Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Not Being Pro-Israel Does Not Mean You're an Anti-Semite

...but then again, what would French thinker and finger-pointer Henri Bernard Levy (left)talk about at the 92nd Street Y this week?

Levy, according to New York Magazine, is in town to talk about anti-semitism as the 60th anniversary of the formation of the state of Israel draws near. In an interview with the magazine, Levy talks about his concerns over the rise of anti-semitism:

What caused you to turn to explicitly discussing anti-Semitism?
Its return. And a relatively new rhetoric. Anti-Semitism, to pass under the radar, to become again undetectable, to be in a position to operate without being accused of being anti-Semitism, must draw from three sources: anti-Zionism, the denial of the Holocaust, and victim competition. It must articulate the following discourse: “The Jews are a detestable people who, firstly, invented and exaggerated their own martyring”—which is denial of the Holocaust; secondly, “They overshadowed, in doing so, the martyring of other people”—which is victim competition; and, thirdly, “They accomplished this crime because they are obsessed with the defense of an assassin state”—which is anti-Zionism.

While holocaust-denial is indeed worrisome and there is no doubt that many people still harbor anti-semitic feelings, to throw the Israel factor into the equation is a bit unfair. Chiefly because as a (mostly) liberal American I'm uncomfortable with the violent entitlement of the Zionist movement. I've long equated the Zionist movement with the descendants of the Algonquin indians coming to my door saying that Manhattan was their land long ago and that, New York real estate being the mess that it is today, $24 for this island was a rip off and I have to give them my Chelsea studio as payback. No dice.

So it goes, in my mind, with Israel. Understanding, of course, that the Jews have suffered at the hands of empires throughout history, the fact remains that the Palestinians in 1948 shouldn't have born the brunt of millenia of abuse. The takeover of the region wasn't a friendly affair and its consequences are felt the world over in the jihadist movement. In fact, the latter half of the 20th century was marked by violence stemming from the Zionist movement - to say otherwise is reckless, not anti-Semitic. Long before the official Gulf wars we were in battle with the Middle East - the massacre at the Munich Olympic games in '72, the Iran student uprising, the hostage situation in Beirut, the hijacking of airliners - all because of the West's myopic, pro-Israel view. In failing to care about the suffering of the others - those pesky Palestinians - we've suffered their deaths and humiliation hundred-fold in spectacular terrorist attacks whose prevention have come to form America's national identity. Today, America is Israel's paranoid BFF.

So do I think that the Jewish people are entitled to a country? No, I think all people should be allowed to live and work and thrive wherever they choose so long as they integrate peacefully into the local landscape while retaining their customs and faith. Does that make me pro-Iran or pro-Chavez? Absolutely not. Nor does it make me a neo-Nazi, it just makes me anti-violence.

Monday, February 25, 2008

J'Adore Marion Cotillard

For me, the highlight of last night's Oscar ceremony was watching Marion Cotillard win the statue for her role as Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose.

I'm an unabashed francophile and many, many a time have I looped Edith Piaf's music on days when things didn't go my way. Sunday mornings at home usually include a tribute to the little sparrow as well. I've even made the pilgrimage to her tomb at Pere Lachaise cemetery. See?

So, in honor of the French, and La Mome Piaf (the little sparrow), here's a clip of Edith Piaf singing my favorite of all her songs, L'Hymne a L'Amour, the Hymn to Love. She composed this after the death of her lover, the boxer Marcel Cerdan, in the 50s. Not trying to bring down your Monday, it's just a good song.

Felicitations, Marion!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Bitch Is the New Black

Tina Fey's brilliant and hilarious recap of the Obama/Clinton race aside, I'm going to be real here: If the Dems decide to get cute and nominate Barack Obama then I am going to vote for John McCain. I've voted Republican in the past and I'll do it again.

Enough is enough. If this Clinton-bashing gets to the point where we nominate a nobody senator who really fumbled in yesterday's CNN/Univision debates, then I'm going to go with the party that is lock-stock-and-barrel committed to bringing this country back from the brink of implosion. And I certainly won't support a two-faced party that has taken sadistic pleasure in elevating the Clintons only to tear them down at every moment.

Take note, Barack: The Dems made those JFK references when Bill was running in '92, the Clintons were all up in the clam chowder in Hyannis and now look at the mess they're in.

The lack of perspective and historical deference in the Barack movement is chipping away at the values of the Democratic party. We're the party that stands up for the little guy and makes Washington work for him. Barack can't do that. The GOP is watering at the mouth, waiting for the Dems to hang themselves with this wack candidate.

We still have time to make the right decision and usher our party to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. I'm talking to you, Texas and Ohio.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

So, Who Wants Change?

Not me. I've seen the Democratic party change from a model of visionary social responsibility to a bunch of bitchy girls in the final stages of cheerleader squad try-outs. Which is why I want to encourage my fellow Americans in Texas and Ohio to think very carefully before casting a vote for a Dem candidate in their state's primaries. Ask yourselves: do I want a friend or do I want a President?

I know the Clintons have made mistakes in the past, but that's no reason to un-invite them to the slumber party. Sure, there was Don't Ask, Don't Tell, there was the unfortunate handling of the Rwanda genocide, there was NAFTA, there was the war in Iraq. But when did the Dems' golden couple stop being the Hope of America and turn into Adolf and Eva?

Stop for a minute and realize that this spectacle makes the Dems look like a bunch of teenie bopper cry babies who are ready to flick off the candidate they once defended so vigorously -- remember Monica-gate? Remember how we all stood by Hillary and applauded her steely resolve to save her marriage and her own political career? Remember how we cried foul because our beloved Bill was being railroaded by a right wing conspiracy? Why, ten years later, are the Dems pointing at the Clintons as the harbingers of evil? When did Bill and Hillary turn into George and Dick?

Ever the well-oiled-machine, the Republicans have found their candidate. Despite the chatter of a few disgruntled pay-for-hate "conservatives" on the Fox News Channel - cuz even Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity and Michelle Malkin are getting tired of bashing Hillary so they've moved on to John McCain - the GOP is on board with McCain's candidacy.

Take a lesson, Dems. The GOP gave us a personality candidate back in 2000 and we're still paying for it. Not that many Americans want to have a beer with W anymore.

The GOP locks into step and promotes a candidate six months before their convention. Meanwhile, us Dems are pitting two exceptional candidates -- who will have to work together once someone is elected, by the way -- against each other. And then you're really in for change - that sweeping Democrat victory from last year will be undone with our bickering and contention and the GOP will once again take over the House and Senate and, Hillary and Obama aside, we'll have to cowtow to right wing policies yet again.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Not Giving Up on Hillary

Team Obama scored its tenth consecutive primary win last night after sweeping through the Wisonsin and Hawaii polls; for those of us watching from the sidelines, its tempting to tow the party line and say "fine, we'll vote for whatever Dem wins the primaries."

But, as Madonna, I mean, Evita, (supposedly) said: "bad moments come but they go, that doesn't mean we should give up our dream, don't you forget what I've been through and yet I'm still standing." So, yes, Barack is scoring big wins, but let's not forget that we've seen a "defeated" Hillary before. And she always bounces back.

I understand Americans want a movement they can belong to. That's super. But if its a revolution they want, then I hope they're ready to ride out the foibles of untested leadership (and please, spare me the JFK references). I'm sticking with Hillary.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

My Trip to Colombia

I was going to write a long post about going to Colombia two weeks ago to make things right with my grandma (she wasn't eager to join PFLAG when I came out a few years ago); I was going to talk about the importance of forgiveness and getting over oneself; instead, I decided to put my shots and video clips in a music video.

It's set to Mika's "Love Today," an appropriate title for the lesson I learned on this trip. I'd never have thought to use it, but my little cousins down in Cali are pretty hip and played this track on loop during my stay.

So, as you awake from the stupor of a three day weekend remember to love today.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

I'm Not Worth the Fuss

The dude on the left is a Christian blogger and sometimes boxer who has an ax to grind with the gays. J. Matt Barber has outlined the gay community's plan of attack for corrupting America in a column titled "Unmasking the Gay Agenda" today for Catholic Online; the plan, according to Barber, is for gays to use their influence and affluence to normalize their "deviant" sexual behavior and "indoctrinate" Americans into accepting gays' "sin."

With meticulous detail, Barber outlines steps the gays have taken to legalize pedophilia (Note to Catholics: stay away from the P word when making a case for moral uprightness, k?), homosexualize Jesus and sell AIDS as just a cold.

Clearly, Barber hasn't met my theatre group - not only can we not agree on which Dem to support, we can't even agree on where to go to dinner post-show. But I guess there are more militant, demagogue queers out there that pick up the slack.

What Barber has met, however, is a lack of support for his obsession with countering "the gay agenda." He was fired from his job at Allstate Insurance in 2005 for blogging his anti-gay beliefs (on his own time, though how his affiliation with the gay-friendly insurance company came to light is uncertain, he says he didn't divulge that info on his bio). Now, as a blogger myself, I think it's unfair for a corporation to fire someone for writing about their personal beliefs on their own time. Unless they're blogging about how they're going to blow up the office in 90 days or something of that life-threatening-nature, I still believe in freedom of speech, even for fundamentalist Christians.

Barber isn't really saying anything new, and in fact, I'm encouraged by his slander. As the Extreme Right loses its Talibanic grip on Americans, it's only fitting for them to resort to scare tactics: visions of children being snatched from the nuclear family by lecherous gays, only to die of the gay plague -- err, AIDS.

But Barber is right about one thing: We gays are indeed on a mission to legitimize our place in society. Yes, we're vocal in our nation's political discourse, we support artists who show us love, and we are going to continue to fight for fair treatment - at work, at school, wherever. We're part of this country, too, and we're proud of that.

As for indoctrination and "Everyman" tactics, whereby gays try to sell themselves as just the fun-loving folks next door. Well, I'm guilty of that, too. I just got back from Colombia where I went to make peace with my grandma and other members of my family who I thought weren't down with the whole gay relative thing. After they saw that Davicito hadn't really changed at all -- well, the mentioned that I looked bigger, thanks NYHRC -- we spent an amazing week together. In the end, grandma even apologized, saying she was sorry if in her ignorance she ever made me feel as if I wasn't loved. Coming from a stalwart Christian like her, that's all the comeuppance I need.

Sadly, not everyone is going to have this sort of revelation. While Barber's column smacks more of paranoia than hate, let's not forget how easy it is to turn panic into mayhem. Grr, I'm guilty of another one of Barber's charges - equating Christianity with hatred. The Crusades? Inquisition? Slavery? Holocaust? To associate the Church with these events in history would be, oh yeah, true.

So I'm gonna keep an eye on Barber, all the while doing what I always do every night, Pinky, try and take over the world.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Are You a Racist? Or Just an American?

Just got the March issue of Men's Health in the mail, and after skipping past the hetero-sex tips, I came across an interesting survey about race relations.

Says the magazine: "Odds are you're a bit of a racist - at least according to a Northwestern University study. Researchers found that 93 percent of participants harbored some degree of racial bias."

The survey of 1,229 men found that 46 percent men think race relations are a serious issue in this country, while 50 percent of men believe we will never achieve racial equality.

Barack's victory this past weekend be damned, America is still a pretty racist country. And I suspect that many whites who are on the Barack train are just trying to make ammends for their own innate racism, reciting verbatim Team Obama's mantra of "we need new thinking and change we can believe in." Yawn.

I think that racism is a European American concept. I was just in Latin America where I had to explain to my family what the term mixed-race meant. Sure, people down there are aware of color -- they even joke about it, we have songs about beautiful indian women and black men with big lips -- but people in this part of the world are considered Latinos first.

My mom always flips the channel when Mariah Carey gives her sob story of being a bi-racial gazillionaire. And rightly so. My grandmother is black and my grandfather was a white man. Which is why my mom once asked "Davicito, que es bi-racial?" She didn't understand that that's how she could label herself.

In Latin America, economic class trumps race. If you're of the moneyed elite - an institution that can easily be broken into through marriage, a beauty title win, a soccer championship -- you're golden. Otherwise, you're just a poor working stiff. And given the smog and pollution in most Latin American cities, y'all wind up being the same color of soot anyway.

Anyhoo, here's a shot of my mixed race family. We're like a L'Oreal commercial, right?

Monday, February 04, 2008

All Around the World: ¨NO¨ to FARC Terrorists, ¨NO¨ to Chavez

I´m on vacation in Cali, Colombia and as luck would have it, I was also in the middle of the single largest manifestation of public outrage against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). From Berlin to Buenos Aires, and in cities all across Colombia, hundreds of thousands of citizens have taken to the streets to denounce the terrorist acts of the South American rebel group.

As I´ve written on this blog before, the FARC have become the new lords of the drug trade in this country. Ask anyone in this city of 2 million people, from the well-heeled residents of the Granada district to a cab driver, and the disgust for the FARC´s tactics - bombings, civilian kidnappings, drug trafficking - is unanimous.
Also palpable here is the presence of Hugo Chavez in this discourse. Many citizens are weary of his role in the recent hostage negotiations and the fear is that an increasingly armed and rancorous Venezuela will mobilize the FARC into war against Colombia. The stakes are high and the disappointment and frustration have hit their breaking point.

So today my cousin Mayra, an 18-year-old college student with impeccable English, took me to the CAM, the political center of the city, where hundreds of thousands of CaleƱos were waving flags, singing rock anthems for peace and freedom, and walking along peacefully. No pushing, no shoving, all under the supervision of policemen on the ground and in helicopters above.

The city is at a virtual standstill, as is most of Colombia, to observe this ¨important act of civic duty.¨ Today the city´s leading daily, El Pais, called for all citizens to take part in the march. ¨This is not a political rally, it´s a humanitarian responsibility,¨was the exhortation.

So here are some of my pics from this moving and civil demostation. The most popular t-shirt of today´s movement sums up the mood in this thriving, bustling city where I´ve been having an amazing time thus far: ¨No More Kidnappings, No More Lies, No More Deaths, No More FARC.¨

Friday, February 01, 2008

Michelle Malkin & Jim McGreevey: Dying To Belong

While GCL is in Colombia making peace with grandma, James will be running some oldies but goodies for your reading pleasure.

Original Post Date: October 8, 2006

Here are two people who are single-handedly undoing the course of progress and acceptance in America:

Michelle Malkin and Jim McGreevey suck. *Pun sorta intended.

Michelle Malkin is all sorts of pissed off at the New York Times because they mentioned the fact that she's Filipina. Yes, Michelle Malkin, nee Maglalang, that tank-top wearing, caramel-skinned Conservative sell-out is crying foul after reporter Virginia Heffernan mentioned the pundit's ethnicity in an article about Malkin's attack on YouTube.

Says Malkin: I love how the always oh-so-sensitive New York Times has no problem throwing my ethnicity into an attack, when my ethnicity has nothing at all to do with the subject (the jihad vs. anti-jihad war at YouTube).

Here's why Malkin's etnicity matters:

-- Malkin has done everything in her power to whitewash herself.

-- Her psyhotic desire to belong to the "winning" team has her screaming like a banshee for a cause that undermines the very values that have allowed a woman of color to become such a visible figure in our society.

--She boasts on her blog: [I] opposed publisher [of Seattle Times] and supported successful campaign to abolish race-based affirmative action in government hiring, contracting, and college admissions.

-- Her book In Defense of Internment draws psychotic parallels between the internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII and the need for similar actions with Arab Americans today.
Among other hallucinations, the book claims to expose "how both Japanese American and Arab/Muslim American leaders have united to undermine America's safety."

I would dare say that Michelle Malkin is the Jenna Jameson of the Conservative movement. Here you have a woman of color begging to have her race stripped of her while she whores off her wit and intelligence to advance the cause of the Republican party.

What a godsend she is to the white Republican establishment -- to have one of the little brown ones speak out against affirmative action and espouse the homophobic and xenophobic ideals of their party.

Kudos to Virginia Heffernan for pointing out Malkin's most egregious trespass -- that which she has perpetrated on herself and her heritage by becoming a puppet for a slowly dying cause.

So what's my beef with Jim McGreevey?

To hear him speak about his newfound "truth" is like watching a man possessed by Pat Buchanan and George Michael. Every utterance out of McGreevey's mouth as he promotes his new book The Confession, especially his embarassing, vomit-inducing appearance on Oprah, reveal a man still struggling with a major identity crisis.

I can't even applaud him coming out of the closet. Jim McGreevey didn't say he was gay, he revealed himself to be a depraved, co-dependant, lying son-of-a-bitch, who like Michelle Malkin was all too eager to sell his own people out just "to belong."

He told Oprah that even though he marched in Gay Pride parades, he refused to vote in favor of gay marriage out of fear that he would be outed. He went into detail about his trysts behind a Synogauge (DAYS before Rosh Hoshanna no less, OY the timing!), he said he had a penchant for anonymous sex with truck drivers, and that he met "the love of his life" in an Israeli whom he would later sleep with in his wife's bed while she was holed up in a hospital recuperating from a Cesaerian section.


This isn't truth or liberation, this is a twisted man who is still acting out of homophobia. WHERE THE HELL ARE ROSIE AND ELLEN to distract America's attention from this wacko fag?

To make matters worse, McGreevey invited Oprah's cameras to his new home which he shares with his "life partner" of six hours (or months).

James and I were flipping out while we watched, in horror, how this idiot confirmed Middle America's worst fears about gays:

-- That we're whores
-- That we lie
-- That we ruin families
-- That we're self possessed and only out for own satisfaction

As I think about topics to write about on this blog, and as I question its effectiveness, I am thankful for the example provided to me by Michelle and Jim. Unless I speak out as a gay person of color, the only point of view this country is going to hear is that of these two self-hating loons. I can't let that happen.

Evil Gays

While GCL is in Colombia making peace with grandma, James will be running some oldies but goodies for your reading pleasure.

Original Post Date: February 8, 2007

Every community has its members that you pretty much want to get all Taliban on and drag to the center of town for an ol'fashioned stoning.

For the gay community, I can't think of two people who really need to get some sense beaten into them more than Ted Haggard and Mary Cheney.

In today's New York Times, Haggard boasts of his "complete heterosexuality" after a three-week stint in counseling. Even Lindsay Lohan committed herself to 30 days of rehab, but I guess when you're as demonic as Haggard, you can get on the fast track to "redemption." For those of not drinking the Kool Aid of the power of "faith," it's laughable that three weeks can undo years of lying and self-loathing.

Still, that's the message from the National Association of Evangelicals: “He [Haggard] is completely heterosexual,” Mr. Ralph [a representative for the religious group] told The [Denver] Post, adding that Mr. Haggard’s homosexual activity had not been “a constant thing.”

What's even more frightening about this mess of a story is that Haggard's wife is not only staying with him, they are both taking online courses to get master’s degrees in psychology!

Mary Cheney is another mess. Now that she's pregnant, she and her tight-assed, lame-duck, mass-murdering-war-profiteering-father have made the topic of her insemination off-limits, saying that her choice to inflict her seed on the world is not a political statement.

And truth be told, the Cheneys have more to be excoriated for than their wayward daughter's romps in the hey with arriviste park rangers. Nonetheless, as Dan Savage brilliantly put it in his blog this week:

" long as your party insists on making the fitness of homosexuals to marry or parent—or, hell, exist—a subject of public debate, Mary, your decision to become a parent is germane and very much fit for public discussion and debate. The GOP’s selective embrace of some pregnant dykes—only knocked-up lesbians with powerful connections will be treated with respect—is a disconnect that demands answers. From you, from your father, from your venomous mother, from the idiot president you helped elect. Is that fair? Maybe not. Want to blame someone? Go look in the mirror—and then come out swinging, Mary—for yourself, your partner, and your child."

In times of war it's not uncommon to see people turn on their own just to survive. While the "culture war" rages on in this country, the bigger battle is within the souls of people like Ted and Mary who hate themselves so much that they've made it their life's mission to "redeem" themselves for just existing. The scary thing is that these people have a platform and political connections to see that their twisted brand of hate and depravity turns into legislation.

Stone em!