Some of these women are moms, some of them have careers, the common denominator among them is their offensive commonness and tacky nouveau-riche ways - case in point: in one episode the "ladies" gather for a trunk show in someone's home where Roberto Cavalli (for Dress Barn?) leopard prints were tossed on with wild abandon while the harpies crowed "it's so sophisticated, it's so classy."

Readers take note: asymmetrical hemlines and zebra prints are not classy. Especially if you're a double digit girl squeezing into a size negative six wrap dress.

The fine line between Real Housewives and Hookers on the Point is indistinguishable to me as the working girls on both shows have the same taste in clothes and johns/husbands. You can see the perversion in the eyes of the women on both shows, all of them obsessed with money, all of them frantic like animals trying to survive in the wild - all of these hos know it's not a long fall to the gutter.

Now, I admit, I can sit through an episode of the show (barely) but such is the nature of Bravo TV's programming, which I'm usually a fan of - except for the food shows because, honestly, my taste in food is pretty base (anything fried with a margarita rocks-salt on the side for me)- it draws you in and keeps you clawing for more drama or vulgarity.

But this is one show the world can do without. Hell, these are five women humanity can do without. It's everything that's wrong with America, a reminder that most people in this country are only one zero or two on their paycheck away from trampling someone at a Walmart for a 5am 25-cent discount.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Mumbai: So Now It's Our Fault



If you ask New Age guru Deepak Chopra why terrorists went on a killing spree in Mumbai last week he won't point to existing tensions between India and Pakistan and the conflict over Kashmir, he won't point to the existence of fanatical Islam that blinds little girls in Afghanistan or hangs gays in Iran. No, the self-annointed "spiritual adviser" points the finger at Western policies, specifically the war on terror led by the U.S.

An opinion piece in yesterday's Wall Street Journal sheds light on the latest case of scapegoating America in the aftermath of a terrorist attack.

"What happened in Mumbai, he [Chopra] told the interviewer, was a product of the U.S. war on terrorism, that 'our policies, our foreign policies' had alienated the Muslim population, that we had "gone after the wrong people" and inflamed moderates. And 'that inflammation then gets organized and appears as this disaster in Bombay.'"

So now it's our fault that India's institutionalized poverty breeds terrorists; now it's our fault that India and Pakistan have been in a nuclear arms race and it's certainly our fault that Jews and Muslims have been at each other's throats for millenia.

What, then, Mr. Chopra, should the U.S., who still seems to be the go-to-guys when the world needs a'fixin', do to prevent these sorts of attacks both on our soil and abroad? Especially when the war on terror is futile and, in your words, "an oxymoron?"

Barack and Hillary have their work cut out for them.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What Would Harvey Milk Have Thought About Hugo Chavez?



I love Sean Penn the actor. And I would love nothing more than to see Milk, Gus Van Sant's new biopic about Harvey Milk, the first openly-gay elected official who was gunned down by a fellow politico in San Francisco in 1978.

But Sean Penn's support of Hugo Chavez disgusts me, and for that, I refuse to support his film.

Let's put aside the fact that Hugo Chavez's socialist revolution would leave Sean Penn and other limousine liberals like Kevin Spacey and Danny Glover and Naomi Campbell penniless, or the fact that Hugo Chavez has made it his life's mission to undermine democracy, or the fact that Hugo Chavez actively supports the FARC rebels in Colombia - you know, the terrorist, drug-smuggling group that still has 700 hostages and held a few Americans hostage for nearly six years - let's put all of this aside for a moment and focus on Chavez's alliance with Mahmud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran.

What would Harvey Milk have thought about a man who is BFF with a terrorist whose government persecutes and kills gays? What would Harvey Milk have thought about a man whose mentor is Fidel Castro, a dictator who sent gays to concentration camps?

When Hollywood celebs get on their soapbox to rally behind the leftist flavor of the month they need to make sure they have all of the facts about the world in which these figures live and operate. Hugo Chavez' Bolivarian revolution is complicit in the drug trade and in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians - it's that simple. Chavez is not the polar opposite of George Bush, he's the polar opposite of human decency and democracy - he shouldn't factor into the conservative/liberal debate.

For his irresponsible comments and anti-American values, not only should Sean Penn have his citizenship revoked, he deserves for his movie to tank.

Monday, November 24, 2008

I Said it First - Gays are the New Blacks



Well, I asked it. Nonetheless, it seems that yours truly is on the same wavelength as the folks at The Advocate, whose current issue explores the emergence of gays as that "other" group in our society whose rights are not God-given but rather the subject of popular debate.

Remember when I was ahead of the curve and called our fabulous President-elect but then Dem-candidate the Antichrist? Then five months later the McCain camp released an ad implying the same thing?

Forgive me the self-congratulatory post...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Who Knew the Gays Wanted to be on eHarmony?

Just when you thought Bravo TV and America's Next Top Model were endearing the gays to America, someone had to get stupid and file a lawsuit against eHarmony on the grounds that the site "discriminates" against gays and lesbians by not having a same-sex dating portal. Ever hear of Manhunt, Gay.com?

Doesn't eHarmony have the right to set up straight people with other straight people?

Now the gays are all over the place - we're going after churches who won't let us marry and dating sites that won't let us look for sex on the web. Remember, Proposition 8 is hateful legislation and it needs to be fought - so let's focus our rancor on legislative bigotry and not target the right to assembly. It'd be one thing if eHarmony was firing its gay employees solely on the basis of sexual orientation, but it's a private business and it has the right to decide who to offer its services to.

And speaking of Prop 8, the battleground is not in front of churches and war tactics should not include harassing worshippers - that only gives conservative Christians more ammunition for their "Godless, lawless gays" argument.

I'm surprised the Mormons haven't set up camp outside bars, restaurants and community centers in Chelsea or West Hollywood because that's exactly what we deserve to have happen to us.

Kudos to HRC for a smart, targeted program that aims to educate Americans on the real "gay agenda." Today's e-mail blast lays out their program to engage the public in areas that matter: at home, at church and in local government:



Thank God someone is thinking with their head.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Day Without Gays?


One more post from what is really a riveting training on online engagement - we're actually encouraged to be on Facebook during the session! Anyway, the gays are planning a strike and this poses a connundrum for GCL. I work for a way gay-friendly agency so I don't like the idea of depriving my employer of my brilliant ideas for a day - it's not like I work for the Mormon Chuch, after all. But it's all about community, right? So what to do? I'm going to run this past my fellow gays to see if it's worth it...James and I could use a day off but seriously, if a strike ensues, there needs to be some activity around it. A day off to watch Golden Girls is kind of disgusting when we're supposed to be fighting for our rights.

Event Info Host: David Craig
Type: Causes - Protest
Network: Global
Time and Place Start Time: Wednesday, December 10, 2008 at 12:00am
End Time: Thursday, December 11, 2008 at 12:00am
Location: Across the United States
Street: Main Street

DescriptionWe are calling for a nationwide strike and economic boycott by all members of our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered community AND OUR STRAIGHT ALLIES on December 10th, 2008, International Human Rights Day.

WHY SHOULD WE DO IT?

Because LGBT workers, business owners, consumers and taxpayers contribute over $700 billion to the U.S. economy each year and should not be treated as second class citizens. See www.witeckcombs.com/news/releases/20080602_buyingpower.pdf

Because general strikes and economic boycotts are a powerful weapon in the history of non-violent protests. See http://www.pbs.org/now/society/boycott.html. For many of those protesters, their actions came at a cost, but they understood that we must be willing to make sacrifices to fight for equal rights, including the right to marry.

Because Civil Unions are only legal in the state that offers them. Civil Unions don't include the 1100 marriage rights and benefits provided by the Federal Government. Separate but not equal is discrimination.

Because every couple in America has to get a marriage certificate from their state, whereas religious ceremonies are optional. No church or religious institution has or ever will be forced to marry anyone.

Because marriage should be a Right for all Americans, regardless of gender, race OR religion.

Because until ALL are equal, NONE are equal.

WHAT SHOULD WE DO?

Strike: call in gay, shut down your business, take the day off.

Boycott: don't buy anything or spend money.

Participate: visit www.daywithoutagay.org for a list of volunteer and/or protest opportunities.

Communicate: we need everyone's support!

Our co-sponsors include:
JOINTHEIMPACT.COM
DAYWITHOUTAGAY.ORG
DAYWITHOUTAGAY.NET
GAYS ON STRIKE (on Facebook)

WHY THE NAME "A DAY WITHOUT GAYS"? The name was inspired by the film A DAY WITHOUT A MEXICAN and the nationwide strike in 2006 called A DAY WITHOUT IMMIGRANTS, protesting proposed immigration laws.

Anyone interested it the facts regarding Proposition 8 should go to: http://www.noonprop8.com/about/fact-vs-fiction

If I Could Sing, I Wouldn't Spin

I'm in training right now to be a more strategic publicist - and props to my agency - it's been drilled into us that we're not in the business of spin. And even bigger props to our instructor who woke me up from my morning stupor by asking us to put our interaction with the press through a "Battle Hymn of the Republic" test. In other words, if you can hear the trumpets blaring, you're doing the media, and more importantly, your client, a disservice.

But really, this is just an excuse to link to Judy Garland's stirring rendition of "Battle Hymn of the Republic."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The W Effect and Madam Secretary of State


If I've learned one thing over the past two years of watching the Presidential campaign it's that I don't have the energy for politics. How Hillary Clinton has managed to not slap a b*** or grab Barack Obama by the ears while screaming "it's mine, mine, mine! dammit it's mine" is beyond me. Homegirl is like the nice lady at the supermarket who lets everyone cut in front of her because they just have a bag of Skittles or a canteloupe. And you know where nice gets you? Behind Sarah-Africa-is-a-country-right?-Palin.

Or so you would think.

President-elect Obama is now dangling the prospect of a cabinet position to Hillary -Secretary of State, yo. Holla! But the same forces who are in talks with Hillary are also leaking information to the press with the explicit purpose of inciting riot around Bill Clinton's dealings with foreign governments. The Obama camp is deliberately casting a W-effect over the Clintons by suggesting to the press that Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and China are part of the never-ending list of Bill Clinton's bedfellows.

My friends, the campaign is over. There is no reason for Barack and Hillary to pretend they like each other - as a wise friend once said, "spare me the faux." Hillary should check out and come back to New York and focus on being a Senator. An airport-security type of Senator, you know, the "g'ahead" type that plays on her cellphone while dynamite and alarm clocks go through the conveyor belt. If asked to vote on an issue, she should just hold up a sign that reads "Fine, whatever. I have a coffee break in 15 minutes."

After all, look what blind ambition and faith in the American electorate got Hillary: 18 million cheap shots at her and now her husband's philanthropic efforts.

The Obama camp is not on Hillary's side as we can see by the qualified support they've drummed for her appointment.

It's not worth it, girl.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Studio Make-Over

I told you I was gonna do it. Below are pix from our studio renovation which took two months to happen. You wouldn't know that painting and redecorating 400 square feet of space could take so long, but it does. And I'd do it all over again.

The goal: Turn our studio into a plush refuge that reflects James' sensibility and my penchant for flash. The big issue for us was controling the light in the space, which for a while came from a corner lamp and the whim of our solar system. We installed track lighting in July and from there set out to redo the entire space.

My inspiration: Gilded fantasy. Back in the days when I used to paint in high school my work always had deep blues, a touch of gold and lots of swirls. Without knowing it, I reverted to those same themes with this project. With gold and champagne accents throughout, my rug and coffee table both have my "signature" swirls and our walls "pop" with one of my favorite colors: turquoise blue.


So who did what? James installed our shelving, our curtain rods and ensured the functionality of other vital home accoutrements - specifically our internet access -as I plowed through walls and kicked cables out of the way to turn this place into Gianni Versace's rendering of Versailles. I picked out the couch, our rug and our wall colors while keeping the sturdy, earthy and James-y pieces that my beloved owned before we met.

One could say this design project is an exercise in sustainability as the only thing we tossed during the renovation was the couch. Everything else was kept and repurposed, including our first coffee table, which James carefully retiled about two years ago.

Stay tuned for an invite to the champagne unveiling.

***

Before:





After:
















Couch, Rug: Safavieh
Glass Coffee Table: Housing Works
Glass Armoire, Tiled Coffee Table, Leather Chair: ABC Carpet & Home
Floor Lamp: West Elm
Wall Colors: Ralph Lauren (Blues), Behr (Gold Trim)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

First Come the Gays


Our heads are on the chopping block.

As conservatives struggle for a point of view and a rallying cry for their disheartened soldiers of "faith," hate and isolationism, an easy target has emerged for this group's ire: the gays.

Sure, there's still abortion to worry about and Christmas is right around the corner, so some troops will have to be sent to guard nativity scenes at government buildings, all in an effort to keep Christ in the celebration of a pagan holiday. But social conservatives are an industrious bunch, and where John McCain would fail as a multi-tasker, the "silent majority" is ready to work tirelessly to thwart any sort of social progress.

My friends, I'm scared. Here in my ivory tower overlooking seventh avenue I can see the pitch forks and torches coming towards Chelsea. Crowds on both sides of the debate need to be appeased.

But I'm not sure if protesting in front of the Mormon Church is going to change this. On the one hand, it's horrible that a tax-exempt entity is blatantly funding a partisan agenda that is taking away citizens' rights. But in the end, Proposition 8 was put forth before the people of California to vote on and the people made their choice. How would the Dems feel if a bunch of Republicans started protesting in front of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta when Obama was elected?

If the Mormom Church poured money into Prop 8 so too did the left to preserve marriage for all citizens. Funding is not the problem. The problem is that gays are still the "others" and our access to rights, to all the benefits of citizenship, is still a matter of debate. Again, 50 years we were invisible and the "other" group was African Americans. With growth comes pain and right now we're feeling those pangs of evolution - and while I support vocal condemnation of a social scheme that questions the rights of particular groups, I do not think the church is the place to launch an offensive.

The gays should do what we do best: kill the haters with charm. I'm thinking billboards, acts of civility and community building. Instead of protesting, let's spruce up our city schools, let's create the communities we want to live in and lead by example. That doesn't mean we're going soft, it means we're rising above the fray to effect the change we all want to see.

The truth of the matter is that we're not wanted right now, so we have to lay claim to our place in society. What that steak in the ground looks like is entirely up to us.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

This Makes Me Smile

Stupid James and the first gift he ever gave me - a stuffed panda whom we named Fernando. We've had 'Nando for 4 years without incident, thus making us excellent parent material.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Are Gays the New Blacks?


Until the U.S. elects an openly gay man or a lesbian to the Presidency, I wonder: are gays and lesbians the new blacks?

With a black man on his way to the White House it seems the baton of victimization is being passed on to the gays. Case in point: the overwhelming support by black residents of California in support of Proposition 8.

It's been said before that today's civil rights movement is lead by gay men and women who are fighting for their right to be married, and are demanding the same respect and protection from their government as their heterosexual counterparts.

While our society has evolved so that you won't see gay men and women hosed on the streets for protesting in front of hate-mongering churches who don't have to pay taxes and therefore have money to spare to mettle in their neighbors' lives, today's political maneuvering is even more astute and more viscious as bigotry is metted out with a smile.

There's a great opinion-piece in the LA Times that delves into the disconnect between the needs of black voters and the gay community - basically, equality doesn't mean the same thing for everyone and us gays haven't been smart about the needs and sensitivities of the communities whose support we need for the protection of our rights. Writer Jasmyne A. Cannick, who is an African-American lesbian, breaks it down:

"White gays often wonder aloud why blacks, of all people, won't support their civil rights. There is a real misunderstanding by the white gay community about the term. Proponents of gay marriage fling it around as if it is a one-size-fits-all catchphrase for issues of fairness.

But the black civil rights movement was essentially born out of and driven by the black church; social justice and religion are inextricably intertwined in the black community. To many blacks, civil rights are grounded in Christianity -- not something separate and apart from religion but synonymous with it. To the extent that the issue of gay marriage seemed to be pitted against the church, it was going to be a losing battle in my community."

[...]

There's nothing a white gay person can tell me when it comes to how I as a black lesbian should talk to my community about this issue. If and when I choose to, I know how to say what needs to be said. Many black gays just haven't been convinced that this movement for marriage is about anything more than the white gays who fund it (and who, we often find, are just as racist and clueless when it comes to blacks as they claim blacks are homophobic)."

***
I guess it would be tacky for gays to walk around black neighborhoods in California saying "I voted for Obama, hit me back." At the same time, I'd like to point out that the same religious values that the black community is holding on to are the same values that have been used to justify slavery and Jim Crow, but I get it, I chose to be a fruitcake, blacks didn't get to choose their race. Still, this makes no sense to me.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Proposition 8: And You Gays Thought Cali Was the Sh**


Suckers. Proposition 8, the hate-monger legislation that's on the ballot in California to decide the fate of Ellen DeGeneres' marriage, is poised to put an end to same-sex marriage in the state. Fine, the people have spoken and we get it: Californians are a biggoted lot.

When it comes to gay marriage my stance is this: once we settle the mess in Iraq, squash Al Qaeda (for those that may have forgotten about AQ they came out right after NKOTB and just before NSync hit it big), fix the economy and secure healthcare for all Americans then we can start worrying about preserving "traditional" marriage. Not to copy David Letterman's ill-fated Uma-Oprah bit at the Oscars, but really this is a matter of Al Qaeda - Gay Marriage, Al Qaeda - Gay Marriage...hmm, which should America worry about more?

What's struck me most about the Proposition 8 debate is the money that's been raised to support this bill - nearly $38 MILLION! Don't you love conservative thinking?Whereas their pick-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps ethics decry welfare and financial support for "entitlement" programs, private, biggoted citizens have NO problem forking over an average of $818 to disrupt the lives of their fellow tax-paying neighbors.

And that scares me.

In Arkansas, the state's electorate has voted to ban adoption by unmarried couples, a move hailed by social conservatives as blunting the gay agenda. I must not have gotten the memo on that because my agenda doesn't include children (it does include obtaining an Hermes collier de chien, these fab Dolce & Gabbana shoes and securing the position that will let me afford these items)but whatever, I've never been hip to what the majority of gays are doing.

The rest of the country, however, is. That means I have to step my vigilante game up, that means I have to arm myself with knowledge on how our system works so I can slap a redneck or some fundamentalist Christian with some facts. I'm sick of being America's issue, but if that's the game I'm forced to play, then I'm absolutely in to win. Of course you know this means war.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Barack Obama Elected President of the U.S.

The car horns are honking, my neighbors are cheering, windows have been thrust open over Seventh Avenue here in Chelsea and the helicopters are buzzing overheard. We're celebrating the election of Barack Obama to the Presidency of the United States.

We're celebrating the will of the people. We're celebrating the re-claiming of America from the tired rhetoric of hate and division. This is democracy, this is possibility, this is the America we all want to believe in.









Today's the Day


Our national nightmare is almost over. Eight years of the Bush-Cheney administration, an ordeal that saw two of the most loathsome figures in our political system impact rise to power, is coming to an end. Eight years of peddling hate, lies and mobilizing fringe elements of our society under the banner of "family values" has not only reduced our country's influence and prestige in the world, it's also robbed many Americans of their belief in the great things that this country can do. If George W. Bush can be President, I wonder, what's the point of being an American?

And so the past two years for those of us who are a watching this spectacle called politics a little more closely than the average American have been intense. As a right-of-center Democrat, I've had my ups and downs with today's candidate. I've gone from being on the brink of tears at his speech at the 2004 Democratic convention and throwing my support behind his candidacy based on his stance on Iraq, but then supported Hillary when I realized that she was the victim of a treacherous assault by the Democrats. I was offended by the Democrats after they sold me Bill Clinton back in 1992 as some sort of God-send only to ditch his brilliant and thoroughly capable wife in favor of a more fresh and thoroughly untested candidate. I saw Obama as a line-cutter, I didn't think it was his turn to lead, and so I supported Hillary.

That was until June of this year when it became clear that Obama was the Democrats' choice. And then I panicked. I threatened to vote Republican and cursed the Democrats for throwing away the election. Barack HUSSEIN Obama? I couldn't believe it. Not only were the Democrats traitors, I thought, but they were also stupid and deserved to lose. Secretly, I resolved to just not vote at all.

But then in the past few months Obama has revealed himself as the kind of person I do want in the White House. While the McCain camp flung high school cafeteria insults at him Barack just went about staging a spectacular convention in Denver (which followed a spectacular world tour that was marked by record crowds in cities across Europe and the Middle East). We finally have a Statesman running for office and it's a beautiful thing.

I also admire the fact that Obama doesn't trade in fear tactics. He's not trying to scare Americans about their gay neighbors or the French, all he has to do is point his finger backward to eight years of Bush-Cheney or direct the public's attention to the possibility of Sarah Palin running the country. Or at the unraveling of John McCain, who was once a visionary leader and then forgot the most important element of being a successful leader: be yourself. By turning himself into a consort of the wack right wing, espousing rhetoric and issues that shouldn't matter in an election to the highest office in the world, John McCain became a puppet for a dying institution.

So I'm off to the polls now and I'm voting for Obama. Yes, I've taken cheap shots at him over the course of the campaign and I've even tried to rattle some cages by supporting John McCain. But I want you to know that I wholeheartedly support the Democratic candidate, that while I questioned the procedure and thinking that landed him in this privileged position I do not question Obama's character or his ability to lead.

Finally, as a person of color, I have to say this: I have never been more proud of my country.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Team McCain for the Undecided: A Chart!

People in communications love a good chart. Spare the thinking, just tell your boss what they need (want) to see in a chart that shows deadlines, or, in a competitive mash-up, how your brand trounces the competition.

Knowing the pain of producing charts to explain why communications programs do and don't work, I honestly feel for the the poor folks on Team McCain. Right now these guys are probably scrambling to explain to their boss why the words maverick, terrorist and hockey mom - words that were surely the product of painful brainstorming sessions where tons of options for "how can we kill Obama with one word" were scrawled on to dry-erase boards and circled emphatically based on the group's consensus - haven't resonated with voters.

So it's back to the dry-erase boards for these maverick minds and now, under the hum of fluorescent lighting, with the dull crunch of industrial carpet at their feet and minds hopped up on Red Bull and bad coffee, the work of turning a losing campaign around with less than 72 hours begins. In a moment of clarity or desperation - depending on where your loyalties lie - someone jumps from their chair, spilling bad coffee across the table - and says "I got it! Let's put together a chart that shows how much Obama sucks!"

Someone probably rushes to the dry-erase board to write OBAMA SUX, then circle it emphatically, and off an intern goes to come up with the following:



To whoever came up with this ridiculous chart that looks like a seventh grader's homework on "Current Events," all I can say is "girl, I feel you." I've been there - cursing, muttering, pulling my hair out and thinking "I don't know why your product sucks and why people won't buy it but it's midnight on Friday and I'd like to go home!" The result of this panicked thinking is usually something that's as uninformed, desperate and ridiculous as this chart that has been mailed around to those of us who subscribe to Team McCain's e-mail feeds.

And while the person assigned with this masterful work of mediocrity (which could have been redeemed had they inserted a column marked Terrorist, under which it would say McCain - NO, Obama - Not Sure) shuffled over to their desk to figure out how to use PowerPoint, I can imagine the team de-brief taking place under the aforementioned fluorescent lights:

"OK, who's feeding media the story about Obama's illegal alient aunt? Let's kill the Bill Ayers push - do we know whose side GayConservativeLiberal is finally on?"

It sucks to be on a sinking ship. Fortunately for McCain's staffers, the bow is about to break.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Heads Up, James: I Like the Finer Things


Ol' penny pinch - I mean, James - is loving the news of our country's economic meltdown. Why? Because he loves being right. And because all of his chats with me about how I should save more and stop perusing Orbitz.com for our next vacation destination and check out my 401K statement are, he hopes, finally sinking in.

Except they're not. I still want to go to Tokyo next summer to visit my cousin and I want to buy these Gucci loafers. So poor James has to be patient, kind, and explain to me, very slowly, why it wouldn't be wise right now to start liquidating my savings on shoes, jeans and trips. He's even trying to use our recent redecorating project as an excuse for - and I really, really hate this term - cutting back.

I can think of a few things I can start cutting back on as well, and so a lengthy negotiation begins and in the end, nothing is resolved. What's one less pair of Diesel jeans or an entire summer or winter spent in New York? Poor James doesn't want to find out.

Granted, something about the impending collapse of our country's financial institutions has the macho in me saying "hell no the damn economy don't affect me. WATCH me buy this bottle of Veuve and go buckwild on Bluefly.com. Sh*****t." Instead of stocking up on water and canned tuna, or whatever one needs to survive the collapse of civilization, I'm wondering if bow ties really are the hot item for men's wear this winter. (On the one hand, yay for the preppy look, but on the other, do I really want to look like a nattering personal assistant?)

But I digress...

According to New York magazine, conversations about fiscal prudence are taking place all across tony enclaves in the city. And these conversations aren't focused so much on what the upwardly mobile won't be buying, but on what they can and can't lay claim to anymore. "I used to work at [insert name of once-pre-eminent-financial-institution-here]" is kinda like saying "I used to be Vanilla Ice."

With that realization comes an unwanted reworking of plans and priorities - as one couple profiled for the New York piece said, it's smarter to pay the mortgae than to remodel the kitchen.

Sadly for James we rent and I barely cook. And I'm a size 11...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Barack is Not a Terrorist...He's a Gentleman

After watching the thirty-minute schlock fest that was Barack Obama's, sigh, historic multi-million-dollar ad buy last night I realized that I wouldn't mind having him give a State of the Union address. Brace yourselves: I actually like Barack.

It's been fascinating to watch the McCain campaign unravel. The nastiness of their tactics, which I commended for their representation of brass-knuckle politics, has been trumped by Barack's tempered, gentlemanly maneuvering. John McCain's team put out some fun YouTube videos comparing Barack to Paris Hilton and spent the rest of their money on making Sarah Palin look less like a redneck woman (her words, not mine). Barack laughed all the way to a primetime TV spot on all the major networks.

And I love it. Let's just hope the rest of America does, too, and votes accordingly next Tuesday.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I Wish My Mom Would Come Out of the Closet


When she's not cheering on her new girl crush Rachel Maddow, or slapping her knee and "yeah"-ing to Bill Maher, or ending her 13 hour workday with Chris Matthews, my mom is doing one of three things: calling yours truly to talk about any of the aforementioned TV personalities and trying to make weekend plans with James and me; yelling at my politically unmotivated brother and father; or silently nodding at Kingdom Hall (that's what Jehovah's Witnesses call church) where neither her left-of-center leanings matter and no one gives a hoot about her gay son.

In short, my mom lives in the closet and in the turmoil that such a limited spiritual framework imposes on the soul. On the one hand she's adamant about her faith that the political mechanisms of this world are useless and that God is going to met out justice soon enough (and in the process "fix" her gay son and his partner whom she adores as one of her own); on the other, she HATES the Republicans, "esa Sarah Palin es un demonio" ("That Sarah Palin is a demon") she's wont to say, or, "I can't watch the Fox News Channel because I feel attacked whenever I tune in. They don't like blacks, latinos or gays."

And neither does she. Sometimes.

On her good days - of which there have been many, many more following a near heart attack and stroke (at 53!)that have forced her to take a more measured approach to challenges, whether political or spiritual - my mom can eviscerate the GOP machine, inquire about my gay friends and tell me when my outfits work, don't work and when I should put the cheesecake down. "Those are not Calvin Klein abs," she'll say and thus puts a stop to the conveyor belt of champagne and desserts heading toward my gullet.

But on her bad days, which usually follow big JW gatherings such as district conventions (where tens of thousands of faithful gather for a weekend of speeches on faith), my mom calls me in sobs and says "I wish you were here."

Though my gut instinct is to say, "yeah mami, the cute waiter you have a crush on at Elmo wishes you were here, too," I've learned to either not pick up the phone on those convention weekends or simply say "oh mom, don't worry, I'll go with you soon enough."

And that's the sort of "what elephant in the room? Yo no veo un elephant" relationship that my mother and I have. My best friend lives on the down low, toiling away in Brooklyn during the week and then driving in a panic to Chelsea on the weekends. Mimosas at Le Singe Vert, shopping at Loehmann's, Funny Girl in my newly decorated blue-and-gold apartment -- my weekends belong to my mom and it's here in the pink-lined streets of Chelsea where she, and other gay misfits, have found their own little slice of the Big Apple that accepts her, loves her and doesn't attack her. Unless her shoes and purse don't match in which case I'm the first one to ask "are you sure you're my mother?"

Those of us in the know understand that the coming out process is long, painful and full of challenges. But I'm committed to my mom and I'm certain that soon enough I'll be forced to cheer her on the sidelines as she leads the PFLAG float in the next Gay Pride Parade.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sorry I Haven't Posted...

...it's been FOREVER. And the sky is falling isn't it? While America readies itself to elect a new leader I'm sorting client invoices, thinking (or not thinking, depends on who you ask)about "that big idea," and trying to finish my home redecoration. I'm just one person, yo!

But I've got a couple of salty, provocative posts in the works. The next 8 days are going to be off the hook, I promise.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Republicans Laughing at Themselves


Former Secretary of State Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama yesterday on "Meet the Press." It's not a black thing, it's a too-many dead soldiers and civilians in Iraq thing. Of course, no one talks that way in Washington, so the former Secretary claimed to arrive at the decision after months of careful thought and expressed "regret" for disappointing McCain. Powell also stood by his role in the campaign leading up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003 though he also expressed "regret" for the faulty intelligence that sparked the war. This, my friends, is how you stick it to your former boss in Washington. In monotone, on national television, with the same outward enthusiasm with which you order your Sunday brunch. I love it.

Just hours before Powell's statement, Sarah Palin was throwin' her hands up on Saturday Night Live while Amy Poehler rapped about Bill Ayers. Oh those crazy Republicans, with nothing left to lose before November 4 they're going to be EVERYWHERE, wagging their finger and winking at you, "are you sure you want to vote for that crazy terrorist?"

God bless em, there reward is in heaven isn't it?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Senator Obama, I am Not President Bush


Well then. The only thing that could have made tonight's final Presidential debate any more exciting would have been an announcement from the candidates that there was Kettle One in the glass tumblers. That and some good ol' chicken wing eatin' and bone tossin' between policy talk. But that didn't happen. Instead, the candidates came as close to being real as they ever have been during the campaign. The exchange was viscious and the desperation was unrestrained. This is politics and the future of the Empire is at stake. No time for nice.

John McCain, in his incessant blinking, is surely being patted on the head by his campaign leaders right now for uttering, just like they had rehearsed, "I am NOT President Bush. I can pronounce nuclear, thank you, Senator Osama." Barack Obama, having also rehearsed before the debate, just laughed.

Here's what we(I)heard:
- McCain: My friends, now is not the time to get tough on big business. We have to give them tax credits, the way the Irish do, and why the hell won't Obama come clean about blowing up buildings with Bill Ayers?

- Obama: Ha ha ha. My healthcare plan will make it easier for your employer to provide you with healthcare, and if that's not an option for you, you can buy into the same federal program folks like John McCain and I enjoy.

- McCain: Stop calling me a racist, you terrorist! I love precious special needs children.

- Obama: Special needs children need funding. The same kind of funding you're not down with.

- McCain: Why would you let a baby die? You would yank a live fetus from a woman's womb you monster.

- Obama: Did you just say you can balance the budget in four years? And who the hell is Joe the Plumber? Is he the same guy as Joe Six Pack?

- McCain: Isn't Sarah Palin somethin? I can't even tell you how proud I am of her.

- Obama: How many brothers out there know just what I'm gettin' at
Who thinks it's wrong 'cos I'm splittin' and co-hittin' that
Well if you do, that's OPP and you're not down with it
But if you don't, here's your membership


- McCain: And speaking of public schools we sent the Indian one to the same private schools as our real children.

- Obama: (Laughs) You really think I'm a terrorist who gave $800,000 to Acorn don't you?

- McCain: Isn't it funny how our wives are wearing red and blue tonight? Why do you support the drug trade in Colombia?

- Obama: We have to start making fuel-efficient cars here in the U.S.

***
CNN places Obama in the lead as of now, stating the McCain has a lot of work ahead of him to win swing states like Florida, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. That's really all the commentary I need from them but somehow they have 20 pundits sitting in front of CNN-branded laptops talking about their e-mail correspondence with both candidates' camps. Yawn.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

On Being Brilliant: Paul Krugman


Last week I received some great advice: be brilliant. In the throes of me-drama, I was simply told to be my most brilliant self and watch opportunities come my way. How this relates to NY Times columnist and blogger, and as of yesterday, Nobel laureate, Paul Krugman is simple: by being brilliant, he has won the highest distinction in the field of academia. (Feel free to roll your eyes at my statement of the obvious)

The Wall Street Journal captures why I'm so excited about his win: "The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the Nobel prize in economics to Paul Krugman, a Princeton University scholar whose groundbreaking study on trade is less known to the public than his withering assessment of the Bush administration."

When I first set out to write this blog a little over two years ago, my main inspiration was to simply say the things that I couldn't otherwise say in polite cubicle company. Though I spend a lot of my day reading the news and doing tons of writing, I ultimately work for someone else and my opinions, really, don't matter. So GCL.com is where GCL gets to be brilliant.

Now, to see a fellow blogger, and more importantly, someone has taken his field of study to prove why we are currently under the worst President in U.S. history, is inspiring. The lesson here, kids, is simple: know what you know, be brilliant, and expect big things.

Monday, October 13, 2008

"That One" is a Terrorist and/or an Uppity Negro


To make it through the day, I'm wont to fling dismissive remarks about people left and right. If I were to simply refer to someone as "that one," it'd be a moment of grace, for I would have exercised self-restraint.

However, John McCain's reference to Barack Obama as "that one" in last week's debate blew the lid off the issue that many of us political commentators have been tiptoe-ing around, with varying degrees of self-restraint. With less than four weeks until election time let's take off our gloves and be honest - and by honest I mean let's speak in very general, offensive terms: the choice for President comes down to a spry, septagenarian war hero with a dingbat running mate OR a smart, uppity negro with a Muslim bloodline.

The left-of-center media has set out to turn "that one" into the new n-word. And rightfully so.

NPR's weekly series "On the Media" ran a very interest report on the subtle ways in which the McCain camp is playing on some Americans' fears that Obama could very well be Osama's hit man. Two years into the campaign for President, Team McCain is still asking "who is Barack Obama?" when they really mean to ask "don't you all see the turban on his head and the dynamite strapped to his chest?" To ask, at this point, how much we know about Obama is really asking "are you ready to hand control over to a Black man?"

To be fair, the McCain camp's vetting process is less complicated than Match.com's. So, yes, they do have a right to question who the opposing candidate really is when they don't even know the hot mess of a VP candidate they have on their hands (duh, the best defense is a good offense). At this point in the election, we know enough about Barack Obama - perhaps too much. We've only scratched the surface with Sarah Palin, though, and thus far, we're coming up with a right-wing Pentecostal who can't control her teenage daughter.

Not that it matters to these folks:


I could be smug here and blast the Ann Coulters and Michelle Malkins of the world for their role in other-izing Obama and playing on stupid Americans' fears. They've both made a point of calling out every last one of Barack and Michelle's differences from mainstream (meaning under-read, under-educated, under-traveled) America, but so have I.

Until very recently, I was calling Barack B.Hussein Obama - I thought it was funny when Ann Coulter did it - simply because I did think Barack was Muslim and I thought it was insane that the Democrats pinned their hopes on a candidate with the name Hussein. I also called him the Anti Christ. And when it comes to Sarah Palin, I've been a little soft - even on her anti-gay ways.

And that's because I did (ok, do) think Obama is a little uppity. I do think that Barack and Michelle are too self-congratulatory and I still take issue with the fact that the Dems tossed Hillary to the side for a novice politician. For me, cutting Obama down was my way of saying "J'accuse the Democrats of supporting the entitled fancies of a nobody politico."

But at this point in the election, my choices are pretty limited. Between Barack's entitled ways and Sarah Palin's idiocy, my choice for President is pretty clear. Were it not for Sarah Palin I may still, sort of, be on Team McCain, but homegirl's backwoods ways are too much for me. After all, Barack's uppitiness should have endeared him to me, God knows I've been called uppity more times than I've been called a fag. Uppity people of color unite!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

I Know Sarah Palin and I Don't Hate Her


Watching Sarah Palin over the past few weeks, and learning more about her right leaning ways - from her book banning to her church's pray-the-gay-away beliefs - I realize that I've known Sarah for much longer than I thought.

Here's a story for you:

A few days ago someone asked me if homophobia still exists. "Really? Are people really homophobic?" Were it not for the sincerely confounded expression on the person's face I would have thought this was an insane question. But this person (who is obviously straight) just couldn't fathom why anyone in the 21st century would care enough to make an issue out of someone's sexual orientation. Given this person's easy rapport with yours truly, it just seemed right for them to assume that gays always have it rosy with the rest of the world.

This got me to thinking about Sarah Palin and the YouTube video I posted a few days ago from the HRC about her anti-gay ways. And then it donned on me: I can't hate Sarah Palin, I've known her for most of my adult life.

My mom's sister-in-law is pretty fierce. She has a career in finance and is all about the power suits and the Midtown grind. She knows numbers and how to decorate a room and she never raises her voice. When I was a teenager, her house was my favorite place to be - and bless her heart - she loved hosting sleepovers for my brother and me and making us breakfast on Saturday mornings.

Until I came out of the closet.

For all of her Working Girl savvy, my aunt also believes that I can pray the gay away. And until I did, I was told that I was no longer welcome in her home. For sleepovers OR breakfast. Interestingly enough, she was the first person I came out to. That was the kind of rapport we had.

You would think my aunt was some kind of backwoods monster. But no, she's a smart woman of the world with an unflinching faith. She's not going to come and set my house on fire and she's not going to picket at my funeral, but she certainly believes I've made a terrible choice with my life.

I've seen her a few times at family gatherings, and while we keep a respectful distance from each other, she's charming, witty, and hell, she'll wink at you once or twice. Sound like anyone running for VP?

While I can't say I support her political views, I understand where Sarah Palin is coming from, and I don't think it's a place of malice. That said, she's more than entitled to be a lovely, religious zealot in the privacy of her own home and in the confines of her church, just like my aunt. But I wouldn't want either of them, for all their numbers savvy and smart pant suits, a heartbeat away from the Oval Office.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

LIVE BLOGGING PRES DEBATE: Who Won?

I'd say Tom Brokaw...God, I would KILL for a deep, commanding voice like that.

That aside...

Hands down, this is Barack's moment. But that's not to say this was a rousing debate. At this point, we all know the country can't stand another 8 years of blithe Republican leadership. Barack knows it, and hell, McCain knows it. It's one thing to issue a series of mean (but clever) ads likening your opponent to Paris Hilton and it's another to look at him in the face and say "what do you mean we need change? these have been the best 8 years of our life!"

Country first, John. And for your somnambulent performance tonight we thank you. Thank you for your service to this country, but please exit stage left and let history run it's course.

And while that's something our maverick candidate never set out to do, he's had to run, at full gallop, into the embrace of the Republican Right. With that, all Barack had to do was show up and not come across as some unhinged, anti-industry liberal.

Done.

LIVE BLOGGING PRES DEBATE: Pakistan?

McCain wants to talk softly and carry a big stick. Pakistan is a sovereign country and we have to play nice while they harbor terrorists.

Obama calls out McCain for his bomb bomb bomb approach to Iraq, Iran, North Korea.

McCain pleaded for a retort and he just mwah mwah mwahed about seeing the horrors of war.

McCain is on message: Dammit I've been playing this game longer! Elect me!

Poor John, doest he know this didnt work for Hillary?

LIVE BLOGGING PRES DEBATES: When Does America Become a Peace Maker in the World?

McCain says America continues to be a force for good and that only he has the experience to know when the return on investment warrants American military might. He called out Barack for getting it wrong on the surge in Iraq and for being someone who has gotten it wrong on foreign policy.

Barack says he doesn't understand why we invaded a country that had nothing to do with 9-11 while Osama Bin Laden continues to train fighters against the U.S. The surge is inching toward a $1 trillion deficit. The war costs us $10 billion a month while Iraq enjoys a $79 billion deficit. The strains on our military resources are going to be the death of America as a force for good.

When to use military might:

Obama Doctrine for the use of force when national issues are not at stake:
- Morality: If we can stop it, we should be there. Case in point: the Holocaust and Rwanda.
- Mobilize the International Community: work with peace keeping forces from allied countries to

McCain Doctrine for the use of force when national issues are not at stake:
- Obama will produce more caskets in Iraq
- Cool and steady: Understanding our limits and the nuances of each situation. Temper decisions with the ability to beneficially effect a situation.

LIVE BLOGGING PRES DEBATES: Is Healthcare a Commodity?

Here we go with McCain's $5000 credit talk. But it's nonsense. Along with a bad joke about needing a hair transplant. McCain thinks healthcare is a responsibility. Barack says it's a right. And he threw in a story about his dying mother. Trump that, McCain.

LIVE BLOGGING PRES DEBATES: Can Congress Move Quickly on the Environment?

McCain: Extolling the virtue of nuclear (not nuke-u-lar)as a vehicle (my bad pun) for sound environmental policy. And Americans are the best.

Obama: A challenge is an opportunity. Drilling isnt the only solution to the problem. We need to come up with alternatives.

God this is a boring debate.

The best part is watching Tom Brokaw scold the candidates on time.

LIVE BLOGGING PRES DEBATE: What Sacrifices Should We Make for America?

McCain advocates a spending freeze with the exception of defense and veterans' care.

Crazy, Barack is the first to mention 9-11 in this debate. Anyway, it's the segue toward comments about nation-building and collaboration. Barack thinks we all need to be more prudent with our energy use...yes, he's for offshore drilling, clean coal and safe nuclear energy. Our efforts should also be focused on doubling the Peace Corps and a volunteer corps within the country.

LIVE BLOGGING PRES DEBATES: How Bad is it going to get?

Obama: Totally has faith in American economy, but Washington needs a change and we need to adopt modern financial policy, with more oversight, for modern economic issues.

McCain: Economy could stabilize if we get rid of chronyism in Washington; America's workers are the best in the world. Best, best, best.

Teresa Finch wants to know (I think) why anyone should trust either party when both Dems and Reps have been squandering away tax payers' money?

Me too.

LIVE BLOGGING PRES DEBATES: Who's Up for Treasurer Secretary Post?

McCain is into eBay CEO Meg Whitman.

Obama might nominate gazillionaire philanthropist Warren Buffet.

Tom Brokaw scolds both men - y'all got but one minute to answer a question. S***

LIVE BLOGGING PRES DEBATE: Bail Outs for Everyone?

Obama lunges for McCain's jugular and his support of de-regulation and hoping "prosperity would rain down on all of us." McCain now on an energy kick. We have to stop paying for foreign energy and relive young Americans of a $10 trillion debt. $10 trillion??

Hope that's going toward my credit card.